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D&D 5E Why are non-caster Ranger themes so popular?

Minigiant

Legend
What does "The Community" have to do with adjudicating actions at our table?
DMs are part of the community. And many of they don't know what a easy, medium, or hard survival/nature/ranger check is.

Is making a healing poultice equivalent to a healing spell easy, medium, or hard?
Is finding ingredients for an antidote easy, medium, or hard?
Is foraging a cure for a disease easy, medium, or hard?
Is crafting improvised weather gear or traveling gear for natural enviroments easy, medium, or hard?
Is calming a wild aggressive beast easy, medium, or hard?
Is taming a nonhostile wild beast easy, medium, or hard?
Is making a makeshift ghillie suit or other camoflauge easy, medium, or hard?
If concentrating a bane poison easy, medium, or hard?
etc etc

Every DM will give you different answers becuase the game designers didn't and the community never made a lick of consensus.
 

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DMs are part of the community. And many of they don't know what a easy, medium, or hard survival/nature/ranger check is.
Is there some kind of poll or other data proving your point that “many don’t know”?

Because setting DCs is basic DMing according to the DMG. With bounded accuracy in 5e, it’s pretty hard to mess things up too much using 10, 15, 20 as your baseline DCs, regardless of your experience.
Is making a healing poultice equivalent to a healing spell easy, medium, or hard?
Is finding ingredients for an antidote easy, medium, or hard?
Is foraging a cure for a disease easy, medium, or hard?
Is crafting improvised weather gear or traveling gear for natural enviroments easy, medium, or hard?
Is calming a wild aggressive beast easy, medium, or hard?
Is taming a nonhostile wild beast easy, medium, or hard?
Is making a makeshift ghillie suit or other camoflauge easy, medium, or hard?
If concentrating a bane poison easy, medium, or hard?
etc etc

Every DM will give you different answers becuase the game designers didn't and the community never made a lick of consensus.
How many different games with different DMs do you play in as a Ranger each week or month that you see such wild variation? I only wish I had time for such a dilemma!
 

Minigiant

Legend
Yes there is, it is right in XGE under Thieves Tools:

Traps: Just as you can disable traps, you can also set them. As part of a short rest, you can create a trap using items you have on hand. The total of your check becomes the DC for someone else's attempt to discover or disable the trap. The trap deals damage appropriate to the materials used in crafting it (such as poison or a weapon) or damage equal to half the total of your check, whichever the DM deems appropriate.

So rig a a heavy crossbow to shoot at someone who walks through the door and it is 1d10, poison the bolt with purple worm poision and it does another 12d6 poision with a save of 19. Create a trap with alchemists fire and it is 1d4 per turn until extinguished. Rig a building to fall over on someone, or fling someone off of a cliff .... well your DM will have to creative, but that is a lot of damage.

This method is far better and more flavorful than assigning some random numerical value based on level - "A Ranger can craft a trap that does 1d6 damage for every 2 levels" .... that would be silly and immersion breaking.
Well one that's the XGE so you are talking 3 years after the PHB. And Rangers don't even get thieves tools. And again, it doesn't scale with the game. Now I wasn't suggesting a random number or table.

My preference would be

At level 9, a ranger can spend a minute to double the damage of an element of a trap if they have the correct tool proficiency. alchemist's supplies or brewers supplies for alchemist's fire or explosives, mason's tools for fallen opjects and traps, poisoner's kit for poisons, smith's tools for weapons, and thieves tools for anything else.

At the 13th level, a ranger can spend 5 minutes to triple damage this way. At 17th level, a ranger can spend 10 minutes to quadruple damage.
 

ehren37

Adventurer
This method is far better, far more flavorful and "more real" than assigning some random numerical value based on level - "A Ranger can craft a trap that does 1d6 damage for every 2 levels" .... that would be silly and immersion breaking.
Why? Sneak attack scales with level, regardless of the dagger used. Fireball scales regardless of the bat poop quality.

THIS is why non-magical classes cant have nice things. The insistence on a sham immersion for a game that is terrible at simulation to begin with.
 
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ECMO3

Adventurer
Concord: Who the Rangers are aligned with.
  • Druids
  • Fey
  • Loners
  • Military
  • Priests
Each conclave and concord would grain an additional favored enemy/terrain as well as give class features appropriate to the tier. Players who want Non-spell-casting rangers would just have to conclaves and concords that don't grant spellcasting (Beastmasters, Hunters, Loners, Military)
This is overly restrictive.

