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What is the Ranger to you?

Mercule

Adventurer
So it's not really that a class-based system is stupid, or that a class-less system is stupid. What is stupid is wasting time trying to turn a class-based system into class-less or a class-less system into class-based.
I can see where you are coming from, but in my experience with high detail rules heavy point buy systems they tend to make for terrible games. I can think of some ways around that such as character burners, but class based systems have one huge advantage - they enforce breadth of skill that makes it much easier to play ensemble games with everyone contributing.
Both of these are true, so I want to clarify that I'm not opposed to class-based games, on principle. After 35 years of playing D&D off-and-on, I've kinda played through or have seen played through most of the "vanilla" implementations of the class archetypes. They're good to have available, but can also feel like a straight-jacket, sometimes. You can multi-class the heck out of things to get some builds.

In some ways, it's the class-based version of "there are only seven basic plots". At a certain point, though, it ceases to be a hybrid of the rogue and warlock concepts and becomes a sneaky guy with super powers. That throws the idea of class == archetype out the window. That's not really a big deal if your classes break down to "fights well", "casts spells", "knows skills", and maybe "prays well" (though that could just be "casts spells"). When you have 15(ish) classes, it gets hard to explain why the paladin isn't just a fighter/cleric multiclass or why the bard isn't a sub-class (or three) of wizard that gets access to healing spells and gets level-based abilities that aren't around a school of magic. Why isn't ranger just a fighter sub-class?

Better, IMO, would be a non-class system that provides examples for certain archetypes. Even Hero could be relatively simple to play if you broke down, say, fighter into 20 discreet blocks of advancement (i.e. levels) that could be bought every time you earned 15 experience (or whatever number). Players who want to play the archetype or the simplicity can have it, while those who want to tweak can. Now, I have other reasons why I don't think I want to go back to Hero -- and it is a complex system -- but it would work.

In some ways, I think Genesys has the right idea. It's far from a perfect system, and I have yet to play it, but you pick a profession at start and it grants you access to certain abilities that you can take. I don't know that I like that your cost for certain skills is permanent determined by which profession you take.

What I'd kill for, though, is a good example of how to use Fate Core for fantasy. Fate Freeport gets referenced quite a bit, but it reads pretty horrible, to me. I don't want a complex game. Savage Worlds might be the right level, but I haven't had a chance to try it, yet.
 

Xeviat

Explorer
Classes in D&D are usually based on the fantastic theme of an archetype or a trope, not the reality of it. If we were worried about realism, we'd play classless it everyone would be fighters or rogues. The ranger might not fit a given setting, and in those cases it could be a fighter and/or rogue subclass.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
In some ways, it's the class-based version of "there are only seven basic plots". At a certain point, though, it ceases to be a hybrid of the rogue and warlock concepts and becomes a sneaky guy with super powers. That throws the idea of class == archetype out the window.
I made a hybrid of two classes in 4e they were a Cleric and Invoker if I recall ...Immediate name of the hybrid was Bloodwright she was also a Vampire with a theme from Templar theme from Darksun. Her vampirism leaked out of her periodically and surreptitiously affected her allies though generally kept in check by her wisdom. The new class was a new class unique to her.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Both of these are true, so I want to clarify that I'm not opposed to class-based games, on principle. .
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)
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
The Ranger will fail until it's actually good. Then it won't matter if it has spells, companions or whatnot.
 
Unless you consider it cultural appropriation to try to understand it by an inherently western European framework.
Arguably, sticking a Samurai or Ninja in otherwise-nominally-medieval-European D&D /is/ cultural appropriation, or "Orientalism."

Conversely, a set of mechanics able to model an armored, mounted warrior, that could be used to construct a Knight of the Angevin Empire or a Samurai of the Sengoku Jidai, at the option of the gamers using it, would not be.
 
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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
any version without favored terrain and/or enemy.
Not sure if your objections are the same as mine. But I saw an idea where the Ranger could scan the train using investigation or perception or the like inorder to gain specific benefits for a while when at this place.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
Too many suggested ideas forget that ruining the surprise isn't a good thing.

Don't give the Ranger abilities to auto-detect terrain, hazards or creatures. At the very most, make it (high level) spells.

An ability that allows Rangers to short-circuit scenarios and mysteries already at level 1 makes me want to have the designer mentally examined. What the heck!?




Mod Edit: Removed profanity skirting expression. ~Umbran
 
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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Too many suggested ideas forget that ruining the surprise isn't a good thing.

Don't give the Ranger abilities to auto-detect terrain, hazards or creatures. At the very most, make it (high level) spells.

An ability that allows Rangers to short-circuit scenarios and mysteries already at level 1 makes me want to have the designer mentally examined. What the ...?!
Just the Alertness feat when they upped the anti on it to preventing surprise made me shake my head...



