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

#### CapnZapp

##### Legend
Yes it is. But against a variable target you can take the average. But obviously you don't know how math works and such. Compare it against a static number and you know what is better. Too bad it was lost but we had it calculated. I won't do it for you again.
Actually what is your problem understanding that you can compare a bonus against advantage and look what is better?
Why so hostile? Why do you think I'm having trouble evaluating advantage?

And why do you think I was asking for your calculations? I don't need your calculations, I just said what the benefit of advantage is: it's not a static number like +4, it's variable.

If you have a 50-50 shot at making your roll (that is, you need to roll an 11 or better), advantage is at its most advantageous and you get a +25% (percentage points) increase, which, translated to a d20 means +5.

That is, your chance goes up from 50% to 75% = +5

At the other end is the situation where you only miss on a 1, or only succeed on a 20. In this case advantage gives you a second chance of rolling that specific number (which is 5%) - so you get about a +1.

That is, your chance goes up from the chance of rolling a 20 on a d20 on a single try (5%) to the chance of rolling one 20 on two tries (nearly 10%) = +1

In no way is it helpful to try to boil down this range (a bell curve from +1 up to +5 and back down again to +1) to a single number. +2, +3 or +4 doesn't matter; they're all correct.

And they are all wrong too.

Have a nice day

Edit: Do note that none of this is specifically tied to initiative. The above is true for any roll involving what D&D calls "advantage".

As for initiative, I haven't seen your numbers, but since every campaign is different, there really is no useful way of calculating an "average" here, unless you do it after the campaign is finished. You certainly can't just sum up the bonus for all monster/NPC initiatives from +0 to +10 (say) and calculate how much adventage helps you, and then divide by ten. Nor can you calculate the average from all the MM monsters, since no real-life campaign contains one specimen of each monster race.

In the end, the conclusion must be that no single number is actually helpful. The only thing you can say is stuff like "against monsters with the same initiative bonus as you, advantage is incredibly helpful" and "if you're especially slow, advantage on initiative is not going to change much, I'm afraid - you're much better off looking for Dexterity bonuses instead".

---

And still, it doesn't paint a complete picture. When you have advantage you no longer have any reason to hunt for advantage. This impact of this - in how actual play changes - cannot be underestimated.

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#### UngeheuerLich

##### Hero
Why so hostile? Why do you think I'm having trouble evaluating advantage?

Sorry. Nevermind.

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#### Staccat0

##### First Post
For whatever it's worth, I am playing one in Storm King's Thunder. I tried to weaken him ahead of time but the DM was like, "eh let's see if it actually matters"

Honestly it didn't really feel any stronger than the monk or paladin and I still felt LESS cool than the Bard.

Only two sessions in, but it's working for us.

#### UngeheuerLich

##### Hero
For whatever it's worth, I am playing one in Storm King's Thunder. I tried to weaken him ahead of time but the DM was like, "eh let's see if it actually matters"

Honestly it didn't really feel any stronger than the monk or paladin and I still felt LESS cool than the Bard.

Only two sessions in, but it's working for us.

Good to see someone testing it.

#### Staccat0

##### First Post
Good to see someone testing it.

It's honestly maybe not the BEST play test. Considering I KNOW to pick Giants as my greater enemy and the early combats are especially stacked against us.

#### Kyvin

##### Explorer
I am playing a melee Aarakocra ranger in a Princes campaign. He's lvl 7 and I switched him over to the UA ranger. Before that he was ranger/fighter because I felt like many of the ranger abilities as-is were useless.

I chose humanoids and dragons as favored enemies. While I agree that some of the abilities should be moved up to something above first level, it certainly doesn't feel overpowered. As others have mentioned, I don't see myself getting much use out of whirlwind attack, especially as I'm using a glaive and polearm master.

#### Umbran

Staff member
But obviously you don't know how math works and such.

How about you actively attempt to avoid insulting people when you talk to them from now on, okay?

If not, go take a break, and come back when it is okay. Thanks.

#### Ovinomancer

##### No flips for you!
I've got a Hunter conclave ranger in the game I'm running, so my comments are aimed at the base ranger.

