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D&D 5E Modifying Ranger's Beast of the Land

pukunui

Legend
Hi all,

I've just had a player rejoin one of my gaming groups, and he has chosen to play a kobold beast master ranger. Apparently he loves spiders, and he wants his ranger's pet to be a spider that his kobold can ride on. One of the other players convinced him to use the variant Primal Companion feature from Tasha's, but in our first gameplay session last night, he was disappointed to discover that the generic Beast of the Land statblock doesn't allow his pet to be an "actual" spider. It does have a climb speed, but it can't climb on ceilings and sling webs and things like a normal spider can.

The other player has pointed out that, while he can have an "actual" giant wolf spider by using the regular beast master rules, the spider won't scale in power and will quickly end up useless compared to the "Beast of the Land". (EDIT: I've just gone back and looked at the revised beast master companion rules, and it absolutely does scale in pretty much all the same places. It just gets fewer hit points [default or 4 x ranger level vs 5 + 5 x ranger level for primal] and requires an action to command vs a bonus action for the primal version. The primal one is also easier to restore to life when it dies.)

I'd like to help him out so he can have more fun.

The giant wolf spider statblock is already pretty similar to the generic Beast of the Land statblock. I am thinking of maybe removing the Charge feature and replacing it with the wolf spider's Spider Climb, Web Sense, and Web Walker features. That seems fair enough. I could then replace the generic "maul" attack with a bite attack that can also do a save for half 1d6 poison dmg (to replace the extra 1d6 dmg from the Charge feature).

So basically we'd end up with:

Spider Companion
Medium beast

Armor Class 13 + PB (natural armor)
Hit Points 5 + five times your ranger level (the beast has a number of Hit Dice [d8s] equal to your ranger level)
Speed 40 ft., climb 40 ft.

STR 14 (+2) DEX 14 (+2) CON 15 (+2) INT 8 (−1) WIS 14 (+2) CHA 11 (+0)
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 12
Languages understands the languages you speak
ChallengeProficiency Bonus (PB) equals your bonus

Spider Climb. The spider can climb difficult surfaces, including upside down on ceilings, without needing to make an ability check.
Web Sense. While in contact with a web, the spider knows the exact location of any other creature in contact with the same web.
Web Walker. The spider ignores movement restrictions caused by webbing.
Primal Bond. You can add your proficiency bonus to any ability check or saving throw that the beast makes.

Actions
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: your spell attack modifier to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 1d8 + 2 + PB piercing damage, and the target must make a Constitution saving throw with a DC equal to 10 + PB, taking 3 (1d6) poison damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.


How does that look? It's more overtly spiderish, it will scale with the ranger's level, but it's not exactly the same as a regular giant wolf spider (no blindsight, skill proficiencies, or paralyzation).

Thoughts?
 
Last edited:

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Stormonu

Legend
Looks good to me. As you said, the main intent is for your player to have fun - you can always tweak it further as the game goes on and your group sees how it actually plays out.

Since the kobold will be riding it, are you planning to use the "intelligent" mount rules for controlling/guiding it?
 

pukunui

Legend
Looks good to me. As you said, the main intent is for your player to have fun - you can always tweak it further as the game goes on and your group sees how it actually plays out.
Thanks. Good plan!

Since the kobold will be riding it, are you planning to use the "intelligent" mount rules for controlling/guiding it?
That would probably be best since the primal companion gets an Intelligence of 8.
 

If your player really wants it, it probably wouldn't hurt anything to give it a web attack 1/day when you get to Tier 2. Maybe even more times a day at higher levels...
 

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