9
\$\begingroup\$

So let's say your character gets hit by charm person. It has the enchantment (charm) and mind effecting subtypes.

You are playing a custom race made with the race builder rules in the SRD with 3 different racials - Stubborn, Resistant, and Dual-Minded:

Stubborn (2 RP)

Prerequisites: None.

Benefit: Members of this race gain a +2 racial bonus on Will saving throws to resist spells and spell-like abilities of the enchantment (charm) and enchantment (compulsion) subschools. In addition, if a member of this race fails such a save, it receives another save 1 round later to prematurely end the effect (assuming the spell or spell-like ability has a duration greater than 1 round). This second save is made at the same DC as the first. If the member of the race has a similar ability from another source (such as a rogue’s slippery mind class feature), it can only use one of these abilities per round, but can try the other on the second round if the first reroll ability fails.

Resistant (2 RP)

Prerequisites: None.

Benefit: Members of this race gain a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against mind-affecting effects and poison.

Dual-Minded (1 RP)

Prerequisites: Humanoid with two subtypes or race with half-construct or half-undead subtype.

Benefit: Members of this race gain a +2 bonus on all Will saving throws.

None of them state whether they do or do not stack.

Would all 3 of those apply?

I'm aware that the same effect from multiple sources typically does not stack; these all do the same thing but the conditions vary, so I wanted to check.

\$\endgroup\$
10
\$\begingroup\$

In general, it depends on the type of bonus that is granted by the features

In Pathfinder (2009), bonuses usually have a type (or are untyped). As can be seen in the bonus glossary:

Bonuses are numerical values that are added to checks and statistical scores. Most bonuses have a type, and as a general rule, bonuses of the same type are not cumulative (do not “stack”)—only the greater bonus granted applies.

The important aspect of bonus types is that two bonuses of the same type don’t generally stack. With the exception of dodge bonuses, most circumstance bonuses, and racial bonuses, only the better bonus of a given type works. Bonuses without a type always stack, unless they are from the same source.

As you can see, bonuses with the same type usually do not stack with each other but stack with bonuses of different types or untyped ones. Do note1 that while the source of the bonus does not matter for typed bonuses, untyped bonuses from the same source do not stack. This means that if a single feature is granting multiple untyped bonuses that apply to a roll they will not stack but if the bonuses are typed they may stack, even if they come from the same feature.

For example, suppose someone is affected simultaneously by Bless, a Paladin's Aura of Courage and the Resistance spell:

  • Bless grants "a +1 morale bonus on attack rolls and on saving throws against fear effects."
  • The Aura of Courage grants "a +4 morale bonus on saving throws against fear effects."
  • Resistance grants "+1 resistance bonus on saves."

In this case, if the character is targeted by a fear effect requiring a saving throw, the total bonus from these features would be:

  • +4 morale (the greater of the +4 from the aura and +1 from Bless)
  • +1 resistance

Since morale and resistance bonuses can stack together the final bonus from all these features would be +5.

In your specific case, the bonuses all stack for a total of +6

You are getting one untyped +2 bonus and two instances of +2 racial bonuses, all from different sources so these all stack together. The two racial bonuses stack even though they are types as racial bonuses are noted as one of the exceptions to typed bonuses stacking (see quote above). This is all more detailed in KRyan's answer.


1. Noted by the dark wanderer

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch Thanks for the heads up. At this point I'm not sure of the usefulness of my answer given the updates but I guess I'll keep it for the other example \$\endgroup\$ – Sdjz Sep 11 at 10:35
14
\$\begingroup\$

Yes, these all stack under the right conditions.

Namely, a Will save against a mind-affecting Enchantment (charm) or Enchantment (compulsion) spell. All Enchantment spells are mind-affecting by definition, and I sincerely doubt there are any that allow non-Will saves, though I could be wrong about that. Point is, when it is a Will save against a mind-affecting Enchantment (charm) or Enchantment (compulsion) spell, you get +6 to the bonus.

Resistant and stubborn offer racial bonuses, that is, “racial” is the type of the bonus. Usually, typed bonuses do not stack with one another, and you must use the greater bonus. However, the rule that says that is this:

The important aspect of bonus types is that two bonuses of the same type don’t generally stack. With the exception of dodge bonuses, most circumstance bonuses, and racial bonuses, only the better bonus of a given type works.

(Common Terms: Bonus, emphasis mine)

So racial bonuses do stack, along with dodge bonuses and “most” circumstance bonuses.

And dual-minded provides an untyped bonus, that is, it just says a “+2 bonus to all Will saves,” without giving that bonus a type. Untyped bonuses always stack with everything but themselves (e.g. if you cast the same spell on yourself twice, any untyped bonuses would not stack from the two spells).

Bonuses without a type always stack, unless they are from the same source.

(Same source)

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ I didn't realize Racial were included in that exemption. Good catch. \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Sep 12 at 1:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ifusaso Yeah, it’s actually (in the PRD rather than PFSRD, and also I believe in the CRB) buried in the magic section (and there could be a RAW argument that it only applies to racial bonuses from spells but I think that’s getting a bit hair-splitting for a novice question). Seems to be a straight copy–paste from 3.5e, which had the same problem. Why Wizards of the Coast did it that way, I’ll never know, but I have to wonder—how many authors, for 3.5e or PF, actually knew this rule? I’ve written races for publication, and I didn’t until this question. I doubt I was alone. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Sep 12 at 1:37

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.