Level Up (A5E) Rangers, strangers, dangers...The good, the bad and the ugly of LU5E's rangers.

Horwath

Hero
Well, it's here. Finally. We got our spell-less ranger as a base class. And it delivers. Big thanks to LU team.

However, personally, I see some minor things that could be better IMHO.
but I would take this class as printed over O5E ranger any day of the week!

The Good:

It' spell-less ranger, what can be bad with that?
Exploration knacks(mostly), great addition to the class and the whole LU philosophy in general.
Maneuvers: excellent.


The Bad:

Some minor issues with knack and ability balance.
No possibility to trade out medium armor for extra class skill.
Cartographer's tool should be on tools list.

The Ugly:

still having lot's of abilities mandatory "choice" and some abilities are waaaay to weak for levels the come online.


so, let's start with complaining...

Knacks:

Build Shelter:
just an issue of limit of one a week. Just say that you cannot maintain more than one shelter at a time, and it loses utility if unattended for 3 days.

Healing Salves:
this has issue of stepping on healers toes a little, and instant HP restore looks a lot like magic. Also I would base the usage on proficiency bonus, not on wisdom.
Maybe better utility would be effect that is only obvious on longer term(at least short rest). I.E. you use a Salve on short rest and regain max HP from healing dice, or you are cured of poison during that rest. I don't know how many HDs are we getting back during long rest. If it is still half, then this applied before long rest could return ALL HDs. Or remove 1 level of fatigue and/or strife.
Anything but instant cure.

Poisons and Antidotes:
This really need scaling formula: either 8+prof bonus+wis bonus or 8+2×prof bonus. DC 10 later on is BAD.


Class Features:

Now, I have a feeling that many class feature have been written to fill every level of "features" part of the class table with something. Not concerning at what level they are gained.
Also, having all those features mandatory, even though they are good, feels little bad.

Familiar terrain, Studied Adversary, Stride and Seek, Trained accuracy, Wilderness mystique, Adversarial focus, Game hunting, Explorer's instincts, Flash of steel, Trackless hunting, Wilderness lore, Guarded post, Tactical advantage, Survivalcraft, Hunter's intent, Flora and Fauna, Extreme(ly late) Exploration, should all have been optional features to take. And many of them should be available at much lower level than it is gained in current table.

Lets call them Ranger Talents:
You get 2 at 1st level and one at every even level after. 12 in total.

So I will add min level to every one with maybe some minor tweaks for each one:


Familiar terrain: requires Ranger level 1.
This is clearly staple ability of rangers for exploration. But what's with 1hr requirement. Just say that it does not work in combat. No need to wander around for an hour before having it active.
Also, "cannot be lost" is bad design, it would be better to have advantage on Survival, Nature and any tool that can help with navigating instead of auto-success.

Studied adversary: requires Ranger level 1.
Why is this mandatory? YOU should have destroyed the Favored enemy/foe, not embrace it. Haha.
Nothing wrong with this ability, just as long you can take something else instead.
Or just have ability: Expert tracker; you have advantage on Survival rolls used for tracking. That's it.

Hunter's Target: requires Ranger level 2.
I would remove +1 to attack to not mess with bounded accuracy and bump the damage to +1d8.
Add prof bonus usages per long rest, instead of once per short/long.

Swift feet: requires Ranger level 2.
Same usage remark as Hunter's Target.

Trained accuracy: requires Ranger level 2.
I would change this. Base idea is good, but...
Have it work prof bonus per long rest.
Instead of reaction, we use bonus action to get advantage on our next attack this turn.
If attack hits deal extra +1d6 damage. Increase this damage to +2d6 at 5th level, +3d6 at 11th and +4d6 at 17th level.

Answering silence: requires Ranger level 1.

Fearsome mysticism: requires Ranger level 1.

Kindred spirit: requires Ranger level 1.

Adversarial focus: requires Studied Adversary, Ranger level 4
Gain 2nd adversary as normal. Instead of +1 attack, gain prof bonus to weapon damage rolls.

