D&D (2024) 2024 Player's Handbook reveal: "New Ranger"

"More than any other class, the ranger is a new class."

"More than any other class, the ranger is a new class."



It has been a year (less a day) since we last saw the Ranger in UA Playtest 6. There still could be a lot of change. My sense is that they are more or less happy with three of the subclasses (Fey Wanderer, Beastmaster, and Gloom Stalker), but many questions remain: Will anyone be happy with the favored enemy/relation to the land abilities? Will Hunter's Mark be foregrounded in multiple abilities? Will rangers at least get a free casting of the Barrage/Volley spells? For the Hunter, will the "Superior" abilties at levels 11 and 15 continue to be things you didn't choose at lower levels? For the Gloom Stalker, will they pull out 3rd level invisibility from "Umbral Sight"? Any chance for a surprise substitution of the Horizon Walker? Let's find out.

OVERVIEW
  • "widely played, but ... one of the lowest rated"
  • Spellcasting and Weapon Mastery at 1 (as with Paladin). Spellcasting can change spells after long rest (not every level)
  • NEW: Favored Enemy: Hunters Mark always prepared, and X castings per day. (was level 2 in PT6, where it was WIS times/day)
  • NEW: Fighting Style at 2 (no limits on choice). or you may choose two cantrips (again, like Paladin).
  • NEW: Deft Explorer at 3: expertise in a proficient skill, +2 languages. NO INTERACTION WITH LAND TYPES. This is a nerf from PT6, where at least you got a bonus to Intelligence (Nature) checks.
  • Extra attack at 5, Roving at 6 (+10' move, Climb Speed, Swim speed).
  • Two more expertise options, at 9, presumably. Compared to the playtest, this is a nerf: PT6 gave 1 expertise, the spell Conjure Barrage always prepared, and +2 land types for Explorer. These had problems, but it's a lot to lose for one additional expertise.
  • At 10, Tireless (as in PT6) -- THP and reduced Exhaustion.
  • NEW: At 13, Damage no longer breaks concentration with Hunter's Mark.
  • At 14, Nature's Veil -- invisibility. At 18, Blindsight.
  • NEW: At 17, advantage vs person marked with Hunter's Mark.
  • NEW: Damage of Hunter's mark increases to d10, not d6. (This too is a nerf from the playtest, which gave +WIS to hit, and +WIS to damage.)
The clear expectation is you are using Hunter's Mark, occupying your concentration and taking your first Bonus action every combat, from levels 1-20.

SUBCLASSES
Beastmaster
  • command Primal Beast as a bonus action, and higher level abilities as in PT6, apparently.
  • stat blocks level up with you (as in Tasha's and PT6). Beast gets Hunter's Mark benefits at 11.
Fey Wanderer
  • vague on specifics; apparently just as in Tasha's.
Gloom Stalker
  • as in PT6, Psychic damage bonus a limited number of times per day. +WIS to initiative (cf. Assassin and Barbarian)
  • Umbral Sight, darkvision bonus, and invisible in the dark.
  • NEW: psychic damage goes up at level 11. Mass fear option of Sudden Strike mentioned, nothing about Sudden Strike.
Hunter.
  • Hunter's Lore at 3: know if there are immunities/resistances of creature marked by Hunter's Mark.
  • NEW: Hunter's Prey at 3: you have a choice and can change your choice every short/long rest.
  • NEW: Defensive Tactics at 7: you have a choice, and again can choose after a rest. The choices are Escape the Horde, Multiattack defense (not Evasion, Uncanny Dodge, and Hunter's Leap, as in PT6).
  • NEW: At 11, Hunter's mark now "splashes" damage onto another target.
  • NEW: you can choose to take resistance to damage, until the end of your turn.
 

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Rocker26a

Explorer
Ok. Just remove those features. Done.

Don't be obtuse, I'm advocating for something better than those features.
I agree with WOTC's assessment, that if Hunter's Mark is to be Ranger's main thing (much as I disagree with that in and of itself but fine), it needs buffs. Unlike Paladin and Divine Smite. These buffs are bad and/or come too late.

Yeah. Complaning about freebies.

In what way are they "free"? You have to level into them just the same as any other feature.
In any case, "free" doesn't mean "good". WOTC aren't meeting their charity quota by including those features, they're offering things in the hopes that people want to play with them.
 
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Don't be obtuse, I'm advocating for something better than those features.
Those levels could as well be close to dead levels as you increase your spell level there.
I agree with WOTC's assessment, that if Hunter's Mark is to be Ranger's main thing (much as I disagree with that in and of itself but fine), it needs buffs. Unlike Paladin and Divine Smite. These buffs are bad and/or come too late.
I agree with "too late". They are definitely not bad.
In what way are they "free"? You have to level into them just the same as any other feature.
In any case, "free" doesn't mean "good". WOTC aren't meeting their charity quota by including those features, they're offering things in the hopes that people want to play with them.
Yeah. If you want to be sad, be sad.
 


Rocker26a

Explorer
Those levels could as well be close to dead levels as you increase your spell level there.
It is the same levels where you get the next spell level. Which are usually levels where you don't get anything.

That is correct, but it only means as much as you think it means. The playtest Ranger had features at those levels, so does this one. They don't become good just because historically they haven't been occupied.
And anyway, it's not unheard of for classes to get buffs at those levels. 5E Bard's Song of Rest goes up a tick at 13th and 17th etc.

I agree with "too late". They are definitely not bad.

I consider the late-ness part and parcel to the bad-ness. But yes, getting them way earlier would at least merit a less passionate response.

Yeah. If you want to be sad, be sad.

I'm not sad about it, I find it fun to discuss/debate/complain about. I was almost certainly never gonna play this version of the class anyway.
 

mellored

Legend
I wasn't advocating for infinite uses, only noting that they are definitely finite.
Short rest refresh would help, but I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't offer that.
2/long rest (+ 1 per short rest?) + can expend spells slots for more.

Same as the other classes.
I mean it depends. You might situationally prefer Zephyr Strike (since you are forced to choose vanilla), Pass Without Trace, Enhance Ability etc.
Nothing about having extra Hunters Mark stops you from using those.
I'm cynical personally, I doubt they'd add a bonus action to Divine Smite and remove it from Hunter's Mark. Maybe it's a full action now! Maybe it'll take your whole turn! Who can say!
I doubt it will change too.
But it is an assumption.
 

Rocker26a

Explorer
2/long rest (+ 1 per short rest?) + can expend spells slots for more.

Same as the other classes.

Sure? The difference being, features like Rage and Wild Shape remain much better than this one.

Nothing about having extra Hunters Mark stops you from using those.

No, fine, but you are encouraged to use Hunter's Mark over those other options when they pull for the same resource. Especially when/if you reach those features that are meant to encourage further reliance on Hunter's Mark.
 
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CreamCloud0

One day, I hope to actually play DnD.
No. The next.
Level 13 is access to level 4 spells. Level 17 is access to level 5 spells.

At level 5 (access to level 2 spells) they get extra attack anyway. And at level 9 they get two expertise slots IIRC. So no combat related stuff.
those 'free' castings come in as part of the power budget at level 1, that's power budget spent on a feature i wont be using.
 

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