Best idea for the Ranger's "Favored Enemy" mechanic.

CM

Adventurer
Certainly more interesting than the earlier renditions of favored enemy.

I think it would be cool if rangers could make several choices from a grab bag of class features that have been available to rangers over the years. That way those who abhor dual-wielding and others who want non-caster rangers can both have their cake.

  • Hunter's Quarry
  • Favored Enemy
  • Favored Terrain
  • Archery Specialty
  • Dual-Wield Specialty
  • Minor Druidic Spellcasting
 

log in or register to remove this ad

GSHamster

Adventurer
Personally, I'd like to see a melding of the two, a refinement: FEnemy that grants certain targeted bonuses to fighting particular creatures but also gives a suite of more generalized benefits that derived from that particular training. Ditto FEnvironment.

There is one subtlety that makes targeted bonuses undesirable. For the basic idea, it doesn't really matter how broad or narrow your enemy category is.

For example, you could have Favored Enemy: Undead and Favored Enemy: Vampire. They would be similar, but slightly different. Like maybe the Vampire package has a bonus against charm, instead of a more generic ability. But both Favored Enemy packages could be equally balanced.

But if you have a bonus against the enemy type, then the Undead package is stronger than the Vampire package, simply because Vampire is a subset of Undead, and Undead's bonus applies to vampires as well as all the other undead.
 

Gorgoroth

Banned
Banned
...

This is a great idea, but I wonder, why not go further?

Favored Enemy : Whoever I just tracked and watched from afar, or looked at their past kills, or researched their nests or hunting grounds for patterns. Think about Aragorn seeing the tracks of the hobbits escaping during the scuffle of the orcs + uruk'hai. He can imagine things, recreate them in his mind's eye...like a sherlock holmes of battle tactics against monsters or monstrous humanoids. I'd rather that was their niche, than just "humanoids", which IMO would impinge too much on the Fighter's niche. A fighter should be good against anything...but Rangers excel at killing...and not being killed by...big game monsters out in the wilds.

How the rules achieve this remains to be seen. But while this idea is VERY close to the ideal thing I'd like to see, I'd rather they just ignore entirely the racial component, and focus on a tactic to be countered. When you encounter a new monster tactic, you can learn it to apply disadvantage against their attacks (possibly even during the same combat, if you roll well), and advantage to attack them.

Rangers should excel at finding the one place in the dragon's belly where there's a missing scale, or anticipating when it's about to unleash their next breath weapon. I'd rather this be a dynamic, exciting, roll ...based on a class feature...such that as you travel, you gain benefits against enemies with which you've successfully defended yourself or have killed, such that the next time you face them, you have the upper hand. (or less of an insurmountable challenge).

I like "learn by doing" skill / combat systems, similar to EQ. In D&D, a fighter used to gain XP by killing monsters. Rangers should gain XP by killing them in one hit. To me, this means learning to crit them, or learn ways to gain advantage against them. That means, giving a way for each enemy in the monster manual a way to both grant advantage, or conditions that would cause its own attacks (or some subset thereof) to be disadvantaged, against the ranger.

A ranger's defense isn't his AC, it's finding ways to apply disadvantage against the BBEG's big hits. His offense is similarly, finding ways, through experience, training, perception, and clever deduction, of gaining himself advantage for his own attacks. He may, even, tell his buddies of his discoveries as he goes along.

Win
 

S

Sunseeker

Guest
I'm kinda pondering how big of a table that would require.

Every creature type has it's own special selection? That's a whole darn lot to remember.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Supporter
There is one subtlety that makes targeted bonuses undesirable. For the basic idea, it doesn't really matter how broad or narrow your enemy category is.

For example, you could have Favored Enemy: Undead and Favored Enemy: Vampire. They would be similar, but slightly different. Like maybe the Vampire package has a bonus against charm, instead of a more generic ability. But both Favored Enemy packages could be equally balanced.

But if you have a bonus against the enemy type, then the Undead package is stronger than the Vampire package, simply because Vampire is a subset of Undead, and Undead's bonus applies to vampires as well as all the other undead.

The solution to THAT is simple- you either have specific FE types or general FE types in the game, but not both. IOW, there would either be FE: Undead OR FE: Vampire (and FE: Ghoul and FE: Wraith, etc.), but not both within the same system.

Expanding on this: if Next is to be modular, one module of the FE rules would use general types, another expressly incompatible version would have more specific FE types.
 

Gorgoroth

Banned
Banned
but no matter

how you try and "balance" those options, it is entirely DM and campaign dependent...which makes it wierd (to me) to say you learned skirmishing tactics necessarily from fighting kobolds..

much better than favored enemy is favored terrain, or favored tactic. But even those...hard to balance. In earlier editions they made so many options for "favored enemy: humanoid (x)" that it was practically useless to pick anything but "human", meaning you can min-max based on the demographics of expected encounters. Sure, PCs can't forcibly expect that. But in an urbain campaign in a 80%-human city, you would be dumb to pick anything but "human" as your humanoid subdomain. I'd much rather you learn to spot what specific weakness the specific enemy you're righting has, or what its likely to target, than...just "I'm great at killing kobolds and others that fight like it"

Why not just the "fight like it"...instead. You should be able to learn new favored tactics as you go, after you experience them. So a high level ranger is powerful not just by having high hp, but by knowing the knacks of a whole bunch of monster types learned over the years. Stuff that gives advantage.

They made this "advantage" mechanic...they should build on it.
 

GSHamster

Adventurer
The solution to THAT is simple- you either have specific FE types or general FE types in the game, but not both. IOW, there would either be FE: Undead OR FE: Vampire (and FE: Ghoul and FE: Wraith, etc.), but not both within the same system.

Expanding on this: if Next is to be modular, one module of the FE rules would use general types, another expressly incompatible version would have more specific FE types.

You could do that. But why bother when you could just leave base system alone, have it be as broad or specific or extensible as one desires.

If the abilities are chosen well, they will already make the ranger better in combat against his favored enemy, because the ranger abilities target the tactics that the enemy uses. Like if your favored enemy is a dragon, all your favored enemy abilities will come into play when you fight a dragon.

Extra damage or a bonus to hit is a bonus on top of a bonus, and one that hurts a lot of the flexibility and balance of the idea.
 

1Mac

First Post
If you can, check out the Monster Hunter class from the 3e or PF version of the Freeport Companion from Green Ronin. It plays with basically this same idea: each favored enemy has a tree of three abilities each time you get a favored enemy ability. One neat twist is that you get scaling bonuses for each different favored enemy you have, but you also get free abilities from filling out the tree for a particular favored enemy. In other words, you get different sorts of rewards based on whether you generalize or focus on a particular enemy type. It'd have to be tweaked to accomodate the flattened math, but I like the idea that you can choose to either generalize or specialize and be just as effective in different ways.

Too many of the Monster Hunter's abilities are too specific to the particular monster type, but I've actually been working on making them work with more monster types, as well as adding favored terrain abilities along the same lines. In other words, this Orzel guy stole my idea before I ever told anyone about it, the brigand!
 
Last edited:

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Supporter
You could do that. But why bother when you could just leave base system alone, have it be as broad or specific or extensible as one desires.

Because, as I stated, I think that it would be better (mechanically & flavor-wise) with an actual FE-specific combat bonus mixed with more general bonuses that derive from that specialized training.

YMMV.
 


Voidrunner's Codex

Remove ads

Top