Unearthed Arcana Unearthed Arcana: The ranger, revised... overcompensation?


I just checked the Wizards page for a new Unearthed Arcana, and I stumbled upon the new Ranger article. Overall I must say that is good, and that those people actually listen to the folk's feedback, but I'm a little doubting what actual impact will that have on many games. Many features aren't really changed at all, but some of them are vastly reworked. Sorry if I make grammar mistakes, I'm not a native English speaker, and it's 1 AM.
*Natural Explorer: Massively boosted. For starters, it no longer posses a favored terrain: they are all the same for the new ranger, and you gain all the benefits for them. It also now contains several combat applications which I think that don't really fit for the fluff: Advantage on Initiative checks and in attacks against creatures which don't already have taken a turn on the fight. Ignoring difficult terrain is basically Land's Stride, a core 8th level feature, without the unnecesary plants fluff (a highly situational and unconsequential feature: plants at level 8 aren't a threat, and Entangle is only one spell). I like it, but I would break it into two separate features: combat and exploration.
*Favored Enemy: Also massively boosted. +2 to weapon damage against favoured enemies is a huge improvement, specially with the Natural Explorer boost. Humanoids now are a vast group, no more you have to choose between two races. There is a debuff too: the monster types are reduced and now they exclude celestials, constructs, dragons, elementals, fiends, giants, oozes and plants of the mix, but you can choose them again at 6th level with Greater Favoured Enemy, with a damage improvement of +4 to all your favored enemies and advantage on Saving Throws against the greater enemies. The additional languages are ribbon features, but I would keep them linked to the enemy types. A hunter at 6th level deals massive damage against orcs, humans and such if you choose them (presumabily +4 by stats, another +4 by GFE, and extra attack so... +16, plus Colossus slayer (av. 4 -1d:cool:, plus weapon damage (say 9 -1d8 each-), plus Hunter's mark (7 average for 2d6) for a total of 37 (average) damage each round... without serious expendage of resources (just 1 bonus action and spell slot to cast Hunter's Mark). You can always redirect Colossus slayer and Hunter's Mark in the same fight to another creature. And it also has synergy with Natural Explorer, so you probably strike first and with advantage. Remember that the favoured enemy is a broad group- not all creatures will do the trick, but you hit "humanoid" and never again a humanoid of any kind pose a serious threat against you: nor the mage NPC, nor even the Archmage of any race. A fighter of the same level has to struggle to make that much damage even with better ASI, and it has no spells nor nature expertise nor nothing at all but pure combat prowess, and they must use Action Surge to it. I would tone down this feature.
*Primeval Awareness: greatly improved, both fluff-wise and power-wise. The ranger finally has a Animal Handling sorts of ability to interact with the land's beasts, and the elimination of the spell slot expenditure is a bonus. It also allows the ranger to detect if their favoured enemies are roaming the land and actually track them, but they ignore the other possible signs of not favoured supernatural enemies. I actually like this. A lot.
*Extra Attack: Toned down. It's now the feature of two conclaves (the former Archetypes): hunter and skulker. The beastmaster gains its own feature at this level.
*Hide in Plain Sight: refflufed. You don't have to expend time camuflating yourself to gain their main benefits. I kind of like it, as I feel that camo is more a Disguise check than anything else (I would probably give Advantage to someone camouflaged).
*Land's Stride replaced by Fleet of Foot
(a bonus action to Dash), and merged its main traits into the Natural Explorer feature.
*Vanish: remains the same.
*Feral senses: remains the same.
*Foe Slayer: remains the same.
Conclaves (Archetypes)
*Hunter: Remains mostly the same. The improvements of Favoured Enemy and Natural Explorer, though, give them a LOT of Oomph.
*Deep Stalker: new archetype (yeah, I know, Conclave). Mostly alright, although a bit of a new "monk ranger". Underdark Scout is situational but good. Deep Stalker Magic gives improved Darkvision (90 feet) and some new free spells known. Iron Mind is a Monk feature and Stalker's Flurry too. Stalker's Dodge improves survivability, but it's another Monk-inspired feature.
The Big Change: Beast Master to Beast Conclave
Completely reworked. It doesn't have anything in common with the previous beast master other than a furry friend of approximately 1/4 CR.
*Ranger Companion to Animal Companion The new companion now isn't a body part of yours, but a full-fleshedNPC with personality traits, flaws and a bond: you. The ranger now can revive its dead pet for a 8-hour ritual and 25 gp, instead of replacing it (although it can replace it).
*Companion's Bond: Another feature that comes into replacement of Ranger Companion, in tandem with Animal Companion. As before, it gains the ranger's Proficiency Bonus to its attack and damage rolls and its AC. Their HP now advances at its own rate (the furry friend gains 1 HD every time you gain a level, similar to the 4 HP/level from before, but a tad better if the companion has high Constitution, like the Black Bear).
This feature also gives your pet proficiency on ALL saving throws, and every time the ranger gains an ASI, its pet gains an ASI (although not a Feat, I presume), that also caps in 20 (unless explicitly said otherwise: I would allow a black bear or bear to improve its strength up to 22).
The Animal Companion loses its Multiattack feature (if it has one) in exchange of its many other features, but now attacks independently from the ranger, who decides the actions taken by the companion without expending an action. This is a bonus at 3rd level, but falls a bit back at 5th, when the other rangers gain an Extra Attack. This is very like the PHB's Ranger's Companion trait that allows you to replace an Extra Attack by an attack from the beast, but reworked.
The pet also gains the ranger's Favored Enemies!!! (a lot of damage).
*Coordinated Attack replaces Extra Attack: If the ranger attacks, its beast can attack once again by expending its reaction (like a guaranteed Opportunity Attack). This is actually like having Multiattack, but without Opportunity Attacks available for the beast.
Beast Defense replaces Exceptional Training: this awful feature is gone, and it is now merged with the Companion's Bond feature, 4 levels before without needing to expend a bonus action. The new feature gives Advantage to the ranger's pet on every saving throw.
*Storm of Claws and Fangs replaces Bestial Fury: effective AOE attack against any creature within 5-foot radius of the Animal Companion. Bestial Fury needed the Multiattack Feature from the pet (and expended an Attack from the ranger), but this is actually like a "bear grenade". The downside, the beast cannot move while attacking like this (balance is a bitch
*Superior Beast Defense replacesShare Spells: Basically Uncanny Dodge, at the cost of an extra attack. Share Spells was a hell of a feature, but I understand the reasons behind this little nerf: the beast master is now actually a very powerful character, even if it loses its Extra Attack. Share Spells would be pretty powerful, and fluff-wise it mades sense, as the new companion is now a full-fleshed character on its own (like the Blackwing character improvement in the Order of the Stick).

