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5E Ranger sublcass idea- Arcane Archer

Lanliss

Explorer
I just can't stop starting new threads that sidetrack me away from my previous homebrew work. Oh well.

Here is the idea. Ranger gets the Arcane Archer Subclass. Gets to choose a single type of arrow at 3rd level, and eventually has 3 types by level 20. Why so few? Because each arrow comes with 5 tiers, one for each spell level Ranger has. Cast a 3rd level Flame Arrow to make a Fireball. Cast a 4th level Seeking Arrow to automatically Crit, and get an extra 2d8 damage. Cast a 5th level Light Arrow to summon some sort of as-yet undecided Light Burst, causing blindness in everyone (who doesn't save) within 60 feet for 4d4 rounds, and dealing some-odd amount of Radiant damage!

Basically, stealing from the mystic for this. Also, on the fence about small cantrip arrows, like the Ranger always being able to cast a "Fire Arrow" spell that adds 1d4 fire damage to their shots for 1 round. Need to come up with the Arrows to pick from, but I like where this idea is going so far. I just realized I have been saying that a lot on these forums lately.
 

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Kobold Stew

Last Guy in the Airlock
Have you looked at the Arcane Archer in the latest UA? It's as a fighter, but is a much cleaner implementation than many, I think.

Since it offers benefits for a fighter at levels 3, 7, 10, 15, and 18, and since a Ranger subclass offers benefits at 3, 7, 11, 15, I'd have thought you could map it pretty much 1:1:

Ranger Arcane Archer
Level 3: Magic Arrow, Arcane Shot (2 options), Arcane Archer's Lore*
Level 7: Curving Shot, Arcane Shot (3 options)
Level 11: Arcane Shot (4 options)
Level 15: Ever-Ready Shot, Arcane Shot (5 options).

So that would mean you aren't quite as effective as the Fighter (4 options delayed by one level, and you don't get 6 options), but that is countered by other Ranger abilities including spells.

---
* As an aside, I will say I was a bit disappointed in Arcane Archer's Lore; it seems really broad and not especially tied with the Elf-origin of the subclass. I'd prefer to see you learn Elvish, if you don't already know the language, or become proficient with Fletcher/Bowyer's tools.
 

Lanliss

Explorer
Have you looked at the Arcane Archer in the latest UA? It's as a fighter, but is a much cleaner implementation than many, I think.

Since it offers benefits for a fighter at levels 3, 7, 10, 15, and 18, and since a Ranger subclass offers benefits at 3, 7, 11, 15, I'd have thought you could map it pretty much 1:1:

Ranger Arcane Archer
Level 3: Magic Arrow, Arcane Shot (2 options), Arcane Archer's Lore*
Level 7: Curving Shot, Arcane Shot (3 options)
Level 11: Arcane Shot (4 options)
Level 15: Ever-Ready Shot, Arcane Shot (5 options).

So that would mean you aren't quite as effective as the Fighter (4 options delayed by one level, and you don't get 6 options), but that is countered by other Ranger abilities including spells.

---
* As an aside, I will say I was a bit disappointed in Arcane Archer's Lore; it seems really broad and not especially tied with the Elf-origin of the subclass. I'd prefer to see you learn Elvish, if you don't already know the language, or become proficient with Fletcher/Bowyer's tools.
I did see it, but the UA arcane archer was just the seed for this idea, which I like much better than the Arcane archer as is. The main complaint I have seen for that one is that you get to be an arcane archer...twice. two times per short rest, you are actually magical, and other than that you are just a normal old fighter. This idea of mine feels much more magical, and gives more options since three "Arrows" will give 15 different castable shots, 18 if I go forward with my idea of Cantrip Arrows.

Also, I know nothing about the origin of the class, I am just building off the idea of an Archer that mixes in magic.
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
I agree that the AA should be more magicy and more archery (pun intended) than the current UA offerings. BUT am I weird that I think Ranger is a bad fit for an Arcane Archer? Something about it's ties to Nature seem to contradict the ties to the "arcane" in my mind. One seems to try to work using the natural world, and the other seems to transcend it.
 

