D&D 5E What is/should be the Ranger's "thing"?

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
How I'd do it is have Favored Enemy have levels.

Favored Enemy level 1: +Wis modifier damage rolls to creature type or humanoid.

Favored Enemy level 2: +Wis modifier damage rolls and Advantage on Wisdom (Survival) checks to track creature type or humanoid.

Favored Enemy level 3: +Wis modifier damage rolls and Advantage on Wisdom (Survival) checks to track and Intelligence (Investigation) check to recall info on creature type or humanoid.

Favored Enemy level 4: +Wis modifier damage rolls and Advantage on Wisdom (Survival) checks to track, Charisma (Intimidation and Deception) checks to interact with, and Intelligence (Investigation) check to recall info on creature type or humanoid.

Favored Enemy level 5: + Proficency mod + Wis modifier damage rolls and Advantage on Wisdom (Survival) checks to track, Charisma (Intimidation and Deception) checks to interact with, and Intelligence (Investigation) check to recall info on creature type or humanoid. Learn the creature or humaniod's racial language.

At level 1, you get 1 creature or 2 humanoids at level 5. Each level you can gain 1 level 1 FE creature, 2 FE 1 humanoids, or increase 1 FE by one level.

During 1 month of downtime and some gp of resources, a ranger can research a FE and gain 1 level 1 FE humanoid or increase any FE by 1 level.
 

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Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
[MENTION=20323]Quickleaf[/MENTION]

I agree.
In a video game, the best way to do FE is for the computer to track kills and scans and spit out a damage buff. On paper at q table, it would be a hassle.

Your idea is cool. It does suffer from the quick speed of D%D 5e combats and the wimpyness of some enemies. It would take too long to "charge up"

@Li_Shenron

I agree with most off what you've said. The issue iis not just having a pet. The issue is that a combat pet would suck up 50% of a class' features if not more. Druids use a major class fire AND a subclass just to use wildshape in battle effectively.

As for the no spell ranger, yours looks cool. The issue I see is that some want a completely nonmagical ranger which your spell less ranger isn't. A nonsupernatural ranger would take a lot to get to work with the common assumptions of D&D.
 

Quickleaf

Legend
Minigiant said:
During 1 month of downtime and some gp of resources, a ranger can research a FE and gain 1 level 1 FE humanoid or increase any FE by 1 level.
While I like the feel you're going for, this approach raises an issue. You're trying to change FE so it's more adaptable and less reliant on the specifics of the DM's campaign, right? Well, this falls back into that trap because available downtime and gold tend to be specific to the DM's campaign.

Minigiant said:
Your idea is cool. It does suffer from the quick speed of D%D 5e combats and the wimpyness of some enemies. It would take too long to "charge up"
Yes, it does. I will need to think up a way to get it to charge up faster. Not attacks that hit, because that favors certain builds. Something else...
 

Mercule

Adventurer
Aragorn and Legolas didn't have it
Aragorn was the origin of the Favored Enemy. He's the reason why 1E rangers had insane bonuses against "giant class" creatures. If you had to limit him to one race, it would be orcs. Legolas could be represented as either a ranger or a fighter (archer) -- I can't remember him ever doing anything that screamed ranger, but I can squint and see it.

the Lone Ranger didn't have it
The Lone Ranger was more in line with the paladin archetype, just with guns instead of swords; there's a ton of genre reskinning beyond that, though. Tanto might have been a ranger; his favored enemy is probably genre-modified to "cowboys", Americans, or something like that. It could also be a sub-optimal choice of animals or another tribe.

If anything, I'd say characters who excel at fighting a particular kind of opponent are more likely to be paladins, rogues, or fighters (St. George, Jack the Giant Killer, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) than rangers. Wilderness types tend to be big on adaptability, after all.
Those characters don't have "survivalist" as a defining trait, either. The favored enemy adds to the archetype. It doesn't define it by itself.

Speaking in terms of game design, a ranger with FE doesn't hold his own against a fighter. A fighter's got abilities that can increase her damage output no matter what kind of enemy she's fighting. If a ranger does more damage against certain foes, but less damage against everybody else, that's a spotlighting problem: the character is going to be in the spotlight for an entire encounter or even adventure, then out of the spotlight for several other adventures. 4E and 5E deemphasizing this element of the ranger's identity was a major step forward for the class, and I can't get behind a rewrite which reverses that.
A fighter is better than a ranger in a fair fight. Rangers don't fight fair. The same could be said about rogues, but the ranger is more than just a wilderness rogue. The fighter will stand toe-to-toe and split/crush you through skill with arms. The rogue will sneak up and take you out with a well-placed kidney shiv. The ranger will outlast you and let the environment take you down; he's good enough with weapons that you can't ignore him and good enough with stealth that you can't just nuke him, but he turns a tactical situation into a strategic one.
 

Staffan

Legend
The Ranger isn't a collector, or big-game hunter. Those types of motivations don't seem too heroic to me.
And genocide does?

I'm in the camp that would rather drop favored enemy entirely, or make it a feat or something that would make it available to any class, and replace it with a more generically useful ability.
 

If I was to equate her, or any of these others, with the Ranger "archetype", I would say her favorite enemy was men, especially those who had the misfortune to happen upon her while bathing.
The approach you're taking with all these characters is, again, circular. You're assuming that the ranger archetype needs to have a favored enemy, then looking at whomever these characters happened to oppose and calling that their favored enemy. But every hero in adventure stories opposes someone. If you assumed that wizards had to have a favored enemy you could do exactly the same exercise for Merlin, Gandalf, and Harry Potter.

