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The feat Ironheart Aura says

While you are in any Iron Heart stance, adjacent allies gain a +2 morale bonus on saving throws. (Tome of Battle 31)

The Player's Handbook in the Glossary defines adjacent as

In a square that shares a border or a corner with a designated square. Each square is adjacent to eight other squares on the board. (302)

As a creature is its own ally, does the typical creature benefit from its own Ironheart Aura feat?

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It is not at all clear that “you are your own ally.” Tome of Battle is actually rather notorious on this point, because white raven tactics, already borderline overpowered, is well over the line if you can target yourself (and an idiot crusader breaks it, though even if you can’t two idiot crusaders alternating would break it). On the other hand, it makes sense and it seems like you should be, and the unofficial errata for Tome of Battle certainly specifies many places where you should count as your own ally.

Interestingly, I am not aware of any other books that really care one way or the other whether you are your own ally.

But ultimately, Ironheart Aura seems akin to iron guard’s glare – a benefit for allies, in an attempt to draw aggro to yourself. The “adjacent” ultimately eliminates any ambiguity for me: even if you are your own ally, you are not adjacent to yourself.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Example supporting the "you are excluded of allies" thesis: Leading the Attack (White Raven 1) => By stoking the fire of battle in your allies' heart, you inspire them to greater heroics. Or Lion's Roar (White Raven 3) => You and allies within range gain a +5 morale bonus on damage rolls for 1 round., of course I cannot seem to find examples supporting the opposite when I wish it, but some cases are indeed ambiguous. \$\endgroup\$ – Matthieu M. Jun 26 '15 at 13:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MatthieuM. Leading the attack, if I recall correctly, is usually agnostic on this point, simply because the requirements for using it mean you won’t have the actions to benefit from it while it lasts (of course, weird situations could bring it up and make this question again relevant, but Wizards often wrote for the usual case in unclear ways). And while “you and allies” in lion’s roar and elsewhere would be redundant if you are your ally, this very confusion demonstrates that redundancy is worthwhile, so that doesn’t suggest very much. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jun 26 '15 at 13:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ "I am not aware of any other books that really care one way or the other whether you are your own ally" The Player's Handbook, for one. If you don't count as your own ally, then a cleric can't get the bonus from their own Bless spell, for example. Most books care somewhere, in some way, whether people count as their own ally. \$\endgroup\$ – Matthew Najmon Sep 9 '15 at 3:20

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