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The feature says

14th-level Path of the Beast feature The beast within you grows so powerful that you can spread its ferocity to others and gain resilience from them joining your hunt. When you enter your rage, you can choose a number of other willing creatures you can see within 30 feet of you equal to your Constitution modifier (minimum of one creature). You gain 5 temporary hit points for each creature that accepts this feature. Until the rage ends, the chosen creatures can each use the following benefit once on each of their turns: when the creature hits a target with an attack roll and deals damage to it, the creature can roll a d6 and gain a bonus to the damage equal to the number rolled. You can use this feature a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus, and you regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.

emphasis mine

This seems somewhat avoidable by having familiars, followers, or the infamous bag of rats, my usual solution to the bag of rats is to just say no, but this feature is already limited by the PC's Constitution modifier, why limit it further with the number of other willing creatures? This limitation seems unnecessary to me.

So what do you think, should I hand wave it? Why? Why not?

Would it be too good if I hand waved the second restriction? Does keeping it contribute anything to the game, or the player's decision making?

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    \$\begingroup\$ It is not clear to me what is the problem: are you asking why the multiplier is equal to the number of creatures or are you asking if it is balanced to just give 5x(Con mod)? \$\endgroup\$
    – Eddymage
    Jun 4, 2023 at 14:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Eddymage I'm asking if it's a good idea to give 5x CON mod regardless of the number of creatures \$\endgroup\$ Jun 4, 2023 at 19:10

1 Answer 1

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In the end it's flavor

With this feature the barbarian draws strength from the hunting pack/party they are leading (like an alpha wolf) and the party is buffed by the leadership of the barbarian. The flavor here is that 'bigger pack' = 'more power'.

The temp HP are capped at 5 x 5 (or 7 x 5 at level 20), which your typical party will just naturally reach most of the time. I don't think it would be unbalanced to allow the maximum amount of temp HP regardless of party size, but it would detract from the flavor of the subclass.

Some additional thoughts:

  • Imo 'bag of rats' would not work because the creature must be both willing and able to accept.
  • Imo the feature is wasted on rats anyway because the best part of it is free bonus damage for the rest of the party. 25-35 temp hp is really mediocre for a level 14+ barbarian with a health pool of 200+ hp
  • This feature does seem to have a weird amount of overlapping, somewhat redundant restrictions. It is limited by number of rages, proficiency bonus, CON mod and number of allies
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  • \$\begingroup\$ You hit all the points I would have made, except I would have also mentioned that familiars can't attack. +1. Your answer would be improved by, instead of simply saying that it is your opinion that rats can't be willing, reading up a bit on what willing means and going into a little more detail about why they can't or normally won't be. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Jun 4, 2023 at 15:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ On that last point, I feel that points to poor editing, which I already felt from the wording of the thing. This feature is often phrased in a sort of roundabout, quasi-gygaxian style. "when the creature hits a target with an attack roll and deals damage to it, the creature can roll a d6 and gain a bonus to the damage equal to the number rolled"? Like why did it not just say "when the creature hits with an attack, it may add 1d6 to the damage dealt"? It's super wordy for no real purpose. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 4, 2023 at 17:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DarthPseudonym I'm not surprised considering this is the same company that made a table for Ki instead of saying "you have a number of Ki points equal to your Monk Level" \$\endgroup\$ Jun 4, 2023 at 19:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Slaves_of_the_Coast thanks for the input, that makes sense, except a 14th level barbarian will have 173 HP, and 25 HP is worth 40 with rage, but I very much like the rest of your point \$\endgroup\$ Jun 4, 2023 at 19:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PeterCordes I'm not really that annoyed about "and deals damage", more at the "roll a d6 and gain a bonus etc etc" when the operation "deal 1d6 extra damage" is so common. (That said, the ruling on whether you can add extra damage to nondamaging attacks is already pretty well in the system due to e.g. sneak attack so...) \$\endgroup\$ Jun 5, 2023 at 15:32

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