D&D 5E [+] Rangers should have monster fighting spells equivalent to Paladin's Smite spells. Discuss!

I think making a complicated Hunter's Mark mechanic is a mistake. It's best to embrace the simplicity of spells for the Ranger and just make unique spells that do a variety of things. Hunter's Mark is one type of damage buff. You can easily make other spells for other elements and then affix them with an alternative effect to tracking.

I ended up drafting up a bunch of spells for my spellblade class, so I'll be tackling the Ranger spell ideas I have after those. I'll probably end up making around 30 draft spells. I'm pretty sure the ideas I've had so far are able to be appealing enough to pick while maintaining the flavor desired in a Ranger. I think the goal is to make the Ranger feel like a wise predator that can hunt anything and turn any environment into both a weapon and shield. So, the ranger gets both "Slayer" spells and "Ally Environmental Boost" spells.

Many of the Ranger spells will also be bonus action; the idea is that your attacking and casting spells pretty much every turn for your "nova," which is meant to stand opposed to the instant hyper-burst seen when a paladin novas. Less damage and more utility stretched over 1-3 rounds vs mega-damage every round (by a paladin).

In my mind, the goal is for a somewhat stylish ranger that is using tricky spells based off their experiences in the wilds in tandem with their own attacks and the help of their allies. In a way, it's almost like a "primal warlord" or "apex spellcaster" in vibe.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

mellored

Legend
The 2014 ranger is powerful if you 100% know the most common terrain and enemies and 100% know this will never change because your ranger is your 5th PC in the setting and your 4 previous PCs only saw the same 2 terrains and have been fighting the same monster 50% of the time.
Or let the ranger change their FE and FT.

Then when your forest campaign turns into a undead desert campaign, you can keep it going.

There will be times you won't be prepared, but same for a wizard who loaded up on frost spells when in a volcano only to find a secret frozen underground lair.
 

mellored

Legend
I think Rangers could support a host of arrow spells as banes

Giantbane Arrow dealing more damage to larger creatures
Fiendbane Arrow having a minor banishment
Undeadbane Arrow turning poison immunity and poison resistance to poison vulnerability
Feybane Arrow preventing teleportation and charms.
Hmm... What if Favorite Enemy and Favorite Terrain where spells?
That lets you change them. Or ignore them if you don't like the idea.

Favored Enemy. Level 1 transmutation
Target: Self
Casting Time: 1 minute
Duration: 8 hours
You attune your senses in order to hunt a particular prey. Choose a monster type. Your weapon and unarmed attacks deal 1d4 extra damage to that target. In addition, you gain advantage on any checks to track, identify, or knowledge checks involving those creatures.
At Higher Level: increase the die size by 1 for each spell level past the first.

Favorite Terrain
Level 1 transmutation
Target: Self
Casting Time: 1 minute
Duration: until you take a long rest.
You attune your senses to better understand your environment. Choose an environment. You gain ??? bonus while in that environment.
At Higher Level: increase the bonus
 

Undrave

Legend
The 5e ranger was designed for the original Blackmoor/Greyhawk 16 player wargamer groups that the DA and GG ran.

Favored enemy, natural explorer, hide in plain sight, foe slayer, etc are great if you and 12 other people running 1-6 PCs each are making individual ad-hoc parties from a central location and is its surrounds to the 2 dungeons in a weeks walking distance.

Actually OP in that . But that was the point. The new book WOTC is publishing on OD&D will likely describe this.

Few play that way in 2023. And almost none of those people play 5e.

OD&D Rangers could hide. Hide in Shadows was for hiding in shadows. It was extraordinary,
Same with the tracking. No one could track more than blatant muddy footprints but rangers..

The point was that the OD&D play is different from 5e play.
2014 ranger was given mechanical strength over 1974 problems.
The 2014 ranger was the most OP class for that sort of game because it actually got additional power vs those obstacles.

The 2014 ranger is powerful if you 100% know the most common terrain and enemies and 100% know this will never change because your ranger is your 5th PC in the setting and your 4 previous PCs only saw the same 2 terrains and have been fighting the same monster 50% of the time. The game Gygax and Arneson ran were hubtowns where 15-25 PCs only hung around the same town, dungeon, and wilds around both every 6 levels.

You could pick FE: Orcs and goblins and NE: Forest and dominate a 1970s style hubtown campaign.
This seems like a huuuuge stretch. Nobody was playing like that in 2014.

If nothing else, the Ranger is just a luckier victim of the Monk's design philosophy of 'cram as many legacy feaures as possible into the class and let them figure it out' with a side of 5e 'make everything fun a Spell'.
 

Rocker26a

Explorer
I think making a complicated Hunter's Mark mechanic is a mistake. It's best to embrace the simplicity of spells for the Ranger and just make unique spells that do a variety of things. Hunter's Mark is one type of damage buff. You can easily make other spells for other elements and then affix them with an alternative effect to tracking.

