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D&D 5E Should Rangers Have Spells in 5e?

Should 5e Rangers Have Spells?

  • Yes, all Rangers should have spells, as in past editions

    Votes: 12 8.8%
  • Yes, but they should be optional/exchangable for other things

    Votes: 84 61.3%
  • No, Rangers should never have spells unless they multiclass

    Votes: 41 29.9%


First Post
I think being martial and having tracking/survival abilities is sufficient for the base class. Multiclass if you want spells.

I wouldn't be opposed to them having the 'preferred enemy' again, gaining woodcraft/herbalism abilities to create cures and salves, animal friendship being core, or gaining bonuses to social and knowledge regarding fey creatures.

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Another reason to separate rangers from magic is that it lets you give them access to all types of magic. Divine, arcane, shadow, elemental, and psionic rangers all make as much sense as primal ones. Really you could apply that layer to a lot of martial classes, so long as you didn't go overboard and make it so paladins are indistinguishable from divine-dabbling fighters.


Rangers are the stereotypical survivalist class. 90% of them have being skilled and staying in the wilderness (Be it the wood, at sea, another pane, or da streets) for long periods of time. There rangers should be ale to:

Heal themselves
Neutralize and cure poisons
Handle/charm animals
Harm animals and plants
Exist comfortably in extreme environments
Create and disarm natural traps
Forage for food and drink

Spells are an easy to do all this but it doesn't have to be the method. They could be other forms of magic, ingrained in the skill system, or be in something else.


First Post
I like my rangers as a martial survivalist class.

That said 5E should have room to both martial and magical ranger, the same way I guess there will be cloth-priests and armored-clerics...


First Post
The original Ranger class, as featured in the Strategic Review (proto-Dragon) was a fighter with limited arcane And divine spell casting. Of course there was no "Druid" class at that point. The two-weapon fighter or archer aspects hadn't really entered into it. There was a sort of "favored enemy" ("Giant" class only), and of course tracking.

In BECMI, there was a Ranger-like class called a Forester (in the Gazetteer supplements) that was essential the Elf class for humans. No tracking or such, but they were mages and fighters simultaneously.


I voted for the second option, but I'd prefer that the default for Rangers to be non-magical, with some kind of option to get magic. Maybe that's just semantics, but a magic-wielding ranger should be the exception in my opinion.

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My ideal ranger class would probably have the HD and movement of the 3e barbarian, creat stealth and spotting skills and a bunch of outdoorsy talents. Tough and mobile independent survivors is the image I'd most like to see. Multiclassing or specific themes would be my preferred way of allowing casting into the class.



First Post
I voted for the second option, but I'd prefer that the default for Rangers to be non-magical, with some kind of option to get magic. Maybe that's just semantics, but a magic-wielding ranger should be the exception in my opinion.

I agree.

I also think that any Class should have potential access to magic; so a Fighter should also be able to gain the ability to cast spells (if the Player wishes and the DM deems it appropriate for the Campaign) by spending Feats or equivalent.
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Saying that there is already a caster ie druid in the game makes it redundant for rangers to have magic I just don't agree with that. There is a lot of differences between what a ranger can do with weapons and what a druid can do.

Sure, but historically, ranger spellcasting has been just "druid lite." If that's how it's going to be in 5E, I would rather have rangers who want to cast spells do it by multiclassing druid. There's no sense duplicating a bunch of druid rules. (Of course, this assumes the multiclass rules are up to snuff.) Then the ranger class can focus on fleshing out ranger-specific stuff, instead of wasting space on cut-and-pasted druid material.

Now, if there is going to be "ranger magic" that is substantively different from "druid magic," I'd be open to that as a ranger build option. But I'm not sure what such magic would look like.
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I don't see why both options should take precidence over the other. Modularity does require some things to be, you know, MODULAR. Same goes for the assassin and paladin, have both options on the table. There is no reason to force it to go one way or another.

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