Game hunting: requires ranger level 2
3rd point should work with all one-handed weapons.

Explorer's instincts: requires ranger level 6

Flash of steel: requires ranger level 10

Hunter's focus: requires ranger level 8

Trackless hunting: requires ranger level 8

Big game traps: requires ranger level 4

Waste Not: requires ranger level 1

Defensive marksmen: requires ranger level 10

Hunters blind: requires ranger level 4
You can also add this to Build shelter knack by adding 2 hrs of work.

Covered shot: requires ranger level 6

Nature shadow: requires ranger level 1

Under the stars: requires ranger level 6

Woodlore: requires Ranger level 2

Hunter's intent: requires ranger level 18

Beastly attack: requires ranger level 10

I have the High Ground!: requires Jed...err.. Ranger level 10

Extreme(ly late) exploration: we'll slash this into it's 3 components and have them at various levels:

Environmental adaptation: requires ranger level 12
Gain cold and fire resistance

Natural immunity: requires ranger level 8
you are immune to diseases and poisons

Roving: requires ranger level 6
you gain climbing and swimming speed equal to your walking speed.
 
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niklinna

Snickers satisfies!
You raise similar points to those I did in the preview announce thread (and put a lot more into reorganizing the class features—I just asked them to be more like Adept's focus features).

I don't think we can expect such a big reorg in two weeks, but like, you, I vastly prefer the A5E ranger class as it is over the O5E.
 

Stalker0

Legend
I do not think such a massive reorganization is in the cards. The Adept class is special (from the playtests). It was a specific style used for that class and not used with any others.... and I don't think they are going to suddenly change that.

That said, I do agree there are some abilities given that are very weak for their level, and do feel like "filler". I don't mind some ribbons, but when you give me a pick 1 and one of them is a solid ability vs a ribbon its not really a choice.
 

Horwath

Hero
I do not think such a massive reorganization is in the cards. The Adept class is special (from the playtests). It was a specific style used for that class and not used with any others.... and I don't think they are going to suddenly change that.

That said, I do agree there are some abilities given that are very weak for their level, and do feel like "filler". I don't mind some ribbons, but when you give me a pick 1 and one of them is a solid ability vs a ribbon its not really a choice.
I know that any big reorganization is too much to ask for, but getting climb and swim at 19th without an option to have it earlier is little ridiculous.

No one want's any special features that are not already in here, just a little better power scaling.

Is cutting long rest by half really level 16th feature or more of a 5th/6th level?
 

niklinna

Snickers satisfies!
I do not think such a massive reorganization is in the cards. The Adept class is special (from the playtests). It was a specific style used for that class and not used with any others.... and I don't think they are going to suddenly change that.
Ah, well, it's the first complete class I saw, so it certainly set a precedent in my mind.
 


niklinna

Snickers satisfies!
That’s a completely different class.
In terms of organization, they didn't have to be. Ranger could have just as easily had an open grab-bag of level-gated features to choose from, just like the Adept's Focus Features. Instead, we are forced into choosing—once, ever—from specific small lists of features. You want Big Game Traps and Waste Not? Sorry, you can't ever trap beasts and scavenge from their corpses. Why?
 


Stalker0

Legend
it's the same class, just with abilities sorted out for more choice and not mandatory selection.
And levels at which are available are little bit normalized.
Aka a different class :)

ultimately such a class has a different balance profile, because it allows for combinations of abilities the previous one did not.

right now your balancing x vs y at z level. With the adept approach, you have confirm combinations like A+B+C is balanced, which is a good bit more work.

not impossible certainly, but with only a few weeks away until PDF release, unlikely
 

Horwath

Hero
Aka a different class :)

ultimately such a class has a different balance profile, because it allows for combinations of abilities the previous one did not.

right now your balancing x vs y at z level. With the adept approach, you have confirm combinations like A+B+C is balanced, which is a good bit more work.

not impossible certainly, but with only a few weeks away until PDF release, unlikely
yes, the ranger abilities are sooo powerful... not.
they are cool abilities, but you can mix and match all of them and will not get any game breaking combo.
I mean, having both Under the stars and Woodlore? Or Big game traps and Waste not?

