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D&D 5E The Dual Wielding Ranger: How Aragorn, Drizzt, and Dual-Wielding Led to the Ranger's Loss of Identity

Minigiant

Legend
look at this point it looks like it should just be cut up and given to higher and rogue, it has no core nothing to build from at all nor does it have something else to be its core like monk has.

ranger is just mutated Aragorn and he is not worth a class.
By that logic, none of the classes besides fighter deserve to be a class. Most are more or less based on one character that was expanded.

And that's the point Ranger isn't Aragon anymore. It's the wilderness warrior and border guardian. D&D has a history of making the dungeons in the wilderness and the ranger was kept to be a character who helped get you there. Problem is D&D has a love hate relationship on actually designing wilderness stuff.

For 4e specifically, the weapons, armor, and tactics of rogues, rangers, and warriors were so different that making them same would be justification for combining every class of the same power source and having 5 total classes: Fighter, Wizard, Paladin, Druid, Psion. Yeah, that woulda been a fight.
 

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By that logic, none of the classes besides fighter deserve to be a class. Most are more or less based on one character that was expanded.

And that's the point Ranger isn't Aragon anymore. It's the wilderness warrior and border guardian. D&D has a history of making the dungeons in the wilderness and the ranger was kept to be a character who helped get you there. Problem is D&D has a love hate relationship on actually designing wilderness stuff.

For 4e specifically, the weapons, armor, and tactics of rogues, rangers, and warriors were so different that making them same would be justification for combining every class of the same power source and having 5 total classes: Fighter, Wizard, Paladin, Druid, Psion. Yeah, that woulda been a fight.
guarding which border? and from what?
the barbarian also tends to end up with a lot of warrior of the wilderness.

they are the same power sources and both fairly similar concepts.
 

Minigiant

Legend
guarding which border? and from what?
the barbarian also tends to end up with a lot of warrior of the wilderness.

they are the same power sources and both fairly similar concepts.
Any border.
From any threat.

The barbarian and ranger are similar. They more or less transformed to the heavy and light versions and home and away versions of the same base. That's enough difference for different classes.

Had Rangers stayed Aragon clones, it would been redundant.
 

Any border.
From any threat.

The barbarian and ranger are similar. They more or less transformed to the heavy and light versions and home and away versions of the same base. That's enough difference for different classes.

Had Rangers stayed Aragon clones, it would been redundant.
any border and any threat does not work for monster hunter characters, the rangers of the north I know less about but others tend to guard one area, hunt one type or tend to be complex orders and d&D rangers are none of those they seem to be guys in the wood with rather unpleasant hate of different kinds of hummanoids.

look everyone can see they lack something properly otherwise we would not have this discussion, how would you make them better if it was up to you?
 

Dr Magister

Explorer
One point regarding archetypal duel-wielding rangers: The LordSword of the RingsShannara (1977) has the heir-in-waiting ranger AragornBalinor dual wielding shortsword and dagger and swanning around in a long green cloak while killing orcsgnomes.

It strikes me that this is more likely to be an original influence than any gloomy dark elves.
 

One point regarding archetypal duel-wielding rangers: The LordSword of the RingsShannara (1977) has the heir-in-waiting ranger AragornBalinor dual wielding shortsword and dagger and swanning around in a long green cloak while killing orcsgnomes.

It strikes me that this is more likely to be an original influence than any gloomy dark elves.
had to ask my dad but that is a logical possibility.
 


Minigiant

Legend
any border and any threat does not work for monster hunter characters,
The ranger isn't just a monster hunter though. It's a border guard. Players roleplay as a monster hunters. Monster hunting is just often a part of the job

the rangers of the north I know less about but others tend to guard one area, hunt one type or tend to be complex orders and d&D rangers are none of those they seem to be guys in the wood with rather unpleasant hate of different kinds of hummanoids.
D&D originally were parts of organizations. The playtest name for ranger archetypes where conclaves.

It's players, not the class that chooses rangers to not be belonging to a group or charged by a powerplayer Many Ranger PCs are completely divorced for the ranger story then their players complain that the ranger doesn't match their story.

look everyone can see they lack something properly otherwise we would not have this discussion, how would you make them better if it was up to you?
It's less that and more people use ranger as a chassis to make nonranger characters then being disappointed.

It started with Drizzt.
Drizzt is a fighter. He spent years training as a fighter, years hunting as a barbarian, and a couple months training as a ranger. TSR used him as the iconic ranger but Salvatore gave Drizzt no ranger aspects.
 



Chaosmancer

Legend
any border and any threat does not work for monster hunter characters, the rangers of the north I know less about but others tend to guard one area, hunt one type or tend to be complex orders and d&D rangers are none of those they seem to be guys in the wood with rather unpleasant hate of different kinds of hummanoids.

look everyone can see they lack something properly otherwise we would not have this discussion, how would you make them better if it was up to you?

I think the point is, is there a significant difference between the rangers who defend the border between civilization and the Northern Woods where the fey creatures roam and the rangers who defend the border between civilization and the Raging Desert where the Elemental forces of the earth and sky come to life and the rangers who defend the border between civilization and the Underdark where ancient horrors sleep?

