A barbarian can fly into a rage only once per encounter.

(Barbarian class description → Rage feature description)

This line is making me sad; I want to be able to end a rage and start a new one more frequently than that. Is there anything that will let me do that? Feat, magic item, class feature, racial feature, a template, whatever, anything that gets around that limitation is of interest—though I sorely doubt there will be anything.

Note D&D 3.5e has no general definition of “encounter,” it’s a purely “the DM calls ’em as they see ’em,” situation (barring Tome of Battle’s definition but that is really for its own purposes, even though many tables use it as a general definition). This does not matter to this question at all, because the point of this question is to “fly into a rage” more than once in a single encounter, not to somehow technically leave the encounter in order to restart rage. I highly doubt there is any valid answer to this question that does not involve some option that undoes the quoted rule explicitly—which is exactly what I want. I also know that this probably doesn’t exist—that’s OK too. The question can go unanswered if it does not have an answer. (An answer saying nothing exists could be fine if that can be backed up, but considering the absurd breadth of 3.5e material, that would be very difficult. I already know it probably doesn’t exist, so a negative answer would have to somehow prove that it definitely doesn’t exist.)

Any Wizards of the Coast-published, Dragon, or Dungeon D&D 3.5e material is acceptable. Third-party materials and homebrew are not.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I wonder if potion of rage/rage spell get around that cavaet (might be a GM call, the spell does say it acts the same but it's a weird restriction to impose on a spell) but I suspect you want to use your class feature so it's moot? \$\endgroup\$
    – joedragons
    Commented Jun 4, 2020 at 22:51
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @joedragons Correct. The rage spell is massively inferior for this purpose, due to its casting time (or drinking time, for a potion), and very dubious for combination with feats et al. that improve rage. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Jun 4, 2020 at 23:50

2 Answers 2


Berserker Strength ACF (PHB2 p.33) counts as rage for the purpose of interacting with any other abilities that trigger on a rage, but has different bonuses, different activation criteria, and doesn't actually inherit any rules from the barbarian classfeature.

In particular, it has no per-day or per-encounter limits, and instead activates every time you drop below a certain hp threshold, and ends every time you are unconscious, helpless, or healed above that hp threshold. So you can start a berserker episode many times in one encounter if you are damaged and healed repeatedly (or knocked out and revived repeatedly).

The above can be improved by Ettercap Berserker feat (UE p.43) or Bear Warrior PrC (CWar p.16), either of which puts a Constitution bonus back into rage's benefits (after berserker strength traded away your original one). Gaining hp due to changing Con isn't technically healing, so it doesn't end the berserk; instead you continue berserking despite having hp above the threshold.

This means that when you're in the appropriate range of health, such that your un-buffed hp would be below the threshold but your buffed hp is above, then any small amount of healing will briefly toggle berserk off, which loses your Con bonus and corresponding hp, which turns it on again. Not an infinite loop, just happens once per instance of healing. Result: less finicky managing of precise amounts of damage than berserker strength alone would need (plus you're tougher of course).

Wolverine or Badger (MM1) have a racial ability that's named "rage" and has similar benefits, but doesn't actually say that it inherits anything from the barbarian classfeature, neither rules nor interacting with other abilities. If your DM takes the dubious interpretation of making "rage" count as "rage" due to the name, but simultaneously not adopting barbarian's limitations, then this could work for you.

It activates whenever you take damage, and lasts until "your opponent is dead". Since that's phrased in the singular, I think it refers only the the creature whose attack triggered the rage, and their death doesn't have to be the end of the encounter if they had allies.

Weretouched Master (ECS) has a classfeature with the same caveats as wolverine.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Wolverine and badger (and similar abilities) are a no-go for me, but berserker strength may well be worth investigation! Will check that out, thanks, +1 for that. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented May 31, 2020 at 3:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan Other contributions in this vein make mention of the druidic avenger, and, while that gives up wild shape, wild shape from other sources isn't impossible and druid casting (or even the Use Magic Device skill!) opens up the possibility of animal rage when combined with the 4th-level druid spell enhance wild shape [trans] (SpC 82). I'm not dismissing that animal rage may be a no-go for you, but I think animal rage may be—if you turn your head and squint—pretty valid generally, especially in light of the difficulty of the ask. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 31, 2020 at 7:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan Yeah, the re-use of the word “rage” and what that means is really problematic with this. Berserker strength is really nice for explicitly saying it counts as rage for “when raging” effects. Toggling above/below the hp threshold is really tricky though, and worse, the threshold is based on barbarian level, so multiclassing is probably not a thing. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented May 31, 2020 at 13:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ With the realization that berserker’s strength is an ACF that requires merely having “rage” at “class level 1st” and is thus compatible with druidic avenger, I think I can work with this. Thanks, accepted. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Jun 10, 2020 at 12:55

Cursed items.

