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View Full Version : The Retooled Ranger: because rangin' isn't just shootin' and dual-wieldin'



T.G. Oskar
2010-08-24, 05:35 PM
Missies n' gents, boys and girls big n' small! Y'all otherworldly strangers and sons-only-their-mother-could-love are welcome too!

I presume you guys must have missed me. Did you? Didn't you? Oh well, a lapse of three months isn't something to brag upon, and there's some brew that if I don't post, it'll get stale.

Take the Ranger. The concept of the Ranger is bizarre: from the very first edition of the Ranger, this fella is a warrior with some magical knowledge and some animal affinity, but in the end, it has always been associated with the range. Both the range and the range. Don't know what I'm speaking of? Well, I mean the range (as in the plains, the vast and extense territory) and the range (fighting from distance using one or more ranged weapons). This should evoke various archetypes.

Sadly, only two images usually present themselves:


http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:gvWFSAW5UQBSBM:http://arwen-undomiel.com/images/legolas/Legolas_bow.jpg&t=1

One is of the bow-wielding archer ranger, deft in shooting several arrows from the quiver, usually from high atop a tree. Elven friend Legolas is a good example of this.

Then there's the opposite. Yes, the opposite. You'll hate me for this:

http://img4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20070618040404/forgottenrealms/images/e/e7/Drizzt_Do'Urden_-_SoD_-_Todd_Lockwood.jpg

The other is the guy who wields two weapons, dancing majestically while delivering death with two impossibly sharp weapons. And yes, to play with the opposition, Drizzt Do'Urden, often imitated but never equaled Dark Elf, is the poster boy of this fighting style.

But...what happened to the other rangers? I mean, we won't certainly consider rangers like these guys:

http://jeffsandquist.com/images/posts/LookingforYogiBear_1189F/ranger.gif

Sorry Mr. Ranger, but you can't survive on a real range. You know, that with owlbears and aberrations.


https://bridgeproject.wikispaces.com/file/view/power_rangers_2.jpg/89093309/power_rangers_2.jpg

No offense guys: I still do a mighty arm-pump when I see ya, but you're just too unrealistic for a D&D game. Maybe if Sentai rules were implemented (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=140247)...


http://i3.3djuegos.com/juegos/1612/pokemon_ranger/fotos/analisis/pokemon_ranger-250157.jpg

Well, exceptions can be made, no? Pet Rangers could be useful, but then again, that's why you have Druids, no?

So, what are we looking on a ranger? What happened to desert rangers, or sea rangers, or even underground rangers!? What happened to Walker, or Geronimo, or the gauchos, or the pirates!? They could be Rangers, not that hard enough to be precise; it just needs some imagination.

Thus, after the moderate success of the Samurai, and the implementation of the Bez-Kismet which has certainly caused...little impression, but hey, it's available around, I have decided to take my tools and work on the Ranger. Will it be good? Will it be bad? Will it be ugly...?

Only time will tell...meanwhile, get a good Morricone song (it can be Ecstasy of Gold, but it can also be something else) and enjoy the...


RANGER

http://th06.deviantart.net/fs45/PRE/i/2009/098/3/4/Twisted_Princess__Pocahontas_by_jeftoon01.jpg
Pocahontas: Twisted Princess by jeftoon01. Original can be seen here (http://jeftoon01.deviantart.com/art/Twisted-Princess-Pocahontas-118583763).

"Let the shaman speak to you of the bounty of saving nature. I will teach you what happens when you spoil it..."

MAKING A RANGER (or, what has and hasn't changed):
Abilities: A ranger is a melee combatant first and foremost, so you'll want Strength and/or Dexterity to be quite high; however, regardless of what path you choose, Dexterity will always be a strong choice. Constitution is also important, as you want a strong Fortitude save and the consequent amount of Hit Points. Wisdom is a minimal requirement: it helps your spellcasting and your Will saves, but no more than a 14 is necessary to take advantage of this class.
Races: Regardless of the baggage, elves make excellent rangers. They have a hit on Constitution, but also a strong Dexterity which helps. Half-orcs, oddly, make also excellent rangers, if they focus on the ability to grapple or use throwing weapons. Dwarves may seem a bit off, but what they actually lose is Charisma; they prefer to use axes, and deal with underground or mountain creatures, and most specifically against the enemies of their people.
Amongst other savage humanoids, expect orcs, most large goblinoids such as hobgoblins and bugbears, and others as rangers. Usually, while the barbarian is the warrior of the savage lands, the ranger is the "rogue-type" of the savage lands.
Alignment: The Ranger has no alignment restrictions, because no alignment has restrictions against Rangers. Good Rangers usually focus their abilities towards protection of their range (be it the always-present forest, the waste, or even the seven seas in command of a ship), while evil Rangers exploit the concept of their favored enemy as a concept of pure enmity.
Starting Age: As PHB Ranger
Starting Gold: As PHB Ranger

Class Skills
The ranger class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Disable Device (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (geography) (Int), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Search (Int), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), and Use Rope (Dex).
Skill Points at 1st Level: (6 + Int modifier) x4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 6 + Int modifier.

Can you believe in last-minute changes? Then do so.

Originally, the list was basically a carbon-copy of the Ranger skill list, with the odd addition of Balance. Certainly, you might see a Ranger with proper balance: Rangers are pretty athletic on what they do, which is traversing the range to and fro. Tree-hugging Rangers travel through thin branches, trying their best not to fall. Same as plains Rangers traveling through bridges, and so forth. So, why not add Balance?

Then I figured out two more things. Tumble usually represents the athletic ability to do rolls and moving erratically amongst the terrain, but we all know it's code for "not getting Attacks of Opportunity". So, why not add it to the Ranger, since most skill-monkeys (of which a Ranger belongs to) have them? Also, why Disable Device and not Open Lock? Well, Rangers can be expected to mount traps and search for them; the idea of making them capable of disarming said traps makes a heckuva lot of sense.

These last two weren't in the list of skills. After a brief stint, I thought to myself: "Self, what the heck? You thought of that, so why not give it to them?"

And thus, now Rangers can disable traps and other mechanical maladies, not to mention tumble their way out of trouble like the little daredevils they are. They still don't eclipse the Rogue, but hey, it's a proper start, no?

Hit Die: d8

The Ranger


Level
Base Attack Bonus
Fort Save
Ref Save
Will Save
Special
0lvl
1st
2nd
3rd
4th


1st
+1

+2

+2

+0
Combat Style, Favored Enemy +2, Track, Wild Empathy
2
-
-
-
-


2nd
+2

+3

+3

+0
Trapfinding
3
-
-
-
-


3rd
+3

+3

+3

+1
Fast Movement (10 ft.)
3
-
-
-
-


4th
+4

+4

+4

+1
Animal Companion, Bonus Feat
3
0
-
-
-


5th
+5

+4

+4

+1
Favored Enemy +4, Uncanny Dodge
3
1
-
-
-


6th
+6/+1

+5

+5

+2
Improved Combat Style
3
1
-
-
-


7th
+7/+2

+5

+5

+2
Swift Tracker, Woodland Strikde
4
1
-
-
-


8th
+8/+3

+6

+6

+2
Bonus Feat, Camouflage
4
2
0
-
-


9th
+9/+4

+6

+6

+3
Evasion
4
2
1
-
-


10th
+10/+5

+7

+7

+3
Favored Enemy +6, Favored Terrain +2
4
2
1
-
-


11th
+11/+6/+1

+7

+7

+3
Combat Style Mastery, Improved Uncanny Dodge
5
2
1
0
-


12th
+12/+7/+2

+8

+8

+4
Bonus Feat, Hide in Plain Sight
5
3
2
1
-


13th
+13/+8/+3

+8

+8

+4
Trackless Step, Uncanny Tracker
5
3
2
1
-


14th
+14/+9/+4

+9

+9

+4
Improved Evasion
5
3
2
2
0


15th
+15/+10/+5

+9

+9

+5
Favored Enemy +8, Favored Terrain +4
5
3
3
2
1


16th
+16/+11/+6/+1

+10

+10

+5
Bonus Feat, Combat Style Supremacy
5
4
3
2
1


17th
+17/+12/+7/+2

+10

+10

+5
Survival Mastery
5
4
3
3
2


18th
+18/+13/+8/+3

+11

+11

+6
Undetectable
5
4
4
3
2


19th
+19/+14/+9/+4

+11

+11

+6

5
4
4
3
3


20th
+20/+15/+10/+5

+12

+12

+6
Bonus Feat, Favored Enemy +10, Favored Plane +2, Favored Terrain +6
5
4
4
3
3



Mostly the typical Ranger setup. If you've played a Ranger, it should be pretty familiar.

Still, you'll notice some changes. The first and the foremost is the 0-level spell slots. This is because the Ranger can cast spells right from the beginning, even if only orisons. This is good, since it also means the...well, lemme explain on the spell section, right?

The other is that there are more bonus feats than before. That is because of a big change in how the Combat Style works. You'll see once we get there.

The biggest disappointment might be the d8 instead of a proper d10. Thing is, Rangers are half-and-half in terms of HP potential: nothing like the actual Fighters, but nothing like the Rogues. So it's a medium term. Don't expect this to change so suddenly, since the Ranger works fine with a d8 (it's the Cleric which shouldn't have a d8, but that's me).

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the ranger.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A ranger is proficient with all simple and martial weapons plus the bolas and net, with light and medium armor, and with light shields.

Two massive changes. First, bolas and net: why so? Because they're awesome. Because they're classic capturing weapons, which might help and give a better flavor to good-aligned Rangers.

But the second is more important: medium armor. Rangers suffer a lot because they are light-armor warriors, but they may be expected on the front row. A breastplate, or a chain shirt, might not be too cumbersome nor too spectacular a change on a ranger, and in any case, people might go for mithral breastplates or mithral chainmail in the very end. I mean, even Aragorn, a supposed Ranger (of the North, I might add) uses a full-plate in the end, and unless he multiclassed or something, he shouldn't have worn full-plate armor. Unless he had proficiency in medium armor and wore a mithral fullplate, which may be the choice. In any case, medium armor is seldom loved (again, except for the breastplate) and it's time to give it some love.

