D&D General Should ranger get a companion as its 'signature' feature?


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I dont think any class should have a companion as a signature feature. That should be a sub-class domain.
I mean, the pathfinder 2e summoner handles being a companion class in a better way than any dnd subclass can.

Having a dedicated 'pet class' allows the pet part to be a decent chunk of the power budget, rather than something just tacked on the side.
 

payn

I don't believe in the no-win scenario
I mean, the pathfinder 2e summoner handles being a companion class in a better way than any dnd subclass can.

Having a dedicated 'pet class' allows the pet part to be a decent chunk of the power budget, rather than something just tacked on the side.
I was thinking 5E, but yeah I guess this is general. The PF1 summoner was all kinds of problems, but im guessing the PF2 one works better. Thats fine, I still dont want a class like this (fine if it exists I just dont have need for it), and I sure dont want it as the ranger identity.
 

CreamCloud0

One day, I hope to actually play DnD.
I dont think any class should have a companion as a signature feature. That should be a sub-class domain.
eh, i think you could get alot of mileage out of a dedicated companion class but i don't think that class should be the ranger, and not replacing all companion subclasses either, but the companion concept is something that really needs to be given it's room to let it breathe to be done justice.
(my point ninja'd by frozen)
 

payn

I don't believe in the no-win scenario
eh, i think you could get alot of mileage out of a dedicated companion class but i don't think that class should be the ranger, and not replacing all companion subclasses either, but the companion concept is something that really needs to be given it's room to let it breathe to be done justice.
(my point ninja'd by frozen)
I guess my nitpick is the summoner should summon lots o things and not the same thing over and over.
 

I'm A Banana

Potassium-Rich
D&D has never had satisfying companion rules, so this doesn't sound like a good idea.

And by "companion rules," I would extend this to npc companions a la 3e's Leadership, summoning spells (including fiend-summoning), paladin horses, mounts in general, wild shape, and basically any feature or option from anywhere in the game where you get the stats of another creature to play.

The "just use their stat block" option ends up OP or weak (or both!) and it constrains monster design.

The "custom stat block" option ends up unfulfilling and gamey and complicated.

And both situations can drag the game and complicate "normal expected adventurers activity" (where you gonna stable your griffin, bro, it eats horses).

I think that if we want to get this right, we need to figure out a solution that is not part of a class's power budget, and that works for all of those use cases and more.

I bet this is a problem we can solve, but I don't think WotC or many other publishers are super invested in that space, though there have been some solid experiments.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
My homebrew Ranger selects at level 1 if they get a Companion or a massive boost to Hunter's Mark - "Bond of the Pack" vs "Bond of the Hunt".

Thematically, it is a nature-themed Warlock - you have a bond with a Primal Spirit which provides you with your extraordinary abilities.

To make it work, I had to rejigger the baseline power level of 5e, because "you are competent with martial weapons, and you get extra attack at level 5" actually sucks up 80%+ of a PC's power budget.

My baseline power level has an optimized vhuman Battlemaster XBE SS Fighter as the floor instead of near the ceiling.

1. Rangers are hard-coded to get both the TWF and Archery one.
2. Rangers don't interact with weapon masteries.
3. Ranger level 5 gets a "Bladedancer" style extra attack; they can cast a Ranger spell and make an attack as an action.
4. Rangers get somewhat useful attack cantrips. Improved versions of Shillelagh (make an attack as part of casting, deal bonus damage on that attack), Blade Ward (protect yourself and another nearby ally, no concentration, 1 turn), True Strike (gain advantage and bonus damage on an attack), and a Whirlwind Attack (attack prof bonus distinct targets in 20' radius for [W]+casting stat damage; must move to be able to attack the target, but attacked targets cannot make OAs on you) cantrip.

Rangers can now shoot both a lighting arrow and a normal arrow on their turn, for example. Or use true strike, then attack using the advantage and extra damage.

The Bond of the Hunt gets significantly scaling damage on its HM and it loses its concentration requirement. It also gets utility against them - the Ranger can follow marked foes easily, and gets other defensive/offensive advantages against it at high levels.

The Bond of the Pack gets a companion with (5+5*level) HP (less if it flies) with damage that scales like a cantrip (one die per tier). Giving it an order is a bonus action, but it will defend the Ranger (or a chosen target as a bonus action) or continue to attack whomever they where last ordered to without an order. It gains special abilities (like grapple, larger size so it can be mounted, armored shell, etc) at higher levels, letting you customize it.

I think it produces a class that feels like a Nature Warrior, not a slightly incompetent Fighter with some Druid spells attached.
 

CreamCloud0

One day, I hope to actually play DnD.
I guess my nitpick is the summoner should summon lots o things and not the same thing over and over.
and i agree but the thing is, i wasn't really talking about a summoner there but a companion class, the beastmaster, drakewarden, steel defender, pact of the chain, a little shepherd druid thrown in, all those ideas mixed up in a melting pot for a class dedicated to the idea of 'you and your X' two halves of a pair, or at least a small dedicated squad of assorted creatures.
 

I guess my nitpick is the summoner should summon lots o things and not the same thing over and over.
Trouble is that concept of summoning lots of things just grinds the actual combat to a halt. You end up with people playing on their phones as the summoner moves and attacks with each of their 15 velociraptors.

But yeah, I've always thought that 'Summoner' is an absolutely awful name for a pet class, yet for some reason Pathfinder clings onto it.
 

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