Monster Slayers from Xanathar's Guide is Van Helsing
  • Monster Slayers from Xanathar's Guide is Van Helsing


    D&D Beyond talks to WotC's Jeremy Crawford about the Monster Slayer subclass. "So the monster slayer in the ranger is a subclass that's basically all about letting you play Van Helsing. This is the Ranger who is the pro at hunting down not only creatures of the night - vampires, werewolves etc - but is also the bane of evil spellcasters. This is the Ranger who is a bit more bookish we imagine than the typical Ranger, the one who knows all sorts of interesting tidbits about different monsters and how to defeat them."



    "This subclass actually started in the Unearthed Arcana process as a fighter subclass. People responded pretty well to it but as we worked on it we really felt that the subclass would be even better as a part of the Ranger class where the class would gain access to a number of the Ranger's magical abilities, the Ranger's favored foe abilities these sorts of things that all were a natural fit for this person who is the best at hunting down these vile creatures. The the subclass itself I think is super fun; it has a number of additional spells it knows all about trapping otherworldly creatures - you know spells like magic circle, hold monster, also banishment to send fell creatures off to other planes, but probably my favorite bit in this subclass is its ability to foil a dark spellcaster's magic. Now people can already do this in the game using counterspell; this ranger can do it just using a particular class feature on top of that. It also works against other people who are trying to teleport away, so this is a this is one of the few characters in the game where if as long as the foe is is close enough this Ranger has a chance to magically foil the person's ability to suddenly teleport out of a battle and get away. Because again this is this is the Van Helsing figure who is going to stop that creature of darkness who can normally escape from others, but not from this Ranger.

    This ranger also has early-on ability and this goes back to the idea that this ranger knows potentially a little bit about every monster, the ability to discern whether a monster has damage immunities, damage resistances, condition immunities, that sort of thing, so this is then going to be the character who can help the group figure out "How do we stop this monster that has bedeviled us of our weapons' work against it?". Whereas this is this is the the character who who is more quickly going to figure out we need to use silvered weapons or we need a magical weapon or stop using fire, that kind of thing.

    Now many groups figure these sorts of things out through trial and error and then they remember them because "Oh we fought these creatures before we know they're immune to these sorts of attacks". This is the sort of character, the monster slayer, who in contrast has the potential to figure those things out upon first meeting a monster and this chance is really representing the fact that this monster slayer is assumed to have been doing studying before their adventuring and during, always learning new things about monsters.

    So as a lover of especially old Hammer horror films, and pretty much gothic horror stories of any sort, and in October I have a kind of an endless diet of those things at night given that taste of mine, this is a ranger subclass I'm particularly excited about."




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    Comments 28 Comments
    1. GarrettKP's Avatar
      GarrettKP -
      Updated list of confirmed Subclasses in this book:

      Glamour Bard

      Forge Cleric

      Dreams Druid
      Cavalier, Samurai, Arcane Archer Fighters
      Horizon Walker, Monster Slayer Rangers
      Inquisitive Rogue
      Shadow, Divine Soul Sorcerer
      Celestial Warlock
    1. PointOfIsnpiration's Avatar
      PointOfIsnpiration -
      I'm so ing happy the monster slayer is in!
    1. SmokingSkull's Avatar
      SmokingSkull -
      I'm disappointed it became a Ranger subclass, nothing wrong with it being Fighter but oh well. At least I can still play the Monster Hunter in the game I'm a part of.
    1. The-Magic-Sword's Avatar
      The-Magic-Sword -
      I love the sound of this one too, anti-teleporting sounds both powerful and flavorful- these types of monster hunters in fiction are usually also the folks who handle evil witches and wizards and the like. The two XGTE ranger subclasses are the two I want to play.

      Sent from my SM-G930V using EN World mobile app
    1. gyor's Avatar
      gyor -
      I find it funny that the being the Horizon Walker would hate the most is it's fellow XGTE Ranger Subclass Monster Slayer (from now on I'm calling it the slayer for short.)

      Why? Because the Slayer can lock the teleportation loving Horizon Walker down.
    1. Ralif Redhammer's Avatar
      Ralif Redhammer -
      Name: Van_Helsing_1931.png ► Views: 2461 ► Size: 165.5 KB

      Quote Originally Posted by Morrus View Post
      D&D Beyond talks to WotC's Jeremy Crawford about the Monster Slayer subclass. "So the monster slayer in the ranger is a subclass that's basically all about letting you play Van Helsing.
    1. IchneumonWasp's Avatar
      IchneumonWasp -
      I am so going to want to play this.
    1. Xaelvaen's Avatar
      Xaelvaen -
      If they did this right, it's exactly what I've been looking for in an upcoming campaign I'm running.
    1. Jester David's Avatar
      Jester David -
      And yet Rudolph van Richten is still presented as a cleric...
    1. gyor's Avatar
      gyor -
      Maybe because clerics are still better against undead.
    1. MonkeyWrench's Avatar
      MonkeyWrench -
      I'm playing a Monster Slayer ranger currently. Very fun and pairs perfectly with the Revised Ranger. I wanted a character that evoked Geralt of Rivia from the Witcher books/games and this subclass delivers.
    1. phantomK9's Avatar
      phantomK9 -
      Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyWrench View Post
      ..... I wanted a character that evoked Geralt of Rivia from the Witcher books/games and this subclass delivers.
      That is exactly what I was thinking when he was describing it.

