I’ve had in mind a character built around defensive and supernatural effects from rage, who doesn’t attack.
Towards this end, I’m using druidic avenger to actually get rage. I’ll take both Blazing Berserker (Sandstorm) and Frozen Berserker (Frostburn) to gain both fire and cold immunity, and Instantaneous Rage (Complete Warrior) to ensure I’m always raging when I need to be.
Extra Rage (Complete Warrior) is obvious.
Other defensive benefits include Ettercap Berserker (Unapproachable East) for a larger Consitution bonus, and Mad Foam Rager (Player’s Handbook II) for delaying the effects of one spell or ability used against me for a round.
Intimidating Rage (Complete Warrior) and various Intimidate optimization tricks are one non-attacking application of rage, and a likely choice here. Still, Intimidate has serious limitations, and druid isn’t a Charisma-based class (though that may matter somewhat less).
Druid spells are great, but can’t be cast while raging without cheesing my way into rage mage (Complete Warrior). So maybe totemist (Magic of Incarnum) would be thematic, and leverage the high Constitution well? Cobalt Rage (idem) is a pretty good feat, after all, and while totem rager (idem) is somewhat lackluster, totem rage certainly fits the bill pretty well. Could maybe do some weird thing where I hit sapphire hierarch too (idem)?
Having written this answer, I’m pretty familiar with other options, like frostrager’s natural armor (Frostburn) and wildrunner’s Dexterity (Races of the Wild), but those aren’t great answers here: natural armor is poor and the frostrager is a huge pain to enter, and the wildrunner’s Dexterity is largely wasted on a character that won’t be attacking with that Dexterity.
And there is stuff I technically can’t get if I go the druidic avenger route. Resilient rage (Dragon vol. 330) would be really nice, but you have to be an implacable barbarian to get it. Ferocity (Cityscape “Urban Class Features” web enhancement) is nice too, but again, technically, that’s a substitution level. Spells and wild shape more than make up for those, but it’s good to be aware of them.
So, can you recommend to me any other rage features that have substantial benefits when not attacking? Defensive benefits, non-attack offense, utility, whatever. Supernatural stuff is great.
All D&D 3.5e Wizards-published materials, as well as Dragon and Dungeon, are valid. Level must be pre-epic, but otherwise doesn’t matter, since I’ll build towards things I cannot currently take. Race and other restrictions should be mentioned, but a lot of “fluff” requirements will be waived so that should be no impediment. The key thing is the options must be
activated by raging, or active during a rage, or in some way tied to the raging status,
provide benefits even when the raging character is not attacking.
I might be convinced to back-port something from Pathfinder, but the Pathfinder barbarian, chained or unchained, as well as the rage powers, are not going to be. It has to be somethat that makes sense with the 3.5e rage, so probably a feat.
Since this answer was kind of rambling, everything mentioned in this question:
- Cityscape: ferocity (“Urban Class Features” web enhancement)
- Complete Warrior: Extra Rage, Instantaneous Rage, Intimidating Rage, rage mage
- Dragon magazine: implacable barbarian (vol. 330)
- Frostburn: Frozen Berserker, frostrager
- Magic of Incarnum: Cobalt Rage, totem rager, sapphire hierarch
- Player’s Handbook II: Mad Foam Rager
- Races of the Wild: wildrunner
- Sandstorm: Blazing Berserker
- Unapproachable East: Ettercap Berserker
- Unearthed Arcana: druidic avenger