5
\$\begingroup\$

The UA Oath of Treachery paladin (from Unearthed Arcana: Paladin) gets the Aura of Treachery feature at 7th level, which gives them this benefit (in addition to another one, Treacherous Strike):

Cull the Herd. You have advantage on melee attack rolls against any creature that has one or more of its allies within 5 feet of it.

It does not specify for how long this 'advantage' lasts. Its wording, unlike Treacherous Strike, does not imply any exact limit on the number of times that one may utilise this ability - only a condition in which the advantage takes place.

The "you may use this ability up to three times per short rest" that comes immediately after Treacherous Strike also seems to support that Treacherous Strike is, by RAW, limited in its usage, which is further reinforced by Treacherous Strike's own text.

Thus I believe that Cull the Herd doesn't have a limit on the number of uses it has by RAW, but am wondering whether or not this interpretation is correct.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ My review of the Oath of Treachery which I sent to WoC was a long rant about the oxymoronic name. \$\endgroup\$ – Slagmoth Jul 5 at 3:53
6
\$\begingroup\$

Cull the Herd applies to every attack as long as the conditions are met

The ability doesn't specify how long the advantage lasts because it doesn't have a duration or a limited number of uses. Each time you make an attack, if the conditions are met at the instant you make the attack, then the ability applies and you have advantage for that attack.

\$\endgroup\$
4
\$\begingroup\$

As Ryan Thompson has pointed out in his answer, this ability does not specify any limits or other prerequisites other than that your target has "one or more of its allies within 5 feet of it." This means that every turn, you gain advantage against such creatures.

This is in line with a paladin's level 7 feature. Most other paladins gain a passive aura that affects themselves (and often others) all of the time, such as a Devotion paladin's "Aura of Devotion", which is an always-on immunity to charm, or an Oathbreaker's "Aura of Hate", which gives you a passive bonus to damage equal to your CHA modifier every time you hit.

As for whether gaining advantage every turn is strong, remember that a Barbarian can do this at level 2 with "Reckless Attack", although it does come with the drawback of enemies having advantage against you too, but then a Barbarian doesn't need specific requirements to be met like the Cull the Herd ability. In practice, the Cull the Herd ability will only apply when you have clusters of enemies, so if they spread out, or if you're fighting one big enemy, this won't help in those scenarios.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ I appreciate this look at the rationale for why this ability is more or less "balanced" - would you say it's a similar ability to Sneak Attack, considering how that's activated by an enemy's proximity to a creature that isn't its ally? \$\endgroup\$ – recognizer Jul 8 at 19:31

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.