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D&D 5E Ranger (Non-Spellcasting Variant)

Jmarso

Explorer
This is something I've been tinkering with after reading discussions about what rangers are actually supposed to be, and it got me thinking back on the heady days of 1E AD&D when the ranger was a subclass of fighter. So this is an alternate version of the ranger, sort of a mashup of stuff that's already out there plus a couple of homebrew features, and minus all spellcasting ability. Basically I was looking for a 'martial ranger' who really shines in his/her favored terrain and is more a fighter than a half-caster. Opinions?

The Ranger (Non-Spellcasting Variation)

Class Features

As a ranger, you gain the following class features:
Hit Points
Hit Dice: 1d10 per ranger level.
Hit points at 1st Level: 10 + your Constitution modifier.
Hit points at Higher Levels: 1d10 (or 6) + your Constitution modifier per ranger level after 1st.

Proficiencies:
Armor: Light armor, medium armor, shields.
Weapons: Simple Weapons, Single-handed* axes and swords, longbow.
*Versatile and finesse weapons included. Does not preclude additional proficiencies using feats.
Tools: Herbalism Kit

Saving Throws: Strength or Dexterity**, Constitution
**Player’s choice depending on intended character build.

Skills: Nature, Survival. Plus, choose any two from the following list: Animal Handling, Athletics, Insight, Investigation, Perception, and Stealth.

Equipment
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
Your choice of (a) Any light armor, or (b) Any medium armor excluding breast plate or half-plate.
Your choice of any two simple weapons. (If a sling or shortbow is chosen, the appropriate holding container and 20 rounds of ammunition is included).
Your choice of (a) battle axe or (b) longsword*** or (c) longbow with a quiver of 20 arrows.
An Explorer’s Pack or Dungeoneer's Pack
***Or relative bladed martial weapon equivalent such as a rapier or scimitar.

Alternatively, you may start with 5d4x10 GP and buy your own equipment.

Multiclassing
Ability Score Minimum: Constitution 13, Strength OR Dexterity 14
When you gain a level in a class other than your first, you gain only some of that class's starting proficiencies.
Armor: light armor, medium armor, shields
Weapons: quarterstaff, spear, single handed axes, single handed swords, shortbow, and longbow.
Skills: Choose 1 from Nature or Survival. If already proficient in both, no new skill proficiencies are obtained.

Level Prof. Bonus Features

1 +2 Natural Explorer, 2nd Wind
2 +2 Fighting Style, Terrain Expertise
3 +2 Primeval Awareness, Ranger Archetype
4 +2 Ability Score Improvement (or Feat)
5 +3 Extra Attack, Favored Foe
6 +3 Wilderness Medicine, Terrain Expertise
7 +3 Ranger Archetype Feature, Fleet of Foot
8 +3 Ability Score Improvement (or Feat)
9 +4 Environmental Resilience
10 +4 Hide in Plain Sight or Group Stealth
11 +4 Ranger Archetype Feature
12 +4 Ability Score Improvement (or Feat)
13 +5 Natural Explorer Improvement
14 +5 Vanish or Set Ambush
15 +5 Ranger Archetype Feature
16 +5 Ability Score Improvement (or Feat)
17 +6 Improved Wilderness Medicine
18 +6 Feral Senses
19 +6 Ability Score Improvement (or Feat)
20 +6 Foe Slayer



Natural Explorer
You are particularly familiar with one type of natural environment and are adept at traveling and surviving in such regions. Choose one type of favored terrain: arctic, coast, desert, forest, grassland, mountain, swamp, or the Underdark. When you make an Intelligence or Wisdom check related to your favored terrain, your proficiency bonus is doubled if you are using a skill that you're proficient in.
While traveling for an hour or more in your favored terrain, you gain the following benefits:
You ignore difficult terrain.
You have advantage on initiative rolls.
On your first turn during combat, you have advantage on attack rolls against creatures that have not yet acted.
Difficult terrain doesn't slow your group's travel.
Your group can't become lost except by magical means.
Even when you are engaged in another activity while traveling (such as foraging, navigating, or tracking), you remain alert to danger.
If you are traveling alone, you can move stealthily at a normal pace.
When you forage, you find twice as much food as you normally would.
While tracking other creatures, you also learn their exact number, their sizes, and how long ago they passed through the area.

