My group and I have a question about stacking enhancement effects of spell and items. For example: A fighter got ogre power gauntlets +2; in a fight, the wizard cast Bull's Strength on him, which gives +4 strength bonus of same type as the ogre gauntlets. Do these effects stack?

Sorry for my English but I'm used to play with translated game...


2 Answers 2


Usually bonuses of the same type don't stack

The System Reference Document on Stacking says

In most cases, modifiers to a given check or roll stack (combine for a cumulative effect) if they come from different sources and have different types (or no type at all), but do not stack if they have the same type or come from the same source (such as the same spell cast twice in succession). If the modifiers to a particular roll do not stack, only the best bonus and worst penalty applies. Dodge bonuses and circumstance bonuses however, do stack with one another unless otherwise specified.

An enhancement bonus is a type of bonus. Thus, for example, a fighter wearing gauntlets of ogre power (that grant a +2 enhancement bonus to the fighter's Strength score) who then is the target of the spell bull's strength (that grants a +4 enhancement bonus to the fighter's Strength score) receives only the higher bonus, that provided by the spell bull's strength.

Exceptions exist, of course, but enhancement bonuses aren't one of those exceptions.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Gauntlets of Ogre Power + Belt of Giant Strength + Hammer of Thunderbolts = Enhancement Bonuses of the Gauntlets and Belt to Strength stack when using the Hammer of Thunderbolts. Only exception I know of right away. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ruut
    Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 11:09
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @Ruut Ah, the exception to the exception. Like bigfoot, I knew it existed. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 15:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ What about Barbarian Rage (+4str) and Berzeker Fury (+6str, God and Demigod manual): they're untyped bonuses, do they give +10 or only +6? \$\endgroup\$
    – IssamTP
    Commented Jun 17, 2015 at 6:31
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @IssamTP, those untyped bonuses are from different sources, so they stack. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ernir
    Commented Jun 17, 2015 at 17:20

Bonuses of the same type usually do not stack (from different sources). The only bonuses that do stack (alphabetically):

  • Base Attack Bonus
  • Circumstance Bonus
  • Dodge Bonus
  • Save Bonus (Bonus to saving throw, e.g. Rogue's Save Bonus against Poison)
  • Synergy Bonus
  • Unnamed Bonus

Every other bonuses of the same type do not stack.


  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ “Save” is not a type of bonus, it’s a thing that you can get a bonus to. The rogue gets an untyped bonus to saves against poison. Typed bonuses to saves (e.g. the resistance bonus to saves from a cloak of resistance) do not stack with each other. Furthermore, “Base Attack” is not a type either; it is a bonus to Attack and you never have multiple separate Base Attack Bonuses: you have one Base Attack Bonus, which may come from multiple classes. The bonus stacking rules don’t really come into play. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Jun 17, 2015 at 19:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ Controversial, are they not? :) You are right, as mentioned in the referenced WotC article (Part 4), these are not true bonuses, though they have fancy names. Personally, I like to have them all together, it's better to know they stack than whether they are typed. I give you +1 for the insight, though. \$\endgroup\$
    – jan.supol
    Commented Jun 17, 2015 at 21:08
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ No, it’s really not controversial, Skip Williams just decided to call them the wrong thing because he somehow imagined it would be easier to understand. Those articles are actually pretty much garbage. Most of Skip’s articles on the WotC website are. I actually suspect most of them were written before 3.5 was finalized, which is why they contradict the published rules on so many details. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Jun 17, 2015 at 21:15

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