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To sustain their rage at the end of their turn, a Barbarian must have attacked a hostile creature since their last turn or must have taken damage since then. [PHB, pg. 48]

In the level 14 feature of the Primal Path of the Ancestral Guardian, "Vengeful Ancestors," the spirits called by the Barbarian's rage may do force damage to a hostile creature. Mechanically, the Barbarian is using their reaction to cause this damage. [XGtE, pg. 10]

Is the fact that the Barbarian is using their reaction to cause damage to a hostile creature enough to sustain their rage? Or is this insufficient because the damage is not being caused directly by the Barbarian?

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“If there's ever any question whether something you're doing counts as an attack, the rule is simple: if you're making an attack roll, you're making an attack.”

Vengeful Guardians does not make an attack roll therefore it’s not an attack therefore it won’t maintain rage. Of course, if you still take damage from the attack that triggered it that will maintain the rage.

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This doesn't work. Not because it's a reaction but because it's not an attack.

The barbarians Rage ability states:

Your rage lasts for 1 minute. It ends early if [...] your turn ends and you haven't attacked a hostile creature since your last turn...

Whereas Vengeful Ancestor's states:

When you use your Spirit Shield to reduce the damage of an attack, the attacker takes an amount of force damage equal to the damage that your Spirit Shield prevents.

This is not an attack. An attack is defined as having to make an attack roll (PHB, pg.194), not just dealing damage.

If it were an attack then, yes, it would sustain a barbarian's rage, but the fact that it's a reaction makes no difference. A barbarian's rage is dependent on making an attack, not what action is used to make it.

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No, it does not sustain your rage

Rage description says

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.

Vengeful Ancestor says

... the attacker takes an amount of force damage ...

You did not attack or take damage, so it does not sustain your rage.

It does not matter whether the damage is caused directly or not, because rage ends when you end your turn and you haven't attacked or taken damage since your last turn.

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