This would surely be a rather desperate way to start a second rage within one encounter, but you could – after your regular rage has ended – draw a sword (or other weapon), cursed berserking (DMG, p. 276)

This item appears to have the characteristics of a +2 greatsword. However, whenever the sword is used in battle, its wielder goes berserk (gaining all the benefits and drawbacks of the barbarian’s rage ability). He attacks the nearest creature and continues to fight until unconscious or dead or until no living thing remains within 30 feet. Although many see this sword as a cursed object, others see it as a boon.

It may be controversial, whether „going berserk“ counts as „a rage“ with regard to feats and other abilities but I think, the wording „gaining all the benefits and drawbacks of the barbarian’s rage ability“ suggests that it does.

I have to admit that using such a sword would be a bit, err …, hazardous. Your allies should keep distance and have some good strategy to get you out of trouble when things get totally out of control (cast Benign Transposition, maybe). But I could think of situations when drawing such a sword might be worth considering. Also, if you have Quick Draw, you don't have to spend an action before going berserk with that weapon.

It might also be an option to craft/obtain a cursed magic item based on the spell Mindless Rage (Spell Compendium, p. 142). This spell forces a creature to attack the caster. Also, ...

While under the effect of a mindless rage spell, the subject can make use of all its normal melee combat skills, abilities, and feats—either offensive or defensive. (...) An interesting side effect of mindless rage occurs when the spell affects any character or creature that has the rage ability (such as a barbarian). In these cases, the mindless rage spell automatically activates the creature's rage ability (and counts as one of the creature's uses of rage for that day).

(emphasis mine)

A magical item can be cursed in a way that it has an Opposite Effect or Target.

These cursed items malfunction, so that either they do the opposite of what the creator intended, or they target the user instead of someone else. The interesting point to keep in mind here is that these items aren’t always bad to have. (DMG, p. 272)

A DM could allow a cursed wand of Mindless Rage that forces its user to attack the target. (Downside: you would have to use a standard action to activate the wand and have enough ranks in Use Magic Devise).

Maybe one could also think of a cursed Ring of Spell Storing, which directs its stored spells onto its user instead of the intended target. If the spell Mindless Rage would be cast into such a ring, it could be used by a barbarian (but would also take a standard action).

There are no clear rules on how cursed items are created in the DMG. You need some „malicious, chaotic or insane spellcaster“ and usually have to add a Bestow Curse spell in the process of creating.

Conclusion: I don't believe these ideas are of much help, as they make your barbarian partly lose control over his actions and put him at high risks. But since you asked for anything that gets around the limitation of one rage per encounter, I gave it a go. :)

  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, definitely +1, though of course the drawbacks are likely insurmountable. I assume mindless rage’s primary effect, as opposed to the quoted side effect, is a similar kind of “lose the ability to choose the actions you take” as the berserking curse? \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Jun 10, 2020 at 12:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ You have to attack the target but not anybody near you. You can make use of all your normal melee combat skills, abilities, and feats—either offensive or defensive. And you are not rendered idiotic or suicidal. Also you´re freed from the enchantment, when you lose line of sight to the target, what can make it easier to get out of the situation. \$\endgroup\$
    – Peregrin
    Commented Jun 10, 2020 at 12:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh-ho, that’s worth including in the answer—those restrictions aren’t too bad. And there’s nothing I’m seeing that ends the rage when the enchantment ends—the side effect is described as activating a rage, not having the duration count as a rage. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Jun 10, 2020 at 12:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree with you: a rage is activated and consequently lasts as long as the rage lasts - not the spell. But this isn't totally clear. One could rule both ways, I guess ... \$\endgroup\$
    – Peregrin
    Commented Jun 10, 2020 at 14:06

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