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I am a fairly new GM and I was designing an encounter for my players. One feat that I feel was not very clear when I was creating this encounter was Blood Vengeance. Part of this feat says:

Whenever one of your allies is reduced to negative hit points or killed, you may enter a state similar to but less powerful than a barbarian's rage as a free action on your next turn. If you have the rage class feature and are already raging, your morale bonuses to Strength and Constitution increase by +2 for the duration of your rage.

Does this +2 bonus stack if multiple allies fall? It doesn't say; it just says it increases the bonus you get by two for the duration. I am curious if there is a way this should work by RAW.

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No, it doesn't stack.

Stacking

In most cases, modifiers to a given check or roll stack (combine for a cumulative effect) if they come from different sources and have different types (or no type at all), but do not stack if they have the same type or come from the same source (such as the same spell cast twice in succession).

If the modifiers to a particular roll do not stack, only the best bonus and worst penalty applies. Dodge bonuses and circumstance bonuses however, do stack with one another unless otherwise specified.

Bonuses in pathfinder never stack if they are typed, unless said so otherwise. And they certainly do not stack if they are from the same source, even if the bonus is untyped (Again, unless it says it does).

This ability says you enter a state similar to a barbarian's rage, meaning that you cannot enter this state twice for double the benefits because the ability does not say it can stack with itself.

The bonus you get on your barbarian's rage is on top of this Blood Vengeance state:

If you have the rage class feature and are already raging, your morale bonuses to Strength and Constitution increase by +2 for the duration of your rage.

Which means that Blood Vengeance increases your barbarian's rage by 2 points If it was +4 it becomes +6, if it was +6 it becomes +8, and so on.

So you are attempting to stack this Blood Vengeance state with itself multiple times, which the feat does not say you can do, therefore, you can't.

In this ability's case, the ability does grant a benefit if another ally falls while this ability is in effect:

if another ally falls before this duration ends, the weaker rage lasts for an additional 4 rounds.

Bonus

Bonuses are numerical values that are added to checks and statistical scores. Most bonuses have a type, and as a general rule, bonuses of the same type are not cumulative (do not “stack”)—only the greater bonus granted applies.

The important aspect of bonus types is that two bonuses of the same type don't generally stack. With the exception of dodge bonuses, most circumstance bonuses, and racial bonuses, only the better bonus of a given type works. Bonuses without a type always stack, unless they are from the same source.

The bonus from Blood Vengeance is not on any rolls, but a untyped bonus on your morale bonus from Rage, it increases your morale bonus. Which works exactly like enhancement bonuses to armor class, which increases either the armor bonus or the shield bonus (a +3 light shield actually grants 4 points of shield bonus), and do not stack with any other enhancement bonus (only the highest should apply). So even if you had multiple sources of this Blood Vengeance bonus, only the highest would apply.

Another example that enforces this ruling is the spell Ray of Enfeeblement. The source of this penalty is the spell, even if it is cast on the same target by multiple casters, only the highest penalty should apply.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener Ah, I see what you're getting at. Now I'm not sure, either. \$\endgroup\$ – LegendaryDude Nov 28 '16 at 21:51
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Yes and No

I disagree with ShadowKras's answer, and it depends on which part you are talking about.

If you are asking whether the "lesser rage" for someone who is not in a rage stacks, then no, it doesn't. It only increases the duration, as the feat says.

But for someone who is in a rage, it's not giving you a bonus, it's changing the bonus you already have. Therefore, the stacking rules don't apply.

The result is not:

You have a morale bonus of +4 (rage) and an untyped bonus of +2 (Blood Vengeance).

The result is:

You have a morale bonus of +6 (rage, modified by Blood Vengeance)

Therefore, you can further increase this bonus if more friends go down.

From the rules quoted above:

Stacking

In most cases, modifiers to a given check or roll stack (combine for a cumulative effect) if they come from different sources and have different types (or no type at all), but do not stack if they have the same type or come from the same source (such as the same spell cast twice in succession).

The stacking specifically says that modifiers to a roll do not stack. This is not a modifier to a roll, this is changing another modifier to a roll.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you add references and rule citing to support this? \$\endgroup\$ – Erudaki Nov 28 '16 at 19:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ What rule cite are you looking for? It says right there in the feat that "your morale bonuses [...] increase". It's not a separate bonus. \$\endgroup\$ – Kyle W Nov 28 '16 at 19:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Erudaki I added something in to support it. \$\endgroup\$ – Kyle W Nov 28 '16 at 20:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ It is modifying a morale bonus, not a check/roll. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Nov 28 '16 at 20:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ I recommend you link directly to the answer you refer to in your opening statement, as "the accepted answer" could change at some point, in which case that statement may no longer be true. \$\endgroup\$ – LegendaryDude Nov 28 '16 at 21:20
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The ability enables a character to enter a state as a free action on the following turn. Just as a raging character can't take a free action to stack a rage onto their existing rage, you can't apply this state twice for double the bonus, or thrice for triple. The state either applies or it does not. You either are raging or you are not. The lesser rage granted by this state stacks with the bonuses of a regular rage, if one is in effect, because the rage state and the lesser rage state are two different states.

Think of states like the 3 states of matter. A gas, liquid, or solid. A liquid can't be a double liquid to be twice as liquid-y.

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In what way does this not say what happens?

if another ally falls before this duration ends, the weaker rage lasts for an additional 4 rounds.

Taken from your link.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ maybe the question is actually about the +2 Str/Con bonus if you're already raging, and whether or not it stacks. Because I could see that being a powerful option for a group of orc barbarians that are all raging and getting stronger and tougher every time one of them falls. \$\endgroup\$ – gatherer818 Nov 25 '16 at 3:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ The part you are referring to ONLY talks about the weaker rage for orcs that DO NOT have an existing rage. It does not say a normal rage gets extended, only improved, and it still ends as normal. I was specifically asking about the bonus it gives to an existing rage and whether or not that stacked with further falling allies. \$\endgroup\$ – Erudaki Nov 25 '16 at 3:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ I added barbarian rage into the question more specifically based on your feedback \$\endgroup\$ – Erik Nov 25 '16 at 6:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ I see why you posted this. The question said the feat doesn't say what happens if multiple allies fall (as a general statement); but the feat does indeed say something that happens if multiple allies fall - that bit happens! I've edited it to clarify it's just asking if the +2 bonus stacks. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Nov 25 '16 at 7:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ Hey peeps, no need to be indignant about this answer—it was a proper answer before the question was edited to refocus on the +2. Just ask kindly for it to be updated instead. (Hey DaleM, care to update this now the question's been clarified?) \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Nov 25 '16 at 16:29

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