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

Hussar

Legend
Shouldn't the baseline for a ranger be self sufficiency? If we think of fantasy Rangers, Aragorn or whatever, they're generally self sufficient. In the real worl Army Rangers are meant to operate far beyond the leading edge of direct support. Texas Rangers are supposed to operate largely alone without support.

Why not start from that point?
 

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Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
I guess I'll let you and Diamondeye duke it out as to whether the fighter should be "best at archery" since archery is as much 'fighting' as melee is. Me, I'll just stick with 5E rules, under which fighters are better than rangers at single-target ranged DPR and worse at AoE ranged damage, and generally worse than barbearians and paladins at melee.

To me, fighters get as B or B+ in all forms of combat: melee, ranged, AOE damage, Single DPR, Novaing, Defence, Combat Endurance.
All the other classes gets As in one or two areas and Ds everywhere else (with sublclasses allowing to bump up a score).

The ranger gets an A in AOE and B in Single target damage.... then skips all the other combat classes to peak in exploration classes. Because the ranger adjusts fights to be the way he wants in to be or escapes when it doesn't.
 

steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Epic
Shouldn't the baseline for a ranger be self sufficiency? If we think of fantasy Rangers, Aragorn or whatever, they're generally self sufficient. In the real worl Army Rangers are meant to operate far beyond the leading edge of direct support. Texas Rangers are supposed to operate largely alone without support.

Why not start from that point?

That point has been started with...asked, answered...handled six ways from Sunday. The ONLY bloody thing everyone agrees with here is the Ranger has to be self-sufficient/good at survival in the Wilderness.

In 5e, this means, gets/is good at Wisdom[Survival]. Maybe some bonus to Wisdom[Survival] rolls...and/or can be assumed to be better at it as, with Wisdom as their casting mechanc, most rangers will have a pumped Wis. score. Done and dusted.

Need to hunt? Survival roll.
Forage for berries? Survival roll.
Find clean water? Survival roll.
Built or find a shelter? Survival roll.
Identify poisonous mushrooms? Could be Survival. Could be a Nature roll. But in this context, a Survival roll would certainly work for most DMs, I would think.
Build a "simple" snare/pit [given the time] trap? Probably could be covered in Survival roll.
Need to replace arrows, create a spear or stake as an emergency weapon? I'd say that's fairly well Survival roll too.
Need to follow a trail, find your way back to town, hunt down a deer, in a word, TRACK!? Welcome to 5e. Just need a Survival roll.
[EDIT to add a few more I thought of]
Notice a storm is approaching without a cloud in the sky? Survival roll. [or Nature, I'd say]
Notice, by the size and depth of the scars on a tree, that you just stumbled into an owlbear's territory. Survival [or Nature] roll
Notice when their are animals/birds are moving/migrating in ways they shouldn't be or when the whole wilderness goes silent [for whatever/some unknown reason]. Survival [or Nature] roll.
Know which direction you are traveling and keeping mental track of where you've been/how to get back...general "not getting lost"? Survival roll.
[/EDIT]

Food, water, shelter. In what other way of being self-sufficient would you say D&D Rangers, in a fantasy world, need to be self-sufficient?

The simplified skill system is great in a lot of ways. And I LOVE it over "every nook'n'cranny/there's a skill for that!" style! But in the case of Survival, a looooot of flavor and utility has kinda all been, just, wiped out/under the umbrella. Previous editions could list out most of the above things as separate things the ranger could do. In 5e, just roll your Survival and move on. It really washes out/makes bland a lot of the wilderness-specialist flavor.

Even without a rewrite, for anyone paying attention/wanting that outdoorsy guy...or, for ANY ranger [or any other character, for that matter] taking the Outlander background gets you Survival proficiency "for free."

SO, yeah. Your "self-sufficiency as the base of the ranger" is kinda...already known/acknowledged/done.
 
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Tony Vargas

Legend
The design of the 1E Ranger imposes no imperative to make successive rangers similar.
That is a completely different claim from the one I was responding to. If that's what you were trying to say 1) I'm in complete agreement and 2) you completely failed to actually say it, instead going through several posting cycles insisting that the design of the 1e Ranger /wasn't/ based on Aragorn.

But, hey, I'm glad we found common ground.

I guess I'll let you and Diamondeye duke it out as to whether the fighter should be "best at archery" since archery is as much 'fighting' as melee is.
"Best at fighting (with weapon)" certainly encompasses archery, as well as melee.

Me, I'll just stick with 5E rules, under which fighters are better than rangers at single-target ranged DPR and worse at AoE ranged damage, and generally worse than barbearians and paladins at melee.
I'm afraid I have to see some sort of fairly compelling evidence of that.

