I think this alt Ranger I made is pretty good

1Mac

First Post
Link

I mean, of course I'd say that, and it's not like I'm the only one who's homebrewed a 5e Ranger alternative. So what does this one have going for it?

-The same, but improved: The core ranger has a lot going for it. It has a few weaknesses; damage, some annoyingly situational powers, and a lack of a strong theme. In my take, many core powers are present, but changed to offer a lot more flexibility. These include Favored Enemy and Natural Explorer: No more hoping that your DM lets you fight undead in the woods to make the most of your powers.
-Theme: A bit of fighter, a dash of rogue, a smidgeon of druid; By trying to be too much, the core ranger winds up feeling like nothing at all. So I've tightened it up; the ranger is firstly a pro at living off the land, and secondly, befitting the survivalist theme, a master hunter. A couple newish core class features advance these themes, as do the enhanced Favored Enemy and Natural Explorers; and other class features tie build upon these features.
-No spells: At least not by default. A few new powers make up for the loss of spellcasting. And there is one new archetype that gains access to magic. Speaking of...
-The Watcher: I was trying to come up with a magic-using ranger archetype that didn't just feel like a tree-hugging Eldritch Night. By tying its mysticism to core abilities and beefing up Primeval Awareness, this is what I came up with. Picture a hunter who uses the very land itself to find, pursue, cajole, and terrify her prey.

I have no opportunity to playtest, so I appreciate thoughts and concerns. I feel that the Watcher in particular, while neat, could use some fresh eyeballs to make sure it works. But really everything could use a second glance. Thanks in advance, and enjoy!

PS: I should mention some inspiring influences. NecronPariah's ranger right here at ENWorld got my gears turning. Chris Delvo's take also found bits and pieces making their way into my version. Do check them out!

Update, 4-25-16: New version
-complementary changes to Vanish and Favored Terrain (forest) abilities.
-Better defined and universalized the term "acclimated." Changed "Natural Explorer" to "Terrain Acclimation."
-Now hosted at ENWorld's Downloads page.
 
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bedir than

Full Moon Storyteller
I feel like the 5th page class descriptions belong on pages 2 and 3.

This is pretty close to what I want from a Ranger. I like the Watcher better than the heavy spell-casting versions I've seen. This Beast Master seems OK. I would rather the command be a bonus action, than full action.
 


Springheel

First Post
Some good stuff here.... What is the thinking behind letting Rangers switch their favoured enemy after a short rest? Doesn't that work against the "significant experience studying" part of the description?
 

bedir than

Full Moon Storyteller
Link

I mean, of course I'd say that, and it's not like I'm the only one who's homebrewed a 5e Ranger alternative. So what does this one have going for it?

-The same, but improved: The core ranger has a lot going for it. It has a few weaknesses; damage, some annoyingly situational powers, and a lack of a strong theme. In my take, many core powers are present, but changed to offer a lot more flexibility. These include Favored Enemy and Natural Explorer: No more hoping that your DM lets you fight undead in the woods to make the most of your powers.
-Theme: A bit of fighter, a dash of rogue, a smidgeon of druid; By trying to be too much, the core ranger winds up feeling like nothing at all. So I've tightened it up; the ranger is firstly a pro at living off the land, and secondly, befitting the survivalist theme, a master hunter. A couple newish core class features advance these themes, as do the enhanced Favored Enemy and Natural Explorers; and other class features tie build upon these features.
-No spells: At least not by default. A few new powers make up for the loss of spellcasting. And there is one new archetype that gains access to magic. Speaking of...
-The Watcher: I was trying to come up with a magic-using ranger archetype that didn't just feel like a tree-hugging Eldritch Night. By tying its mysticism to core abilities and beefing up Primeval Awareness, this is what I came up with. Picture a hunter who uses the very land itself to find, pursue, cajole, and terrify her prey.

I have no opportunity to playtest, so I appreciate thoughts and concerns. I feel that the Watcher in particular, while neat, could use some fresh eyeballs to make sure it works. But really everything could use a second glance. Thanks in advance, and enjoy!

PS: I should mention some inspiring influences. NecronPariah's ranger right here at ENWorld got my gears turning. Chris Delvo's take also found bits and pieces making their way into my version. Do check them out!

Update, 4-25-16: New version
-complementary changes to Vanish and Favored Terrain (forest) abilities.
-Better defined and universalized the term "acclimated." Changed "Natural Explorer" to "Terrain Acclimation."
-Now hosted at ENWorld's Downloads page.

Did you consider the multiple Hit Dice option from the 2nd UA Ranger?
 

1Mac

First Post
This is pretty close to what I want from a Ranger. I like the Watcher better than the heavy spell-casting versions I've seen.
Thank you! I'm glad you like it.
This Beast Master seems OK. I would rather the command be a bonus action, than full action.
The RAW beast master eventually gets to issue some commands as a bonus action, and mine lets you issue any command that way after 17th level. I was actually worried that might be a bit overpowered. The reason wotc made commands actions by default was to check the action economy of the class, so you aren't playing two characters for the price of one. I think they went a bit far in that direction, but it's a legit concern.
I feel like the 5th page class descriptions belong on pages 2 and 3.
? I'm not sure what you mean here.
Did you consider the multiple Hit Dice option from the 2nd UA Ranger?
I'm aware of it, but I'm really not sure what problem it's trying to solve, plus giving the ranger more hit points than even the barbarian doesn't sit right with me. But I'm willing to stipulate that there's something I'm missing!
 

bedir than

Full Moon Storyteller
I think that consuming a bonus action greatly reduces the economy. It essentially replaces two-weapon fighting.