Personally, I think that Natural explorer needs to be split in two, with some of its features coming at a higher level.

Never getting lost (except through magical means) is something that shouldn't be granted at first level. Sure, I can see advantage to Survival checks to avoid getting lost, and then upgrading to inability to get lost at a higher level. But for low-level characters, getting lost should still be a possibility.Also, the tacking thing is also definitely cool, but it should kick in at a higher level. Right now, rangers seem to be uber at doing rangery things from the day one, instead of being just good and then growing into their uberness as they level.

Sure, those aren't combat abilities that will break the game, but the game is about more than just combat.

Also, Advantage to initiative seems a bit much for a 1st-level ability—especially in conjunction with getting advantage to hit those that haven't acted in the first turn. Not an issue at later levels, but it should move to latter levels (if it stays at all—it doesn't really seem particularly thematic of rangerness).

On the whole, it just seems that rangers get too much at first level, a lot of which makes them too good at early levels and ripe for multiclassing shenanigans. Spreading out the options over multiple levels, and leaving some options to later levels seems like it would fix my complaints.

This. The exploration pillar is already weak and difficult to engage successfully. I severely dislike abilities that further reduce the impact of the exploration pillar in the game. Class abilities should be enabling engagement of the pillars, not eliminating portions of them.

And this, honestly, I've recently concluded is the source of my biggest gripes about 5e design. Don't get me wrong, 5e is still my favorite edition to date, and my gripes are small, but they all seem to center around negating engagement in the social or exploration pillars. The combat pillar is well formed (and that's great, I'm looking for mostly combat engagement out of my D&D), and I initially felt that I had more leeway in engaging the other 2 pillars in 5e, but I'm consistently seeing crap like 'can't be lost' at 1st level being shoehorned in. Come on, devs, this isn't a tool to engage the exploration pillar -- it makes nothing more exciting or interesting. Instead, it removes a possible point of tension and reduces the incentive to design challenges around exploration (note: doesn't remove, reduces -- clearly you can build exploration challenges that don't involve being lost, however, some do and they've neatly excised those with this ability).

##### Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Other than that, sure there are niggles, but nothing I cant live with.

With one exception: the final in-print official non-playtest class absolutely can not hand out all those bonuses already on level one. That would be the best argument for banning the multiclassing option ever.

The actual bonuses aren't THAT overpowered even at level 1 if you stay Ranger, but it's crazily overpowered for a one level dip. It simply must happen later. Your Ranger will have to make do without those bonuses for a few levels for the greater good of the overall game.
IMO, they just need to put the combat buffs of natural explorer into Primeval Awareness instead. That's all it needs, IMO.

#### UngeheuerLich

##### Hero
It's honestly maybe not the BEST play test. Considering I KNOW to pick Giants as my greater enemy and the early combats are especially stacked against us.

Why not? You then know if it feels overpowered due to the bonus against them.

#### Saeviomagy

My issues with the new one are that at first level it's getting way more than anyone else. Other classes are looking at ribbons, small amounts of healing, extremely limited spells or small damage bonuses.

Rangers are potentially looking at advantage on many attacks, bonus damage on most attacks, plus a huge pile of abilities that grant automatic success at meaningful tasks. That's a problem if you're starting at low level, and it's a bigger problem if multiclassing is allowed.

#### Greybeard_Ray

##### First Post
Reconstructing my previous thoughts...

I was participating in the (now lost) "9000 pages" of discussion on the UA: Ranger, Revised. I'd like to try to address the 'concerns' of some of you regarding this re-imagining of the 5e Ranger.

First off, it is attempting to re-balance the Ranger class, ESPECIALLY the BeastMaster/Beast Conclave subclass. Yes, there are some very potent abilities available at first level. HOWEVER, virtually all of them were present in the original PH version, with some minor re-wordings. The change from "Favored Terrain" (pick one) to "Natural Explorer" (All Wilderness) brings the class back to its origins.

I can see a 'sticking-point' on Favored Enemy (Humanoids), but just using the wording of the PH version ("race(s) of humanoid (such as gnolls ...") should eliminate any worries about uber-killer Rangers.