What if I want my Ranger to be a madam who runs a brothel or what if I want her to be a lord in the order of the Gauntlet, or work with pirates from Luskan or the Arcane brotherhood?

This is my main problem with a lot of discussions on class, they take things that should not be defined or related to the character's class and they want to roll those story elements into the class.
 

Minigiant

Legend
This is overly restrictive.

What if I want my Ranger to be a madam who runs a brothel or what if I want her to be a lord in the order of the Gauntlet, or work with pirates from Luskan or the Arcane brotherhood?

This is my main problem with a lot of discussions on class, they take things that should not be defined or related to the character's class and they want to roll those story elements into the class.
It's actually not that restictive.

What kind of ranger are you?
In your ranger training, who was your patron, trainer, or ally? I even gave a "None" option in loner to double up on your Conclave abilities. Wizards would be a option book subclass like Dragons.
 

ECMO3

Adventurer
Is making a healing poultice equivalent to a healing spell easy, medium, or hard?
1 day, 25gp, no check required. XGE page 130
Is finding ingredients for an antidote easy, medium, or hard?
DC 15 XTE page 82, although Iwould adjust this for terrain (harder in desert or ocean, easier in forrest or jungle, impossible on Avernus or in the lower dark)

Is foraging a cure for a disease easy, medium, or hard?
I don't think there is such thing that cures disease in 5E. You need lessor restoration or lay on hands for that. Also there was no real life anti-biotics in the middle ages, so I don't think there is an argument that there should be a non-magical way to do this.

That is not to say you should not homebrew it, I would start with rules for crafting a scroll of lessor restoration and go from there.

Is crafting improvised weather gear or traveling gear for natural enviroments easy, medium, or hard?
DC 10 or 15 covered on XGE page 81 or 83 or 85 depending on what gear specifically you are talking about.

Is calming a wild aggressive beast easy, medium, or hard?
Depends on the DMs call and what you mean by aggressive. This is a bit silly, it is like asking how hard is it to row across the river - well is the river the mississippi or is it rapids.

Is taming a nonhostile wild beast easy, medium, or hard?
You can't put a DC on a question like this. It is like asking how hard is it to persuade someone. Persuade someone to bum you a cigarette - probably easy, persuade a cop to let you go-hard, persuade a king to give you his kingdom-impossible

Considering this. Wolf Cub - Easy, Elephant-medium, Rino-impossible


Is making a makeshift ghillie suit or other camoflauge easy, medium, or hard?
I would say this is disguising yourself to look like surroundings and as such give it a DC 15 from page 81 in XGE.


If concentrating a bane poison easy, medium, or hard?
etc etc

Poison is covered separately, basic poision can be created with poisioner's kit, or you can extract other poision from a creature with a DC20 check. Concentrating a poison is not something that can be done RAW.

Every DM will give you different answers becuase the game designers didn't and the community never made a lick of consensus.
The game designers addressed most of these things explicitly and what they didn't the DM is supposed to make a judgement on.

Further having rules does not mean every DM won't do it differently. Most of the DMs I have played with have different rules for Mage Hand Legerdemain and none of them will allow my Arcane Tricksters to use Mage Hand Legerdemain explicitly RAW - Specifically they don't let me steal things off of enemies in combat as a bonus action and they don't let me attack then then pour oil on another creature as a bonus action every turn even though the rules explicitly say you can do this. Some of them make me string several turns and bonus actions together, some don't allow it all and some allow it but alter it (so the oil does not light automatically when hit by fire damage).

For this reason it is kind of silly to make up hard and fast rules for all these things.
 
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ECMO3

Adventurer
It's actually not that restictive.

What kind of ranger are you?
In your ranger training, who was your patron, trainer, or ally? I even gave a "None" option in loner to double up on your Conclave abilities. Wizards would be a option book subclass like Dragons.
Who says I trained to be a Ranger at all? For the most part the class and subclass should provide the mechanics, not the character. I realize some elements need to be tied to a story but most of it should not be.

What if I want the mechanics of a "loner" but I want to play a flamboyant socialite ladies man who knows women in every city?
 

ECMO3

Adventurer
Why? Sneak attack scales with level, regardless of the dagger used. Fireball scales regardless of the bat poop quality.

