Does fast healing from multiple sources stack?


Rules Questions

Sczarni

11 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Staff response: no reply required.

Let's say a vampire -- with fast healing 5 -- gets an infernal healing spell cast on him, giving him fast healing 1.

Does he now have fast healing 6?

If not, why not?


I have not looked up any rules to see about this exact situation, so I can't answer on it specifically yet.

However, there has always been a difference between gaining something (which usually doesn't work if you already have it) and increasing something (which usually doesn't work if you don't already have it).


2 people marked this as FAQ candidate. 4 people marked this as a favorite.

Fast Healing is the 'source' of the healing regardless of if it comes from a racial or is gained by a spell. As per the stacking rules, when two similar sources provide a benefit/effect, the largest is considered and the others are basically ignored. Fast Healing 5 trumps the Fast Healing 1, and so would be the one to operate. If the Fast Healing 5 were somehow turned off, the spell would kick in for its duration.


Well the only solid thing I could find is back from 3.5. Still since they are both the same system it might hold some water.

The epic fast healing feat states that it does not stack with magic items or non-permanent sources. Now the only reason that would be called out is if it did in fact stack.

Another bit is fast healing is not a bonus or a enhancement. Its an effect that heals. I have yet to see any heals that don't "stack". Unless at max HP of course.

In fact the stacking rules do not say anything about "similar sources". A bonus of the same type do not stack and untyped from the same source do not stack. But fast healing in no way indicates that it is a bonus. Its a healing effect. Saying one could not be healed by two different fast healings in the same round would be akin to saying you can't be be healed by two cure spells in the same round.

As for hard RAW there is nothing in PF specifically that flat out says one way or the other.


Stome:

They called it out to prevent questions like this.

Skylancer4 is correct. If you have Fast Healing 1 and you have Fast Healing 5 neither is a bonus. But due to the Same Effects in Different Strengths principle the effect they provide though does not stack, only the greater one applies.

- Gauss

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Quote?


BBT:

The general principle upon which 3.5/PF is built upon, powers with the same but different strengths overlap but do not stack. Only the higher one takes precedence. It is a well established principle that for some reason people keep arguing with. *shrugs*

The problem with PF is that it only references this principle of 'Same Effect More than Once in Different Strengths' in the section on magic. Unfortunately it then discusses spells. They should have generalized that statement to all abilities. As a result we have to debate this over and over.

Ultimately: By RAW it neither stacks nor does not stack. RAW is silent on a great many matters (including the common sense principle that the Dead cannot act). But the well estabilished principle is that the same effect more than once only the highest effect benefits you.

For those that state this is akin to Cure Light Wounds multiple times: they are not the same thing due to duration. CLW is instantaneous. Fast Healing is not.

- Gauss


I can honestly see why people might be confused. Yes, I would default to multiple instances of something not stacking, but fast healing itself does not say it doesn't.

And logically, they could trigger simultaneously. With a fast healing 5, and a fast healing 1, both active at the same time, it makes sense for that 5 to give you 5 hit points, and that 1 to give you 1 hit point. You then got 6 hit points. As opposed to stacking other things where there is really only room for one at a time, such as armor.

Also, I don't know who would argue about this being similar to cure spells, for the exact reason you said, but I guess some people have at some point?

Like I said, I would stick with no stacking, same as most things. But I do think there are adequate grounds to question it.

Edit for another thought: Per your wording to call CLW instantaneous, you might say that the individual fast healings are instantaneous in their own way. It's not like you lose the hit points once fast healing goes away. As soon as you've gotten them, they are there for good.

Shoot, maybe now I'm being the silly one comparing it to cure spells.


Darkwolf117, a poster in this thread stated that it is similar to cure spells.

As for stacking, this is a subset of the stacking effects on CRB p208-209 "Same Effect More than Once in Different Strengths". Only the higher strength takes precedence. The Effect is Fast Healing. Its like saying I am casting Divine Power (caster level 1) and Divine Power (caster level 9) and getting +4 out of it (the different caster levels are possible with a Wand). They are the same effect so only the highest effect counts.

Instantaneous vs Duration based effects should not really be in question. Fast Healing has a duration (whether that duration is spell based or creature based it is not instantaneous, they are in operation constantly while they last). CLW is specifically defined with a duration of Instantaneous. It is not constantly in effect.

- Gauss

Edit: Cleaned up some wording above and added a bit.


Lets put this a different way:

You are an Aasimar with the feat Angel Wings (fly speed: 30ft, avg).

You cast Fly upon yourself (fly speed: 60ft, good).

