Pathfinder 2's Ranger Is A Magic-Free Wilderness Hunter
  • Pathfinder 2's Ranger Is A Magic-Free Wilderness Hunter


    Rangers in D&D and Pathfinder have a varied history, and range from mysterious wilderness travellers to dual-wielding magical beings; many have a preference on that spectrum, and mine falls towards the "Aragorn" end of the scale. It seems that Paizo feels similarly, because the ranger in Pathfinder 2nd Edition is magic-free (although still quite dual-wieldy).




    They describe the ranger as a hunter, first and foremost. Rangers have always had a favoured enemy; in this iteration, it's a bit more flexible. They have the Hunt Target feature, which allows them to designate a creature they can see and gain various benefits when attacking it. Other class features include:

    • Hunt Target (1st level) -- smaller penalties when multi-attacking a designated target, plus bonuses to seek and track it.
    • Trackless Step (5th level).
    • Evasion (7th level).
    • Nature's Edge (9th level) -- enemies in difficult terrain or a snare are flat-footed.
    • Wild Stride (11th level) -- ignore or minimise difficult terrain.
    • Weapon Mastery (13th level) -- weapon mastery for a group of weapons.
    • Masterful Hunter (17th level) -- augments Hunt Target, reducing the penalties further.
    • Swift Target (19th level) -- use Hunt Target as a free action.

    As always, there is a range of class feats, including Monster Hunter (if you crit when IDing a target you and your allies get +1 to hit it), and Scout's Warning (you grant your allies a +1 initiative bonus).

    Finally, rangers get an ability called Snares. These are small traps which take about a minute to set up, such as a Slowing Snare or a Freezing Snare. They are objects with a price attached, and your Crafting rank determines how many you can learn.

    I'm quite a fan of this ranger. They do note that you could create a spellcasting ranger build, but the default is this wilderness strider approach. I'm still not super-keen on small +1 bonuses, but I can live with them!

    Read more about Pathfinder 2's ranger here!
    Comments 28 Comments
    1. LuisCarlos17f's Avatar
      LuisCarlos17f -
      An ranger archetype with primal(druid) spells?

      I would like a scout, ranger + martial adept with martial maneuvers (like ones from "Tome of Battle: Book of Nine Sword" or Dreamscarred Press' "Path of War".
    1. Caliburn101's Avatar
      Caliburn101 -
      I have always loved the idea of a magic-free ranger. This looks interesting.
    1. Imaculata's Avatar
      Imaculata -
      Yep, I'm liking the magic-free ranger as well. I like the idea of snares, and I totally agree on their thoughts regarding favored enemy; everyone always picks humanoids.
    1. zztong's Avatar
      zztong -
      While I do like having a magic-less Ranger option, I'm hoping they have a variant that puts the magic back. In as much as D&D has created its own genre of fantasy, a Ranger with magic is pretty classic, to me. I've played a lot of Rangers.

      The reduced penalties from multiple attacks part of Hunt Target (and its improvements) would seem to discourage mobility, which seems important to a light fighter. Not that I think Rangers have to be light fighters. I've had several who liked to take their place in a line and who would enjoy the multiple attack aspect. I guess I'm thinking some kind of fighting style approach would be better, such that one could choose a multiple attack improvement, or something else more mobile.

      I understand why they're not happy with Favored Enemy. They did a nice job of explaining the problem. That said, there are other ways to fix Favored Enemy, so I'm surprised they scrapped it entirely. That said, retooled, it might make a nice Feat for any class. They could, for instance, say that a Ranger who spends a day on the trail of an enemy gets to apply a Favored Enemy bonus against them. You might make the bonus be flexible based on how long the Ranger has been on the trail. I dunno. The point is they had options.

      I'm surprised there isn't a Favorite Terrain feature. Perhaps they just didn't mention it. That, to me, seems like it should be an important part of a Ranger. It was a nice addition to the D&D Ranger, added by PF1e.

