For Ranger fans. Does the UA article ‘fix’ the Ranger for you?

Gladius Legis

Adventurer
Fade Away. Seems more like a subclass feature. And only once per long rest makes it less useful than Hide in Plain Sight.
It's once per short rest. So a lot more useful.

Even if it were long rest, it'd still see more use than Hide in Plain Sight in most campaigns IMX.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Deft Explorer is excellent. Removing exhaustion on a short rest is pretty overpowered in my opinion, and I wish you could take Canny more than once if you wanted to, but I think both of those are likely to be addressed in the next step of development. Favored Foe is almost exactly what I want out of a Favored Enemy type feature, except letting you maintain it without Concentration is too dippable. I would make it require Concentration and leave out the Wis mod uses /short rest limitation. Just let the ranger cast it as a 5th level spell at-will. The new fighting style, spells, and spell versatility are fine, I guess, if you like spellcasting Rangers. Not my thing, personally. Primal Awareness is... Better than Primeval Awareness, I guess, but giving the ranger more spells really isn’t the fix I’d have hoped for. I didn’t have any problem with Hide in Plain Sight, and I really don’t like Fade Away, but it’s good to have the option there for people who want an alternative to HiPS. The new beast companion options totally fix the Beastmaster. It’s exactly what the subclass needed.
For my wife who plays rangers, more spells is exactly what the ranger needs.

For favored foe, I’d rather get the spell for free, no spell slot 1/SR, and get to cast w/o concentration at level 6.

Likewise with the other “too frontloaded” variants. Just upgrade them when you’d pick another favored terrain. Get +5 speed at level 1, and a climb and swim speed at level 6, or whatever works out the best.

But, I also don’t really care that much if rangers are a really good 1 level dip. I genuinely don’t think that should even be part of the design process.
 

Undrave

Adventurer
Deft Explorer is excellent. Removing exhaustion on a short rest is pretty overpowered in my opinion, and I wish you could take Canny more than once if you wanted to, but I think both of those are likely to be addressed in the next step of development. Favored Foe is almost exactly what I want out of a Favored Enemy type feature, except letting you maintain it without Concentration is too dippable. I would make it require Concentration and leave out the Wis mod uses /short rest limitation. Just let the ranger cast it as a 5th level spell at-will. The new fighting style, spells, and spell versatility are fine, I guess, if you like spellcasting Rangers. Not my thing, personally. Primal Awareness is... Better than Primeval Awareness, I guess, but giving the ranger more spells really isn’t the fix I’d have hoped for. I didn’t have any problem with Hide in Plain Sight, and I really don’t like Fade Away, but it’s good to have the option there for people who want an alternative to HiPS. The new beast companion options totally fix the Beastmaster. It’s exactly what the subclass needed.
Personally I'll suggest that the concentration-free aspect should kick in a little later to avoid an easy dip. Like, level 5 maybe?
 

renevq

Explorer
I love the changes. I think the PHB version is ok enough combat wise, but it’s a class that’s supposed to shine in the exploration pillar and it either renders it useless or really isn’t much better than any other character with the right skill proficiencies. The feel of the class is completely off in that regard. Resource management is very wonky, and everything gets compounded where it gets compared with the other half-caster in the book, which I think is an example of great class design. I liked the revised ranger, but in the end it was just a combat boost the class didn’t need.

What I really like about these changes is it’s not a combat boost, but it gives you great flexibility with your options and resource management, and really helps you shine in the exploration pillar without making it moot. It feels like it would really help the verisimilitude issues that class has. My only issue now would be the lvl20 ability, which is an ok if meh combat boost. I’d scrap it and make it something where exploration really feels epic, a la 4e’s Dark Wanderer epic destiny feature where you know how to get to any place in the multiverse. The other thing that feels a bit off is not in the class itself, but in Hunter’s Mark needing to be within sight and a relatively short range of the target to be able to cast, and kind of how that really limits it’s tracking bonus.
 

dagger

Explorer
Two weapon fighting using a bonus action is the real problem for us, and having Dual Wielder remove that is what we use. That’s all the ranger needs at our table.
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
I think it's pretty funny the number of "I was ok with the PHB" type comments I see in threads now that these UA are out, which is very different than the comments I remember for the past few years. shrug

I was always fine with Ranger as it was, played a few different subclasses. XGE classes outshone the PHB ones, and that will still be the case really, but these updates go a long way towards helping with features people complained about for years.

I'm in the "too frontloaded" camp, at least on the Canny option of Deft Explorer, but as @doctorbadwolf notes, it's not a huge issue to shift at the table.

I enjoy the changes and think that it certainly is going to jump the # of people wanting to play one now and in the future.

I'd love to see if/when they put this UA on DNDBeyond the dynamic changes for players playing rangers vs. prior to this UA publication.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
For my wife who plays rangers, more spells is exactly what the ranger needs.
I think it’s great for the people who like their rangers to be casters. I’m happy for those folks. I just wish they had also given us a feature or features to replace spellcasting entirely.

For favored foe, I’d rather get the spell for free, no spell slot 1/SR, and get to cast w/o concentration at level 6.
You mean you can cast it once /short rest at 1st and at 6th it no longer requires concentration? That’s pretty good, I like that. I might even suggest twice /short rest in that case.

Likewise with the other “too frontloaded” variants. Just upgrade them when you’d pick another favored terrain. Get +5 speed at level 1, and a climb and swim speed at level 6, or whatever works out the best.
Makes sense.

But, I also don’t really care that much if rangers are a really good 1 level dip. I genuinely don’t think that should even be part of the design process.
I get that, I would rather multiclassing just work differently. Sadly, that ship has long since sailed.
 
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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I think it's pretty funny the number of "I was ok with the PHB" type comments I see in threads now that these UA are out, which is very different than the comments I remember for the past few years. shrug
I think it’s different folks saying it. The thread was addressed to “ranger fans,” so of course most of the folks answering the call are going to be the ones who were ok with the ranger already.
 

RSIxidor

Explorer
I'm very happy with the Ranger changes.

I still want a spell-less ranger but especially around the replacements for the favored terrain/favored enemy features (whatever they're called), I'm very happy. Replacing primeval awareness is really good. This is the first time I've wanted to play a ranger since the first year of 5E.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I think it’s great for the people who like their rangers to be casters. I’m happy for those folks. I just wish they had also given us a feature or features to replace spellcasting entirely.
Yeah that’s fair.

You mean you can cast it once /short rest at 1st and at 6th it no longer requires concentration? That’s pretty good, I like that. I might even suggest twice /short rest in that case.
Yeah that makes sense. 👍

I get that, I would rather multiclassing just work differently. Sadly, that ship has long since sailed.
Again, fair enough.

My main issue with 5e multiclassing is that it’s power is overestimated, and it ends up too far the other way as a result. And I’d rather go back to MC feats than have classes build less well to avoid MC combinations that some people don’t like because they don’t like “dips” or whatever.
 

Ashrym

Hero
The PHB version is horrendous. These modifications are a step in the right direction, but the class still needs more work.

Deft Explorer is great, though I would have preferred expertise in 2 skills (why give it to the barbarian).
Also I would have added the proficiency to the initiative roll and advantage on attacks before other creature have attacked as a choice (with caveat it was attainable at 6th level or kater).

Primal Awareness. Extra spells are ok. Would have preferred something more thematic as the Ranger is supposed to excel in perception ie spotting/tracking their prey. I would have thought giving an ability that negates a penalty in tracking at a fast pace and moving at a fast pace would have been more beneficial and thematic.

Fade Away. Seems more like a subclass feature. And only once per long rest makes it less useful than Hide in Plain Sight.
I disagree that the PHB version is horrendous. It has many situational benefits and that might make it awkward but never horrendous.

Deft Explorer replaces Favored Terrain and favored terrain gives expertise equivalence in more that 2 skills. It's double proficiency bonus for any INT or WIS skill in which the ranger is proficient in that terrain. The current favored enemy and favored not only doubles proficiency but it also gives advantage on lore checks and survival used for tracking favored enemies.

Favored terrain and favored enemy excelled in spotting and tracking the ranger's prey the way it is. It allows high bonus in checks, gives more precise information, allows full movement while continuing to be stealthy when tracking, and allows the ranger to remain alert (not denied perception checks) per the engaged in other activities while tracking. Those things are lost in the UA changes. ;)

People complained about all those benefits as campaign specific but a ranger with forest, grassland, and mountain covers most typical settings. Not having bonuses against the favored enemy is more common. I'm more likely to keep favored terrain and trade in favored enemy for favored foe given the choice on a ranger. Being more universal is better in that aspect (IMO) and it meshes better with the capstone.

There is a trade off in specialization versus broader application in the UA changes. They smooth out the situational applications but I don't think a person should expect the best of both worlds here. Either go more general with UA or more focused with PHB. It's meant to be an alternative, not a buff.

Barbarians are getting 2 skills because they are also not getting the bonus languages and they are giving up advantage on DEX saving throws from danger sense. Saving throw bonuses are more beneficial than skill bonuses. 5e applies that initiative benefit and senses to barbarians born to the wild while rangers are just visiting. ;)

Primal Awareness adds spells because the intent is the ranger is to the druid as the paladin is to the cleric. If that's not your flavor then that is unfortunate but the design intent is the design intent. What you described from it can be found in favored terrain benefits. Primeval Awareness has it's uses but costs limited spell slots and is also extremely situational. I'd take primal awareness as it is in a heartbeat the way it is. If you like the "excels at tracking and hunting enemies" then primeval awareness might be more your thing because it's used in conjunction with ability checks to make the most of it's abilities, although it tends to be more oriented to the favored enemy ability.

Fade Away demonstrates it's meant to be limited in use like Hide in Plain Sight. The ability to hide without being obscured is meant to be limited. I really like the flavor of hide in plain sight but requirements for it to be used makes it very situational. Fade away is a lot more practical the vast majority of the time. I'd probably keep hide in plain sight anyway. ;)

D&D is like a box full of chocolates. When you start digging through to see what you like you might find out you have allergies. ;)

It makes it more widely applicable, yes. Which I suppose translates to "better." I still feel like a capstone should be more than a middling DPR boost that's nothing even close to the Fighter's or Barbarian's, though.
I'm not sure I see "because fighters and barbarians do moar damage" as a need here. The captones are more reflective of defining traits of the classes and that's kind the where barbarians and fighters are. It's not like a hit bonus once per turn is a bad ability, and better given that if the ranger ever doesn't need it a small damage boost is the backup.

I see a capstone that suddenly becomes reliable instead of situational. That's huge improvement in my mind. Let fighters and barbarians have their damage. Rangers have their spell benefits.

It's once per short rest. So a lot more useful.

Even if it were long rest, it'd still see more use than Hide in Plain Sight in most campaigns IMX.
Definitely. I cannot agree enough that fade away is far more practical in it's application.

But, I also don’t really care that much if rangers are a really good 1 level dip. I genuinely don’t think that should even be part of the design process.
You might not, but the general design is if an ability is there and really good it goes in at 2nd level to match giving up the 19th level ASI (put at 19th instead of 20th on purpose). There was a general push to make dipping a significant trade off in 5e. Apparently it was considered enough of an issue to implement in general so it's worth considering in changes, IMO.

Given the lack of games in that tier delayed access to abilities is still the more common deterrent, and 2 levels is still bigger deterrent than 1 level. ;)

About Favored Foe: Make it 1/long rest at Lv. 1. Then at Lv. 6, when the FE Ranger gets a second FE, increase FF to WIS mod/long rest.

That's all the change it needs to address the dip-friendliness problem.
That's much better. It would probably work with just a free once per long rest at every interval rangers get a new favored enemy, tbh. Hunter's mark for free is an upgrade over favored enemy because all favored enemy gave was skill benefits and languages.

Favored foe is a bit overboard as an alternative ability, in comparison. Definitely a better choice.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
My main issue with 5e multiclassing is that it’s power is overestimated, and it ends up too far the other way as a result. And I’d rather go back to MC feats than have classes build less well to avoid MC combinations that some people don’t like because they don’t like “dips” or whatever.
Yeah, multiclass feats was one of the really smart ideas from 4e that got tossed out.
 

Gadget

Explorer
Other than being too frontloaded (which is par for the course with UA content; it should be smoothed out with additional playtesting), I like the new options. They seem to give the Ranger a bit more utility and punch without being too much of a power creep.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Yeah, multiclass feats was one of the really smart ideas from 4e that got tossed out.
It’s a weird phenomenon in iterative “edition” style products.

If a Thing A was done poorly, or interacted badly with a Thing B, in a past iteration, it tends to get nerfed or removed in the next iteration, even if it would almost certainly work better in the next iteration, or if the factors that made it no work are also gone from the next iteration.

MC feats were good, but getting a decent depth of multiclass was hard, required several feats, and was just overly complicated.

If they’d simply opened up power swapping when you MC, or had a single “MC power Swap” feat instead of a feat for every power type, it would have been fine.

In 5e, feats are perfectly poised to handle multiclassing, and that design space is simply ignored because people vaguely recall hating 4e multiclass feats.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
It’s a weird phenomenon in iterative “edition” style products.

If a Thing A was done poorly, or interacted badly with a Thing B, in a past iteration, it tends to get nerfed or removed in the next iteration, even if it would almost certainly work better in the next iteration, or if the factors that made it no work are also gone from the next iteration.

MC feats were good, but getting a decent depth of multiclass was hard, required several feats, and was just overly complicated.

If they’d simply opened up power swapping when you MC, or had a single “MC power Swap” feat instead of a feat for every power type, it would have been fine.

In 5e, feats are perfectly poised to handle multiclassing, and that design space is simply ignored because people vaguely recall hating 4e multiclass feats.
🤷‍♀️ I loved 4e multiclass feats. But yeah, good analysis.
 

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