Spells: A ranger casts divine spells, which are drawn from the druid spell list plus a few spells added to the list below. A ranger must choose and prepare his spells in advance (see below).

To prepare or cast a spell, a ranger must have a Wisdom score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a rangerís spell is 10 + the spell level + the rangerís Wisdom modifier.

Like other spellcasters, a ranger can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on Table: The Ranger. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Wisdom score. When Table: The Ranger indicates that the ranger gets 0 spells per day of a given spell level, he gains only the bonus spells he would be entitled to based on his Wisdom score for that spell level.

A ranger prepares and casts spells the way a druid does, though he cannot lose a prepared spell to cast a Summon Nature's Ally spell in its place. A ranger may prepare and cast any spell on the druid spell list (see Playerís Handbook), with the following exceptions: a ranger may not prepare spells from the evocation or necromancy schools (with a few exceptions). A ranger, however, may prepare spells that are not available on the druid spell list and that are unique to him. A ranger may prepare and cast any spell on his spell list, provided that he can cast spells of that level, but he must choose which spells to prepare during his daily meditation.

If you guys saw the Bez-Kismet, I mentioned you could cast spells from the Sorcerer/Wizard spellbook, with a few exceptions. The Ranger gets the same from the Druid.

So people might have asked, why keep the spellcasting ability of the Ranger? The reasons are simple, but effective; there's a MASSIVE support for Ranger spells virtually everywhere, and they aren't painful in any case. Doing some minor healing, calling animals, getting awareness of location and whatnot. Up until 4th Edition, which changed everything, the Ranger has had a reasonable amount of spellcasting; in fact, the very 1st Edition Ranger had 1st and 2nd level Wizard spells, for crying out loud!

Now, Rangers get most of their pull from Druid spells, which are a mixed blessing. They aren't the uber-buffing spells Clerics get, but they are a nice bunch of spells in any case. Most of the old Ranger faves are still around, including those in many of the supplements; what the Ranger gets is the low-level Druid spell list as well. The biggest hit is Evocation (since the Druid spell list is full of high-damaging Evocations), but Rangers are best served by buffing themselves to high-heaven.

Oh, and they get 0-level spells. They also get caster level equal to their character level. This helps minimize their insane "sucky spellcasting" problem, even though in the end they'll still cast 4th level spells when the Druid and the Cleric and the Sorcerer and the Wizard are casting 9th level spells and so forth, but they are dedicated spellcasters, of course.

Combat Style (Ex): Rangers are hunters at heart. Whether the ranger learns his trade on the forest, the plain, the desert, or even the open sea, each learns similar tactics. They observe the dominant predators of nature, the tactics they use, and how their quarry adopts typical traits of the common prey. Rangers learn these tactics from the very source, refine them as the hunters have done in earlier times, and improve upon them as only a few are capable of.

At 1st level, the ranger may choose from one of the following combat styles. Each combat style grants a set of benefits related to the weapons or tactics used:
Archery: A ranger that follows this combat style uses the humble bow and arrow, a common tool used by the earliest hunters. He gains Rapid Shot as a bonus feat even if he doesnít meet the prerequisites.
Capture: A ranger that follows this combat style seeks not to kill, but to capture; some would say play with or humiliate their quarry. He gains Improved Grapple and Improved Trip as bonus feats, even if he doesnít meet the prerequisites.
Throwing: A ranger that follows this combat style prefers using light throwing weapons, covering a close range but remaining useful within melee. He gains Point Blank Shot and Far Shot as bonus feats.
Two-Weapon Fighting: A ranger that follows this combat style uses a weapon in each hand, in order to face several enemies within range. He gains Two-Weapon Fighting as a bonus feat even if he doesnít meet the prerequisites.

You might recognize Combat Style. Usually, it's a collection of specific combat abilities focused in the use of specific weapons. As usual, Archery and Two-Weapon Fighting are here: the Archery line is the classic hunter/forest dweller/native line, while Two-Weapon Fighting deals mostly with dervishes and desert-dwellers. However, there are two new Combat Styles around, which are also useful to have.

One, of course, is Capture. A ranger of this kind is your cowboy, your gaķcho, or your law enforcement citizen. Capture works roughly along the lines of using the bolas or the net (hence, why they are Ranger weapons now) along with the quintessential grapple. They also have Improved Trip, so as to prevent their escape.

The other is Throwing. Thrown weapons are red-headed stepchildren in D&D; you rarely see a character using thrown weapons. Think of Native Americans using tomahawks; despite using rare weapons for a Ranger, in everything else they resemble the class (they have favored enemies, communion with nature, and so forth). Throwing also makes for a rare kind of Ranger, the one that can exist in urban settings or in carnivals, delighting people with their throwing finesse but usually protecting the city or the tent at night.

There might be other combat styles around, but these are the four essential ones to my consideration. However, the resemblance to the old combat styles ends here. If you've seen the retooled Samurai, you know what I speak of.

Favored Enemy (Ex): At 1st level, a ranger may select a type of creature from among those given on Table: Ranger Favored Enemies. The ranger gains a +2 bonus on Hide, Listen, Move Silently, Spot, and Survival checks when using these skills against creatures of this type. Likewise, he gets a +2 bonus on attack rolls and weapon damage rolls against such creatures.

At 5th level and every five levels thereafter (10th, 15th, and 20th level), the ranger may select an additional favored enemy from those given on the table. In addition, at each such interval, the bonus against all favored enemies (including the one just selected) increases by 2.

If the ranger chooses humanoids or outsiders as a favored enemy, he must also choose an associated subtype, as indicated on the table. If a specific creature falls into more than one category of favored enemy, the rangerís bonuses do not stack; he simply uses whichever bonus is higher.

Ranger Favored Enemies


Type (Subtype)
Type (Subtype)


Aberration
Humanoid (reptilian)


Animal
Magical beast


Construct
Monstrous humanoid


Dragon
Ooze


Elemental
Outsider (air)


Fey
Outsider (chaotic)


Giant
Outsider (earth)


Humanoid (aquatic)
Outsider (evil)


Humanoid (dwarf)
Outsider (fire)


Humanoid (elf)
Outsider (good)


Humanoid (goblinoid)
Outsider (lawful)


Humanoid (gnoll)
Outsider (native)


Humanoid (gnome)
Outsider (water)


Humanoid (halfling)
Plant


Humanoid (human)
Undead


Humanoid (orc)
Vermin



At 10th level, a ranger gains the ability to replace one of his favored enemies by another. To do so, the ranger must spend an entire week studying about and training on the battle techniques of the favored enemy to be chosen. Once chosen, the ranger chooses which of the favored enemies to replace. By accepting a voluntary penalty of -2 on the bonus, the exchange may be done after a day; the penalty vanishes after a week in which the ranger has exchanged his favored enemy bonus.

First, you'll notice some fundamental changes. The list of skills in which the favored bonus applies has changed to something less idiotic. Urban Trackers might get a better kick out of Bluff or Sense Motive; real trackers will always get their quarry, and will rarely, if ever, be surprised by it. Thus, while they keep their Spot and Listen bonus, as well as their Survival bonus, they get bonuses against them in terms of Hide and Move Silently.

The second is adding the favored enemy bonus to attack rolls. This is also something reasonable: if you are capable of beating the living daylights out of your favored enemy, why the heck you don't know the places where they have less protection, or even their preferred evasive tactics? Thus, favored enemies now also boost your attack.

Aside from that, Favored Enemy is the same loved and hated ability that Rangers had since...1st Edition. Except 1st Edition favored enemies were brutally restricted.

UPDATE: Now, favored enemies have an exchange clause. Sort of like how a martial adept changes a learned maneuver, a ranger can exchange his favored enemy with some time of training, or with a penalty for rushed exchanges. That way, the ranger is always ready for whatever it comes, but it can either change at the moment or change with some time to learn the ropes appropriately.

UPDATE (the second): If you've played DDO, you might have noticed that the ranger gains the bonus on all favored enemies instead of just a specific bonus. While a bonus of +10 seems insanely strong (and it is, actually), it's nothing compared to...say, having creatures with 20 or 30 times that amount. With the exchange clause, you can twink your ranger to face the threats ahead, and with five favored enemies...

Track: A ranger gains Track as a bonus feat.

Legacy ability. Rangers are meant to be excellent trackers, and the Swift Tracker special ability helps on that. Thus, they keep this first bonus feat.

Wild Empathy (Ex): A ranger can improve the attitude of an animal. This ability functions just like a Diplomacy check to improve the attitude of a person. The ranger rolls 1d20 and adds his ranger level and his Wisdom bonus to determine the wild empathy check result. The typical domestic animal has a starting attitude of indifferent, while wild animals are usually unfriendly.
To use wild empathy, the ranger and the animal must be able to study each other, which means that they must be within 30 feet of one another under normal visibility conditions. Generally, influencing an animal in this way takes 1 minute, but, as with influencing people, it might take more or less time.
The ranger can also use this ability to influence a magical beast with an Intelligence score of 1 or 2, but he takes a Ė4 penalty on the check.

W-W-Wisdom!?

Yep, Wisdom. Unnecessary need for Charisma, and Wisdom is usually perceived as the base for perception, which may make even a jerk show that it has a heart of gold, even if it has horrible interpersonal skills. It's also so that you don't depend on Charisma anymore. Wild Empathy isn't any different from what it was, however, so it's not a massive change...

Trapfinding: From 2nd level and onwards, a ranger may use the Search skill to locate traps when the task has a Difficulty Class higher than 20.

Finding a nonmagical trap has a DC of at least 20, or higher if it is well hidden. Finding a magic trap has a DC of 25 + the level of the spell used to create it.

Rangers can use the Disable Device skill to disarm magic traps. A magic trap generally has a DC of 25 + the level of the spell used to create it. A ranger who beats a trapís DC by 10 or more with a Disable Device check can study a trap, figure out how it works, and bypass it (with his party) without disarming it.

