In a number of questions here in this forum people are asking can X or Y stack, or why does it stack or why doesn't it stack. My question is - Is there a limit in the rules on stacking in D&D 4e? If there is where is it.

If there isn't a rule that has an upper limit, how do you go about resolving stacking validity?

I ask this for 2 reasons, clarification and community input. I have a method I use that I already have outlined in an answer to an question but I want the groups input on this.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Good question :) And really needed. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 13, 2011 at 14:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ After reading about 6 of these I thought it might be a good to throw out there. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 13, 2011 at 15:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have an outline in another answer I put together for resolving the actual attack action and applying each stacked affect. People seem to like it. It takes what Peter says below and shows how to apply it during the actual action. rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/5580/… - Applying Stacking \$\endgroup\$ Jan 13, 2011 at 15:24

1 Answer 1


Here's the General Rule: If the bonuses are untyped they stack. If they are typed, then they don't stack. Usually an item will say "power bonus" or "feat bonus" or "racial bonus", or "item bonus". And you can only have one of each. Some items don't say. These are called "untyped".

If one item gives you a +2 power bonus and you have another item giving you a +3 power bonus, than you only get to keep the +3. Because both are power bonuses.

If you have an item that gives you a +3 Power Bonus and a feat that grants a +2 feat bonus, those combine to give you a +5.

If the bonus is Untyped (ie, it simply says "you get +2 damage when wielding this item" it stacks on to everything. ** modified in PHB3 pg 223 ** [ Howewer, if you gain multiple untyped bonuses from the same named game element (a power, a feat, a class feature, and the like), only the highest bonus applies. unless stated otherwise.]

Specific beats general. if an item/power/feat specifically says that it is a typed bonus that can stack with another typed bonus.. then that is what happens.

For the actual Rules references on this go to PHB1 page 275 "Bonuses and Penalties" and untyped bonus in the glossary of PHB3 pg223.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Uh! Okay. About stacking bonuses and penalties the rules are clear. But I'm still wandering how apply an arbitrary number or rider effects (like those pointed out in this question). In this case what we are going to decide is the applicability and the order in which these effects are resolved. Have you any hint? \$\endgroup\$ Jan 13, 2011 at 23:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ I broke the attack sequence apart and came up with a simple method/sequence for evaluating each affect and when/if/how it should be applied in an answer to the question you reference. In its simplest form just take each affect one at a time. Take a look and tell me what you think. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 14, 2011 at 15:06

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .