6
\$\begingroup\$

Can a creature that gains several different types of increases to its speed (for example, an enhancement bonus and additional unnamed bonuses) benefit from all such speed increases if the speed increases come from different special abilities but each special ability is named fast movement? That is, is it the abilities' names or is it the abilities' effects—regardless of their names—that determines if the speed increases combine?

For example, consider a character possessing the following special abilities:

  • The level 3 scout class feature fast movement (Complete Adventurer 12-13), an extraordinary ability that grants the character a +10 ft. enhancement bonus to his base land speed. The ability's obviated by medium or heavy armor or a medium or heavy load, and it increases at scout level 11.
  • The level 2 jaunter class feature fast movement (Expedition to the Demonweb Pits 172), an extraordinary ability that grants the character a +10 ft. bonus (n.b. not an enhancement bonus) to his base land speed. The ability's obviated by heavy armor or a heavy load, and it doesn't increase with jaunter levels.
  • The level 1 blade dancer class feature fast movement (Oriental Adventures 38), a supernatural ability that says a blade dancer "moves faster than normal," then has a table that strongly implies that the special ability doubles the creature's base speed. No armor or encumbrance obviates the ability, and it increases at blade dancer levels 4, 7, and 10.

Can the same character benefit from all three?

A Note on the Character: The plan was to have the character also take the feat Fleet of Foot (not from Complete Warrior 99 but from Player's Guide to Faerûn 38—like they couldn't've come up with a different name for these two entirely different feats… yeesh) and end up at level 12 as a fighter 1/ranger 1/scout 4/blade dancer 1/jaunter 2/shadowdancer 2/totemic demonslayer 1 (order's base then prestige classes and alphabetical not periodic) with a land speed somewhere between 100 and 120 ft. (By the way, it'd be great if an answer included how his speed should be determined.) It's a shame if the special ability fast movement from blade dancer overrides the scout's and jaunter's fast movement special abilities, reducing the character's land speed to a mere 80 ft. Also, I know the build's terribly unoptimized, but it's doing what I want at the optimization level I want, trying to use the feat Spring Attack (of all things) to decent effect. You can, I guess, critique the build as part of the answer to the above if you want, but that's not at all necessary.

A Note on the FAQ: The Main FAQ includes a ruling that the special ability AC bonus of the monk, ninja, and swordsage don't stack because a creature can't "benefit from multiple sources that have the same name more then [sic] once" (9). My faith in this ruling is shaken by its context: the ninja's AC bonus already says in its text that it's incompatible with the monk's AC bonus, and the swordsage's AC bonus is incompatible with both because the swordsage's AC bonus only applies when the swordsage is wearing light armor (the others mandating no armor). In other words, the FAQ creates (or restates?) a rule when it needn't do so. This is in addition to broader issues.

\$\endgroup\$
7
\$\begingroup\$

Do the bonuses stack?

Yes. As you said in your question, Scout grants an enhancement bonus, Jaunter grants an untyped bonus, and Blade Dancer doesn't explicitly grant a bonus but rather seems to replace your base speed with another number. Since none of these bonuses are the same type, there should not be a conflict in the way they interact.

I believe it is worth noting that Scout and Jaunter both grant Fast Movement as an Extraordinary ability while Blade Dancer grants a Supernatural ability.

Those Rats were Fast as Lightning

For the final calculation here, I don't think Blade Dancer is suggesting that it doubles anything. They give three specific examples for a base speed of 20 feet, 30 feet, and 40 feet:

A Small blade dancer moves more slowly than a Medium-size blade dancer, while a ratling moves faster[...]

However, even if the designers intent was to double the base movement speed of a creature (something I could not find support for in any errata text or outside source) I still think you would double the base movement speed before adding in the other bonuses.

Given that Fleet of Foot is a regional feat that can only be taken at character creation, you may be able to convince your GM that this feat would modify your Base Land Speed to 40 ft (for the sake of the Blade Dancer bonus).

Final Speed

Depending on whether your GM bought the idea of a regional feat modifying your base stats for the sake of calculations you are left with one of two results:

DM is strict: Base speed 30 ft + Fleet of Foot 10 ft + Scout Fast Movement 10 ft + Jaunter Fast Movement 10 ft + Blade Dancer Fast Movement for a Medium Creature 30 ft = 90 ft final move speed.

DM is generous: Base speed 30 ft + Fleet of Foot 10 ft + Scout Fast Movement 10 ft + Jaunter Fast Movement 10 ft + Blade Dancer Fast Movement for a race with base speed forty feet 40 ft = 100 ft final move speed.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you. I've some concerns, though. Because the text doesn't say, based on the table the blade dancer's fast movement seems to be ×2 at levels 1–3, about ×2⅓ at levels 4–6, about ×2⅔ at levels 7–9, and ×3 at level 10; am I misreading it? Also, both the jaunter's and the scout's fast movement say they add a bonus to base land speed; does the DM determine when that bonus is added (pre- or post-blade dancer fast movement)? Finally, it sounds as though you're resistant to the DM extending the blade dancer table for creatures with especially high base speeds; is that accurate? \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Oct 1 '16 at 19:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan I believe you are correct in that that is how the designers arrived at those numbers on the table, however since no other cases are mentioned it is difficult to say whether they intended for players and GMs to be able to extend the sample table to apply to higher base speeds or if they considered the three examples given to be a comprehensive list for any given Player Character. I think the issue with the table is that the labels (20 ft, 30 ft, 40 ft) don't match what the paragraph says will be presented (Small, Medium, Ratling) which is what makes me cautious in my interpretation \$\endgroup\$ – GreedyRadish Oct 1 '16 at 19:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ That's fair, but I'd be tempted to walk away from a DM that ruled my goblin blade dancer (or similar Small creature with a 30 ft. or higher base speed) only gets a 40 ft. speed! \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Oct 1 '16 at 20:12
1
\$\begingroup\$

Yes.

To the best of my knowledge, the actual rules make no mention of "abilities with the same name" or anything similar. The rule that prevents things from stacking with themselves is (emphasis mine):

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)

(source)

Two abilities that happen to have the same name are not the same source. How can they be the same source when they're provided by different classes and provide different bonus types? In the absence of any actual rules (as opposed to FAQ rulings) that specify "same name," I don't see anything preventing these movement bonuses from stacking.


If your DM is treating FAQ rulings as RAW, then of course this answer does not apply, because of the ruling quoted at the end of the question. But if your DM is treating FAQ rulings as RAW, you have bigger problems.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ I guess I probably shouldn't worry that the quotation says "modifiers to a given check or roll stack" yet modifiers to base speed are neither check nor roll? \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Oct 1 '16 at 19:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well...if you can find a different set of stacking rules for things that aren't checks or rolls, then it's worth worrying about. But if not (and I don't know of one), I think the advice to extrapolate from existing rules (DMG p. 6) applies here. \$\endgroup\$ – A_S00 Oct 1 '16 at 20:11

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.