What is your fly speed?

- Gauss


The problem with a comparison to Divine Power is that your +3 and +1 are each trying to grab a specific slot, so to speak. That luck bonus only has a spot for one luck bonus. That doesn't mean one stops working, it's just not doing anything better than the other is. The general idea is that effects overlap, not stack, right?

So, you've got two active fast healings. One fast healing goes off, healing you of 5 hits points. You've then got 5 hit points back. This doesn't interfere with getting hit points back from something else. So your second fast healing goes off, and I don't see why there would be anything saying you don't grab another 1 hit point from that.

They don't need to actually stack up to fast healing 6 in order to have any increased effect. They just can each do their thing, and it acts as if you had fast healing 6.

I know it's silly and probably not the intent of the ability, but it seems to me that there can be legitimate reason to think they'll work on top of each other.

And to your second post, same deal with divine power. You only have one spot for a fly speed, so you use the better one. Still not quite the same as getting healed from two different (I'll use that term lightly) sources.

Edit for a typo.


Fast Healings do not 'go off'. They are continuous. They are just like DR, fly speed, etc. The duration here is non-instantaneous.

- Gauss


Hmm... I thought I had read that fast healing 'went off' at the beginning of the turn for the creature in question. Now I can't find that.

On a different note though, seeing as this is basically healing over time, I think a much better comparison instead of fly speeds or luck bonuses would be damage over time.

So, I'm curious. If you Acid Arrow a creature that is an Acid Pit, what happens then? Does the acid pit's 2d6 of acid damage per round negate the arrow's 2d4 acid damage per round simply because it's higher?

Also, I do want to say, I'm not trying to be argumentative about this or anything. I hope I'm not sounding like it. Just seems like this is a very unusual case of the rules and I can see reason for it being interpreted either way.


I have to say that I think it would "stack," and by stack, I mean, that both the Fast Healing 1 and 5 would stay separate but each would heal you every turn.

Normally, if you have two Armor bonuses, you only get the benefit of the higher one. However, you do have both bonuses, it's just that when calculating your AC, you can't combine them. You don't suddenly stop wearing Leather Armor because you have Mage Armor on.

With Fast Healing, you have both effects, but there's no bonus to calculate or anything like that--they're just both there. At the beginning of every turn, there's no "determine your fast healing bonus" stage, so they just both heal you.

Of course, on the other hand, you could consider it like Bleed effects--they specifically call out that you only take the worst one. If Fast Healing were like "reverse bleed," I could be convinced of that.

Sczarni

I think you're probably right, Gauss, which is why I asked. My problem is that I couldn't find it explicitly stated anywhere. And fast healing, being a property, does seem to be sort of different from a spell effect. I wish it were clarified somewhere, so I could cite something.

The main reason I'm asking is that I'm designing an item that gives fast healing 5 for a few rounds, and I want vampires to be able to use it. I'm trying to decide if I need to add a sentence like, "If the wearer already has fast healing from another source, it increases by 5 for this duration."


Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

Trinite, have your item work like an amulet of natural armor. Have it increase a creature's Fast Healing by 5. If the creature doesn't have fast healing, the item grants Fast Healing 5. Have the item description state if this Fast Healing stacks with spells (not SLAs or SUs).


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Skylancer4 wrote:
As per the stacking rules, when two similar sources provide a benefit/effect, the largest is considered and the others are basically ignored.

What stacking rules might you be referring to exactly? The only stacking rules that I am aware of within the RAW, exist solely in regards to spells and bonus types.

Sczarni

I'm starting to wonder if this is a FAQ candidate.


Trinite wrote:

I think you're probably right, Gauss, which is why I asked. My problem is that I couldn't find it explicitly stated anywhere. And fast healing, being a property, does seem to be sort of different from a spell effect. I wish it were clarified somewhere, so I could cite something.

The main reason I'm asking is that I'm designing an item that gives fast healing 5 for a few rounds, and I want vampires to be able to use it. I'm trying to decide if I need to add a sentence like, "If the wearer already has fast healing from another source, it increases by 5 for this duration."

As you are getting into custom territory, you're outside RAW so it doesn't really matter. Do as you wish just make sure the item works across the board.


Ravingdork wrote:
Skylancer4 wrote:
As per the stacking rules, when two similar sources provide a benefit/effect, the largest is considered and the others are basically ignored.
What stacking rules might you be referring to exactly? The only stacking rules that I am aware of within the RAW, exist solely in regards to spells and bonus types.

