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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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However I think this maybe what you're looking for. Have a friend cast the Enlarge Person Spell to make your character large or take 2 Levels of Moon Druid to Wild shape into large creatures(you get to keep your racial powerful build and your rage feature from Barbarian).

Wild Shape says :

You retain the benefit of any features from your class, race, or other source and can use them if the new form is physically capable of doing so.

I would argue any large creature has a powerful build or could make use of one.

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    \$\begingroup\$ read Wild Shape again. "Your game statistics are replaced by the statistics of the beast, but you retain your alignment, personality, and Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores. [...] If the creature has the same proficiency as you and the bonus in its stat block is higher than yours, use the creature’s bonus instead of yours. [...]" Your game statistics are replaced - since Powerful Build is tied to your physical appearance, which currently no longer exists in its original form, I'd say you lose that (and other) racial features. \$\endgroup\$ – PixelMaster Feb 15 '18 at 23:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PixelMaster "You retain the benefit of any features from your class, race, or other source and can use them if the new form is physically capable of doing so." is later on in wild shape. I would argue any large creature has a powerful build or could make use of one. \$\endgroup\$ – Voromir Kadien Feb 15 '18 at 23:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ well, I suppose you're somewhat right. A dwarf will still be "physically able" to have poison resistance. However, are you able to utilize a "powerful build" if your build is different than in your "real form"? I don't think this can be clearly solved with RAW, so anything we could argue here would be opinion based. Should this come up in my campaign, I'll rule as mentioned above, but hey - feel free to decide differently. \$\endgroup\$ – PixelMaster Feb 15 '18 at 23:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ The biggest issue I have with Wild Shape is that particular sentence. For instance, a monk/druid hybrid using ki points to take the dodge action is considered fine. But using ki points to use Way of the Elements features? Or a druid/rogue getting the benefits of sneak attack because the wildshape gorilla is wielding a finesse weapon. But somehow, that same gorilla can't cast a somatic only spell. In our games, statistics are replaced and if the beast has your racial/class feature, you get to use it. If it doesn't, you don't. Makes it easy and resolves arguments in advance. \$\endgroup\$ – Lino Frank Ciaralli Feb 16 '18 at 14:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ @LinoFrankCiaralli That last line of logic makes no sense... If the beast as the same racial/class feature the character normally has, it would get to use it anyway because you're replacing the statistics anyway. There's nothing extra they'd "get to use". The only point of the "retain the benefit" line is to enable things a normal beast could not do. \$\endgroup\$ – T.J.L. Jun 7 '18 at 18:19
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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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Generally speaking as long as they do not say they don't stack, they stack. In otherwords, all three should, but in the end check with your DM for final say.

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The answer is still yes and they all stack. The only ability that is actually multiplying is the Bear totem feature. Brawny, Powerful Build, and Enlarged are simply different effects, (important because effects with the same name don't stack [DMG 252],) that all increase your carrying Size (vs your actual size).

When your size increases, that is what makes your carrying capacity increase (PHB 176). So in the example above, the Goliath is a Large creature that has twice the carrying capacity of a Gargantuan creature with the same strength.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Hello and welcome! You can take the tour to learn about the site. Keep in mind that answer order is not fixed (different people can view answers sorted differently) so it may not be very clear what "example above" may be referring to. You can get a link directly to an answer using the "share button" right underneath it. Thank you for contributing and happy gaming! \$\endgroup\$ – Sdjz Feb 19 at 14:53
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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\$ – Phil Boncer Feb 15 '18 at 2:49

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