How to easily fix PHB's Hunter subclass of the Ranger


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NotAYakk

Legend
Horde Breaker requires the DM to help you. It only works when foes are adjacent to each other, which there rarely is a reason to be.

Colossus Slayer is the most useful, and it is 1d8 damage per turn usually.

Giant Killer is melee only, requires large foes, but is otherwise good. Except, of course, large foes tend to have reach greater than 5'. So it only works if you do the work to hug them.

7th level still sucks with 2 of them. They are all ribbons, not real features. "Immune to fear" is a feature, "advantage against fear" isn't.

11th suffers from too small an area of effect. Whirlwind should let you move up to 30' and attack all creatures who are within 5' of you during this move. Volley needs more than 10' radius. Few Hunters will be great at both of these, so picking both doesn't help much.

15th grants T2 abilities in T3, or an attack redirect.
 


Larrin

Entropic Good
I've always thought:

lvl 3: you get all three, but can't use more than one on a given turn (round?). So you can hoard break if that's the best choice that turn or colossus slay, but not both. Maybe make it a "stance" that you can change for free at the start of your turn. Just give all three with some relatively easy but fair way to switch which one is active. Then you can do the best one most of the time, but get to use the interesting ones that only occasionally are relevant when they are.

Also, let Giant Killer target your favored enemy even if it isn't larger than you. It just makes sense.

lvl 7: Also know all three, and then have someway to switch between them. I think having all three up all the time is too much (even two at a time might be), one at a time is likely the way to go, but it needs to be a choice you make during the battle or something.

lvl 11: Just get both of them. You'll probably only use one of them the majority of the time anyway, and you can't stack them or anything, so knowing both is fine.

lvl 15: These are good enough that only having one is probably fine, but probably known all of them but switch which one is active after a long rest would be also good.
 

Reynard

Legend
I want someone to be able to articulate what is wrong with the ranger. I have never seen a good explanation for why everyone always hates it. I have run many, many games of 5E and never seen a player pick the Hunter Ranger and not enjoy their character.
 

Stormonu

Legend
I can only speak for the Beastmaster subclass; you have to give up your action to direct the beast to act, it only makes one attack and dies in a hit or two. Like many ranger abilities, its a lot more useful in the exploration pillar (and rarely useful in a dungeon-heavy game) instead of as a combat feature.
 

Larrin

Entropic Good
I want someone to be able to articulate what is wrong with the ranger. I have never seen a good explanation for why everyone always hates it. I have run many, many games of 5E and never seen a player pick the Hunter Ranger and not enjoy their character.
I do agree that the ranger characters tend to enjoy themselves. Its more a matter of rangers being "fine" while the others are "good". If you watch a ranger in battle, you'll see them doing fine. If you compare them to a fighter or paladin or barbarian in battle, you'll see the fighter/paladin/barbarian being a bit better at no apparent cost. The ranger comes in 4th place. But it isn't by too much, so it's not like a ranger is unfun or a liability. It just works out to being a bit below the others no matter what you do, assuming all things equal. This is exasperated by the beast master class having so many problems and highlighting how the Ranger needs a good subclass to keep up with the others enough to stay in 4th place.

And for specifically the Hunter, I've never seen a Hunter that didn't take Colossus Slayer, that means there is something wrong. Every Hunter with Colossus Slayer is indeed a happy hunter because rolling an extra die feels good. And there are no unhappy hunters because "no" hunter ever takes anything other than colossus slayer. Seems a shame that those other cool features exist and no one ever takes them.
 

Stormonu

Legend
In 1E, the ranger was more like the WW2 commando (“Rangers lead the way”) than Aragorn. Would giving the Ranger in-built Battlemaster abilities (perhaps at the cost of spells, making a spelled version a special subclass) help the class?
 


Horwath

Hero
In 1E, the ranger was more like the WW2 commando (“Rangers lead the way”) than Aragorn. Would giving the Ranger in-built Battlemaster abilities (perhaps at the cost of spells, making a spelled version a special subclass) help the class?
there is a few years old UA with spell less rangers that get battlemasters dice instead of spells and healing salves.

sure is better than spells,

but this is about hunter being weak and Gloomstalker is made as a hotfix to boost the base weak chassis of a class and leaving most other sub classes in the dust.
 

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