Mod Edit: Please don't quote when people skirt the profanity rules. Thanks. ~Umbran
 
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CapnZapp

Adventurer
Just the Alertness feat when they upped the anti on it to preventing surprise made me shake my head...
Yes. "You can never be surprised" is a piss-poor ability that never should have entered the game, since it short-circuits stories.

I wonder how long it will take before MMearls admits this. At least they seem to realize "You can't get lost" and "You can't be tracked" means no wilderness challenge.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Yes. "You can never be surprised" is a piss-poor ability that never should have entered the game, since it short-circuits stories.

I wonder how long it will take before MMearls admits this. At least they seem to realize "You can't get lost" and "You can't be tracked" means no wilderness challenge.
I am not sure but even as tightly controlled as rituals were in 4e I am picturing horrible things with high level rituals being for the most part free besides casting time.

In other words are there other things doing the same goodbye story?
 
I am not sure but even as tightly controlled as rituals were in 4e I am picturing horrible things with high level rituals being for the most part free besides casting time.
In other words are there other things doing the same goodbye story?
4e Rituals were little more than class (or feat) exclusive magic items.

D&D magic, in general, is too safe & repeatable - whether you're freaking over firebolt conveying the inestimable power of a zippo lighter; or trying to figure how any kind of medieval military or economic practices are supposed to survive.

But, I think, it comes down to scope. Much of D&D happens in the limited scope of the dungeon. Macroeconomics and castle architecture just don't come into it. Likewise, if they typical game spends little time in the wilderness - just getting from one adventure to the next, for instance - then letting the Ranger or the guy with the right feat have an absolute like not being surprised or automatically following tracks or whatever, is just fine. The impact is small, even if, in a campaign of different scope, it could be wildly imbalancing.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
But, I think, it comes down to scope. Much of D&D happens in the limited scope of the dungeon.
And context right here is a character for whom wilderness adventure is possibly the scope a player is interested in. The change I am working on for Martial Practices brought the skill roll back in (you still get your auto success but whether it costs has that rattle rattle and skill matters going on once more)
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
4e Rituals were little more than class (or feat) exclusive magic items.
Thought I would mention way way back in Gygax theory land a spell was intended vaguely by Gygaxian thinking to have the same value as a magic item ... the idea was the Warrior would get and use more items and the Wizard his spells.

So rituals being approximately the same as a magic item... shrug sounds like they pegged it.
 
Thought I would mention way way back in Gygax theory land a spell was intended vaguely by Gygaxian thinking to have the same value as a magic item ... the idea was the Warrior would get and use more items and the Wizard his spells.

So rituals being approximately the same as a magic item... shrug sounds like they pegged it.
Before wizards started learning new spells every level, finding magic items - scrolls - and choosing to expend them by copying the spell into your book was how they acquired spells. So, yeah, very much like magic items. Just items that were expendable becoming perpetually renewing on a daily scale.
 

Ratskinner

Adventurer
Rangers are a lost class, IMO. Historically, they are such a hodge-podge of implementations and ideas that they always seem a bit off to somebody. And much like bards, it makes it hard to a Ranger to mechanically stand out.

We have them " 'cause tradition", but really the modern concept: "Woodsyguy Notadruid" isn't enough to warrant a class, IMO. If it were my call, both Rangers and Paladins would be Fighter subclasses at best (and I'm not even sure Ranger rises to more than a Background, TBH.)
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
4e Rituals were little more than class (or feat) exclusive magic items.

D&D magic, in general, is too safe & repeatable - whether you're freaking over firebolt conveying the inestimable power of a zippo lighter; or trying to figure how any kind of medieval military or economic practices are supposed to survive.

But, I think, it comes down to scope. Much of D&D happens in the limited scope of the dungeon. Macroeconomics and castle architecture just don't come into it. Likewise, if they typical game spends little time in the wilderness - just getting from one adventure to the next, for instance - then letting the Ranger or the guy with the right feat have an absolute like not being surprised or automatically following tracks or whatever, is just fine. The impact is small, even if, in a campaign of different scope, it could be wildly imbalancing.
Yes, the proposed Ranger abilities come across as written by someone with zero clue.

I mean, when you can give an ability a casual glance and *immediately* say "that will ruin the game" something is off - professional devs are supposed to familiarize themselves with the various ways their product is played...
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
Rangers are a lost class, IMO. Historically, they are such a hodge-podge of implementations and ideas that they always seem a bit off to somebody. And much like bards, it makes it hard to a Ranger to mechanically stand out.

We have them " 'cause tradition", but really the modern concept: "Woodsyguy Notadruid" isn't enough to warrant a class, IMO. If it were my call, both Rangers and Paladins would be Fighter subclasses at best (and I'm not even sure Ranger rises to more than a Background, TBH.)
Again, that shows just how clever the WoW Hunter class was
 

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