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Given that Piercing Thorns is on level with Colossus Slayer, the addition of Guardian Soul on top of that is too much power creep for my tastes. While in tree form the ranger could use also large weapons too, so Piercing Thorns could be dropped all together. Plus, Ancient Fortitude and Guardian Aura seem stronger than Defensive Tactics or Superior Hunter's Defense so some balancing is in order.

Some suggestions:
Lvl 3 - Drop Piercing Thorns (or Disallow Large Weapons). Maybe even make the transformation a full action, but perhaps that is going too far.
Lvl 7- Ancient Fortitude only once per short or long rest.
Lvl 11- No Change
Lvl 15 - Guardian Aura does not work on 0 HP. Otherwise the whack-a-mole is real.

Even with all those changes I think it is still probably stronger than Hunter though.
 

bganon

Explorer
I think the Large size just leads to all sorts of problems. I'd drop it and replace with something like "no enemies may move through your space" since that seems in line with the general theme.

WOTC already quietly added "once per rest" to Ancient Fortitude in the download at some point.
 

Kobold Stew

Last Guy in the Airlock
Supporter
The Horizon Walker was always, for me, such an evocative prestige class in 3.5. I loved the idea of terrain mastery, with a character eventually comfortable with inter planar travel.

The idea was better than the execution, though -- I wanted a character that could facilitate plane-hopping adventures. The level 7 Plane Shift spell does that (in one of its uses) -- an ability that typically comes for spellcasters at level 13.

What I'd like to see here, as the level 11 ability, would be replace Distant Strike with the ability to cast, 1/long rest, a Plane shift spell on willing creatures. (and so excluding the attack vs. unwilling creatures option), and not requiring the material component.
 

The power the person I was responding to was Ancient Fortitude, and they were talking about entering and leaving guardian form to heal 2*level HPs each time. That's been changed to once per rest (short or long).

I don't see it. From the same PDF:

AncientFortitude said:
Ancient Fortitude
At 7th level, you gain the endurance of the
ancient forests. Your hit point maximum and
current hit points increase by 2 per ranger level
when you assume your guardian form. This
increase lasts until you leave the form; your hit
point maximum then returns to normal, but your
current hit points remain the same, unless they
must decrease to abide by your hit point
maximum.

Still no mention of rests.
 

The Horizon Walker was always, for me, such an evocative prestige class in 3.5. I loved the idea of terrain mastery, with a character eventually comfortable with inter planar travel.

The idea was better than the execution, though -- I wanted a character that could facilitate plane-hopping adventures. The level 7 Plane Shift spell does that (in one of its uses) -- an ability that typically comes for spellcasters at level 13.

What I'd like to see here, as the level 11 ability, would be replace Distant Strike with the ability to cast, 1/long rest, a Plane shift spell on willing creatures. (and so excluding the attack vs. unwilling creatures option), and not requiring the material component.
Replace a strong combat boost in line with what other classes get at lvl 11 with something that's essentially a ribbon?
 

I think the Large size just leads to all sorts of problems. I'd drop it and replace with something like "no enemies may move through your space" since that seems in line with the general theme.

It's ironic to see everyone objecting to Large size on this thread as extremely powerful, when in the general case, if you comment on how e.g. Mounted Combatant is a very strong feat, so many people will turn right around and tell you that you can't get Large-sized mounts into adventuring locations like dungeons and that Mounted Combatant is therefore useless. Both of these things cannot be true simultaneously.

I'm not saying it's the same people speaking up in both cases BTW, just that it's interesting to see.

Speaking for myself, I'm fine with Large PCs. It has advantages (larger weapons) and disadvantages (harder to get cover; penalties from fighting in smaller spaces), plus the intrinsic disadvantages of being a ranger instead of a fighter (fewer attacks) and the Guardian form itself (low mobility).

But then, I grew up with 2nd edition Dark Sun, so half-giants aren't a new thing for me.
 

Kobold Stew

Last Guy in the Airlock
Supporter
Replace a strong combat boost in line with what other classes get at lvl 11 with something that's essentially a ribbon?

I don't see it as a ribbon -- I see it (in ye olde terms) as shifting from the combat pillar to the exploration pillar. Blinking 10' is simply a combat bonus -- it doesn't tie to the idea of plane-hopping/knowing. Plane-shifting is an ability that is key to the character premise; the other is a combat boost.

I don't mind my proposal being beefed up, but I'm saying that I don't need it to be. This isn't a horizon walker I'd want to play, but one change takes it there.
 

I don't see it as a ribbon -- I see it (in ye olde terms) as shifting from the combat pillar to the exploration pillar. Blinking 10' is simply a combat bonus -- it doesn't tie to the idea of plane-hopping/knowing. Plane-shifting is an ability that is key to the character premise; the other is a combat boost.

