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

CapnZapp

Adventurer
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.
That's just the issue WotC has deigned to acknowledge. And you really don't need to repeat their ad copy - we get it, it is convenient for them to act as if nothing needs to be done...

The list is much longer than that, but I'll skip right to the end: how players drop the Beastmaster subclass like a hot turd.
 

Parmandur

Adventurer
That's just the issue WotC has deigned to acknowledge. And you really don't need to repeat their ad copy - we get it, it is convenient for them to act as if nothing needs to be done...

The list is much longer than that, but I'll skip right to the end: how players drop the Beastmaster subclass like a hot turd.
But that's the thing: while Ranger satisfaction is significantly out of line with the other Classes, most people are happy with it and keep playing with the Class. Most people are not dropping the Beastmaster, though a relatively large number are dissatisfied based on what they wanted it to be. But those who are dissatisfied are not all dissatisfied for the same reasons, and those who are already satisfied are likely not going to be satisfied by any "fix" introduced. That's why the old Revised Ranger died, it made the situation worse when tested.

What WoC found was a radical lack of consensus on what people wanted from a "Ranger," as it lacks an agreed upon identity among established and new D&D players.
 

Gradine

Archivist
What WoC found was a radical lack of consensus on what people wanted from a "Ranger," as it lacks an agreed upon identity among established and new D&D players.
"Lacks an agreed upon identity" is basically the title of the history of the Ranger class in D&D ever since it tried to grow beyond "be Aragorn." Especially since the few themes people can agree upon are key to the identity of the Ranger are not restricted by class anymore. Anyone can track. Anyone can be good with animals. Anyone can be really good at surviving in nature. Anyone can dual-wield. And most of those abilities are generally relegated to non-combat pillars anyway, which leaves the Ranger feeling weak in the one pillar a lot of people argue is the most important in D&D.

Frankly, IMO, the concept of the Ranger just doesn't have enough of its own niche anymore to justify a base class. Which is why every attempt to do so has been met with disappointment.
 

TwoSix

Lover of things you hate
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.
If the concern is lethality, why not simply up the AC and HP of the companion to PC levels, but have the offense diminished to compensate? Give the ranger a spell that heals 1d10+Wis as a bonus action, but only on their companion. That's pretty much how WoW pets work.
 

Parmandur

Adventurer
"Lacks an agreed upon identity" is basically the title of the history of the Ranger class in D&D ever since it tried to grow beyond "be Aragorn." Especially since the few themes people can agree upon are key to the identity of the Ranger are not restricted by class anymore. Anyone can track. Anyone can be good with animals. Anyone can be really good at surviving in nature. Anyone can dual-wield. And most of those abilities are generally relegated to non-combat pillars anyway, which leaves the Ranger feeling weak in the one pillar a lot of people argue is the most important in D&D.

Frankly, IMO, the concept of the Ranger just doesn't have enough of its own niche anymore to justify a base class. Which is why every attempt to do so has been met with disappointment.
That's why I found the possibility of a ground-up redesign, with the terrain of origin being the Level 1 subclass, had potential. That had some possible legs as a fantasy archetype.
 

Sacrosanct

Slayer of Keraptis
If the ranger pet is just as powerful as a stand alone class like a fighter, then the ranger themself must be neutered. It’s basic math. And it’s surprising why people who keep going on about how skilled they are at optimizing don’t see the basic math. 2x is greater than 1x. I.e, if both the ranger and their pet are equal to another class as individuals, then you as a player are effectively playing two characters. Needless to say there will be balance issues there. There has to be give and take when balancing a pet with master compared to every other class. Seems people just want the take part
 

Azzy

Explorer
If the ranger pet is just as powerful as a stand alone class like a fighter, then the ranger themself must be neutered. It’s basic math. And it’s surprising why people who keep going on about how skilled they are at optimizing don’t see the basic math. 2x is greater than 1x. I.e, if both the ranger and their pet are equal to another class as individuals, then you as a player are effectively playing two characters. Needless to say there will be balance issues there. There has to be give and take when balancing a pet with master compared to every other class. Seems people just want the take part
Nobody is asking for an animal companion to be "as powerful as a stand alone class".
 
I am more interested in what other classes and subclasses are up for alternative class features. Mike Mearls isn't a fan of the design of the paladin and the bladelock, so they seem likely choices (I'm guessing the bladelock will get a specific magic weapon, ala 4e); also, I notice that there are a couple of NPC warlocks (the fathomer and the spider one that I think was in Volo's) that can assume alternate forms. I would be amused if the alternate sorcerer was all sorcerers wild magic sorcerers, but with different tables for different origins (and hopefully a more dependable way of triggering the table). I wouldn't mind the land druid getting more terrain-specific features. I'm fine with the current bard, but I could see a less magic version.
 

