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What is the Ranger to you?

ardoughter

Adventurer
In my opinion the 5e ranger is ok conceptually. It is the right place for a D&D ranger it is the implementation details that are the issue. That is why the ranger remains popular on DND beyond despite disssatisfaction.

I think the issues are:

The Bestmaster sucks

I think that Natural Explorer boosts should apply in all natural terrain, otherwise the ranger can be out performed in what they are supposed to be good at by scout focused Rogues and that wilderness exploration play is not a feature at many tables.

The ranger has a number of neat spells but they are all concentration and many are situational.

Finally the Ranger in a fight, while (IMHO) a solid contributor, is chipping away at the enemies and looking at some fighter builds and the paladin and feeling a bit jealous. Particularly after 4e where often an encounter with a ranger in the party was like: initiative, Ranger - hits every enemy does lots of damage...…. Warlord "Ranger do that again" …. Fight over.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Who has suggested that the Ranger should be shooting magic missiles and levitating things?
Other than you?
OK Walk on Water and cast Silence and Absorb elements to ping their magic missiles back at them is that better?

It seems like you are stuck with being a caster. And honestly more of the spells could be ok t the original ranger was basically anything you felt like including magic missiles and so

However
Many Ranger spells are simply ways of moving fast, or moving quietly or unseen.


None of that can possibly happen except with magic.

Because it seems like skills cannot do anything really good without explicit magic now.
 
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doctorbadwolf

Adventurer
Ad populum great... gating skill behind spell casting classes is still the functional design effect... even if you guys all voted Aragorn I mean those with highest nature skills should be able to shoot magic missiles and levitate things and the like.

The effect is narrowing the character design choices.

To be clear this problem seems to happen all over in this latest D&D so its not a ranger specific issue.
But their skills aren’t gated. They’re just also magical.

Mane they don’t shoot magic missiles or levitate things. Those sorts of effects aren’t on their spell lists.

Edit: also, we are talking about the identity of the class. The conceptual identity of a cultural element (which very much includes games) is literally democratic by its fundamental nature. even wotc has recognized that they can get this stuff wrong, in spite of owning the IP, because DnD is a cultural artifact and thus its “true” nature is determined by the users as a group.
 
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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
But their skills aren’t gated. They’re just also magical.
They are too gated you have to take this class or likely another caster to do anything interesting with nature skills... those parts were stuck in spells.

This shows how

Many Ranger spells are simply ways of moving fast, or moving quietly or unseen.


None of that can possibly happen except with magic.

Because it seems like skills cannot do anything really good without explicit magic now.
 
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doctorbadwolf

Adventurer
They are too gated you have to take this class to do anything interesting with skills... those interesting parts were stuck in spells.

This shows how

None of that can possibly happen except with magic.

Because it seems like skills cannot do anything really good without explicit magic now.
Most of that is invisible. Regardless, you can do everything that isn’t literally explicitly beyond physical capability using skills. That’s DnD. Skills aren’t magic.

but not all magic has to be spells. Full on conversations with squirrels is magic. There is no skill for that, and it’s not just a language, it’s magic. It’s impossible, therefor magic. But that doesn’t mean it had to be a spell. It could easily have been a function of the Druidic language, and Rangers could have gotten Druidic. Or, rangers could simply have the ability to speak to animals as part of Natural Explorer.

But jumping 30+ feat all you want, over and over, for an hour, is magic. Plain and simple. And it works well as a spell. qnd it makes sense to give that spell to rangers.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Most of that is invisible. Regardless, you can do everything that isn’t literally explicitly beyond physical capability using skills. That’s DnD. Skills aren’t magic.

but not all magic has to be spells.
It seems that way in 5e

Full on conversations with squirrels is magic. There is no skill for that, and it’s not just a language, it’s magic. It’s impossible, therefor magic.
In tolkien's story the universe itself was magic animals having their own languages was inherently part of the world, You learned a skill. As opposed to magic pasted artificially on top.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Most of that is invisible.
And yet requires a spell... to do it and that is in a class and you do not just let someone roll a die to do a spell effect

Because everyone knows magic is better.... it can do the impossible

Animal Friendship - This spell lets you convince a beast that you mean it no harm.


