What is the meaning of 'source' in regards to bonus stacking?


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Mark Seifter wrote:

Now to explain taking Mark Gone Wild multiple times--

[...]
Here's why:
[...]
Choosing the second option twice doesn't stack with itself because Mark Gone Wild is a same source of both untyped bonuses. Additionally, they don't stack with choosing the sixth option twice, for the same reason. Grace gets the highest, a +6.
[...]
I believe this thoroughly demonstrates the application of the current FAQ.
Eidolon wrote:
Ability Increase (Ex): An eidolon grows larger muscles, gains faster reflexes, achieves greater intelligence, or acquires another increase to one of its abilities. Increase one of the eidolon's ability scores by +2. This evolution can be selected more than once. It can only be applied once to an individual ability score, plus 1 additional time for every 6 levels the summoner possesses.

So if I understand it correctly, the Eidolon ability increase tells me I can take it once for a +2 to strength and then at lvl 6 I can take another +2 to strength.

But the net total is a +2 to strength, since they are from the same source and thus don't stack?


Rikkan wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:

Now to explain taking Mark Gone Wild multiple times--

[...]
Here's why:
[...]
Choosing the second option twice doesn't stack with itself because Mark Gone Wild is a same source of both untyped bonuses. Additionally, they don't stack with choosing the sixth option twice, for the same reason. Grace gets the highest, a +6.
[...]
I believe this thoroughly demonstrates the application of the current FAQ.
Eidolon wrote:
Ability Increase (Ex): An eidolon grows larger muscles, gains faster reflexes, achieves greater intelligence, or acquires another increase to one of its abilities. Increase one of the eidolon's ability scores by +2. This evolution can be selected more than once. It can only be applied once to an individual ability score, plus 1 additional time for every 6 levels the summoner possesses.

So if I understand it correctly, the Eidolon ability increase tells me I can take it once for a +2 to strength and then at lvl 6 I can take another +2 to strength.

But the net total is a +2 to strength, since they are from the same source and thus don't stack?

Sounds like it. :(


graystone wrote:
How do I parse what was the intended target and what isn't? To me an Oracle that has the mystery "side Step secret" and multi-classes into paladin to gain divine grace seems as valid as an undead paladin getting to add twice but one is intentional and the other is unintentional...

That's the point.

What was intended and what wasn't? And why was it intended for the stuff it was?
Is it intended that a shaman with the lore spirit and the benefit of wisdom hex who multiclasses into inquisitor gets no benefit from monster lore because he already gets wis to knowledge skills instead of int?

Or is it intended that kirin strike doesn't seem to combine with any other way of adding int to damage, any more? Be it focused shot, alchemist bombs or the wood wizard's Splintered Spear. Focused shot, the kirin line and the school power are all by themselves weak enough that I would not worry at all about someone combining them.

Would it not have been easier and less collateral to just FAQ the offenders? Spelling them out specifically?

Edit: For me the easiest ruling would be that base stat (or replacement stat) + bonus stat always stacks but bonus stat + bonus stat would not. But there seem to be such combinations that are seen as too strong. Why ever that is the case, when different base stat + bonus stat DOES stack.

For example turning intimidate into a wis based skill via shared skill (possessed shaman) and then adding strength via intimidating prowess works but turning knowledge the planes into a wis skill and then adding wis does not work. Why? Seems arbitrary.


This will need further explanation. I get the basic idea, but I still think, this is not clear enough for most people to understand..


What I don't understand is what happens when you switch abilities.

You have p.e.
use Str INSTEAD of Dex
And add Str.

Do you add twice the str? Or once?


shroudb wrote:

What I don't understand is what happens when you switch abilities.

You have p.e.
use Str INSTEAD of Dex
And add Str.

Do you add twice the str? Or once?

Following the FAQ: Once. That seems to be the main point of the FAQ.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
shroudb wrote:

What I don't understand is what happens when you switch abilities.

You have p.e.
use Str INSTEAD of Dex
And add Str.

Do you add twice the str? Or once?

Apparently, only once.

Even if it doesn't make sense, and even if what is written as benefit, is now a penalty.

It doesn't matter how odd, detrimental, or confusing it is, it doesn't get added twice, even if it's not actually being added twice.

You now have fluctuating, and multiple sources, depending on type, and then you have to disregard stacking rules, as bonus types noted as stacking, don't stack sometimes, because of the fluctuating, and conditional, multiple sources.

