Players in all games from simple board games to complex collectible card games are always looking for the best way to increase their advantage over the game as well as over other players.
In the TGS this is no different. However, the TGS does not allow players to gather up hundreds of bonuses to give them the best advantage in one area. There is no concept of being a ‘one trick pony’, in the TGS. Rather it is a matter of tactically gathering and using bonuses to give your character the best he or she can have in any number of situations.
The TGS allows characters to stack bonuses. This bonuses can only come from specific sources: Circumstantial (Environmental or Situational), Magical, Divine, Jinhu, Racial Traits, and of course Ability Bonuses. However, bonuses from the same source do not stack and thus the TGS always assumes that the character is going to want the greatest of available bonuses.
With this in mind, a stalwart member of the party that wears magical gauntlets of Strength (+3 Successes to Strength), a magical Chainmail of Protection (+2 Successes to Physical Defense, +20 Absorption and +10 Threshold), a large shield, a Ring of Magic (+2 Successes to Spellcraft, Resistance to Fire Based Spells), and magical Boots of Running (+3 Successes to Running, +10 to Movement) is going to be more tactically ready and have the advantage over a one trick pony that is looking for all the bonuses to be applied to only Attack Skills, Spellcraft Skills, etc.
The Art of Bonuses
As the TGS is restrictive in its stacking of bonuses, it is very open to having a number of different sources of bonuses. Most importantly there is no restriction on the number of magical items that a character can have on their person at one time. Through this, the TGS skips over the various knots of bonuses that players tend to get caught up in.
So where are all the bonuses? That’s a good question. As stated earlier bonuses come from one of seven sources
The most common bonuses that are stackable come from from Abilities so long as they come from different abilities. Bonuses to armor (natural and otherwise) are stackable, as well as bonuses from situational circumstances (higher ground, darkness or light, etc.) so long as they come different circumstances.
However, this does not mean that you cannot have a Ring of Protection (+3 to PD, +5 Natural Armor) and another Ring of Protection (+4 to PD, +5 to Natural Armor). In this example, a character would gain the benefit of +4 to their PD and +10 Natural Armor, in addition to any other armor benefits that the character may or may not have.
Rules of Bonuses
When two or more bonuses stack, they’re not cumulative and only take the greatest bonus of the two. If you stack two +1 bonuses from the same source, you only get a +1 bonus. However, a +1 bonus from a Divine Bless, and a Ring of Protection of +1 would give you +2 Success bonuses to your Physical Defense.
If you stack a +3 bonus and a +6 bonus you only get the +6 bonus. The only time this is different is when bonuses from different sources are involved at which time these bonuses always stack.
If you have two items that have a +3 Bonus to PD as well as a +10 Bonus to Movement and a +6 Bonus to PD. You would get the following stacked effects: +6 Bonus to PD and +10 Bonus to Move.
That’s about all there is. There’s not much to stacking bonuses. Just remember these rules:
Bonuses from different sources stack. Bonuses from the same source do not stack, only the largest bonus is applied.