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Does Sands of Time stack?


Rules Questions


If I cast Sands of Time on an adult creature, it advances to middle age and takes –1 to Str, Dex, and Con, and +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha.

Can I do it again to bump it up to old? Can I do it a third time to make the creature venerable?

What happens if I do it again before the duration of the spell is over? Does the creature die of old age?


First, a creature hit with snads of time does not get bonuses to mental stats.

I'd say you can stack it, but since there's no age category above venerable, the spell has no effect if cast on a venerable creature.


No, you cant stack it. Spells don't stack with themselves unless they specifically state that they do or provide multiple separate effects. Sands of time has a single effect, so recasting it would only refresh the duration.


Calth wrote:
No, you cant stack it. Spells don't stack with themselves unless they specifically state that they do or provide multiple separate effects.

I'm fairly certain this isn't true, do you have a source?

Sands of Time wrote:
You temporarily age the target, immediately advancing it to the next age category.

No reason this wouldn't stack, each casting alters the Target's age category by one step.

There are no explicit rules for what happens if you cast this on a venerable creature. I would probably have that casting this spell on a venerable creature would kill that creature if it was not immortal or timeless.

It's also possible that the spell should do nothing if cast on a venerable creature because there are no age categories after venerable.


Wouldn't stack, the spell is causing a creature to magically age by one category. They revert to normal when the duration ends. If the duration was permanent I would agree that it stacked.

Spell stacking/not stacking rules are in the magic section of the CRB or online source. Would be bad if things like Haste stacked, I was made faster, now I am faster still!

As pointed out... The interesting question is, at venerable what happens? There is no age past that, but they are not ageless or immortal.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I'd say it stacks. It's not like size category increase terminology that is always based on its current actual size +1, or like the rules for polymorph spells.
This actually advances to the next category, albeit with a time limit.
Per RAW the spell wouldn't do anything past venerable. I'd probably allow increased penalties based on the normal progression (penalties can't drop you below 1).


The relevant rule about spells not stacking is from the Magic chapter of the Core Rulebook:

Core Rulebook, Magic chapter, Combining Magic Effects wrote:
Stacking Effects: Spells that provide bonuses or penalties on attack rolls, damage rolls, saving throws, and other attributes usually do not stack with themselves. More generally, two bonuses of the same type don't stack even if they come from different spells (or from effects other than spells; see Bonus Types, above). ...

That description continues on with more details about how different spells might stack.

Most spells in the Core Rulebook that could stack apply numerical bonuses or penalties. The few exceptions were size-changing spells, which now have an FAQ, and polymorph spells, which had their own section of the Magic chapter. Neither stack. Later rulebooks, such as Ultimate Magic, had more variety in their spell effects, but no book had an updated version of the Combining Magic Effects rule to cover the greater variety. In general, I have assumed the new effects don't stack either.


Yeah, in general the same effect never stacks with itself unless it's explicitly stated to do so somewhere.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

thewastedwalrus wrote:
Calth wrote:
No, you cant stack it. Spells don't stack with themselves unless they specifically state that they do or provide multiple separate effects.

I'm fairly certain this isn't true, do you have a source?

The entire rules system forbids stacking with itself. But specifically spells and magical effects don't stack with themselves.


As Mathmuse mentioned, the core rules forbid bonuses and penalties to the same score from multiple instances of a spell from stacking. This doesn't really cover the current situation unless you look at it in a roundabout way--that is, either as penalties to physical scores rather than actual aging (in which case they don't stack per above) or by looking at "age category" as a score receiving a bonus/penalty (same).

In any case, there is no age category beyond venerable. Casting sands of time on a venerable target has no mechanical effect.

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