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

Rocker26a

Explorer
Chimps don't fight with rocks and sticks. That is a fantastism. Apes pound and claw.

Humans are the only creatures who can accurately and quickly swing a stick or throw a rock.

All this said, I think we're mostly getting caught up in semantics a bit. I do take your point of course, yeah Rangers do use the tools of "civilization", but I don't think civilization has to be strictly antithetical to nature from the point of view of a Ranger, because humanity is nature still. Despite itself.

I know this gets complicated in settings and systems where humans aren't the only game in town but we can just take that as read for the sake of this.

And I would also say that utilizing magic could be seen as using the rules o- uh, tools of nature. If my contention that there is magic in all nature is acceptable. Which it may not be for everyone! That's just something I personally like. Like I say I don't have it all puzzled together, but there's a nugget of something I enjoy there. That's an asset Rangers have, they have that instinct.
 
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Incenjucar

Legend
There are literally birds that spread fires to hunt. Tool use is not a human special feature. Humans have advanced communication skills which allow them to pass on highly detailed and nuanced information over generations. That's our thing.
 



doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
There are literally birds that spread fires to hunt. Tool use is not a human special feature. Humans have advanced communication skills which allow them to pass on highly detailed and nuanced information over generations. That's our thing.
Even that isn’t 100% just us. Crows pass fairly detailed info to eachother across significant distance and over multiple generations, like physical descriptions of the guy who throws things at the crows at this specific park, or the old lady who feeds any crows she sees. I think they’ve been observed to pass along how to solve puzzles and make tools to accomplish a task, as well.

Give them grasping hands, and they’d probably build libraries and schools and bars.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
All this said, I think we're mostly getting caught up in semantics a bit. I do take your point of course, yeah Rangers do use the tools of "civilization". I just think civilization doesn't have to be strictly antithetical to nature from the point of view of a Ranger, because humanity is nature still. Despite itself.
I never said civilization and nature are antithetical just different..

Sword using guy in metal scale using human weapon styles doesn't feel naturey.
 

Rocker26a

Explorer
I never said civilization and nature are antithetical just different..

No I know, not trying to put words in your mouth, just saying I think the difference can be more blurred in a Fantasy setting, and especially through the lens of a Ranger.

Sword using guy in metal scale using human weapon styles doesn't feel naturey.

True, maybe not. At least not through a generous lens. Metal and fire come from the earth n' all that.

This is mostly a guess, happy to be proven wrong, but. Would it be fair to say that part of the problem here is, Ranger leaning more into the nature side doesn't much capture the fantasy that Ranger fulfills for you? Or ought to fulfill at least?
 
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CreamCloud0

One day, I hope to actually play DnD.
just reposting ranger thoughts cause they seem relevant to the discussion
i don't think the highest conceptual-level ranger premise requires magic, but it does significantly encapsulate a 'survivalist' concept, and a major part of the survivalist is taking and picking up any and all potentially usefull skills because one day knowing how to make medical grade alchohol/disinfectant out of tree bark might save your life.

So when you insert that survivalist mindset into DnD worlds magic is absolutely something i feel like they would pick up because it's such a flexible and useful tool and primal magic is just the next thematic step to knowing everything about the ecosystem that they exist in, drawing on the energies of the natural world around them rather than the physical plants and creatures

the ranger is an explorer, a survivor and a hunter of the wild, they thrive not through brute strength but through knowledge, knowing how to pick their fights and the best ways to fight, knowing as many solutions as they can because if one doesn't work then they've got three backups, knowing their enemy and their weaknesses and how to take advantage of those, knowing how to take care of themselves.
honestly i entirely vibe with what @CleverNickName is saying about 'rangers being the wizards of nature', rangers aren't strong because they have a ton of brute magical or physical power like the druid and barbarian respectively, rangers are strong because they think their way through and around problems, they have a range of abilities that do a range of specific things and they plan things to use what they do have to get what they need/want.
 

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