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What is the Ranger to you?

The problem with Paladin isn't that it's a narrow concept.
Oh, religious-zealot knight-in-shinning armor w/supernatural divine powers is a narrow concept, even w/o the old LG-only*, it's just familiar and spot-on enough that it's understandable devoting a sub-class or class to it.











* wot? no Samsung? No iPhone?
 

FrogReaver

Adventurer
Oh, religious-zealot knight-in-shinning armor w/supernatural divine powers is a narrow concept, even w/o the old LG-only*, it's just familiar and spot-on enough that it's understandable devoting a sub-class or class to it.

I don't think Holy Knight is not a narrow concept
 

SkidAce

Adventurer
From a white-room numbers point of view, this makes the Beastmaster appear quite overpowered. But
1) it's two creatures, neither of which can survive if half a creature. Of course the pair appears strong!
2) most players will not want to mistreat and abuse their animal friends. The need to keep their pet alive means the feature will not be as overpowered as cold-hearted numbers indicate.

But it will never be possible to create a Beastmaster with a worthwhile pet unless the pairing is stronger than any single ally. 1+1 doesn't necessarily need to =2, but certainly >1!!!

So add a sidebar explaining that any group (or DM) uncomfortable with two creatures hogging more than a single share of the spotlight should not allow the subclass, and at least make it right for all those that couldn't care less.

Personally, if I were playing in your group, and you wanted an animal companion, I would want the pair of you to be stronger than my character, simply because you're playing two characters, and losing just one is a defeat! Just as long as you're reasonably familiar with the rules (and isn't visibly struggling to play two characters without slowing down the entire group), that would not only be okay, but entirely expected.

The notion you must play a mediocre master and an outright weak companion just so the sum isn't higher than one is MORONIC. That just adds two weak links to the party; and everybody is better off by you just playing something else! If you like challenge and danger in your game, the worst thing is to have to babysit something that can't take care of itself, just making the whole group more vulnerable...
I like the core ideas here.
 

SkidAce

Adventurer
I'm still very tempted to remove Hunter's Mark and Hex as spells and make a version of them into Ranger and Warlock features. I like the idea of expending a spell slot to mark a target, gaining some benefits to tracking them and also dealing more damage with attacks against them. I'd rather see something like that for an equivalent to Paladin smiting.

Finding the balance point would be tough, though.
I gave ranger's free Hunter's Mark for their favored enemy.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
The problem with Paladin isn't that it's a narrow concept it's that the cleric arguably fills the archetype of Holy Warrior better. IMO.
I do not see them the same at all. The Oath Bound hero had Oaths to Royalty as often as the divine and were often weird and arbitrary ok its not overly consistent with D&Ds paladin but the idea of a fighter who gains power via oath goes back to Cu Culaine and Samson and even the concept of Conflicting Oaths such as culaines totemic vs his hospitality ... like Lancelot's Oaths to King and Queen he is tweaking on the same archetype (his power though was sometimes presented
as a separate thing related to fighting on the side of righteousness which makes him closestin motivation to the classic Paladin - if he fought for the right cause, he would always win - but he had strong motivations to be challenged that came in conflict with it.
 
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FrogReaver

Adventurer
I do not see them the same at all. The Oath Bound hero had Oaths to Royalty as often as the divine and were often weird and arbitrary ok its not overly consistent with D&Ds paladin but the idea of a fighter who gains power via oath goes back to Cu Culaine
Not familiar with this.

and Samson
Samson's power was God given and not oath given. The oath he took was an oath taken by many. He is the only one who acquired supernatural strength. Breaking the oath broke his promise to God and thus he also lost his strength that stemmed from that promise.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Breaking the oath broke his promise to God
"Promise" === Oath and he didnt break the promise (ie for an all knowing entity he would personally have been seen to have done no wrong and not at all been disobedient, nevertheless it precipitated his fall and he didnt lose his power over a his own act it was not a lie nor an act he performed, but rather the arbitrary ritual condition being broken - however it was brought about by conflict with a different oath/obligation a marriage one)

Heroes taking oath of some kind/to someone and gaining power from it made them special even if others did the same oath to no effect.

The oath of the earlier Celtic hero was one of not eating dog meat (from 3500 to 4000 BCE in origin). This was also the source of the word Feat from Dungeons and Dragons. He picked up many and exceeded all his teachers as he did so. He had one that allowed him to warp spasm in battle (a hulk like Berserkergang) . Another common oath of fealty brought him down. He was obliged to accept whatever food his host offered.... so for him it was two oaths (instead of a marriage oath).

Marriage bonds included obligations as well which resulted in Samsons problems albeit somewhat less directly and predictably.(Cu Chulainn broke the oath about what you could call his totem the dog, instead of the oath about human interactions, ie hospitality it was an act he actually chose to do)

Metaphorically these may have all been lessons about how one can be pulled more than one way in life and how these larger than life characters were empowered to a degree as long as they remained single minded about their motivations were an encouragement I suppose to show how we too can be bigger greater and better if we are diligent/careful.

These are the kind of characters who really seem to be the source of the Paladin archetype who lost his powers becoming merely a fighter when his alignment changed. Something that might be non-coincidental the examples I find seem to all use berserkergang in their fighting style.

The original Paladin word in history were a kings highest court knights not even directly church associated however weirdly you can use in your argument one of them a bishop was at least claimed as inspiration for the Cleric.

Wait this is the Ranger thread not the Paladin one sorry for diverging so much
 
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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
The Ranger is an outdoors person, sure, but is much more than that. A rogue with the right expertise and background is a bushman.

The Ranger is someone who guards the land, protecting nature from man and man from nature. If they weren’t that, they’d be called the Hunter or The Scout or something.

In dnd, they are connected to nature in a way that is generally denoted with magical abilities. Classically, they train with Druids and are often part of their groves, and should be able to easily befriend animals and calm angry nature spirits, but not as simply as a Druid does (Druid casts a spell and it happens, Ranger makes checks and it happens if they succeed).

The animal companion should be a boost to the base class ability to befriend beasts, forming a mystical bond with a beast that allows that beast to exceed their normal limitations and the two to work together in ways that are decidedly supernatural. The Ranger’s abilities should combine with the beast. If the ranger has spells, they should be able to boost the beast just like they can themselves. If they have maneuvers, there should be manuevers that combine ranger and beast actions.

They should be reasonably competent in any terrain, and be exceptional in their primary environment, and that training should provide benefits wherever they are. So, plains rangers could be faster, forest rangers could be stealthier, mountain rangers could have climb speed and ignore certain types of difficult terrain, etc.

favored enemy should be a “study your enemy” benefit that requires no action when used against your favored enemy.
Did I mention I think this has a lot of cool stuff in it... regardless of whether it is "the ranger to me"
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Park ranger is more likely.
Or a few years back 6 texas rangers hiyo hiyo rode in the sun (The lone ranger) or Walker Texas Ranger. But no I think the Fantasy Ranger Aragorn is likely to be much more broadly associated even with those around the earlier times, the movies were astoundingly popular AND received 17 Academy Awards,
 
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