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At level 20, a Barbarian has an unlimited number of rages per long rest, meaning he can rage non-stop until he wants to sleep.

Elves can Trance instead of sleeping.

Can an elf barbarian continue his rage even when in his Transe (reactivating it every minute with a bonus action), essentially raging 24/7?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Can you think of a use case where this would even matter? \$\endgroup\$ – T.J.L. Jan 18 '18 at 16:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ Well, when raging, you're resistant to physical damage, so a surprise arrow aimed at the everraging elf would bother him slightly less ! \$\endgroup\$ – Gael L Jan 18 '18 at 16:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ @T.J.L. "I'M SO ANGRY I CAN'T EVEN SLEEP" \$\endgroup\$ – Erik Jan 18 '18 at 16:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Erik In this scenario, you're an elf... You can't sleep even when you're not angry. :) \$\endgroup\$ – T.J.L. Jan 18 '18 at 16:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ If you rage while you sleep, are you resistant to nightmares? \$\endgroup\$ – Bilkokuya Jan 19 '18 at 14:37
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No the Barbarian cannot Rage through a Trance, regardless of whether Trance would end your Rage or Not

Persistent Rage:

Beginning at 15th level, your rage is so fierce that it ends early only if you fall unconscious or if you choose to end it.

Note that Rage still has a defined end condition.

Rage:

Your rage lasts for 1 minute. It ends early if you are knocked unconscious or if your turn ends and you haven't attacked a hostile creature since your last turn or taken damage since then. You can also end your rage on your turn as a bonus action.

Since it seems unreasonable to continue using bonus actions every minute to keep raging while in a Trance, it wouldn't be possible to continue raging and trance at the same time.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jan 18 '18 at 18:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ At least they can rage while in a trance. for a minute. \$\endgroup\$ – Mindwin Jan 18 '18 at 22:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Mindwin correct. \$\endgroup\$ – Randomorph Jan 18 '18 at 23:07
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Yes, the barbarian elf can Rage through a Trance if they are able to begin the Rage before the Trance begins and maintain it through the Trance as there is no rule stating that the character can take actions or bonus actions while in a Trance. However Rage last a minute and there are no rules for taking actions within a Trance, so the default is that you can't.

Trance (PHB, 23)

Elves don’t need to sleep. Instead, they meditate deeply, remaining semiconscious, for 4 hours a day.

So no unconsciousness so no early ending of the Rage. However the Rage only lasts 1 minute into the Trance.

Then, even if you had some way of maintaining a rage longer, the following will be true:

A Trance is not a long rest: you do not have to Trance (or sleep) to gain a long rest, it can be a period of "light activity".

Long rest (PHB p.186):

A long rest is a period of extended downtime, at least 8 hours long, during which a character sleeps or performs light activity

If the rest is interrupted by a period of strenuous activity—at least 1 hour of walking, fighting, casting Spells, or similar adventuring activity —the characters must begin the rest again to gain any benefit from it.

Barbarian (PHB p.46):

For every barbarian, rage is a power that fuels not just a battle frenzy but also uncanny reflexes, resilience, and feats of strength.

Rage (PHB p.38):

In battle, you fight with primal ferocity. On your turn, you can enter a rage as a bonus action.

Rage is a period of primal ferocity, a battle frenzy which means it is by definition strenuous. Therefore if you Rage for more than one hour in total during a long rest you must start again.

To summarise:

  • RAW You can rage and perform a Trance (with the right race/class/special magic item or other abilities) for instance avoiding the exhaustion levels from not sleeping or equivalent. Crazy but true and as a House Rule in my games I would disallow it unless the player came up with a justification I have not thought of.
  • You cannot gain the benefits of a long rest if you rage for more than an hour during the long rest period, as raging is a strenuous activity.
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    \$\begingroup\$ It's a semi-silly question, but do we have proof that raging is strenuous activity for a lvl 20 Barb? \$\endgroup\$ – Ben Barden Jan 18 '18 at 17:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ Not semi. Full silly. \$\endgroup\$ – Gael L Jan 18 '18 at 18:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ Rage only lasts a minute though (Endless rage means it doesn't end early even if you don't attack or get attacked for a turn) \$\endgroup\$ – BlueMoon93 Jan 18 '18 at 18:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BlueMoon93 Fully silly question. I have updated the answer though to take into the account the misunderstanding of persistent rage and that rages only last 1 minute. I've kept the rest of the answer through a "Given you have some special way of extending the length of a Rage..." clause. \$\endgroup\$ – Protonflux Jan 19 '18 at 14:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BenBarden "rage is a power that fuels not just a battle frenzy but also uncanny reflexes, resilience, and feats of strength", how is that not strenuous by anyone's definition? In D&D if a word is not redefined or modified in meaning it means what it normally means, so a phrase like this means what it says it means and how could that be interpreted as restful? \$\endgroup\$ – Protonflux Jan 19 '18 at 14:25

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