Second Wind
You have a limited well of stamina you can draw upon to protect yourself from harm. On your turn, you can use a bonus action to regain hit points equal to 1d10 + your ranger level. Once you use this feature, you must complete a short or long rest before you can use it again.

Fighting Style
ARCHER
You gain a +2 bonus to attack rolls you make with ranged weapons.
BLIND FIGHTING
You have blindsight with a range of 10 feet. Within that range, you can effectively see anything that isn't behind total cover, even if you're blinded or in darkness. Moreover, you can see an invisible creature within that range, unless the creature successfully hides from you.
DEFENSE
While you are wearing armor, you gain a +1 bonus to AC.
DUELING
When you are wielding a melee weapon in one hand and no other weapons, you gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls with that weapon.
THROWN WEAPON FIGHTING
You can draw a weapon that has the thrown property as part of the attack you make with the weapon. In addition, when you hit with a ranged attack using a thrown weapon, you gain a +2 bonus to the damage roll.
UNARMED FIGHTING
Your unarmed strikes can deal bludgeoning damage equal to 1d6 + your Strength modifier on a hit. If you aren't wielding any weapons or a shield when you make the attack roll, the d6 becomes a d8.
At the start of each of your turns, you can deal 1d4 bludgeoning damage to one creature grappled by you.

Primeval Awareness
Beginning at 3rd level, your mastery of ranger lore allows you to establish a powerful link to beasts and to the land around you. You have an innate ability to communicate with beasts, and they recognize you as a kindred spirit. Through sounds and gestures, you can communicate simple ideas to a beast as an action and can read its basic mood and intent. You learn its emotional state, whether it is affected by magic of any sort, its short-term needs (such as food or safety), and actions you can take (if any) to persuade it to not attack. You cannot use this ability against a creature that you have attacked within the past 10 minutes.

Ranger Archetype****
Beast Master (As per PHB)
Hunter (As per PHB)
Monster Slayer (As per XGTE)
Dungeon Stalker (See below)

****All subclass features EXCEPT Spellcasting

Extra Attack
Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.

Favored Foe
When you hit a creature with an attack roll, you can call on your bond with nature to mark the target as your favored enemy for 1 minute or until you lose your concentration (as if you were concentrating on a spell).
The first time on each of your turns that you hit the favored enemy and deal damage to it, including when you mark it, you can increase that damage by 1d4.
You can use this feature to mark a favored enemy a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus, and you regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.
This feature's extra damage increases when you reach certain levels in this class: to 1d6 at 6th level and to 1d8 at 14th level.

Terrain Expertise
Choose two skills that you are proficient in from the following list: Animal Handling, Athletics, Insight, Investigation, Nature, Perception, Stealth, and Survival. In your favored terrain, you double your proficiency bonus with those skills. These bonuses do not stack. (You can’t take Terrain Expertise more than once per skill.)

Wilderness Medicine
In their favored terrain, the ranger is adept at utilizing local flora and fauna with healing properties. Dungeon Stalkers are similarly familiar with various subterranean mosses, lichens, spider silk, etc. Medicine checks in favored terrain are made using the ranger’s proficiency bonus. Once per day, given an hour of preparation time, you can craft potions or poultices (1d4 uses) that will heal hit points equal to 1d8+ the ranger’s level. In addition, these items will halt (cure) the progression of any non-magical disease contracted the same day. In a similar fashion, the ranger can craft an antitoxin to counter the effects of poison (1 use per hour spent). All items crafted by the ranger in this manner are perishable and need to be used within one day of being created, or they will spoil and be useless. Use of this feature requires an herbalism kit.

Environmental Resilience
In their favored terrain, the ranger makes all Constitution checks with advantage. The ranger gains the following damage resistance based on their favored terrain, but it applies at all times:

Arctic Cold
Coast Cold
Desert Fire
Forest Cold
Grassland Cold
Mountain Cold
Swamp Poison
Underdark Poison

The damage resistance granted by this feature can only be taken once, using the ranger’s original choice of favored terrain. Additional favored terrains do not grant additional damage resistances.

Fleet of Foot
Beginning at 7th level, you can use the Dash action as a bonus action on your turn.

Hide in Plain Sight
Starting at 10th level, you can remain perfectly still for long periods of time to set up ambushes. When you attempt to hide on your turn, you can opt to not move on that turn. If you avoid moving, creatures that attempt to detect you take a −10 penalty to their Wisdom (Perception) checks until the start of your next turn. You lose this benefit if you move or fall prone, either voluntarily or because of some external effect. You are still automatically detected if any effect or action causes you to no longer be hidden. If you are still hidden on your next turn, you can continue to remain motionless and gain this benefit until you are detected.

