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5E Ranger Natural Explorer and Favored Enemy/Foe options

GlassJaw

Adventurer
There's been a lot of heavy topics lately so feels like a good time for another nice and calm ranger discussion. :LOL:

Anyway, I'm I'm starting a new campaign (coastal/island sandbox with Saltmarsh as the home base) and I finally have a player who is going to play a ranger. I'm definitely in the anti-PHB ranger camp and I've liked many of the variant options and homebrews that I've seen.

I'm putting together my own version that is essentially a mix of the UA Revised Ranger, UA Class Feature Variants, and a fairly well-known reddit homebrew version called The Revised Ranger (Revised).

The main abilities I'm torn on are Natural Explorer and Favored Enemy/Foe, and my debate is whether to continue to require choices for those abilities (favored terrain/enemies) or go with the "universal" Natural Explorer and Favored Foe. Choosing terrains and enemies has the 3ed feel of the ranger but I completely understand the reasoning for making these abilities universally applicable.

I like Deft Explorer from the UA Class Feature Variants but I also don't want to lose Natural Explorer. One thought is to keep Natural Explorer at 1st level (with no terrain choices) and then grant the Deft Explorer choices at levels 6 and 10.

Thoughts? What does your cobbled-together Ranger look like?
 
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Laurefindel

Adventurer
There's been a lot of heavy topics lately so feels like a good time for another nice and calm ranger discussion. :>)

Anyway, I'm I'm starting a new campaign (coastal/island sandbox with Saltmarsh as the home base) and I finally have a player who is going to play a ranger. I'm definitely in the anti-PHB ranger camp and I've liked many of the variant options and homebrews that I've seen.

I'm putting together my own version that is essentially a mix of the UA Revised Ranger, UA Class Feature Variants, and a fairly well-known reddit homebrew version called The Revised Ranger (Revised).

The main abilities I'm torn on are Natural Explorer and Favored Enemy/Foe, and my debate is whether to continue to require choices for those abilities (favored terrain/enemies) or go with the "universal" Natural Explorer and Favored Foe. Choosing terrains and enemies has the 3ed feel of the ranger but I completely understand the reasoning for making these abilities universally applicable.

I like Deft Explorer from the UA Class Feature Variants but I also don't want to lose Natural Explorer. One thought is to keep Natural Explorer at 1st level (with no terrain choices) and then grant the Deft Explorer choices at levels 6 and 10.

Thoughts? What does your cobbled-together Ranger look like?
Abilities allowing the ranger to « attune » to new terrain/enemy has the best of both worlds IMO
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I just take the phb Ranger, and add the UA “replacements” as “enhancements”.

Although I change the Hunters Mark w/o concentration benefit to 1/day.
 

tommybahama

Adventurer
Our DM allowed our Ranger to take this fighting style from an old UA:

Close Quarters Shooter You are trained in making ranged attacks at close quarters. When making a ranged attack while you are within 5 feet of a hostile creature, you do not have disadvantage on the attack roll. Your ranged attacks ignore half cover and three-‐‑quarters cover against targets within 30 feet of you. Finally, you have a +1 bonus to attack rolls on ranged attacks.

It's very thematic for a Ranger as a skirmisher.
 

Quickleaf

Legend
Currently we're using the PHB ranger with the UA Alternate Class Features allowed. I made a change in how Natural Explorer works for this campaign – there are just 3 terrain types: Red Lands (desert), Black Lands (along the river and coast), and Oases. These cover the major areas of this campaign, and each will get considerable representation, so it allows the player to benefit from Natural Explorer far more often. This seems to be working well for us so far.
 

Minigiant

Legend
I use pure PHB ranger. I let PHB rangers spend a week to swap one favored enemy or terrain. Also when you use Primeval Awareness, you gain favored terrain in that area for a day if you don't have it.

Also I have a bunch of homebrew ranger spells and additional hunter prey, defensive tactics, multiattack options for hunters.
 

Benjamin Olson

Adventurer
I'm playing a Ranger with the UA variant class features right now, and it feels like a vast improvement to me. Favored Foe makes Hunter's Mark the central class mechanic from level 1, and in my mind that is a-okay. They no longer have a weak level 1, they have a respectable number of spell slots for other things for the rest of tier 1, and they feel distinctive (maybe less so were there a Warlock around). Deft explorer gives a lot of customization at level 1, and the expertise option vastly lowers the temptation to take a Rogue dip.

I never once missed having some special terrain or enemy I was extra special good with. RP covers that just fine. If a player wants to make their background heavily focused on a particular terrain or enemy then the DM can even keep that in mind for relevant skill checks.
 


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