Playing Dungeons & Dragons 5E and a situation came up tonight where a barbarian in rage (the barbarian takes half damage from bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing weapons) also rolled a successful saving throw versus the bulette's leap attack (dealing 3d6+4 bludgeoning damage and an additional 3d6+4 slashing damage) resulting in him only suffering half damage.

My question is thus - do sources of half damage stack? Or does only one source take priority?

So for example, lets just use the number 40 for damage.

Rage means the barbarian would take half damage reducing the attack from 40 to 20.

Succeeding on the save reduces this by an additional half taking this 20 to 10?

Or does only one source of half damage apply at any given time meaning the other is null and void?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take a look to the tour and maybe visit the help center if you need any guidance in writing Q&As here! Happy gaming! \$\endgroup\$
    – Eddymage
    Apr 8, 2022 at 7:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ Is this specifically asking about barbarian range and saving throws? If not, is this answered by the existing QA about rage and uncanny dodge? rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/79864/… \$\endgroup\$
    – GcL
    Apr 8, 2022 at 14:31

2 Answers 2


Yes, since the damage halvings come from two stackable game features.

Resistance is applied after the modifiers of the damage, see the basic rules:

Resistance and then vulnerability are applied after all other modifiers to damage.

The first modification is the halving thanks to the successful saving throw, then the barbarian halves the remaining damage due to their resistance. The above rule tells how to deal with game features that modify the incoming damage: first of all one has to consider all the bonuses/maluses, flat reductions, halving coming from class features (such as Uncanny Dodge), and then apply resistance (or vulnerability).

If the barbarian had a further resistance to bludgeoning/slashing/piercing damage, provided for example from a Warding Bond spell cast by the party's Cleric, this latter resistance would not stack with the one given by the rage. This rule can be found again here:

Multiple instances of resistance or vulnerability that affect the same damage type count as only one instance. For example, if a creature has resistance to fire damage as well as resistance to all nonmagical damage, the damage of a nonmagical fire is reduced by half against the creature, not reduced by three-quarters.

This is confirmed by the Sage Advice Compendium too:

A dragon uses a breath weapon against me. I succeed on the save, and I have resistance to the damage. Do I take only one-quarter of the damage? Yes, because resistance is applied after all other modifiers to damage (PH, 197). If you succeed on a save and still take damage, that damage is halved if you have the right resistance.

The monster and the type of the damage are different, but the reasoning is the same.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I like this answer, but it does not explicitly state what is meant by "types". Multiple effects can halve the damage of an incoming attack|spell|effect. It might be useful to list these or specify they are the "types" E.g. saving throw, damage resistance, uncanny dodge, evasion. \$\endgroup\$
    – GcL
    Apr 8, 2022 at 14:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ I like the consolidation of sources to explain non-stacking of multiple resistances and the interaction of resistance and saving thrown in one place. Sub-headings might help better organized and call out those concepts. \$\endgroup\$
    – GcL
    Apr 8, 2022 at 14:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @GcL I removed any reference to source type, trying to be the most general possible: is it better now? \$\endgroup\$
    – Eddymage
    Apr 8, 2022 at 19:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Eddymage, yeah. I think Darth's suggestion was a good one. I think the choice of "game feature" is a better description. \$\endgroup\$
    – GcL
    Apr 8, 2022 at 20:58

Everything that isn't of the same type stacks unless specified otherwise

A barbarian will take half damage from the attacks of a bulette while raging as they have resistance to the damage types being inflicted. If the barbarian succeeded in their saving throw then they'd half that damage again as stated.

They wouldn't half the damage a third time if they had some other source of resistance to bludgeoning and slashing damage as resistance, like everything else in D&D 5E, doesn't stack.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The things "like everything else in D&D 5E" that don't stack in general are bonuses or effects from the same named source - i.e. same class feature, same spell. So for instance most bonuses to attack, damage, AC do stack. The books have to call out exceptions, and there is a relatively short list of exceptions that apply in a kind of "mid-level" way by type, each with their own write up in the rules. That would include resistances, also temporary hit points for example. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 8, 2022 at 15:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ "doesn't stack with itself" is the key missing phrase that makes this true. Nothing in 5e stacks with itself, but many things stack with other things. Sometimes even similar things. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 8, 2022 at 15:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PeterCordes There are plenty of features that stack with themselves, but they explicitly (implicitly in some cases) tell you that. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 14, 2022 at 13:10

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