Group Stealth
Starting at 10th level, a ranger can move a group of up to seven allies (8 total including the ranger) through favored terrain undetected. The group can move at normal speed for the type of terrain, and the ranger’s Stealth check determines success or failure for the entire group. Normal speed in this case will be the speed of the slowest member of the group.

Natural Explorer Improvement
You gain an additional favored terrain. The choice of terrain should be game appropriate, as determined by player and DM. For example, if the character has never even seen a desert before now, choosing desert as the new favored terrain should not be an option. However, discretion is left to the DM. All features and abilities dependent on favored terrain apply to all favored terrains except for the damage resistance granted by Environmental Resilience.

Vanish
Starting at 14th level, you can use the Hide action as a bonus action on your turn. Also, you can’t be tracked by nonmagical means, unless you choose to leave a trail.

Set Ambush
Starting at 14th level, when you are outdoors in a non-urban setting, you can move your group into a hidden position to ambush an enemy on the move, even if you’ve started behind them and their base movement does not exceed that of the slowest member of your group. You achieve automatic surprise on the first round of combat, at the discretion of the DM.

Improved Wilderness Medicine
You gain proficiency in Medicine. When using the Wilderness Medicine feature, the ranger’s potions or poultices restore hits points equal to 2d8 + the ranger’s level. In addition to being a preventative against disease, the potions or poultices will also halt the advancement of lycanthropy provided the bite is less than a day old. You can craft two doses of antitoxin per hour spent. Items crafted with this feature will maintain their potency without spoiling for 1d4 days. Use of this feature requires an herbalism kit.

Feral Senses
At 18th level, you gain preternatural senses that help you fight creatures you can’t see. When you attack a creature you can’t see, your inability to see it doesn’t impose disadvantage on your attack rolls against it. You are also aware of the location of any invisible creature within 30 feet of you, provided that the creature isn’t hidden from you and you aren’t blinded or deafened.

Foe Slayer
At 20th level, you become an unparalleled hunter. Once on each of your turns, you double your strength or dexterity bonus to the attack roll or the damage roll of an attack you make. You can choose to use this feature before or after the roll, but before any effects of the roll are applied.

Dungeon Stalker Subclass

Prerequisites:
Underdark must have been chosen as the character’s favored terrain.

Underdark Scout
At 3rd level, you master the art of the underground ambush. On your first turn during combat, you gain a +10 bonus to your speed, and if you use the Attack action, you can make one additional attack as a bonus action. You are also adept at evading creatures that rely on Darkvision. Such creatures gain no benefit when attempting to detect you in dark and dim conditions. Additionally, when the DM determines if you can hide from a creature, that creature gains no benefit from its Darkvision.

Stout Heart
At 7th level, you gain advantage on any save vs Fear effects or attacks resulting in psychic damage.

Stalker’s Flurry
Starting at 11th level, once on each of your turns when you miss with an attack, you can make another attack.

Natural Explorer Improvement
At 13th level, rather than choosing a second favored terrain, the Dungeon Stalker may use their unusual familiarity and compatibility with the Underdark to develop Darkvision with a range equivalent to their base movement, but no less than 30’. This form of Darkvision only applies when the Dungeon Stalker has been underground for an hour or more, and it is not hampered by underground lighting sources. Characters already possessing Darkvision gain no benefit from choosing this option.

Stalker’s Dodge
At 15th level, whenever a creature attacks you and does not have advantage, you can use your reaction to impose disadvantage on the creature’s attack roll against you. You must use this feature before you know the outcome of the attack roll.
 

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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Interesting ideas, here. I’d say level 1 is pretty blank though. Perhaps incorporate some of the Tasha’s Deft Explorer stuff at lvl1?
 

Jmarso

Explorer
Interesting ideas, here. I’d say level 1 is pretty blank though. Perhaps incorporate some of the Tasha’s Deft Explorer stuff at lvl1?
I thought 2nd wind was a nice give. Natural explorer doesn't offer great gobs, especially if the game isn't emphasizing any outdoor exploration stuff (or glosses over travel between dungeon crawls), but it does set the stage for all those 'favored terrain' based abilities that follow on. One option would be a modified version of Deft Explorer that included favored terrain, because the latter is what much of this version of the ranger is built on.
 