This, however, is a big change.

Pretty much EVERYWHERE SANS D&D you've probably seen Rangers be master trap disarmers, usually at a lesser degree than the absolute masters of disarming (Rogues, naturally). So it makes little sense that you couldn't sense traps of a magical kind, considering you are capable of casting trap spells...

Thus, a mild rectification. Trapfinding makes the Ranger more of a scout and skill-monkey than it ever was, and for many a good reason.

Fast Movement (Ex): A 3rd level rangerís land speed is faster than the norm for his race by +10 feet. This benefit applies only when he is wearing no armor, light armor, or medium armor and not carrying a heavy load. Apply this bonus before modifying the rangerís speed because of any load carried or armor worn. This method of fast movement stacks with other bonuses to speed (such as the enhancement bonus to speed gained by means of the haste spell)

Another surprise.

Why does the Ranger needs or requires fast movement? Well, one of the reasons is because otherwise their quarry would disappear. Another is because they favor mobility, moving from one spot to another. Another is that they have Longstrider, so it makes sense.

The real reason? Why not?

Umm...the actual real reason is 'why not?', you guys...

Oh well, allow me to explain: there is no real specific reason why a Ranger must have fast movement, but there's also no specific real reason why a Ranger mustn't. They'll wear medium armor (which entails a movement penalty), they are a bit more mobile now what with Tumble and Balance, they have Woodland Stride which is a frickin' movement-related ability (which means a Ranger was actually expected to be mobile), so there's really few reasons why it shouldn't have fast movement.

Now, should you expect this of every other class? Maybe for the Rogue, but the Fighter types are either mounted or in armor so heavy they will barely be capable of running, so they have less reasons than a Ranger does.

Bonus Feat: At 4th level and every four levels afterwards, a ranger gains a bonus feat. The ranger may choose from the list of fighter bonus feats. A ranger is treated as a fighter of his class level minus three for purpose of feats that have a fighter bonus prerequisite.

If you've seen the retooled Monk or the retooled Samurai, you might expect this. Rangers are, much like Paladins, pretty feat-starved, considering that they have a specific feat path to follow. Now, they no longer have a specific path to follow, so they'll be feat-starved even more. Thus, they get bonus feats to compensate.

So what does this imply for combat styles? Read on.

Animal Companion (Ex): At 4th level, a ranger gains an animal companion selected from the following list: badger, camel, dire rat, dog, riding dog, eagle, hawk, horse (light or heavy), owl, pony, snake (Small or Medium viper), or wolf. If the campaign takes place wholly or partly in an aquatic environment, the following creatures may be added to the rangerís list of options: crocodile, porpoise, Medium shark, and squid. This animal is a loyal companion that accompanies the ranger on his adventures as appropriate for its kind.

This ability functions like the druid ability of the same name, except that the rangerís effective druid level is equal to his ranger level -3. A ranger may select from the alternative lists of animal companions just as a druid can, though again his effective druid level is equal to his ranger level -3. Like a druid, a ranger cannot select an alternative animal if the choice would reduce his effective druid level below 1st.

For those people that were worried that Rangers would lose their pets, fear not. For those who believe that Rangers don't need pets, well...

One massive difference from the original animal companion is that Rangers now have a less powerful, but still reasonably powerful companion. Class level -3 means the companion will be a tad weaker, but it will grow stronger as the Ranger progresses, becoming a valuable partner as time progresses. Even the oft-mentioned Drizzt has Gwenhwyvar (surprise as how I recall that bit of trivia, huh?), which has all the traits of "animal companion" except it's a tad more powerful. With the change, you can have a throwing-focused ranger mounting a dire bear while launching tomahawks from the air, if you want.

Now, will this imply that players will play pets with Ranger companions? Not necessarily, I hope not, but now Rangers will have a proper battling partner which won't be a nuisance. Like...well, not exactly like a familiar, perhaps as a hexblade's familiar (unless you're using a bez-kismet, in which case disregard that).

Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 5th level, a ranger retains his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if he is caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, he still loses his Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. If a ranger already has uncanny dodge from a different class, he automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead.

Uncanny Dodge?

Yep, Uncanny Dodge. You see, the ranger is usually the hunter, the prey, the one that lays in hiding and leaps to the ambush. Then...why in the Seven Mounting Heavens of Celestia does the ranger lack the ability to refuse being caught unaware!? The ranger has a sixth sense formed from constantly seeing the camouflaged prey and nature itself, so why it can't apply this benefit to his fighting style!?

Hence, this was rectified.

Improved Combat Style (Ex): At 6th level, a rangerís aptitude in his chosen combat style improves.
Archery: A ranger may attack in with any ranged weapon without provoking attacks of opportunity if he is in a threatened area. Furthermore, he deals extra damage with ranged attacks equal to his Dexterity modifier to all creatures except those immune to critical hits (unless the ranger treats the creature as a favored enemy; the extra damage is still negated if the creature has some sort of fortification)
Capture: A ranger is treated as one size larger for purposes of grappling or tripping opponents. Furthermore, he may use his Dexterity modifier or his Strength modifier for purposes of grappling or tripping, whichever is higher.
Throwing: The range increment of all thrown weapons used by the ranger increase by 30 feet. Furthermore, he may attack in with any ranged weapon without provoking attacks of opportunity if he is in a threatened area.
Two-Weapon Fighting: A rangerís penalties when fighting with two weapons are reduced by 2, to a minimum of 0 penalty on the attack roll. Furthermore, he may use his Dexterity modifier or his Strength modifier for his attack and damage rolls, whichever is higher.

The benefits of the rangerís chosen improved combat style apply only when he wears armor no heavier than medium. He loses all benefits of his combat style when wearing heavy armor.

As you may have noticed, the improved combat style is now really an improvement, rather than a simple "well, have some more feats now, then run off and play with them". These are actual abilities meant to enhance the use of these weapons.

Archery finally gets to use Dexterity for damage, although it's treated somewhat like Sneak Attack. Still, if you have favored enemy, you can bypass that restriction. This means you won't depend on Strength that much anymore. One note on fortification: when I mean "fortification", I mean the Warforged's light fortification or the fortification armor special property. Constructs are immune to critical hits and sneak attacks, but they also have fortification; if you have constructs as favored enemies, you should deal Dex damage to constructs as usual, even if they are fortified. However, if you're dealing with an elven warrior using Heavy Fortification Mithral armor (to mention an example), the elf still becomes immune to the added Dex modifier to damage, even if you have it as a favored enemy.

Capture makes you focus either on swift and unexpected grapples, or brute strength grapples. You've probably seen this on the Monk and the Samurai retoolings anyways, but one of the best buffs to combat maneuvers is a mini-powerful build benefit. Treating yourself as one size category larger does a world of benefit, believe me.

Throwing allows you to use weapons on a much more reasonable distance. You can get stuff like Quick Draw, TWF, and deliver a rain of attacks from either ground zero or from a reasonable distance.

Finally, Two-Weapon Fighting now allows for higher Dexterity and not much importance on Strength, allowing you to follow the path much more easily. Another big benefit is the total reduction of penalties, at least if you're wielding a light-weapon in the off-hand. It also allows you to use other weapons aside from light weapons or rapiers, which is a big benefit.

Swift Tracker (Ex): Beginning at 7th level, a ranger can move at his normal speed while following tracks without taking the normal Ė5 penalty. He takes only a Ė10 penalty (instead of the normal Ė20) when moving at up to twice normal speed while tracking.

Woodland Stride (Ex): Starting at 7th level, a ranger may move through any sort of undergrowth (such as natural thorns, briars, overgrown areas, and similar terrain) at his normal speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment.

However, thorns, briars, and overgrown areas that are enchanted or magically manipulated to impede motion still affect him.

Legacy abilities. Not much to speak of them. Swift Tracker makes you track faster, Woodland Stride makes you walk faster and safer on natural hazards.

Camouflage (Ex): A ranger of 8th level or higher can use the Hide skill in any sort of natural terrain, even if the terrain doesnít grant cover or concealment.

Legacy ability. You can Hide like nobody does. What's not to love about this?

UPDATE: Now accessible from earlier levels. Makes sense, since the ability is a modifier to Hide but by this moment you have more than one distraction to hide yourself.

Evasion (Ex): At 9th level, a ranger can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If he makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, he instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the ranger is wearing armor no heavier than medium. A helpless ranger does not gain the benefit of evasion.

Remember when I mentioned that the Ranger was great for mobility? Usually, a great mobile character has Evasion on its list of class abilities. Thus, if you can roll out of damage or move swiftly out of damage, why not have Tumble or fast movement? Aside from that, same legacy ability.

Favored Terrain (Ex): At 10th level, a ranger may select a type of terrain or environment from among those given on Table: Ranger Favored Terrains. Due to the ranger's experience in that terrain or environment, he gains a +2 bonus on Hide, Listen, Move Silently, Spot, and Survival checks when using these skills in that environment. He also gains the same bonus on Knowledge (nature) checks made in association with that environment (or on Knowledge (dungeoneering) checks made in association with underground environments, if the ranger has selected underground as a favored environment). Likewise, he gets a +2 bonus on attack rolls and weapon damage rolls against any creature native to the environment; this bonus to attack rolls and weapon damage rolls applies even if the creature is outside the chosen terrain or environment, but not when the creature currently remains within the terrain and isnít native to the environment.
At 15th level and again at 20th level, the ranger may select an additional favored terrain from those given on the table and gains an identical bonus on the appropriate skill checks in that environment, as well as attack rolls and weapon damage rolls against creatures native to the environment. In addition, at each such interval, the bonuses in all favored terrains (including the one just selected) increase by 2.
If the ranger chooses desert or forest, he must also choose a climate type, as indicated on the table (either "cold" or "temperate or warm" for desert, or "cold or temperate" or "warm" for forest). If a creature native to the environment is also a favored enemy, the bonuses on skills, attack rolls and damage rolls stack.