This is a fix too, but it's also not a fix.

It's a change, but it's also, not a change.

It's totally simple, but it's also deeply, confusingly, complex.

It's all already in the written rules, but it's unwritten.


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I'm just waiting for the devs to say that the FAQ is a result of complaints from PFS DMs (like the Crane Wing nerf).

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I have yet to hear such complaints from PFS Judges.

Perhaps, they, and all of my fellow players in those games, were so unique, and I happen to miss any instance where it was a problem?

Is this, going to make things so much better for all them?

What great improvements will this bring?

Silver Crusade

Rikkan wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:

Now to explain taking Mark Gone Wild multiple times--

[...]
Here's why:
[...]
Choosing the second option twice doesn't stack with itself because Mark Gone Wild is a same source of both untyped bonuses. Additionally, they don't stack with choosing the sixth option twice, for the same reason. Grace gets the highest, a +6.
[...]
I believe this thoroughly demonstrates the application of the current FAQ.
Eidolon wrote:
Ability Increase (Ex): An eidolon grows larger muscles, gains faster reflexes, achieves greater intelligence, or acquires another increase to one of its abilities. Increase one of the eidolon's ability scores by +2. This evolution can be selected more than once. It can only be applied once to an individual ability score, plus 1 additional time for every 6 levels the summoner possesses.

So if I understand it correctly, the Eidolon ability increase tells me I can take it once for a +2 to strength and then at lvl 6 I can take another +2 to strength.

But the net total is a +2 to strength, since they are from the same source and thus don't stack?

Specific overrides general.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
blackbloodtroll wrote:


What great improvements will this bring?

It makes the game less fun because it degrades more feats and abilities to trap options.

Or a little less acidic: I don't see any improvement but several problems.


blackbloodtroll wrote:
I have yet to hear such complaints from PFS Judges.

I'm not familiar with PFS. Is Judge just a fancy name for DM in PFS?

Grand Lodge

Anarchy_Kanya wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
I have yet to hear such complaints from PFS Judges.
I'm not familiar with PFS. Is Judge just a fancy name for DM in PFS?

It's not an official term by any stretch of the imagination, but yes, some people call PFS GMs judges.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Anarchy_Kanya wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
I have yet to hear such complaints from PFS Judges.
I'm not familiar with PFS. Is Judge just a fancy name for DM in PFS?

Yes.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The "replace stat" + "bonus stat" case needs to be seperated from the "bonus stat" + "bonus stat"case.

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

So, to determine source, we now decide by seeing what is the worst possible outcome, and go with that, in spite of other rules?

Even if there is literally no difference in wording, but when one ability would be beneficial, or even logical, then it will not work, but if twisting it into a penalty, and making an illogical conclusion is possible, that's what we should go with, until some other odd errata/FAQ fixes something, that wasn't broken to begin with?


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Joe M. wrote:
Rikkan wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:

Now to explain taking Mark Gone Wild multiple times--

[...]
Here's why:
[...]
Choosing the second option twice doesn't stack with itself because Mark Gone Wild is a same source of both untyped bonuses. Additionally, they don't stack with choosing the sixth option twice, for the same reason. Grace gets the highest, a +6.
[...]
I believe this thoroughly demonstrates the application of the current FAQ.
Eidolon wrote:
Ability Increase (Ex): An eidolon grows larger muscles, gains faster reflexes, achieves greater intelligence, or acquires another increase to one of its abilities. Increase one of the eidolon's ability scores by +2. This evolution can be selected more than once. It can only be applied once to an individual ability score, plus 1 additional time for every 6 levels the summoner possesses.

So if I understand it correctly, the Eidolon ability increase tells me I can take it once for a +2 to strength and then at lvl 6 I can take another +2 to strength.

But the net total is a +2 to strength, since they are from the same source and thus don't stack?
Specific overrides general.

It NEVER says it stacks it says it can be applied more than once. There is no reason I can't apply an enchantment bonus to my strength twice (bulls strength and a Belt of Mighty Hurling) but it doesn't stack. Same with the eidolon ability. Since it never says it stack, there IS no specific that overrides.


Graystone wrote:
It NEVER says it stacks it says it can be applied more than once.

You can always say that it doesn't say X it says synonym for x. Stacking and applying multiple times are the same thing.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Rikkan wrote:

So if I understand it correctly, the Eidolon ability increase tells me I can take it once for a +2 to strength and then at lvl 6 I can take another +2 to strength.

