Author Topic: Multi-Energy Immunity and Spell Stacking  (Read 4089 times)

Offline Reshy

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Multi-Energy Immunity and Spell Stacking
« on: March 30, 2015, 12:23:33 PM »
Hello, hoping to get some kind of clear answer to this but when you cast Energy Immunity several items for several different elements, does only the most recent casting still apply and the others are lost?


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Combining Magical Effects

Spells or magical effects usually work as described, no matter how many other spells or magical effects happen to be operating in the same area or on the same recipient. Except in special cases, a spell does not affect the way another spell operates. Whenever a spell has a specific effect on other spells, the spell description explains that effect. Several other general rules apply when spells or magical effects operate in the same place:

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).

Different Bonus Names
The bonuses or penalties from two different spells stack if the modifiers are of different types. A bonus that isn’t named stacks with any bonus.

Same Effect More than Once in Different Strengths
In cases when two or more identical spells are operating in the same area or on the same target, but at different strengths, only the best one applies.

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.

One Effect Makes Another Irrelevant
Sometimes, one spell can render a later spell irrelevant. Both spells are still active, but one has rendered the other useless in some fashion.


According to the rules it's incredibly murky what the actual answer is so I'd like a second opinion.
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Offline faeryn

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Re: Multi-Energy Immunity and Spell Stacking
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2015, 01:15:21 PM »
The answer I've commonly seen is that the most recent one will be the only one in effect.

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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.

This is the main reason given... additionally there are spells that have a line in their description specifically to override this rule, whereas Energy Immunity does not.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2015, 01:43:38 PM by faeryn »

Offline Jackinthegreen

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Re: Multi-Energy Immunity and Spell Stacking
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2015, 06:23:31 AM »
Yes, the most recent casting of Energy Immunity is the one that applies.  Multiple castings don't stack.  It's basically an editing error on WotC's part for not including the usual line in the description like other spells do.

Offline faeryn

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Re: Multi-Energy Immunity and Spell Stacking
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2015, 01:46:50 PM »
Yes, the most recent casting of Energy Immunity is the one that applies.  Multiple castings don't stack.  It's basically an editing error on WotC's part for not including the usual line in the description like other spells do.

Actually... they sorta did include it... but it only mentions it's effect in relation to Protection from Energy and Energy Resist.

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Energy Immunity
(Spell Compendium, p. 80)

A sense of security fills you as you complete the spell. As you touch the intended target of the spell, the feeling lingers for a moment before fading.
This abjuration grants a creature and its equipment complete immunity to damage from one of the five energy types—acid, cold, electricity, fire, or sonic. Energy immunity absorbs only hit point damage, so the recipient could still suffer side effects such as drowning in acid, being deafened by a sonic attack, or becoming immobilized in ice (and thus helpless).
Energy immunity overlaps protection from energy and resist energy. As long as energy immunity is in effect, the other spells absorb no damage.

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Energy Immunity
(Complete Arcane, p. 105)

This abjuration grants a creature and its equipment complete protection against damage from one of the five energy types—acid, cold, electricity, fire, or sonic. Energy immunity absorbs only damage, so the recipient could still suffer side effects such as drowning in acid, being deafened by a sonic attack, or becoming immobilized in ice.
Note: Energy immunity overlaps protection from energy and resist energy. So long as energy immunity is in effect, the other spells absorb no damage.

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Energy Immunity
(Draconomicon, p. 113)

This abjuration grants a creature complete protection against damage from whichever one of five energy types you select: acid, cold, electricity, fire, or sonic. The spell protects the recipient's equipment as well.
Energy immunity absorbs only damage. The recipient could still suffer unfortunate side effects, such as drowning in acid (since drowning results from a lack of oxygen), being deafened by a sonic attack, or becoming encased in ice.
The effect of this spell does not stack with similar effects, such as resist energy and protection from energy, that protect against the same energy type. If a character is warded with energy immunity (fire) and is also receiving resistance to fire from one or more of the other spells, the energy immunity makes the other spells irrelevant. However, it is possible to be simultaneously under the effect of energy immunity (fire) and resist energy (electricity), or any other two such spells that protect against different types of energy.

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Energy Immunity
(Tome and Blood: A Guidebook to Wizards and Sorcerers)

This abjuration grants a creature complete protection against damage from whichever one of five energy types you select: acid, cold, electricity, fire, or sonic.
The spell protects the recipient's equipment as well.
Energy immunity absorbs only damage.
The recipient could still suffer unfortunate side effects, such as drowning in acid (since drowning damage results fromthe lack of oxygen), being deafened by a sonic attack, or becoming encased in ice.
Note: Energy immunity overlaps (and does not stack with) endure elements, resist elements, and protection from elements.
If a character is warded with energy immunity and one or more of the other spells, the energy immunity spell makes the others irrelevant.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2015, 01:49:47 PM by faeryn »

Offline Ice9

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Re: Multi-Energy Immunity and Spell Stacking
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2015, 02:55:28 PM »
Well that's a bit confusing.  The Draconomicon version explicitly does allowing combining it with Resist for a different energy type, and suggests (but not explicitly) combining with itself for a different energy type.  But then the CA and SC versions not only don't suggest that, they arguably prohibit combining Energy Immunity (fire) with Resist Energy (electricity).  Which doesn't make a lot of sense, and the mention of "absorb no damage" makes me wonder if they're just trying to say that Protection from Energy wouldn't get its pool depleted, but RAW it does appear to prohibit any combination.

