Hi everyone. Since way back in 3E, I never liked barbarians having limited uses of rage per day. I always thought rages should be limited in another way, such as by their penalties or some sort of requirement. I never liked the idea of a barbarian "deciding" to rage; it always gave me the image of a polite barbarian cleaning their monocle and saying "no, I think it's not time to rage".
D&D has kept Rage as a daily limited mechanic ever since. I don't particularly want to see it as a short rest mechanic either. Pathfinder, though, had it as a number of rounds per day, and let you toggle it on and off. That was interesting.
Pathfinder 2, though, has made it functionally unlimited:
Pathfinder 2 SRD
Barbarian Concentrate Emotion Mental
Source Core Rulebook pg. 84
Requirements You aren’t fatigued or raging.
You tap into your inner fury and begin raging. You gain a number of temporary Hit Points equal to your level plus your Constitution modifier. This frenzy lasts for 1 minute, until there are no enemies you can perceive, or until you fall unconscious, whichever comes first. You can’t voluntarily stop raging. While you are raging:
- You deal 2 additional damage with melee weapons and unarmed attacks. This additional damage is halved if your weapon or unarmed attack is agile.
- You take a –1 penalty to AC.
- You can’t use actions with the concentrate trait unless they also have the rage trait. You can Seek while raging.
For those not familiar with Pathfinder 2, "agile" is a weapon trait that makes second and third attacks in a round have a lower attack penalty; pathfinder 2 operates on a 3 action system, and multiple attacks normally have a -5 cumulative penalty. The limit on agile weapons limits them stacking that additional damage more on extra attacks and keeps them with bigger more thematic weapons.
Looking at 5E, the low level (level 1-8) +2 damage is only equal to the fighter/paladin/ranger's Duelist. It's better than Great Weapon Fighting (greatsword 8.33 vs greatsword 9 with rage, but 8.5 with greataxe), but I think that's just because Great Weapon Fighting isn't that great. Once we hit level 9, we're very close to level 11 and get into competing with 2nd Extra Attack, Improved Divine Smite, and Ranger's 11th level archetype feature. Brutal Critical at 9th isn't a huge damage boost either, unless you're getting more crit bonuses from somewhere.
But, resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage is a big benefit. Pathfinder 2's temp HP is a much smaller benefit. Weighing the barbarian's Damage Resistance against, say, the Paladin's Lay on Hands or the Fighter's Second Wind is a lot harder.
So, how would you go about changing rage to not be limited to X/day?