Table: Ranger Favored Terrains


Aquatic


Desert, cold


Desert, temperate or warm


Forest, cold or temperate


Forest, warm


Hills


Marsh


Mountains


Plains


Underground



At 15th level, a ranger gains the ability to replace one of his favored terrains by another. To do so, the ranger must spend an entire week studying about the favored terrain to be chosen. Once chosen, the ranger chooses which of his favored terrains to replace. By accepting a voluntary penalty of -2 on the bonus, the exchange may be done after a day; the penalty vanishes after a week in which the ranger has exchanged his favored terrain bonus.

This is my proposal of favored terrain. Basically, you choose a terrain within the Material Plane with which you're familiar with, and then you gain bonuses while at it. You don't merely get bonuses on the area; you also get bonuses against the local fauna and flora, which means you can by those levels replace your Favored Enemies with better ones and get the benefit from a terrain. If you spend most of the time underground, then you can specialize on being underground (Dwarven "cavers", ahoy! This means you can play the explorer type with little to no problem), or you can specialize in a cold desert (for you Frostfell dwellers). It's a natural expansion from Favored Enemy, and rightfully so.

UPDATE: Since Favored Enemy was buffed, Favored Terrain was buffed in equal regard. This makes the poor favored enemy facing an Archery-specced Ranger on the favored terrain a dead creature...but it also allows you to diversify a bit.

Combat Style Mastery (Ex): At 11th level, a rangerís aptitude in his chosen combat style improves again.
Archery: The ranger improves his aim when using multiple arrows or shooting with increased speed. He may ignore the penalties when using the Rapid Shot or Manyshot feats. If he uses the Improved Rapid Shot feat, he may make one extra attack when using a full attack action; this is added to the benefit of the Rapid Shot feat.
Capture: The rangerís capture techniques seemingly blend; creatures facing the ranger often end up tangled and in the floor. If the ranger succeeds on grappling or tripping an opponent, the creature is treated as if entangled until the beginning of the rangerís next turn (even if it escapes or rises from prone). If a creature is entangled by means of a weapon, spell or special ability, the ranger gains a free trip attempt against it. If the ranger fails the trip attempt with a weapon, the creature cannot initiate a trip maneuver against him.
Throwing: The ranger throws weapons with such skill that they return to its hand. If a weapon is thrown within its first ranged increment, the weapon returns to the ranger as a free action (as if it had the returning special quality), ready to be used again. Thus, a ranger may make full ranged attacks with the same weapon.
Two-Weapon Fighting: The ranger strikes with both of his weapons using a fluid motion. At any moment a ranger makes a melee attack against an opponent, he attacks with both of his weapons, but takes a -2 penalty on the attack roll. If the attack roll is successful, the creature takes damage from both of the weapons, plus 1-1/2 times his Strength modifier. This benefit applies to attacks of opportunity, extra attacks gained by spells or special abilities (such as the extra attack gained by the Improved Trip feat), but does not apply to full attacks (including full attacks as part of a charge by means of the pounce ability); instead, he gains the benefit of the Two-Weapon Fighting feat, as usual. Whenever the ranger attacks with his two weapons in this way, he is treated as if holding a weapon with two hands for purposes of feats and abilities (such as the Power Attack feat). If the ranger is capable of dealing precision damage (such as sneak attack, and including the rangerís favored enemy bonus damage), it deals such damage as if using one weapon.

As before, the benefits of the rangerís chosen style apply only when he wears armor no heavier than medium. He loses all benefits of his combat style mastery when wearing heavy armor.

More love for our combat styles. Here's a clear divergence from what I did to the retooled Samurai: while the latter had supernatural abilities at that moment, the Ranger has full extraordinary abilities.

Archery adds more punch to the volley. You can ignore penalties when using Rapid Shot (not that important, although a -2 might hurt), when using Manyshot (so you throw a volley of arrows with absolutely no penalty), and Improved Rapid Shot grants you an extra attack that stacks with Rapid Shot (so that means...by this moment, five attacks with a bow).

Capture makes both grappling and tripping much easier. If you grapple, you can trip; if you trip, you can grapple. Well...more like if you grapple or entangle, you can attempt to trip and if you trip, you can entangle for a while. Entangle is a nasty ability, which prevents movement and hinders some actions; coupled with grapple, it can be pretty troubling. Freedom of Movement, of course, is the bane of this kind of ability, but remember that while those FoM users can't work that well on an antimagic field, you can. Well, at least a bit better.

Throwing now adds returning to the list. But not just ANY returning; FREE-ACTION returning. So you can now get a single weapon, make it as you like, and attack with a full attack. Better yet; why not use two? Furthermore, this works in an Antimagic Field, remember that.

Two-Weapon Fighting gains an ability that will make people smile. yes, as you can figure out, you're essentially making a standard action attack with two weapons as if they were used in two hands. The Strength modifier (or Dexterity modifier, that is) applies only once, but for those of you whom love TWF and Strength, you can apply Power Attack with TWF! Not only that, you can make the attack whenever you gain a melee attack, so it ignores Dual Hit and Two-Weapon Attack of Opportunity and those other feats. This is a big change, of course.

A bit of legacy is that you can't use these attacks on heavy armor. Still, you have medium armor to work out, so it's not that bad.

Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 11th level and higher, a ranger can no longer be flanked. This defense denies a rogue the ability to sneak attack the ranger by flanking him, unless the attacker has at least four more rogue levels than the target has ranger levels. If a character already has uncanny dodge from a second class, the character automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead, and the levels from the classes that grant uncanny dodge stack to determine the minimum level a rogue must be to flank the character.

And just as the Ranger gets Uncanny Dodge, he also gains Improved Uncanny Dodge. I find that the Ranger was meant to have this ability instead of the Barbarian, but the Barbarian got the ability and the ranger didn't. More justice for the ranger!

Hide in Plain Sight (Ex): While in any sort of natural terrain, a ranger of 12th level or higher can use the Hide skill even while being observed.

After some careful consideration, Hide in Plain sight was placed on an earlier level. You won't have much chances to use Hide in Plain Sight, so might as well get it while it still counts. It's a great ability, but acquired far too late.

Trackless Step (Ex): Starting at 13th level, a ranger leaves no trail in natural surroundings and cannot be tracked. He may choose to leave a trail if so desired.

A bit late, but makes perfect sense. Since when do you see a hunter leaving his tracks right at the open? By this level, a ranger should leave NO TRACKS WHATSOEVER. So yeah...

Uncanny Tracker (Su): Starting at 13th level, a ranger may track a creature moving under the effect of a pass without trace spell, the trackless step class ability or a similar feature, though he takes a -20 penalty to Survival checks to do so.

This ability is a cool cookie. The Ranger is the master of all trackers, the ultimate tracker in history...then why does his tracking mastery stops at...7th level? Now, not only does the Ranger leave no tracks, it can detect when other guys leave no tracks, effectively canceling his own ability.

Improved Evasion (Ex): At 14th level, a rangerís evasion ability improves. He still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks, but henceforth he takes only half damage on a failed save. A helpless ranger does not gain the benefit of improved evasion.

Surprise! Not only the Ranger gets Evasion, it gets the big brother too!

I'll admit, I got the idea from the Bez-Kismet (and other classes around, including the Monk). If you already have Evasion, why not take it one step further? Thus, Improved Evasion.

...And apparently I speak far too much. I'll use the other post to add the remaining abilities...

T.G. Oskar
2010-08-24, 08:17 PM
Combat Style Supremacy (Ex): At 16th level, a rangerís aptitude in his chosen combat style reaches its maximum definition.
Archery: the rangerís aim is improved, and swiftly compensates any missed shot. Per each attack in which the ranger succeeds on his attack roll, he gains a +2 insight bonus to attack rolls and damage rolls against the creature it targets; if he fails, he instead gains a +5 bonus. These bonuses are cumulative, and last until the end of the rangerís next round. In the case of multiple attacks, a ranger applies the bonus based on each individual case; thus, a ranger that has successfully struck a target once does not get the bonus on other targets, and viceversa. If the ranger succeeds on all attacks during a round, it gains a +1 competence bonus on attack rolls for the remainder of the encounter; this bonus is also cumulative.
Capture: the opponent that can evade the rangerís capture usually laments it. If the creature succeeds on a grapple check to prevent being grappled, or a trip check to prevent falling prone, the creature provokes an attack of opportunity. The ranger may do a single attack with his weapon, another grapple check, or another trip check if it so desires. Even if the ranger can make more than one attack of opportunity per round, the creature provokes an attack of opportunity through this way only once. If the creature attempts to escape through means of a teleportation ability, it also provokes an attack of opportunity that is resolved before the escape attempt; if successful, the creature must make a Concentration check (DC equal to 10 plus the amount of damage dealt by the rangerís attack) or risk failing to teleport away.
Throwing: the ranger develops a rhythm with his thrown weapons, with a striking finish. Whenever the ranger succeeds on attacks with a thrown weapon, it gains a +2 competence bonus on attack rolls for the next attack; this effect is cumulative and lasts until the rangerís next turn. If the ranger succeeds on the attack roll with the lowest attack bonus, the weapon gets lodged upon the creature and deals damage equal to the weapon damage, plus the rangerís Strength modifier, plus 1 extra point of damage per successful hit during that specific round; this damage is repeated each round unless the creature succeeds on a Strength check (DC equal to 10 + half the rangerís class level + the rangerís Strength or Dexterity modifier, whichever is higher)
Two-Weapon Fighting: the rangerís attacks develop a unique rhythmic pattern, which cause specific effects depending on the weapons wielded in both hands. If the ranger uses a slashing weapon on each hand, each successful attack causes the opponent to bleed, causing 2 points of damage per successful strike each round; the effect is cumulative and can be removed with a DC 15 Heal check or any kind of natural or magical healing. If the ranger uses a bludgeoning weapon on each hand, it deals damage equal to his Strength or Dexterity modifier on a missed attack. If the ranger uses a piercing weapon in each hand, all attacks done with them ignore damage reduction as if they were silver, cold iron, or adamantine weapons.
As before, the benefits of the rangerís chosen style apply only when he wears armor no heavier than medium. He loses all benefits of his combat style mastery when wearing heavy armor.

