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D&D General Which Edition Had the Best Ranger?

Which Edition had the best Ranger?


  • Total voters
    159

John R Davis

Adventurer
Ad&d 1st hands down. Mass of hps at 1st level, extra damage. Awesome companion potential Multiclass to start as a Ranger/Cleric and you have a great build.
Can I play one now please!
 

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Aldarc

Legend
1e all the way. The class has more or less been crap ever since.
4e was probably the closest in subsequent editions to making the Ranger a fighter subclass. It's a separate class, but a Martial class, much as the Fighter, Rogue, and Warlord. In some regards, you could even see these four classes as four expressions of a basic "fighting man".
 

We saw UA as simply a collection of stuff we'd either already decided to adopt, modify or ignore when it first came out in Dragon magazine over the previous several years.

Very little in UA was truly new.

Agreed that a lot of UA was a rehearse from old articles of Dragon Magazine. As for using only some of the rules in it. I/We did too only picked what was good. Yet, As I said, I was and still is very active in the RPG community of my area. A lot, and I really mean a lot, of people I have met were considering the UA as the epitome of AD&D book. If you were not allowing fully it, you were not playing the game as it was meant to be. :unsure::rolleyes:
Why do you think that I am so cold on the Tasha's book of ...? I see it as an other UA of 1ed. Not fully playtested materials that have been rushed out. This time it was not for financial reasons but to appease some of the accusation WotC has been receiving.

Been DMing since the early 80s. Won't be the last time I'm called heartless. Those folks can feel free to find another DM 🤷🏼‍♂️
And again, the "It is an official book!" syndrome was already in existence at the time. I was one of the rare ones that hold his ground and said no. Yet, some players of the community were accusing me of not playing the game as it was supposed to be exactly for the reason I mentionned above. It was an official book after all. I was really glad when second edition came around. But got disheartened very fast with the amount of material that was getting out. Too fast for my little pockets...

Hell, even in Toronto and Montreal, you were supposed to play with that damn book. It did have some good things. But most of the book had not been tested enough and it showed.

I will agree with you in that I never saw a 1e Ranger that didn't have a very high Dex, I'll also say that I have never seen a DM allow anything except a few spells from 1e UA after reading Cavalier and Barbarian, the two most party disruptive classes ever printed.

I think I attribute the high Dex 1e rangers to us wanting to optimize TWF for the giant class damage bonus. That was the only reason to take the class over a fighter/mage or a mage/thief to us because it could really benefit from 4-5 high stats.

I also wonder if other tables did more with 1e rangers as woodsmen than we did. At the time, none of us had read Tolkien so I don't think we put much stock in it. Remember the entirety of the 1e ranger's abilities are: good with surprise, could track, and a single line that says, "Rangers are a sub-class of fighter who are adept at woodcraft, tracking, scouting, and infiltration and spying." That's literally it. Everything else is high level spell stuff. I seriously don't remember playing rangers as woodsmen or even really scouts until 2e. We thought of them more like Texas rangers who fought the lawless giant class enemies on the frontier.
Yeah, same round here. But the high dex rangers that I saw were not at my table (I got, maybe three?). It was in other tables that I saw lots of them. I was not allowing the UA rolling method. Paladins, Monk and Rangers were very rare at my table. I never felt the need to restrict Paladins because they were overpowered. This is simply because cavaliers were simply not allowed (or any of the classes in UA). I only used the new demi-humans limitations (and I lowered a lot of the side requirement to get a bit higher. 19 strength, 18 in intelligence and wisdom to get a, elf to 12th level? Really?) These classes requirement were already hard to achieve.

But still, many were using the UA because it was an official book. The "official book" syndrome is really a thing. Yes with people that have been at your table for a long time, a DM can get away with not allowing some of the stuff. But the game is as much theirs as it is their players' too. We're in this for everyone's enjoyment.
 

ph0rk

Friendship is Magic, and Magic is Heresy.
I voted for 2e, but I really liked the Fighter Scout 5e UA. I've tried to make rangers many times, and I almost always make a fighter instead.

I like the 5e Horizon walker, but that's rather far afield from what I think most people envision when they think of a ranger.
 

Voadam

Legend
Giants don't come in "Forest" or "Wood" versions in these parts, bucko. :)

But Hill and Stone Giants are common-ish there; Mountain and - in the north - Frost a bit less so...
2e's Voadkyn (from Monstrous Compendium 5 for Greyhawk and later the Monstrous Manual) not classic enough for you? :)
1604065963661.jpeg
 


Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
Agreed that a lot of UA was a rehearse from old articles of Dragon Magazine. As for using only some of the rules in it. I/We did too only picked what was good. Yet, As I said, I was and still is very active in the RPG community of my area. A lot, and I really mean a lot, of people I have met were considering the UA as the epitome of AD&D book. If you were not allowing fully it, you were not playing the game as it was meant to be. :unsure::rolleyes:
Why do you think that I am so cold on the Tasha's book of ...? I see it as an other UA of 1ed. Not fully playtested materials that have been rushed out. This time it was not for financial reasons but to appease some of the accusation WotC has been receiving.