      EDIT: I forgot about snares. I've played a Ranger with this feature before and it wasn't frequently useful. Its a nice added ability that props up the outdoorsman aspect, but it doesn't add much tactically unless you happen to be defending something or something starts letting you place them in any terrain and in a very short amount of time. Oddly enough, putting an invisible exploding cold trap on paved ground sounds like a magical spell, which they removed.
    1. Azgulor's Avatar
      Azgulor -
      Quote Originally Posted by Caliburn101 View Post
      I have always loved the idea of a magic-free ranger. This looks interesting.
      Amen. Glad to finally have a magic-free ranger as core.
    1. Marandahir's Avatar
      Marandahir -
      So it's pretty much the 4e Ranger with Martial Practices. My Pelor, the world comes full-circle.
    1. Morrus's Avatar
      Morrus -
      Quote Originally Posted by Marandahir View Post
      So it's pretty much the 4e Ranger with Martial Practices. My Pelor, the world comes full-circle.
      Itís pretty much Aragorn.
    1. Marandahir's Avatar
      Marandahir -
      Quote Originally Posted by Morrus View Post
      Itís pretty much Aragorn.
      I don't see his Warlord or Paladin-like abilities, so I don't think that's a fair comparison. That would be like saying a Wizard class was pretty much Gandalf, when we all know he's just as much Cleric and Paladin.

      Lord of the Rings characters never fit into one specific race-class chassis in any edition of D&D. It's a lot of effort to make them "work."

      I just found it slightly ironic that this was one of the topics of countless edition wars of years past. I hope it doesn't lead to Pathfinder 1e vs Pathfinder 2e.

      This does look like a fun one in my opinion, and is a design choice 5e D&D probably should be considering if they're still thinking about further Ranger revisions. Module approach is usually good in my book, especially in a game like Pathfinder where so much is tinkerable.
    1. R_Chance's Avatar
      R_Chance -
      Quote Originally Posted by Marandahir View Post
      I don't see his Warlord or Paladin-like abilities, so I don't think that's a fair comparison. That would be like saying a Wizard class was pretty much Gandalf, when we all know he's just as much Cleric and Paladin.

      Lord of the Rings characters never fit into one specific race-class chassis in any edition of D&D. It's a lot of effort to make them "work."

      I just found it slightly ironic that this was one of the topics of countless edition wars of years past. I hope it doesn't lead to Pathfinder 1e vs Pathfinder 2e.

      This does look like a fun one in my opinion, and is a design choice 5e D&D probably should be considering if they're still thinking about further Ranger revisions. Module approach is usually good in my book, especially in a game like Pathfinder where so much is tinkerable.
      I agree that Tolkein characters are a hard fit for D&D , but...

      Aragorn's "Warlord or Paladin-like abilities" are a function of his lineage, not being a Ranger. His healing ability, the Army of the Dead, his leadership of the Western army are about his birth, not his "class" / profession. There were a number of Rangers of the North. Only one heir of Elendil. I think of him as a Ranger +.

      As for PF edition wars, that's inevitable. Someone's sacred cow always gets gored in any edition reshuffle. And inevitably some people get nasty and vocal about it.

      *edit* I like this Ranger btw. And as for Gandalf, not Human, a celestial being who accepted limits on his power to be in Middle Earth
    1. Morrus's Avatar
      Morrus -
      Quote Originally Posted by Marandahir View Post
      I don't see his Warlord or Paladin-like abilities, so I don't think that's a fair comparison.
      Fair to whom?

      Anyway, Aragornís magical abilities were because heís a magic king, not because heís a ranger.

      I say Aragorn because I mean a wilderness strider, not a divine Dunedain king. I agree he has the latter in his makeup but I was referring to his chosen profession, a ranger.
    1. Rune's Avatar
      Rune -
      Quote Originally Posted by Marandahir View Post
      I don't see his Warlord or Paladin-like abilities, so I don't think that's a fair comparison. That would be like saying a Wizard class was pretty much Gandalf, when we all know he's just as much Cleric and Paladin.

