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D&D 5E Rewriting Favored Enemy/Favored Foe

Xeviat

Adventurer
Supporter
Hi everyone. It's been a while since I started a Ranger thread. I really like the changes to Natural Explorer, Primeval Awareness, and Hide in Plain Sight. I don't particularly care for the changes to Favored Enemy, though. I don't like that Favored Foe uses your concentration. I don't like that Favored Foe offers no exploration benefits; it has no survival or perception bonuses attached like Favored Enemy has.

So, I'd like to discuss a new version here. I don't want to discuss a whole new Ranger here, just a replacement ability for Favored Enemy. Here are my thoughts on the replacement ability:

  • The ability is usable Wisdom mod per long rest. Like the Paladin's Divine Sense, this locks in that the Ranger is supposed to have a good Wisdom score, and better facilitates their For Slayer capstone and spellcasting features.
  • At 1st level, as an action or as part of an attack, you can declare a target to be your favored foe. You roll advantage on wisdom (survival) to track it, wisdom (perception) to locate it, and intelligence checks to determine information about it. (I'm uncertain about duration, it will likely scale with level).
  • At 2nd level, I was thinking of baking Hunter's Mark into the ranger class. The paladin's smite doesn't compete for their concentration slot like Hunter's Mark does. This favored enemy replacement, though, does half of what Hunter's Mark does. I playtested a spell slot to add a once per round damage rider (+1d6 for first level, 1d8 for 2nd, up to 1d12 for 4th level), since +1d6 over 3 rounds is 10.5 and that's around the 9 points of 2d8 smite's, but the spread out nature didn't make it feel as good as smite. I wouldn't want to just steal smite, but smite is a well designed ability ...
*Favored Enemy normally has improvements (additional enemies) at 6th and 14th. My thought for 6th is letting you mark a target by studying its tracks, not requiring you to see the target. At 14th, it could get a more epic improvement.

Thoughts?
 

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6ENow!

The Game Is Over
It sounds a bit complex at a quick glance. I also wouldn't want something that eats into spell slots. A paladin's smite is more versatile as it can apply to any target after a hit and is pretty strong damage so it makes more sense to be spell slot-dependent.

FWIW our current version is: Once per turn you can apply your proficiency bonus to damage against your favored foe. At 6th and 14th levels you gain additional favored foes as usual. You also have advantage on Wisdom checks made against your favored foes. (This includes Perception, Survival, etc. which can all be useful.)

It is more reminiscent of rangers adding their level to damage against "giant-class opponents" from 1E.
 

Xeviat

Adventurer
Supporter
See, I don't want rangers to have to choose a favored foe. Like natural explorer, I don't want the ranger to make a choice that could easily go unused in a campaign, or go overused in a campaign. Balancing an ability for constant use is far easier.
 

6ENow!

The Game Is Over
See, I don't want rangers to have to choose a favored foe. Like natural explorer, I don't want the ranger to make a choice that could easily go unused in a campaign, or go overused in a campaign. Balancing an ability for constant use is far easier.
OK, got it.

How about allowing them to choose a replacement favored foe when they level? That way when the get to higher levels they can choose foes they are more likely to encounter?
 

Gadget

Adventurer
I personally don't care much for Favored Enemy/Favored Terrain features on a Range, save maybe as a minor ribbon. The feature is too restraining, too much of a 'mother-may-I" type ability that can easily be left out unless the DM takes special care to include it. I prefer more general use abilities for the Ranger.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
You know, I think that if I was to rewrite the ranger, I'd use the same chassis as the paladin. When you look at it, should you change the skills list, refluff the abilities and the damage of smites from radiant to same-as-the-weapon-used, the paladin's features would be spot on for the ranger.

1:
Detect creatures

After spending 1 minute in a place, you can know the nature and the exact numbers of creatures who passed in a X ft zone in the last day. You have advantage to Wis/Longrest

Hands of a Healer
In the wilderness or place with access to plants and roots, gain a pool of healing points equal to 5 x level. Can spend 5 point to cure on condition etc

2:
Spellcasting
(add: find steed, find greater steed, a few smite spells.
create: find beast companion, find greater companion)

Fighting Style

Favored Foe

Choose 2 types of favored foes. Can spend slots to add 2d6+1d6/spell level damage on a hit. +1d6 against creatures from the type chosen. You have advantage on roll to track or perceive creatures that take those extra damage for 24h.