THIS is why non-magical classes cant have nice things. The insistence on a sham immersion for a game that is terrible at simulation to begin with.
But the dagger always does 1d4 and it does that whether it is a 1st level Rogue or a 20th level fighter wielding it. The fireball is magic and really has no place in a discussion on scaling non-magic abilities.

I would be ok with a Rogue adding sneak attack damage if she used a finesse or missile weapon for crafting the trap, I think most DMs would. Just like most DMs would be ok with adding an ability bonus to trap damage depending on what ability you used to fashion it.

By the way I craft traps all the time in my games, usually when taking a long rest in a non-secure area so it is something that is used a lot. Suggesting there are not rules on it is just silly.
 
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Composer99

Explorer
Who says I trained to be a Ranger at all? For the most part the class and subclass should provide the mechanics, not the character. I realize some elements need to be tied to a story but most of it should not be.

What if I want the mechanics of a "loner" but I want to play a flamboyant socialite ladies man who knows women in every city?
Each of the classes is presented in the PHB with a more or less default nature. In 5e, where the rules are holistic (hence their being written in natural language as much as possible and with little strict separation between "flavour" and "hard rules"), those can be considered a definitive summary of what a ranger is and what a ranger does.

If you want your ranger to deviate from the default presented in the PHB, well and good, but it is simply a fact that the class and subclass in 5e provide both mechanics and a default flavour.
 

ECMO3

Adventurer
Each of the classes is presented in the PHB with a more or less default nature. In 5e, where the rules are holistic (hence their being written in natural language as much as possible and with little strict separation between "flavour" and "hard rules"), those can be considered a definitive summary of what a ranger is and what a ranger does.

If you want your ranger to deviate from the default presented in the PHB, well and good, but it is simply a fact that the class and subclass in 5e provide both mechanics and a default flavour.
You missed what I was responding to. This was originally a reply to someone who suggested Rangers have to align to one conclave and would take away this ability to deviate.

I am fine with PHB ranger, and I think with the TCE options and subclasses it presents a fun and balanced class that can be used to build a lot of different character ideas.

I think in terms of combat builds Ranger RAW also allows more versatility than any other class. You can be a devastating sniper, a bone crunching melee gal, a scout/skirmisher, a Gish or combinations/blends of these. You can even get pretty darn close to a full on caster through early tier 3 with the right feat selections.
 
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Mordhau

Explorer
But the dagger always does 1d4 and it does that whether it is a 1st level Rogue or a 20th level fighter wielding it. The fireball is magic and really has no place in a discussion on scaling non-magic abilities.
It does because it lays bare the maths of the game. Look at Mearls own design videos where he points at magic damage progression explicitly as a guide to how much damage non-magical abilities should do at certain levels.

Realism is all well and good but the maths of the game has to come first. If realism is the goal then the maths need to enable it.

A weapon always doing the same damage is an illusion based on the prevalence of multi-attacking in the game. You could do the same with traps I guess (your trap is so good that in fact when you lay a trap it is actually three traps).
 

I see a lot of people who want a non-casting Ranger. I am wondering what the draw is here and why people don't like a casting Ranger?

Specifically why do we see this with the Ranger but not with the Paladin?

Not saying it is right or wrong, just kind of curious about why the push for it.
Bit late to the party but I don't like the caster Paladin any more than I like the caster Ranger--in fact, I like Paladins as casters less than I like Rangers as casters!

The key problem being, it's extremely hard to have potent, mystical powers in 5e without being a spellcaster. Spellcasting is where the real power and diversity can be found. This makes me very sad.
 

niklinna

Looking for group
We recently created a Ranger using choices as the warlocks invocations. If you are interested,

That's pretty cool. I was going to add a comment to my big list of themed features about how there were so many, it might be hard to choose; I've already talked about that in other responses here, though, and this is a good approach. I like that Favored Foe is optional—that's one longstanding Ranger feature I've never been particularly fond of. I really like the option to make commanding the companion to attack be a free action. :)

There's no info on the conclaves, is that available separately?

(Sadly, GMBinder's PDF generation is still completely broken for any browser other than Chrome.)
 

I mean DMs don't know what is easy, moderately difficult, or hard for a ranger to do. The community doesn't agree on what they are.

That's my point from way back in in the early pages.

We can't even, in a thread about rangers, agree which level a nonspell casting ranger can speak to animals... if ever. And that's the whole problem with the non-spell-casting ranger. Every homebrew nonspellcasting ranger puts features at different levels and different strengths. Without spells as a gauge, we as a community cannot agree what and what level a ranger can do anything rangery.
This isn't a thread about building a new ranger, but rather why do people want a non-magical one.