      Yeah, yeah, sure sure, Van Helsing, blah, blah.....Give me a WITCHER!
    1. Chaosmancer -
      The advantages against enemy spellcasters is a new tidbit, went back to the old UA to confirm, and they didn't have a counterspell-like ability back then.

      Still, looking back over that reminded me that this was a very interesting ranger type with some really cool powers, can't wait to see the new version
    1. gyor's Avatar
      gyor -
      Quote Originally Posted by Chaosmancer View Post
      The advantages against enemy spellcasters is a new tidbit, went back to the old UA to confirm, and they didn't have a counterspell-like ability back then.

      Still, looking back over that reminded me that this was a very interesting ranger type with some really cool powers, can't wait to see the new version
      I beat it replaces their previous level 7 ability.
    1. gyor's Avatar
      gyor -
      Quote Originally Posted by phantomK9 View Post
      That is exactly what I was thinking when he was describing it.

      Yeah, yeah, sure sure, Van Helsing, blah, blah.....Give me a WITCHER!
      Damn whippersnappers, in my day we had Van Healing and we liked it!

      Besides from what I hear about the witcher, to accurately protray it would require far more nudity then the average D&D game has ;p
    1. Kobold Avenger's Avatar
      Kobold Avenger -
      Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyWrench View Post
      I'm playing a Monster Slayer ranger currently. Very fun and pairs perfectly with the Revised Ranger. I wanted a character that evoked Geralt of Rivia from the Witcher books/games and this subclass delivers.
      The Geralt in the video games (I've never read the original Polish novels or their translations) has access to Burning Hands, Thunderwave, Shield, Charm Person and whatever spell Yrrden might be equivalent to. Though houserule wise you'd just swap some spells from the Ranger list out for those ones.
    1. Leatherhead's Avatar
      Leatherhead -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jester David View Post
      And yet Rudolph van Richten is still presented as a cleric...
      When Clerics were first created, they had two things going for them:

      One, they healed people, which patched up the downtime problems that the game had. Something that also makes them the defacto "Doctors" of the D&D world.
      And Two, they were the anti-vampire character. Which also granted them abilities that were useful against other monsters and spellcasters.

      So naturally, the good doctor was presented as a Cleric, because that was as cool as a Cleric was ever going to be.

      But fear not! It seems that XGtE is doing it's damnedest to outmode the Cleric. Between the existing alternatives, this subclass, and all the other divine flavored subclasses that are looming, there will be nary a reason to ever roll up a Cleric again. Which is fair, considering that Clerics are just a hodgepodge of tentatively related ideas that somehow jelled despite of the mess.

      Quote Originally Posted by gyor View Post
      Besides from what I hear about the witcher, to accurately protray it would require far more nudity then the average D&D game has ;p
      The Witcher would get along swimmingly with Elminster.
    1. Jester David's Avatar
      Jester David -
      Quote Originally Posted by Leatherhead View Post
      When Clerics were first created, they had two things going for them:

      One, they healed people, which patched up the downtime problems that the game had. Something that also makes them the defacto "Doctors" of the D&D world.
      And Two, they were the anti-vampire character. Which also granted them abilities that were useful against other monsters and spellcasters.

      So naturally, the good doctor was presented as a Cleric, because that was as cool as a Cleric was ever going to be.

      But fear not! It seems that XGtE is doing it's damnedest to outmode the Cleric. Between the existing alternatives, this subclass, and all the other divine flavored subclasses that are looming, there will be nary a reason to ever roll up a Cleric again. Which is fair, considering that Clerics are just a hodgepodge of tentatively related ideas that somehow jelled despite of the mess.
      VanRichten was a rogue in 2e. (And the Sword & Sorcerery licensed 3e books.)
      They made him a warhammer wielding battle cleric in D&D minis. And a clerical spellcaster in 5e...
    1. Chaosmancer -
      Quote Originally Posted by Leatherhead View Post

      But fear not! It seems that XGtE is doing it's damnedest to outmode the Cleric. Between the existing alternatives, this subclass, and all the other divine flavored subclasses that are looming, there will be nary a reason to ever roll up a Cleric again. Which is fair, considering that Clerics are just a hodgepodge of tentatively related ideas that somehow jelled despite of the mess.

      With how effective I've seen clerics be in the last few games I've played, they aren't trying hard enough if they want people to never play a cleric again. They are a very powerful options at just about every level.
    1. Polyhedral Columbia's Avatar
      Polyhedral Columbia -
      Besides the usual 5e trade dress, WotC ought to print a special edition of this book, printed with the trade dress of 1e Unearthed Arcana: orange spine, 1e font, black-and-white line-drawings and all.
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