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Wild Magic sorcerers get the Bend Luck feature at 6th level (PHB, p. 103):

Starting at 6th level, you have the ability to twist fate using your wild magic. When another creature you can see makes an attack roll, an ability check, or a saving throw, you can use your reaction and spend 2 sorcery points to roll 1d4 and apply the number rolled as a bonus or penalty (your choice) to the creature’s roll. You can do so after the creature rolls but before any effects of the roll occur.

How would one resolve a situation where the two instances of Bend Luck are in conflict ?
[i.e. one person is trying to improve the roll while another is trying to reduce it?]

I know from DMG errata version 2.0 page 1:

Combining Game Effects (p. 252). This is a new subsection at the end of the “Combat” section:

Different game features can affect a target at the same time. But when 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. For example, if a target is ignited by a fire elemental’s Fire Form trait, the ongoing fire damage doesn’t increase if the burning target is subjected to that trait again. Game features include spells, class features, feats, racial traits, monster abilities, and magic items. See the related rule in the “Combining Magical Effects” section of chapter 10 in the Player’s Handbook.

The situation involves two instances of Bend Luck (a game feature with the same name), so only the most potent one should apply [since there is no duration here]. But in this case, how would that be determined?

Is the higher roll just taken regardless of whether it's helping the roll or hindering it? Or should I just assume they cancel out? Or maybe both effects just take place, and I add the effects together (since they are trying to do different things)?

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Both apply

The ordering of which bend luck applies is determined by the person whose turn it is (per Xanathar's Guide to Everything), but that is irrelevant because addition is commutative.

Combining magical effects section does not apply

...apply while the durations of the effects overlap...

There is not duration for bend luck. The effect instantaneously adds or subtracts from a roll. So that section does not apply here.

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  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I like this answer, and find it convincing. I wanted to point out that it contradicts both currently written answers on a similar question, "Can more than one instance of Bend Luck be applied to the same roll by multiple Wild Magic sorcerers?". That's not GcL's problem, but I thought it was worth noting. \$\endgroup\$ – Gandalfmeansme May 17 at 14:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Gandalfmeansme in that case (the thread) both effects necessarily overlap. Which is also the primary reason why I encouraged OP to ask that as an indvidual question. I'm uncertain if this answer is correct as the wording is muddled with conditions. I'd have to walk through it. The duration here is not a duration of the Duration rules, but a plain English duration of effects which is here that (and only that) roll. \$\endgroup\$ – Akixkisu May 17 at 19:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Akixkisu they don't overlap if they're instantaneous. According to Xanathar's the player whose turn it is pick which apply in which order. Sequential instantaneous effects are not overlapping. E.g. multiple held actions to cast fireball all still apply damage. You're not just affected by the "most potent" fireball. \$\endgroup\$ – GcL May 17 at 19:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ This still hinges on the issue of whether or not the effect is instant or has a duration which is super iffy. In most cases this is clear and the simultaneous effects rule applies when instant and the combining magical effects rule applies when it is a duration. Here the errata is more recent than XGtE. \$\endgroup\$ – Akixkisu May 17 at 20:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Akixkisu I see. I think that could be answered in a separate question. "Do instantaneous effects overlap?" with the example of two wizards holding fireball or lightning bolt to be cast on the first humanoid that walks through a door. (rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/148250/…) \$\endgroup\$ – GcL May 17 at 20:47

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