Pick - You want the ghillie suit at first level? Do it, sounds great! Ranger traps do a 1d8 / 2 levels? Sounds good. Should there be a cap? Does the ranger know animal anatomy enough to make a weakening attack / shot? Save or slow / fall out of the air? Sounds rangery! Your bolded point is absurd and irrelevant. If someone wants to formulate a non-magical ranger look to the fighter, rogue, and monk. Equal portions of the first two, a jigger of monk, and season with druid to taste.

I don't really have an owlbear in the fight, but there's a lot of kvetching and not a lot of solving. Not that solving the problem was the point of the thread, but rather an interest in people's motivations. I just look to mug 5E for concepts and rifle through it's pockets for loose rules.
 

Minigiant

Legend
This isn't a thread about building a new ranger, but rather why do people want a non-magical one.

Pick - You want the ghillie suit at first level? Do it, sounds great! Ranger traps do a 1d8 / 2 levels? Sounds good. Should there be a cap? Does the ranger know animal anatomy enough to make a weakening attack / shot? Save or slow / fall out of the air? Sounds rangery! Your bolded point is absurd and irrelevant. If someone wants to formulate a non-magical ranger look to the fighter, rogue, and monk. Equal portions of the first two, a jigger of monk, and season with druid to taste.

I don't really have an owlbear in the fight, but there's a lot of kvetching and not a lot of solving. Not that solving the problem was the point of the thread, but rather an interest in people's motivations. I just look to mug 5E for concepts and rifle through it's pockets for loose rules.

I already explained this reason.
The D&D fanbase and D&D IP owners have always pushed D&D to be more and more magical and spell based.
This nudges the ranger class to be more magical and spell based.
Rangers of popular fiction are usually not in settings as magical and spell based as D&D.
This creates a hole as fans also want to play ranger characters similar to fiction and nonfiction in D&D.

However due to lack of ranger consensus within the community, reluctance to adjust magic, martial and skill levels of the fandom. the designers reluctance to act on their own due to fear of backlash, and the evermoving churn of new product means the non-spell casting ranger never comes from official channels.

This creates a feedback loop as the missing concept never materializes in a full official form, stays missing, and increases the popularity.
 

ScuroNotte

Explorer
That's pretty cool. I was going to add a comment to my big list of themed features about how there were so many, it might be hard to choose; I've already talked about that in other responses here, though, and this is a good approach. I like that Favored Foe is optional—that's one longstanding Ranger feature I've never been particularly fond of. I really like the option to make commanding the companion to attack be a free action. :)

There's no info on the conclaves, is that available separately?

(Sadly, GMBinder's PDF generation is still completely broken for any browser other than Chrome.)
Thank you. I am certain there may be other talents others may wish to include, but these, and its variations, were in most homebrew versions.

Never been fond on Favored Foe (FF) either, but many do like the feature and that is why it is included. Still debating on whether FF II should be offered with a recovery after short rest.

Yes, I consider the free action to command beast similar to the Fighter's extra attack at 11th level.

Sorry, I only have it on GMBinder as of now. So far the conclaves are similar to others I have posted elsewhere in the past, but I am concurrently reviewing them for improvement and if compatible to the core companion option. Please offer suggestions. Thanks.

 

niklinna

Looking for group
Thank you. I am certain there may be other talents others may wish to include, but these, and its variations, were in most homebrew versions.
Have a look at my list of ideas earlier for some inspiration. 😉
Sorry, I only have it on GMBinder as of now. So far the conclaves are similar to others I have posted elsewhere in the past, but I am concurrently reviewing them for improvement and if compatible to the core companion option. Please offer suggestions. Thanks.
I will have a look and PM you with suggestions! (Also I believe GMBinder has an option to pre-generate a PDF for download, but I don't know how practical it is.)

Back to mulling over whether to get physical books for A5E....
 

my first game with every DM is as a ranger unless banned or unable to roll the stats. I've played... a lot of... ranger.
OK.

A suggestion, if I may: next time you start a new campaign, work with your DM before, during, and after Session Zero to design the non-spellcasting Ranger you desire to play. You and your DM will likely have to compromise on a few details but it is something you really can do. It truly doesn't need to be official or sanctioned by "The Community" to be fun. And, if you do it, be sure to let us know how it goes. Happy gaming!
 

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