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.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?
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.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/.
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.
I got your point, I just disagree for any edition other than 3.5.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.
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.