      Lord of the Rings characters never fit into one specific race-class chassis in any edition of D&D. It's a lot of effort to make them "work."
      Thatís ridiculous. Gandalf is an Aasimar Lore Bard. Obviously.
    1. doctorhook's Avatar
      doctorhook -
      Quote Originally Posted by Azgulor View Post
      Amen. Glad to finally have a magic-free ranger as core.
      You mean aside from in 2008, when the world received 4E?

      I'm kidding obviously, but I'm still kinda fascinated by the how Pathfinder 2 continues to parallel 4e and 5e.
    1. DaveMage's Avatar
      DaveMage -
      PF2 has a 4E designer on staff. It certainly seems to be showing.
    1. mellored's Avatar
      mellored -
      I still don't see why this couldn't be a fighter or rogue with a "hunter" feat. "Pick a target and get a bonus" isn't enough of to be a whole class, and why couldn't a rogue use snares?|



      IMO, there are only 3 non-magical classes.
      Knight: Master of Defense (S&B Fighter + Paladin + Warlord) . Optional holy/inspiring healing, tactics, and defensive team buffs.
      Brute: Master of Damage (2-handed Fighter + Barbarian + Avenger (4e)). Master of Damage. Optional rage, totem, and offensive team buffs.
      Ranger: Master of Range (Fighter + Ranger + Rogue). With optional arcane archer, avoidance skills, and positioning team buffs.
    1. Shasarak's Avatar
      Shasarak -
      Quote Originally Posted by Marandahir View Post
      I don't see his Warlord or Paladin-like abilities, so I don't think that's a fair comparison. That would be like saying a Wizard class was pretty much Gandalf, when we all know he's just as much Cleric and Paladin.
      I never really saw any Warlord or Paladin-like abilities in Aragorn. Certainly never saw him standing at the back telling other people to attack.
    1. Kurviak's Avatar
      Kurviak -
      Quote Originally Posted by mellored View Post
      I still don't see why this couldn't be a fighter or rogue with a "hunter" feat. "Pick a target and get a bonus" isn't enough of to be a whole class, and why couldn't a rogue use snares?|



      IMO, there are only 3 non-magical classes.
      Knight: Master of Defense (S&B Fighter + Paladin + Warlord) . Optional holy/inspiring healing, tactics, and defensive team buffs.
      Brute: Master of Damage (2-handed Fighter + Barbarian + Avenger (4e)). Master of Damage. Optional rage, totem, and offensive team buffs.
      Ranger: Master of Range (Fighter + Ranger + Rogue). With optional arcane archer, avoidance skills, and positioning team buffs.
      Because thatís not an evolutionary approach to pf. So you will alienate even more people than the current approach of keeping all classes that are in the pf1 core rule book (plus one)
    1. mellored's Avatar
      mellored -
      Quote Originally Posted by Kurviak View Post
      Because thatís not an evolutionary approach to pf. So you will alienate even more people than the current approach of keeping all classes that are in the pf1 core rule book (plus one)
      Evolution requires the underperforming branches to die off.

      Survival of the fittest is not survival of everyone +1.
    1. Kurviak's Avatar
      Kurviak -
      Quote Originally Posted by mellored View Post
      Evolution requires the underperforming branches to die off.

      Survival of the fittest is not survival of everyone +1.
      Evoluciůn of a product is not biology, itís marketing and customer service
    1. Yaarel -
      I like the nonmagic ranger.

      The ranger might gain druid spells variously, such as a ranger subclass, multiclass, or feat.

      The dual-wielding is weird. Since when do hunters dual-wield? Hunter weapons are mainly bow and spear, depending on the animal.

      That said, I get how the ranger works as a light-armor or no-armor warrior, and dual wielding can synergize with that.
    1. mellored's Avatar
      mellored -
      Quote Originally Posted by Kurviak View Post
      Evoluciůn of a product is not biology, itís marketing and customer service
      Products evolve as well. No one rides a horse to work or studies by candlelight anymore.
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