What is the Ranger to you?

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I like the cleric being more of a militant divine character, so I see it distinct from a mage. Priests give sermons in their temples... clerics venture forth and bash undead with martial might and divine rage. Traditionally, clerics have always been either front line combatants or a good back up for when the fighter needs to pull back.

In fact, I consider Paladins unnecessary.
Perhaps if we had mechanics for Oaths that induce power.

The oath bound hero has legend and myth surrounding it the oaths are not necessarily very D&D like in many cases ... For example Sampson (symbolic divine oath about hygiene), Cu Cuhlaine (totemic oath opposed by social oath), Lancelot (oath to king and queen but also something about never being defeated as long as he fights on the side of righteousness in conflict with his desire to be challenged) now only one of them are associated with Knight in shining armor but.

A fighter or anyone really could then accept an Oath which then empowers him like an enchantment. It was considered a Fighter subclass all the way back.
 
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WaterRabbit

Villager
Perhaps if we had mechanics for Oaths that induce power.

The oath bound hero has legend and myth surrounding it the oaths are not necessarily very D&D like in many cases ... For example Sampson (symbolic divine oath about hygiene), Cu Cuhlaine (totemic oath opposed by social oath), Lancelot (oath to king and queen but also something about never being defeated as long as he fights on the side of righteousness in conflict with his desire to be challenged) now only one of them are associated with Knight in shining armor but.

A fighter or anyone really could then accept an Oath which then empowers him like an enchantment. It was considered a Fighter subclass all the way back.
Sure, an oath would fall under the archetype for the character. Their have always been implied oaths in character classes: paladins, monks, druids, clerics, and now warlocks. All have implied or explicit oaths built-in.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Sure, an oath would fall under the archetype for the character. Their have always been implied oaths in character classes: paladins, monks, druids, clerics, and now warlocks. All have implied or explicit oaths built-in.
It could be within the archetype... it doesnt have to be that tightly bound though

For instance one of the Martial Practices I made up is called Oath of Independence that is kind of "an" oath about not becoming dependent on magic items. Appropriate for some Paladins/Fighters, Monks and Barbarians and reaffirming it by destroying a magic items allows one to acquire abilities.(ok akin to the ones in magic items lol)
 

WaterRabbit

Villager
It could be within the archetype... it doesnt have to be that tightly bound though

For instance one of the Martial Practices I made up is called Oath of Independence that is kind of "an" oath about not becoming dependent on magic items. Appropriate for some Paladins/Fighters, Monks and Barbarians and reaffirming it by destroying a magic items allows one to acquire abilities.(ok akin to the ones in magic items lol)
Right, but that is just an archetype of those classes -- the archetype that eschews magic. An archetype isn't limited to a single class or background. Literally an archetype is how you do the class. The only thing you are doing is giving a bonus for the oath instead of a penalty. This is how the monk is setup. You gain these powers (flurry of blows, etc.) if you don't wear armor.

The gaining abilities as permanent powers by destroying items seems really good though -- probably too good.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
No they get Pathfinder! :)
With respect, Pathfinder is not what you get when you go after D&D with an axe. Pathfinder is what you get when you go after D&D with spackle and Bondo. The entire frame is still there - there's just some shaping that's been done.
 

Celebrim

Legend
In fact, I consider Paladins unnecessary.
For me the standard in a base class is that you could have a group of six players show up for session 0, and each one wants to play a character with the same class, but each player wants to play an obviously distinctive character with their own separate shtick.

For some classes it's fairly obvious how you could do that. You could have six wizards for example each of which has their own school or theme of magic that they specialize in. Likewise with cleric if the rules supported it well, you could have six clerics each of a different deity who would be as different as the deities they served. Or you might have six rogues, each of which specialized in a different sort of larceny, forming a heist team.

