A glutton for punsihment (beastmaster character?)
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  1. #1
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    A glutton for punsihment (beastmaster character?)

    Hello Gang,

    I am that one guy that always swims against the current. I like blade pact warlocks and all of that sort of thing. My next challenge? How can the beastmaster ranger be improved upon using the PHB and official rules only?

    Interested in feats and character choices that would make this more effective.

    Also of interest would be multiclassing with druid.

    I am not interested in world domination but rather in taking a lower tier choices (in terms of power) and making it more effective (closing the gap between it and other classes).

    Looking forward to any insights!

  2. #2
    I stumbled across this concept playing a revised ranger, and it's a bit situational but works OK, and might work for PHB ranger as well.

    Via druid or feat, get the create bonfire cantrip. At level 5, it's 2d8 damage against a dex save, which is triggered whenever one of three things happen:

    A. You cast it on a creature's space
    B. A creature enters the bonfire for the first time on a turn
    C. A creature ends it's turn on the bonfire

    Next, get a giant frog companion. Whenever a giant frog hits an enemy with an attack, that enemy is automatically grappled and restrained, against an escape DC of 11+prof on its turn. In addition to that alone being a great benefit to your party, it allows the following sequence:

    Turn 1. Attack with frog, do frog damage and restrain. Make an attack yourself, for, say, 1d8+3 from a longbow.
    Turn 2. Cast create bonfire, trigger damage. Command your frog to drag the enemy off the fire and back onto it. RAW, triggers damage from B.
    2b. On the enemy's turn, it must use its action to escape the grapple and move away or else it triggers damage from C.
    Turn 3. Make your two attacks, and move your frog to trigger bonfire damage from B and C again.

    Note that the restrained condition imposes disadvantage on dexterity saving throws, so the enemy is likely to fail the create bonfire save.

    "White room" damage averages with 16 dex and a longbow:
    Turn 1: (1d8+3) + (1d6 + 4) = 15 damage
    Turn 2: (2d8) * 3 = 27 damage
    Turn 3: (1d8+3)*2 + (2d8*2) = 33 damage

    It never quite works out that clean in reality but it's a nice little combo to try that I haven't seen posted anywhere, and I'm curious to know what y'all think.
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  3. #3
    I was playing Adventurer's League with a goblin ranger mounted on a giant frog. I bought chain shirt barding which helped with its AC. The frog's at-will restrain is amazing. Because it's not a grapple attack it's not constrained by size, and even though the saving throw is trivial, it still requires an action to stop. I still don't think the class would scale, but I love the frog + lance combo.


    FWIW, Giant Frog is not a legal companion for Ranger Revised because it has 18 hp.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by RCanine View Post
    I was playing Adventurer's League with a goblin ranger mounted on a giant frog. I bought chain shirt barding which helped with its AC. The frog's at-will restrain is amazing. Because it's not a grapple attack it's not constrained by size, and even though the saving throw is trivial, it still requires an action to stop. I still don't think the class would scale, but I love the frog + lance combo.


    FWIW, Giant Frog is not a legal companion for Ranger Revised because it has 18 hp.
    I really dig the visual and can see that would be fun, power considerations not being an issue.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Screwball13 View Post
    I stumbled across this concept playing a revised ranger, and it's a bit situational but works OK, and might work for PHB ranger as well.

    Via druid or feat, get the create bonfire cantrip. At level 5, it's 2d8 damage against a dex save, which is triggered whenever one of three things happen:

    A. You cast it on a creature's space
    B. A creature enters the bonfire for the first time on a turn
    C. A creature ends it's turn on the bonfire

    Next, get a giant frog companion. Whenever a giant frog hits an enemy with an attack, that enemy is automatically grappled and restrained, against an escape DC of 11+prof on its turn. In addition to that alone being a great benefit to your party, it allows the following sequence:

    Turn 1. Attack with frog, do frog damage and restrain. Make an attack yourself, for, say, 1d8+3 from a longbow.
    Turn 2. Cast create bonfire, trigger damage. Command your frog to drag the enemy off the fire and back onto it. RAW, triggers damage from B.
    2b. On the enemy's turn, it must use its action to escape the grapple and move away or else it triggers damage from C.
    Turn 3. Make your two attacks, and move your frog to trigger bonfire damage from B and C again.

    Note that the restrained condition imposes disadvantage on dexterity saving throws, so the enemy is likely to fail the create bonfire save.

    "White room" damage averages with 16 dex and a longbow:
    Turn 1: (1d8+3) + (1d6 + 4) = 15 damage
    Turn 2: (2d8) * 3 = 27 damage
    Turn 3: (1d8+3)*2 + (2d8*2) = 33 damage

    It never quite works out that clean in reality but it's a nice little combo to try that I haven't seen posted anywhere, and I'm curious to know what y'all think.
    As the DM I'd let that work exactly once as your companion gets its tounge badly burned & learns to avoid fire. Assuming the fire damage didn't kill the companion that is.

    After that you'd need to make some pretty hard persuasion checks to get the frog to cooperate in such a fashion again.
    (Hope you didn't think of your Cha as a dump stat....)
    Or you might be in need of a new animal companion as this one tells you where to shove it & quits.
    You'd also have a hard time getting another frog - because your ex would tell all the others about you. And word would spread.

  6. #6
    If your looking to make the most out of bad options net users work surprisingly well with giant poison snake beastmaster. Throw a net from 10 ft away (take sharpshooter or be kobold to counteract disadvantage) and since the snake has range of 10ft can attack with advantage and not be in melee. If battlefield control is more your thing take a beast with restraining attacks instead. Can have one creature double restrained or 2 different locked down for a fight. Add Restraining Strike to the mix and that enemy is never moving.
    XP Warpiglet gave XP for this post

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Warpiglet View Post
    Hello Gang,

    I am that one guy that always swims against the current. I like blade pact warlocks and all of that sort of thing. My next challenge? How can the beastmaster ranger be improved upon using the PHB and official rules only?

    Interested in feats and character choices that would make this more effective.

    Also of interest would be multiclassing with druid.

    I am not interested in world domination but rather in taking a lower tier choices (in terms of power) and making it more effective (closing the gap between it and other classes).

    Looking forward to any insights!
    A wolf riding halfling with the sentinel feat sounds pretty promising to me. Use a sword and a shield.

    Combat sequence best case pre level 5.
    1. Wolf attacks with advantage. (Due to pack tactics and you riding it).
    2. Knocks prone (part of wolf's attack, requires saving throw)
    3. Move Wolf and rider away 20ft.
    4. Enemy takes OA at Wolf, disadvantage due to being prone.
    5. Halfling attacks back with a reaction Sentinel Feat attack
    6. Enemy Stands up taking half it's movement leaving the typical enemy 15ft of movement. It now cannot reach the halfling and wolf.

    Repeat.

    At level 4 you have a good chance of getting 2 good attacks off in melee by accepting a single attack at disadvantage. Likewise you have great mobility for using a shortbow and riding around the battlefield shooting it.

    Things only get better at level 5 since you can attack along with the wolf. Level 7 get's a lot more interesting as your beast gets a lot movement abilities that only cost a bonus action.

    All in all if the wolf stays alive you are going to be one pretty frightening halfling. If it dies you can still use a shortbow and hunters mark for solid damage output.
    XP Warpiglet gave XP for this post

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