Ranger playtest discussion

But that's the trick, it's ALL spells.

Spells are what they use to cover 90%* of magical effects. It's why many invocations end up being access to a spell (slow, bane, mage armor). It's why a robust psionics was abandoned for psionic spells and subclasses. Spells are a known quantity, an understood mechanic, and an easy way to expand the game later. In short, they are the hammer WotC has elected to use, and everything else is just a nail.

If it helps, think of spells akin to 4e powers, save they are explicitly magical.

And feats will cover the rest.
 

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FireLance

Legend
In my somewhat jaded, looking back at 4E perspective, rangers need to have spells because there's a vocal contingent who is going to be upset at any powerful ability from any class that's explicitly called out as non-magical. I recall the most common answer to the question, at what level should a ranger be able to non-magically create the effects of Leomund's tiny hut was effectively "never".

So, it seems to me that the best way to get around it is to make the spell-less ranger a subclass and give them ways to expend spell slots to create effects that are flavored as non-magical (including the ability to create a non-magical equivalent of Leomund's tiny hut when they can cast third-level spells).
 


Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
But that's the trick, it's ALL spells.

Spells are what they use to cover 90%* of magical effects. It's why many invocations end up being access to a spell (slow, bane, mage armor). It's why a robust psionics was abandoned for psionic spells and subclasses. Spells are a known quantity, an understood mechanic, and an easy way to expand the game later. In short, they are the hammer WotC has elected to use, and everything else is just a nail.

If it helps, think of spells akin to 4e powers, save they are explicitly magical.
Well, I want rangers’ magical abilities to be among the 10% that aren’t spells. A couple of spells might be acceptable, particularly if they’re rituals. But for the most part, waving magic wands and chanting incantations is just not a ranger thing to do in my book.
 

Natural Explorer, Primeval Awareness, Land’s Stride…
Natural Explorer, you mean that ability that, if it came into play at all, dealt with the exploration pillar by ... skipping it entirely?

Primeval Awareness, you mean that ability that was literally less precise in your favored terrains than out of it? And that you only ever used at all when you had spell slots left over for the day? And didn't tell you anything beyond what a few skill checks could?

Land Stride, I'll give you. I'd like to see that return in some form.

But those other two? Nah, good riddance to bad rubbish.
 


TwoSix

Unserious gamer
6v97qi.jpg
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Natural Explorer, you mean that ability that, if it came into play at all, dealt with the exploration pillar by ... skipping it entirely?
It did no such thing. It allowed you to stay alert to danger while performing another exploration task, and gave you an extra benefit to the tracking and foraging tasks. It also prevented you from getting lost in your favored terrain(s) which is far from the only exploration hazard.
Primeval Awareness, you mean that ability that was literally less precise in your favored terrains than out of it? And that you only ever used at all when you had spell slots left over for the day? And didn't tell you anything beyond what a few skill checks could?
Not the strongest ability, probably should have let you know more details about your quarry. But hey, at least it gave you something actually ranger-y to spend all those stupid spell slots on. And, if that was deemed not good enough? Fine, but at least bring back Primal Awareness from Tasha’s then.
 

Horwath

Hero
It did no such thing. It allowed you to stay alert to danger while performing another exploration task, and gave you an extra benefit to the tracking and foraging tasks. It also prevented you from getting lost in your favored terrain(s) which is far from the only exploration hazard.

Not the strongest ability, probably should have let you know more details about your quarry. But hey, at least it gave you something actually ranger-y to spend all those stupid spell slots on. And, if that was deemed not good enough? Fine, but at least bring back Primal Awareness from Tasha’s then.
Natural explorer should have been global ability (not being 100% dependent on DM charity) that gives you:

You can always stay alert to danger while doing other tasks,
You have advantage on Survival checks
You can use stealth while moving at normal pace, and with disadvantage while moving at fast pace.


Then if you just need to have favored terrains, all terrains should give global benefit that is most useful in that terrain.

Arctic:
cold resistance and advantage on saves vs cold.
Advantage on acrobatics to retain balance.

Desert:
fire resistance and advantage on saves vs heat/fire
You can survive twice the time without food and/or water

Urban:
gain proficiency in 2 skills from:
History, Insight, Deception, Intimidation, Persuation
Learn 2 languages

Underdark:
Gain or improve darkvision by 60ft
You can Hide as Bonus action

Plains:
improve base speed by 10ft
you can Dash as Bonus action

Swamp:
resistance and advantage vs poisons
immunity do diseases(non magical)

Aquatic:
breathe water
swim speed

Forest:
Climb speed
proficiency in athletics or expertise
 

Digdude@1970

Just a dude with a shovel, looking for the past.
In my somewhat jaded, looking back at 4E perspective, rangers need to have spells because there's a vocal contingent who is going to be upset at any powerful ability from any class that's explicitly called out as non-magical. I recall the most common answer to the question, at what level should a ranger be able to non-magically create the effects of Leomund's tiny hut was effectively "never".

So, it seems to me that the best way to get around it is to make the spell-less ranger a subclass and give them ways to expend spell slots to create effects that are flavored as non-magical (including the ability to create a non-magical equivalent of Leomund's tiny hut when they can cast third-level spells).
I like the idea of this being a ranger exclusive ability. This way, if you want the total protection of LTH, then bring a Ranger!!
 

It did no such thing. It allowed you to stay alert to danger while performing another exploration task, and gave you an extra benefit to the tracking and foraging tasks. It also prevented you from getting lost in your favored terrain(s) which is far from the only exploration hazard.
Any character can stay alert to danger if their Perception is good enough. And while getting lost isn't the only hazard, it is about the only one that dumps you in the exploration pillar for any length of gameplay time. So, yeah, skipping.

And, if that was deemed not good enough? Fine, but at least bring back Primal Awareness from Tasha’s then.
So, spells.
 


Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
Maybe Natural Explorer and non-Tasha Primeval Awareness could be remodeled either as a spell or a feat? It was a relatively cool exploration feature; not worth a full class feature, but it was thematic at least.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Natural explorer should have been global ability (not being 100% dependent on DM charity) that gives you:

You can always stay alert to danger while doing other tasks,
You have advantage on Survival checks
You can use stealth while moving at normal pace, and with disadvantage while moving at fast pace.


Then if you just need to have favored terrains, all terrains should give global benefit that is most useful in that terrain.

Arctic:
cold resistance and advantage on saves vs cold.
Advantage on acrobatics to retain balance.

Desert:
fire resistance and advantage on saves vs heat/fire
You can survive twice the time without food and/or water

Urban:
gain proficiency in 2 skills from:
History, Insight, Deception, Intimidation, Persuation
Learn 2 languages

Underdark:
Gain or improve darkvision by 60ft
You can Hide as Bonus action

Plains:
improve base speed by 10ft
you can Dash as Bonus action

Swamp:
resistance and advantage vs poisons
immunity do diseases(non magical)

Aquatic:
breathe water
swim speed

Forest:
Climb speed
proficiency in athletics or expertise
I suggest the same thing since 2012.. Many have afterwards.

WOTC is just so afraid of the idea.
 

The Glen

Hero
Wizards likes to stay close to formula. There's a reason why most races get dark vision and now they even come with their own spells. They've been adding spells to every class. In Tasha's the fighter Barbarian and Rogue subclasses all had some sort of magical ability attached. They need to think outside the box. Give us something that stands out from the others
 

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