If a monk hits a creature and stuns it with Stunning Strike—thus stunning it until the end of the monk's next turn—can the monk then use another Stunning Strike on the same creature the next turn, stun it again and stack the duration? My DM says the creature must first recover from being stunned before it can be subjected to Stunning Strike again.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Better question, could the monk in my campaign stop doing this? I don’t want to give everything legendary resistances when there is only one enemy. \$\endgroup\$
    – user71562
    Commented Aug 31, 2022 at 22:46

1 Answer 1


Yes, you can stun a stunned creature

There is nothing in the description of Stunning Strike that excludes extending the duration. The feature says

When you hit another creature with a melee weapon attack, you can spend 1 ki point to attempt a stunning strike. The target must succeed on a Constitution saving throw or be stunned until the end of your next turn.

The Stunned condition also has nothing that would indicate that you cannot stun a stunned creature, that you can not attack a stunned creature (you even have advantage on attacks), or that it can not make Constitution saving throws. So all these things can happen, meaning you can hit and stun it again.

Stacking effects is explained on p. 252 DMG, Combining Game Effects1:

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. (...) 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.

So, the durations of the two stun effects will overlap, with the most potent one applying at any given time. In this case, they are all equally potent, so it does not matter which one applies while they overlap. Once the first stun effect runs out, only the second one remains, and continues to stun the creature.

1 This section is from 2018 Errata to the DMG, so it is possible that your DM's DMG does not yet have it, and they are unaware of it.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I think the Combining Magic Effects rule is unnecessary, as this is not magical.. Also, you might indicate that the DMG passage you cite is from the errata, in case a reader has an older copy of the book. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Commented Aug 28, 2022 at 6:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kirt, I thought so myself, and already removed it. I will add the reference about errata. Thank you! \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 28, 2022 at 6:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kirt What does “not magical” have to do with it? (Also ki is magical.) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 28, 2022 at 11:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov The situation is entirely covered by the Combining Game Effects quote that Groody used. In an earlier draft, he also quoted the Combining Magic Effects section. This was not wrong, it was simply superfluous, and did not add to the answer. Yes, ki is magical, but the Stunning Strike feature that the OP is concerned about is 'background / dragon's breath magical', not 'spell effect magical' and so the citation of Combining Magical Effects was unnescessary. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Commented Aug 28, 2022 at 13:59

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