But the net total is a +2 to strength, since they are from the same source and thus don't stack?

No. It's not a bonus. It's an increase.

By this logic, the 4th level stat increases would no longer stack.

This FAQ and the stacking rules are about bonuses, not increases to a stat.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Rikkan wrote:

So if I understand it correctly, the Eidolon ability increase tells me I can take it once for a +2 to strength and then at lvl 6 I can take another +2 to strength.

But the net total is a +2 to strength, since they are from the same source and thus don't stack?

No. It's not a bonus. It's an increase.

By this logic, the 4th level stat increases would no longer stack.

This FAQ and the stacking rules are about bonuses, not increases to a stat.

Well the 4th level stat increase is a bonus. See the Core rulebook faq:
Quote:

At 4th level, a character can increase one ability score by +1. This is a typeless, nonmagical bonus that cannot be changed once selected.

For example, a fighter with Dex 13 could use this bonus to increase his Dex to 14.

A character can also increase one ability score at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 20th level; it does not have to be the same ability score as the one chosen at an earlier level, and stacks with all other bonuses.

For example, the aforementioned fighter could use the 8th-level bonus to increase his Strength from 15 to 16, then use his 12th-level bonus to increase his Dex from 14 to 15, and so on.

So I guess you're right, the 4th level stat increase no longer stacks with the 8th lvl stat increase etc.


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Rikkan wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Rikkan wrote:

So if I understand it correctly, the Eidolon ability increase tells me I can take it once for a +2 to strength and then at lvl 6 I can take another +2 to strength.

But the net total is a +2 to strength, since they are from the same source and thus don't stack?

No. It's not a bonus. It's an increase.

By this logic, the 4th level stat increases would no longer stack.

This FAQ and the stacking rules are about bonuses, not increases to a stat.

Well the 4th level stat increase is a bonus. See the Core rulebook faq:
Quote:

At 4th level, a character can increase one ability score by +1. This is a typeless, nonmagical bonus that cannot be changed once selected.

For example, a fighter with Dex 13 could use this bonus to increase his Dex to 14.

A character can also increase one ability score at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 20th level; it does not have to be the same ability score as the one chosen at an earlier level, and stacks with all other bonuses.

For example, the aforementioned fighter could use the 8th-level bonus to increase his Strength from 15 to 16, then use his 12th-level bonus to increase his Dex from 14 to 15, and so on.

So I guess you're right, the 4th level stat increase no longer stacks with the 8th lvl stat increase etc.

Bolded relevant part. Specific overrides general, yeah?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Hmm, that's a new one on me.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Rikkan wrote:
So I guess you're right, the 4th level stat increase no longer stacks with the 8th lvl stat increase etc.

Wow, I cannot believe the lengths that people are going to in torturing the text so they complain about this relatively minor FAQ.


I agree, people complaining that "now level is a source" and Mark said, nope says nothing about level in the FAQ. Now it's increases wont work. Yes some things change because of this, but I feel the list of changing things is as small as it needs to be. Anything directly giving a bonus equal to a stat is effected by this. Everything else isn't.

Scarab Sages

OldSkoolRPG wrote:
Rikkan wrote:
So I guess you're right, the 4th level stat increase no longer stacks with the 8th lvl stat increase etc.
Wow, I cannot believe the lengths that people are going to in torturing the text so they complain about this relatively minor FAQ.

WAAC is very much the thing these days.

I am very happy I avoided incorporating any ACG material into my characters pending FAQ's and errata.

Paizo Employee Designer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Chess Pwn wrote:
I agree, people complaining that "now level is a source" and Mark said, nope says nothing about level in the FAQ. Now it's increases wont work. Yes some things change because of this, but I feel the list of changing things is as small as it needs to be. Anything directly giving a bonus equal to a stat is effected by this. Everything else isn't.

This FAQ clearly doesn't even touch on the way the eidolon increase works, either, since it seems people agree that the evolution is clearly a source. Regardless of the FAQ, the untyped bonus don't stack from the same source rule has been out there since the first printing of the CRB (and I think since 3rd), and if there was a problem with eidolon stat increases (there isn't, specific overrides general), it's been here since before the FAQ.


