5E Ranger on a Warlock frame?

Wiseblood

Adventurer
One of the odd things about rangers is that the abilities they get negate certain obstacles. It does so without a check. I feel that this is a disservice to the concept of rangers being at their best in the wilderness. Forgive the hyperbole but it would be like not having to fight enemies because you have a fighter in the party. ( and they automatically handled it )

I think the mechanics of the warlock might make more sense for the ranger class. Features being:
*spell recovery on a short rest
*reskinned invocations that grant ranger-y boons like favored enemy bonus or (insert spell effect here) when in terrain.
*some invocations would not need any change at all (beast speech)

What do you think?
 

Krachek

Adventurer
Long time ago ranger was a sub class of fighter.
using a full caster frame is pushing it another step farther.
 

Olrox17

Explorer
I wouldn't mind the warlock's chassis being used for the ranger, with some modifications:

  • No Mystic Arcanum equivalent. The ranger has no business casting high level magic
  • D10 hit die, extra attack, and decent armor proficiency
  • not just reskinned warlock invocations, but a slew of custom made ranger-y abilities. Fourth edition ranger powers could easily be mined for ideas.
 

Wiseblood

Adventurer
Long time ago ranger was a sub class of fighter.
using a full caster frame is pushing it another step farther.
Agreed. The warlock is kind of a corner case with just a few slots. To bring it (ranger concept) back in line with it’s old power level slot level could be tweaked. Also as mentioned by Olrox17 d10 hp and removal of arcanum would be in order.

In place of arcanum would be something more in line with the ranger as a wilderness warrior.
 

TheCosmicKid

Adventurer
not just reskinned warlock invocations, but a slew of custom made ranger-y abilities. Fourth edition ranger powers could easily be mined for ideas.
I went through 4E material extensively looking for inspiration for my own ranger rewrite, and was frustrated at how little there was to mine from it. 4E utility powers are really... specific.
 

Olrox17

Explorer
I went through 4E material extensively looking for inspiration for my own ranger rewrite, and was frustrated at how little there was to mine from it. 4E utility powers are really... specific.
Haven't played 4e in some time, but I remember the ranger got at least a couple splatbooks of expansions, plus extra stuff in dragon articles.
Also, I remember that at some point Wotc made another class, the Seeker, that was basically a ranger with magic (the default 4e ranger was purely martial). Could be worth checking out.
 

TheCosmicKid

Adventurer
Haven't played 4e in some time, but I remember the ranger got at least a couple splatbooks of expansions, plus extra stuff in dragon articles.
Also, I remember that at some point Wotc made another class, the Seeker, that was basically a ranger with magic (the default 4e ranger was purely martial). Could be worth checking out.
Don't let me dissuade you from looking for yourself, but I did check all that and wasn't happy. 4E's emphasis was heavily on combat options. The ranger class identity worked in that edition, but in a 5E environment, it doesn't make sense to load it up with all the bow and dual-wielding tricks and have the fighter say "Do I mean nothing to you?" So I was looking instead for cool things to do in the wilderness, and there's just not a lot of big ideas on that front.
 

Olrox17

Explorer
Don't let me dissuade you from looking for yourself, but I did check all that and wasn't happy. 4E's emphasis was heavily on combat options. The ranger class identity worked in that edition, but in a 5E environment, it doesn't make sense to load it up with all the bow and dual-wielding tricks and have the fighter say "Do I mean nothing to you?" So I was looking instead for cool things to do in the wilderness, and there's just not a lot of big ideas on that front.
Well, considering that my memory on the matter isn't exactly fresh, you're probably right.
4e also had skill powers, utility powers linked to skills rather than class. I remember some of those being interesting.
 
If you used the Hexblade as the template to maintain some of the combat ability I think this could work really well. At least for the more magical flavors of Ranger. I like it for the same reason I like the Warlock as a chassis for the Warlord.
 
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THEMNGMNT

Explorer
The warlock is probably my favorite class, and I really wish the ranger was my favorite class, so I like this approach.

I think the core D&D experience handwaves a lot of exploration, and there's some fundamental flaws to the skill system, too. Together, these make it hard to create a ranger that engages with the exploration pillar without trivializing it. That said, a ranger should at least engage in a fun and flavorful way with what D&D does well: combat. The PHB ranger, sadly, does not do that. It's a weak fighter that relies on spells to keep DPR competitive.

