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%

Undrave

Legend
A team pet doesn't scratch the itch of it being "my pet".

Its your pet, not the team pet.
Just because it's build off the Sidekick frame doesn't mean it's the 'team pet'. The idea here would be that to 'hire' a Beast Companion you'd need to tame it and it would only be loyal to the person who did the taming, something a Ranger would just naturally be great at and could have an optional way to be better. Using sidekick rule would mean the Ranger doesn't have to account for the Pet being there when building the class, but the DM will be able to account for it when building encounters. It also means that ANY character can start with a Beast Companion if the DM agree. The Fighter and his hound, the Paladin and his mount, a Druid could also have a Beast Companion if they wanted, maybe the Nature Priest? Maybe the Sorcerer used to be a goat farmer and he's walking around with an old ornery protective ram? Maybe the Bard has an exotic song bird? The Wizard might have an owl. Maybe the Warlock was a noble and has a hunting falcon.

When a Beastmaster beast dies, it's like if your character lost half their class features when taking too much damage, it's just a problematic design space all around IMO. If the sidekick dies, people can be sad but it won't make their character that much worse than before.


"Minion-mancy" is pretty rough in D&D, overall. I remember many threads being devoted to the summon spells in 5e, like whether or not you can call up a gaggle of sprites. I was in a game where I got to use Animate Objects for one adventure before the DM told me he couldn't handle it (I was playing a Warforged Sorcerer- the DM had told us to roll our stats, so not having a Charisma bonus wasn't an issue really. I had commissioned a local toymaker to make me a bunch of fairy dolls, using the sturdiest and toughest possible materials, and then I'd animate the pack of them in combat).
I played a Shepherd Druid and I got bored of summoning 8 wolves.
If it's not in the PHB, it's not workable, and I don't expect sidekicks to be in the PHB. On top of all that, it doesn't even make sense to use the sidekick rules for pets, because pets should be simpler than that.
We can't just cram EVERYTHING in the PHB. And who says the pets should be simpler?

Are they a major part of the character or a simple sideshow gimmick?! Which is it? If it's just a simple aesthetic thing, just give them a familiar or one of those magical figures that turn into an animal.

Honestly feels like your standard are very high for a pet and I'm not quite sure where they land. What's the design goal here? I've suggested an option that makes the pet relevant without bogging down a specific class's design space with all the burden it entails.

Whatever form it takes, I think it's WAY better for the 'Beast Companion' trope to be class agnostic.
 

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When people bring up concepts about pets being impossible to balance in DnD, have they ever just considered that we just haven't put enough effort into making them work? There is no such thing as an unsolvable design problem in TTRPG.
Just because other have done it doesn't mean it can be done!

(pets as key ranger features work just fine in 13th Age.)
 

So you've said...

Anyway, what about my prior suggestion of beast companions being a sidekick class instead of requiring so much design space onto the Ranger?
Because if the ranger gets a pet and the fighter gets a squire and the rogue gets a sidekick and the wizard gets a summon and the cleric gets a mini angel an the warlock gets an imp (on top of their pact boon) that's twelve pc characters and turns to account for, which probably means most fights will need about a dozen enemies, so that's about 24 turns per round.

Even if everyone can bang out a turn in a minute the rogue and sidekick likely go near the top of the order so that player is waiting 20 minutes ideally between turns. Best case - 60 minutes is more likely.
 

The idea here would be that to 'hire' a Beast Companion you'd need to tame it and it would only be loyal to the person who did the taming, something a Ranger would just naturally be great at and could have an optional way to be better.
1) You are still changing the rules to allow the ranger to do something not written into the 5e rules. They are not "naturally great" at taming beasts.
2) If you have more than about three players, if everyone has a sidekick it slows the game down drastically.
3) why limit it to beasts? What if I want a fluffy pink mini-unicorn pet?
4) One thing a proper pet class should have is combo moves.
 

fair but the idea for the druid, cleric/warlock (both are Theurgy and hare honestly the something just the western idea has split them.) seems to have stabilized into something we get and artificer is just a wizard who hung out with engineers too much and went from there.


then what should the ranger be then what makes it sufficiently different that it should not become a sub-class?
So what you're saying is, WotC can make up whatever identities they want and after awhile its ok, but if they make up one for Ranger too it is somehow not ok.
 

Mind of tempest

(he/him)advocate for 5e psionics
So what you're saying is, WotC can make up whatever identities they want and after awhile its ok, but if they make up one for Ranger too it is somehow not ok.
no, they have caught on in a way that does not have a million conflicting variants they are clear and distinct ideas and are iconic now in fantasy ranger is a lot of things to a lot of people, it would be better to rip it apart and make all the new things wear different names so then we would not be lost.
 

Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
Hot Take (not really):

You could give the Ranger its base class, and add to it all the Tasha features (without removing anything, just in addition) AND add the Beastmaster archetypes to the base class and it still would be less powerful than a paladin or some clerics.
 

no, they have caught on in a way that does not have a million conflicting variants they are clear and distinct ideas and are iconic now in fantasy ranger is a lot of things to a lot of people, it would be better to rip it apart and make all the new things wear different names so then we would not be lost.
THey only caught on because Wizards stuck with an idea for years. C'mon man, are you even thinking about the topic at hand? WotC determines what each class identity is. They dictate a huge part of our modern day cultural view of these ideas (at least, for us under 40, don't take this offensively please!). They've already set down that the Ranger is an outdoors survival guru who uses their wisdom to create spells. The only thing they forgot to do was to make that fun at the table by giving the Ranger an actual mechanical way to achieve this identity.

Seriously, everyone who comes into D&D and sees the Ranger and READS ITS CLASS DESCRIPTION, THE KEY THING THAT NEW PLAYERS DO, understands this elusive "identity" of the Ranger. WotC doesn't need to make something up at all, they need to mechanically achieve what they described in the FLUFF of the Ranger class.
 

Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
Hot Take (not really):

You could give the Ranger its base class, and add to it all the Tasha features (without removing anything, just in addition) AND add the Beastmaster archetypes to the base class and it still would be less powerful than a paladin or some clerics.
Capture.PNG



And this is how it would look on paper.
 


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