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What is the Ranger to you?

doctorbadwolf

Explorer
The PH ranger was archer or TWF. The Marauder & (e)Scout were TWF, the Hunter and, well, (e)Hunter were Archers. That leaves the Beastmaster, which is fine for, well, Beastmaster(Dar?), but not so great for Conan.I can't pretend I ever took a deep dive into the Ranger class, it was a striker, the role doesn't much interest me.
I do recall a /few/ single-attack powers, but that'd be really limiting your selections.
And, for what? Some woodsiness? Slightly higher DPR than the Fighter?
Skills, being a fast moving skirmisher with some meat. Survival is the main thing that sets Conan apart from a soldier early on. But while it’s been a while, I’m absolutely sure rangers don’t have to be dual wielders to be melee, at all.

I take all kinds of exception to that. ;) The 3.x fighter design was downright elegant - can't say that about any other D&D class design. Extremely customizeable, and 3.5 fighter-bonus feats weren't bad - not whacktastic crazy-broken like everything having anything to do with Tier 1 casters, but /good/.
IMO for that kind of design to be elegant, the actual bits you’re choosing have to be elegant. Feats aren’t in any edition, 3.5 least of all.

Whats more, the Fighter is built for a whole different game than the rest of the classes. IME, people dipped Fighter for extra feats because the feat system was so full of garbage feat tax chains to get to cool stuff.

More than one class, was the point. You can't wring much versatility from a class system unless you start mixing classes.

3.x Conan, Barbarian for initial concept, Fighter to snag Great Cleave early, Scout or Rogue (and/or those first 3 levels of non-casting Ranger) for skills through his time with Red Sonja, back to fighter, or likely a PrC, in Aquilonia.
I got your point, I just disagree for any edition other than 3.5.

In 5e, a tough intimidating rogue subclass would do the trick. In 4e, at most you’d want some extra powers for the ranger. Eventually a warlord MC feat, and in 5e you might want the Skilled Feat. Tough/ness feat, for extra meat.

Either way, no Barbarian or Fighter class required.
 

doctorbadwolf

Explorer
Before explicit skills it was ironically the most skilled character ;) but the thief stole that
You know, that kinda speaks to my issue with the fighter. When he was the “fighting man”, he was literally “everything that isn’t a mage or an elf”, or whatever.

thats fine for such an incredibly basic game, I guess, but I don’t think that the Fighter needs to exist just because it has existed.

IMO, the only reason the Fighter is worth keeping is to have that simple on ramp.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
You know, that kinda speaks to my issue with the fighter. When he was the “fighting man”, he was literally “everything that isn’t a mage or an elf”, or whatever.
.
I liked the class descriptions in 2e the Warrior was a Parent Classification, and its children were if i recall Ranger,Paladin,Fighter (Warrior Lord) The description very much included the Warlord archetype. mentioning both Strategy and Tactics along with the Weapon Mastery
 

doctorbadwolf

Explorer
I liked the class descriptions in 2e the Warrior was a Parent Classification, and its children were if i recall Ranger,Paladin,Fighter (Warrior Lord) The description very much included the Warlord archetype. mentioning both Strategy and Tactics along with the Weapon Mastery
See, if they’d made the Fighter a level 1 Archetype class in 5e, I’d be more behind the class. Because then I wouldn’t be playing a “fighter”, whatever the hell that even is. I’d be playing an Eldritch Knight (name explains the concept, and the rules follow through), or a Champion (lame name, but works as a fundamentals-focused soldier, and honestly the game benefits from this simple on ramp that has no identity to get in the way. It just shouldn’t take up as much space as the Fighter does), or a Battle Master (defined by what they can do, a fighting style in a broader sense than the Fighting Style), or a Cavalier, Samurai, Arcane Archer, or whatever comes out in future.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
(OK, also to be fair, "Tank" and Defender are not the same thing. Defender is more active with mechanical support, Tank just connotes toughness, which the Slayer had in ample degree.)
Tank definitely includes active abilities to ensure all that toughness actually sees use.

Simplest example: aggro management in WoW. Those monsters didn't keep hammering the Warrior because they wanted to, but because the Warrior used its abilities judiciously and forced them to.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
Also, as an aside, the idea that a class can be identified by "being the best at straight up combat" is so completely unteneble to me that it boggles me that the Fighter continues to exist. That isn't a concept, on any level or axis.
In a game where combat is just one out of many secondary activities, sure, I can see that, no problem.

The only problem is when someone is talking about D&D where it is utterly obvious the realism in "trained fighters are better than fighting than anyone else" completely falls flat.

Since combat is the main activity, by far.

Since many years, every class in D&D is designed to be good at combat, and they all have a specific niche of combat they excel at. Sadly, there are exceptions.