So every rule that refers to something when it isn't listed under that heading is irrelevant? That makes quite a few rules in the game useless because they are listed in places where you aren't looking for them. Typically exceptions to the general rules by feats. Location of a rule in the rule book covering something doesn't bring its relevancy into question.

Stacking 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).

Attributes in this context is a general, catch all use. Otherwise spells that add to AC or such wouldn't be covered. Fast healing is an attribute of a creature.

The creature has the ability Fast Healing 5.
A spell then grants that 'attribute' again with Fast Healing 1.
It (the creature) now has a spell granting an effect that was pre-existing as an ability.

There are no examples of fast healing stacking with itself in this situation.
There are no examples of creatures with multiple types of fast healing from both spell and innate ability.
There are no clauses saying that they work simultaneously or are additive.
There is a rule saying that when a spell grants an effect or attribute there is a stacking guideline to be followed.

Is it explicitly spelled out, unfortunately no. But the rules point in the direction opposite of them stacking.

Sczarni

Skylancer4 wrote:
Trinite wrote:

I think you're probably right, Gauss, which is why I asked. My problem is that I couldn't find it explicitly stated anywhere. And fast healing, being a property, does seem to be sort of different from a spell effect. I wish it were clarified somewhere, so I could cite something.

The main reason I'm asking is that I'm designing an item that gives fast healing 5 for a few rounds, and I want vampires to be able to use it. I'm trying to decide if I need to add a sentence like, "If the wearer already has fast healing from another source, it increases by 5 for this duration."

As you are getting into custom territory, you're outside RAW so it doesn't really matter. Do as you wish just make sure the item works across the board.

I would, if I didn't think that this item might be a potential RPG Superstar entry candidate. ;)

That's why I'm worrying about getting the wording exactly right.


If this is an RPG Superstar candidate I wouldnt worry about it. So it doesn't benefit NPCs that have Fast Healing. Not really a big deal.

- Gauss


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Skylancer4 wrote:
Attributes in this context is a general, catch all use.

Yes, but only in the context of spells. There are no rules governing stacking for anything else (except for a small entry on bonus types).


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:
Yes, but only in the context of spells. There are no rules governing stacking for anything else (except for a small entry on bonus types).

Try damage reduction from multiple sources.

Or energy resistances from multiple sources.
Or spell resistance from multiple sources.

The general rule is probably found under Stacking in the common terms section of chapter ones. The basic concept is that bonus don't stack and penalties do stack.


Maezer wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Yes, but only in the context of spells. There are no rules governing stacking for anything else (except for a small entry on bonus types).

Try damage reduction from multiple sources.

Or energy resistances from multiple sources.
Or spell resistance from multiple sources.

The general rule is probably found under Stacking in the common terms section of chapter ones. The basic concept is that bonus don't stack and penalties do stack.

All three of those specifically state they do not stack. Fast Healing has no such caveat.

Sczarni

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate. 1 person marked this as a favorite.

If you think that the answer is no, or if you believe that the written rules are unclear, please hit the FAQ button.

I bet that if they FAQ it they'll say it doesn't stack, but I think it's unclear as-written and in need of clarification.


I was curious to see if anyone has discovered an answer to this question via official rulings and such.

Sczarni

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

Duskblade, it appears that the staff decided that this was not in need of clarification. I'm pretty sure that this means that multiple instances of fast healing do not stack, and the Paizo staff believes that this is clear in the current rules. I disagree that it's clear, but I don't mind their ruling.


Some necromancy here as I was just recently encountering something that, with a template, gains a LESSER version of fast healing.

There are some golems with fast healing 10 or 15 that gains fast healing 5 from shield golem template.

theres maybe one or two cases, a minority, where shield golem would give them fast healing if there was no stacking.

So, why? this all leads me to believe it indeed stacks using the logic DarkWolf presented.


I’d say the default assumption is that they do not stack, but as usual, just ask your GM what he thinks. It’s not 100% clear, but it is still more clear than most ambiguous rules.


Shinoskay wrote:

Some necromancy here as I was just recently encountering something that, with a template, gains a LESSER version of fast healing.

There are some golems with fast healing 10 or 15 that gains fast healing 5 from shield golem template.

theres maybe one or two cases, a minority, where shield golem would give them fast healing if there was no stacking.

So, why? this all leads me to believe it indeed stacks using the logic DarkWolf presented.

That's not strictly accurate. I think you're referring to the "Shield Guardian" (SG) template. The language for an SG is not that they *gain* Fast Healing (FH) 5, it's that they *have* FH 5. "A shield guardian has fast healing 5."

