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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there are no freebies, it is using class resources, would be better to have an extra feat slot instead of forced usage of HM.
What should the ranger get on top of full caster spellcasting (except for cantrips), medium armor and shields, martial weapons and weapon mastery. And one more skill than most.

Sorry. But I don't want your idea of balance in my game. Oh yeah, lets give them a feat slot. Maybe also second wind? Because they are also a warrior? Cantrips on top? Because druidy?
And they should be good in sneaking and survival. So expertise? Maybe sneak attack?
So the ranger should just get everything? I mean, it is a RANGER.
 

Rocker26a

Explorer
What should the ranger get on top of full caster spellcasting (except for cantrips), medium armor and shields, martial weapons and weapon mastery. And one more skill than most.

Sorry. But I don't want your idea of balance in my game. Oh yeah, lets give them a feat slot. Maybe also second wind? Because they are also a warrior? Cantrips on top? Because druidy?
And they should be good in sneaking and survival. So expertise? Maybe sneak attack?
So the ranger should just get everything? I mean, it is a RANGER.

This is a very odd projection. Literally all they're advocating for in this instance, is something instead of what's meant to be the Ranger's go-to mechanic. An equal exchange.
If you think it's good, then maybe you'd concede it's worth something to give up?
 

mellored

Legend
Sure? The difference being, features like Rage and Wild Shape remain much better than this one.
A TWF Ranger with Hunter's Mark is the highest level 1 damage in the game.

4d6+3

Or the highest ranged damage of 2d6+3

How is it worse than rage?
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.
They are not pulling from the same resource. You litterally get a whole extra pool for Hunter's Mark.

I dare you to play the new ranger and see how often you can't cast Enhance Attributes because you spent all your slots on hunter mark.
 

Rocker26a

Explorer
A TWF Ranger with Hunter's Mark is the highest level 1 damage in the game.

And thank god there's only one level in this game, or I might be forced to not care!

They are not pulling from the same resource. You litterally get a whole extra pool for Hunter's Mark.

The same resource being, your concentration. We were talking about Hunter's Mark, which uses your concentration, and spells, which also use your concentration.
That being said; Again, your buffer starts at 2 castings. Assuming it follows Barbarian's trend, caps out at 6 but spend most of the game with 4 and a long rest refresh, except you can have your concentration knocked off either by damage till that one level or by other stuff, yeah you could whittle through those uses faster than you'd hope for.

I dare you to play the new ranger

You lost me, no thanks!
 

Horwath

Legend
What should the ranger get on top of full caster spellcasting (except for cantrips), medium armor and shields, martial weapons and weapon mastery. And one more skill than most.

Sorry. But I don't want your idea of balance in my game. Oh yeah, lets give them a feat slot. Maybe also second wind? Because they are also a warrior? Cantrips on top? Because druidy?
And they should be good in sneaking and survival. So expertise? Maybe sneak attack?
So the ranger should just get everything? I mean, it is a RANGER.
so what do you thing extra 1st level slots and extra 1st level spell known is worth?
 



This is a very odd projection. Literally all they're advocating for in this instance, is something instead of what's meant to be the Ranger's go-to mechanic. An equal exchange.
If you think it's good, then maybe you'd concede it's worth something to give up?
If you want. Houserule that. In my opinion: balance is good.

Some people want to make d&d a point buy game instead of a class based game. That shows here.
 

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