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I am currently mocking up a Goliath Barbarian, and was wondering if there is a limit to the amount of sources of "You count as if you were one size larger for the purpose of determining your carrying capacity" that stack.

From prior browsing, I've found that Goliath's Powerful Build & Totem Barbarian's Bear Aspect feature stack in that regard, but could you stack, for example:

  • Powerful Build (innate Goliath feature)
  • 6th level Totem Barbarian Bear Aspect
  • Brawny feat

Essentially, could you double your carrying capacity and lift/pull capacity thrice?

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As you know, Powerful Build and the Bear totem ability stack. For the same reasons, Brawny and the Bear totem ability also stack. However, Brawny and Powerful Build won't stack.

You count as if you were one size larger for the purpose of determining your carrying capacity.

Your size is Medium. When you get Powerful Build, you count as Large for the purpose of determining your carrying capacity. Then, when you get Brawny, you are still Medium, and you count as Large for the purpose of determining your carrying capacity again.

If you had found a way to actually become Large, Brawny or Powerful Build would make you count as Huge for the purposes of carrying capacity, but as long as you're still Medium, the best either of them can do is make you count as Large for the purposes of carrying capacity.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I think this depends on an assumption about that sentence. "You count as if you were one size larger" than something. Is that "than you actually are," which is what this interpretation is? Or "than you did immediately prior to applying this effect," which is Fisonna's interpretation? I don't think either answer is definitive. \$\endgroup\$
    – noneuklid
    Feb 16 '18 at 0:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ @noneuklid It doesn't really matter, actually. You count as one size larger for the purposes of carrying capacity, not for the purposes of other features that make you count as one size larger for the purposes of carrying capacity. \$\endgroup\$
    – Miniman
    Feb 16 '18 at 0:44
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This will of course be a DM interpretation issue. However, I would say "no", they do not stack. In 5e in general, stacking is limited, and there are several examples of the same or similar effects not stacking. Different methods of having an Extra Attack, different methods of calculating AC, and so on.

From a standpoint of making sense, a 20 Str character already can carry around 300 lbs. Being a Goliath or a Bugbear, or a Bear Totem, or Brawny, makes that 600 lbs, which is more than reasonable. I think letting them all stack so that you can walk around with 2400 lbs of gear is crazy.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Any references for your claims? I can think of multiple examples of similar effects stacking. I can also think of many examples where the result of multiplied effects 'is crazy' and is certainly legit. eg. Warlock/Sorc with Spell Sniper, Eldritch Spear, Distant Spell firing Eldritch Blast up to 1200ft. \$\endgroup\$
    – Luke
    Feb 15 '18 at 2:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ That's WHY I said "This will of course be a DM interpretation issue. However, I would say ...", and "From a standpoint of making sense ..." I don't know how much more clear I can be that this will be a matter of opinion, in which specific rules references will not be the point. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 15 '18 at 2:49

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