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5E Is it possible that the Revised Ranger is not dead?

CapnZapp

Adventurer
If you mean animal companions aren't essential to Rangers, okay.

If you mean animal companions aren't essential to D&D, I disagree.
Meaning if WotC wants to give us the animal companion in a brand new Hunter class, I would be onboard for that.

They would probably have to find someone else to design the class than Crawford and Mearls, though. No point in going through all the effort if the results are still weak sauce, I mean...

Not that it should be hard. Just give us a companion that magnifies each animals natural traits, and stays sturdy at all levels. Where the definition of "sturdy" uses any hero on the front-line as a model. If not Paladin-levels of sturdy then at the very least Ranger-levels of sturdy.

Since the master isn't some shrunken weakling but a real character in itself, my conclusion is obvious: the combo is closer to two character's worth of spotlight (if not actual DPS power) the only real design breakthrough will come when they give up the idea the resulting class must be equal to others.

Simply add a sidebar explaining how the class requires the assent of the DM and the group (probably barring it from AL play) and get on with it. Once past this mental obstacle, the actual class design should be entirely straight-forward!
 
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CapnZapp

Adventurer
As a 1st edition vet I'm happy without animal companions.
You know you CAN choose other subclasses than Beastmaster.

That is, your comment reads as if it would be a good idea to remove animal companions from everybody even though it is easier than easy for you to not have one...
 

Staffan

Adventurer
I would just like to point out that rangers didn't get animal companions until 3rd edition, and even then they where inferior to druid animal companions.
That's not exactly true. In 1e, rangers got followers when they reached 10th level, and those followers could include animals.

Also, at 8th level they got access to druid spells which included animal friendship, which meant they could get up to 2 HD worth of animal companions per level (and as far as I can tell, 1e rangers cast spells at their full class level, they just didn't have many spells). This is the same method they used to get animal companions in 3.0 - it was in 3.5e that the animal companion became a distinct class feature instead of something they could do with a spell.
 

Staffan

Adventurer
No, Mearls has mentioned 6E in the past, particularly when talking about the Ranger, on the Happy Fun Hour. He did specify in the past that they have not begun work on a 6E, because 5E is still selling.
I would be very surprised if Mearls hasn't had a folder on his computer named "6e ideas" since at least the day 5e went to the printer. I would also be surprised if it has gone farther than that.
 

Paul Farquhar

Adventurer
That's not exactly true. In 1e, rangers got followers when they reached 10th level, and those followers could include animals.
Which was easy to balance. All classes got followers, whether animal or not. And all followers where expendable replaceable cannon fodder, so there was no need to inflate their stats.

Like ranger dual wielding, it's all Drzzt's fault. Drzzt's companion was a Figurine of Wondrous Power, not a class feature.
 

Dausuul

Legend
I'm curious on what would be variant features on other classes other than the Ranger. Don't get me wrong that class needs a bunch of tweaks to make it more appealing in my eyes, but have they ever mentioned anything else other than for example not having the Monk use Two-Weapon Fighting as their "virtual fighting style".
One other class that I think needs an overhaul is the warlock. The use of invocations (Agonizing Blast, Thirsting Blade) to "complete" their at-will attacks was a very bad choice. On the one hand, it creates a trap for novice players who don't realize how heavily warlocks depend on their at-wills. On the other hand, it opens up a lot of space for multiclass cheese.

If I were revising the warlock, I'd give them a choice of class features at 1st level: Eldritch Blast (use your action to make a ranged spell attack for 1d10+Cha) or Thirsting Blade (use your action to make a melee weapon attack using Cha; note this is not the Attack action and thus does not work with Extra Attack). Then they would get another feature at 5th or 6th level where they get to make a second attack with their "attack feature." Finally, an invocation would let you pick up the second option so you have both EB and TB; I feel that's more in the design space for invocations, which should focus on versatility and flavor rather than raw power.

As for the ranger, I'm interested to see what they come up with. Trading spell slots for a more powerful animal companion, along the lines of the necromancer, is an elegant solution that makes perfect sense.
 
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Parmandur

Legend
I don't know what you mean here.

If it is the spells a Ranger gets that holds back the animal companion, the obvious solution is to remove them from the core Ranger chassi, and instead hand them out to select subclasses.

Not including the Beastmaster, of course.

My guess, however, that even with the loss of magic, the Beastmaster with a proper combat pet will still need DM opt-in. My feeling is that even if you reduce the master to a poor-man's bare bones Fighter in medium armor, no Extra Attack, and no real (non-ribbon) abilities (unless companion-focused), the character build will STILL appear overshadowed.