My point here is that none of these ranger characters are distinguished by their hatred of a particular enemy any more than their non-ranger allies. You've said that hunting these enemies is the ranger's raison d'etre. But Artemis doesn't exist to hunt men. Natty Bumppo is an ally of the Indians. And Aragorn is not a more driven or better "Servants of the Enemy" fighter than Boromir or Gimli. If you were writing a new game with a class to model these characters, ignorant of the conventions of D&D, you would not think to yourself, "Okay, key to all these characters is their racial (and/or gender) hatred, so I'd better write that as an ability." Not the way you could look at wizard characters and say, "Oh, yeah, spells", or barbarian characters and say, "Berserker rage, easy, done".

And if you do not think these characters are rangers, who do you think is a ranger? Woodcrafty characters like these, I would argue, are who define the ranger class in most players' minds. I honestly can't think of a character who would define the class the way you describe. George R. R. Martin's Night's Watch is probably closest, but they of course postdate D&D rangers by decades and are probably based on them rather than the other way around.

Also, many of your proposed favored enemies are not legal choices in D&D and would be OP compared to the regular options if they were. I mean, "Servants of the Enemy"? That's... the whole Monster Manual, in Middle-Earth.
 
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steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Epic
Alright @TheCosmicKid ...so what gives you an Aragorn, Natty Bumppo, Greek Goddess archetype?

What is it the defining/central trait of the Ranger Class is supposed to be?

@Minigiant seems to think it is Survival ability, which is just impossible without/must include Spells. So the single Survival skill/ability check and Spells are Minigiant's dream ranger.

Favored enemy is, apparently, for racists and only can be interpreted as "hateful/genocide", instead of heroically defending your lands and people against the evils that would destroy you (PFF! Who came up with that nonsense!?)

So, what is it, with all of your references of what you apparently think a ranger is, that D&D must include/cover in the class, that the Ranger class needs to make it a Ranger?

What, then, are the subclasses that need to be included to give the most potential players the most potential options and diversity of archetype within the class?
 

@Minigiant seems to think it is Survival ability, which is just impossible without/must include Spells. So the single Survival skill/ability check and Spells are Minigiant's dream ranger.
It is travel and survival (with a small s), in the same way that the rogue's theme is stealth and misdirection. A theme, not just one skill (although for these particular themes skills are more important than most). Any character can get Stealth proficiency, but a rogue can Sneak Attack. The class' features expand on the theme beyond the realm of basic skills. The ranger should be like that too.

And it doesn't require spells any more than the rogue does. I've already had the spell conversation with him, so I'm not going to rehash that.

Favored enemy is, apparently, for racists and only can be interpreted as "hateful/genocide", instead of heroically defending your lands and people against the evils that would destroy you (PFF! Who came up with that nonsense!?)
I'm sorry, I only intended that mark as irreverent, not accusatory. That said, hatred as Hriston described it is not a particularly heroic quality even when it is hatred of the enemy -- it's a tragic flaw. Now, some heroes do show such a flaw. Batman is absolutely driven by hatred of criminals, and Captain Kirk loathes Klingons (which, for the record, is racism). I'd never say that you should not be allowed to make such a character. What I'm saying is that hatred doesn't fit as the defining trait of this character archetype. It should not be a major ranger class feature.

So, what is it, with all of your references of what you apparently think a ranger is, that D&D must include/cover in the class, that the Ranger class needs to make it a Ranger?
Ability-wise, the common threads I see in these characters are practical knowledge, situational awareness, precision, mobility, self-sufficiency, and long-term endurance. You may be bigger and stronger than them, but you're you're not going to get the drop on them, you're not going to hide from them, and you're not going to outrun them.

What, then, are the subclasses that need to be included to give the most potential players the most potential options and diversity of archetype within the class?
A "basic" one (akin to the Champion), a stealth-focused one, a beastmaster, and a spellcaster. Spells may be important enough to get a separate decision point.
 

Quickleaf

Legend
Mobility is an interesting point.

Barbarians and monks - with their increased speed - have typically been more associated with mobility in D&D.

Though it does seem to fit the ranger archetype readily enough.
 

steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Epic
Ok. Reworked some stuff...what do we think of this/these now?

Except for Minigiant, who won't be happy because without a spell-caster base the ranger has "unacceptable vulnerabilities." So you're still not gonna like it. Sorry. The warden subclass gets casting outright. The guardian gets some magic stuff: can use scrolls, rituals, and a few cantrips at 11th level (a little later than 1e, but that's magic through the second half of the proposed range of the game at least.).

Apologies also to TheCosmicKid, no "stealthy" subclass. I think/figure that the base ranger has enough sneaky-ness with Wilderness Expertise, the Precision Dice "Hit n' Run" trick, and the Vanish feature (pulled straight out of the PHB). Any more stealthy rogue-osity can be gained through multiclassing, I suppose, or a feat or background or something.

Won't bother reposting the first page, none of that changed...

5e_ranger_v22.jpg5e_ranger_v23.jpg5e_ranger_v24.jpg5e_ranger_v25.jpg5e_ranger_v26.jpg5e_ranger_v27.jpg
 


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