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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I thought 2nd wind was a nice give. Natural explorer doesn't offer great gobs, especially if the game isn't emphasizing any outdoor exploration stuff (or glosses over travel between dungeon crawls), but it does set the stage for all those 'favored terrain' based abilities that follow on. One option would be a modified version of Deft Explorer that included favored terrain, because the latter is what much of this version of the ranger is built on.
That’s probably what I would do.

Hobestly, you could fully give the ranger all of its Tasha’s stuff as additions and not overpower it even with Spellcasting.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
I have somewhere on my pc a nice ranger that uses superiority dice (capped at d8s) and some of the revised ranger features. Its pretty awesome.

Mix this with the Deft Explorer in addition to Natural Explorer and you are set.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
Something like this:

Basic Ranger

LevelProfFeature
12Favored Enemy, Deft Explorer (Canny), Favored Terrain
22Fighting Style, Combat Superiority
32Archetype, Poultices
42ASI
53Extra Attack
63Deft Explorer (Rover), Whispers on the Wind
73Archetype, fleet of foot
83ASI
94Natural Antivenom
104Hide in Plain Sight, Deft Explorer (Tireless)

Favored Enemy
Beginning at 1st level, you have significant experience studying, tracking, hunting, and even talking to a certain type of enemy.

Choose 2 types of favored enemy: aberrations, beasts, celestials, constructs, dragons, elementals, fey, fiends, giants, monstrosities, oozes, plants, or undead. Alternatively, you can select two types of humanoid (such as gnolls and orcs) as favored enemies. You gain the following benefits when dealing with your Favored Enemies:

- You deal +2 damage with weapon attack when you hit a favored enemy.
  • You have advantage on Wisdom (Survival) and Intelligence (Investigation) checks to track and perceive the hidden work of your favored enemies, such as traps or secret communications.
  • You have advantage on Intelligence checks to recall information about them.
  • You have the ability to communicate in a limited manner with your favored enemy, even if you do not share a language. They can understand the meaning of your words, though you have no special ability to understand them in return. You have advantage on all Charisma and Wisdom (Insight) checks you make to influence them.

You choose one additional favored enemy at 6th and 14th level. At the end of a long rest in your Favored Terrain, you can change one of your favored enemies for another if you've encountered them before.

Natural Explorer
You are particularly familiar with one type of natural environment and are adept at traveling and surviving in such regions. Choose one type of favored terrain: arctic, caverns, seacoast, desert, forest, grassland, mountain, swamp or urban. When you make an Intelligence or Wisdom check related to the lore or exploration of your favored terrain, your proficiency bonus is doubled if you are using a skill that you're proficient in.

While traveling for an hour or more in your favored terrain, you gain the following benefits:

  • Your group can't become lost except by supernatural means if you know the location of your destination and your current position. Furthermore, you always know which way is north.
  • Even when you are engaged in another activity while traveling, making camp or sleeping you remain alert to danger. You are not unconscious while sleeping.
  • You and your companions can move stealthily at a normal pace and Wisdom (Survival) and Wisdom (Perception) made to track or spot your group are made with disadvantage while traveling.
  • When you forage, you automatically know if the food or water gathered is poisoned or diseased and you and your allies regain 1 more Hit Dice at the end of a long rest.
  • As long as you are in a favored terrain, you are always considered as carrying a Healer's Kit and any tool’s kit you are proficient with.
  • While tracking other creatures, you also learn their exact number, their sizes, and how long ago they passed through the area.

You choose additional favored terrain types at 6th and 10th level. At the end of a long rest, you can change one of your favored terrain for the type of terrain where you finished your rest.

Poultices
At 3rd level, you can create special herbal poultices that have healing power comparable to some potions. You can spend 1 hour gathering herbs (or 5 minutes if you are in a favored terrain) and preparing herbal poultices using treated bandages to create a number of such poultices equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum 1). You can carry a number of poultices at one time equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum 1). The poultices you create cannot be applied by anyone but you. After 24 hours, any poultices that you have not used lose their potency.

If you spend 1 minute applying one of your poultices to a wounded humanoid creature, thereby expending its use, that creature regains 1d6 hit points for every two ranger levels you have (rounded up).

Whispers on the Wind
At 6th level, when you finish a long rest, you can cast the sending or clairvoyance spell once, targeting an ally or friendly creature whose name you know, without using a spell slot and without using material components.