In many editions though, this has not been something supported well by the game. 5e has made a step in the right direction by bringing back subclasses and making subclasses for all base classes, but traditionally classes like fighter, barbarian, druid, ranger, monk, and paladin have failed my test - if for slightly different reasons. Fighter fails the test because for the most part it's been pigeon holed into a very narrow list of things it is good at, which I think does an injustice to the class. Barbarian, druid, ranger, and paladin though to me all fail the test because they all have tried to define what is basically a character concept and not a base class. It's telling that most of those began life as subclasses themselves.

There is a fix here, but it's a radical one. I think you have to pull back from your preconceptions and ask if something like Paladin is a subclass of some base class, what base class is it really a specific implementation of. And my answer for that is NOT fighter or cleric.

To me a Paladin is a specific concept or subclass of the base class 'Champion', which I define as a class in which the source of power of the character is being selected to represent some idea as the idealized representation of that idea. A Paladin for example is a Champion of Justice and Righteousness. This is similar to but distinctive from a Cleric of Justice and Righteousness, though presumably the Deity of Justice and Righteousness might want both priestly servants and heroic representatives. When you view Paladin as a sort of Champion, it becomes immediately obvious how you might have a party of six champions each of which is very different than the other. It also becomes obvious why Paladin isn't a subclass of fighter, since the rules overhead in supporting each Champion concept as a separate subclass of fighter is much larger than the overhead in supporting each Champion subclass. All of these Champion subclasses will have much more in common with each other than they will ever have with other fighter subclasses.

As further evidence, I submit that all the Blackgaurd, Anti-Paladins, Paladins of Freedom and other attempts to create variant paladins we've seen over the years that are like a Paladin but symbolize different things and beliefs, are just the general recognition by the community that there was something wrong with the paladin implementation that they couldn't quite pin down. I didn't know what the solution was until I saw Green Ronin's 'Book of the Righteousness' and it's 'Holy Warrior' class. But the problem with that class is that it didn't build the class in such a way that you could create your own concept by mixing and matching different ideas - they basically just outlined classes specific to the setting. So I set out to rewrite that class in a way that you could in fact generalize the concept.
 
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Celebrim

Legend
The oath bound hero has legend and myth surrounding it the oaths are not necessarily very D&D like in many cases ... For example Sampson (symbolic divine oath about hygiene), Cu Cuhlaine (totemic oath opposed by social oath), Lancelot (oath to king and queen but also something about never being defeated as long as he fights on the side of righteousness in conflict with his desire to be challenged) now only one of them are associated with Knight in shining armor but.
All of these would be Champions in my conception. I call the particular selection of powers related to what the champion can do that is distinctive from other champions a 'Portfolio', but 'Oath' is a very good term and perhaps in some ways even better.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Right, but that is just an archetype of those classes -- the archetype that eschews magic. An archetype isn't limited to a single class or background. Literally an archetype is how you do the class. The only thing you are doing is giving a bonus for the oath instead of a penalty. This is how the monk is setup. You gain these powers (flurry of blows, etc.) if you don't wear armor.

The gaining abilities as permanent powers by destroying items seems really good though -- probably too good.
It's mostly as balanced as selling one magic item and buying another ...and the ability doesn't scale unless you invest more into it... so you gain a level 5 appropriate ability but you adventured and are now level 12 it isn't very shiny any more ...you also have limits just like attunement and cannot share it
 
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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
All of these would be Champions in my conception. I call the particular selection of powers related to what the champion can do that is distinctive from other champions a 'Portfolio', but 'Oath' is a very good term and perhaps in some ways even better.
There are a few more commonalities each used a form of berserkergang at one point or another for instance. I considered lesser oaths associated with each power in the portfolio... but mostly for flavor purposes honor, totem, chivalry, purity being categories for instance
 
For me the standard in a base class is that you could have a group of six players show up for session 0, and each one wants to play a character with the same class, but each player wants to play an obviously distinctive character with their own separate shtick.

For some classes it's fairly obvious how you could do that. You could have six wizards for example each of which has their own school or theme of magic that they specialize in.
But they'd hardly play differently at all - especially with opposition schools being ancient history - and they'd all be high-INT bookish occultists.