I don't think the level up ability bonus not stacking argument can stand, either on strict RAW reading, or on any other grounds, since it runs against widespread and well-known precedent.

edit: Developer ninjad.


Mark Seifter wrote:
This FAQ clearly doesn't even touch on the way the eidolon increase works, either, since it seems people agree that the evolution is clearly a source. Regardless of the FAQ, the untyped bonus don't stack from the same source rule has been out there since the first printing of the CRB (and I think since 3rd), and if there was a problem with eidolon stat increases (there isn't, specific overrides general), it's been here since before the FAQ.

That rule has indeed been out a long time, but it has always been a very unclear rule. That is why when you post examples and the new FAQ I'm looking through everything I can find, so I understand how everything works. And so if people ask me how stuff works, I can explain that to them.

On that note: if I look at the The evil hex faq:

Quote:
This doesn't violate the general rule for stacking penalties--each evil eye effect is basically a different source, even though they stem from the evil eye hex (the evil eye hex is much like 5 separate weak hexes under a common umbrella). In the same way that multiple castings of bestow curse on the same target should stack as long as they do different things (penalize Strength, penalize Dex, penalize attack rolls, take no action, and so on), multiple uses of the evil eye hex stack as long as they're targeting different game statistics.

, it seems like abilities which provide different options are different sources.

That seems to contradict your earlier example:
Quote:
Choosing the second option twice doesn't stack with itself because Mark Gone Wild is a same source of both untyped bonuses. Additionally, they don't stack with choosing the sixth option twice, for the same reason.


Mark, please refer to the magic creation section. A Belt of incredible dexterity is listed as giving an Ability bonus (enhancement). This would seem to me that anything untyped that adds to the stat would be an Ability bonus (untyped). So it seems to fall under the new FAQ.

Rikkan hit on the second part already. If the "You gain a +4 bonus to AC" and the "You gain a bonus equal to your Charisma bonus to AC" from your sample feat don't stack even when it says "You can take this feat multiple times", then what's different from the Eidolon ability?

Paizo Employee Designer

Rikkan wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
This FAQ clearly doesn't even touch on the way the eidolon increase works, either, since it seems people agree that the evolution is clearly a source. Regardless of the FAQ, the untyped bonus don't stack from the same source rule has been out there since the first printing of the CRB (and I think since 3rd), and if there was a problem with eidolon stat increases (there isn't, specific overrides general), it's been here since before the FAQ.

That rule has indeed been out a long time, but it has always been a very unclear rule. That is why when you post examples and the new FAQ I'm looking through everything I can find, so I understand how everything works. And so if people ask me how stuff works, I can explain that to them.

On that note: if I look at the The evil hex faq:

Quote:
This doesn't violate the general rule for stacking penalties--each evil eye effect is basically a different source, even though they stem from the evil eye hex (the evil eye hex is much like 5 separate weak hexes under a common umbrella). In the same way that multiple castings of bestow curse on the same target should stack as long as they do different things (penalize Strength, penalize Dex, penalize attack rolls, take no action, and so on), multiple uses of the evil eye hex stack as long as they're targeting different game statistics.

, it seems like abilities which provide different options are different sources.

That seems to contradict your earlier example:
Quote:
Choosing the second option twice doesn't stack with itself because Mark Gone Wild is a same source of both untyped bonuses. Additionally, they don't stack with choosing the sixth option twice, for the same reason.

That FAQ is trying to explain, though not in the clearest words, that the evil eye hex is applying to different things, so it isn't even really that it "stacks" (it doesn't stack—you can't evil eye AC twice and double the AC penalty) so much that it doesn't conflict when it hits other options, just like choosing the deflection and then the insight with Mark Gone Wild.

I agree that the evil eye FAQ could have been worded better for certain. If we ever get the option to make minor wording tweaks for clarification ourselves, without having to bring in other departments, that looks like one that could be made clearer.

Silver Crusade

Rikkan wrote:
On that note: if I look at the The evil hex faq:
Quote:
This doesn't violate the general rule for stacking penalties--each evil eye effect is basically a different source, even though they stem from the evil eye hex (the evil eye hex is much like 5 separate weak hexes under a common umbrella). In the same way that multiple castings of bestow curse on the same target should stack as long as they do different things (penalize Strength, penalize Dex, penalize attack rolls, take no action, and so on), multiple uses of the evil eye hex stack as long as they're targeting different game statistics.

, it seems like abilities which provide different options are different sources.

