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At level 5, barbarians get a bonus of +10 feet to their speed while not wearing heavy armor from Fast Movement.

At level 2 and increasing as they level, monks get a bonus to their speed when not wielding a shield and not wearing armor from Unarmored Movement.

Therefore, do these 2 features stack for a bonus of +20 feet to the speed of a character with 7 levels (5 Barbarian, 2 Monk)? Or can you get only one bonus, whichever is higher?

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    – Someone_Evil
    Nov 23 at 3:07

2 Answers 2

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If the barbarian is completely unarmored and isn't wielding a shield, the conditional for both bonuses is met, and they stack to +20.

Movement bonuses aren't AC calculations. Multiple bonuses from separate effects and attributes are generally cumulative unless the text explicitly indicates they aren't or another distinct rule prohibits stacking. No such rule exists for bonuses to your speed.


As a quick few examples of other rules that do prevent stacking: Temporary HP explicitly never stack with themselves; you may only ever use one formula at a time to calculate your AC (mage armor doesn't stack with a monk's Unarmored Defense because it has its own formula); and no matter how many times you get advantage (or disadvantage) on a roll, you only ever roll one extra die from either.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Also, features with the same name don’t stack. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dale M
    Nov 23 at 11:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ AC calculations are also not bonuses, but calculations. ;) \$\endgroup\$
    – Yakk
    Nov 23 at 14:25
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Yes, the speed bonuses do stack because they are from game features with different names

Bonuses generally do stack in 5e. Unlike in Pathfinder or 3e, there is no rule in 5e that bonuses of the same type do not stack. By default bonuses always stack, as long as they are caused by features that have different names.

This exception to stacking is on p. 252 DMG, Combining Game Effects:

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.

Because the Barbarian’s class feature is called Fast Movement and the Monk's is called Unarmored Movement, the two bonuses are not caused by game features with the same name, so they do stack, and your Barbarian/Monk will enjoy a speed bonus of +20 feet.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Wouldn't that imply that a increase to Str through Gauntlets of Ogre Power will stack with the increase to Str from a Belt of Hill Giant Strength? They have different names, but I'm sure that is not the case because they both apply a Str modifier, which is the same affect. In which case Monk and Barbarian speed improvements would not stack because they both apply a Movement buff. \$\endgroup\$
    – SiBrit
    Nov 24 at 2:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SiBrit those two (and all similar) items don't increase your strength by +X, they set your strength to =X if it's lower than X. So, you'd only get the benefit of the better one. Much like AC calculations. \$\endgroup\$
    – Adeptus
    Nov 24 at 2:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Adeptus. Ahh. My bad. I had forgotten they specifically set your stat. I suppose blah blah of Protection (cloak, rings, etc.) won't stack because they are all "of Protection"? \$\endgroup\$
    – SiBrit
    Nov 24 at 3:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SiBrit Those will stack, the full name is different. They cost attunement though. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 24 at 5:04

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