D&D General Druid, Ranger & Barbarian: What distinguishes the magic of the Primal classes?

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
maybe rangers don't 'summon' weapons so much but they do have a significant number of weapon oriented spells:
ensnaring strike
hail of thorns
searing strike
zephyr strike
cordon of arrows? i guess this is more setting a trap, if it counts i think the snare spell would also count?
magic weapon
conjour barrage
elemental weapon
flame arrows
lightning arrow
conjour volley
steel wind strike
swift quiver

i'm still not quite sure what exactly it is you want to make work out here?

the fact is most of the rangers ‘spells’ could be reinterpreted as just Skill use via “making traps” - especially when you realise that Snare is literally taking a minute to “ use the 30 ft cord or rope to create a circle with a 5-foot radius on a flat surface within your reach.” The ranger is literally setting a non-magical trap which she could easily cover with leaves to make it ‘disappear

Cordon of arrows is a similar trap, Barrage I’ve interpreted as the archer firing multiple arrows into the air as a free action and then another few as an action all of which hit simultaneously in a 60ft cone. Some of the rangers tricks need fantasy physics but only a couple need to be spells
 
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Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
It bugs me that Rangers, as it stands, have a source of magic that's identical to Druid, but worse
Rangers don't have the same magic as Druids.

That's the point. Ranger magic can be associated with Druids. Or Nature clerics. Or a lot of things.

Or in the case of a Fey Wanderer, ranger magic could be literally fairy magic.

Or in the Drakenwarden, be dragon magic. Magic given you by a dragon, drinking dragon blood, or siphoned of dragon scales (actually drakewarden lore)

Or in the case of a Gloomslaker, the magic could be tinted with the depths or born from the cold heartlessness of the Underdark or the darkness of dark alleyways.

Or in the case of Horizon Walker, be the magic of planes and portals. Magic taught by beneficial outsiders from the Inner and Outer Planes to keep dangerous extraplanar enemies out the Material plane. Picking up tricks from genies and angels.

The central premise is Rangers are Hunters.
They learn magic to hunt better. Ranger tend to hunt in Nature so they tend to learn from people who live in nature: druids. If their target/prey isn't in the wilderness or is resistant to natural magic, they will learn from some other source.
 

CreamCloud0

One day, I hope to actually play DnD.
Admittedly I've come to the same conclusion about Cordon of Arrows, Conjure Barrage & Volley. I think you could spin at least some of the others as being nature-y, but those 3 are a write-off in my mind. They're not very nature-y and don't fit the theme especially well beyond the superficial "Rangers stereotypically use bows". That's why 1. I refuse to use them on my Ranger characters, and 2. I was incandescent with rage when Playtest 6 made two of those class features you couldn't opt out of.
i was never advocating they were naturey, i was advocating they were weapony, and all on the ranger.
 

Rocker26a

Explorer
Rangers don't have the same magic as Druids.

But it's literally what the book says! "Thanks to their familiarity with the wilds, rangers acquire the ability to cast spells that harness nature’s power, much as a druid does." I don't say it because I think we should bow to the book's edicts all-encompassingly, but. That is what's given to us in that regard there. It's all very well talking about the subclasses, I do like them flavour wise and agree it's cool that they give variety for the Ranger's identity once you get them. But it's the core Ranger I'm trying to pin down.

The central premise is Rangers are Hunters.
They learn magic to hunt better. Ranger tend to hunt in Nature so they tend to learn from people who live in nature: druids. If their target/prey isn't in the wilderness or is resistant to natural magic, they will learn from some other source.

Sure, but like has come up before; what's special about Rangers being hunters? Anyone can be a hunter. Fighter, Rogue, etc.
 
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CreamCloud0

One day, I hope to actually play DnD.
Sure, but like has been said a bunch before; what's special about Rangers being hunters? Anyone can be a hunter. Fighter, Rogue, etc.
a fighter is a fighter, they specialise in the fight, combat in general, a rogue is a rouge, they specialise in stealth and trickery, but a ranger? they specialise in hunting and tracking and taking down specific targets, through knowledge and specialisation, surviving for days and weeks in the wild sustaing themselves possibly in unfamiliar and unfriendly environments as they seek down their prey and waiting for the perfect moment to strike, it's not about gimli and legolas slaughering orcs by the dozen at helms deep, it's about legolas tracking down the orcs and finding the hobbit's tracks leading across the battlefield into fanghorn forest

hunting and survival is the ranger's game, and those aren't the same as combat or just a few investigation checks.
 

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
I believe the distinction form the last few posts is.

