Inherent Ability Bonuses


Rules Questions


The wish spell reads "inherent bonuses to a particular score do not stack" {core p.370}. Does
this apply also to the Manuals and Tomes [core p.522, 531} that grant inherent bonuses? In other words, could I use a Tome of Understanding {+2} to gain a +2 to Wisdom one day use another
Tome of Understanding {+1} or wish spell to add an additional +1 to my Wisdom for a total of
inherent bonus of +3 overall? Also with wish, can someone use it to get a +1 in an ability
score one week and then at a later time use another Wish to add another +1 to the same ability
score for a total of +2 over all?


The Wish spell repeats a general rule.

"(...) two bonuses of the same type don’t generally stack. With the exception of dodge bonuses, most circumstance bonuses, and racial bonuses, only the better bonus of a given type works (...)" CRB pg. 208

No stacking, unless it's from consecutively cast Wish spells.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
P=NP? wrote:

The wish spell reads "inherent bonuses to a particular score do not stack" {core p.370}. Does

this apply also to the Manuals and Tomes [core p.522, 531} that grant inherent bonuses?

They don't stack, sadly. If you read a +2 manual, then reading a +1 manual does nothing for you. If you read the +1 manual then the +2 manual then the bonus from the +2 manual replaces the previous one. Same deal with wishes.

It's a rather silly rule that means most players will never waste cash on any inherent bonuses lower than +4, since when you get around to upgrading your inherent bonus you just completely lose all your previous investment.


I think you answered your question yourself when you quoted “inherent bonuses to a particular score do not stack.”

So no, you can’t stack wish with any other sources that grant inherent bonuses.

And no, you cannot “at a later time” cast wish again to increase it. Another wish spell has to be cast immediately following the previous wish spell, setting the bonus that one time. Once the bonus is set it is finished, and can’t be later added to.


The books are just wish spells in a can. They don't get any special exemption from bonus stacking limits.

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