Why? Because I am convinced the animal companion needs to be close to a full fighter in itself to be truly viable.

In other words, no, I'm not holding my breath either. I think MMearls is entirely clueless as to what a Beastmaster needs for basic functionality, given the high-lethality position a melee companion finds itself in.
The topic of discussion was Mearls Happy Fun Hour Ranger sessions: wherein he hashed out one alternative Ranger design that had three options: spellcaster, beastbuddy or maneuver usage similar to the Battle master. Spell slots are the basic unit of "power" behind the scenes, and one of Mearls conclusions was that people who liked the idea of the Beastmaster but not the implementation needed an option with a higher power budget, hence spells get the cut.
 

Parmandur

Legend
I don't know what you mean here.

If it is the spells a Ranger gets that holds back the animal companion, the obvious solution is to remove them from the core Ranger chassi, and instead hand them out to select subclasses.

Not including the Beastmaster, of course.

My guess, however, that even with the loss of magic, the Beastmaster with a proper combat pet will still need DM opt-in. My feeling is that even if you reduce the master to a poor-man's bare bones Fighter in medium armor, no Extra Attack, and no real (non-ribbon) abilities (unless companion-focused), the character build will STILL appear overshadowed.

Why? Because I am convinced the animal companion needs to be close to a full fighter in itself to be truly viable.

In other words, no, I'm not holding my breath either. I think MMearls is entirely clueless as to what a Beastmaster needs for basic functionality, given the high-lethality position a melee companion finds itself in.
For context, this is what Mearls proposed:

Gift of the Wild

Starting at 2nd level, you can opt to replace your Spellcasting feature with either the Beast Companion or Mighty Slayer class features.

Beast Companion

You gain a beast companion that accompanies you on your adventures and is trained to fight alongside you. Choose a beast that is no larger than Medium and that has a challenge rating of 1/4 or lower. Add your proficiency bonus to the beast’s AC, attack rolls, and damage rolls, as well as to any saving throws and skills in which it is proficient. Its hit point maximum equals the hit point number in its stat block or four times your ranger level, whichever is higher. Like any creature, it can spend Hit Dice during a short rest to regain hit points.
The beast acts as you wish. It rolls initiative like any other creature. If the beast has a multiattack option, it cannot use it.
Your companion understands your speech, and you can intuit basic concepts and statements as long as you can see or hear it.
If you are incapacitated or absent, the beast acts as you wish.
While traveling through your favored terrain with only the beast, you can move stealthily at a normal pace.
If the beast die, you can obtain a new companion by spending 8 hours magically bonding with a beast that isn’t hostile to you and that meets the requirements.
Starting at 5th level, the beast’s attacks count as magic weapons for purposes of overcoming resistances or immunities.
https://thinkdm.org/hfh/revised-ranger-2018/
 

Parmandur

Legend
It seems like almost nobody in this thread listened to this thing?
Listened to it, you are right that Mearls laughed off the suggestion of a 6E: it does sound as if Larien is doing a redesign of the Ranger specifically, however, and that Mearls is keen to do a tabletop test of the Baldur's Gate 3 version. It seems probable that the 2018 Happy Fun Hour material was related to his discussions with Larien.
 

TwoSix

Lover of things you hate
One other class that I think needs an overhaul is the warlock. The use of invocations (Agonizing Blast, Thirsting Blade) to "complete" their at-will attacks was a very bad choice. On the one hand, it creates a trap for novice players who don't realize how heavily warlocks depend on their at-wills. On the other hand, it opens up a lot of space for multiclass cheese.

If I were revising the warlock, I'd give them a choice of class features at 1st level: Eldritch Blast (use your action to make a ranged spell attack for 1d10+Cha) or Thirsting Blade (use your action to make a melee weapon attack using Cha; note this is not the Attack action and thus does not work with Extra Attack). Then they would get another feature at 5th or 6th level where they get to make a second attack with their "attack feature." Finally, an invocation would let you pick up the second option so you have both EB and TB; I feel that's more in the design space for invocations, which should focus on versatility and flavor rather than raw power.

As for the ranger, I'm interested to see what they come up with. Trading spell slots for a more powerful animal companion, along the lines of the necromancer, is an elegant solution that makes perfect sense.
That's not bad. I think the only change I'd make is that I'd have the Tier 2 upgrade be either a second attack or the ability to do one of each, mixing and matching would be kind of fun. Especially if Thirsting Blade and Eldritch Blast each have their own suite of invocations.
 

