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My Beastmaster class

xorpalm

Explorer
I'd love to get some feedback on my beast-master archetype. The latest ranger arcana really rubbed me raw, as it really avoided the whole beastmaster thing. I also think the other phb5e ranger archetype is fine as-is.

Read it at this link:

Beast Master (google docs)

updated: beast uses ranger attack action.

updated: 15th level uses adjacency rather then pet hitting target
 
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Xeviat

Adventurer
Check the damage output of the giant poisonous snake. Also, most of the CR 1/4 medium beasts have a rider on their attack; wolves can prone with any bite, panthers can prone with a pounce, a few can grapple. The beast isn't just for damage, except for the poison ones. Plus, with the baseline proficiency bonus to damage that beasts get, you get things like a wolf dealing 2d4+4 (9 damage) plus save or prone, while the ranger's attack would be 1d8+3 (7.5) or maybe 1d8+5 (9.5) with duelist.

The giant poisonous snake has a bite for 1d4+6 (8.5) as a ranger companion, with a save for 3d6 (10.5) poison damage. This even beats out the hunter's 1d8+5+1d8 (14), and is even even if the foe makes their save against the poison (8.5+5.25 is 13.75).

If you want the pet to be able to attack as it's own action, it's damage output is going to need to be down in the 4.5 range, equal with the Colossus Slayer bonus.

I have a different suggestion. First, give the pet its own actions, as you have done, but do not allow it to take the attack action unless the ranger gives up one of their attacks. This makes it just like the chain warlock's familiar; I like using similar mechanics for balance. This means the ranger can either attack with their beast (adding a rider, or having damage near the hunter's) or they can have their pet help them (which also boosts their effectiveness up to the Hunter's area).

This change allows the pet to keep pace with the ranger if they have to flee something, and allows the pet to feel like its own thing, From levels 3 to 4, it's either pet aids ranger's attack or the ranger commands the pet to attack; at level 5, it becomes pet and ranger attacking in concert, or the pet can still aid the ranger's attack.

To replace the level 7 ability, I'd let the pet become large and gain a bonus, or remain medium and get a bonus.

As for multiattack pets ... there is the giant badger, which with the beast master's proficiency to damage deals 1d6+3 and 2d4+3, for 14.5 potential damage; again, even with the hunter's colossus slayer. I'd call a giant badger a wolverine; it's cooler that way.
 

xorpalm

Explorer
I agree with what you say; though I wonder how to handle multi-attacks. In the warlock chain pact, you never have the warlock or the familiar multi-attacking. So you could probably get away by simply using the rangers attack action for either him or his pet; this lets the ranger retain his multiattack.
 

Xeviat

Adventurer
You don't have to take away the ranger's multiattack. The chain warlock states "additionally, when you take the Attack action, you can forgo one of your own attacks to allow your familiar to make one attack of its own". As long as you clearly state whether or not this is supposed to allow for multiattack (it should, IMO), you're fine.

When the Hunter ranger gets extra attack at 5th level, the value of their Colossus Slayer jumps up (I always look to Colossus slayer as it is easier to quantify). The hunter's str or dex score is likely increasing at 4 and 8, but won't grow from there without magic items. This is why the standard pet gets proficiency to damage; +6 damage is pretty hefty in the grand scheme of things when you look at the beast master ranger getting 2 beast attacks and 1 of their own attacks at 11th level.
 

xorpalm

Explorer
Yeah, but I'm trying to balance the class in WOTC terms- kind of as they wrote it; if you leave the conversion as 1 attack = 1 pet attack action; then you get the same power creep - a two weapon beastmaster is making 4 attacks if you include his pet having multi-attack. I assumed (incorrectly) that the hard CR cap on the beast was in order to keep the ranger down to pets with a single attack. Now that you've shown me the wild-badger... I'm not sure what to think. Would it be legit to include up to CR 1 if you either attacked as ranger or as beast, but not as both per round.

I guess what I'm trying to say is : how much do we need to nerf the beastmaster himself in order to allow him CR 1 large beasts.
 

Xeviat

Adventurer
If the goal is to add large beasts, I'd introduce that at a later level. 11th maybe? It could be an option instead of the double attack option. But I firmly believe the ranger shouldn't be using monster manual beasts, but have companions with stats designed just for them, so adding large beasts wouldn't be difficult at all.

Because of the way companion AC, Attack, Damage, and HP scale with the ranger, upping their CR is less important. The difference between CR 1/4 and CR 1 is just damage and HP.
 

xorpalm

Explorer
Currently my scaling is CR 1/2 at 7th and CR 1 at 11th. Pouring over the beasts in the monster manual is exactly what a beastmaster should be about... at least in my opinion anyways :). I changed the level 15th power to use adjacency instead of the pet hitting the target to give advantage on attacks and spells, to be consistent with the new attack options.

I'd love to play the class using 1 ranger attack = 1 multi-attack from pet; but I just think that would be overpowered from a WOTC perspective at higher cr then 1/4.

And thanks for your feedback xeviat. I notice you're the only one responding to the homebrew ranger feedbacks; it's much appreciated
 

xorpalm

Explorer
Okay, here's a compromise; Starting at fifth level you have the following options: a) attack action ranger (2 ranger attacks) ;
b) attack action pet (possibly 2 pet attacks);
c) substitute one of your ranger attacks with a single pet attack ( 1 ranger, 1 pet attack).

I think this is the happy medium to allow higher CR pets.
 

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