Combining Spell Effects and Bless

In the PHB, bless is given as the example of spell effects not being combined (not ‘stacking’).

COMBINING MAGICAL EFFECTS The effects of different spells add together while the durations of those spells overlap. The effects of the same spell cast multiple times don’t combine, however. Instead, the most potent effect—such as the highest bonus—from those castings applies while their durations overlap. For example, if two clerics cast bless on the same target, that character gains the spell’s benefit only once; he or she doesn’t get to roll two bonus dice.

I’m with this all the way up to the final semi-colon.

I get that the target cannot benefit from two of the same spell at the same time; I don’t understand why the target doesn’t get to roll two bonus dice.

The description itself says "the most potent effect—such as the highest bonus—from those castings applies". In the specific case of bless, the bonus is variable and is determined in each instance referenced by rolling a d4. It is impossible to know which of the two effects is the more potent without rolling two dice.

The process described of taking the higher bonus but not combining the effects seems to me to dictate that a target under the effects of two bless spells would roll two bonus dice, would determine which one was higher, and then would be affected only by the higher one (not combine them). Such a procedure would fit the requirements that the spells "don’t combine", that the target gains the spell’s benefit only once, and that the most potent effect applies. To not roll two bonus dice would mean that the target was not necessarily receiving the more potent effect.

To me it seems that rolling dice is not gaining a benefit from the spell, using the bonus rolled is gaining a benefit, and that is done only once.

What am I misunderstanding?

What would be the effects of changing the duration of a round from 6 seconds to 5 seconds?

I’m introducing the following house rule:

A round lasts 5 seconds.

What would be the effects of such a house rule? Would there be any? Would this break the game?

Out of the top of my head, I cannot think of any actions/spells/mechanics that rely on the duration of a round.


Disclaimer: The original question was a bit broader and was closed twice as opinion-based/off-topic.

Does being “paralyzed” grant the effects of a rest

One of our players got paralyzed for 10 hours by a special dart (homebrew). We were in combat when he went down and were in combat when the effect wore off although they were 2 separate encounters. When he woke up in the middle of the fight we didn’t know whether the paralyzation counted as a long rest so we were unsure whether he had full hp or was still injured from before?

Would a Periapt of Proof Against Poison nullify the effects of alcohol?

The description of the Periapt of Proof Against Poison (PoPAP) says that “poisons have no effect on you. You are immune to the poisoned condition and have immunity to poison damage.”

So I’m wondering if a character could get drunk while wearing a PoPAP? There’s no “drunk” status condition in D&D 5e, but drunkenness is caused because you’ve consumed enough alcohol to poison yourself, however slightly. Also, does the wearer of the PoPAP know they’ve been poisoned? Like for instance, if someone put spider venom in their food, would they know the food was poisoned when they ate it?

My players want extra effects from their attacks. What should I do?

I’m DMing for a group of 4 players. Two of them have played a fair bit of 5e before, and two of them are new. I’m also new to DMing, though generally familiar with the rules of 5e.

One of the new players is trying to get creative in combat, which I think is great! The problem is I’m not exactly sure how I should adjudicate some of her requests in a way that won’t break the game. Some examples of what I mean:

Can I make an unarmed strike and use my talons to scratch the enemy’s eyes and blind them?

I attack them in their Achilles’ heel and cripple them so they can’t walk?

Now I know that the RAW answer is "No, you can’t try that." But that’s such a boring answer and I really hate to feel like I’m shutting down anything that isn’t just plain and simple attacks. In general, any time I say "No, you can’t do this", I feel like I’m shutting down my players fun.

Like I said, I like that she’s trying to be creative in combat, but if an unarmed strike can potentially blind an enemy, that’s incredibly strong. And if the PCs can do this to enemies, it’s fair game for enemies to do this to PCs as well. I can think of some house rules to balance it off the top of my head (Higher AC to hit a small target, enemy can make a constitution saving throw to avoid the effect, etc.) but I don’t want to worry about proper balance while we’re in the middle of a combat.

What’s a good way for me to empower my players and make them feel like they actually have these choices in combat rather than shutting them down, but without breaking the game?

Can spells with cumulative or instantaneous ongoing effects affect a creature multiple times?