For those of you who are (relatively) new to D&D, the first 3 bullet points of the revision;
• You ignore difficult terrain.
• You have advantage on initiative rolls.
• On your first turn during combat, you have advantage on attack rolls against creatures that have not yet acted.
are essentially a return to the earliest days of Basic/Expert...AD&D/2nd Edition rules, where the Ranger was very rarely surprised, almost always surprised others, and generally got a whopping bonus to his first attack (via surprise).

[For those that weren't there, back in the day, you had to ROLL to determine if you were surprised, AND if you surprised them... And Rangers had absurd result numbers (only surprised 16%, surprised others I recall @ 50%)] And that "advantage on attack rolls" does NOT guarantee a hit, it just increases the chance. I personally feel this new incarnation is nowhere near as 'imbalanced'.

The remaining bullet points in Natural Explorer are EXACTLY the same as Favored Terrain, except for the removal of "specified terrain". Including "...can’t become lost except by magical means."
So, if the DM wants the group lost, just find a "magical means" appropriate for the story. Personally, I'm not fond of making my players feel like their characters are incompetent (even at lower levels) by saying "Roll to see how badly you get lost..."

Next, regarding Favored/Greater Favored Enemy: make sure you read it carefully. Especially Greater; the list REMOVES Humanoid as an option at 6th Level. Yes, you gain +4 to damage to ALL enemies; NO, you only get advantage on saves vs. Greater Enemies. This harkens back to 3.5e, without the cumulative stacking of bonuses on saves. AND, it compensates (a little) for the "Beast Conclave's" LACK of EXTRA ATTACK.

I don't see this revision as being over- or under-powered. I think it re-dresses some inadequacies of the original PH "Beast Master". I've been playing this game since 1974 (yes, the first year it was out), and I've seen every variation, twist, tweak, re-write and revision they've put EACH class through. I honestly believe this is the 5e equivalent of the original intent for the Ranger...

given that it was really a cross between Aragorn & Tarzan, anyway.

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#### Chaosmancer

##### Hero
So, we can’t even go a full two days before rangers return. Ah well.

One thing I remember never getting a clear and final answer on was the “ignore darkvision” language on the deep stalker. It seemed to say that for you darkness counts as darkness for the purpose of hiding instead of dim light. But the language is very strange, and it leads to some rather odd moments because it is a hard ability to remember for a DM.

I wonder if this wasn't intended to buff assassin a little. Currently all the conditions needed for auto-crits to happen seems too circumstantial IMO. I don't think I've actually ever played with anyone as an assassin. Everyone goes arcane trickster.
Maybe the could just give a + to initiative, rather than advantage if the boost is too much?
I’ve actually had almost the complete opposite situation. I’ve never seen any one keep playing an Arcane Trickster or theif for that matter, but I almsot always have at least one assassin on the team. I do houserule actual surprise rounds, and even then they don’t often get the big crit, but they are often looking to get it.

Currently I’ve got a party of 2 Assassins, a SCAG Swashbuckler, Wizard, Sun Soul Monk and a PHB Beastmaster

Also, thinking about what some people were saying. I think I wouldn't mind seeing Primeval awareness and natural explorer switch places. Or maybe chop them up and switch parts. I think that would still feel good and give you some things to do that make a lot of sense for a ranger.

#### CapnZapp

##### Legend
IMO, they just need to put the combat buffs of natural explorer into Primeval Awareness instead. That's all it needs, IMO.
If you by that mean moving those level 1 benefits til later, then yes, that is what I mean too.

#### CapnZapp

##### Legend
I was participating in the (now lost) "9000 pages" of discussion on the UA: Ranger, Revised. I'd like to try to address the 'concerns' of some of you regarding this re-imagining of the 5e Ranger.

First off, it is attempting to re-balance the Ranger class, ESPECIALLY the BeastMaster/Beast Conclave subclass. Yes, there are some very potent abilities available at first level. HOWEVER, virtually all of them were present in the original PH version, with some minor re-wordings. The change from "Favored Terrain" (pick one) to "Natural Explorer" (All Wilderness) brings the class back to its origins.

I can see a 'sticking-point' on Favored Enemy (Humanoids), but just using the wording of the PH version ("race(s) of humanoid (such as gnolls ...") should eliminate any worries about uber-killer Rangers.