And again, the "It is an official book!" syndrome was already in existence at the time. I was one of the rare ones that hold his ground and said no. Yet, some players of the community were accusing me of not playing the game as it was supposed to be exactly for the reason I mentionned above. It was an official book after all. I was really glad when second edition came around. But got disheartened very fast with the amount of material that was getting out. Too fast for my little pockets...

Hell, even in Toronto and Montreal, you were supposed to play with that damn book. It did have some good things. But most of the book had not been tested enough and it showed.


Yeah, same round here. But the high dex rangers that I saw were not at my table (I got, maybe three?). It was in other tables that I saw lots of them. I was not allowing the UA rolling method. Paladins, Monk and Rangers were very rare at my table. I never felt the need to restrict Paladins because they were overpowered. This is simply because cavaliers were simply not allowed (or any of the classes in UA). I only used the new demi-humans limitations (and I lowered a lot of the side requirement to get a bit higher. 19 strength, 18 in intelligence and wisdom to get a, elf to 12th level? Really?) These classes requirement were already hard to achieve.

But still, many were using the UA because it was an official book. The "official book" syndrome is really a thing. Yes with people that have been at your table for a long time, a DM can get away with not allowing some of the stuff. But the game is as much theirs as it is their players' too. We're in this for everyone's enjoyment.
Yeah, I know where you're coming from, and the official book crowd does exist. However, I think the difference is that with 1e UA, it clearly wasn't even remotely tested at all. Just a bunch of gonzo stuff thrown in with no consideration how that impacts pre-existing campaigns and characters. I really don't think that's the case with Tasha's.

Even so, unless you're playing AL, you can omit whatever you want. It's your game. Anyone who doesn't like that can either DM themselves, or find another table. No one is entitled that a DM cater to their wishes if it runs counter to what the DM wants. No one is entitled to have someone DM for them. it's all about agreement at the table that if you play in a DM's campaign, you agree to their terms. If they are a bad DM, then they will eventually have no players.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
It was, in The Strategic Review Issue #2.

In fact, literally every class included in the 1e PHB was previously published for OD&D, though the bard and the ranger were only in The Strategic Review rather than the original booklets and supplements.
Well don't leave us hanging-- tell us about it! :) What was the Strategic Review ranger like?
 

Yeah, I know where you're coming from, and the official book crowd does exist. However, I think the difference is that with 1e UA, it clearly wasn't even remotely tested at all. Just a bunch of gonzo stuff thrown in with no consideration how that impacts pre-existing campaigns and characters. I really don't think that's the case with Tasha's.

Even so, unless you're playing AL, you can omit whatever you want. It's your game. Anyone who doesn't like that can either DM themselves, or find another table. No one is entitled that a DM cater to their wishes if it runs counter to what the DM wants. No one is entitled to have someone DM for them. it's all about agreement at the table that if you play in a DM's campaign, you agree to their terms. If they are a bad DM, then they will eventually have no players.
And... I might have no chance to deny the book access to my hands. Our Fridaynight D&D is not AL stuff. BUT it is following AL rules to the letter (well, as we understand them) as the store owner wants us to do it that way. Yes it does give the store owner free publicity and to us it helps the hobby to constantly grow with new blood. So in a sense, it might not impact my table but it will impact it at our FN D&D. And you know how it is to play with two different rule sets... It is not cool, man not cool.

Ho and by the way. My players absolutely loved the Depths of Felk Mor.
 


Undrave

Hero
And... I might have no chance to deny the book access to my hands. Our Fridaynight D&D is not AL stuff. BUT it is following AL rules to the letter (well, as we understand them) as the store owner wants us to do it that way. Yes it does give the store owner free publicity and to us it helps the hobby to constantly grow with new blood. So in a sense, it might not impact my table but it will impact it at our FN D&D. And you know how it is to play with two different rule sets... It is not cool, man not cool.

Ho and by the way. My players absolutely loved the Depths of Felk Mor.
What are you worried about in regard to Tasha's anyway? That SCAAAARY spell versatility is apparently out, and nothing in there is particularly broken from what we know. A lot of stuff got nerfed, like the Favored Foe option.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
Ho and by the way. My players absolutely loved the Depths of Felk Mor.
Yay! That makes my day. Having people enjoy it is really the ultimate goal and compliment. Hopefully they didn't find all the cheesy 80s pop culture references too overwhelming lol. The couple of groups I had ran it through found the "Gods of Rock" reference and the West Side Story references to be their favorites.

