Magic weapon bonuses... do they stack?


Rules Questions


5 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

Bane - "Against a designated foe, the weapon's enhancement bonus is +2 better than its actual bonus"

Furious - "When the wielder is raging or under the effect of a rage spell, the weapon's enhancement bonus is +2 better than normal."

These appear to be untyped bonuses to an enhancement bonus which suggests they'd stack...

So would a +1 furious, bane(demons) sword wielded by a raging barbarian against a demon be effectively a +5 sword against the demon?

My bloodrager would like to know.

Any thoughts?


I think not, just based on the wording.

The Bane is "+2 better than its actual bonus". Since the "actual bonus" of your +1 furious, bane(demons) sword is +1, Bane makes it +2 better than +1 = +3.

The Furious is "+2 better than normal". Since the "normal" bonus of your +1 furious, bane(demons) sword is +1, Furious makes it +2 better than +1 = +3.

So with that sword, your "normal" "actual bonus" is +1. When you rage, your abnormal temporary-while-raging bonus is +3. If you're raging against a demon, Bane would try to kick in to make it +3 (+2 better than its actual bonus) but it already is +3 so no benefit.

Or reversed, your "normal" "actual bonus" is +1. When you fight demons, your abnormal temporary-versus-demons bonus is +3. If you also rage, Furious would try to kick in to make it +3 (+2 better than normal) but it already is +3 so no benefit.


I'm in agreement with DM_Blake. They both modify from the "normal" or "actual" number.


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Normally against a demon it's a +3 because of bane, then that's increased by 2 to a +5.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Two +3 weapons won't stack, so your +1 bane and +1 furious makes a +3 vs demons.

Chess Pwn wrote:
Normally against a demon it's a +3 because of bane, then that's increased by 2 to a +5.

So I'd say "expect table variance".

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

They stack.


The Morphling wrote:
They stack.

So, you're voting rather than clarifying? Thanks for the vote, but I'm not sure voting for how we want rules to work is the best solution for understanding the rules of the game.

Or did you have some rule you could reference to explain why you feel it works this way?


Yeah they stack, they each have a circumstance in which they give a bonus, and both are fairly circumstantial. To say they don't stack is in my opinion a wordplay thing. If you joust with the RAW you could probably say they don't stack, but you could more easily say they do. If you say they don't stack it is proably more of an opinion that they shouldn't stack that it is an overpowered gimmick. In my opinion it is not.

First you have furious you have to rage to use it, yes most barbarians rage in most fights, but there are good reasons not to rage if you want to take advantage of those reasons you are stuck with no bonus instead of double. Second you have bane, in a campaign where there is one enemy type that is very common it is a strong enhancement bonus, however in all likelihood it will still see use less than half the time. It's not overpowered.

I would say that RAI they stack as otherwise furious would have clarified the matter as it is an obvious combo and the devs would have thought of it.

If you need a RAW reasoning for why they stack well as I read it:

when you are raging a furious weapon has an enhancement bonus 2 better than normal. This means that furious modifies the actual enhancement bonus.

Bane increases your enhancement bonus by 2 compared with the weapon's actual bonus, which is +3 because you are raging.

Liberty's Edge

I think they stack. The Furious weapon ability states that when it's wielder is raging or under the effects of the rage spell, the enhancement bonus is +2 better, not acts like, but is 2 better. So when raging, the weapon's actual enhancement bonus is +3. Then bane adds 2 on top of that.

And Vise Versa, for stacking with the Bane ability. The furious ability states that it's 2 better than normal. Normally when using a +1 Demon's Bane weapon versus a demon, it's enhancement bonus is +3. So that works too.


Hogeyhead wrote:
Yeah they stack, they each have a circumstance in which they give a bonus, and both are fairly circumstantial. To say they don't stack is in my opinion a wordplay thing. If you joust with the RAW you could probably say they don't stack, but you could more easily say they do. If you say they don't stack it is proably more of an opinion that they shouldn't stack that it is an overpowered gimmick. In my opinion it is not.

It's ambiguously worded enough that I would be fine with that ruling.

Hogeyhead wrote:
If you have furious you have to rage to use it, yes most barbarians rage in most fights, but there are good reasons not to rage if you want to take advantage of those reasons you are stuck with no bonus instead of double. Second you have bane, in a campaign where there is one enemy type that is very common it is a strong enhancement bonus, however in all likelihood it will still see use less than half the time. It's not overpowered.

Unfortunately power level and being balanced and being fair are not reasons to interpret the rules differently. Things aren't always balanced or fair.

Hogeyhead wrote:
would say that RAI they stack as otherwise furious would have clarified the matter as it is an obvious combo and the devs would have thought of it.

Again, unfortunately not always true. The devs are only human and can't think of every single possibility of their vast rules system. Plus fair turnabout would be possible. "I would say that RAI they don't stack as otherwise furious would have clarified the matter".

But either way, I think we're all getting too hung up on word choice and scrutinizing it as if the devs have specific implications to go with certain words. Honestly I could see it going either way, so I went ahead and hit the FAQ button (for all the good it will do).


