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

(sorry, person pet peeve of mine...players all making fighter types, then getting a TPK via drowning because they didn't find the trap in the room that fills it with water because they have no way of detecting, defeating, or otherwise overcoming via magic/ability/skill the whole "room filling with water" thing. At least they could have tried to take precautions... but when all of them are fighter types, the mentality is "when we encounter a problem, we hit it until it goes away". When they can't deal damage to a problem...TPK's are very, very real possibilities).

That sounds hilarious. :)
 

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Coredump

Explorer
Beast bond is in the Elemental Evil Player's Companion. It is a 10 minute concentration telepathic bond with a beast that is friendly to or charmed by the caster. Meaning, you can train the beast with ease.

the spell never mentions anything about training, let alone 'with ease'. It only lasts for 10 minutes, not really enough time to do much training on an Int<4 beast.
 

Kobold Stew

Last Guy in the Airlock
Supporter
Here are thoughts I posted about the Ranger two years ago, during the play test period. Much of my wish list remains unanswered by what 5e eventually provided.

The implementation of backgrounds was so robust that it necessarily undermined the need for a separate class, but a variety of cool archetypes exist (wilderness hunter, beast master, scout/guide, "horizon walker") that could all comfortably fit under "Ranger", and the presence of spells (or spell-like abilities through poultices) is not integral to any of them, in my view.
 

Sadrik

First Post
I think an interesting way of thinking about the warriory types in PHB can fall like this:
Fighter = Strength
Rogue = Dexterity
Barbarian = Constitution
Ranger = Intelligence
Monk = Wisdom
Paladin = Charisma

This is not some definitive listing but just some way to think about them in an easy to grasp way. Barbarians are tough, monks are wise, etc. Under this idea, rangers are smart. If it were me I would have rangers be tactical, using their smarts to their advantage, they are the smart fighter. Currently I do not think that they do this. They are more wise. I see them using investigation/tracking more than the WIS skills. But then again I don't agree with how they split the skills arbitrarily between INT and WIS. Many just as easily could have been INT based or based on how they assigned some to WIS some of the INT ones could have been WIS. Anyway the smart fighter is how I see them...
 

Mephista

Adventurer
In your opinion, does the 5E Ranger have its own thing? If so, what is it? If not, what should it be?
Kind of? The D&D ranger is a monster hunter. Both in that it hunts with monsters (beastmaster) and it hunts other monsters. There's room for a Blue Mage style use of monster powers. Tracking is an important part of a Ranger, since hunting involves a focus on tracking prey, but its not the whole of the hunting stick.

While others may say that "hunting" can be shared with anyone? Fighting can be shared with anyone, and yet we have the Fighter class. Sneaking and backstabbing can be done by anyone, and yet Rogue. Its strong of a niche.

The current problem isn't that Ranger doesn't have its own stick, its that the 5e mechanics are kinda crappy for reflecting it. The Beastmaster is a mess, TWF is a poor option when its supposed to be good at it, Hunter's Mark is terrible for a primarily melee build, too many tracking options when people are happy with a WIS check, better ways of handling stealth (yes, the Ranger is just as much of a stealthy class as the rogue), environmental/favored terrain issues, spell and bladework don't synergize well like it does with the paladin, the magic is still described as "druid lite" instead of its own. There's likely more.

The problem isn't that the Ranger doesn't have a niche. The problem is that the Ranger has no idea how to translate its niche into D&D. Part of this is the rule system - unlike the robust combat system, both the Social and Exploration pillars just use simple skill checks. Expertise, perhaps with someone granting Help, covers pretty much anything you absolutely need to pull off most tracking situations. If we had more robust exploration rules, we'd see more people drooling over the ranger, I think. Part of it is that there's a need to be distinct from the Fighter and Rogue, and no real known way to pull that off in combat. Part of it is the need to get over the idea of Aragorn and the 1e Ranger. Modern rangers don't want, or need, to act like a Fighter, as the 1e and 2e versions did.
 

Oh! A wild empathy style feature would be good. So the ranger is proficient with checks to interact with wild animals gets double their proficiency with domesticated animals. It's a small perk that fits nicely and could be just added without breaking the ranger.
 

Mephista

Adventurer
*shrug* IMHO, the 1e Ranger was the best incarnation. At least it was a "specialized" class (like the Illusionist, Assassin and Monk); basically, a class that was really good at it's 'thing', but not a good all-around adventuring class.
Those are called subclasses. In short, your 1e Ranger wouldn't be a class at all.

Oh! A wild empathy style feature would be good. So the ranger is proficient with checks to interact with wild animals gets double their proficiency with domesticated animals. It's a small perk that fits nicely and could be just added without breaking the ranger.
Yes, it would. This fits well into the monster hunter angle of the Ranger too.
 

Those are called subclasses. In short, your 1e Ranger wouldn't be a class at all.
I've always thought the ranger should be a bit of a switch hitter, able to alternate between twin swords and bows.
Maybe they should have weaker fighting styles but get to choose two. Or just get archery and one melee style.

Yes, it would. This fits well into the monster hunter angle of the Ranger too.
It's general enough that all rangers should likely have it.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
I think an interesting way of thinking about the warriory types in PHB can fall like this:
Fighter = Strength
Rogue = Dexterity
Barbarian = Constitution
Ranger = Intelligence
Monk = Wisdom
Paladin = Charisma

This is not some definitive listing but just some way to think about them in an easy to grasp way. Barbarians are tough, monks are wise, etc. Under this idea, rangers are smart. If it were me I would have rangers be tactical, using their smarts to their advantage, they are the smart fighter. Currently I do not think that they do this. They are more wise. I see them using investigation/tracking more than the WIS skills. But then again I don't agree with how they split the skills arbitrarily between INT and WIS. Many just as easily could have been INT based or based on how they assigned some to WIS some of the INT ones could have been WIS. Anyway the smart fighter is how I see them...

I agree and disagree.
The ranger is the smart warrior but their knowledge is more about reliable bits of info that are gained from perception and experience. Rangers are the perception class.

Where the fighter trains how to use his sword and bow better, the ranger trained to fight two guys at once, or one big guy, or with a beast partner. The fighter learns how to attack, the ranger learns the best counter for his quarries.

The fighter is the smart warrior. They have the tools to use different tactics of A, B, or C. The Ranger instead learns Anti-X, Anti-Y, and/or Anti- Z.
 

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