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5E A Simple Spell-less Ranger Option

Ath-kethin

Adventurer
I'm a backer for the current Talislanta: The Savage Land campaign on Kickstarter; I remember the Talislanta ads in Dragon Magazine back in the day, and since I run a pretty savage-era campaign I figured there could be some stuff I could loot.

As part of the teaser for the 5e version of the book they're putting together, they listed a campaign option where classes were restricted, and of course one of the restrictions was on the Ranger. The modifications were listed as follows:

Rangers in this variation can’t cast spells. They don’t get the Spellcasting Trait. In exchange for this loss they have proficiency with Strength, Dexterity, Constitution and Wisdom saving throws. They also get a second Extra Attack at 11th Level and at 3rd, 6th, 9th and 12th Level they get Expertise (as a Rogue) with the skill of their choice from the following list - Animal Handling, Athletics, Medicine, Nature, Perception, Stealth, Survival.

To my eye, this arrangement solves every Ranger issue I had. I know this subject has been beaten to death here on EN World, but I'm curious as to whether anybody else sees any pitfalls here that I don't.

Edit: Actually, I do see one pitfall: hunter's mark should become a class ability too. Anything else?
 

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Saelorn

Hero
Edit: Actually, I do see one pitfall: hunter's mark should become a class ability too. Anything else?
That's the trade-off. That's why the extra saves and extra Extra Attack and Expertise aren't over-powered. If you weren't giving up Hunter's Mark, then this variant would be way too good.
 

Xeviat

Adventurer
Your changes net a ranger with lower damage than a rogue or a fighter, but pretty robust defenses and a little more skill diversity than a rogue. Is that what you want?


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Staccat0

First Post
Hrm.... I like the saves. Feels like Rangers are "survivors"
In this iteration.

Personally I don't care about the spallcsting though. I play as a ranger and I just narrate the spells as something other than spells.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Hrm.... I like the saves. Feels like Rangers are "survivors"
In this iteration.

Personally I don't care about the spallcsting though. I play as a ranger and I just narrate the spells as something other than spells.
Me too, and I like my rangers magical, because IMO DnD nature IS magical. But many Ranger spells are easily viewed as skill, and many others as little rituals that call upon the inherent magic of the wilds.

It helps that I almost always handwave components.
 

Personally I don't like this variant at all. It takes away the most flexible ability of the class and replaces it with the possibly the most dull bonuses (at this point only bonus HP are missing). This overall significantly reduces the complexity of the class, which maybe could be a purpose of its own, but at least I wouldn't be interested in playing this character. I would instead expect a reasonably similar level of complexity and flexibility to the original Ranger.

Also I like that only the Fighter gets more than 1 extra attack, so I wouldn't give that to anyone else. More generally, while it might be tempting to simplify the design work by using basic (but dull) boosts or by stealing abilities from other classes, ultimately it just makes the Ranger class less interesting. Not to mention that IMHO designing spell-less Ranger variants has become pretty much a hobby of its own, so if you're doing this for the fun of designing stuff, then you'll probably have more fun in seeking something new and unique.

Personally I don't care about the spallcsting though. I play as a ranger and I just narrate the spells as something other than spells.
Always been the best way to go in all editions.
 

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