Playtest (A5E) Level Up Playtest Document #7: Ranger

Welcome to the 7th Level Up playtest document. This playtest contains a candidate for the first 10 levels of game’s ranger class. In our initial survey, you asked us for a spell-less ranger -- so here is our playtest candidate for it!

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Take the survey here!

What this is​

This is a playtest document. We’d love you to try out the rules presented here, and then answer the follow-up survey in a few days.

What this is not​

This is NOT the final game. It’s OK if you don’t like elements of these rules; that’s the purpose of a playtest document. Be sure to participate in the follow-up survey in a few days. All data, positive or negative is useful.

What we use this for​

Your survey responses help form the direction of the game as it goes through the development process.

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Continue reading...
 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Faolyn

(she/her)
To sum up the warlord, it's a nonmagical fighter/bard who makes their allies more effective by granting additional attacks or movement, boosting their rolls, penalizing enemies, and restoring HP (or granting temp HP) via superior tactics and morale-boosting.
So it is a nonmusical bard, then.

Maybe make warlord into a bard archetype that uses shouts instead of music, and allows for a broader range of weapons that can also be used as a spellcasting focus (like swords bards do).
 

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Arilyn

Hero
Since 5e classes only have a few archetype entry points, it's probably not a good idea to turn too many class ideas into archetypes, as is often suggested. The warlord is quite different from the bard, and wouldn't have room to breathe if stuffed into the bard container. You wouldn't get a warlord feature until 3rd level, and then a few more points after that. And then what about the spells, which is a big part of being a bard, but not warlord?

I like the warlord as a class, although, I'm not a fan of the name.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Since 5e classes only have a few archetype entry points, it's probably not a good idea to turn too many class ideas into archetypes, as is often suggested. The warlord is quite different from the bard, and wouldn't have room to breathe if stuffed into the bard container. You wouldn't get a warlord feature until 3rd level, and then a few more points after that. And then what about the spells, which is a big part of being a bard, but not warlord?
OK, but different enough from the bard how? What would stifle it if it became a bard archetype? What if they had an ability that burned spell slots, like the way a paladin's smites do? That would help them be less spell-oriented.

Obviously, we'll wait and see what LU has in store. But until then, I'm pretty skeptical of it as a class.
 

Arilyn

Hero
OK, but different enough from the bard how? What would stifle it if it became a bard archetype? What if they had an ability that burned spell slots, like the way a paladin's smites do? That would help them be less spell-oriented.

Obviously, we'll wait and see what LU has in store. But until then, I'm pretty skeptical of it as a class.
Other than supporting allies, I'm not seeing the connection between bards and military commanders. And having spells which then get burned to do commander things seems clunky. Shouldn't they just get their own thing, skipping the spell burning step? I don't even like this with paladins.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Other than supporting allies, I'm not seeing the connection between bards and military commanders. And having spells which then get burned to do commander things seems clunky. Shouldn't they just get their own thing, skipping the spell burning step? I don't even like this with paladins.
As @CM said: To sum up the warlord, it's a nonmagical fighter/bard who makes their allies more effective by granting additional attacks or movement, boosting their rolls, penalizing enemies, and restoring HP (or granting temp HP) via superior tactics and morale-boosting.

Is this correct, in your opinion?

Look through the bard abilities. They can literally do everything on that list except maybe granting additional attacks.

What do military commanders do? They give orders and inspire their troops to perform great deeds. Exactly as bards to. Don't forget, character class isn't a job. It's a collection of abilities.
 

Arilyn

Hero
As @CM said: To sum up the warlord, it's a nonmagical fighter/bard who makes their allies more effective by granting additional attacks or movement, boosting their rolls, penalizing enemies, and restoring HP (or granting temp HP) via superior tactics and morale-boosting.

Is this correct, in your opinion?

Look through the bard abilities. They can literally do everything on that list except maybe granting additional attacks.

What do military commanders do? They give orders and inspire their troops to perform great deeds. Exactly as bards to. Don't forget, character class isn't a job. It's a collection of abilities.
Games can certainly be designed this way, but that's not D&D. We have fighters, rangers, monks and barbarians. We have Wizards, sorcerers and warlocks. We have clerics and paladins. The descriptions of the classes have never in any edition just read like a collection of abilities.

I think it's very possible to make a warlord class that's as distinct from a bard as a barbarian is from a fighter or a sorcerer from a wizard.

4e did it. 13th Age did it really well. I think Level Up can do it too.
 

I see the bard as the magical step brother of the warlord. It shares a lot of the same DNA; helping allies, debilitating enemies, battlefield control, etc. But where the bard's mom went to art school, the warlord's mom went to a military academy (and their dad was probably a paladin in his youth).

The bard's inspiration mechanic could easily fit onto a warlord. Song of rest and counter charm as well, but the fluff is all wrong. Some of the spells work too but only in a mechanical sense. Otherwise a lot of bard stuff doesn't fit. Jack of all trades, expertise, magical secrets, most of the spells, lower hit dice, weapon and armor proficiencies, and being a full caster instead of a martial class.

As for archetypes I'd go with a Tactician that emphasizes finding/creating exploits in enemies and terrain, a Strategist that offers day long buffs to allies, a Commander that gets some Paladin-esque aura abilities, a Hospitaller/Medic that gives actual healing instead of temp hp to allies, and a War Mind that uses psionics to boost their abilities to greater heights.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
So it is a nonmusical bard, then.