That seems to contradict your earlier example:

Quote:
Choosing the second option twice doesn't stack with itself because Mark Gone Wild is a same source of both untyped bonuses. Additionally, they don't stack with choosing the sixth option twice, for the same reason.

See emphasized text.

It really isn't a question of "stacking" at all until you try to apply the same penalty. And then, by usual "same source doesn't stack" rules, they don't stack. (Though yes, the "each evil eye effect is basically a different source" language is confusing because it's wrong. It's the same source, but applying to different things.)

Paizo Employee Designer

graystone wrote:

Mark, please refer to the magic creation section. A Belt of incredible dexterity is listed as giving an Ability bonus (enhancement). This would seem to me that anything untyped that adds to the stat would be an Ability bonus (untyped). So it seems to fall under the new FAQ.

Rikkan hit on the second part already. If the "You gain a +4 bonus to AC" and the "You gain a bonus equal to your Charisma bonus to AC" from your sample feat don't stack even when it says "You can take this feat multiple times", then what's different from the Eidolon ability?

If the eidolon ability didn't say "increase" then it would be like taking "You gain a +4 bonus to AC" twice from Mark Gone Wild, which everyone would agree, I believe, was clearly not allowed by the same source rule. If Mark Gone Wild wanted effects to always stack, it would need to say "Its effects stack" and if it wanted the six options to necessarily be different and stack (but not the same option twice), it should say "Each time, you must choose a different option. These effects stack". Of course, thanks to low Wisdom, it doesn't specify.

Paizo Employee Designer

Joe M. wrote:
Rikkan wrote:
On that note: if I look at the The evil hex faq:
Quote:
This doesn't violate the general rule for stacking penalties--each evil eye effect is basically a different source, even though they stem from the evil eye hex (the evil eye hex is much like 5 separate weak hexes under a common umbrella). In the same way that multiple castings of bestow curse on the same target should stack as long as they do different things (penalize Strength, penalize Dex, penalize attack rolls, take no action, and so on), multiple uses of the evil eye hex stack as long as they're targeting different game statistics.

, it seems like abilities which provide different options are different sources.

That seems to contradict your earlier example:

Quote:
Choosing the second option twice doesn't stack with itself because Mark Gone Wild is a same source of both untyped bonuses. Additionally, they don't stack with choosing the sixth option twice, for the same reason.

See emphasized text.

It really isn't a question of "stacking" at all until you try to apply the same penalty. And then, by usual "same source doesn't stack" rules, they don't stack. (Though yes, the "each evil eye effect is basically a different source" language is confusing because it's wrong. It's the same source, but applying to different things.)

Agreed.

Silver Crusade

Mark Seifter wrote:
I agree that the evil eye FAQ could have been worded better for certain. If we ever get the option to make minor wording tweaks for clarification ourselves, without having to bring in other departments, that looks like one that could be made clearer.

Yeah, that does seem to be a lesson from this conversation—that a major speedbump to the FAQ system is the need to bring in other departments.

Long term, seems to be something to fix if possible! :-)


Joe M. wrote:

See emphasized text.

It really isn't a question of "stacking" at all until you try to apply the same penalty. And then, by usual "same source doesn't stack" rules, they don't stack. (Though yes, the "each evil eye effect is basically a different source" language is confusing because it's wrong. It's the same source, but applying to different things.)

But if they are not separate sources, then the following text from the faq is wrong too?

Quote:
In the same way that multiple castings of bestow curse on the same target should stack as long as they do different things (penalize Strength, penalize Dex, penalize attack rolls, take no action, and so on),

Because that text then contradicts with:

Quote:
Same Effect with Differing Results: The same spell can sometimes produce varying effects if applied to the same recipient more than once. Usually the last spell in the series trumps the others. None of the previous spells are actually removed or dispelled, but their effects become irrelevant while the final spell in the series lasts.
- Edit: side note
Spoiler:
Quote:
If the eidolon ability didn't say "increase" then it would be like taking "You gain a +4 bonus to AC" twice from Mark Gone Wild, which everyone would agree, I believe, was clearly not allowed by the same source rule

To be honest, I always believed it would stack, since if you took a feat twice you'd have two separate instances of the feat, each a different source applying the +4 separately. Which, as I now understand it, is incorrect.

Paizo Employee Designer

Rikkan wrote:
Joe M. wrote:

See emphasized text.