Parmandur

Legend
Crawford has clarified on Twitter:

James Introcaso: "Hang on. They ARE changing the ranger?"

Crawford: "Nope"

https://twitter.com/JeremyECrawford/status/1141451770377334784

Navy DM [MENTION=6875]Pax[/MENTION]East: "Too bad, it needs it. What was Mearls referring to then?"

Crawford: "He was referring to the alternative class features we're exploring for various classes, including the ranger. These would be optional rules, not a redesign of a class."

https://twitter.com/JeremyECrawford/status/1141455272939884544
 
Crawford has clarified on Twitter:

James Introcaso: "Hang on. They ARE changing the ranger?"

Crawford: "Nope"

https://twitter.com/JeremyECrawford/status/1141451770377334784

Navy DM @PaxEast: "Too bad, it needs it. What was Mearls referring to then?"

Crawford: "He was referring to the alternative class features we're exploring for various classes, including the ranger. These would be optional rules, not a redesign of a class."

https://twitter.com/JeremyECrawford/status/1141455272939884544
I'm calling it, D&D's 2020 crunch book will be basically be D&D Unchained (obviously not that title). Wikipedia will melt from all the people searching to see how long from PF Unchained until the PF2 playtest, and we will be inflicted with "it is going to be 1 year 8 months until 6e" type statements for the next 5 years.....
 

Dausuul

Legend
Crawford: "He was referring to the alternative class features we're exploring for various classes, including the ranger. These would be optional rules, not a redesign of a class."
So, they are changing the ranger, but you can keep using the old busted version if you really want to. :)
 

Parmandur

Legend
So, they are changing the ranger, but you can keep using the old busted version if you really want to. :)
The PHB Ranger isn't busted, just narratively dissatisfying to a significant number of players. Most people are already happy with the Ranger as-is, which is one of the main source of their reluctance to pursue a solution, they don't want to to put out the majority report that is already fine.
 

Kobold Avenger

Explorer
I'm calling it, D&D's 2020 crunch book will be basically be D&D Unchained (obviously not that title). Wikipedia will melt from all the people searching to see how long from PF Unchained until the PF2 playtest, and we will be inflicted with "it is going to be 1 year 8 months until 6e" type statements for the next 5 years.....
They could call the book Unearthed Arcana as a reference dating back to 1e, and confusing everyone that it's also the series of articles that appears on the website... I also predict that 6e comes out in 2025.
 

Sacrosanct

Slayer of Keraptis
I would be very surprised if Mearls hasn't had a folder on his computer named "6e ideas" since at least the day 5e went to the printer. I would also be surprised if it has gone farther than that.


I’m guessing that folder contains “use varying dice types to add to proficiency instead of a flat rate.” 😉

He was pretty fond of that idea in playtest, and seemed disappointed the survey results didn’t support it.
 

Kobold Avenger

Explorer
I’m guessing that folder contains “use varying dice types to add to proficiency instead of a flat rate.” 😉

He was pretty fond of that idea in playtest, and seemed disappointed the survey results didn’t support it.
That idea has existed since at least Alternity.
 

cmad1977

Explorer
I'd welcome another stab at a variant. I want the beast master ranger to work. I've been trying to rebuild it to have a pet from first level but the design space isn't really big enough.
Have you tried basing it off the Druid?
IMO the Ranger as a class should be deleted and broken into a fighter subclass(hunter),and Druid subclass(beastmaster).

Just musing really.
 

Xeviat

Explorer
Have you tried basing it off the Druid?
IMO the Ranger as a class should be deleted and broken into a fighter subclass(hunter),and Druid subclass(beastmaster).

Just musing really.

Nah.

I just think the companion is what would make the ranger stand apart as a class of its own. The base concept is kind of just a fighter/rogue/druid, or a rogue/druid, but multiclassing makes that unnecessary. Thus, it needs something of it's own.

Like it or not, having a pet has become synonymous with the ranger for some people. WoW made it a core part of their hunter class. Pillars of Eternity put it in their ranger. It would give the class something unique that other classes don't have.

Favored enemy is an old mechanic and I'm really surprised to see it is still there. This could have been the basis for subclasses, but it does fall into DM charity territory. I like the idea of favored terrain being something they learn on the fly, and I too think it should compare to the Rogue's expertise.

I don't want to give up my spells for a companion. If a paladin can get a CR 1/2 horse with a 2nd level spell and a CR 2 mount with a 4th level spell, I want my CR 1/4th pet from a first level spell.

And Hunter's Mark should have been a class ability that was powered off spell slots like smite.
 

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