OneDnD Ranger playtest discussion


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niklinna

Legend
I'm not sure what the Hunter subclass did to deserve a nerf.

While the Hunter's Mark boost is nice, they should really just go all the way and make it an at-will ability. It won't break the game WotC, I promise.
It isn't nerfed. It's simplified. So, you know, more people will feel comfortable playing it. Because it's absolutely too complicated right now, that's why everybody is so unhappy with the Ranger class.... Imagine if we had to choose from two dozen special abilities every couple levels! Heads would explode.

Oh wait warlock again.
 


niklinna

Legend
I mean, 3.0/3.5 multiclassing was hella stupid at times too as well so it legit tracks.
I know some people LOVED their system mastery, but mother of mercy I didn't want to get a college degree for Multi-Classing to be able to tie my shoe and all that.
Having seen some of Treantmonk's videos, I'd say a college degree in Multi-Classing looks to still be very much A Thing.
 

niklinna

Legend
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.
Really all they had to do was have "spells" be descriptions of abilities with effects, that could be produced in various means, one of them being "casting a spell" (with VSM components and short cast times for use in combat), resulting in the effect being magical. Several abilities in the game do in fact duplicate the effects of spells without actually being magical or using the spellcasting rules. It's just ad-hoc instead of a designed system, as individual situations crop up where they need a certain effect, the spell desription is close enough, so hey let's save a few column inches and refer to that.
 


Really all they had to do was have "spells" be descriptions of abilities with effects, that could be produced in various means, one of them being "casting a spell" (with VSM components and short cast times for use in combat), resulting in the effect being magical. Several abilities in the game do in fact duplicate the effects of spells without actually being magical or using the spellcasting rules. It's just ad-hoc instead of a designed system, as individual situations crop up where they need a certain effect, the spell desription is close enough, so hey let's save a few column inches and refer to that.
The problem with spells used this way is threefold
  • There's baggage that comes with using the spells mechanic. Like dispels/counterspell/anti magic fields. It's a definite worldbuilding choice
  • It sets everything onto the same "X times per day" schedule. 4e's AEDU was far more varied because it put things onto different schedules (which is why most of my favourite Invocations aren't spells or when they are they don't use spell resources).
  • It makes everything feel homogenous with the same flavour rather than with none. As if everyone's a prosthetic forehead wizard
Edit: And by changing the Ranger from a "spells known" class where you can easily curate how your own ranger's metaphor works to a "spells prepared class" where every ranger has access to all ranger spells they've doubled down on how much it needs to be magic.
 

niklinna

Legend
The problem with spells used this way is threefold
  • There's baggage that comes with using the spells mechanic. Like dispels/counterspell/anti magic fields. It's a definite worldbuilding choice
That's why I specified having different mechanics for triggering the effects of what are now only considered magical spells that you cast with VSM components.
  • It sets everything onto the same "X times per day" schedule. 4e's AEDU was far more varied because it put things onto different schedules (which is why most of my favourite Invocations aren't spells or when they are they don't use spell resources).
This is already the case in 5e. (The new bits that recharge when you roll initiative were a pleasant surprise, actually, even if they come online very late.) My comment was based on the logic that given this is how WotC have been moving, a single catalog of special effects, with differing ways to trigger those, would save a bit of trouble. Of course that's treading into the horribly fraught territory of "power sources", which certain parts of the community...object to.

  • It makes everything feel homogenous with the same flavour rather than with none. As if everyone's a prosthetic forehead wizard
Again, this is already the direction WotC is heading. I'd much rather have distinct abilities that are explicitly not magic, but it seems if an existing spell remotely does anything like a potential mundane ability, WotC just latch on to that.

Edit: And by changing the Ranger from a "spells known" class where you can easily curate how your own ranger's metaphor works to a "spells prepared class" where every ranger has access to all ranger spells they've doubled down on how much it needs to be magic.
Yep.
 

Haplo781

Legend
Really all they had to do was have "spells" be descriptions of abilities with effects, that could be produced in various means, one of them being "casting a spell" (with VSM components and short cast times for use in combat), resulting in the effect being magical. Several abilities in the game do in fact duplicate the effects of spells without actually being magical or using the spellcasting rules. It's just ad-hoc instead of a designed system, as individual situations crop up where they need a certain effect, the spell desription is close enough, so hey let's save a few column inches and refer to that.
That's confusing. We need a word for "spells" that aren't spells.