 
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It seems that way in 5e
The 5e Monk's Ki is explicitly magic, and one of the three PH1 sub-classes does not use Ki to power spells.

So, you've got one sub-class that uses magic that isn't spells. And, three that don't use magic, at all.
Everyone else casts spells.
In tolkien's story the universe itself was magic animals having their own languages was inherently part of the world, You learned a skill. As opposed to magic pasted artificially on top.
Tolkien's magic was mostly very subtle and where it wasnt could have been (or, like Gandalf's fireworks, obviously was) scientific/technological tricks.
 

doctorbadwolf

Adventurer
And yet requires a spell... to do it and that is in a class and you do not just let someone roll a die to do a spell effect

Because everyone knows magic is better.... it can do the impossible

Animal Friendship - This spell lets you convince a beast that you mean it no harm.

Animal Handling. Snapping your finger and making an animal friendly to you is impossible. Doing it the old fashioned way isn’t, but isn’t always going to work. Animal Friendship is just Charm Person for beasts. It’s a thing that skills can also do, but with magic you can do it even with no skill.

So a 5e Ranger can either learn Animal Handling, or learn a spell that bypasses it but costs a limited resource.

All the worse for it. When your character is approaching Demigod lovels your skills should be magic IMHO
Thats a system thing, not a Ranger thing.

Conceptually, in DnD, the impossible is magic, which generally involves either spells or some other limited resource. Also 5e isn’t really built to ever have characters be Demi-gods simply by virtue of gaining sufficient level.

It seems that way in 5e

In tolkien's story the universe itself was magic animals having their own languages was inherently part of the world, You learned a skill. As opposed to magic pasted artificially on top.
Only certain people could speak with animals. It is a skill of wizards and elves, and a few dwarves (though even they could only speak with some ravens who’d been bred to communicate more fully, not with like, all birds). It’s magic.

But more importantly, dnd isn’t middle earth. DnD classes don’t fit in middle earth. Middle Earth characters can’t ever become godlike by virtue of learning enough stuff.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Thats a system thing, not a Ranger thing.
Yeh a 5er system thing.
Conceptually, in DnD, the impossible is magic, which generally involves either spells or some other limited resource. Also 5e isn’t really built to ever have characters be Demi-gods simply by virtue of gaining sufficient level.
They took the flavor text of 4e Tiers but they lie through their teeth unless of course you do magic then the top comes off.

Only certain people could speak with animals.
Nothing magical about the guy from the Lake city just a skil his family taught as a heritage. And yes they learned language dialects and didnt speak every single one that doesnt make it magic.. it makes it even more like a skill.


Middle Earth characters can’t ever become godlike by virtue of learning enough stuff.
And 5th edition ones dont either but 3rd pretty much might (esp if you were a Cleric/Druid ) from all I have heard and so did 4th and AGAIN if you are a caster all bets were off in 1e and 2e as well. 4e made it equitable across the board.
 
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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Also 5e isn’t really built to ever have characters be Demi-gods simply by virtue of gaining sufficient level.
5e characters feel petty


  1. Heroic tier: Levels 1-10.
    • Characters may have impressive skills, but operate on a basically human level.
    • Adventures take place in local environments - dungeons, towns, forests.
    • Threats are mostly part of the local ecology, or summoned or created. (Natural creatures, other sapient species, created mechanisms, plants.)
  2. Paragon tier: Levels 11-20
    • Characters now have extreme, near-superhuman levels of their lead skills. They can accomplish things no ordinary human could (and make very difficult skill DC rolls!)
    • Adventures take place in a wider arena. They may save entire kingdoms, not just local villages. Their growing reputations will make them major players, even if birth and rank don't. They might lead guilds, be involved in court politics, or command soldiers.
    • Enemies also exist on a larger scale. Extraplanar threats become more common, and less likely to have to be summoned first. Players may meet dragons, invading warlords (and their armies), elemental or demonic creatures, colossal magical beasts.
    • Characters gain powers from a 'paragon class' - a development of the 'prestige class' idea from D&D 3e. The paragon class gives tightly-focused powers related to a specific concept of how to play the character's main class. (For example: A druid who specialises in driving animals berserk. A warlock who steals life from opponents. A barbarian who becomes more and more like a bear.)
  3. Epic tier: Levels 21-30
    • Characters can accomplish awesome and impossible things with skills alone, before they even bother to use their class powers. Which are increasingly powerful.
    • Adventures are routinely extra-planar - if the characters even make their homes on their original world any more - and threats are ancient dragons, powerful planar entities, titans, or the like. Entire worlds or areas of existence may be at stake.
    • Each character progresses towards an 'epic destiny' - chosen by the player at L21. They gradually gain extra powers appropriate to this destined ending. (For example: becoming a god, or a transcendent energy-entity, or a heroic legend, or an immortal traveller.)