3:
Archetypes

Warden's Resilience

Immunity to disease.

5:
extra attack

6:
Call the Hunt
Gain an an Huntsman Aura which increases at 18th level. Enemies cant be hidden in the aura. Allies gain +your Wis to Initiative roll.


10:
Warden's Bravery
In you Huntsman Aura, allies cant be frightened.

11:
Foebane
Add +1d8 damage on a hit.

14:
Purging Poultice
Can remove 1 spell on a creature. Wis/Day

et voilà: a ranger on par with the powerful yet really fun paladin, because well....its a slightly modified paladin.
 

My pitch for 6E is to give numerous monsters special weaknesses. Like, dole those suckers out like tic-tacs. When you encounter an enemy, if you're trained in the right skill, the GM reads a line of description that hints at the weakness, and you can spend a bonus action to make a skill check to discern the weakness's mechanical form.

For instance, specters might lose their incorporeality if they take radiant damage. Medusas might turn to stone if they see their reflection. Fire elementals have disadvantage if you're in water. Blue dragons might accidentally injure themselves with their own breath weapon if you strike the horn on their nose just right.

And rangers? If you have a favored enemy, you just know all their weaknesses. Not only that, we load up rangers with the ability to use a variety of damage types, to create odd terrain conditions, and to make called shots. Make rangers the people who win fights by exploiting their enemies' weaknesses.
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester
My pitch for 6E is to give numerous monsters special weaknesses. Like, dole those suckers out like tic-tacs. When you encounter an enemy, if you're trained in the right skill, the GM reads a line of description that hints at the weakness, and you can spend a bonus action to make a skill check to discern the weakness's mechanical form.

For instance, specters might lose their incorporeality if they take radiant damage. Medusas might turn to stone if they see their reflection. Fire elementals have disadvantage if you're in water. Blue dragons might accidentally injure themselves with their own breath weapon if you strike the horn on their nose just right.

And rangers? If you have a favored enemy, you just know all their weaknesses. Not only that, we load up rangers with the ability to use a variety of damage types, to create odd terrain conditions, and to make called shots. Make rangers the people who win fights by exploiting their enemies' weaknesses.
Great for Watsonians, but terrible for Doylists.
 

Einlanzer0

Explorer
I'm not really following what peoples' beef with the new Favored Foe is. Honestly I think it's kind of perfect. It gives them an out from having to rely so much on Hunter's Mark without making Hunter's Mark totally useless while also removing dependencies on DM and campaign styles.

With that said, if you really like those ribbon abilities, I see no reason to not just give them both with maybe just some slight changes to Favored Enemy to make it a little less powerful but also a little less situational.

I use a homebrew skill called Tactics, and so my variant of this would be to get rid of the rest of the crap and to give Rangers expertise on Tactics rolls when fighting or interacting with their favored enemies.
 

6ENow!

The Game Is Over
I'm not really following what peoples' beef with the new Favored Foe is. Honestly I think it's kind of perfect. It gives them an out from having to rely so much on Hunter's Mark without making Hunter's Mark totally useless.
I can't speak for the OP, but our table just wanted something that would be helpful, not OP, and not require any tracking of uses, etc. shrug
 

Xeviat

Adventurer
Supporter
I'm not really following what peoples' beef with the new Favored Foe is. Honestly I think it's kind of perfect. It gives them an out from having to rely so much on Hunter's Mark without making Hunter's Mark totally useless.

I don't like that it doesn't support their exploration pillar like favored enemy did.

Way back when 5E was released, my idea for changing favored enemy was allowing it to be changed on some kind of time scale. Then, at 6th and 14th, that time scale would get smaller. But, as I played more and more, I wanted to see Hunter's Mark be a class ability, like Smite is a class ability for the Paladin.
 


dave2008

Legend
How about:

Favored Adversary
Beginning at 1st level, you have significant experience studying, tracking, hunting, fighting, and even talking to a certain type of enemies.