Offline faeryn

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Re: Multi-Energy Immunity and Spell Stacking
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2015, 04:05:27 PM »
Well that's a bit confusing.  The Draconomicon version explicitly does allowing combining it with Resist for a different energy type, and suggests (but not explicitly) combining with itself for a different energy type.  But then the CA and SC versions not only don't suggest that, they arguably prohibit combining Energy Immunity (fire) with Resist Energy (electricity).  Which doesn't make a lot of sense, and the mention of "absorb no damage" makes me wonder if they're just trying to say that Protection from Energy wouldn't get its pool depleted, but RAW it does appear to prohibit any combination.

There is no such suggestion of combining with itself for a different energy type... it states "any other two such spells that protect against different types of energy" which is pretty cut and dry that the additional energy resist/immunity must come from a separate source, not the same spell.

Offline Eldritch_Lord

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Re: Multi-Energy Immunity and Spell Stacking
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2015, 05:46:12 PM »
The answer I've commonly seen is that the most recent one will be the only one in effect.

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.

This is the main reason given... additionally there are spells that have a line in their description specifically to override this rule, whereas Energy Immunity does not.

I don't think that particular stacking rule is meant to apply to things like energy immunity.  The SRD leaves out an important clarifying example from the PHB:

Quote from: PHB, p.172
Same Effect with Differing Results: The same spell can sometimes produce varying effects if applied to the same recipient more than once. For example, a series of polymorph spells might turn a creature into a mouse, a lion, and then a snail. In this case, 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.

Emphasis mine.  The example makes it clear that when the rules talk about one effect "trumping" the other they mean a scenario where the second spell actually cannot combine with the former (i.e. you can't polymorph into a mouse-lion-snail hybrid by casting multiple polymorphs in sequence), and when it talks about effects "becoming irrelevant" it means things like polymorphing into a lion turns you into a lion no matter what form you had before rather than a hybrid of a lion and your previous form.  Multiple energy immunities aren't incompatible with each other in that way, since it's perfectly fine to have multiple immunities at once, so this stacking rule would not apply to it, and thus it wouldn't need to have any clarifying text overriding anything.

Likewise, it doesn't hit any of the other no-stacking clauses: it doesn't grant a bonus or penalty, named or otherwise; energy immunity (fire) doesn't grant a "stronger immunity" (whatever that would mean) than energy immunity (cold) (and the example makes it clear it's talking about things like a -4 Str penalty vs. a -6 Str penalty, the exact same effect); neither renders the other irrelevant, since as mentioned multiple immunities are entirely possible.

As far as I can tell, you should be able to benefit from two, three, or more energy immunity spells protecting against different energy types.

Offline phaedrusxy

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Re: Multi-Energy Immunity and Spell Stacking
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2015, 07:08:06 PM »
I've always agreed with Eldritch Lord's interpretation, and think he backed it up fairly well with his reading of the rules.
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Offline faeryn

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Re: Multi-Energy Immunity and Spell Stacking
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2015, 10:56:13 PM »
Personally I would like to think you can stack them... but my view on if it's allowed my have been skewed a bit by playing with a group that does not allow it due to it being from the same source... literally every time someone tries to stack an effect of any kind from a repeat application of a spell or item or whatever... we get ruled against as "same source doesn't stack" unless the spell or effect specifically states that it stacks with itself... Infact Energy Immunity was one such effect that was specifically denied as "same source" by the DM...
« Last Edit: March 31, 2015, 10:57:55 PM by faeryn »

Offline phaedrusxy

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Re: Multi-Energy Immunity and Spell Stacking
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2015, 09:50:53 AM »
Personally I would like to think you can stack them... but my view on if it's allowed my have been skewed a bit by playing with a group that does not allow it due to it being from the same source... literally every time someone tries to stack an effect of any kind from a repeat application of a spell or item or whatever... we get ruled against as "same source doesn't stack" unless the spell or effect specifically states that it stacks with itself... Infact Energy Immunity was one such effect that was specifically denied as "same source" by the DM...
I can certainly understand why the DM might rule as such for balance purposes, particularly since the rules are ambiguous enough to go either way. If it really bothers you, you could be a psion. Their energy effects protect against everything at once. :P It's one of the few things that psionics are better than magic at.
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Offline PlzBreakMyCampaign

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Re: Multi-Energy Immunity and Spell Stacking
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2015, 12:56:15 AM »
I always thought that when you have options for spells and recast it, you can gain both benefits at once.

Obviously if you try for the same benefit, then the first rule nixes that (bonus is the same).
The bonus "name" is likely the same or simply doesn't apply since immunities are binary.
The third rule doesn't apply because, again, the benefit is binary.
The fourth and fifth rules doesn't apply well but they are basically the same thing. "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." Turning from a mouse into a dragon changes your form. You have to lose being a mouse to be a dragon. Otherwise you won't be a dragon. So if you get dispelled you don't go back to being a mouse. Extra immunities, however do not make previous ones irrelevant. It doesn't seem like this rule applies either.

Since none of those 5 rules apply, the default seems to be "Spells or magical effects usually work as described, no matter how many other spells or magical effects happen to be operating in the same area or on the same recipient." Therefore you don't lose the first immunity when you gain the second, even if it is another casting of the same kind of spell (but with a different energy type choice).

Thoughts?