It really isn't a question of "stacking" at all until you try to apply the same penalty. And then, by usual "same source doesn't stack" rules, they don't stack. (Though yes, the "each evil eye effect is basically a different source" language is confusing because it's wrong. It's the same source, but applying to different things.)

But if they are not separate sources, then the following text from the faq is wrong too?

Quote:
In the same way that multiple castings of bestow curse on the same target should stack as long as they do different things (penalize Strength, penalize Dex, penalize attack rolls, take no action, and so on),

Because that text then contradicts with:

Quote:
Same Effect with Differing Results: The same spell can sometimes produce varying effects if applied to the same recipient more than once. Usually the last spell in the series trumps the others. None of the previous spells are actually removed or dispelled, but their effects become irrelevant while the final spell in the series lasts.

While that is a very interesting point of interest, it isn't relevant to the new FAQ because it would be a point of interest with or without that FAQ. Even if, for instance, we decided to release errata instead of a FAQ and errata away the fact that ability scores are a source, that point of interest remains.

EDIT: Reply to your edit—If that was true, and different instances of the same spell or feat were different sources, then how would it even be possible to have more than one untyped bonus from the same source?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
graystone wrote:
Rikkan wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:

Now to explain taking Mark Gone Wild multiple times--

[...]
Here's why:
[...]
Choosing the second option twice doesn't stack with itself because Mark Gone Wild is a same source of both untyped bonuses. Additionally, they don't stack with choosing the sixth option twice, for the same reason. Grace gets the highest, a +6.
[...]
I believe this thoroughly demonstrates the application of the current FAQ.
Eidolon wrote:
Ability Increase (Ex): An eidolon grows larger muscles, gains faster reflexes, achieves greater intelligence, or acquires another increase to one of its abilities. Increase one of the eidolon's ability scores by +2. This evolution can be selected more than once. It can only be applied once to an individual ability score, plus 1 additional time for every 6 levels the summoner possesses.

So if I understand it correctly, the Eidolon ability increase tells me I can take it once for a +2 to strength and then at lvl 6 I can take another +2 to strength.

But the net total is a +2 to strength, since they are from the same source and thus don't stack?
Sounds like it. :(

I'd say the FAQ doesn't apply here. This is not a bonus stacking issue.

The stat increase is just that. An increase. It isn't a bonus to anything.

Otherwise animal companions fall into the same issue, as well as the stat bump everyone gets every four levels.


Rikkan wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:

Now to explain taking Mark Gone Wild multiple times--

[...]
Here's why:
[...]
Choosing the second option twice doesn't stack with itself because Mark Gone Wild is a same source of both untyped bonuses. Additionally, they don't stack with choosing the sixth option twice, for the same reason. Grace gets the highest, a +6.
[...]
I believe this thoroughly demonstrates the application of the current FAQ.
Eidolon wrote:
Ability Increase (Ex): An eidolon grows larger muscles, gains faster reflexes, achieves greater intelligence, or acquires another increase to one of its abilities. Increase one of the eidolon's ability scores by +2. This evolution can be selected more than once. It can only be applied once to an individual ability score, plus 1 additional time for every 6 levels the summoner possesses.

So if I understand it correctly, the Eidolon ability increase tells me I can take it once for a +2 to strength and then at lvl 6 I can take another +2 to strength.

But the net total is a +2 to strength, since they are from the same source and thus don't stack?

Not so!

This isn't a bonus. This is "increase this ability". That's not a bonus, it's a change in the value.

Think of it as like how your saves and BAB go up. You get +1 per fighter level to BAB, but you don't collapse those all into a single +1 because they're from the same source; it's just your BAB. This isn't giving you a bonus to strength which is added more than once, it's changing the strength outright.


Mark Seifter wrote:
graystone wrote:

Mark, please refer to the magic creation section. A Belt of incredible dexterity is listed as giving an Ability bonus (enhancement). This would seem to me that anything untyped that adds to the stat would be an Ability bonus (untyped). So it seems to fall under the new FAQ.

Rikkan hit on the second part already. If the "You gain a +4 bonus to AC" and the "You gain a bonus equal to your Charisma bonus to AC" from your sample feat don't stack even when it says "You can take this feat multiple times", then what's different from the Eidolon ability?