It's not every campaign where you take Lovecraft and encounter a bit of Tears For Fears, Rush, and Conan the Barbarian along the way :LOL:
 

Yay! That makes my day. Having people enjoy it is really the ultimate goal and compliment. Hopefully they didn't find all the cheesy 80s pop culture references too overwhelming lol. The couple of groups I had ran it through found the "Gods of Rock" reference and the West Side Story references to be their favorites.

It's not every campaign where you take Lovecraft and encounter a bit of Tears For Fears, Rush, and Conan the Barbarian along the way :LOL:
Some of these references I had to adapt to my group (we're French Canadian). But I loved them anyway. :)
 

What are you worried about in regard to Tasha's anyway? That SCAAAARY spell versatility is apparently out, and nothing in there is particularly broken from what we know. A lot of stuff got nerfed, like the Favored Foe option.
I did not want nerfs. If that horrible spell versatility is really out, it is a glorious day for D&D. Yet, all the fuzzy stuff about races will be there. (look the thread on custom origins). I want things that add to the game. Not stuff that removes or nerf. Again, that book looks a lot like an improvised thing made to calm accusations of racism and to cater to a very vocal portion by doing stuff which have not been playtested or not have been playtested enough.
 


They're been testing the subclasses for like... 2 years or something??? And a bunch of stuff is reprints from other books.

Yeah, essentially everything in that book has been seen before and surveyed on through UA. Everything has different power levels and not everything is appropriate for every table, but there's no reason to reject Tasha's like it was 1e UA.
 

We took Cavaliers (and how do you see them as any more disruptive than Paladins?)

Because they're even stupider. Have you read the class recently? It's quite unplayable.

They essentially can't use missile weapons. "Weapons that deal out damage at a distance (including pole arms, missile weapons, and the two-handed sword) call into question the cavalier’s personal bravery, and as such are avoided by all except the most powerful of cavaliers. The cavalier may use these questionable weapons at normal non-proficiency penalties, but their use may violate the character’s chivalric code." You can't even get proficient in a bow until like 18th level!

Their code of behavior is far, far more rigid. The code of behavior is not like the Paladin's "be just and good". It's "be a massive prick and a self-righteous, noble-born jerk."

Check out the code. I've bolded all the ones that frequently cause party conflict and which didn't exist in the original Paladin:


The code for a feudal campaign may be summed up as follows. The DM may adjust this code to fit his or her own campaign.
  • Noble service cheerfully rendered
  • Defense of any charge unto death
  • Courage and enterprise in obedience to rule
  • Respect for all peers and equals
  • Honor to all above your station
  • Obedience and respect from all beneath your station
  • Scorn for those who are lowly and ignoble (this includes knightly limitations on weapons and armor)
  • Military prowess exercised in service to your lord
  • Courtesy to all ladies (if the cavalier is male)
  • War is the flowering of chivalry
  • Battle is the test of manhood
  • Combat is glory
  • Personal glory above all in battle
  • Death to all who oppose the cause
  • Death before dishonor
In enforcing this code, the DM may reduce or eliminate experience that is gained by the cavalier if its gaining violates the spirit or letter of the code. A cavalier who retreats from battle, even to save fellow party members, would receive half experience for the beasts slain in his or her retreat. Similarly, a cavalier who dons leather armor to infiltrate a thieves guild to effect a rescue will gain no experience, since the rescue would be done in means not approved
of by the code. Note that even neutral and evil cavaliers are bound by this code, but in their cases the obedience is to non-good masters.


That first one, "obedience and respect from all beneath your station," is kind of a significant issue. Since the class all but requires you to be noble-born and highly favored, everyone else in the party is going to be beneath your station!

And their limitation in battle is even worse (again, with the problematic bits bolded):


As a result of the code and desire for battle, cavaliers cannot be controlled in battle situations. They will charge any enemy in sight, with the following order of preference:
  1. Powerful monsters (dragons, demons, giants, etc.) serving enemy leaders, then the leaders themselves.
  2. Opponent cavaliers of great renown, enemy flags and standards.
  3. Opponent cavalry of noble or elite status
  4. Other opponent cavalry
  5. Opponent elite footmen
  6. Opponent camp and headquarters
  7. Opponent melee troops
  8. Levies or peasants
The cavalier’s charge will be made at full speed, regardless of army cohesion, intervening friendly troops, or other such considerations.


That last line is particularly irritating because cavaliers like to use warhorses and lances. I honestly don't see how anyone could possibly play this class as written.