Hogeyhead wrote:
when you are raging a furious weapon has an enhancement bonus 2 better than normal. This means that furious modifies the actual enhancement bonus.

I think you and I have wildly differing opinions of what "actual" really means.

It's not a game term, so I decided to go to Webster for the answer, which is fun because it seems to apply both ways:

1. existing in fact and not merely potentially
1a. existing in fact or reality <actual and imagined conditions>
1b. not false or apparent <actual costs>
2. existing or occurring at the time

So, the first (non-obsolete) definition listed seems to prefer what exists in fact (the OP's sword is, in fact, a +1 sword) and not merely potentially exists (but it can be potentially +3 with Furious) - but the "actual" bonus excludes the "potential" Furious bonus.

But the second definition references "at the time" which, clearly, at the time you're raging the bonus would be +3 due to Furious.

So I guess we're back to table variance.


General principles - typed bonus, nope; same source, nope (arguably), so they should stack.

It is ambiguous enough that I would not be too put out if a GM ruled differently.


BOARD RULING

Ask your GM!


I would ask you GM.

I would allow it, due to the way that it is written. The weapon has two different enchantments, and what is "actual" bonus very's on wordplay.. as bane add +2, and i look at that as an "actual" bonus when used against the said bane creature.

(I do think that Furious is written badly), but as written, i would allows them to stack.

............................

Ask, your GM!


I think they should stack, but as written do not. DM_Blake has the right of it for rules as they currently stand.


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

In a similar vein to the original question consider a +1 furyborn bane (demons) sword:

Furyborn - A furyborn weapon draws power from the anger and frustration the wielder feels when battling foes that refuse to die. Each time the wielder damages an opponent with the weapon, its enhancement bonus increases by +1 when making attacks against that opponent (to a maximum total enhancement bonus of +5).

After the third attack against the demon is the sword at +5 or +3?


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

One more:

Holy, axiomatic and bane each grant an extra 2d6 untyped damage against critters that meet the criteria.

Again against said demon: would a +1 holy, axiomatic, bane (demon) sword do an extra 6d6 damage or just +2d6 (assuming that the extra 2d6 from each enchantment doesn't stack.)


Petrus222 wrote:

Bane - "Against a designated foe, the weapon's enhancement bonus is +2 better than its actual bonus"

Furious - "When the wielder is raging or under the effect of a rage spell, the weapon's enhancement bonus is +2 better than normal."
?

I would vote they stack.

Furious increase the actual bonus. it becomes +2 better. Bane specifies it is +2 better than the actual bonus.
Furious changes the actual bonus while in effect. Then Bane specifies 2 more than actual bonus. So they stack in a different fashion. One modifies the hard value while the other adds effective value. This isn't the only case where it works out via "actual" and "effective" either. Though the other cases escape my memory at the moment. but there were a few semi recent (half year) faqs that were relatable.

===================================================
Furyborn: this also alters the "actual" enhancment. So it should work with Bane easy enough. I'm less sure about furious but I suppose so as Fury Born specifies up to +5 total bonus so it makes allowances for other bonuses to play with it. but in general I feel less sure about the reasoning.
Overall I feel like it should work, but RAW I'm a bit grasping at straws at the wording there.
===================
Holy/axio/bane question:
The extra damage is untyped (though I do not think that matters in this context) and from different sources. So they all test agianst the creature seperately.
So all those should work fine. Same way that fire, ice, lighting and acid on one blade works (note: some gms call cheese on ice fire.. but its magic.. and there was an FAQ/dev statment (i forget which) that said that is perfectly valid. Because magic.)

------------
That is my 2 zenny


Petrus222 wrote:

In a similar vein to the original question consider a +1 furyborn bane (demons) sword:

Furyborn - A furyborn weapon draws power from the anger and frustration the wielder feels when battling foes that refuse to die. Each time the wielder damages an opponent with the weapon, its enhancement bonus increases by +1 when making attacks against that opponent (to a maximum total enhancement bonus of +5).

After the third attack against the demon is the sword at +5 or +3?

This is not really the same thing at all.

Furyborn says nothing about adding +1 to the "normal" or "actual" bonus of the weapon. It just says the enhancement bonus increases. That makes this simple: each time you damage an opponent with this weapon, increase its enhancement bonus by +1.

If you have a +1 Furyborn sword, it is +1 against Fred the Fire Giant until you damage him once, then it becomes a +2 Furyborn sword, but only against Fred the Fire Giant. If you damage Fred the Fire Giant again, it becomes a +3 Furyborn sword, but only against Fred the Fire giant (against everyone else it's still a +1 Furyborn sword unless you have also damaged THEM with the sword).

If you have a +1 Demon-Bane Furyborn sword, it works exactly like above against Fred the Fire Giant because he isn't a demon. But if you're fighting Daryl the Demon, even before you hit him your sword is +3 because of the bane. After you hit Daryl the Demon one time, it becomes a +4 Demon-Bane Furyborn sword against Daryl the Demon, it's still a +3 Demon-Bane Furyborn sword against Dennis the Demon and all other demons, and it's still a +1 Demon-Bane Furyborn sword against all non-demons.