Maybe make warlord into a bard archetype that uses shouts instead of music, and allows for a broader range of weapons that can also be used as a spellcasting focus (like swords bards do).
I guess, in the sense that a barbarian is an angry fighter and a cleric is a holy wizard. I mean, all D&D classes hit things, heal things, or magic things. I think somebody said in another thread that you only need two classes: martial and magical.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
To get back on topic, although I like the v2 version of the ranger better, it feels to me more like an alternate fighter.

Maybe that's what people want.

However a lot of the A5E ranger class's features feel like they could just be fighter fighter ones. Just a swap of focus from Athletics, Intimidation, and Acrobatics to Perception, Stealth, and Survival. For example Fearsome Mysticism could go on a fighter. And how some of the features are just combat buff.

What I mean is. It feels like it answers "what do I want rangers to have?" and not "what do rangers what to have?". A player wants their ranger to pick up fighter and druid knack or be good with nets. A ranger, who might be hunting frost giants in the arctic at level 8, was to be better at killing giants and resisting the arctic.

But that's just me.
 

Waller

Hero
To get back on topic, although I like the v2 version of the ranger better, it feels to me more like an alternate fighter.
Seems pretty on topic... the thread is now the "we really only need one class" thread. The wizard is just a bad fighter with spells!
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Seems pretty on topic... the thread is now the "we really only need one class" thread. The wizard is just a bad fighter with spells!

Where isn't the issue?

People ask for a spell-less ranger and nudge it to a woodsy fighter.

Then other people say the ranger is unnecessary as we already can make woodsy fighters.

The tough part that Morrus and the gang have is creating a ranger that doesn't look like a alternate fighter with some skills and knacks swapped out. The defining aspect of the 5e ranger is it's spells. Swap that out and you have to create a new iconic class features that feels rangery.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Where isn't the issue?

People ask for a spell-less ranger and nudge it to a woodsy fighter.

Then other people say the ranger is unnecessary as we already can make woodsy fighters.

The tough part that Morrus and the gang have is creating a ranger that doesn't look like a alternate fighter with some skills and knacks swapped out. The defining aspect of the 5e ranger is it's spells. Swap that out and you have to create a new iconic class features that feels rangery.
I think v2 largely succeeds at th4at
 


Faolyn

(she/her)
OK, OK, I'm not going to refuse to buy a product because of the Warlord. I'll just remain skeptical until I see a finished class, plus archetypes.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
I feel it does levels 1-5.
From 6 on, it gets... eh.

To me anyway.
I'm not sure I agree
1607627155282.png

This is what the net does in stock core
1607627298497.png


A ranger can use that to lockdown a large or smaller creature (like a giant or young dragon) using a nonmagical off the shelf 1gp net while still making attacks themselves & giving the party advantage to attack it along with making it attack/dex save at disadvantage. that's huge & really cares out a niche for ranger.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
I'm not sure I agree
View attachment 129905
This is what the net does in stock core
View attachment 129906

A ranger can use that to lockdown a large or smaller creature (like a giant or young dragon) using a nonmagical off the shelf 1gp net while still making attacks themselves & giving the party advantage to attack it along with making it attack/dex save at disadvantage. that's huge & really cares out a niche for ranger.

Giants have +5 to Str and +8 to hit or better. Throwing a net on a giant is just sacrificing your bonus action to waste one of their massive axe atta...

Oh.. yeah. Giants are huge size this immune to nets. Hence my point that while cool, the A5E ranger doesn't really scale.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Frost Giants have +6 to Str and +9 to hit. Throwing a net on a giant is just sacrificing your bonus action to waste one of their massive axe atta...

Oh.. yeah. Frost Giants are huge size this immune to nets.
Not all giants are size huge & it's not like you couldn't have magic or specialized net for size huge baddies. There are a ton of creatures size large & smaller though

Edit: even if you restrict it to size medium & large of type giant you still have a good number of giants. looking outside the giant subtype & you have a massive number of creatures
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Giants have +5 to Str and +8 to hit or better. Throwing a net on a giant is just sacrificing your bonus action to waste one of their massive axe atta...

Oh.. yeah. Giants are huge size this immune to nets. Hence my point that while cool, the A5E ranger doesn't really scale.
For the record, Large giants include ogres, trolls (except for dire trolls), ettins, oni, ogrillons, and crab folk.

And a creature can only attempt break out of the net on its turn, until which, attack rolls made against it are made at advantage. Even if it breaks out right away, it still sacrifices an action and potentially gives the rest of a party an easy attack against it.

And as @tetrasodium suggests, there's a possibility of reinforced nets, either magical or not (chain nets?). I'm not sure a Medium creature could handle a net made for a Giant creature without resorting to building a trap, but there's still options here.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Not all giants are size huge & it's not like you couldn't have magic or specialized net for size huge baddies. There are a ton of creatures size large & smaller though

Edit: even if you restrict it to size medium & large of type giant you still have a good number of giants. looking outside the giant subtype & you have a massive number of creatures

The point was that the class doesn't scale. Level 6 is when a 5th edition character starts to truly exist the next tier of play. It is when you can toss huge monsters, deadly spellcasters, and invulnerable does at the group. It is when characters are supposed to be noticeably fantastic.

However the loss of spells, to me, has tilted this class closer to being a fighter in a green hood as fantastic survivalism isn't front and center and combat stays alone in the foreground against next level threats. If anything, a ranger should be better at fighting giants at these levels.
 

ART!

Legend
I just want to say that i started D&D eons ago playing a lot of rangers, but haven't played them in years and years because they got...weird, and spellcast-y. I'm very interested in Level Up, and this version of the ranger makes me happy.
 

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