Yeah, we better call Twilight clerics, they could get ousted as most broken class ;)
 

CapnZapp

Legend
The core ranger suffers from the same problem.

That is, IIRC every single high level Ranger ability can be safely handed out at, like, half level.

There's just nothing there that requires high level.

As to why this keeps happening, I really have no idea. My best guess is that the devs cannot or will not accept that at above level 10 or so, mundane abilities just don't cut it anymore.

That, or a reluctance to just hand out combat goodies.

The high-level Ranger just keeps getting stuck between a rock (The Ranger is not a Fighter!) and a hard place (The Ranger is not a Wizard!)... leaving it with abilities only the most exploration-heavy of games will consider powerful.

But truly, I do not know.

My solution would be to just accept the awesomeness latent in the Ranger concept and give it truly great stuff like the 3E Arcane Archer and Horizon Walker. (I think. Real fuzzy on twenty year old deets...)
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
The high-level Ranger just keeps getting stuck between a rock (The Ranger is not a Fighter!) and a hard place (The Ranger is not a Wizard!)... leaving it with abilities only the most exploration-heavy of games will consider powerful.
A5e is pretty exploration heavy--and more importantly, has a ton of exploration challenges for even high-level groups. They released the table of contents for the starter adventure and it includes a list of encounters, some of which I recognized as exploration challenges (others were monsters and some, presumably, were social encounters). This means it's expected that if you're running a game, you should be using exploration challenges, even if only the ones in the book, in addition to monsters and the like.

Now, obviously, we haven't seen a full list of exploration challenges (or if we did, it was ages ago and has likely changed), but presumably some of them are also for dungeon crawls and urban environments, not just for wilderness adventures--after all, A5e also has a list of Adventure Environments (with how they can be used in combat) that includes "Cavernous" and "Furnished" environments.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
The solution to the Ranger's problems isn't to force exploration upon the group just to justify keeping the class' exploration niche.

The solution is instead to provide powers that work in campaigns with regular levels of exploration (i.e. next to none that matters) - to realize the regular 5E Ranger paid a very steep price for the very secondary exploration focus it got.

That is why I would prefer a Ranger that gets exclusive access to stuff like Arcane Archer and Horizon Walker; making a Ranger a great addition to every high-level party, not just those with a DM that's into exploration challenges :)
 

Silvercat Moonpaw

Adventurer
The solution to the Ranger's problems isn't to force exploration upon the group just to justify keeping the class' exploration niche.

The solution is instead to provide powers that work in campaigns with regular levels of exploration (i.e. next to none that matters) - to realize the regular 5E Ranger paid a very steep price for the very secondary exploration focus it got.
Though you could also warn people against using a class in a campaign where many of its features won't be utilized.

EDIT: I mean I'd normally agree, but recently it sounds like whether a separate ranger class is needed any more needs to be considered.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
Though you could also warn people against using a class in a campaign where many of its features won't be utilized.

EDIT: I mean I'd normally agree, but recently it sounds like whether a separate ranger class is needed any more needs to be considered.
Well, thanks, but...

It is the notion that the Ranger must be exploration-heavy I oppose. Or rather, let me reverse that to be more precise: that the Ranger somehow should be less combat capable than other martial classes just because it can find its way through a forest... when 99% of existing adventures just assume you walk through the forest; any challenge being served by various monsters. Shelter, hunger and bad weather? D&D just skips that (and rightly so, since you can never rely on having a Ranger or other Nature-trained hero).

The time when D&D offered classes with various amount of focus on combat is long past. The idea to leave combat to certain characters died a long time ago. Now every class is geared towards adventuring, meaning combat. Ability outside combat is balanced as something of a ribbon ability. Nice to be sure, but not something you deserve getting a reduced combat ability for. Even Rogues and Bards; two notoriously late arrivals to the party.

But then we have the Ranger.
 



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