So where am I going with this? I spent a lot of time trying to write a variant ranger. I never quite cracked it. It's hard! The WotC designers have my sympathies. But where I ended up with the ranger was similar to the warlock. Essentially, the available "patrons" were beast master, nature/primal spellcaster, and martial hunter/warrior. The "pacts" were basically your fighting style plus a modified favored enemy. And the "invocations" were knacks/skill powers like healing, tracking, trapsetting, etc.

In the abstract, I really like the above approach, but it's a hella lotta work to design.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
If you used the Hexblade as the template to maintain some of the combat ability I think this could work really well. At least for the more magical flavors of Ranger. I like it for the same reason I like the Warlock as a chassis for the Warlord.
Yup - and maybe have the patron some ancient forest spirit. One that demands blood sometimes. Take the outlander background for skills and voila!
 
One of the odd things about rangers is that the abilities they get negate certain obstacles. It does so without a check. I feel that this is a disservice to the concept of rangers being at their best in the wilderness. Forgive the hyperbole but it would be like not having to fight enemies because you have a fighter in the party. ( and they automatically handled it )

I think the mechanics of the warlock might make more sense for the ranger class. Features being:
*spell recovery on a short rest
*reskinned invocations that grant ranger-y boons like favored enemy bonus or (insert spell effect here) when in terrain.
*some invocations would not need any change at all (beast speech)

What do you think?
Sure.
Not for nothing, D&D has be notoriously afraid to completely explain where the ranger's make came from. Part of thatis due to the original range rrole model from the LOTR got his powers from racial traits and magic items.

Long time ago ranger was a sub class of fighter.
using a full caster frame is pushing it another step farther.
Long time ago a ranger was a master of the wild but dealing crazy high damage to everything in the wild.

If people want to revive the old edition ranger and his 4e successor that mastered the wilderness by one shotting everything in the forest that looked at him funny, we need to start a poll.
 
One of the odd things about rangers is that the abilities they get negate certain obstacles. It does so without a check. I feel that this is a disservice to the concept of rangers being at their best in the wilderness. Forgive the hyperbole but it would be like not having to fight enemies because you have a fighter in the party. ( and they automatically handled it )
This. Instead of having the Ranger simply skip the wilderness exploration phase, let's have him "find" some things that make things easier: game, herbs, good terrain, good weather, allies, shelter, etc... It would make the exploring phase much more fun for everyone. "Well, somewhere on these hills, there must be a cave where we can spend the night... yes, there it is."

I'm not sure that basing this on a Warlock chassis makes things better, though.
 

Todd Roybark

Explorer
Well D8 HD is 1e approved for the Ranger, (though admittedly the Ranger got 2d8 at 1st level, and rolled HD at level gain, longer than most classes, before getting stock hp advances during level up).

If a Warlock takes the Improved Pact Weapon feat from XGE, the ‘lock could use the bow as their spellcasting focus for Eldritch Blast. Sprinkle in the Push/Pull Invocations and you have a good approximation of Hank, from the Dungeons and Dragon Cartoon.

In 5e Hank is a Warlock😇

I have to share this... great if you loved the old cartoon.
 

Todd Roybark

Explorer
4E's emphasis was heavily on combat options.
What?!. We must have played very different style games, because the 4e I remember was full of open ended text that encouraged the player to creatively change things on the fly, Scrying Magic, and exploration....and almost no combat.

Spock also has a beard in my world.🖖
 

Horwath

Adventurer
Problem with ranger is that his "survival" features are mostly binary. They do not work at all or work 100% by default.

Ranger should be better that any class in survival in wilderness(all terrain) but not omnipotent, and that ability should be also available to some classes if they focus on it.

Best way to get this is to give expertise in Survival and Nature to rangers at 1st level.
Expertise in Stealth and Perception at some later levels

Advantage on Survival for tracking, movin stealthy at normal pace, Perception and Survival at fast pace could all be ribbon abilities spread along several levels.

Favored enemy can be replaced by latest UA features. Extra Hunters mark is soo much simpler and more reliable than favored enemy.
 

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