For those of you who are (relatively) new to D&D, the first 3 bullet points of the revision;
• You ignore difficult terrain.
• You have advantage on initiative rolls.
• On your first turn during combat, you have advantage on attack rolls against creatures that have not yet acted.
are essentially a return to the earliest days of Basic/Expert...AD&D/2nd Edition rules, where the Ranger was very rarely surprised, almost always surprised others, and generally got a whopping bonus to his first attack (via surprise).

[For those that weren't there, back in the day, you had to ROLL to determine if you were surprised, AND if you surprised them... And Rangers had absurd result numbers (only surprised 16%, surprised others I recall @ 50%)] And that "advantage on attack rolls" does NOT guarantee a hit, it just increases the chance. I personally feel this new incarnation is nowhere near as 'imbalanced'.

The remaining bullet points in Natural Explorer are EXACTLY the same as Favored Terrain, except for the removal of "specified terrain". Including "...can’t become lost except by magical means."
So, if the DM wants the group lost, just find a "magical means" appropriate for the story. Personally, I'm not fond of making my players feel like their characters are incompetent (even at lower levels) by saying "Roll to see how badly you get lost..."

Next, regarding Favored/Greater Favored Enemy: make sure you read it carefully. Especially Greater; the list REMOVES Humanoid as an option at 6th Level. Yes, you gain +4 to damage to ALL enemies; NO, you only get advantage on saves vs. Greater Enemies. This harkens back to 3.5e, without the cumulative stacking of bonuses on saves. AND, it compensates (a little) for the "Beast Conclave's" LACK of EXTRA ATTACK.

I don't see this revision as being over- or under-powered. I think it re-dresses some inadequacies of the original PH "Beast Master". I've been playing this game since 1974 (yes, the first year it was out), and I've seen every variation, twist, tweak, re-write and revision they've put EACH class through. I honestly believe this is the 5e equivalent of the original intent for the Ranger...

given that it was really a cross between Aragorn & Tarzan, anyway.
Thank you.

However, a sizeable chunk of the discussion isn't about that it is actually overpowered, but gets too much too fast.

Your commentary on cherry-picking a level of the new ranger would be appreciated.

(And yes, we all know the devs have tweeted about it: essentially saying the UA ranger is before taking multiclassing into account)

#### CapnZapp

##### Legend
So, we can’t even go a full two days before rangers return. Ah well.

One thing I remember never getting a clear and final answer on was the “ignore darkvision” language on the deep stalker. It seemed to say that for you darkness counts as darkness for the purpose of hiding instead of dim light. But the language is very strange, and it leads to some rather odd moments because it is a hard ability to remember for a DM.
Assuming the devs don't participate in enworld threads, I would not have assumed getting a clear and final answer out of the discussion. That is something only the devs can settle.

#### Charles Rampant

##### Explorer
On the side topic of Assassins and Arcane Tricksters: I've had one of each in my games. The latter is very good, but other than casting Invisibility it can be hard for that character to really shine, since in combat he'll be doing all the usual Rogue stuff instead. It is better for out-of-combat, for sure. In contrast, the Assassin character did quite poorly. I think that this was because the party just refused to do stealth en masse, and the player never bothered to scout ahead. So in every combat, he asked whether he had surprise or was hidden, and I was like, "How? You're walking into a well-lit room alongside a guy in full plate..." So I think that you definitely need to take the effort to leverage that class ability, rather than just assuming that it always works.

#### Greybeard_Ray

##### First Post
Thank you.

However, a sizeable chunk of the discussion isn't about that it is actually overpowered, but gets too much too fast.

Your commentary on cherry-picking a level of the new ranger would be appreciated.

(And yes, we all know the devs have tweeted about it: essentially saying the UA ranger is before taking multiclassing into account)

Capn, I don't follow much of the social media stuff, except when referenced (& Linked) in threads like this. However, I have read a few, and my impression is that the Dev's are collectively not very collected. Either that, or they are deliberately obtuse and obfuscating (not that I'd put THAT past them...)

As to 'cherry-picking' levels, and multi-classing in general, I have a simple statement for all of you:

GET OVER IT!

