[3.5] Fear Aura Mechanics?

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So, I play a Dread Necromancer, which has Fear Aura, which reads that as a free action I can activate it and enemies within 5 ft of me must make a will save or become shaken.

Last night my DM ruled that if I advance on a target or initiate the attack, the aura will not affect the target (some nonsense about how since I'm threatening them they can overcome fear). This entirely negates the usefulness of the class feature. He said that it can only affect an enemy that advances on me.

Does anyone know the actual rules for this? It reads any enemy in 5 ft, which to me says "no matter how they got there".

I'm still fairly new to D&D but my understanding is that my power and my presence is terrifying. They should be afraid ESPECIALLY if I'm attacking them.

I'd love an official Wizards response on this, and how the aura should work... But what is everyone else's opinion?
You aren't going to get an "official" response anymore although there may be clarifications you DM may accept as official.

I'm going to say your DM is dense.  I mean you have an FEAR AURA about you.  I know that if you move closer to me and threaten to attack me I am probably going to feel that affect FAR MORE than if I was casually sneaking up on you if you didn't know I was there.  This isn't some effect where you are trying to avoid/penalize an opponent by appearing "non-threatening" to them but rather you are trying to prove you are some kind of threat.

Now I'll say that if I was afraid of you but then you move up to me and do nothing to harm me I may not be so afraid of you anymore but that would be a different game mechanic.
 
It really sucks that he's being so dense. He's the son of a long-time D&D'er. They basically say my aura can't apply if I approach or corner a target. They're wrong, aren't they?
Yes. They're twisting the DN's Fear Aura with the cleric's Turn Undead ability.
The Dread Necromancer's Fear Aura works more like a dragon's Frightful Presence ability, which specifically works when it's charging or attacking.
"Today's headlines and history's judgment are rarely the same. If you are too attentive to the former, you will most certainly not do the hard work of securing the latter." -Condoleezza Rice "My fellow Americans... I've just signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. Bombing begins in five minutes." - Ronald Reagan This user has been banned from you by the letters "O-R-C" and the numbers "2, 3, 4, and 6"
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56788208 wrote:
I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls

They're wrong, aren't they?

Yes

Its hard to debate them on this, because they made up a rule and are asking you to find rules countering theirs. Because they made it up, the rules don't mention it, and so don't counter it.

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

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Thanks for all the responses.  It's good to know I'm not just crazy.  As far as I can tell, auras are magical effects that my character exudes naturally...  They wouldn't become "ineffective" upon approaching someone.  The whole purpose is to approach someone and make them afraid.

Anyone have any links to material that could help resolve this? 
Do you have access to the rules compendium? I believe the book explicitly states how fear auras and frightful presence works in the section under fear ( I happen to be away from our groups copy right now, so I'm not 100% sure on that one thought).
Do you have access to the rules compendium? I believe the book explicitly states how fear auras and frightful presence works in the section under fear ( I happen to be away from our groups copy right now, so I'm not 100% sure on that one thought).

FEAR ATTACKS
When they’re not spells, fear attacks can be extraordinary,
supernatural, or spell-like, with specifi cs explained in the
ability’s description.
Fear Aura
The use of a fear aura, which is a supernatural ability, is a free
action. A fear aura is an area effect.

That's straight from the compendium.  To me that says that if the aura would have a condition it didn't work under, it would be listed in the description.  Right? 

Yup. Again, like a dragon's Frightful Presence is specified as working "when flying over, charging, or attacking".
"Today's headlines and history's judgment are rarely the same. If you are too attentive to the former, you will most certainly not do the hard work of securing the latter." -Condoleezza Rice "My fellow Americans... I've just signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. Bombing begins in five minutes." - Ronald Reagan This user has been banned from you by the letters "O-R-C" and the numbers "2, 3, 4, and 6"
User Quotes
56788208 wrote:
I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
Since it is a free action to activate it tell your DM that you do not have it turned on then when you get 5' turn it on it is kind of like someone sneaking up to you or walking up to you and scaring the **** out of by yelling BOOOOOOO. If he dose not like that tell him any dragons that your group fights, the frightful presence dose not work if the dragon goes fist. Then have everyone hold their turns to allow the dragon to go first so no-one can be effected by fear. And second last if he still will not budge punch him in the face and tell him to wake up. And last if that is still a fail have the party throw your char at him and get up and walk out of the game telling him to enjoy playing with himself but the party must do this together.