All excerpts are from the class description in 1e's Unearthed Arcana.
 

cmad1977

Hero
Because I’ve never seen more rangers in play in this edition, by FAR, than in any other edition I’ve run or played in I’d have to say...

5e.
 

ccs

41st lv DM
Yeah, essentially everything in that book has been seen before and surveyed on through UA. Everything has different power levels and not everything is appropriate for every table, but there's no reason to reject Tasha's like it was 1e UA.

The only thing we ever rejected from UA 1e was the Thief-Acrobat. In fact, that's the only non-1e OA class I've never seen used.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Because they're even stupider. Have you read the class recently? It's quite unplayable.

They essentially can't use missile weapons. "Weapons that deal out damage at a distance (including pole arms, missile weapons, and the two-handed sword) call into question the cavalier’s personal bravery, and as such are avoided by all except the most powerful of cavaliers. The cavalier may use these questionable weapons at normal non-proficiency penalties, but their use may violate the character’s chivalric code." You can't even get proficient in a bow until like 18th level!
This part I'm fine with - it forces them into either mounted combat or sword-and-board melee.
Their code of behavior is far, far more rigid. The code of behavior is not like the Paladin's "be just and good". It's "be a massive prick and a self-righteous, noble-born jerk."

Check out the code. I've bolded all the ones that frequently cause party conflict and which didn't exist in the original Paladin:


The code for a feudal campaign may be summed up as follows. The DM may adjust this code to fit his or her own campaign.
  • Noble service cheerfully rendered
  • Defense of any charge unto death
  • Courage and enterprise in obedience to rule
  • Respect for all peers and equals
  • Honor to all above your station
  • Obedience and respect from all beneath your station
  • Scorn for those who are lowly and ignoble (this includes knightly limitations on weapons and armor)
  • Military prowess exercised in service to your lord
  • Courtesy to all ladies (if the cavalier is male)
  • War is the flowering of chivalry
  • Battle is the test of manhood
  • Combat is glory
  • Personal glory above all in battle
  • Death to all who oppose the cause
  • Death before dishonor
In enforcing this code, the DM may reduce or eliminate experience that is gained by the cavalier if its gaining violates the spirit or letter of the code. A cavalier who retreats from battle, even to save fellow party members, would receive half experience for the beasts slain in his or her retreat. Similarly, a cavalier who dons leather armor to infiltrate a thieves guild to effect a rescue will gain no experience, since the rescue would be done in means not approved
of by the code. Note that even neutral and evil cavaliers are bound by this code, but in their cases the obedience is to non-good masters.
Keep in mind this was also incorporating the Paladin's code, as in UA Paladins were made a sub-class of Cavalier.

My guess is the writers naively expected the other party members to be treated as 'peers and equals' rather than 'beneath your station'. But, just like any other bit of 1e that try to overly restrict how one roleplays (e.g. hard-line alignment rules) it's best to just treat these as guidelines.

It also assumes Cavaliers will be hard-line Lawful Good, even though Cavaliers had a much broader scope of permitted alignments than did Paladins (I think only NE, CE and CN were banned). Those codes don't do any justice to the 'Black Knight' concept, which was an option for how to play a Cavalier.
That first one, "obedience and respect from all beneath your station," is kind of a significant issue. Since the class all but requires you to be noble-born and highly favored, everyone else in the party is going to be beneath your station!

And their limitation in battle is even worse (again, with the problematic bits bolded):


As a result of the code and desire for battle, cavaliers cannot be controlled in battle situations. They will charge any enemy in sight, with the following order of preference:
  1. Powerful monsters (dragons, demons, giants, etc.) serving enemy leaders, then the leaders themselves.
  2. Opponent cavaliers of great renown, enemy flags and standards.
  3. Opponent cavalry of noble or elite status
  4. Other opponent cavalry
  5. Opponent elite footmen
  6. Opponent camp and headquarters
  7. Opponent melee troops
  8. Levies or peasants
The cavalier’s charge will be made at full speed, regardless of army cohesion, intervening friendly troops, or other such considerations.


That last line is particularly irritating because cavaliers like to use warhorses and lances. I honestly don't see how anyone could possibly play this class as written.
I've done it, and seen it done.

It needs a party run by Captain Kirk rather than Captain Picard, to be sure, as diplomacy with these guys is often pretty much off the table. But if you put the Cavvy in the lead such that his-her charge won't trample anyone else in the party, chances are you'll be OK.

That said, one of the best literary examples of a Cavalier I've ever seen is Mandorallen from Eddings' Belgariad series. Play a Cavalier as if it's him and you can't really go wrong. The trick is to have someone in the party that the Cavalier looks up to as a leader and whose orders s/he will follow; this gets around the 'cannot be controlled' bit.
 

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