      Doing the impossible with skills alone were on the list.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
The 5e Monk's Ki is explicitly magic, and one of the three PH1 sub-classes does not use Ki to power spells.
Monks and Ki piss me off but that is 4e legacy snap back I am sure.... it means life force or breath (which was considered by medieval types pretty much the same)

The fighter is a class which uses Ki.

If you remove the stupid ethnocentric garbage
 

doctorbadwolf

Adventurer
[MENTION=82504]Garthanos[/MENTION] you know I’m an old 4venger, you don’t have to tell me how cool 4e is.

This is a thread about the ranger conceptually, though, not about the relative merits of different system’s design philosophy.

And yes, in the 4e era I was regularly bugging the designers for magical options for the Ranger. They finally did it in essentials, adding a bunch of primal utility powers to the ranger list, and making it easy for a phb ranger to pick up Wilderness Knacks, but I would have still preferred to also see some primal weapon based attack and defense powers, and some Ranger specific rituals.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
@Garthanos you know I’m an old 4venger, you don’t have to tell me how cool 4e is.

This is a thread about the ranger conceptually, though, not about the relative merits of different system’s design philosophy.
The design impact relates... very closely ... my rendering of an AD&D ranger early in this thread means an entirely different thing than a direct translation even if we came up with a what looks like a perfect one.

The ranger made out of a 4e fighter I posted earlier will be able to do many many nature and athletics based things that the 5e ranger will never get to do ... starting with improvised application of skill to things which would be impossible. Because the games paradigm doesn't need him doing spells do to awesome schtuff

explicit spells instead of subtle magic is almost limiting (though the explicit ones like practices and rituals are more efficient)

Its trivial to let someone improvise a ritual in 4e too

And yes, in the 4e era I was regularly bugging the designers for magical options for the Ranger. They finally did it in essentials, adding a bunch of primal utility powers to the ranger list, and making it easy for a phb ranger to pick up Wilderness Knacks, but I would have still preferred to also see some primal weapon based attack and defense powers, and some Ranger specific rituals.
I agree more ranger styled rituals wouldn't be bad but I ended up making quite a number of martial practices styled in a way that definitely works for rangers ... Double back, Animal Tongues, and others

5e is supposed to be the game of house rules.. making avian, canine and a bunch of other simple languages available should be an easy sell but I hear from you THAT AINT no D&D in fact that is what I heard a lot from you are you regressing?
 
Monks and Ki piss me off but that is 4e legacy snap back I am sure.... it means life force or breath (which was considered by medieval types pretty much the same)

The fighter is a class which uses Ki.

If you remove the stupid ethnocentric garbage
Ki = SU

Ki = Psionics

Ki = Magic

Martial Arts <> Martial.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest
Yeh its male bovine excrement.

Just like Samurai <> Knight only because bigotry has been engaged.
Unless you consider it cultural appropriation to try to understand it by an inherently western European framework.
So is it an enlightened position to take or an unenlightened position to take? Kind of depends on the reasons. (sort of like whether or not something is a lawful or chaotic action - as I free associate into the topic of another recent thread...)
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Unless you consider it cultural appropriation
Stop do not pass go...

Although it wasn't actually the word "bigotry" i wanted its more like creating distinctions just for their own sake.

Class in the game it is like you are a human its incredibly broad about what it describes and about what you can do. Culture is a low impact difference with regards to the above. (like humans with low amounts vs high amounts of melanin in their skin unless you are hunting really really deep like looking for sickle cell anemia its probably not important)

The same can be said about the difference between the Samurai and the Knight If you want to guess if the character is celebrated or not for his writing poetry it might and it might not be a reasonable pattern match
 
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