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So I just made level 10 with my paladin and got the added feature "Aura of Courage." I understand that currently I and anyone within 10 ft of me will be immune to the frightened condition. My question then:
If one of my allies is currently frightened and runs into my Aura, do they lose their frightened condition automatically? Or would they just pass through and keep running around?

I'm interested in RAW and what other DMs have ruled here.

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Rules As Intended are that the Condition is Suspended

Jeremy Crawford answered this question about Aura of Devotion that has the same type of wording problem.

Aura of Courage:

[Y]ou and friendly creatures within 10 feet of you can’t be frightened while you are conscious.

Aura of Devotion:

[Y]ou and friendly creatures within 10 feet of you can't be charmed while you are conscious.

Jeremy's Ruling:

RAW is unclear. RAI is that [the condtition] is precluded/suspended while you're in the aura.

https://twitter.com/JeremyECrawford/status/722860204459630592

This ruling would strongly imply the RAI are that the conditions are suspended, but not removed by entering the aura.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Blast, there goes my high-speed paladin charm/fear clearing monorail idea. \$\endgroup\$ – Yakk May 18 '17 at 22:12
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The RAW, as others have mentioned, is vague. I would rule that a frightened ally would lose the frightened condition immediately within 10' of the Paladin (and, indeed when initially frightened, might specifically head for the Paladin as a safe-feeling haven) but the "clock" would still be ticking, and he would regain the frightened condition if separated from the Paladin by more than 10' before the phenomenon that caused the frightened condition ends.

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According to the effect on page 85 of PHB: "they can't be frightened while you are conscious."

If you are conscious and they are within 10 feet of you, they cannot be affected by the frightened condition. If they are outside of that range, they can be. So it acts as a suppressor, not a dispeller. The condition is still active on the creature, but the creature does not suffer its effects. However, it would still get a saving throw against being frightened, where applicable.

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Aura of Courage

Starting at 10th level, you and friendly creatures within 10 feet of you can’t be frightened while you are conscious.

RAW on this one is vague and open to interpretation. Since it doesn't directly address the a scenario you are suggesting, I think it would be safe to apply the "can't be" to anyone within 10 feet. As in, "Am I still frightened? No, I can't be".

I could also see it as the "can't be" being interpreted as can't receive the frightened condition if you were within 10 feet when the effect began. If ruled this way, you may be asked by a DM to make a save (perhaps even immediately) with advantage against the condition you received outside of the 10 foot radius.

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I disagree that RAW is vague; it seems quite clear. The feature says:

You and friendly creatures within 10 feet of you can’t be Frightened while you are conscious.

It doesn't say "can't be affected by the Frightened condition".

A condition is either on you or not. If you have a condition, and then encounter a state where you can't have that condition, then you don't have that condition anymore.

The easiest analogy is to look at a condition describing a physical state. If you're prone, and then the rules say you "can't be prone", then you're not prone. You won't fall prone just because the prohibition effect ends.

The exception is where you're under an effect that applies a condition regularly/continually. For example, if an enemy puts an effect on you that says "for the rest of the encounter, you're Frightened as long as you're holding a weapon" then that effect will continue, even while you can't be affected by its consequences.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm of two minds on this answer. I think it's pretty solid but the prone example is bothering me because context can be important. After all, we're dealing with magic here. If a character is under the effect of something that causes it to be frightened and that effect is suppressed but not eliminated, then wouldn't it be reasonable to say that the fear returns after the suppressing effect is removed? Likewise, if something is causing a character to stand up and that effect ends, I don't think it's unreasonable for the character to fall prone. They might not have been ready to keep their feet. \$\endgroup\$ – Rykara Jul 8 at 5:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Rykara I think we're agreed - if some other effect is continuisly applying the frightened condition (or prone), then it'll take effect again once the prevention is gone. If somebody has a gravity aura and I have a "no-prone" aura, then you'll fall over if mine goes away. But if somebody tries to trip you over and my aura negates it, or you're already prone and entering my aura lifts you up, you won't collapse just by leaving my aura. In 5E, most things that cause fright are instantaneous events, rather than continuous effects. \$\endgroup\$ – Samthere Jul 24 at 10:48
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Actually, the RAW are quite clear - if one remembers that rules in 5e are either fluff (simply to show intention, I suppose) or a direct statement invoking game mechanics.

"...you and friendly creatures within 10 feet of you can't be frightened while you are conscious."

This is clearly not the former, so must be taken as statement invoking game mechanics. The only direct game-mechanics relevancy of the word "frightened" is the condition called "frightened". It can not refer to the event of acquiring the frightened condition because it does not say "...can't acquire the frightened condition...", nor "...can't become frightened...". It says "be", not "become". Thus, view it like this:

if { distance(X.pos(), Paladin_A.pos()) <= 10' && status(X,Paladin_A) >= FRIENDLY && Paladin_A.condition.conscious() && Paladin_A.level() >= 10 } { if { X.condition.frightened() } { X.condition.frightened(NOT); } }

Clearly, beyond any doubt, it is impossible for friendly creatures in the aura of courage to have the frightened condition. There is no ambiguity here. However, once they leave the aura, can the frightened condition return? It certainly could - the Aura rules do not say it can not. That becomes up to the DM.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Hi Rules_lawyer and welcome to the RPGSE! I think your interpretation is very solid but the use of JavaScript probably doesn't help in the way you might assume. It's a bit much to expect readers to know how to read JavaScript's syntax. Is it possible to reword that bit in a way that makes it more universally approachable? I think it would make your argument stronger. \$\endgroup\$ – Rykara Jul 8 at 5:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ This question and answer seems to contradict the premise of this answer. \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas Markov Jul 29 at 1:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Rykara Its not Javascript - its meant to be pseudocode. In any case, it simply serves to restate a rule as a procedure. Its fine as it is, and needs no modification. \$\endgroup\$ – Rules_lawyer Aug 1 at 9:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov The Paladin Aura of Courage is not a spell. However, even if it were, so what? I'm sure I could easily find no end of contradictory statements if I spent time searching the internet for such. The fact remains that text for an ability, feature, spell, etc often contain statements that even if taken as fact, have no objective interface with existing game mechanics. \$\endgroup\$ – Rules_lawyer Aug 1 at 9:09

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