D&D General What is a Ranger? A miserable pile of secrets! (+)

What is a Ranger? (pick up to 3)

  • Archery! Rangers and Bows. They just make sense.

    Votes: 48 40.0%
  • Dual wielding! Just like Drizzt taught me!

    Votes: 8 6.7%
  • Nature! But none of that magic crap, more like, "hey, that's poison oak, don't touch that"

    Votes: 67 55.8%
  • Magic! Like a mini-druid. Maybe poultices. Plants and animals are friends! With magic!

    Votes: 27 22.5%
  • Animal companions! Just like Drizzt taught me!

    Votes: 21 17.5%
  • DPS! Damage on damage on damage. Doesn't matter how, just keep magic out of it! They're martial!

    Votes: 10 8.3%
  • Favored foes! The "X killed my family" trope is due for a comeback! You'll see! You'll all see!

    Votes: 13 10.8%
  • Stealth! Stalking through the woods, unseen, unheard, unsmelt. This is the way.

    Votes: 58 48.3%
  • Aragorn! Just being Aragorn. That's all it ever was.

    Votes: 39 32.5%
  • Rogues! Just replace buildings with trees

    Votes: 8 6.7%
  • Monster Hunting! Toss a coin to your Drizzt!

    Votes: 29 24.2%
  • Environmental Adaptation! A Drizzt of all seasons!

    Votes: 10 8.3%
  • Magical Weapons Combat! Look I don't even know at this point

    Votes: 1 0.8%
  • Katniss! Dump Strider in the past! The future is catching fire and mocking jays!

    Votes: 2 1.7%

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
look at the Ranger lore in 5e.



The ranger is a deadly hunter. The druid won't delve into arcane magics to do elementalism and divination to track and slay foes. The fighter won't tailer their combat gear for stealth, survival, and detection. The rogue won't hone their combat talents to stand up and survive a battle.
I...don't know about that. I mean, I like the "Slayer of Beasts" role of the Ranger, but saying that no one else can do it? Dr. Rudolph van Richten has faced many monsters in his day, and he was a Rogue (well, Thief in the original setting).

There's no reason a Dex-based Fighter can't be stealthy with the right background. And Druids have plenty of divination and elemental powers already, and they despise aberrations.
 

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James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
It's always the same thing: Either the animal is too easy to kill, either it's too overpowered. Either the PC with an animal companion is basically two PCs in one, or they lose half their class feature when the animal is dead.

Balancing animal companions has ALWAYS been terrible because they mostly exist to be a narrative flourish. The Scooby Doo to your gang.

My recommendation? Stop trying to make them a class feature.

Animal companions are now a sidekick class (with a couple of templates to choose from): You build them up and attach them to a specific PC through a Fighting Style that you can get as a Ranger, or through a feat. And the animal companion is treated as an extra PC when building encounters and when someone isn't giving it orders it's the DM's job to control it.

I think that's probably the best way to go about this. It might be a little more fiddly than normal, but it's the price to pay to add what is essentially a whole other character to your party, even if he's a minor one.
It always sucks when you can't actually model a character idea because the rules won't support it, but I guess you could just have the Ranger use magic to summon animals to help them temporarily, rather than be a constant presence.

Although, on that note, I'm now looking at the Paladin's warhorse...
 


Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Again, I’m aware of your opinions about the necessity of magic to high-level play, and I don’t agree with them.
You don't need magic for high level play as a ranger. However you'd need to rewrite at least 50% of the ranger's spell list as class features if you go for a nonmagical ranger.

That's why TSR went with spells and why WOTC gave up on the spellless ranger.
I...don't know about that. I mean, I like the "Slayer of Beasts" role of the Ranger, but saying that no one else can do it? Dr. Rudolph van Richten has faced many monsters in his day, and he was a Rogue (well, Thief in the original setting).

There's no reason a Dex-based Fighter can't be stealthy with the right background. And Druids have plenty of divination and elemental powers already, and they despise aberrations.
Well a rogue would be more dependent on gear s they would lack the features to ward off monster conditions and exploit weaknesses.

Druids don't get hunter's mark. And there were old hunting spells rangers got that druids didn't like living prints, instant search, and stalking brand that haven't be converted to 5e yet. Because originally rangers had druid and wizard spells. That's the point. Rangers used what tools helped them survive and hunt. Rangers don't have to revere nature. Nature and Primal power can just a tool to be used.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Also, just for something no one will like, I’d have rangers only able to do ritual spells. Or at least, nothing in combat, everything takes 10 seconds minimum. I feel like magic yes, but only rituals of the forest magic, mostly practical healing and protective ward and buff stuff.
I like that. Ritual magic feels much more appropriate for a ranger than combat casting. I still think a truly non-casting option is important, but this makes for a nice middle-ground.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
You don't need magic for high level play as a ranger. However you'd need to rewrite at least 50% of the ranger's spell list as class features if you go for a nonmagical ranger.
Tomato, tomahto, I still don’t agree with you on this matter.
That's why TSR went with spells and why WOTC gave up on the spellless ranger.
They didn’t give up on the spelless ranger. They made an excellent one in 4e, and then 5e was designed by committee and polls said more people wanted a spellcasting ranger.
 

Yaarel

He Mage
If two classes can stand in your face (Barb, Rogue) then Ranger can share the Rogue's ambush space.
Heh, same can be said for Scout.

If a Ranger-Seal is a Rogue, it probably deserves its own subclass for features to benefit from Intelligence and Constitution.
 

Horwath

Legend
What makes a ranger, to me atleast;

a chassis that other flavor can be added for personal preference;

Proficiency(+expertise): Stealth, Nature, Perception, Survival. Other skills as you want. These 4 are CORE.

some kind of variation on wood elf's mask of the wild.

Additional bonuses(advantage) on tracking and/or foraging

Advantage vs environmental effects.

Ignoring natural difficult terrain. Fast pace for stealth, perception, survival without penalties.


move away from favored terrain/enemy. Ranger should be good in any terrain and be able to track all equally(if able).
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
They didn’t give up on the spelless ranger. They made an excellent one in 4e, and then 5e was designed by committee and polls said more people wanted a spellcasting ranger.
The 4e ranger still more or less needed to take Ritual Caster to travel, travel, and survive if the DM wasn't being extremely generous. All the naturey stuff were rituals.
 

look at the Ranger lore in 5e.



The ranger is a deadly hunter. The druid won't delve into arcane magics to do elementalism and divination to track and slay foes.
Why not? There is no division between arcane and divine magic in 5e, and the druid has plenty of spells for tracking and killing stuff.
The fighter won't tailer their combat gear for stealth, survival, and detection.
Why not? A Dex fighter can do this stuff just fine.
The rogue won't hone their combat talents to stand up and survive a battle.
Okay, it's quite hard to build a tough rogue in 5e, but that doesn't stop them being deadly, and hunting stuff.

Bottom line: fluff is meaningless. A class can do whatever the mechanics allow. If I want to make a ranger who is an incompetent Stryxhaven wizard who can fight quite well I can do that.

5e Ranger is an eldritch knight with slightly more eldritch and a little less knight.
 

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