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Pretty obvious dual to this question, but now for (dragonmark) spell-like abilities.

While raging, a barbarian cannot use any Charisma-, Dexterity-, or Intelligence-based skills (except for Balance, Escape Artist, Intimidate, and Ride), the Concentration skill, or any abilities that require patience or concentration, nor can he cast spells or activate magic items that require a command word, a spell trigger (such as a wand), or spell completion (such as a scroll) to function.

Spell-like abilities require concentration, though obnoxiously they don’t just come out and say it. Instead we have this:

Spell-like Abilities

[...] In all other ways, a spell-like ability functions just like a spell: [...] It is possible to make a Concentration check to use a spell-like ability defensively and avoid provoking an attack of opportunity. A spell-like ability can be disrupted just as a spell can be.

The spell-disruption mechanics are all about your concentration on the spell being disrupted, with Concentration checks made to maintain your concentration and complete the spell despite the disruption.

Dragonmarks are feats that grant spell-like abilities, and since there are a number of feats that tie dragonmarks in with action points and those are something my rage-cycling build has in great quantity, being able to cast them while raging would be very effective.

There’s an argument to be made that rage also says “He can use any feat he has except Combat Expertise, item creation feats, and metamagic feats,” immediately after the first quote above, so you can use spell-like abilities from feats. But dragonmark feats aren’t themselves spell-like; they just have the effect of granting a spell-like ability. That is, I might buy this if the dragonmarks said “This feat is a spell-like ability,” but instead they say “You gain the use of [...] one spell-like ability.” So I consider this dubious, and for the purposes of this question we’ll assume the DM doesn’t go for it.

Righteous Wrath is another one that sounds like it might help but then probably doesn’t: though it says “While raging, you retain clarity of mind unusual among barbarians,” it doesn’t go on to describe that how far that goes—and the examples it gives are all things barbarians never had any problem with in the first place. There’s no suggestion that it goes as far as allowing spell-like abilities—and at least one prestige class that requires Righteous Wrath has “You can cast this class’s spells while raging” as a specific class feature, so we can be pretty sure it doesn’t go as far as allowing spellcasting.

Finally, there’s the rage mage’s spell rage and the Rage Casting feat, which allow casting spells under certain conditions. Spell-like abilities are not spells, however, and it’s not at all clear that those features should apply here. Normally we would expect spell-like abilities to be separately listed if they were to be included. The description of spell-like abilities does say “In all other ways, a spell-like ability functions just like a spell,” but in reality this is a problematic description because there are so many ways in which spell-like abilities don’t function like spells. (It would be more accurate to say that a particular spell-like ability functions quite like the spell that it is “like,” excepting that it’s a spell-like ability with all the differences that entails.) In any event, the restrictions on both spell rage and Rage Casting make them really poor choices for my goals.

So, without making assumptions about these things being interpreted generously, does anyone know of a way to activate a (dragonmark) spell-like ability while raging? Tricks to exit the rage and re-enter it are not answers; I want to cast the spell-like ability while raging.

E6 is preferred; Epic is not allowed at all. Otherwise, any Wizards-of-the-Coast-published 3.5e materials, as well as 3.5e issues of Dragon and Dungeon, are acceptable. Third-party material, regardless of its licensing status, and homebrew material, regardless of its quality, are not acceptable (I am already aware of options that fit the bill from those categories; the point of this question is to avoid that). The form of the option doesn’t matter: feat, class feature, magic item, spell, whatever. I’d prefer not to have to multiclass for it but if that’s a way to do it, I want to know.

I’m not really looking for shenanigans; I’m hoping to find something that just says “you can use spell-like abilities in a rage,” or “you can use dragonmarks in a rage,” or something. I guess there could also be “you can concentrate in a rage” would probably get us there, or get us there in combination with forms of spellcasting during a rage, but I’d want to see the case pretty fleshed out for that because it gets into the weeds a bit.

I may accept RAW shenanigans, but only if they’re particularly air-tight and require neither DM assistance out-of-character, nor NPC assistance in-character. In short, please avoid anything that starts going “ask your DM to accept this dubious interpretation that might be there, if you squint.” Greater uses of wish and stuff like that are right out.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Huh. We've always assumed one of the differences between SLA and spells is that the former you can use while raging, just you can't make (i.e automatically fail) any concentration checks. Obviously answers coming from that frame aren't germane to the question, though. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 1, 2020 at 18:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ How far can you toss a 10 pound cube? That's how far you can cast a Stereolithographic machine while enraged. \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Dec 15, 2021 at 11:20

2 Answers 2

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Supernatural Transformation

(Savage Species (2003), p. 39)

[GENERAL]

You convert a spell-like ability to a supernatural ability.

Prerequisite: Innate spell-like ability.

Benefit: One of your innate spell-like abilities becomes a supernatural ability. It is no longer subject to spell resistance, though it can still be suppressed in an antimagic field. Using this ability does not provoke an attack of opportunity. The number of uses, if limited, does not change. The effective caster level equals your total Hit Dice or the effective caster level of the original ability, whichever is higher.

Special: You can gain this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time you take it, it applies to a new spell- like ability.

According to Eberron Campaign Setting (2004), p. 62:

Dragonmarks [...] grant their bearers innate spell-like abilities."

(emphasis mine)

This explicitly meets the prerequisite for the feat. This [General] feat is especially useful in the feat-heavy environment that is E6, since you might have several spell-like abilities that could benefit from being converted to supernatural abilities...

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  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ People are not both with dragon marks; they appear later in life. The heir of Siberys prestige class even requires that you not have a dragonmark, because Siberys marks suddenly appear on people who previously had none. And there’s a lot of text talking about using, tapping, or casting through a mark. So “innate” is far from as certain as you suggest. Nonetheless, excellent suggestion as a possible solution. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Dec 15, 2021 at 11:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Dang. I looked at the book with my 'solution' but went from memory with the Dragonmark 'fluff'. I'll fix the answer, though I still think that innate is still reasonable... \$\endgroup\$
    – Chemus
    Dec 15, 2021 at 16:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ Aaaand on looking, 'innate' is explicit in the rules/fluff. Neat. \$\endgroup\$
    – Chemus
    Dec 15, 2021 at 16:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ Good enough for me! Very nice, I’d given up hope on this. Don’t know that a feat-per-SLA is going to work for my purposes (maybe in a very long E6 campaign), but it’s nice to have an option. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Dec 15, 2021 at 16:48
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The Torque of Lucid Raging (Dungeon 126, p. 95)

This is a pretty obscure magic item that really helps out barbarians.

It costs 9000 gp, occupies the throat slot and allows a character with a rage extraordinary ability to ignore all limitations imposed by rage, including the use of any feats, skills, abilities or magic items. Honestly, I think it's extremely cheap for the effect it bestows, compared to other options, but it's probably not going to be viable in E6.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This is a vastly better answer than Supernatural Transformation except in E6, but since E6 is where I’m primarily interested in this, I’m leaving the other answer as accepted. But definitely +1, and I heartily recommend this approach for anyone whose campaign makes 9k-gp items affordable. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Jan 10 at 16:16

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