Supernatural = Magic
Magic = Spells
Supernatural != Spells
Yes, this would be exactly the problem. Reversing order doesn't matter, equality is a bidirectional relation.

If it is supernatural, it is magic. And if it is magic, it is supernatural. People quite clearly treat the two as equivalent; I don't think that part is up for debate.

But as soon as you call something "magic" in D&D, people start thinking it should be subject to the rules and trappings of faux-hermetic, pseudo-Vancian spellcasting. The very specific rules and trappings that that entails. 5e has put an absolute crapton of its supernatural stuff into spells--and "One D&D" is doubling down on this.

It is incredibly stupid to me that things like Hunter's Mark, Hex, pact boons, smites, and other such things have been, or are being, turned into spells. They're locked into the rigid mechanical and thematic structure of spells. These things should be their own distinct things, allowed the mechanical and thematic freedom to take whatever form makes sense, not beholden to working the way Wizards work. That's why they're distinct things, mechanically and thematically, and not something just any old Wizard could learn!

Equally importantly, by foisting these things off into the spell list, the game is doubling down on the "you cannot look at the stat block, you must constantly flip pages to know how things work." Now, a quarter of a Ranger's critical class features are opt-in rather than opt-out, and half the Warlock class requires you to hunt down things three chapters later to find out how they work. Having the key class features be...you know...featured in the class itself is a huge boon both for general usability and for making things more approachable to players. Two things 5e was (allegedly) supposed to have put as their second most important design goals. It isn't good to have monsters you can't play without flipping through the spell list repeatedly. It is worse to unnecessarily make even more characters who are dependent on doing so.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
But it's literally what the book says! "Thanks to their familiarity with the wilds, rangers acquire the ability to cast spells that harness nature’s power, much as a druid does." I don't say it because I think we should bow to the book's edicts all-encompassingly, but. That is what's given to us in that regard there. It's all very well talking about the subclasses, I do like them flavour wise and agree it's cool that they give variety for the Ranger's identity once you get them. But it's the core Ranger I'm trying to pin down.
read farther down

"As you create your ranger character, consider the nature of the training that gave you your particular capabilities. Did you train with a single mentor, wandering the wilds together until you mastered the ranger’s ways? Did you leave your apprenticeship, or was your mentor slain—perhaps by the same kind of monster that became your favored enemy? Or perhaps you learned your skills as part of a band of rangers affiliated with a druidic circle, trained in mystic paths as well as wilderness lore. You might be self-taught, a recluse who learned combat skills, tracking, and even a magical connection to nature through the necessity of surviving in the wilds."

Rangers have nature magic. It doesn't have to be from druids. It will look like Druid magic because Druids are the Masters of Nature magic.But it doesn't have to be Druidic magic.

Since 1st edition Rangers have been focused on Tracking, Ambushing, and Murder-Death-Killing their preferred enemies. As the editions rolled on the restrictions rolled off and the targets grew. The D&D Ranger was a magical warrior racist and by 3rd edition didn't can who provided the tools for the war crime.

5th edition softened in back down but what is the typical backstory of stereotypical D&D ranger.
"An X killed my Y so I found someone to train me how to kill Xs"

And it's only the slow release of D&D books and the heavy full caster bias of WOTC that the list of official "someones" is so low in 5e.

The most important part is that first title in the class section: Deadly Hunters.
 
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Scribe

Legend
It is incredibly stupid to me that things like Hunter's Mark, Hex, pact boons, smites, and other such things have been, or are being, turned into spells. They're locked into the rigid mechanical and thematic structure of spells. These things should be their own distinct things, allowed the mechanical and thematic freedom to take whatever form makes sense, not beholden to working the way Wizards work. That's why they're distinct things, mechanically and thematically, and not something just any old Wizard could learn!
We dont always agree, but when we do, we do. ;)
 

Rocker26a

Explorer
read farther down

"As you create your ranger character, consider the nature of the training that gave you your particular capabilities. Did you train with a single mentor, wandering the wilds together until you mastered the ranger’s ways? Did you leave your apprenticeship, or was your mentor slain—perhaps by the same kind of monster that became your favored enemy? Or perhaps you learned your skills as part of a band of rangers affiliated with a druidic circle, trained in mystic paths as well as wilderness lore. You might be self-taught, a recluse who learned combat skills, tracking, and even a magical connection to nature through the necessity of surviving in the wilds."

Rangers have nature magic. It doesn't have to be from druids. It will look like Druid magic because Druids are the Masters of Nature magic.But it doesn't have to be Druidic magic.

Oh well sure, I didn't mean to say Rangers get their magic literally from Druids necessarily. But they do get it as Druids do.
 

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