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My DM said that aura debuffs are not "conditions" which is what the maneuver sanguine perfection protects against temporarily or negates depending on duration.

He says this is because conditions are as if you are actually feeling like a coward or fearful, while an aura is not and is more like an "artificial" fear that you don't actually feel. I'm not too sure if this is his house rule or what, but it feels off to me.

Are aura debuffs like aura of cowardice and aura of despair affected by the maneuver sanguine perfection?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan Does the site need or already have a tag for Path of War-style material? I couldn't find a generic tag for martial maneuvers or whatever, and it seemed very strange to use the Tome of Battle tag. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 6, 2017 at 9:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ There are many auras which do apply conditions (like a dragon's Frightful Presence) and that initially confused me because I didn't bother looking up the abilities called out in the question. Maybe this needs rewording to clarify it's about a specific subset of aura-type abilities, because there are absolutely auras which impose conditions which would be affected by Sanguine Perfection. \$\endgroup\$
    – Carcer
    Commented Aug 6, 2017 at 11:45

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The GM is right…

…But maybe for the wrong reasons.

The Scarlet Throne maneuver sanguine perfection renders the initiator immune to the following conditions: blinded, confused, cowering, dazed, dazzled, deafened, disabled, dying, energy drained, exhausted, fascinated, fatigued, frightened, helpless, nauseated, panicked, paralyzed, petrified, shaken, sickened, staggered, stunned, or unconscious. Conditions are specific, real things that interact with other effects mechanically. If an effect does not create one of these conditions, the effect is unaffected by the maneuver.

That is, even if an effect grants bonuses or penalties identical to a condition or causes the creature to benefit or suffer in ways identical to a condition, if the effect does not call what it creates one of these conditions, the maneuver sanguine perfection can't do anything to it.

For example, an antipaladin's supernatural ability aura of cowardice causes the antipaladin to emanate

a palpably daunting aura that causes all enemies within 10 feet to take a −4 penalty on saving throws against fear effects. Creatures that are normally immune to fear lose that immunity while within 10 feet of an antipaladin with this ability. This ability functions only while the antipaladin remains conscious, not if he is unconscious or dead.

The supernatural ability aura of cowardice does not cause a creature affected by the aura to gain any of the conditions listed in the description of the maneuver sanguine perfection, so the maneuver is of no help against the aura.

Similarly, the antipaladin's supernatural ability aura of despair says that "enemies within 10 feet of an antipaladin take a –2 penalty on all saving throws." This also does not cause a creature affected by it to gain any of the listed conditions so the maneuver sanguine perfection is of no help against this aura.

Other auras must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, but, generally, only if the aura applies an actual listed condition to the initiator will the maneuver sanguine perfection be of assistance against the aura's effect.

Finally, I'm not sure what the GM means when "[h]e says [auras are unaffected] because conditions are as if you are actually feeling like a coward or fearful, while an aura is not and is more like an 'artificial' fear that you don't actually feel." My guess is that the GM was attempting to explain the difference between conditions (many of which are affected by the maneuver sanguine perfection) and just gaining penalties without any accompanying conditions (which are not affected by the maneuver sanguine perfection) and something got lost along the way.

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