In the strictest technical sense, this should actually *reduce* the FH of a golem that has FH 10, such as an Admamantine Golem (AG). Templates override normal stat blocks, either by a delta "reduce size one level" or by an overwrite "type becomes undead". In this case it is not described as a delta, it is a statement of a fixed value, and therefore it should set FH to exactly the value stated, 5.

However, a reasonable DM would be within her rights to suggest that the RAI was certainly not to reduce FH, and therefore let the AG SG keep FH 10.

It is not, however, RAW to assume that this is an increase of FH by 5, and therefore should total FH 15, nor is it as clear cut that that is the RAI. At that point it's venturing into DM fiat.


HappyGoblin wrote:
Shinoskay wrote:

Some necromancy here as I was just recently encountering something that, with a template, gains a LESSER version of fast healing.

There are some golems with fast healing 10 or 15 that gains fast healing 5 from shield golem template.

theres maybe one or two cases, a minority, where shield golem would give them fast healing if there was no stacking.

So, why? this all leads me to believe it indeed stacks using the logic DarkWolf presented.

That's not strictly accurate. I think you're referring to the "Shield Guardian" (SG) template. The language for an SG is not that they *gain* Fast Healing (FH) 5, it's that they *have* FH 5. "A shield guardian has fast healing 5."

In the strictest technical sense, this should actually *reduce* the FH of a golem that has FH 10, such as an Admamantine Golem (AG). Templates override normal stat blocks, either by a delta "reduce size one level" or by an overwrite "type becomes undead". In this case it is not described as a delta, it is a statement of a fixed value, and therefore it should set FH to exactly the value stated, 5.

However, a reasonable DM would be within her rights to suggest that the RAI was certainly not to reduce FH, and therefore let the AG SG keep FH 10.

It is not, however, RAW to assume that this is an increase of FH by 5, and therefore should total FH 15, nor is it as clear cut that that is the RAI. At that point it's venturing into DM fiat.

oof, you sir are correct....

How would this interact with a char who has a tumor familiar with body guard? (I think theres been some rulings that tumor familiars cant have body guard, lets assume that some way or another the tumor familiar is made to function as if it does or it is allowed to have bodyguard).


It's my understanding that Fasting Healing is a source effect and unless otherwise stated doesn't stack. Just as more than one source of flight (or movement that's not a +# for that matter), spell resistance, DR, regen, resistance, immunity, etc. doesn't stack and only only applies the higher one unless stated otherwise.

A quick comparison for understanding would be... you can only wear a pair of shoes. You can't fit on more than one pair and a second pair can't occupy the same space as the pair that you are wearing. If you get better shoes you have to replace the shoes you are already wearing and you don't combine the shoes into better shoes, you just wear the new ones.

Now I know that's a matter of contention, as you might say: "I can cast spell A and different spell B together. Both give me a bonus to "INSERT Ability/Skill/etc. HERE," so why doesn't Fast Healing stack?" For one, spells can stack only if a.) the spells are different, and b.) you don't already have a bonus that's the same type applied to you. A luck bonus to stealth of +2 and again at +5 only results in the +5, no matter where the luck bonus came from (spell, magic item, other effect). The same applies to Fast Healing, as you can have fast healing and regeneration, but not 2 fast healing effects.

Its like if you had nice shoes and other outfit pieces that made you more arrow dynamic for some reason. (though ignore the magic item comparison and just think that each source applies itself differently, like having a luck bonus to stealth and an innate bonus to stealth).

Pathfinder isn't like some MMO's where you can cast the same spell again and again or where equipment that have similar bonuses that stack. In games like that, ongoing effects can stack because they go "alongside" other bonuses instead of "replacing" or "overruling" them. Pathfinder tends to "overrule" instead of stacking or replacing, meaning that the effects are still their, just not applying their bonus should similar sources exist.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
CRB wrote:
Stacking: Stacking refers to the act of adding together bonuses or penalties that apply to one particular check or statistic. Generally speaking, most bonuses of the same type do not stack. Instead, only the highest bonus applies. Most penalties do stack, meaning that their values are added together. Penalties and bonuses generally stack with one another, meaning that the penalties might negate or exceed part or all of the bonuses, and vice versa.

Besides the above piece of the CRB there are several FAQs about stacking.

Essentially stuff never stack if it is from the same source, it overlaps.

Essentially, both work, but only the greater benefits is received, not the sum of both or multiple benefits.


if both are in effect, 1 heal and 5 heal is 6 heal

arcanic, i read what you said but dont have the energy to reply.

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