To me, fighters get as B or B+ in all forms of combat: melee, ranged, AOE damage, Single DPR, Novaing, Defence, Combat Endurance.
All the other classes gets As in one or two areas and Ds everywhere else (with sublclasses allowing to bump up a score).
That also seems at odds with the idea of the fighter being 'best at fighting.' I get that it's a weak claim, that 'best' is only meant to mean 'not consistently worse than anyone else.' But what you're describing would be consistently worse than someone else, across the board. Again, I'd need to see some compelling support for such a claim.


Shouldn't the baseline for a ranger be self sufficiency?
In a nominally cooperative game like D&D? Doesn't sound like a great idea, no.
 

I'm afraid I have to see some sort of fairly compelling evidence of that.

Oh, so you mean you just didn't know? Huh.

For much of the game, melee is dominated by GWM + Polearm Master, and barbearians with one or two attacks are better at that than fighters with two attacks due to 1.) Reckless Attack granting advantage, and 2.) Resistance mitigating the AC hit of not having a shield. A fighter might have an extra +2 to Strength, but that's not as good as advantage. Later on fighters can pull closer to even when they get their third attack, and at 20th level the fighter is undoubtedly better than the barbearian, but especially for early levels 1-10, the melee fighter is less compelling than the barbearian. (Caveat: subclass abilities like Shield and Menacing Strike can mitigate this somewhat.) The paladin is a bit harder to analyze, but he does have Shield of Faith/Sanctuary options for an extra AC boost relative to the fighter, and he also has Smite options available for when novas are needed. The barbarian and the paladin simply get more out of each melee attack than a fighter does (modulo Battlemaster maneuvers), and the fighter's extra attacks don't come online until level 11.

That's not the case with the Sharpshooter fighter, because barbearians and paladins stink at ranged combat. The Sharpshooter Eldritch Knight with Expeditious Retreat is stealthy, highly mobile and highly deadly at range, and he can capably play tank in melee as well if needed. (I.e. he won't be as good as a barbearian in melee but that's okay because it's not his primary mode.)
 

Tony Vargas

Legend
Oh, so you mean you just didn't know? Huh.
I thought maybe you had something more conclusive than what I'd already heard. You didn't. You've got some familiar evidence there that, situationally, at some levels, the barbarian might out-do the fighter at a (optional-feats-required) optimal combat style, and, similarly, that the paladin might, situationally, and by expending a limited resource, out-do the fighter at some levels in that same style. Neither of those are sufficient to invalidate the fighter's 'best at fighting (with weapons)' design goal. They're a fair case for the pally and barb also being 'best at fighting (with weapons, in melee).' It's the kinda 'best' there can be several of. By the same token, the ranger sharing a 'best at archery' crown with the fighter (and, stretching a point to 'sustained single-target ranged DPR,' maybe even the Warlock), wouldn't exactly cause the game to come crashing down, either.
 
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Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
The fighter is described as a "Well rounded specialist". Only the fighter and ranger can go Strength and Dexterity, grab SS and GWM, and use them without ignoring class features.

A ranger can't tank. Only the fighters can melee, range, and tank well. The rnger trades ranking for exploration.
 
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Tony Vargas

Legend
The fighter is described as a "Well rounded generalist".
"Well Rounded Specialists." From the verbiage under that heading, the idea is fighters receive a wide variety of combat training (well rounded, with tons of armor & weapon proficiencies they'll never use), but specialize in a style.

I guess the takeaway from that is maybe the ranger can get by with a smaller list of weapon and armor proficiencies?
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
"Well Rounded Specialists." From the verbiage under that heading, the idea is fighters receive a wide variety of combat training (well rounded, with tons of armor & weapon proficiencies they'll never use), but specialize in a style.

I guess the takeaway from that is maybe the ranger can get by with a smaller list of weapon and armor proficiencies?

I see it as rangers don't focus on the weapon. Rangers focus on the situation.

Yes, specialist not generalist.

Fighters and rangers are both "sword and bow" classes. They both stab the goblin and shoot the orcs.

The fighter STABS the goblin and SHOOTS the orcs.
The ranger stabs the GOBLIN and shoots the ORCS.

Fighters focus on the verb. They stab and shoot better.
Rangers focus on the target. They deal with the enemy's tactic better.
(Monks focus on themselves. They just themselves better and hope for the best.)
 

Hriston

Dungeon Master of Middle-earth
MuppetMovie_SnakeWalker.jpg

Assassin... or Ranger/Assassin?
 

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