But as long as you speak in the context of D&D then yes, I agree: the notion that the Fighter should get all the good combat stuff may be realistic in real life, but is utterly untenable in D&D.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
thats fine for such an incredibly basic game, I guess, but I don’t think that the Fighter needs to exist just because it has existed.

IMO, the only reason the Fighter is worth keeping is to have that simple on ramp.
That ship sailed a long time ago. Fighter will be in every edition always. As the most undiluted Hero class with the fewest distractions, it will always be popular.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
Returning to the thread topic, all WotC needs to do is pick one or two Ranger concepts, and develop those into actual good and desirable abilities. The rest should be dropped; or at least not stand in the way of the main abilities. So far, being given half-arsed capacity in five different areas only make the result a compromised design.

Make it good and the players will come. Then we can leave the endless discussions about "Rangers should do N. No, Rangers are defined by M!" to obscurity...

It *does not* matter whether Rangers do spells, or companions, or two blades, or archery, or whatever... Just as long as it does it *better than anyone else*.

Each class needs to take an aspect of combat and be the go-to guy when you want to do that better than any other party member.

This is why we're discussing the weakness or failure of the Ranger class: it gets a lot of doodads, but it amounts to very little in DPS excellence, all the while struggling to not have it's various subsystems trip over each other.
 

doctorbadwolf

Explorer
But as long as you speak in the context of D&D then yes, I agree: the notion that the Fighter should get all the good combat stuff may be realistic in real life, but is utterly untenable in D&D.
I was under the impression that this thread was about DnD specifically, so yeah, that's the context I'm speaking in. I'm not interested in whether or not the "combat guy? is interesting in the game where combat is a small part of the game. We are discussing a game where every single class and subclass has combat application, and at least half of them involve weapon use. The fighter's place in that scheme is purely traditional.
 

doctorbadwolf

Explorer
Returning to the thread topic, all WotC needs to do is pick one or two Ranger concepts, and develop those into actual good and desirable abilities. The rest should be dropped; or at least not stand in the way of the main abilities. So far, being given half-arsed capacity in five different areas only make the result a compromised design.

Make it good and the players will come. Then we can leave the endless discussions about "Rangers should do N. No, Rangers are defined by M!" to obscurity...

It *does not* matter whether Rangers do spells, or companions, or two blades, or archery, or whatever... Just as long as it does it *better than anyone else*.

Each class needs to take an aspect of combat and be the go-to guy when you want to do that better than any other party member.

This is why we're discussing the weakness or failure of the Ranger class: it gets a lot of doodads, but it amounts to very little in DPS excellence, all the while struggling to not have it's various subsystems trip over each other.
I mean, I know at least a dozen people just in my social web that didn't like 4e because in their opinion it literally didn't feature a Ranger, so I don't really buy the idea that as long as it's exceptional at something people will flock to it.

It's "thing it's the best at" has to be something iconic to the Ranger concept.

The biggest problem with the ranger is that they overvalued several of it's abilities. The class is much, much, more popular in terms of people playing it than it is in terms of satisfaction levels. Meaning people are playing it even though they aren't satisfied with it. Because it evokes the right thematic elements, and has an identiry they grok, it just lacks power compared to other classes, particularly at low levels, and particularly compared to the number of low level choices you have to make.

Natural Explorer and Favored Enemy need to do everything they already do, AND provide benefits to all types of scenarios. Natural Explorer needs to provide benefits like improved movement, ignoring difficult terrain, the ability to help the whole team mitigate environmental hazards, advantage to saves against things, etc, that are usable in areas outside of travel.
Favored Enemy needs to eat the Hunter's gimmick, and provide tactical advantages in ways that make fighting your FE easier, but aren't actually specific to that enemy. Dragons might provide advantage against elemental damage and fear, and/or the ability to slow flying targets. Giants might provide the ability to hide more effectively against creatures 2 sizes or more larger than yourself, and/or the ability to deal extra damage against larger creatures. Fiends might provide the ability to negate damage resistance temporarily. Humanoids might provide bonus damage when you attack multiple targets.

The particulars could be hashed out with playtest so I'm not going to engage in any way with debate over them. The point is that the class doesn't need any kind of overhaul, it just needs it's existing features to have more oomph.

Oh, and more known spells. Like, 1 extra at level 2, and then increase again roughly every time you get a new spell level. Or just keep it inline with what a Paladin who starts with Cha 14-15, and increases it to 18-20 by level 20 would have.
 

Tony Vargas

Adventurer
I mean, I know at least a dozen people just in my social web that didn't like 4e because in their opinion it literally didn't feature a Ranger, so I don't really buy the idea that as long as it's exceptional at something people will flock to it.
You need to take a swifter to that social cobweb.

It's "thing it's the best at" has to be something iconic to the Ranger concept.
Nothing is iconic to the ranger concept, there /is no ranger concept/, it's a grab-bag of stuff a little bit like things Aragorn did, a kludge necessitated by fighters not having access to anything remotely resembling skills.