So, after seeing the early abilities, you might be wondering: how can I top that without going truly supernatural? How to do this with the range of "Extraordinary"?

I hope I did a great work on them all. I know that Archery will seem truly unfair, but...quite frankly, that's the idea.

Archery gets the insane adjustment benefit. If you hit, you get a +2 to your next attack and damage roll (thus, your penalty to-hit is reduced by 2, and since you'll probably use Rapid Shot, that means you'll get a free +2; with IRS, that means two freebies); if you miss, you get a second chance to actually hit the guy (and it'll hurt even more). So, it's going to be either hope it hits, because a miss will hurt like heck. Two misses, won't do as much, but it will still hurt. It's perfectly reasonable to add a massive +5 bonus on a miss, since you'll still miss the die of damage, or the bonus to Dexterity, or the weapon special properties, or...you get the idea; little bonus to damage. But, the benefit still has to be great.

UPDATE: Now the benefit applies on a case-by-case basis. It means a bit more book-keeping, but it makes more sense based on the intention of the ability. Each of the bonuses acquired by hitting or missing (except the +1 attack bonus for a perfect volley) applies only to the target of the particular attack, so you can concentrate and stack the bonuses or apply the bonuses in a sort of leap-frog way.

Capture gets a nifty, if rather lofty, benefit. Rest assured; seekers of FoM: you won't be denied your ability like the Monk and Samurai impose on you. But, you'll get hit nonetheless. It also runs off attacks of opportunity, so you only get this chance once. Might improve it later, but it still penalizes those who attempt to escape (a freebie attack, and next round they still can get you and hit you). One caveat is those who try to escape via jaunting; not only do they get an AoO, if they get damaged, they get a chance of botching the jaunt. Thus, while it doesn't affect those FoM seekers, it does penalize the Abrupt Jaunters. Well...by this moment, the damage output might not work well with Concentration, but at least your favored enemies won't escape, right?

Throwing gets a rhythmic pattern of attacks. You get better and better with each success, but a miss ruins it. However, if you manage to get the last hit, you can lodge the weapon and let it deal automatic damage until the character tries to take it off. Thus, you can slowly but surely cause great damage by lodging weapons off the character (just consider that the enemy may escape with your favorite weapon, though.)

Two-Weapon Fighting gets three benefits, depending on the weapon wielded on both hands (note: it has to be on BOTH hands). Slashing gets you cumulative bleeding damage. Bludgeoning allows you to damage on a miss. And piercing ignores damage reduction from at least three sources. If you get weapons of each kind, you can take benefit of all abilities. Of course, they are minor, but rather useful.

Now; are they proper options? Could they be boosted a bit more? Remember; extraordinary means it isn't fueled by magic or ki or any weird stuff, but it's conceivable and powerful enough. Go with those guidelines, and they may get a bit more powerful.

Hunterís Mastery (Ex): At 17th level, a ranger becomes so skilled in the set of skills that he can use them reliably even in adverse conditions. When making a Hide, Listen, Move Silently, Spot or Survival skill check, he may take 10 even if stress and distractions would normally prevent him from doing so.

Basically a specific form of skill mastery. By this time, a ranger should be capable of spotting enemies with little difficulty, and have enough Spot check modifiers to see invisible creatures with a roll of 10; equally, the ranger should have enough Hide check modifiers to hide with little trouble even when the battle gets rough.

Undetectable (Su): At 18th level, if a ranger succeeds on a Hide or Move Silently check to cloak his presence, he may not be detected by supernatural or magical means. Extraordinary means of sight, such as blindsense, blindsight or tremorsense still work on the subject, but not supernatural or spell-based versions of these abilities. This ability only applies whenever the ranger uses either Hide, Move Silently, or both; an invisible ranger is still detected by magical or supernatural means, but the creature must still succeed on a Spot or Listen check to detect the ranger.

Another cool cookie ability.

This one means that you can't detect the ranger by magical means. Consider this a permanent Nondetection spell cast on the subject, except it also applies to supernatural creatures. This might be bypassed by getting extraordinary based senses through Alter Self/Polymorph/Shapechange, but then again, there are more than one ways to hide oneself, and this one helps A LOT. I mean, you don't ping in detect, you can't be detected by Scrying, you can't be detected by a custom spell that is meant to detect rangers... Basically, it's close to the ultimate hiding ability; the only mild trouble is that it's supernatural, when the ranger was having so much fun with extraordinary gadgets.

Favored Plane (Ex): At 20th level, a ranger may select one of the planes from among those given on Table: Ranger Favored Planes, in addition to the Material Plane. Due to the ranger's experience in those planes, he gains a +2 bonus on Hide, Listen, Move Silently, Spot, and Survival checks when using these skills in that environment. He may make Knowledge (the planes) checks as if he had trained in the skill, and applies the skill bonus on checks dealing with his favored planes. Likewise, he gets a +2 bonus on attack rolls and weapon damage rolls against any creature native to the plane; this bonus to attack rolls and weapon damage rolls applies even if the creature is outside the chosen plane, but not when the creature currently remains within the terrain and isnít native to the environment. Finally, the ranger is considered native to the plane and may not be banished or otherwise expelled from the plane.
If a creature native to the plane is also a favored enemy, the bonuses on skills, attack rolls and damage rolls stack.

Table: Ranger Favored Planes
{TABLE=head]Plane (Inner and Transitive) (abbreviation)|Plane (Outer) (abbreviation)
Material Plane (Material; automatically selected)|Seven Mounting Heavens of Celestia (Celestia)
Ethereal Plane (Ethereal)|Twin Paradises of Bytopia (Bytopia)
Plane of Shadow (Shadow)|Blessed Fields of Elysium (Elysium)
Elemental Plane of Air (Air)|Wilderness of the Beastlands (Beastlands)
Elemental Plane of Earth (Earth)|Olympian Glades of Arborea (Arborea)
Elemental Plane of Fire (Fire)|Heroic Domains of Ysgard (Ysgard)
Elemental Plane of Water (Water)|Ever-Changing Chaos of Limbo (Limbo)
Negative Energy Plane (Negative)|Windswept Depths of Pandemonium (Pandemonium)
Positive Energy Plane (Positive)|Infinite Layers of the Abyss (the Abyss)
Astral Plane (Astral)|Tarterian Depths of Carceri (Carceri)
|Gray Waste of Hades (Hades)
|Bleak Eternity of Gehenna (Gehenna)
|Nine Hells of Baator (Nine Hells)
|Infernal Battlefield of Acheron (Acheron)
|Clockwork Nirvana of Mechanus (Mechanus)
|Peaceable Kingdoms of Arcadia (Arcadia)
|Concordant Domains of the Outlands (Outlands)[/TABLE]

Not the best capstone ever, but this is basically what Favored Terrain does to Favored Enemy: it expands your horizons.

...Wait, that sounded cheesy, right?

You'll notice two things almost immediately: you get two favored planes, but one of them is chosen for you already: the Material Plane. You gain the same bonus on both, but the bonus is kinda small (a +2 when you already have a +10 or so on a creature?). However, consider that you already have the bonus on Favored Enemies and on Favored Terrains, so fighting the right enemy on the right terrain on the right plane (much like Clue[do]: the good-aligned elemental, on the plains, on the Twin Paradises of Bytopia. BAM!, +18 to attack and damage! Though...what are the chances?) adds a massive bonus to attack and damage rolls.

You do get more benefits: the ability to use Knowledge (the Planes) checks untrained for your favored plane, and you can't be banished. Well, while you're on your favored plane, that is.

I'm thinking of streamlining the favored enemy bonuses so that at specific levels, the ones with the lowest benefits gain some leverage. Probably a minimum bonus cap: +2 at 1st level, +4 at 11th level, +6 at 21st level, and a +2 every 10 levels afterwards. That way, while you can get your bonuses insanely high, you can seek to specialize in one type of enemy or spread your bonuses on two or three.

--

Ranger Spells
As mentioned before, a ranger may prepare and cast spells from the druidís spell list, with a few exceptions. However, a rangerís spell list differs from that of a druid by means of spells that a druid cannot normally prepare. As well, a ranger may prepare spells from the druid spell list with an effective spell level lower than the usual.

The following spell list is a compilation of all the spells that rangers may cast alongside the druid spell list, as well as spells that are reduced from level. All of these spells are on the Playerís Handbook ranger spell list. For other sources than the Playerís Handbook, a ranger may cast spells from the druid spell list and the ranger spell list. If a spell is in both lists, the ranger prepares the spell at the lowest level by which the spell may be cast; for example, if a spell is 3rd level on the druid spell list but 2nd level in the ranger spell list, the ranger prepares the spell as a 2nd level spell. Restrictions on spells are also extended to these spell lists; a ranger may not cast spells of the evocation or necromancy school unless they are part of the rangerís spell list.
0ómessage**
1stóalarm**, animal messenger-, animate rope**, cure light wounds-, delay poison-, magic weapon**, resist energy-
2ndó blur**, cure moderate wounds-, darkvision**, glitterdust**, snare-, speak with plants-, spike growth-, wind wall-
3rdócommand plants-, cure serious wounds-, dispel magic-, flame arrow**, greater magic weapon**, invisibility**, repel vermin-, see invisibility**, water walk**
4thóanimal growth-, commune with nature-, cure critical wounds-, greater invisibility**, haste**, nondetection**, slow**, tree stride-
-: reduced from base druid spell level
**: added to Ranger spell list

The following spells are Druid spells inaccessible to the Rangerís spell list, in addition to the restrictions in schools and spells that the ranger already has. The Dungeon Master may decide which spells from other sourcebooks may not apply, and may use this list as an aid to determine which spells are inaccessible.
1stóshillelagh
2ndósummon swarm
4thógiant vermin, reincarnate, scrying

When determining which spells to remove and which to apply from the druid spell list, a DM is well advised to retain spells that enhance mobility, grant animal features such as natural weapons, spells that enhance animal companions and spells that resemble or behave as spells from the druid spell list on the Playerís Handbook.