If the eidolon ability didn't say "increase" then it would be like taking "You gain a +4 bonus to AC" twice from Mark Gone Wild, which everyone would agree, I believe, was clearly not allowed by the same source rule. If Mark Gone Wild wanted effects to always stack, it would need to say "Its effects stack" and if it wanted the six options to necessarily be different and stack (but not the same option twice), it should say "Each time, you must choose a different option. These effects stack". Of course, thanks to low Wisdom, it doesn't specify.

Increase is different than add or gain a bonus??? I'm getting more confused the longer I'm in this thread... :(

EDIT: As I pointed out in the magic creation rules, A stat increase is an ability bonus. A magic belt that increases your strength +2 is giving you an ability bonus.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
graystone wrote:
Increase is different than add or gain a bonus??? I'm getting more confused the longer I'm in this thread... :(

Yes. Take two eidolons, one with 16 and one with 18. Both are adding a +2 enhancement bonus to each, for 18 and 20 respectively.

If the first one increases his 16 to an 18, he is effectively the same as the second, because it is as if he always had an 18.


DrakeRoberts wrote:
Rikkan wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Rikkan wrote:

So if I understand it correctly, the Eidolon ability increase tells me I can take it once for a +2 to strength and then at lvl 6 I can take another +2 to strength.

But the net total is a +2 to strength, since they are from the same source and thus don't stack?

No. It's not a bonus. It's an increase.

By this logic, the 4th level stat increases would no longer stack.

This FAQ and the stacking rules are about bonuses, not increases to a stat.

Well the 4th level stat increase is a bonus. See the Core rulebook faq:
Quote:

At 4th level, a character can increase one ability score by +1. This is a typeless, nonmagical bonus that cannot be changed once selected.

For example, a fighter with Dex 13 could use this bonus to increase his Dex to 14.

A character can also increase one ability score at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 20th level; it does not have to be the same ability score as the one chosen at an earlier level, and stacks with all other bonuses.

For example, the aforementioned fighter could use the 8th-level bonus to increase his Strength from 15 to 16, then use his 12th-level bonus to increase his Dex from 14 to 15, and so on.

So I guess you're right, the 4th level stat increase no longer stacks with the 8th lvl stat increase etc.

Bolded relevant part. Specific overrides general, yeah?

Strictly speaking, it is claimed to stack with all other bonuses, which doesn't necessarily mean it stacks with itself.

If I wanted a pretty formalization, I would say that at 1st level, you have a +0 level-up bonus to each stat (where "level-up" is a new type), and that at multiples of 4 levels, you can increase your level-up bonus to one stat by +1. So if you pick strength at 4, your level-up bonus in strength is now +1, and if you pick it again at 8, your level-up bonus in strength increases to +2. No question at all about stacking there.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
graystone wrote:
Increase is different than add or gain a bonus??? I'm getting more confused the longer I'm in this thread... :(

Yes. Take two eidolons, one with 16 and one with 18. Both are adding a +2 enhancement bonus to each, for 18 and 20 respectively.

If the first one increases his 16 to an 18, he is effectively the same as the second, because it is as if he always had an 18.

So could you point me to the rule that defines increase, add and gain? I've only been using the normal language usages and I struggle to see the exception now granted to increase vs the others from meaning alone.

How is a 16 increased to an 18 different than gaining a permanent +2 stat bonus to your 16? They seem the same to me.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
graystone wrote:
How is a 16 increased to an 18 different than gaining a permanent +2 stat bonus to your 16? They seem the same to me.

The difference being that increasing the stat makes it as if you had assigned that score to that ability at character gen, rather than having a bonus to the 16 you assigned at chargen.


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graystone wrote:

Increase is different than add or gain a bonus??? I'm getting more confused the longer I'm in this thread... :(

EDIT: As I pointed out in the magic creation rules, A stat increase is an ability bonus. A magic belt that increases your strength +2 is giving you an ability bonus.

We have language problems because a lot of these words exist both as general English words and as terms of art. That the same word can mean three mutually-exclusive things must be considered a bonus of writing in English. See what I did there?

A bonus makes something larger. Increasing is a kind of making things larger. However, "gives a +2 bonus to X" and "increases X by 2" are two different things! A +2 bonus to X modifies the effective value of X *while you have it*. You can lose the bonus. It is subject to stacking rules. And so on. You still have the base value of X, and the +2 bonus.

"Increase X by 2", you aren't maintaining a record of the increase as a distinct thing. You've just changed what the base value is.