There is a fix here, but it's a radical one. I think you have to pull back from your preconceptions and ask if something like Paladin is a subclass of some base class, what base class is it really a specific implementation of.
A Paladin is dedicated to a deity. So is a Cleric. They could both be sub-classes of a broader, IDK, "Faithful" class that includes cloistered priests who are pure magic-users, and ruthless inquisitors and violent zealots and so forth.

You could compose a whole party of such sub-classes and cover all the traditional bases.
 

Ratskinner

Adventurer
The Ranger is more distinct and interesting than the Fighter, or Cleric. The Fighter isn’t even a concept. It’s completely redundant, and the least interesting of all the things it is similar to. It’s literally “good at fighting”, which also every weapon using character option.
I don't disagree about the fighter, that's part of why I think it makes more sense to have paladin and ranger as Fighter subclasses. Of course, some of that depends on how much "fluff" you want wrapped into class.

I would argue against that "Ranger is more distinct" idea. He really hasn't been, historically. He's gone from being a slightly Jack-of-all-Trades heavy fighter with a weird penchant for crystal balls and psionics to a lightly-armored either dual-wielder or shooter....possibly with a pet or not. At various times, he has cast Magic User spells at others Druid Spells or his own special spells which are certainly not encounter powers! The only thing that is somewhat consistent is the "woodsy" part, and that has varied in its depth as well. Aragorn to Drizz't (sp?) to Legolas....they all seem like warriors first, to me.
 

Xeviat

Explorer
Celebrim, I like your style. It's an interesting idea. If I had had the time and made my 4.9 Edition that I wanted to, one of my goals was to make each class have a play mechanic that differentiated them from other classes. I also had the goal to make each class be able to be at least three of the 4 roles, with a goal that the core four (cleric, fighter, rogue, wizard) could be either of the roles. Your role would be largely dictated by your subclass.

Like what you said, it would have allowed a party of all one class to be different, but each class would have unity.

In my ideas, I was going to have the ranger have a pet, and their class play style would be having two units. A melee ranger with a bear would play differently from a ranged ranger with a hawk, for instance.

After reading everything here, the ranger does feel less and less like it really has it's own broad identity. That's why that identity has changed as much as it has.
 

doctorbadwolf

Adventurer
I don't disagree about the fighter, that's part of why I think it makes more sense to have paladin and ranger as Fighter subclasses. Of course, some of that depends on how much "fluff" you want wrapped into class.

I would argue against that "Ranger is more distinct" idea. He really hasn't been, historically. He's gone from being a slightly Jack-of-all-Trades heavy fighter with a weird penchant for crystal balls and psionics to a lightly-armored either dual-wielder or shooter....possibly with a pet or not. At various times, he has cast Magic User spells at others Druid Spells or his own special spells which are certainly not encounter powers! The only thing that is somewhat consistent is the "woodsy" part, and that has varied in its depth as well. Aragorn to Drizz't (sp?) to Legolas....they all seem like warriors first, to me.
Thats all mechanical execution. The concept has remained more or less the same. I won’t get further into here, bc I’m not willing to have the same discussion in two concurrent threads, but feel free to read my thoughts in detail in the “What is the ranger” thread.

Beyond that, the Fighter isn’t a good basis for anything, because even a core class should have some sort of identity. “I fight good” isn’t an identity.

Better IMO for the game and for paladin and ranger players that they be allowed the full design space of a purpose built class, rather than being saddled with whatever painfully bland and neutral beige mechanics they build together to claim is a class and call it “Fighter”.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
You'd think with all these complaints about unnecessary classes that the Basic Rules document would be more popular and more often used than it is. ;)

Which is why I suspect that the truth is people have ideals in their head about their "best" D&D game, but no one actually follows through because they realize their "best" D&D game isn't actually all that good. LOL.
 