I think that's fair to say, but I feel like this could be done without it being especially complicated. Hell, Hex is already in a similar vein.
 

Rocker26a

Explorer
Or let the ranger change their FE and FT.

Then when your forest campaign turns into a undead desert campaign, you can keep it going.

There will be times you won't be prepared, but same for a wizard who loaded up on frost spells when in a volcano only to find a secret frozen underground lair.

The problem with this "oh well what if you can just change your Favoured Enemy and Terrain, that'll help" thing is always twofold; it makes your choice of enemy and terrain (potentially) meaningless as it relates to your character's identity and backstory since you're just gonna swap them out when it's convenient, and it makes the fact that you can choose at all (potentially) meaningless because there's no reason to not pick what you're fighting/exploring.

The way to do it is, let Rangers have abilities that are generally applicable that you can spin for any environment; faster movement, a climbing and swimming speed, ways to increase their jump height or surpass difficult terrain, better senses and range of those senses etc. And then implement Expertise as flux to fill in the gaps, so a given player can lean into what they like. They got some of that right with the OCFs, but they were just too tied to the Ranger's levelling table as it's currently ordered, so some of them turned up pretty late.
 
Last edited:

Peter BOSCO'S

Adventurer
What if we added "True Strike" to the Ranger spell list and we made it a bonus action when they are in their favored terrain? This would make the Ranger be more likely to hit and more likely to crit, thus upping their average damage, without raising their maximum damage. It has only Somatic components, so they would still be silent. The Ranger would become a Shoot, cast, next turn Shoot with Advantage, and recast True Strike for Advantage on round three attacks class.

This would also make them a "better on later turns" character, to contrast with the "better on the first turn" characters.
 

Horwath

Legend
Or let the ranger change their FE and FT.

Then when your forest campaign turns into a undead desert campaign, you can keep it going.

There will be times you won't be prepared, but same for a wizard who loaded up on frost spells when in a volcano only to find a secret frozen underground lair.
if we keep FE and FT it should have both specific and broad benefit.

I.E:
favored enemy;

Aberrations:
Resistance to psychic damage.
Telepathy to 60ft one way.
Bonus action to link with one creature within 60ft to have 2 way communication while within number of miles equal to your Ranger level.
This links ends when one of you willingly ends the link, goes out of range, fall unconcious or finishes a long rest.

Beasts:
Gain scent ability.
Permanent speak with animals ability.
+5ft movement speed

Celestials:
Resistance to radiant damage.
Advantage to charisma checks.

Constructs:
Double damage vs objects
You attacks ignore damage resistance to bludgeoning, slashing and piercing.


Dragons:
Advantage vs fear effects
Advantage on Dex saves vs. Area effects.

Elementals:
Pick one energy type: Acid, Cold, Fire, Lightning or Thunder. Gain resistance on that type of damage.
your attacks ignore resistance to that type of damage. and treat immunity as resistance.

Fey:
resistance vs charm and figment
advantage on all Insight checks.

Fiends:
resistance to fire and poison.

Giant:
Attacks of opportunity have disadvantage against you.
Once per round deal +1d6 weapon damage vs target with less than 50% HP.

Humanoids:
Gain proficiency in 2 skills from: History, Insight, Deception, Intimidation, Persuation.
Learn 2 additional languages.

Monstrosities:
gain one of the following:
+5 speed, full climb speed, full swim speed, darkvision +60ft.

Oozes:
Advantage vs grappling.
Advantage on squeezing through tight space or out of bonds.

Plants:
Permanent speak with plants
Resistance vs poisons

Undead:
resistance vs necrotic damage.
immunity to Max HP reduction.
advantage on death saves.


favorite terrain;

Arctic:
Cold resistance
Advantage on check for uneven surfaces

Coastal:
Swim speed equal to walking speed.
water breathing

Desert:
Fire resistance.
Can last double amount of time without food or water.

Forest:
climb speed equal to walking speed.
jump distance doubled

Grassland:
+10 move speed.
can march for 10 instead of 8hrs

Mountain:
Climb speed equal to walking speed
high altitude adaptation.

Swamp:
Resistance and advantage vs poisons and diseases

Underdark:
+60ft darkvision
 


Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
This seems like a huuuuge stretch. Nobody was playing like that in 2014.

If nothing else, the Ranger is just a luckier victim of the Monk's design philosophy of 'cram as many legacy feaures as possible into the class and let them figure it out' with a side of 5e 'make everything fun a Spell'.
That's not a stretch. That's exactly what happened.

The 2014 ranger has 3e class features for 1e play and 5e spellcasting.
We have to mold features to 5e play without gutting all flavor out it nor digging to much into flavor that it bogs down understanding or devolves back into uselessness.

For example, I've created other mark spells for Rangers. One for each subclass. And they all deal damage and hint back into the different styles of ranger flavors. Horizon Walker's mark teleports the party. Gloomstalker's mark creates darkness. Beast Master's mark makes you glow to beasts and yourself.
 

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Recent & Upcoming Releases

Top