I think there is a problem in how the ranger's lore is presented, but that is simply a need to make them more epic, and not focus on their weakest interpretation.
 

jayoungr

Legend
then what is its niche and why is fuzzy a good thing?
This thread is full of people circling around describing the niche. If you're looking for a neat summary in a few words that makes you say "Aha, bullseye!"--I'm not sure that can be done. But I don't believe every class has to have that.

Personally, I see the Ranger as being to the Fighter and Rogue what the Druid is to the Cleric and Paladin. Yes, the Druid is more mechanically distinct from the other two because of shapeshifting; I do think the Ranger could have used some similar unique "banner" mechanical feature, but I see that class occupying a similar thematic niche. I am also sympathetic to the wish to see a Ranger without spells, even though I'm also not bothered by the very idea of the Ranger being a spellcasting class, as some seem to be.

As for why fuzzy can be a good thing, try substituting the word flexible. Not being tied to a rigid concept creates freedom for the player to be creative and for the character to become what the individual party needs him/her to be. Bards have also been criticized in this thread, but I have played in a lot of 5E parties with bards, and on the whole, I've loved the fact that those are characters who can slide in to fill whatever gaps are discovered. Is the party missing a blaster? A healer? Someone who can take some hits or pick locks? A bard can be any of those, depending on feat and spell choices.
 

jayoungr

Legend
@Mind of tempest, I had a further thought on the Ranger's niche: I believe the Ranger is intended to be the supreme master of the Exploration pillar of play, at least in a natural environment (as opposed to a constructed dungeon). It's just that this pillar gets neglected in a lot of games, for one reason or another.
 
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@Mind of tempest, I had a further thought on the Ranger's niche: I believe the Ranger is intended to be the supreme master of the Exploration pillar of play, at least in a natural environment (as opposed to a constructed dungeon). It's just that this pillar gets neglected in a lot of games, for one reason or another.
it lacks rules or at least proper instructions on how to do it, most new guard do not even know what a hex crawl is.
 

Minigiant

Legend
it lacks rules or at least proper instructions on how to do it, most new guard do not even know what a hex crawl is.

The problem is old guard and new guard. The older generations don't know how to handle fantastic nature or high level wilderness exploration.
The younger generations don't know how to do mundane wilderness exploration without making it boring nor the history and importatance of ranger organizations.

So everyone who the Ranger of XYZ are but not what they do.

"Of course there are rangers out there in the the wild borders. Fighters and wizards would be never survive"
"Never survive what?"
"I dunno. But they'd be killed. Only rangers and druids have those skills. And Druids don't care about people."
"Skills? Which skills?"
"Nature. And Dual wielding or archery."
 

The problem is old guard and new guard. The older generations don't know how to handle fantastic nature or high level wilderness exploration.
The younger generations don't know how to do mundane wilderness exploration without making it boring nor the history and importatance of ranger organizations.

So everyone who the Ranger of XYZ are but not what they do.

"Of course there are rangers out there in the the wild borders. Fighters and wizards would be never survive"
"Never survive what?"
"I dunno. But they'd be killed. Only rangers and druids have those skills. And Druids don't care about people."
"Skills? Which skills?"
"Nature. And Dual wielding or archery."
yeah, the ranger lacks both its place in the world and a core concept.
 


Incorrect.

Rangers have a place in the fantasy world.

The problem is people keep taking that role out, saying they cannot find the point to rangers, then ask for help filling back the hole.
yeah, but it is nut us taking that out, it is the designers who lack knowledge of how to do exploration beyond a dungeon crawl.
plus it lacks a core archetype which people just get.
 

Minigiant

Legend
yeah, but it is nut us taking that out, it is the designers who lack knowledge of how to do exploration beyond a dungeon crawl.
plus it lacks a core archetype which people just get.

The ranger has core archetypes. The issue is designers and world builders remove it.

It's like having cleric class without deity worship be the norm. You will just have wizards who can heal.

This why defining aspects of the ranger to many are basic fighting styles. Make your wilds tame, your monsters confined to dungeons, your treks easy, your governments unresponsive and then rangers become pointless.
 

Dioltach

Legend
I'm not a game designer, but I agree with some of the criticism of rangers that's been expressed here. I've never really been comfortable with ranger spells, mostly because they seem to have been tagged on without really adding anything: usually, by the time the ranger has access to them, power levels have increased to the point where they don't offer any real benefit. Favoured enemy seems too specific for a particular role to be such a key feature of the class.

So I'd probably do something like this:

D12 hit dice.
Bonus to save vs poison.
Lose favoured enemy, instead add something like "favoured environment" (with possibilities including not just forests, deserts, mountains etc. but also urban and underground environments). At low levels, the ranger gets bonuses on Hide, Search, Spot, Survival. Maybe bonuses on saves vs natural threats in that environment. Later on, hide in plain sight and improved initiative. A few levels up, add "nature's scout": the ranger can take the form of a bird (or other natural flying creature) native to the environment. Next is "nature's hunter", when the hunter can take the form of a big cat (or other natural hunting creature) native to the environment. Add new favoured environments along the way.

This creates a tough fighter who excels in a scouting and fighting role in particular environments, with some added supernatural abilities to spice it up. Enough versatility to work in wilderness, urban and dungeon settings.

Like I said, I'm not a game designer, so I can't judge how balanced this would be, or whether this is what other people want the ranger to be. Just saying that this is what I'd like to see.
 

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