I don't mind my proposal being beefed up, but I'm saying that I don't need it to be. This isn't a horizon walker I'd want to play, but one change takes it there.

The reason I call it a ribbon is because it doesn't add much in the way of problem-solving ability. Being able to plane shift once a day is mostly a flavour ability that may come in useful every once in a while, that's a typical ribbon ability. Why is something som monumental as being able to shift between planes a "flavour" ability? If the DM is running planes-hopping adventures then he will neccessarily have to provide the characters with means to travel between planes. If you're not playing planes-hopping adventures then the ability to plane-hop will rarely be directly useful.
 

Kobold Stew

Last Guy in the Airlock
Supporter
I accept that. It's still a character I would want to play, whereas this Horizon Walker is not.

I also suspect that over the years I have been one of the more vocal fans of the Horizon-Walker concept -- I'd happily give up lots to have a cool plane-hopper even if it's not great for every campaign.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Given that Piercing Thorns is on level with Colossus Slayer, the addition of Guardian Soul on top of that is too much power creep for my tastes. While in tree form the ranger could use also large weapons too, so Piercing Thorns could be dropped all together. Plus, Ancient Fortitude and Guardian Aura seem stronger than Defensive Tactics or Superior Hunter's Defense so some balancing is in order.

Piercing thorns is worse than Colossus Slayer.

Thorns is 1d6 once a turn
Slayer is 1d8 once a turn, slayer does have the limit that the enemy has to already be damaged, but once you are 5th level and have 2 attacks that limit drops off significantly. I think it is a limit that will come up very rarely.

Guardian Soul in addition to that would be more powerful if we were looking at lv 3 exclusively, but every other trick the ranger gets is predicated upon being in Guardian form for it to work, and Guardian only having 5ft of movement is a large penalty to have to work around I think. Not impossible, but you will notice it.

Oversized weapons are regulated to a per table basis, as some of the discussion on this thread has already shown.

Ancient Fortitude has been brought to once per short or long rest, for those of us chosen to receive the update (I wish I knew why it wouldn't work for me, but going forward I will assume that is the case)

Guardian aura is very, very strong, but so is getting Evasion or Uncanny dodge


The Warden Ranger probably edges out the hunter as being slightly better, but I wouldn't think it is by very much.
 


Piercing thorns is worse than Colossus Slayer.

Thorns is 1d6 once a turn
Slayer is 1d8 once a turn, slayer does have the limit that the enemy has to already be damaged, but once you are 5th level and have 2 attacks that limit drops off significantly. I think it is a limit that will come up very rarely.

Guardian aura is very, very strong, but so is getting Evasion or Uncanny dodge


The Warden Ranger probably edges out the hunter as being slightly better, but I wouldn't think it is by very much.

Piercing Thorns is only 1pt of damage per round less than Colossus Slayer. Add in the damaged requirement that they are either even or trivially different.

The movement penalty would mean more if there was a limited number of uses to Guardian Soul or if it required more than a bonus action. You can work around it.

Uncanny dodge or evasion are indeed nice, but only affect the ranger and can be situational. Healing any number of allys for 7-10 points of damage each round basically means no ally within range can be dropped unless they are killed outright or the ranger is incapacitated. Easily one of the most powerful class abilities in game.
 

Ganymede81

First Post
I like the Horizon Walker... I am not 100% sold on the thematics (especially for the level 3 combat ability), but it seems to fit well for one of my characters, a Ranger/Cleric of Fharlanghn.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Piercing Thorns is only 1pt of damage per round less than Colossus Slayer. Add in the damaged requirement that they are either even or trivially different.

The movement penalty would mean more if there was a limited number of uses to Guardian Soul or if it required more than a bonus action. You can work around it.

Uncanny dodge or evasion are indeed nice, but only affect the ranger and can be situational. Healing any number of allys for 7-10 points of damage each round basically means no ally within range can be dropped unless they are killed outright or the ranger is incapacitated. Easily one of the most powerful class abilities in game.


I agree Guardian Aura is perhaps too powerful. Not sure how you weaken it without removing it or making it the same as Aura of Vitality. You can say, "when an ally hits 0 they no longer benefit" but then you have the odd situation of a healing aura not healing while you are in the aura. It needs work and I hold out faith they will handle it.

To the Guardian Soul though, yes you need to be able to work around the limit. I'm always nervous about making a class ability so weak that it is pointless. Making it a full action to activate, and therefore be able to use any of your subclass abilities, might make the entire subclass too weak, as it can do nothing beyond base ranger abilities if it cannot transform. Same if you limit it to a few times per short rest transformation. That might not make it too bad (though it discourages finding clever uses for it out of combat).