Parmandur

Adventurer
I am more interested in what other classes and subclasses are up for alternative class features. Mike Mearls isn't a fan of the design of the paladin and the bladelock, so they seem likely choices (I'm guessing the bladelock will get a specific magic weapon, ala 4e); also, I notice that there are a couple of NPC warlocks (the fathomer and the spider one that I think was in Volo's) that can assume alternate forms. I would be amused if the alternate sorcerer was all sorcerers wild magic sorcerers, but with different tables for different origins (and hopefully a more dependable way of triggering the table). I wouldn't mind the land druid getting more terrain-specific features. I'm fine with the current bard, but I could see a less magic version.
Anything that would require changing a main Class feature, which is somewhere Subclasses don't go: perhaps a variant of the Wizard that replaces the Spellbook with, for instance, a small Genie that negotiates for Spells in the Inner Planes after a Long Rest?
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
I am more interested in what other classes and subclasses are up for alternative class features. Mike Mearls isn't a fan of the design of the paladin and the bladelock, so they seem likely choices (I'm guessing the bladelock will get a specific magic weapon, ala 4e); also, I notice that there are a couple of NPC warlocks (the fathomer and the spider one that I think was in Volo's) that can assume alternate forms. I would be amused if the alternate sorcerer was all sorcerers wild magic sorcerers, but with different tables for different origins (and hopefully a more dependable way of triggering the table). I wouldn't mind the land druid getting more terrain-specific features. I'm fine with the current bard, but I could see a less magic version.
Here's my 2c on what could be alternate abilities for other classes:

Barb: No idea, I have a barb variation that build up ''level'' of rage when it gets hit instead of spending a limited resource. I love the concept of the barbarian from Dungeon World, where the class is not built for damage but more for a reckless type of character in every aspect of the game.

Bard: Maybe a spell less or 1/2 caster bard with more skill or combat ability. Or activated ''song'' aura with various effects instead of spells.

Cleric: Specialty priest?

Druid: Remove wildshape to add something else. Maybe terrain mastery ala ranger? Or remove spells to go all in shapeshifter!

Fighter: Change the extra feats to something that could benefit non-combat pillars of the game.

Monk: no ideas

Paladin: Remove spells and add short-rest smites with different effects.

Ranger: Mearl's ideas are a good start.

Rogue: Remove sneak attack to increase skills or add a Backstab multiplier.

Sorcerer: Spell points? Or take the unused Mystic discipline to create a spellcaster really different from the wizard.

Warlock: Your ideas are good. I have in my homebrews a warlock class that switch the Patron and the Pact in the design space.

Wizard: Replace cantrips?
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
Looking over https://thinkdm.org/hfh/revised-ranger-2018/ I really like the choices granted by Martial exploits (much like superiority dice, invocations, or infusions grant more choices). I don't see much reason why some of them couldn't be tied to a beast companion.

Battle maneuvers with the Ranger and Companion working in tandem seems pretty cool to me.
 

Kurotowa

Explorer
also, I notice that there are a couple of NPC warlocks (the fathomer and the spider one that I think was in Volo's) that can assume alternate forms.
A couple years ago Mearls posted an Archfey Lolth Pact blurb from his home game (https://www.sageadvice.eu/2017/11/20/warlock-patron-lolth-the-spider-queen-by-mike-mearls/), which seems to have heavily inspired the Drow Arachnomancer NPC in MtoF.

It'd be cool to see some alternative class features for Warlocks, but I'm not sure they'd be enough. I loved the 3e Warlock and I love the flavor of the 5e Warlock. Mechanically, though, I've come around to the opinion that the 5e version tries to split the difference between having spell slots and being all at-will and ends up with two flawed halves that don't add up to a complete whole. Your at-wills aren't strong enough or varied enough to carry the class and the measly two spell slots can't make up the difference.

Still, if we get a 2020 player options book that's got a chapter on alternative class features the way Xanathar's offered new subclasses, I'll be quite happy.
 

Staffan

Explorer
Your at-wills aren't strong enough or varied enough to carry the class and the measly two spell slots can't make up the difference.
I often get the feeling that the designers thought short rests were fairly easy to get, so they overvalued abilities you recover on a short rest. Had a short rest been like in 4e, about 5 minutes long, the warlock recovering their spells on a short rest would have been amazing. But instead, at least in the game I'm running (Princes of the Apocalypse, so fairly dungeon-heavy) it seems like the number of situations where the PCs could take a short rest but not a long rest is fairly small.
 

Parmandur

Adventurer
I often get the feeling that the designers thought short rests were fairly easy to get, so they overvalued abilities you recover on a short rest. Had a short rest been like in 4e, about 5 minutes long, the warlock recovering their spells on a short rest would have been amazing. But instead, at least in the game I'm running (Princes of the Apocalypse, so fairly dungeon-heavy) it seems like the number of situations where the PCs could take a short rest but not a long rest is fairly small.
The assumption is two short rests a day.
 

MarkB

Adventurer
Rather than Rangers having a Favoured Terrain, I'd prefer to see some form of terrain attunement - at the start of the day they can attune to the environment they're in, gaining bonuses and insights, and they can do so once more during the day as part of a short rest.

The process should function almost as a cut-down version of the Commune With Nature spell, granting some insight into the current state of the area in addition to the usual ongoing benefits.
 

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