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Fighter class feature says

You adopt a particular style of fighting as your specialty. Choose one of the following options. You can't take a Fighting Style option more than once, even if you later get to choose again.

Paladin class feature says

Fighting Style- Starting at 2nd level, you adopt a particular style of fighting as your specialty. Choose one of the following options. You can't take a Fighting Style option more than once, even if you later get to choose again.

So this leaves me wondering; Paladin and Fighter both gain this feature as class abilities, with the restriction that if you later choose again you can't take an option more than once.

For purposes of Game Terms, are they both "Fighting Style: Defense" and unstackable, or are they each "Fighter Class Feature: Fighting Style: Defense" and "Paladin Class Feature: Fighting Style: Defense" and able to be doubled up at 1Fighter/2Paladin?

If you went 10Fighter(Champion), you would gain a second Fighter Fighting Style (which has distinctly different options from the Paladin Fighting Styles), and for sure not be able to take Defense twice, but since they're from separate classes, I'm uncertain.

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Both features have the same name, and do not stack.

The combining game effects section in chapter 8 of the Dungeon Master's Guide states:

...when two or more game features have the same name, only the effects of one of them, the most potent one, apply... Game features include spells, class features, feats, racial traits, monster abilities, and magic items.

Features have the same name.

Both the fighter and paladin class features are called "Fighting Style" and both are specifically the "Defense" fighting style.

Namespacing

What you're describing would be called "namespacing" in other fields. It is not used in the game rules, sage advice compendium, nor book errata.

Other multiclassing class feature rules

Some class features have additional and more specific rules. In those cases, specific beats general and the more specific rule is used.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The fact that the Paladin version of the ability also has the no stacking wording, despite Paladin only granting the feature once, is a pretty good clue here. If it was a Paladin namespaced feature, that language wouldn't be needed (you can't select it twice from the Paladin class alone). \$\endgroup\$ Sep 11, 2023 at 20:32

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