Fleet of Foot
Beginning at 8th level, you can use the Dash action as a bonus action on your turn.

Natural Antivenom
Starting at 9th level, you have advantage on saving throws against poison and have resistance to poison damage. Additionally, you can use one of your poultices to cure one poison effect on the creature you are applying it to, in addition to restoring hit points.

Hide in Plain Sight
Starting at 10th level, you and your allies within 60 feet of you can spend 5 minutes (or 1 minutes if you are in a favored terrain) creating camouflage. You must have access to fresh mud, dirt, plants, soot, and other naturally occurring materials with which to create your camouflage.

Once you are camouflaged in this way, you can try to hide by pressing yourself up against a solid surface, such as a tree or wall, that is at least as tall and wide as you are. You gain a +10 bonus to Dexterity (Stealth) checks and +10 to Initiative roll as long as you remain there without moving or taking actions. Once a creature camouflaged moves or takes an action or a reaction, they must camouflage themselves again to gain this benefit, but have advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks for 1 minute.
 


Jmarso

Explorer
This is bad. The smart player will take Dexterity and Constitution, and will be proficient with two primary saving throws, something no other class does. I would just make it Strength and Constitution.
I'm missing something here. All other classes have two ability scores for saving throws. Fighters and Barbarians use STR and CON, Monks use STR and DEX, and the PHB ranger uses STR and DEX. What would be the problem you're talking about with DEX and CON if you wanted to build a dexterity-fighting (duel wield / archer) style ranger?
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
I'm missing something here. All other classes have two ability scores for saving throws. Fighters and Barbarians use STR and CON, Monks use STR and DEX, and the PHB ranger uses STR and DEX. What would be the problem you're talking about with DEX and CON if you wanted to build a dexterity-fighting (duel wield / archer) style ranger?
There are three primary saves (DEX, CON & WIS) where almost all saving throws fall under. The other three saves (STR, INT & CHA) have very few spells that require those saves. So if you look in the PHB, you'll find that every class gives proficiency in one primary and one secondary save.

That's one of those mechanical design rules that exist but are not explicitly called out to players by the designers. You'd only realize it after you went looking.
 

Jmarso

Explorer
There are three primary saves (DEX, CON & WIS) where almost all saving throws fall under. The other three saves (STR, INT & CHA) have very few spells that require those saves. So if you look in the PHB, you'll find that every class gives proficiency in one primary and one secondary save.

That's one of those mechanical design rules that exist but are not explicitly called out to players by the designers. You'd only realize it after you went looking.
Ahh, okay. Thanks. Yeah, in that case better to just go with STR and CON as Rabulias mentioned.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
First, please highlight differences. Or even include baseline features by reference.

I don't really want to read over PHB copy-paste stuff? It gets in the way.

Second Wind:
No, don't steal another class's class feature.

Favoured Foe:
Really, you get an ability and it upgrades in 1 level? Come on.

Terrain Expertise:
Feature should mention the level you get it in description. This one looks out of order.

"In your favored terrain, you double your proficiency bonus with those skills. These bonuses do not stack."

This is not 5e wording. "Stack" is not a 5e game term.

"When in your favored terrain, whenever you add your proficiency with these skills, instead add twice your proficiency."

That is more like standard 5e wording.

Wilderness Medicine:
The term is Wisdom(Medicine) not Medicine.

The "nonmagical" is a bit of a punch in the gut.

How about allow a new save against the disease with advantage, and no penalty from failing this save?

Environmental Resilience:
These kind of ideas are good, but I'd lean into it more.

Group Stealth
Maybe use proficiency bonus allies?

This looks intended to be an out of combat ability, but isn't. I'm not sure how it works in combat.

"Within favored terrain, allies within 50' of the Ranger can use the Ranger's Dexterity(Stealth) check to hide. If they cease moving they can continue to use the roll even if they are more than 50' away."?

Set Ambush:
Very awkwardly worded.

Improved Wilderness Medicine
Why is getting proficiency delayed until here? How is this a level 17 feature at the same level as "cast wish 1/day"?

Dungeon Stalker Subclass

Prerequisites: Underdark must have been chosen as the character’s favored terrain.

Are there any subclasses in 5e that depend on another build choice? Why are you starting here?

This looks like a weakened "Gloomstalker" subclass.
 


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