If you've seen the Bez-Kismet already, you'll notice that the Ranger spell list has been vastly improved. It's unfair that not only do they get 1/2 caster level and a limit of 4th level spells, but also a limited version of the Druid spell list. This, of course, has been changed.

You'll notice, however, that there are several spells that aren't on the Druid spell list, but rather on the Sorcerer/Wizard spell list. As you might notice, these are spells that fit skill-monkeys rather well, though they'll also imply that they'll enter the prayerbooks of Archivists (though most of them already entered, in any case). From those, the notables are flame arrow, glitterdust, haste and invisibility (plus the Greater version); these are fitting ranger spells, and it makes little sense that they aren't on the spell list. There is absolutely no reason why they can't be on the Ranger spell list, since they'll do better work of them (not to mention that, if Rangers are the only ones with Swift Haste, why not Haste altogether?). The others are Druid spells that were reduced from level, and spells that are mostly unique to Rangers (as in, appearing on the spell list of Rangers but not on any other except a Ranger-inspired spell list). This should add a load of potential to the Ranger, mostly as a buffer but also as a spectacular scout.

Of course, that also means that some spells have been removed. Mostly, these are spells that wouldn't fit a Ranger; unless you deal with vermin, summon swarm isn't something a Ranger would cast; shillelagh is basically a minor buff for quarterstaffs (and Rangers use martial weapons, so maybe not much use), and the 4th level spells...well, let's just say that they would thread too much on the Druid path (not like they'll ever get them, but there's not much need for Reincarnation, usually spellcasters are the one that will seek Scrying, and again; no much need for vermin unless you deal with it).

The important point is that you, as player, get a reasonable spell list that can allow you to get more levels in ranger and place more importance on the power of Ranger spellcasting, while DMs can keep a leash on the spellcasting and from a minor degree learn how to deal with the big headaches (Polymorph, Planar Binding, Gate, Wish, I'm looking at you wisps...)

ALTERNATE CLASS FEATURE: Natural Warrior
Rangers with any sort of natural weapon tend to learn a style of combat that enhances their use of said attacks. Usually, these rangers are from savage races, attuned closer to nature than those of more civilized races.
Level: 1st
Replaces: Combat style, improved combat style, combat style mastery, combat style supremacy
Prerequisite: Must have a natural weapon as part of their racial abilities. Unarmed strikes do not count as natural weapons for purposes of this class feature.
Benefit: A ranger that chooses this alternate class chooses his primary natural weapon. All of the benefits of this class feature apply to this single natural weapon.

At 1st level, a ranger gains Improved Natural Attack for his chosen natural weapon as a bonus feat.

At 6th level, a ranger may his use his primary natural weapons for purposes of iterative attacks even if he may normally not use them. He may use this weapon as part of a full attack action. If the ranger has two attacks as his primary natural weapon (for example, two claws), he may use the Two-Weapon Fighting series of feats with these natural weapons. Finally, a ranger may treat his natural weapons as light, one-handed, or two-handed weapons for purposes of feats or special abilities, whichever is most beneficial.

At 11th level, a ranger gains the ability to use special actions depending on his type of natural attack:
Bite: a ranger that succeeds on a bite attack gains a free trip attempt. If the trip attempt fails, the ranger may not be tripped back.
Claw: the ranger gains a rake attack in addition to the claws. If the ranger succeeds on two of his claw attacks, he may rake the enemy. He deals damage equal to his original claw damage dice (not the damage dice acquired by means of his Improved Natural Attack bonus feat) plus 1-1/2 times his Strength bonus.
Hoof: although rare, the ranger that has this kind of natural weapon may make an attack with his hooves as part of an overrun attempt, as the benefit of the Trample feat.
Slam: the ranger gains a second slam attack in addition to his attacks with his slam attack, but at a -5 penalty.
Tail: the ranger may make a tail slam attack, as a dragon.
Tentacle: the ranger gains the improved grab and constrict special attacks. If he succeeds on an attack with a tentacle, he immediately may make a grapple attempt. If he successfully grapples the opponent, he automatically deals damage to the creature equal to his tentacle damage.
If the ranger already has this ability, he is treated as one size larger for purposes of damage dice, bull rush, grapple and trip attempts. The increase in damage dice stacks with the Improved Natural Attack bonus feat.

At 16th level, a ranger gains the pounce ability. He may make a full attack with all of his natural weapons as part of a charge attack. If the ranger already has the pounce ability as a racial feature, all of his secondary natural attacks (if available) gain the benefit of the Improved Natural Attack feat; if he gains the ability as means of a class feature or feat, he gains no further benefit.

Yep, more combat styles for you! This one benefits those Rangers with natural weapons, such as...Shifters, of course, and others such as...well, you get the idea. But man, Shifters!

...Erm, let's get it on.

What you get with this ACF is basically focusing your combat style on the weapon you'll use the most. You can decide to focus on any of the other styles, but if you decide, you can gain more abilities and more potential with the weapons you are born with (or acquired by any means).

The first one is simple: INA for free. Why? Natural weapons need all the damage they can get, and with such things as Magic Fang, Greater Magic Fang and ways to get enlarged, you can deal an impressive amount of damage with that weapon. Of course, the fact that you can only do one or two attacks with it might be a bit troubling, but that's why the 6th level ability exists.

The 6th level ability (which you get when you get your first iterative, or so that should be if you keep as a Ranger) allows you to use your natural attack for your iteratives. So, if you have a bite or a tail, you can attack twice, but the second attack is at a -5, as usual. There is a way, feat-wise, to get this ability which is Rapidstrike; however, it has a load of restrictions (specific races, specific kinds of weapons) and it might not fly off with all natural weapons. This makes it so that you can attack with your primary as if it were a manufactured weapon, and then you can add your secondary natural attacks as you desire. Of course, you can only use your primary natural weapon; thus, you can gore twice, but you can only bite once...and something along those lines. Two Weapon Fighting is also prized in here, if you get it by alternate means. By now, you might also have Multiattack so that you can deal loads of attacks with your suite of natural weapons.

The 11th level ability is unique for each kind of natural weapon. Each is basically the ability a monster that uses the specified weapon would get: improved trip, rake, second slam, improved grab (and constrict), tail slam... Pretty natural, if I may say so. However, you will notice there is ONE weapon missing, and that is the wing. Quite honestly...I found nothing that might help the wing, aside from perhaps wing snap. I would like ideas on the matter, or at least a pointer on how wing snap would work.

The 16th level ability is gotten real late, but it's a favored one: pounce. Of course, your pouncing ability is limited to your natural weapons (not like the Lion Totem Barbarian, for example), but it can be used virtually every time). Of course, some races already get pounce; in that case, their weapons get even more devastating, what with adding INA for free to ALL natural weapons. However, make note that the pounce ability can only be obtained as a racial feature; if you later get the same kind of pounce, you won't get the benefit of INA. That should make you think a bit on your progression. Still, pounce is always nice to have, especially when you have so much skill at moving from one side to another, no?

ALTERNATE CLASS FEATURE: Trapsmith
Most rangers develop unique combat styles to deal with their quarry. You, however, draw closer to the humanoid hunters and rely on well-placed traps created with the purpose of portability.
Level: 1st
Replaces: Combat style, improved combat style, combat style mastery, combat style supremacy
Benefit: A ranger that chooses this alternate class feature becomes acquainted with traps. He becomes capable of creating several traps that can be placed at a whim, even in the midst of battle.

At 1st level, a ranger gains the ability to place specially crafted traps as a full-round action. He may only place traps that he has specifically created for this purpose.

A ranger may craft a trap for the explicit purpose of being placed in battle. To create such a trap, add +5 to the DC of the Craft (trapmaking) skill check and 50 gp per Challenge Rating of the trap. Only specific melee attack (razor wire, poison needle) or ranged attack traps that have location or touch triggers may be altered for such purpose (see Dungeon Masterís Guide, Traps section for more information); traps that depend on a specific location (such as bricks from ceiling or a wall blade) cannot be altered for this purpose. Altered traps are made to be portable and light (for example, a dart trap is usually no larger than a heavy crossbow), and easy to place in most areas (such as walls, tree trunks, or even at the floor). Usually, a trapís weight is equal to the weight of the weapon expected to use plus the lowest CR in which the trap first appears.

As a full-round action, a ranger may set up one of these special traps. The ranger may move as part of this full-round action up to his base land speed if necessary. The ranger places the portable trap and the location or touch trigger as part of this action, and the trigger need not be on the same location as the trap. The ranger may throw the trapís trigger 10 feet away from his location as part of the action, as well.

Once placed, the trap automatically begins to function as intended. The trap is visible to everyone, there is no need for a Search check to determine the location of the trap. However, the trigger is designed to be hardly notable; anyone searching for the trigger must make a Search check equal to the trapís DC minus 5 (except the ranger, who automatically knows the location). If the ranger has ranks on Sleight of Hand, he may instead replace the Search check DC with the result of a Sleight of Hand skill check (if the result is higher than the trapís Search DC minus 5). The trap will always activate upon the direction of the trigger. To disarm a specially crafted trap, the Disable Device skill check DC is equal to the original trapís DC plus 5.
Specially crafted traps work differently from normal traps. Traps that deal damage (such as dart traps or arrow traps) can be constructed to benefit from the rangerís Strength or Dexterity bonus. A ranger may construct a trap designed to affect his favored enemies better; in that case, apply the bonus on attack and damage rolls to all of the rangerís favored enemies (see Favored Enemy class feature, above). A poisoned trap can be created with a different kind of poison; use the original trapís poison DC to determine the CR of the new trap, plus or minus 1 if applicable.

At 6th level, the ranger creates custom ďmasterworkĒ traps with enhanced benefits. A portable trap created in this way costs an extra 300 gp to construct, and grants the trap a +1 enhancement bonus on attack rolls and a +5 bonus on the skill check DC for Search checks (thus neutralizing the penalty on the DC for searching the trapís trigger). As well, you may treat your traps as weapons for purpose of spells that enhance weapons (such as greater magic weapon).