Petrus222 wrote:

One more:

Holy, axiomatic and bane each grant an extra 2d6 untyped damage against critters that meet the criteria.

Again against said demon: would a +1 holy, axiomatic, bane (demon) sword do an extra 6d6 damage or just +2d6 (assuming that the extra 2d6 from each enchantment doesn't stack.)

Again, a different thing. None of these enchantments say anything like "add +2d6 above the normal damage". They simply say to add 2d6, so they all stack when applicable.


DM_Blake wrote:

...

The Bane is "+2 better than its actual bonus". Since the "actual bonus" of your +1 furious, bane(demons) sword is +1, Bane makes it +2 better than +1 = +3.

The Furious is "+2 better than normal". Since the "normal" bonus of your +1 furious, bane(demons) sword is +1, Furious makes it +2 better than +1 = +3.
...

Do you have any basis for saying that "better than it's actual bonus" and "better than normal" means "better than the weapon's base enhancement bonus without taking into account any special effects increasing it" as opposed to "better than it's enhancement bonus when bane doesn't apply". Because I see no reason why "actual bonus" or "normal" has to mean "base weapon's enhancement bonus" instead of "weapon's enhancement bonus"(including modifications by other abilities that increase it's enhancement bonus). On top of that, I highly doubt any of the devs intended for bane or furious to lose some of it's effects when used in conjunction with other enhancement bonus boosters, and I doubt that based on the fact that such a specific counter-intuitive interaction would have been highlighted because of how unlikely it is to be noticed by 99% of the PF player-base otherwise, so as a result of that the "weapon's bonus, base or otherwise" interpretation seems to win out as the most reasonable interpretation out of the two. There certainly isn't a basis as far as I have seen for saying that the "base enhancement" bonus is the only interpretation, at the very least.


Snowblind wrote:


Do you have any basis for saying that "better than it's actual bonus" and "better than normal" means "better than the weapon's base enhancement bonus without taking into account any special effects increasing it" as opposed to "better than it's enhancement bonus when bane doesn't apply". Because I see no reason why "actual bonus" or "normal" has to mean "base weapon's enhancement bonus" instead of "weapon's enhancement bonus"(including modifications by other abilities that increase it's enhancement bonus).

If they meant "current enhancement bonus including modifications" then they wouldn't need the words "actual" or "normal" in there.


MeanMutton wrote:
Snowblind wrote:


Do you have any basis for saying that "better than it's actual bonus" and "better than normal" means "better than the weapon's base enhancement bonus without taking into account any special effects increasing it" as opposed to "better than it's enhancement bonus when bane doesn't apply". Because I see no reason why "actual bonus" or "normal" has to mean "base weapon's enhancement bonus" instead of "weapon's enhancement bonus"(including modifications by other abilities that increase it's enhancement bonus).
If they meant "current enhancement bonus including modifications" then they wouldn't need the words "actual" or "normal" in there.

It's natural language. "When the wielder is raging or under the effect of a rage spell, the weapon's enhancement bonus is +2 better" sounds incomplete and informal. "Better than normal" reads more like formal text. Same with "actual bonus". So it isn't needed, but it is a reasonable addition to the sentence for the purposes of tone and language flow - rules text is expected to sound formal and strict, so that extra clarification is very "rulesy". You could also argue otherwise, so we end up with (at least) two valid interpretations on that basis. However, which one do you think is more likely: "better than normal" being used instead of "better" because "better than normal" sounds better, or "better than normal" being used to convey that for the purpose of the furious ability only the weapon's base enhancement bonus before modifying abilities is supposed to be used and if other enhancing abilities are in play you should take the highest of furious or the other enhancing ability/abilities that stack(and likewise for bane). I think it's fair to say that the second is far too specific for "than normal"/"actual" to mean that, so the first is the most reasonable.


MeanMutton wrote:
Snowblind wrote:


Do you have any basis for saying that "better than it's actual bonus" and "better than normal" means "better than the weapon's base enhancement bonus without taking into account any special effects increasing it" as opposed to "better than it's enhancement bonus when bane doesn't apply". Because I see no reason why "actual bonus" or "normal" has to mean "base weapon's enhancement bonus" instead of "weapon's enhancement bonus"(including modifications by other abilities that increase it's enhancement bonus).
If they meant "current enhancement bonus including modifications" then they wouldn't need the words "actual" or "normal" in there.

This right here.

It's move obvious with the word "normal". A Furious weapon, normally, does NOT have the Furious bonus - that's a situational bonus that only applies on rare occurrences. Even if you only fight while raging, even the best barbarians can only rage for a few minutes a day before they run out of rages or run out of HP. All the rest of the 1,440 minutes in the day the weapon is "normal".

"Actual bonus" is a little less definite, but MeanMutton got it right - if they meant "current bonus at the moment" then they would have said "current bonus" or just "bonus". There is no reason for the word "actual" unless the intent is to mean something OTHER than what it might have, with temporary and/or situational modifiers, right now.

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