Like, I dunno, "power".
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
Yes, we have a new community of D&D players... that has been playing rangers with magical abilities throughout 5e's increasingly popular tenure, more magic than the 1e-3e time frame. So, why would you expect them to want a magicless ranger?
Yeah, this is something that's been bugging me about the whole "Rangers shouldn't have magic" mindset that this forum seems to love for some reason. We have a generation of newer players that have only every played Spellcasting Rangers. To them, Rangers are half-casters. It's core to the class's identity to a lot of newer players. Just go check the discussions on the Ranger on sites where the community is much younger than this one (D&D Beyond and Reddit for example).

5e is the most popular edition of the game and has more newer players than any other edition. The game is 8 years old now, and a huge chunk of the majority of the modern fanbase is only familiar with Rangers that can cast spells. I don't think that changing the class so much that it doesn't get spells would fly.

And, to those saying "but Aragorn, Drizzt, and Katniss can't cast spells and they're rangers!", class identity never maps perfectly onto pop culture. Conan the Barbarian is a Fighter/Rogue. Charlemagne's Paladins didn't have divine magic. D&D Druids are a strange combination of Shamans/Elementalists. Clerics are all war-priests for some reason that have no historical basis.
 


5e is the most popular edition of the game and has more newer players than any other edition. The game is 8 years old now, and a huge chunk of the majority of the modern fanbase is only familiar with Rangers that can cast spells. I don't think that changing the class so much that it doesn't get spells would fly.
That doesn't mean it couldn't be eased back heavily. And it doesn't mean that turning the Ranger into a Spells Prepared class so every single ranger gets access to every single level appropriate ranger spell isn't a huge leap in the wrong direction.

As I've mentioned although Paladins have as much casting on paper as rangers it doesn't feel remotely as casting based even now because the Smite feature is so good and Lay on Hands covers the healing. This means that it's relatively rare that a paladin uses a first or second level spell slot on casting a spell.

I think rangers would be helped by a couple of equivalent utility based 'this is a good use of low level spell slots that isn't actually a spell' things so they don't have do to muuch more than coincidental casting. I mean for example, rather than Goodberry, I'd like Rangers to be able to burn a first level slot on Healing Herbs that you need a short rest to use but heal 2d6+stat mod hp (making them more effective than Cure Wounds by a non-cleric) and some guidance abilities for second level spell slots (the entire party gets advantage on a skill the Ranger is trained in as a second level slot, with a secondary effect based on the skill). Between those and Hunter's Mark although the ranger has slots a ranger need not actually cast spells on your average day until level in the double digits.
And, to those saying "but Aragorn, Drizzt, and Katniss can't cast spells and they're rangers!", class identity never maps perfectly onto pop culture. Conan the Barbarian is a Fighter/Rogue. Charlemagne's Paladins didn't have divine magic. D&D Druids are a strange combination of Shamans/Elementalists. Clerics are all war-priests for some reason that have no historical basis.
But none of those are people you meet right now in the real world. Forest Rangers and Army Rangers both are. I doubt that one modern player in three has heard of Charlemagne's paladins or read any Conan.

And the only thing wrong with clerics compared to modern fantasy archetypes is that some of them should be robe-wearers. Although I suspect that can be managed by Divine Soul Sorcerers.
 


Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
That doesn't mean it couldn't be eased back heavily. And it doesn't mean that turning the Ranger into a Spells Prepared class so every single ranger gets access to every single level appropriate ranger spell isn't a huge leap in the wrong direction.
People hate Known spells. Prepared spells is objectively superior and it's been a really common request on sites like D&D Beyond and Reddit for them to transition to Prepared casting.
As I've mentioned although Paladins have as much casting on paper as rangers it doesn't feel remotely as casting based even now because the Smite feature is so good and Lay on Hands covers the healing. This means that it's relatively rare that a paladin uses a first or second level spell slot on casting a spell.
I'm pretty sure Smite is going to change quite a bit in the Priest UA. And, I've DMed for several paladins and rangers, and both of them cast spells about equally in my experience.
I think rangers would be helped by a couple of equivalent utility based 'this is a good use of low level spell slots that isn't actually a spell' things so they don't have do to muuch more than coincidental casting. I mean for example, rather than Goodberry, I'd like Rangers to be able to burn a first level slot on Healing Herbs that you need a short rest to use but heal 2d6+stat mod hp (making them more effective than Cure Wounds by a non-cleric) and some guidance abilities for second level spell slots (the entire party gets advantage on a skill the Ranger is trained in as a second level slot, with a secondary effect based on the skill). Between those and Hunter's Mark although the ranger has slots a ranger need not actually cast spells on your average day until level in the double digits.
Making abilities that consume spell slots might as well be the same thing as making a new spell.
But none of those are people you meet right now in the real world. Forest Rangers and Army Rangers both are. I doubt that one modern player in three has heard of Charlemagne's paladins or read any Conan.