Multi-classing has been a part of the mechanics of this game since the first hardback. The Bard class originally required that you take several levels of Fighter, then levels of Wizard, then levels in Thief (not Rogue, Thief [that was the class-name, back then]). So, after investing [12? 13? ... can't remember] levels playing "this that and the other", you finally got to call yourself a Bard. And then got stuck in the back of the group, to guard the Wizard... and buff the party.

In terms of cherry-picking, every single [not-primary-caster] class has something worth a one-level dip. Pure casters require a heavy investment in being "pure". Let's examine the first level abilities gained, by class:

Barbarian: Rage, Unarmored Defense
Bard: Spellcasting, Bardic Inspiration
Cleric: Spellcasting, Divine Domain
Druid: Druidic, Spellcasting
Fighter: Fighting Style, Second Wind
Monk: Unarmored Defense, Martial Arts
Paladin: Divine Sense, Lay on Hands
Ranger: Favored Enemy, Natural Explorer
Revised Ranger: Favored Enemy, Natural Explorer (revised versions)
Rogue: Expertise, Sneak Attack, Thieves' Cant
Sorcerer: Spellcasting, Sorcererous Origin
Warlock: Otherworldly Patron, Pact Magic
Wizard: Spellcasting, Arcane Recovery

Yes, I know you know them, but look at them collectively. What I see is: 2 features; one strong (or very strong), and one (maybe/kinda/sorta/semi-/mixed) debatable.

Yes, there are features worth 'cherry-picking' on this list: Rage, Unarmored Defense (either), Fighting Style, Expertise, Sneak Attack, and yes, the Revised Natural Explorer. Are they worth a level dip? That's up to the PLAYER. Are any of them game-breakers? Not in the 2-years I've been playing THIS edition (out of 42 years total) [Before you say it, yes, I'm old. Hence the 'Handle']

Are players going to want to Multi-Class/Level Dip? Yes. Is it game-breaking? If YOU think it is, don't allow it in your game. [But for the LUV UV GAWD, try it, first, okay?] Are there going to be Munchkin/Min-Max/PowerGamer character designs? Of course there are, those types are "now, and will always be {/SpockVoice}" a part of this game.

</blow-hard mode OFF>

#### Pauln6

##### Explorer
Yes, multi-classing does not generally involve overpowered builds. 5e overall seems to be very well balanced.

That said, in the case of the revised ranger, I agree that it is not overpowered overall but rather that it grants features, that other sub-classes don't get until much higher levels, at level 1. The simple solution is to dilute or remove them from level 1 and spread them out over just a level or six so that those players don't feel quite so cheated and multi-classing synergies are diluted enough to bring it back in line with other options.

#### PrimevalSeeker

##### Explorer
Overall this new iteration of ranger seems like a great improvement over the current one. However, the only thing I don’t like is favored enemy. Getting rid of situational and restrictive abilities such as favored terrain was a huge step towards the right direction, so why keep favored enemy, as a main class feature no less. I don’t think that favored enemy adds so much to the overall image of being a ranger.

Mechanically, the skill part of favored enemy could be replaced by a class feature that gives some bonus to tracking ALL creatures to the ranger and as for the damage part there already exists the hunters mark spell so the +2 & +4 bonus isn’t needed.

The new natural explorer and primeval awareness are great and they are not overpowered, especially for pure ranger characters. To avoid one level dips they could split the features of natural explorer into several abilities and merge other features with other existing abilities. For example, ignoring difficult terrain could be merged with fleet of foot (lvl 8) and advantage to initiative and advantage to the first turn against creatures who haven’t taken an action could merge to form a separate feature given at a later level, maybe switch places with primeval awareness (lvl 3) or replace greater favored enemy (lvl 6).

Regarding the deep stalker subclass I don’t like its connection to the Underdark and I would prefer if it had a more generic “wilderness” stalker theme or simply called “stalker conclave” as it is already mentioned somewhere in the UA. This is for those who want to play a ranger that specializes in stealth, but without the caverns/Underdark/underground theme.

Finally, all ranger subclasses could give thematically appropriate bonus spells and not just the stalker.