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I'm currently speaking with the DM and another player, and we're having a disagreement. I'm looking at the Saint template, listed here. The issue is that I'm being told that at Level 12+ the Saint would only acquire 10/evil and that's it. The reasoning is that these DRs replace each other, rather than being gained. I believe that a Saint should receive the 10/evil AND 5/magic.

My DM and the other player are quoting the last line in the damage reduction rules here:

If a creature has damage reduction from more than one source, the two forms of damage reduction do not stack. Instead, the creature gets the benefit of the best damage reduction in a given situation.

My argument is that this does not support the given situation because this is about same type bonuses such as using two Rings of Fire Resistance to obtain an absurd level of resistance.

Which one of us is correct here?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Following the link, I see the Saint comes from "Book of Exalted Deeds" which presumably means the question is about dnd-3.5e. \$\endgroup\$ – Dan B Jan 11 '16 at 19:23
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This is a nitpick, but I'm not actually sure that a high-level saint has DR 5/magic at all. Reading the table you linked, it seems to say that the DR 5/magic is applied to a saint that has HD between 4 and 7. Once the saint's HD are higher than 7, the table seems to imply that the DR 5/magic actually goes away (replaced by DR 5/evil and later DR 10/evil). This would be kind of a weird way for that power to work -- there are very few abilities in D&D that go away as you gain levels -- but it's something you might need to think about.


Let's assume the above nitpick is resolved. A high-level saint can have both DR 10/evil and DR 5/magic, but it can't use both at once. The saint gets "the benefit of the best damage reduction in a given situation."

If a high-level saint is attacked with a magic longsword, then the DR 5/magic won't help but the DR 10/evil will. The best damage reduction in this situation is the DR 10/evil. The saint ignores the first 10 points of damage.

If a high-level saint is attacked by an imp, then the best damage reduction in that situation is the DR 5/magic. The saint ignores the first 5 points of damage.

If a high-level saint is hit by a falling rock, then the best damage reduction in that situation is the DR 10/evil. The saint ignores the first 10 points of damage. (Not the first fifteen.)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ You could read that description as only applying at the moment the Saint template was gained, which would also be weird, but less weird than losing abilities. \$\endgroup\$ – fectin - free Monica Jan 11 '16 at 22:35
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You have both, but they do not stack.

You benefit from whatever DR is the best, at the time of the damage. So you have a DR of 10/evil, unless that is bypassed* (in which case your DR is 5/magic).

  • Note that in DR notation the text after the slash tells you what ignores the damage reduction (link).
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