And the only thing wrong with clerics compared to modern fantasy archetypes is that some of them should be robe-wearers. Although I suspect that can be managed by Divine Soul Sorcerers.
People know what the Knights Templar are. And forest rangers equivalent class in D&D having a mystical connection in a fantasy world where nature is magical is logical.

Also, the idea that Divine Soul Sorcerers are D&D's version of real world priests/clergy is funny. I think that changing the cleric class to not automatically get proficiency with weapons and armor would be a good move to further separate the thematic and mechanical niches of paladins and clerics and also make clerics fit real-world priests better.
 

TheSword

Legend
Hey remember how people complained (and still do) that 4e classes are lIteRallY aLl thE SamE because they had a unified progression?

Well now every ability that isn't swinging a pointy stick is "a wizard did it."
Yes. Things that look like spells, act like spells and have effects like spells… are actually spells.

Shock horror. Stop the press.
 
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Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Rangers are knowledgeable
This is the core issue.

"rangers are knowledgeable" doesn't say anything.

50% of stuff people attribute to Ranger Knowledge is only allowed to be done with magic in D&D.

That number grows to 100% past level 9 or so when the OP magic, mystic nature, and fantastic monster show up.
 

People hate Known spells. Prepared spells is objectively superior and it's been a really common request on sites like D&D Beyond and Reddit for them to transition to Prepared casting.
Some people hate Known Spells - and others hate too few known spells but are more than fine if there are enough known spells. The Sorcerer was literally invented to be a Known Spells class because some people really wanted it to exist. But the implementation of Known Spells at the launch of 5e was obviously terrible because the known spells casters knew fewer spells than the prepared casters could have prepared at any one time. So people wanted it changed - and these calls to have it changed have almost vanished since Tasha's put in good sorcerer subclasses and brought the ranger up to four rather than two spells per spell level known.

So what you are saying here is that because some people like crunchy peanut butter and others like smooth peanut butter we should listen only to the people who like crunchy and erase smooth from existence based on there having been a few jars of rancid smooth peanut butter. Rather than have some classes (e.g. the Paladin) having prepared casting and others (e.g. the Ranger) having known spells.
Making abilities that consume spell slots might as well be the same thing as making a new spell.
No it isn't. Or more accurately for people who don't care and think that all magic is fine they are the same thing. For those who don't like Everything Is A Spell then they mostly aren't.
People know what the Knights Templar are. And forest rangers equivalent class in D&D having a mystical connection in a fantasy world where nature is magical is logical.
You can have a mystical connection without being loaded down with spells. All editions before 5e managed to have very few ranger spells per day.
Also, the idea that Divine Soul Sorcerers are D&D's version of real world priests/clergy is funny.
That's because you're inventing something I didn't say.

If we look at e.g. WoW or Final Fantasy the clerical healer, whether White Robe or Priest wears cloth armour. That's the archetype that needs covering - either by adapting the cleric to an unarmoured variant or taking the Divine Soul sorcerer that's already unarmoured (and is already a Spells Known class so it covers things the cleric doesn't).
I think that changing the cleric class to not automatically get proficiency with weapons and armor would be a good move to further separate the thematic and mechanical niches of paladins and clerics and also make clerics fit real-world priests better.
It would also divorce the Cleric from literally every previous D&D edition. Before 4e all clerics in all basic books (there were some specialty exceptions in splatbooks) were proficient with all armour. Meanwhile for weapon proficiency the cleric only gets simple weapons by default - which is only a slightly larger list than the wizard. This also goes back throughout the history of D&D.
 

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