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The feat Law Devotion (Complete Champion 61) has the following as part of its benefit:

Once per day as a swift action, you can summon the power of law to aid you. Upon activating this ability, you immediately gain a +3 sacred (if your deity is good or neutral) or profane (if your deity is evil) bonus on your attack rolls or to your AC until your next action. At the beginning of your next action, you can reallocate the bonus if desired. This effect lasts for 1 minute.

Also, the feat's Special says, "If you have the ability to turn or rebuke undead, you gain one additional daily use of this feat for each three daily turn or rebuke uses you expend."

Can a creature, on one round, take a swift action to activate the benefit of the feat Law Devotion to gain the bonus to AC then, on the next round, take a swift action to spend 3 turn undead attempts and activate the benefit of the feat Law Devotion again to gain the bonus on attack rolls while keeping the bonus to AC? Or does this run afoul the Combining Magical Effects rules (PH 171-2) or some other rule?

Addressing similar situations with regards to the feat Animal Devotion (CC 54-5) and—let's imagine the cleric's feeling lucky—the feat Chaos Devotion (CC 56-7) would also be appreciated.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ How do you read "until your next action"? Until now I read it as "until your next turn", which means that combining effects would require having two Swift Actions in the same turn (not impossible, but quite specific). \$\endgroup\$ – Matthieu M. Jun 5 '17 at 11:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MatthieuM. O, yes, it'd take two swift actions to activate the ability twice, but I assume those swift actions would be taken on different turns (see paragraph 4). I'm not assuming RKV or anything. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jun 5 '17 at 11:54
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Complete Champion specifies that “the effect granted by any domain feat [which are confusingly titled “X Devotion”] is a spell-like ability with a caster level equal to your character level,” so each use of Law Devotion (or Animal Devotion or Chaos Devotion) is actually the casting of a spell-like ability. Each subsequent use is a casting of the same spell-like ability, and that does, yes, run afoul of the rules for combining magical effects.

However, Animal Devotion for one does include this:

Special: You can have multiple abilities active simultaneously. However, you can still activate only one ability per round.

So it has a specific exception to the magical effects rules. Chaos and Law both lack such a line.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Maybe because it's 5 AM here, but I'm coming up blank on a another effect that's ostensibly from the same source that also allows picking different effects that could serve as an example. You got anything? (That is, an alternative would be assuming that the authors of CC simply didn't consider what the question proposes with regard to Law and Chaos Devotion, so I'd like a fallback example.) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jun 5 '17 at 11:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oof. Maybe the spell heroics [trans] (Spell Compendium 113) or something? But a lot of folks support casting that spell multiple times to get multiple feats simultaneously. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jun 5 '17 at 12:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan Isn’t that covered by “Same Effect with Differing Results: The same spell can sometimes produce varying effects if applied to the same recipient more than once. Usually the last spell in the series trumps the others. None of the previous spells are actually removed or dispelled, but their effects become irrelevant while the final spell in the series lasts”? \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jun 5 '17 at 12:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan Heroics is one; I wouldn’t allow it to be re-used for multiple feats myself, but yeah, it is unclear. Bestow curse seems like it would be another but that one, I would support allowing multiple curses at a time. I was kinda hoping that by just invoking the combining magic effects rules, I could dodge trying to interpret those rules... \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jun 5 '17 at 12:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ Maybe? I dunno. As a DM I've ruled the result of heroics is picking and gaining the feat not the feat itself so as to avoid shenanigans, but Law Devotion's effect isn't even named or anything unless you count the result as the power of law aiding you or whatever. It's kind of why I asked the question. ;-) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jun 5 '17 at 12:10

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