In the chapter on Spellcasting, there is a section called "Combining Magical Effects". However, despite the seeming generality of the title, the text of this section only talks about magical effects from spells:

The effects of different spells add together while the durations of those spells overlap. The effects of the same spell cast multiple times don't combine, however. Instead, the most potent effect--such as the highest bonus--from those castings applies while their durations overlap, or the most recent effect applies if the castings are equally potent and their durations overlap.

It makes sense that this section would only talk about spells, since it is in the chapter about spellcasting. However, this seems to leave ambiguous the question of how magical effects from sources other than spells combine. Such an issue could arise, for example, if two different items (or two of the same item) grant a bonus to attack rolls, or a bonus to the same saving throw.

Is there a published rule or official ruling that governs how non-spell magical effects combine?

(This question was inspired by another question about the interaction between +X magical ammunition and Oil of Sharpness, and could be considered a generalization of that question.)


1 Answer 1


This has been answered in the DMG errata or here on D&D Beyond:

Combining Game Effects (p.252). [W]hen two or more game features have the same name, only the effects of one of them — the most potent one — apply while the durations of the effects overlap. [...] See the related rule in the “Combining Magical Effects” section of chapter 10 in the Player’s Handbook.

  • \$\begingroup\$ So you believe it implicitly answers the question? Meaning you think the inverse statement is true, which is: when game features do not have the same name, then they stack? Not sure every reader would draw this out with confidence. \$\endgroup\$
    – Valley Lad
    Commented Feb 7, 2019 at 5:59
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @ValleyLad: Yes, benefits do stack unless something stops them from doing so. This rule (along with the one OP quoted) explains the situation in which benefits would be prevented from stacking. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Feb 7, 2019 at 6:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ This was really helpful, but the DMG Errata lists the features it applies to, and seems to exclude conditions. Eg Grappled. ISTM that these rules should also apply to grappling. Any thoughts? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 17, 2021 at 15:08

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .