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


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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

Legend
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

Adventurer
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 (She/Her/Hers)
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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