So, for an example from another field, consider "salary" and "bonus". Say you have an annual salary of $50k. When the company does well, they give "bonuses". So if the company does really well and hands out a 10% bonus, that year you get $55k total pay; $50k salary, and a $5k bonus. But if the company doesn't do well next year, you only get $50k.

But an *increase* in salary means that your salary is now $55k. If the company doesn't do well, your salary is still $55k. And if there's a 10% bonus, it's now $5,500 because your salary was increased.

The eidolon ability, and level-up stat increases, are intended as increases. It can be useful to track the level-up ones as bonuses if you're recording character history and want to be able to explain how you got a 46 int, but they are not "bonuses" the way enhancement bonuses are. Even racial bonuses are more temporary, because you could reincarnate, in which case you'd usually lose your old racial bonuses and gain the new ones. (Well, modifiers, because they could be negative on either end of that.)


Mark Seifter wrote:
While that is a very interesting point of interest, it isn't relevant to the new FAQ because it would be a point of interest with or without that FAQ. Even if, for instance, we decided to release errata instead of a FAQ and errata away the fact that ability scores are a source, that point of interest remains.

Got it, but it did have me confused :).

Quote:
EDIT: Reply to your edit—If that was true, and different instances of the same spell or feat were different sources, then how would it even be possible to have more than one untyped bonus from the same source?

For example if an ability had a greater effect to certain enemies. Say you gain a +2 to AC while fighting evil creatures and a +4 to AC while fighting undead.

The same source rule would apply and say that against an evil undead you'd only gain a +4.

Side note:

Spoiler:
But I understood your explanation and see that I got it wrong.
And I'd just like to say I'm not trying to be difficult, just trying to understand things better. And I'd like to thank you for making things clearer.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
graystone wrote:
How is a 16 increased to an 18 different than gaining a permanent +2 stat bonus to your 16? They seem the same to me.
The difference being that increasing the stat makes it as if you had assigned that score to that ability at character gen, rather than having a bonus to the 16 you assigned at chargen.

And that's explained where? How is an increased stat different than a permanent +2 stat bonus to your 16? Please give me an example of how they'd be treated differently.

From my perspective there isn't any difference other than the word increase as both are/would be treated the same. For instance if I level up and spend evolution differently that increase could vanish. How is that different than losing the bonus?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

A bonus is a number added to a static value. And always has a duration longer than instantaneous. Many bonuses have a permanent duration.

An increase is a direct change if the static value. The duration of an increase is instantaneous. Once its applied, it no longer is considered at all.


graystone wrote:


EDIT: As I pointed out in the magic creation rules, A stat increase is an ability bonus. A magic belt that increases your strength +2 is giving you an ability bonus.

So you think stat purchases when creating your character are just permanent bonuses and penalties?

PRD wrote:
Purchase: Each character receives a number of points to spend on increasing his basic attributes. In this method, all attributes start at a base of 10. A character can increase an individual score by spending some of his points. Likewise, he can gain more points to spend on other scores by decreasing one or more of his ability scores. No score can be reduced below 7 or raised above 18 using this method. See Table: Ability Score Costs for the costs of each score. After all the points are spent, apply any racial modifiers the character might have.[/b]

Not all increases to a stat are bonuses.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
graystone wrote:
And that's explained where? How is an increased stat different than a permanent +2 stat bonus to your 16? Please give me an example of how they'd be treated differently.

It's explained by the language, as seebs very clearly explained. The difference is found in the answer to the question 'can you lose the bonus?'

You can't lose increases. You can lose bonuses.


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graystone wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
graystone wrote:
Increase is different than add or gain a bonus??? I'm getting more confused the longer I'm in this thread... :(

Yes. Take two eidolons, one with 16 and one with 18. Both are adding a +2 enhancement bonus to each, for 18 and 20 respectively.

If the first one increases his 16 to an 18, he is effectively the same as the second, because it is as if he always had an 18.

So could you point me to the rule that defines increase, add and gain? I've only been using the normal language usages and I struggle to see the exception now granted to increase vs the others from meaning alone.

How is a 16 increased to an 18 different than gaining a permanent +2 stat bonus to your 16? They seem the same to me.

It's the other way around: Since there isn't a rule defining increases, they just get the default English meaning. An increase is a change to what a value is. Bonuses are the temporary additions we have rules for.

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