In the current campaign, the levels 2 and 3 PCs want to spam foes with the 1st-level Sor/Wiz spell cause fear [necro] (PH 208) and the 1st-level Sor/Wiz spell power word pain (Races of the Dragon 116), the former so that they can corner and beat into unconsciousness the rare creature that they want to take alive and the latter so that they can perpetrate dungeonwide loot-their-corpses-after-they-die-in-4d4-rounds murder sprees.

It seems reasonable that a creature affected twice by the spell cause fear becomes frightened rather than merely staying shaken for a new, longer duration. Likewise, it seems reasonable that a creature affected by two or more power word pain spells would be in more pain—and suffer more damage—rather than the new power word pain spell’s duration overwriting the previous’s.

Nonetheless, since these aren’t, like, polymorph effects or temporary hp or anything with a specific rule, I am consumed with self-doubt and suspicious of both tactics, thinking they conflict somehow with the rules about the Same Effect More than Once in Different Strengths (cf. Player’s Handbook 172), the rules about the Same Effect with Differing Results (ibid.), or both… or another rule somewhere.

Can these kinds of spells—that have ongoing durations but either cumulative different effects or instantaneous effects—affect the same creature more than once simultaneously?

How do you distinguish between magic effects that bypass immunity and those that don’t?

This question was triggered by a question with respect to punching with Ogre Gauntlets and counting the unarmed attack as a magical attack for purposes of bypassing immunity.

Basically, it goes like this: If you have a weapon with a certain magical effect, let’s say the minor property unbreakable (can not be broken, requires special means) or temperate (no harm in temperatures between -20 to 120 F), it can bypass the immunity of something like a Werewolf because it is magical instead of mundane. This goes for any minor property because those properties are under the Magic Items portion of the DMG on pg.143.

How does this differ from a pair of gauntlets with the exact same effect being used as an improvised weapon (emphasis added for clarity) from dealing damage in the same manner to the same Werewolf? Or something that’s clearly not a weapon like a Shield of Missile Snaring being used to bash an opponent?

Does a character know the effects of a spell when they are affected by it?

I have created a custom enemy, a golem desgined to investigate new forms of magic, and my players are about to face him.

Among several other stuff, this creature has two spells called high and low arithmetics. Upon failing a saving throw, this spell deals damage each turn to whoever ends their turn on a place lower or higher than the golem, respectively.

My question is, would a character, upon taking damage the first time, know what the conditions for taking the damage would be?

I’ve seen tweet but as far as I’m concerned, that only tells them that indeed, they are victim of a spell. Is there any way for a character to figuring out the rules of a spell? (not counting deducing them by trial and error, of course). I don’t think an arcana check (as is the common rule) would be suitable in this situation since this is a spell that none of them could have ever seen/heard of since it was made by this creature.

How to temporarily enchant weapons with magic effects?

In Final Fantasy series there’s a job called Mystic Knight (a.k.a. Spell Fencer, Rune Fencer), where you can temporarily enchant your weapon with a Spell you know (from Black Mage spell table) called Spellblade.

In Final Fantasy 5 for e.g., a Spellblade takes a turn (it’s an action) and after that, those are the effects:

  • Fire/Blizzard/Thunder/Poison: 2x damage when striking an elemental weakness
  • Fira/Blizzara/Thundara: 3x damage when striking an elemental weakness

…and so on.

In practical 5e, looks a multi class of Fighter/Paladin and Wizard/Warlock. I’d like to know if there’s any way of recreating this kind of effect on 5e without Homebrew.

The only spell I found which looks like it is Magic Weapon (2nd-level transmutation, for Paladins and Wizards):

You touch a nonmagical weapon. Until the spell ends that weapon becomes a magic weapon with a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls.

You can’t add any element (nor do any extra damage based off that), only plusses. It’s a basic version of what a Mystic Knight would do. All other enchanting spells are meant for permanent enchant.

Is there any other Spell which fits this behavior in any other book other than PHB/DMG?

If not, how to Homebrew it in a balanced way? (Example: Adds 1d4 magical damage of an element? Doesn’t add but does critical damage only on who has weakness? What could be replacement for Fire/Blizzard/Thunder/Poison in 5e? etc)