All in all, I really like what they do with the ranger. I would change Favoured Enemy, though, as it is a bit excessive. Maybe nerfing Greater Favoured Enemy (the extra +2 at 6th is a bit excessive) or at least de-broading Humanoid type. Maybe you have to use a Bonus Action to gain the damage, or capping it at once per turn.

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Numinous Hierophant
There was a 9000 page thread on this topic that got deleted in which all of these things were discussed ad nauseam.

I myself am willing to reserve judgment until I see how these features play out at the table. I am prone to agree with some of the people who contend that a few of the features synergize a bit too well with certain other classes (e.g. every Assassin is going to want a 1-level Ranger dip). I would probably move those features to level 2 at minimum so that it requires a heavier investment.


There was a 9000 page thread on this topic that got deleted in which all of these things were discussed ad nauseam.

I myself am willing to reserve judgment until I see how these features play out at the table. I am prone to agree with some of the people who contend that a few of the features synergize a bit too well with certain other classes (e.g. every Assassin is going to want a 1-level Ranger dip). I would probably move those features to level 2 at minimum so that it requires a heavier investment.
I didn't read it. Why it was deleted?


Numinous Hierophant
I didn't read it. Why it was deleted?

The site had a data corruption issue and they had to revert to a backup of the database that was 6 months old. A lot of threads were lost, and a lot of new accounts were lost. There was much wailing, and gnashing of teeth, and the people did declaim, "¡Carajo, me cago!"
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[MENTION=6784868]Erechel[/MENTION], in the spirit of discussion, I think they may have overshot the mark a smidge, but I believe this alternate version was an improvement. I'm actually excited about the class now, mainly because of the changes to Natural Explorer. I think it multiclasses badly ( too good of a dip), but that'll get ironed out.

I'm not worried about its damage being a little high, as that's only against two creature types. I would not mind seeing the damage go away, though, but having a circumstantial edge against a type is fine (Paladins have a bonus against undead with their smite, and that's not factored in). All humanoids might be a bit too much, though.

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Possibly a Idiot.
I didn't read it. Why it was deleted?

Cause the forum blew up.

One of the more interesting bits we learned was that the Beast Conclave's pet could learn a language via Favored Enemy, allowing the Ranger and Pet to speak to each-other in some edge cases.

We found out that people were split about favored enemy damage bonus, and generally leaned to the side of Natural explorer needing to be split up into different abilities at slightly higher levels to avoid dipping problems and front loading the class.

We also learned people really like horses and birds.

Still thinking:
favoured enemy should not give +damage.
Instead at level 2 you shoud be able to cast hunter's mark without spending a slot on favoured enemies or even just make it so that favoured enemies are always under the effect of hunter's mark without even casting the spell. This not only reduces power in general and makes first level a tiny bit more balanced.
Also I would have primal awareness apply to favoured enemies and hunter's marked enemies.


41st lv DM
[MENTION=6784868]Erechel[/MENTION], in the spirit of discussion, I think they may have overshot the mark a smidge,

I'm not worried about it.
It's an UA article, not the finished product. They put it out there, they tell you it'll likely change some more, & they asked for feedback on it (ideally this feedback will come from actual play).
On paper I don't see any real issues. Though I think I'll just let the beast keep its multi-attack (in addition to the new Storm of Claws).

If I were in need of a new character in our (CoS) game I'd try it out myself. Hopefully I can avoid that need.:)

What I expect will happen is one of the guys in the game I DM will make another ranger when the game reboots next month. He loves both elves & rangers, so I bet I know what's coming.


Possibly a Idiot.
By the Way:

The Thread Cache

(just push enter into the address bar after you click the link)

I tried going to page 37-38 for my original response, but it was lost.

This is why I normally view 100 posts per page instead of the default 10 or whatever it is.
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