Level Up (A5E) Bear-Bonded, temp HP and rage

thuter

Explorer
Gate Pass Gazette Issue #11 added a very flavourful subclass for Berserker: Bear-Bonded (or in my head: BEARserker). I found the following issue, which I am pretty sure is an oversight.

Bear Companion (Bear-Bonded 3)
Whenever you roll initiative, and at the end of a rest, your bear companion gains temporary hit points of a number equal to your berserker level multiplied by your proficiency bonus.

Shared Rage (Bear-Bonded 3)
Also at 3rd level, whenever you enter or end a rage, your bear companion does as well on its own turn. While raging, it receives the same benefits you do (...) Your bear cannot enter a rage if it has no temporary hit points, and ends its rage if it runs out of temporary hit points.

Rage Class feature (Berserker 1)
You gain no benefit from temporary hit points.

Adding all of this together, it seems like the bear absolutely should benefit from temporary hit points, and this line was not added to the changes mentioned in Shared Rage.


EDIT:
One way of reading it would, of course, be that "receives the same benefits you do" only applies to the actual benefits of the Rage class feature, and not benefitting from temp HP is not a benefit. But, this reading does not seem fitting to me, because in the Rage Class feature all bullet points are called "benefits", including not benefitting from temp HP and not being able to cast spells (which are clearly not beneficial to a Berserker).

Rage Class feature (Berserker 1)
While raging, you gain the following benefits (...)
 
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xiphumor

Legend
Gate Pass Gazette Issue #11 added a very flavourful subclass for Berserker: Bear-Bonded (or in my head: BEARserker). I found the following issue, which I am pretty sure is an oversight.

Bear Companion (Bear-Bonded 3)
Whenever you roll initiative, and at the end of a rest, your bear companion gains temporary hit points of a number equal to your berserker level multiplied by your proficiency bonus.

Shared Rage (Bear-Bonded 3)
Also at 3rd level, whenever you enter or end a rage, your bear companion does as well on its own turn. While raging, it receives the same benefits you do (...) Your bear cannot enter a rage if it has no temporary hit points, and ends its rage if it runs out of temporary hit points.

Rage Class feature (Berserker 1)
You gain no benefit from temporary hit points.

Adding all of this together, it seems like the bear absolutely should benefit from temporary hit points, and this line was not added to the changes mentioned in Shared Rage.


EDIT:
One way of reading it would, of course, be that "receives the same benefits you do" only applies to the actual benefits of the Rage class feature, and not benefitting from temp HP is not a benefit. But, this reading does not seem fitting to me, because in the Rage Class feature all bullet points are called "benefits", including not benefitting from temp HP and not being able to cast spells (which are clearly not beneficial to a Berserker).

Rage Class feature (Berserker 1)
While raging, you gain the following benefits (...)
I’m gonna file this one under “Specific Beats General” and call it a day.
 

VenerableBede

Adventurer
Original author here. First off, thanks for your interest! I had a lot of fun with this one. (Fun fact: original name was "Bear Brother," a nod to a certain cartoon.)
Xiphumor's response is basically the way to interpret this. In the interest of word count, providing a lot of "This rule is an exception to rule X" wasn't working out very well. In an optimal world with no word counts, such language absolutely would have made things clearer.
The intention is that when you rage your bear rages as well, and it is treated as if it had your rage feature identically, except that it retains its own temporary hit points and it deals additional damage rather than gaining new temporary hit points every turn. (And the rage ends for it when it runs out of temporary hit points.)
Hope that helps clear things up.
 

thuter

Explorer
Original author here. First off, thanks for your interest! I had a lot of fun with this one. (Fun fact: original name was "Bear Brother," a nod to a certain cartoon.)
Xiphumor's response is basically the way to interpret this. In the interest of word count, providing a lot of "This rule is an exception to rule X" wasn't working out very well. In an optimal world with no word counts, such language absolutely would have made things clearer.
The intention is that when you rage your bear rages as well, and it is treated as if it had your rage feature identically, except that it retains its own temporary hit points and it deals additional damage rather than gaining new temporary hit points every turn. (And the rage ends for it when it runs out of temporary hit points.)
Hope that helps clear things up.
Thanks, that is what I assumed. About the word count: adding the line: "It can benefit from temporary hit points." to the Shared Rage subclass feature would have sufficed I think. But I am not a writer for these (though is it possible to become one?) so I wouldn't know ;)

I’m gonna file this one under “Specific Beats General” and call it a day.

The reason I didn't initially is that in a clunky way it is possible to rule it out of the box, but this is clearly not the intended way. It would mean that as soon as you start to rage, the bear loses the use of its temp HP, becoming relatively squishy in the process, but does gain the resistances from rage as typical. Since it does not benefit from temp HP, it will not lose them in a fight, making its Rage last longer in the early levels (where the temp HP gained is vastly lower than its own HP pool).

But I really prefer the version in which the bear can use temp HP. It makes it a nice balancing act for the Berserker, where you want to minimize hits on the bear, so it can remain raging, but also on yourself, since your Rage HP are building and added to the bear's damage.
 

VenerableBede

Adventurer
In answer to your question, you CAN submit to GPG and potentially get your stuff published. They announce a pitch call in this forum every few months. Strictly speaking, you don’t actually need to have anything written to pitch to them, just ideas.

I like your idea! Probably would steal it for my tables, see how it feels. (This version is a little different than the one I run.)
 

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