Lanliss

Explorer
I agree that the AA should be more magicy and more archery (pun intended) than the current UA offerings. BUT am I weird that I think Ranger is a bad fit for an Arcane Archer? Something about it's ties to Nature seem to contradict the ties to the "arcane" in my mind. One seems to try to work using the natural world, and the other seems to transcend it.
That would just be the class name. In this case, it can be either of the two, whichever flavor the player prefers. At least, that is how I would be running it in my games. I will also allow things like reskinning a Druid as a Cleric, or a Fighter as a Paladin though, so take that with a grain of salt.
 

Lanliss

Explorer
Alright, I ported Archers Lore, Conjure Arrows, and Deadly Arrow over to the ranger easily enough. Deadly Arrow simply adds 2 dice of damage to whatever Arcane Shot you are firing.

3rd level
Arcane shot (1 shot options)
Archers lore (If they fill out all of the available skills, they get to pick an remaining skills from the Ranger skill list.

5th level
Extra attack (I am basing my Homebrew ranger off the UA one, I like it more.)

7th level
Conjure Arrows, as in the original Fighter UA.

11th level
2nd Arcane Shot option (Bumping them up to 10 total arrows they will be able to throw, although realistically only 6 at this level.)

15th level
Deadly Arrow (as mentioned above, just +2 damage dice for their shot.)

18th level
3rd Arcane Shot option, at this point giving them a total of 15 shot choices.

Under the current spell casting rules they will have 15 shots per long rest, if they use all of their spell slots for these options. Now I just need to detail the options, which I have started on below.

Arcane Shots
Below are your options for Arcane Shots. Each Arcane Shot has 5 tiers, which require you to spend an appropriate spell slot to use. Some Shots can also be cast at a higher level, and detail what happens when you do so in their description.

Fire Arrow
(1st level) You fire a single spark of fire. Make an attack against a creature within range. On a hit, the target takes an additional 2d6 fire damage.
At higher Levels: When cast at a higher level, this Shot deals an additional 1d6 damage for each slot level above the first, to a maximum of 6d6 bonus damage.
----
(3rd level) You fire an explosive shot. Choose a Creature in range, and make an attack. If you miss, the Creature and any others within 10 feet of it must make a dexterity saving throw. They take 8d6 fire damage on a failed save, or half as much on a successful one. If you hit with the attack, the target creature automatically fails the saving throw.
At Higher levels: When cast at a higher level, this Shot deals an extra 1d6 fire damage for each spell level above 3rd, to a maximum of 10d6 fire damage.

Ice Arrow
(1st level) You fire a freezing snare. Make an attack against a creature within range. On a hit the target takes damage as normal, as well as an extra 1d8 Cold damage. Additionally, ice starts to freeze around the creatures feet. It must make a Strength saving throw, or its speed is reduced to 0.
At Higher Levels: If you cast this Shot at a higher level, the save DC increases by 1 for each slot level above first, to a maximum of +5.

Multiplying Arrow (I wanted a simple one, but am not sure if this is too strong or too weak.)
(1st level) you fire an arrow that multiplies into 2. Make 2 attacks against your target, applying damage as normal.
At Higher Levels: If you imbue this shot with a Higher Slot level, you make one additional attack against the same target for each slot level above the first, up to a maximum of 6 Attacks.
----
(2nd level) Your arrows spread wide. Choose two enemies within 20 feet of each other, and make an attack against both of them. On a hit, you deal an extra 1d8 damage to both targets.
At Higher levels: When you cast this shot at a higher level you can choose one additional target for each slot level above 2, as long as all targets fall within a 10 foot radius circle, up to a maximum of 5 targets.

Light Arrow
(1st level) You fire a sticky Flare Arrow. When fired at an enemy, all attacks have advantage against that enemy until the start of your next turn. It also does not benefit from Invisibility, and cannot become Hidden.

Any ideas to add?
 

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