Choose a two types of Favored adversaries: Aberrations, Beasts, Celestials, Constructs, Dragons, Elementals, fey, Fiends, Giants, Monstrosities, oozes, Plants, or Undead. Alternatively, you can select six races of Humanoid (such as Gnolls and orcs) as Favored adversaries, or one type and three races of Humanoid.

You have advantage on Wisdom (Survival) checks to track your Favored adversaries, as well as on Intelligence Checks to recall information about them.

When you gain this feature, you also learn one language of your choice that is spoken by your Favored adversaries, if they speak one at all.

When you attack a favored adversary, you can choose to do additional damage equal to your proficiency bonus on a hit. You can inflict this additional damage a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus before needing a long rest.

You choose two additional Favored adversaries, as well as an associated language, at 6th and 14th level. As you gain levels, your choices should reflect the types of Monsters you have encountered on your Adventures.
 

ScuroNotte

Explorer
Hi everyone. It's been a while since I started a Ranger thread. I really like the changes to Natural Explorer, Primeval Awareness, and Hide in Plain Sight. I don't particularly care for the changes to Favored Enemy, though. I don't like that Favored Foe uses your concentration. I don't like that Favored Foe offers no exploration benefits; it has no survival or perception bonuses attached like Favored Enemy has.

So, I'd like to discuss a new version here. I don't want to discuss a whole new Ranger here, just a replacement ability for Favored Enemy. Here are my thoughts on the replacement ability:

  • The ability is usable Wisdom mod per long rest. Like the Paladin's Divine Sense, this locks in that the Ranger is supposed to have a good Wisdom score, and better facilitates their For Slayer capstone and spellcasting features.
  • At 1st level, as an action or as part of an attack, you can declare a target to be your favored foe. You roll advantage on wisdom (survival) to track it, wisdom (perception) to locate it, and intelligence checks to determine information about it. (I'm uncertain about duration, it will likely scale with level).
  • At 2nd level, I was thinking of baking Hunter's Mark into the ranger class. The paladin's smite doesn't compete for their concentration slot like Hunter's Mark does. This favored enemy replacement, though, does half of what Hunter's Mark does. I playtested a spell slot to add a once per round damage rider (+1d6 for first level, 1d8 for 2nd, up to 1d12 for 4th level), since +1d6 over 3 rounds is 10.5 and that's around the 9 points of 2d8 smite's, but the spread out nature didn't make it feel as good as smite. I wouldn't want to just steal smite, but smite is a well designed ability ...
*Favored Enemy normally has improvements (additional enemies) at 6th and 14th. My thought for 6th is letting you mark a target by studying its tracks, not requiring you to see the target. At 14th, it could get a more epic improvement.

Thoughts?
For increase damage output, why not just have the 3rd level subclass feature bonus damage be applied to each attack, similar to the Paladins improved divine smite. Example Hunter’s 1d8 nice per turn to each attack at 11th level

For the tracking/perception, offer expertise in Survival and perception if proficient in those skills
 

FireLance

Legend
I would start with the basic Favored Enemy ability, but to ensure that it comes into play more often, at 1st level, the ranger gains all "natural" creatures - beasts, fey, giants, humanoids, monstrosities, oozes, and plants - as favored enemies, and can choose one more. The ranger gains additional favored enemies at 6th and 14th level.

Then, starting 1st level, I'd allow a ranger to cast hunter's mark on a favored enemy Proficiency Modifier times per long rest. A ranger regains one expended use of this ability when they finish a short rest. When used against a favored enemy, hunter's mark does not require concentration.
 

Horwath

Hero
Favored Foe is fine to a degree.

If we want some exploration utility, why not just make it last until your next long rest and give advantage on Perception and Survival against the target.
Also option that you can "mark" the target as a Bonus action if you do not want to attack them, but just to follow them.

It still uses concentration so you cannot use your nice exploration spell with that active.
 

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