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D&D 5E The post-Tasha's ranger knows enough spells

There are many legitimate criticisms of the ranger as presented in the PHB - and one of them was that, as a spells known rather than a spells prepared caster, their spellcasting was inflexible enough to be a lot less useful than it might be. And the ranger's spellcasting was certainly inflexible; a fifth level ranger knew a total of four spells across two levels and couldn't prepare their spells at dawn so frequently did not have useful spells to use. Spells prepared are inherently more flexible than spells known - and the ranger was sometimes left without the spells to do the job.

However there are two ways of getting flexibility. One's to be able to re-prepare and the other is simply to know more spells. D&D is officially based round three pillars (combat, exploration, and social) so as long as you have a decent spell of each spell level for each pillar you should have the tools to handle almost any situation. Spell prep is useful beyond that - but it's a finesse play rather than almost essential; you should have enough tools for the job almost no matter what situation arises if you have enough spells.

The PHB ranger was extremely short changed in terms of spells, getting one spell every other level plus a bonus to start with, ending up with eleven spells spread across five spell levels and this was a genuine issue (it's also in 3.X sorcerer territory). But as of Xanthar's they started to fix this, so although each of the subclasses in the PHB adds nothing to your spells known the subclasses in both Xanathar's and Tasha's add one spell per spell level. One of the options in Tasha's also replaces Primeval Awareness (one of the most useless abilities I've seen in any RPG) with Primal Awareness that both gives you an extra spell known per spell level and a slot for this spell at each spell level so you can cast it once before digging in to your spell slots.

This means that whereas a PHB ranger at level 5 had four spells known the Tasha's ranger has 8, and at level 20 rather than 11 spells known the Tasha's ranger now has 21. Four spells per level is enough to have one for each pillar per level. It's enough that you don't need to prepare spells for solid flexibility - just for niche situations.
 

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vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
I agree.

Anyway, even with the few known spells of the PHB's archetypes, there's not a lot of ''must have'' on the ranger's spell list!
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
The thing I found peculiar is that the ranger and paladin were the 2 "half casters". The paladin knows far more spells, but burns then away smiting. The ranger can use those spells buuuuut... barely knows any. It feels to me like it should have been the reverse....
 

Nitrosaur

Explorer
Yeah, Primal Awareness´ spells are a nice fix. Before Tasha I added conclave spells to the Beastmaster and Hunter, just to bring them up to par, but more importantly, I changed ranger´s spellcasting to mirror that of artificers and paladins, half level+spellcasting modifier, because I can´t understand for the life of me why it still isn´t like that. In practice it ads 1 more prepared spell at hand.
 

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