The biggest problem with the ranger is that they overvalued several of it's abilities.
Really? How much does a ranger give up relative to a fighter to get those abilities?
 

doctorbadwolf

Explorer
You need to take a swifter to that social cobweb.
Snide remarks about someone else's social network are inappropriate and beneath you.

Nothing is iconic to the ranger concept, there /is no ranger concept/, it's a grab-bag of stuff a little bit like things Aragorn did, a kludge necessitated by fighters not having access to anything remotely resembling skills.
Complete unsalvageable nonsense, from start to finish. You know all the counter arguments to this rubbish, and have never bothered to address them. You've constructed what you think is an unassailable vision of how the ranger came to be and what it is, but very nearly no one agrees with you.

Really? How much does a ranger give up relative to a fighter to get those abilities?
What are you even trying to say, here? The ranger needn't "give something up" for an ability to be overvalued. The ranger gets several ribbons in the first few levels that were clearly accounted for as full class features by the designers. Mearls has literally directly and explicitly confirmed this.

And again, the class is getting played. A lot. While also being described as unsatisfactory in survey data. The concept isn't the problem, it's the execution.
 

Tony Vargas

Adventurer
Snide remarks about someone else's social network are inappropriate and beneath you.
Apologies. The Web/cobweb thing just struck me.
Complete unsalvageable nonsense, from start to finish.
We are talking about the Ranger, yes.
What are you even trying to say, here? The ranger needn't "give something up" for an ability to be overvalued.
What's the currency it's valued in, then, if not relative to other features?

And again, the class is getting played. A lot.
So's the fighter, does that change your opinion of it?
 

doctorbadwolf

Explorer
Apologies. The Web/cobweb thing just struck me.
fair enough
We are talking about the Ranger, yes.
hilarious
What's the currency it's valued in, then, if not relative to other features?
I’ve addressed this.

So's the fighter, does that change your opinion of it?
Different cases. The Ranger has an identity and concept. Also, the Fighter works mechanically, and does its job well. The Ranger has terrible mechanical execution because ribbon features are treated as full features.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
I was under the impression that this thread was about DnD specifically, so yeah, that's the context I'm speaking in. I'm not interested in whether or not the "combat guy? is interesting in the game where combat is a small part of the game. We are discussing a game where every single class and subclass has combat application, and at least half of them involve weapon use. The fighter's place in that scheme is purely traditional.
I was responding to "the Fighter needs to be the one good at fighting" argument. Maybe I replied to the wrong post.

As for your argument, just being good at fighting in a game where everyone is good at fighting, well - can't help you here, there will always be a huge demand for a hero that essentially has nothing complicated going on.

At least choosing Fighter in 5E is much less of a trap choice than in previous editions (Pathfinder, 3.x, AD&D...)!
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
It's "thing it's the best at" has to be something iconic to the Ranger concept.


The point is that the class doesn't need any kind of overhaul, it just needs it's existing features to have more oomph.
Generally we're in agreement. Just two nitpicks

1) I never argued they should invent something new and un-inconic. Literally every feature I want them to choose from will be something people consider as iconic.

2) That's literally the meaning of an overhaul!

Look, they will never admit the PHB class is simply underpowered. That's why I'm arguing they should drop some abilities to strengthen others, and that the important point is to make it actually best at *something*. Just amping up everything would probably be both easiest and best, but won't happen - they're going to make it difficult for themselves by offering alternatives that only open the door to criticism that point out the inevitable shortcomings: "Sure my spellcasting and favored enemy is much better now, but what about the weaker [insert faux-critical ability here]"

At least if there was one Ranger alternative that did two weapon fighting right, one that did archery right, and one that did beastmastering right, despite not doing those other five or six rangery things particularly well, enough of us players would be able to move on for these threads to slow down...!
 

doctorbadwolf

Explorer
Generally we're in agreement. Just two nitpicks

1) I never argued they should invent something new and un-inconic. Literally every feature I want them to choose from will be something people consider as iconic.

2) That's literally the meaning of an overhaul!
not really. An overhaul isn’t the same thing as tweaking a couple features. An overhaul would be a major change to several features, making effectively a new class. Which isn’t needed for the 5e Ranger.

At least if there was one Ranger alternative that did two weapon fighting right, one that did archery right, and one that did beastmastering right, despite not doing those other five or six rangery things particularly well, enough of us players would be able to move on for these threads to slow down...!
I don’t know about that. The Ranger has a clear ID, and it ain’t “has advanced fighting styles”.

I think what what we will see with upcoming Ranger related playtesting will be similar to what Mearls showed on the happy fun hour, and that will be enough. Groups that wanna can just add those features, rather than treating them as alternate options, and give BM and Hunter rangers bonus spells.

But it I’m not interested in rebuilding the class. More known spells, and upgrading Natural Explorer and Favored Enemy to real features, is all the class needs.
 

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