This question already has an answer here:

EDIT2: I just looked up the oath online, and it seems the confusion has been caused by a loss in translation. The wording in my copy did not speak of "granting resistance to damage from spells" but it said "taking half damage from spells" which is pretty close to the wording if you succeed in your saving throw against a fireball.
So this question is indeed a duplicate and can be closed and forgotten.

I know that stacking the same resistance accomplishes nothing.
But what happens when different resistances affect the same damage event?

Let's say the random evil warlock Doomdoom shoots a fireball at the bear totem barbarian Fuzzyface who is raging through his minions. But Fuzzyface is standing right next to Evl-b-gon who is a paladin that took the oath of the ancients.

Bear totem halves damage(=grants resistance) from pretty much all damage types, including fire. Which a fireball undoubtedly would deal.
The oath of the ancients aura does the same for spell damage. The fireball is without a doubt also a spell.

So, how much damage does Fuzzyface take?
RAW preferred, but RAI with an argument about why it is intended that way would be appreaciated as well.

EDIT: Apparently this is taken as a duplicate by a lot of people. While pretty similar, I do not think those questions ask the same thing.

There is no damage type "spell" in the game.
The barbarian has resistance to the damage type,
but the Paladin halves damage from a source.
Solving this with PHB 197 by accepting "spell" as a damagetype would effectively remove the benefit of the bear, since the damage types he gains resistances to will be almost always be caused by a spell.


marked as duplicate by firedraco, Purple Monkey, Dale M dnd-5e Jun 9 '17 at 6:12

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • \$\begingroup\$ @firedraco frankly I do not know: Personally I do not think so, because the barbarian has a resistance to a damage TYPE, while the aura grants resistance to a damage SOURCE. But that may be the programmer in me speaking and "normal" people might view it differently \$\endgroup\$ – Haquim Jun 9 '17 at 6:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ The first paragraph, yeah that is a very important distinction in the wording. If the feature had read "taking half damage from spells", it would have stacked with Resistances, similar to how you can succeed in a saving throw to take half damage, and then apply resistance, or a raging barb-rogue using uncanny dodge and then further decreasing the damage with resistance. \$\endgroup\$ – daze413 Jun 9 '17 at 7:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Both features in question provide resistance, and being resistant more than once to the same damage doesn't stack; the fourth paragraph on p. 197 of the PHB seems very clear on this. I agree that this is fundamentally a duplicate. \$\endgroup\$ – Marq Jun 9 '17 at 7:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Marq Yes, it is. I didn't explain the issue very skillfully, but daze413 and my EDIT2 should clear up what the original issue was. Basically my RAW was different from everyone elses caused by a translation mistake. \$\endgroup\$ – Haquim Jun 9 '17 at 7:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ OK, cool. Here's a tip for future questions: There's no need to mark your edits in the question, since there's a full edit history available for anyone to see. The goal of the site is to cultivate good questions and good answers, so it's better long-term if you just edit your question to read clearly, even if that involves significant changes. \$\endgroup\$ – Marq Jun 9 '17 at 7:55