Now that I printed it out on real paper the page order makes more sense.

I do not like the 2d6 version in UA, but for "survivability" I might like 2d4+2*CON bonus. It means that the Ranger can do mini healing as a solo-ist in the wilderness. To me it makes sense that this wilderness expert can rest up after a fall down a cliff, or goring by a boar, and be mostly better.
 
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1Mac

First Post
Some good stuff here.... What is the thinking behind letting Rangers switch their favoured enemy after a short rest? Doesn't that work against the "significant experience studying" part of the description?

Thank you! To be clear, the quarry ranger at early levels takes a long rest to switch favored enemies; making it a short rest is a later improvement. In either case, the idea is that the ranger already knows how to fight any enemy type, but has to adopt his techniques, equipment, state of mind, whatever, to fight particular enemies. I think the DM could make a rule that you can only pick a new favored enemy based on enemies the ranger has already fought, if the rules seems too narratively loose otherwise (I already have an optional rule like that in the document for Terrain Acclimation).

In any event, the mechanical idea is to keep favored enemy, which I like the idea of, but address the biggest complaint about it, which is that it's potential power is locked in and entirely dependent on what monsters the DM uses. Letting the ranger switch favored enemies is a mechanical solution to a mechanical problem; how that actually works in the game world is a matter of fluff.
 

Xeviat

Hero
I like some of your changes. Your Favored Enemy is good; I like that you learn to change it, and I like that you give an intelligence check to recall general information about creatures (makes them the go to monster hunter), and that the bonus language is just floating (you could put it in the proficiencies section now, though, since it's not tied to the enemy choice). Terrain Acclimation is basically what I did, and I fully agree; it's more fair on adventures and insures that the ranger is always the go to guide. Poultice is a nice item saver at 1st level; at 2nd, it begins to fill in for the lack of spells.

The lack of spells is where you and I differ. I do not want a spell-less ranger, so it just wouldn't work for me. But, I'll discount that and look further.

I'm worried about Quarry Improvement at 9th and 17th damage. You're already giving out an unlimited number of Hunter's Mark's in effect, so 6 per day instead of 1 per day, and your Poultice gives some small healing (though far less restrictive than spells, since you're getting Wis mod + 1 poultices for 2 healing each at 2nd level). So you've basically increased the number of spell slots the 2nd level ranger has but limited their choices of spells. You later improve the quarry damage beyond what Hunter's Mark does, while your Ranger still has Extra Attack. This may compare to the higher level spell slots, as the Ranger does have more offensive things to do with their spells then just keep a hunter's mark going at all times, but I'm still worried at first glance.

Favored Terrain is outright sweet. I can't really say much to the balance. It should balance out to losing some spells.

I still don't like camouflage; it seems like something someone trained in survival and stealth should be able to attempt since the beginning, not something that takes until 10th level.

Vanish is interesting; I had to go double check that "hide as a bonus action" was still somewhere.

Horizon Walker seems like a bland capstone; with the ability to change favored enemies, I'd have thought the PHB version would have been good; but you probably didn't need to stack more damage.

For those who like non-magical rangers, It's good! I'd personally build a non-magical ranger with a Fighter/Rogue and ask for some abilities with the survival skill if I wanted to be a non-magical ranger. I could see this in a no magic campaign (just like then I could see a Warlord as a class instead of just using the Valor Bard and selecting spells specifically). Just like I see the Paladin as the fantasy version of the knight in shinning armor who was seen as (during the Romance period) as pious, I see the Ranger as the fantasy version of the hunter and woodsman. Magic is a part of the world, so I prefer magic to be part of the class. I understand this is a huge sticking point for some people. Your version looks like a great non-magical ranger. Kudos. It seems quite a bit more powerful than the PHB Ranger at 2nd level (when the ranger can only hold hunter's mark up for 2 fights when the balance point is 6 to 8, and then they have no healing after that); I might limit hunter's quarry to a 1/day or a 1/short rest thing in the beginning (though that would be harder to justify).
 

1Mac

First Post
Thanks, I'm glad you like it!

Don't think of Quarry as a reskinned spell effect (even though that's what it is). Think of it as a thematic way to boost damage output. Without spells the ranger pretty much has to be a combat class, and since it can't tank about like a paladin for thematic reasons, that leaves a rogue-like damage-dealer. At 17th level, the quarry ranger can deal at most 8d6 damage if her quarry is a favored enemy and has to make two separate attacks to do it. The rogue does 9d6 sneak attack at the same level and tops out at 10d6. At some earlier levels the ranger does a little better, but they basically maintain parity for dealing out two different types of situational damage.

I'm glad you like the Favored Terrain features. I'm pretty pleased with the flavor. My big concern is whether they are balanced with each other. Something like Grasslands (speed boost) may just be better than Desert (fire resistance and a bunch of situational survival abilities).

I'm sort of intrigued by your Hide in Plain Sight idea. It bears mulling.

Yep, I'm pretty strongly of the belief that there should be an exploration class that doesn't rely on magic, but I also think magic should be an option. To that end, what did you think of the Watcher? A little unusual, but fits the theme of a magical stalker pretty well in my opinion.
 

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