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'''Stacking''' occurs when multiple modifiers are cumulative, possibly up to a cap. This is in contrast to only the best modifier being used (overlapping) and to earlier modifiers being forgotten (replacing). The rules that determine when things stack are somewhat haphazard, with many exceptions. Some of these take into consideration the source of an [[effect]], while most are based on the type of effect.
'''Stacking''' is the concept where more than one instance of the same type of effect is '''cumulative'''. The rules that determine if something can stack or not are very unclear, and there are many exceptions to the rules. Most of these take into consideration ''where'' the effect comes from (e.g., gaining a [[dodge bonus]] from a [[feat]] will stack with one from an [[item]], but you cannot stack 2 from different items).
The major rule considering the source of effects involves [[spell]]s. As a rule, spells overlap – so do not stack – with themselves, but do stack with different spells, with few exceptions that are noted in the individual spell articles.
Examples of things which '''do''' stack:
That is, multiple castings of the same spell – such as ''[[cat's grace]]'' – will provide only the largest bonus of each individual casting.
However, different spells – such as ''[[owl's wisdom]]'' and ''[[owl's insight]]'' – usually stack if they provide a type of effect that normally stacks.
This leads to a peculiarity with some [[feat]]s that mimic spells, as those feats are typically their own spells as far as the game engine is concerned. (For example, the ''[[bull's strength]]'' spell and the [[bull's strength (feat)|''bull's strength'' feat]] are technically different spells, so they stack.)
When the effects in question come from different spells or from non-spells, the determination of whether or not they stack often depends on the type of effect.
Examples of things that '''do''' stack:
*[[Ability]] score bonuses stack up to +12.
*[[Ability]] score bonuses stack up to +12.
*[[Armor class]] bonuses of different types stack.
*[[armor class|AC]] dodge bonuses stack up to +20.
* [[Attack bonus]]es stack, with some types capped at +20
* Damage [[immunity]] stacks (additively) up to 100%.
*[[Dodge bonus]]es to armor class stack up to +20.
*[[Saving throw]] bonuses stack up to +20.
*[[Saving throw]] bonuses stack up to +20.
*[[Skill]] bonuses stack up to +50.
*[[Skill]] bonuses stack up to +50.
Examples of things that '''do not''' stack:
Examples of things which '''do not''' stack:
*[[Armor class]] bonuses of the same type, other than dodge, do not stack.
*Bonuses to your AC of the same type (except dodge) from different items such as the [[deflection bonus]]es from a Ring of Protection and a Cloak of Protection.
*[[Concealment]] does not stack.
*Multiple uses of the same spell such as [[Bull's Strength (spell)|Bull's Strength]] (but the spell does stack with the feat [[Bull's Strength (feat)|Bull's Strength]]).
*[[Damage reduction]] does not stack.
*[[Damage resistance]] does not stack (except for resistance from feats).
*[[Spell resistance]] does not stack.
Penalties follow the same rules, but are treated separately. That is, for things that do not stack, the largest bonus and the largest penalty apply.
[[Category: Game rules]]
When there is a cap, the cap usually applies after the bonus and penalty are combined (or bonuses and penalties, if the thing in question stacks). For example, if a character with two +12 dodge armor class bonuses (stacking to +24, but capped at +20) acquires a -2 dodge penalty, the result will be no change in armor class (since +12 + 12 - 2 = +22, which then gets capped to +20).
[[category:game rules]]
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