At 11th level, you are capable of creating magic traps. You are treated as having the Craft Magic Arms and Armor for purposes of enchanting your traps (hence granting them an enhancement bonus and special abilities as if a weapon). To create a magic-enhanced trap, you must have already created a ďmasterworkĒ trap (as mentioned above) and spend gold and resources as a weapon with half the cost; thus, a +1 trap would cost half of 1,500 gp in gold and 1/25th the gp cost on experience points, as well as the cost to create a ďmasterworkĒ version of the portable trap (trap cost + 50 gp per CR + 300 gp). As well, you may create portable magic device or spell traps. To create one of these traps, add 100 gp per CR of the spell. Magic device traps are usually less cumbersome and lighter than portable mechanical traps, and are usually designed never to affect the ranger. The ranger must be capable of casting the spell or have someone to cast the spell for him, as usual (but see below).

At 16th level, a ranger may make a special Use Magic Device check to emulate a spell for purposes of creating magic device traps and spell traps for which the ranger doesnít know the spell. Treat as if activating a scroll, except the skill check DC is equal to 15 + the spellís level + the caster level indicated on the trap. You must make a separate Use Magic Device check to emulate an ability score if you donít know the spell (unless you already have a high enough ability score so that it would allow you to cast the spell had you known it); the result of this check (or your ability score modifier, if applies) determines the save DC of the magic trap.

Finally, you gain Sleight of Hand and Use Magic Device as class skills.

Raise your hand if you've seen loads and loads of Rangers that are master trapsmiths.

One of the key abilities of a Ranger (and a Rogue, but Rangers are best known for these) is the ability to set up traps. Rogues set and disable traps for the city, but the Ranger sets traps and arranges hazards to protect their range. Thus, it is expected that you might want to prepare the battlefield by setting a trap, an easy and portable way to cause trouble to creatures. Of course, the nature of the game makes traps rather difficult to play with, so you either have to be a genius to set the trap on the right place, or deliberately set a trap so that you get an extra attack (like a turret or so). However, if you know how to deal with traps, you can find this ACF to be rewarding.

The 1st level allows you to create portable traps. These traps are like your basic traps, except you can set and take them at any moment. Quite probably, you'll be only with a single disarmed trap, which you'll settle in the speed of light (well, not so much, but they'll be easy to set up, much like a bear trap) and which you'll probably reuse. Every now and then, you might set a permanent one, which uses the rules for traps as the DMG sets them, but more often than not, you'll set them for big battles, where a veritable minefield could be a massive headache.

However, just setting traps might be a bit lofty. The 6th level ability makes your traps mechanically better, even if they remain a bit limited. They'll also cost a bit more, of course, but by now you might have two or three thanks to a Handy Haversack, Bag of Holding or Portable Hole (and a trapped Portable Hole would be really awesome, even more a Portable Foxhole :P)

The 11th level ability takes this a bit further. You can make "magic" traps, which are really traps made with magical weapons. A set of explosive darts here, a set of revealing darts there, a set of ghost touch bolts over there, and you can get your traps to the next level. Of course, you can only prepare traps that way; the mechanism and the manufacture won't make for weapons you might use. As well, you can create magic traps for real, but you will need the right spell to create them (or a friendly caster to provide that for you), however...

The 16th level ability is meant to solve that. At that level, you can create magic traps with no trouble. Certainly, the ability to create magic traps and then create magic traps without knowledge of the spell makes the ability transcend the exceptional or the extraordinary to get into the realm of magic, but that means you can create rather nasty traps to litter a safety area with, or you can find an enemy that can set up magic traps in pretty much no time.

As well, you get two more class skills. Sleight of Hand is a nice addition, but of course the real winner is Use Magic Device. That will make you a bit more dependant on Charisma, but by level 16th you'll be able to create virtually any trap in existence, with little effort.

Again, this ACF may not see loads of use since D&D has a problem with traps, specifically traps that can be mounted during battle. A skilled player or a DM may find better use of this, but it's mostly a hat-tip to the ability of Rangers to settle the most elaborate traps ever. If you can make excellent use of traps (and eventually magic traps), I tip off my hat to you and greet you for having the right tools to use them; hence, why I provide. However, this is why it's an ACF; if you don't want to use it, you don't have to, and you still have a monster companion and limited spellcasting, not to mention several combat feats to work by when traps aren't useful.

Thus, as usual: good? Bad? Awful? Enough so I should retire? Nonetheless still good enough? Just what you were looking for? Questions, comments and suggestions are, as usual, expected.

Andion Isurand
2010-08-24, 08:25 PM
SUPERIOR TWO-WEAPON FIGHTING
Prerequisites: Dex 21, Greater Two-Weapon Fighting, Improved Two-Weapon Fighting, Two-Weapon Fighting, base attack bonus +16.
Benefit: You get a fourth attack with your off-hand weapon, albeit at a -15 penalty. See the Two-Weapon Fighting special attack.
Special: A fighter may select Superior Two-Weapon Fighting as one of his fighter bonus feats. A 16th-level ranger who has chosen the two-weapon combat style is treated as having Superior Two-Weapon Fighting, even if he does not have the prerequisites for it, but only when he is wearing light or no armor.

Ouranos
2010-08-24, 11:07 PM
<3 Bookmarked!

Dainbramaged01
2010-08-25, 08:44 PM
I like it. It brings to mind the better aspects of vanilla ranger, scout, and rogue. Were one to take it straight through, I think it would play very well.

That said, I fear that, especially given how many things one gains in the very early levels, this class may become a 1-3 level dip-class for those who use it in their campaigns. I myself already use a 2-level dip into vanilla ranger for those characters whom I want to have a 'ranger' feel, but whom I don't want to run as full-time rangers. Were I to use this class in place of it, I would honestly only take a 1-level dip, as it would hand me a small handful of feats, minor spellcasting (which could then be weakly prestige'd out with other classes), and strong BAB.

I'm not necesarily against making it a tasty treat for a level-dip, as I tend to level-crunch a great deal in my character creation process, but felt it merited mention for those who might not want to introduce so many tools right away.

Temotei
2010-08-25, 08:55 PM
That Pocahontas picture is so awesome. I might look through this later just because of that. :smallbiggrin:

Coidzor
2010-08-25, 09:24 PM
Is the Lasso martial or exotic? Because if it's exotic, it should probably get added on along with the bolas and net.

I like the idea of the improvement upon the combat styles a lot. I definitely would think a lot longer about trading those away compared to their original form.

T.G. Oskar
2010-08-25, 10:34 PM
SUPERIOR TWO-WEAPON FIGHTING
Prerequisites: Dex 21, Greater Two-Weapon Fighting, Improved Two-Weapon Fighting, Two-Weapon Fighting, base attack bonus +16.
Benefit: You get a fourth attack with your off-hand weapon, albeit at a -15 penalty. See the Two-Weapon Fighting special attack.
Special: A fighter may select Superior Two-Weapon Fighting as one of his fighter bonus feats. A 16th-level ranger who has chosen the two-weapon combat style is treated as having Superior Two-Weapon Fighting, even if he does not have the prerequisites for it, but only when he is wearing light or no armor.

Don't feel bad. Good idea; equaling off-hand attacks to iterative attacks is a great idea. However, there's a slight little problem.

WOTC already had this idea (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/epic/feats.htm#perfectTwoWeaponFighting). Except they got it wrong: they made the ability Epic, considering that ELH is between 3.0 and 3.5 and they had a bit more restrictions on TWF.

What I seek is ideas on how to boost the combat styles by adding more stuff that can be done exclusively by them, that doesn't involve the feats. Otherwise, I'd just add much more bonus feats, and that'd be it.

Still, you might just downgrade Perfect Two-Weapon Fighting and call it a day. Maybe downgrade the Dex requirement to 21, which is rather easy to get (Dex 25 is for the devoted, actually, but it can be gained pre-epic even easier).


I like it. It brings to mind the better aspects of vanilla ranger, scout, and rogue. Were one to take it straight through, I think it would play very well.

That said, I fear that, especially given how many things one gains in the very early levels, this class may become a 1-3 level dip-class for those who use it in their campaigns. I myself already use a 2-level dip into vanilla ranger for those characters whom I want to have a 'ranger' feel, but whom I don't want to run as full-time rangers. Were I to use this class in place of it, I would honestly only take a 1-level dip, as it would hand me a small handful of feats, minor spellcasting (which could then be weakly prestige'd out with other classes), and strong BAB.

I'm not necesarily against making it a tasty treat for a level-dip, as I tend to level-crunch a great deal in my character creation process, but felt it merited mention for those who might not want to introduce so many tools right away.

Well, you only get mostly 1-3 feats (Track plus the combat style bonus feats), and the minor spellcasting isn't truly shocking (though you get access to wand-erful tactics; pun intended), so I can understand the worry. However, it's not on my control to force people to make no dips. Going full Ranger should be more attractive now, but people won't find that the class will fulfill all their needs. Some will want more spellcasting, or more precision with their chosen combat style.

But I find that there should be no reason for dipping instead of going full Ranger and then doing a dip on another class. I personally find that, with no 18 or 19th level features, a dip on Scout and using Swift Hunter makes the Ranger pretty awesome (since you still get 4th level spells, a brutal companion, the combat style supremacy ability, but you also get full Skirmish and extra stuff). But going full 20 shouldn't be so bad either.

Still, I notice your worry and I'll ponder about it. I still find that it could use a lot (hint: 18th and 19th are blatantly considered dead levels, something I wish to solve properly), and this retooling is rather conservative considering the usual range I go (it introduces fine new stuff with the combat style options, but otherwise it's boosted Ranger, which is fine but could still use more).

People will consider one class or another and do dips. Not everyone has to make a Ranger and use this template; however, the fact that it can be considered and that you can do rather well with 20 levels in the class should be enough.