This subclass is very interesting in that i has this one ability which everything else is hung off of, and I don't quite know how to compare it because of that.

Honestly though if these guys and the Underdark Ranger keep their spell lists, I hope they release additional rules for the Beastmaster and Hunter to have extra spells, and maybe this will cause them to go back and tweak the Hunter a little bit in this new book when they update the Base Ranger.
 

bganon

Explorer
It's ironic to see everyone objecting to Large size on this thread as extremely powerful, when in the general case, if you comment on how e.g. Mounted Combatant is a very strong feat, so many people will turn right around and tell you that you can't get Large-sized mounts into adventuring locations like dungeons and that Mounted Combatant is therefore useless. Both of these things cannot be true simultaneously.

I'm not saying it's the same people speaking up in both cases BTW, just that it's interesting to see.

Speaking for myself, I'm fine with Large PCs. It has advantages (larger weapons) and disadvantages (harder to get cover; penalties from fighting in smaller spaces), plus the intrinsic disadvantages of being a ranger instead of a fighter (fewer attacks) and the Guardian form itself (low mobility).

But then, I grew up with 2nd edition Dark Sun, so half-giants aren't a new thing for me.

I can't speak for others, but for me the Large size isn't problematic because of power level, it's problematic because size change can trigger a whole bunch of rules weirdness, and this class can change size every single round. It's just annoying to keep track of, especially if you allow the character to carry around two greatswords for dual-wielding (as longswords or something) when Large. And why not allow it, it makes sense, right? Does the size change affect their grappling ability? And so on.

I'd just rather have an ability more clearly broken down into parts with clear mechanical implications and parts that are clearly ribbons. "Speed becomes 5ft" and "increase reach by 5ft" are pretty clear. "You become Large" is messy.

I'd also point out that it's a lot easier to get a Medium creature into a dungeon and then enlarge it than it is to get a Large creature into a dungeon.
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
I can't speak for others, but for me the Large size isn't problematic because of power level, it's problematic because size change can trigger a whole bunch of rules weirdness, and this class can change size every single round. It's just annoying to keep track of, especially if you allow the character to carry around two greatswords for dual-wielding (as longswords or something) when Large. And why not allow it, it makes sense, right? Does the size change affect their grappling ability? And so on.

I'd just rather have an ability more clearly broken down into parts with clear mechanical implications and parts that are clearly ribbons. "Speed becomes 5ft" and "increase reach by 5ft" are pretty clear. "You become Large" is messy.

I'd also point out that it's a lot easier to get a Medium creature into a dungeon and then enlarge it than it is to get a Large creature into a dungeon.

Do you find you encounter some of the same problems when a Druid Wildshapes into a Large creature like a Brown Bear?
 

I'd also point out that it's a lot easier to get a Medium creature into a dungeon and then enlarge it than it is to get a Large creature into a dungeon.

This isn't really true in 5E. Large creatures can fit into Medium spaces; they just move at half speed and take penalties (disadvantage on attack rolls, etc.) while they do so. See "Squeezing Into Smaller Spaces" in the PHB.

The only dungeons that Large creatures can't get into are the ones that Medium creatures have to squeeze into at half speed + penalties, which presumably means ones that are sized for Tiny creatures. (Since Small and Medium are the same size for purposes of space required.)
 

OB1

Jedi Master
I can't speak for others, but for me the Large size isn't problematic because of power level, it's problematic because size change can trigger a whole bunch of rules weirdness, and this class can change size every single round. It's just annoying to keep track of, especially if you allow the character to carry around two greatswords for dual-wielding (as longswords or something) when Large. And why not allow it, it makes sense, right? Does the size change affect their grappling ability? And so on.

I'd just rather have an ability more clearly broken down into parts with clear mechanical implications and parts that are clearly ribbons. "Speed becomes 5ft" and "increase reach by 5ft" are pretty clear. "You become Large" is messy.

I'd also point out that it's a lot easier to get a Medium creature into a dungeon and then enlarge it than it is to get a Large creature into a dungeon.

How do you deal with the Enlarge spell? I've been twinning that spell for two years with no rules weirdness. I've never thought of having the PCs I enlarge use bigger weapons. If a PC tried that in a game I ran, I wouldn't allow dual-wielding greatswords, and if they picked up a large monster weapon I'd allow it at the damage for that weapon but they wouldn't be proficient in it. As for grappling, unlike the enlarge spell this ability doesn't say they have advantage on strength checks, so I'd say it doesn't affect their crippling ability other than having reach.
 

Al2O3

Explorer
Grappling is influenced by size. The is a rule about not being able to grapple creatures more than one size category larger than you. So becoming large instead of medium increases the number of size categories you can try to grapple with.

Sent from my Nexus 6 using EN World mobile app
 

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