Mercule

Adventurer
4th edition changed my mind, or that added another layer, I had many years where I didnt like classes. I like the way classes and roles supported one another in 4e. The roles were with us in the ealiest D&D (for me the blue book) but there were innadequate mechanics to represent them. The defender fighter was described in 1e the Warrior Lord in 2e and neither really had anything to make it so... And living up to the promises of the earlier editions was for me as cool as anything. 4e even helped me grok other D&Disms like single attribute based actions were ok (they describe a performance style not every quality involved just one that characterizes it)
Funny enough, the roles classifications was one of the things about 4E that really turned me off. Especially when you got to, say, fighters. Fighters are the best at straight-up combat. That means both in terms of dealing damage and in soaking it. A rogue may be somewhat better at dealing it -- in a narrow band of cases. A barbarian may be better at soaking it -- in a narrow band of cases, but mostly just in exchanging AC for HP. But a fighter should be better at both, for the vast majority of cases. Sometimes, the "role" of a character (or class) is "non-combat" and trying to define a class based on its combat role is wholly inappropriate. The rogue, for example, shouldn't be the DPS king. It's the class that beats everyone else for non-combat, non-magic approaches (without denying that D&D has a lot of combat and magic).

Not trying to engage in an edition war. Just interesting how the same constructs can have radically different effects on different people.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Funny enough, the roles classifications was one of the things about 4E that really turned me off. Especially when you got to, say, fighters. Fighters are the best at straight-up combat. .
See the problem I see is that the roles are not as locked down as people took them to be. The 4e fighter is probably the most badassed in melee combat of any class various features even work toward Striker as the secondary role for instance did you know if an enemy ignored the fighters mark and or just try to not engage him he will very much be doing striker class damage? Most every martial class is a flavor of fighter nor as locked down in that regards as other editions (The ranger doesn't even have to have Nature as a trained skill but can, and on topic with a few selections and feats can drip with it ).

Also my very first exposure to 4e was someone building a Monk ... this was before a monk class was released using the Ranger class. The flexibility of the classes and acceptability of player selected flavor was front and center.
 
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Not trying to engage in an edition war.
Not-Try harder next time. ;P

You'd think with all these complaints about unnecessary classes that the Basic Rules document would be more popular and more often used than it is. ;)
It might be more popular and more often used than you think it is...

See the problem I see is that the roles are not as locked down as people took them to be. The 4e fighter is probably the most badassed in melee combat of any class various features even work toward Striker as the secondary role for instance did you know if an enemy ignored the fighters mark and or just try to not engage him he will very much be doing striker class damage? Most every martial
...nod, unless the Fighter were in a duel, then his defender features did absolutely nothing. The Roles were verymuch designed around the assumption of a party cooperating and supporting eachother. The power of the Defender, and especially, Leader roles flowed to the rest of the party. Strikers & Controllers were vulnerable and lacked saying power without them.
 
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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
The Roles were very much designed around the assumption of a party cooperating and supporting each other. The power of the Defender, and especially, Leader roles flowed to the rest of the party. Strikers & Controllers were vulnerable and lacked saying power without them.
Inuyasha loses most of his badass unless he has someone to protect... Interesting thought.
 

doctorbadwolf

Adventurer
Funny enough, the roles classifications was one of the things about 4E that really turned me off. Especially when you got to, say, fighters. Fighters are the best at straight-up combat. That means both in terms of dealing damage and in soaking it. A rogue may be somewhat better at dealing it -- in a narrow band of cases. A barbarian may be better at soaking it -- in a narrow band of cases, but mostly just in exchanging AC for HP. But a fighter should be better at both, for the vast majority of cases. Sometimes, the "role" of a character (or class) is "non-combat" and trying to define a class based on its combat role is wholly inappropriate. The rogue, for example, shouldn't be the DPS king. It's the class that beats everyone else for non-combat, non-magic approaches (without denying that D&D has a lot of combat and magic).

Not trying to engage in an edition war. Just interesting how the same constructs can have radically different effects on different people.
Rogues are better at non magical noncombqt solutions than anyone else in 4e, and the Fighter is both the best tank and in the top tier of damage dealers.

4e did what you’re saying the game should do.
 

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