That Pocahontas picture is so awesome. I might look through this later just because of that. :smallbiggrin:

Thank the guys at the Dungeons & Dames thread. The first one had the original Twisted Princesses pics. I recall that I made a mention that Pocahontas would make an awesome druid or ranger, so basically I went with the idea. She has an animal companion (the badger...what's its name again?), wears medium armor, has the Native American feel I wanted because I wanted to explain that "primitive" races make for awesome rangers and not just elves and drow, and the pic was just awesome.

Still, it was that or Arthur from Caliber, a comic based on Arthurian legend meets the Wild West. Now, how I would explain a six-shooter was beyond me...


Is the Lasso martial or exotic? Because if it's exotic, it should probably get added on along with the bolas and net.

I think it's treated as exotic, IIRC. Though, I might need to find the source to use it; I recall having seen it somewhere (and it can't be Complete Warrior because I checked the weapons section right at the moment I'm posting this).

Still, perfect sense that it should. It's just that it doesn't appear on the SRD, though I make an exception for DMG weapons and some fitting additions.


I like the idea of the improvement upon the combat styles a lot. I definitely would think a lot longer about trading those away compared to their original form.

That's the intention. Still, just the combat styles aren't enough. A bit of help could do for a better class (this is the intention every time I post a retooling, though most of the time it needs much less work)

Andion Isurand
2010-08-25, 11:29 PM
Yeah, I just wanted to throw that feat I made into the mix.

I gave it its own name so it wouldn't be associated with the epic feat, figuring that going from 7 to 8 attacks in a round is of a smaller relative benefit than the previous feats in the chain. It's more of a revision than an original creation.

But i understand what you mean by wanting exclusive abilities to be given by combat style.

Temotei
2010-08-25, 11:42 PM
Thank the guys at the Dungeons & Dames thread. The first one had the original Twisted Princesses pics. I recall that I made a mention that Pocahontas would make an awesome druid or ranger, so basically I went with the idea. She has an animal companion (the badger...what's its name again?), wears medium armor, has the Native American feel I wanted because I wanted to explain that "primitive" races make for awesome rangers and not just elves and drow, and the pic was just awesome.

Miko the raccoon and Flit the hummingbird were the two. I watched Pocahontas, like, two months ago. Then I watched The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

FlamingKobold
2010-08-26, 02:23 AM
Miko the raccoon and Flit the hummingbird were the two. I watched Pocahontas, like, two months ago. Then I watched The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

That sounds like an awesome life.

To have some vague sense of being on topic: I like the class. It's probably the best ranger fix I've seen that actually keeps the flavor of the ranger.

Coidzor
2010-08-26, 05:40 AM
I think it's treated as exotic, IIRC. Though, I might need to find the source to use it; I recall having seen it somewhere (and it can't be Complete Warrior because I checked the weapons section right at the moment I'm posting this).

Still, perfect sense that it should. It's just that it doesn't appear on the SRD, though I make an exception for DMG weapons and some fitting additions.

IIRC, it's from Book of Exalted Deeds. I feel a bit conflicted that one of my favorite weapons is from there (allowing partial entangling like a net from further than 10 feet), but, eh. And yeah, I know I'm silly for having the entangler weapons as some of my favorites.


That's the intention. Still, just the combat styles aren't enough. A bit of help could do for a better class (this is the intention every time I post a retooling, though most of the time it needs much less work)

Wish I could think of something more to add to them or for the dead levels on the higher end... I dunno how blasphemous you consider it, but you could alter the spell progression to get 5th levels around that point, but... since you're using the Druid list barring necromancy and evocation rather than just a specialized ranger list (like the PHB ranger had for 1-4 and mystic ranger had for 5th level spells), that's probably counterproductive to your purposes, not to mention awkward up the spell progression.

I've only looked at a couple of ranger retools/fixes before, so I'm not that useful in that regard either, but, I do like how you gave them trapfinding from the get-go.

Hmm... For the Throwing Improved Combat Style, is that the base range increment getting increased (so something that would say, double the range increment would go (base+30)*2?) or a flat bonus after other modifiers?

Mongoose87
2010-08-26, 07:45 AM
It looks nice, on the whole, but the Combat Style Mastery abilities seem to be a collective headache waiting to happen.

NineThePuma
2010-08-26, 07:38 PM
Might I recommend the dead level abilities being examined for this to kinda reflect? Cause... Well, the later levels seem dead to me, and HiPS isn't worth staying in Ranger. It might not be useful later on to stay in the class.

T.G. Oskar
2010-08-26, 09:05 PM
Yeah, I just wanted to throw that feat I made into the mix.

I gave it its own name so it wouldn't be associated with the epic feat, figuring that going from 7 to 8 attacks in a round is of a smaller relative benefit than the previous feats in the chain. It's more of a revision than an original creation.

But i understand what you mean by wanting exclusive abilities to be given by combat style.

Yet, it's exactly what you get via Perfect Two-Weapon Fighting, since by that moment you should have already gotten two attacks out of everything. That is one of the fundamental problems of TWF: you need around 3 feats to use TWF on a good basis, 4-5 to use it on other circumstances, and 6-7 to fully specialize on it, and it has a nasty Dex requirement and feat tax to make it useful. Theoretically, Perfect Two-Weapon Fighting should have been the next on the chain, with TWF being the first (much like Combat Expertise -> Improved Combat Expertise, but that one has its own problems).

I can understand it's a revision, but it acts like an intermediate feat in the chain which eventually lets PTWF work with, say, Speed weapons or the benefit from Haste.


IIRC, it's from Book of Exalted Deeds. I feel a bit conflicted that one of my favorite weapons is from there (allowing partial entangling like a net from further than 10 feet), but, eh. And yeah, I know I'm silly for having the entangler weapons as some of my favorites.

That isn't so bad. I should have figured the lasso was there; I have BoED, and I've read it a lot but it seems I haven't memorized it yet. Entangling weaponry makes you a bit less effective but provides much more options than just attacking, since you can debuff the enemy.


Wish I could think of something more to add to them or for the dead levels on the higher end... I dunno how blasphemous you consider it, but you could alter the spell progression to get 5th levels around that point, but... since you're using the Druid list barring necromancy and evocation rather than just a specialized ranger list (like the PHB ranger had for 1-4 and mystic ranger had for 5th level spells), that's probably counterproductive to your purposes, not to mention awkward up the spell progression.

I could have gone with 5th level spells, but that would have been a bit more work. 0-level spells are a stretch already, but those are understandable; they provide a feel of spellcasting and mild utility while spellcasting comes. However, what kills it a bit is the progression. 5th level spells would have been gained at the very last levels, probably 16th or 17th if you see the progression of spells (4 levels from 0 to 1st, 4 levels from 1st to 2nd, 3 levels from 2nd to 3rd, 3 levels from 3rd to 4th, hence it's either 2~3 levels from 4th to 5th). And that would give a bigger boost to Ranger, that's for sure. Duskblade has it, so why not Ranger?

Except...that would imply changing essentially...5 or so more classes. I drew the idea from the Bez-Kismet, which is a retooled Hexblade I made, as well as another class I got on the burner and that will probably come soon. As well, it would be only a mild push until you get to 6th level spells, and that would be stepping on the boundaries of a Bard, which is unique because it has no half-spellcasting but 2/3rds spellcasting. 0-4th, restricted full spellcaster spell list and full CL makes for half spellcasting which is the concept behind the class, with some spells added to the list to cover for the spell list restriction.

So, while it's not blasphemous, it's...kinda needless. I would rather focus on adding more abilities that have a true Ranger feel than more spellcasting, but I support that Ranger has spellcasting to a certain extent. That way, since you still have the combat styles, you can work with a hybrid for Mystic Ranger which uses the Ranger spell list of this class and the few 5th level spells gained through the alternate spell list.


I've only looked at a couple of ranger retools/fixes before, so I'm not that useful in that regard either, but, I do like how you gave them trapfinding from the get-go.

Well, they're a scouting class, that's for sure. Rogue has it, Scout has it IIRC, even Beguiler has it, so why not Ranger? Natural hazards are one thing, but actual magic hazards should also be part of the Ranger ability list since they could get used to nature clerics' symbols and druid traps.


Hmm... For the Throwing Improved Combat Style, is that the base range increment getting increased (so something that would say, double the range increment would go (base+30)*2?) or a flat bonus after other modifiers?

First one. It's base, then the bonus, then any modifier goes else. Far Shot would be (base+30) times two, for example. That makes throwing weapons an equally good choice than actual projectile weapons, since otherwise the actual top would be somewhere between 50-60.


It looks nice, on the whole, but the Combat Style Mastery abilities seem to be a collective headache waiting to happen.

Mind explaining? I can figure out one mild headache, but the others are pretty simple:
Capture: whether you grapple or you trip, they get held and prone.
Throwing: returning weapons
TWF: anytime you get a single attack, you are treated as if wielding 2-handed, except when you're full attacking.


Might I recommend the dead level abilities being examined for this to kinda reflect? Cause... Well, the later levels seem dead to me, and HiPS isn't worth staying in Ranger. It might not be useful later on to stay in the class.

HiPS is worth staying on Ranger, mostly because otherwise Camouflage would be pointless. Perhaps granting HiPS earlier would be a better choice, since the ability is gained pretty late, but by itself Hide already has troubles. Remember that, while the Ranger has Invisibility spells, Invisibility is one of the abilities that is detected the easiest (See Invisibility, True Seeing, blindsight, tremorsense, Mindlink feat, Invisibility Purge, etc.) while Hide is a tad more difficult (around half of the choices are blocked, a feat blocks the remainder to an extent).

And yes, you're not alone. The later levels are mostly dead, but that's because most of the Rangers in other games aren't as developed as, say, Samurai or Paladin or Bard. They usually have a similar trend of abilities, which makes the late Ranger fall behind.

As for the Dead Levels article, I feel that most of the abilities are filler; nothing that really advances the class so as to merit taking an actual level. Yet, I still feel that I could add a bit more, perhaps reduce some abilities from level to make them more attractive, and then kicking up things a notch. Combat Styles would have to remain at 16th and in the same progression because the Samurai has a similar structure going on (not the OA or the CW Samurai, in any case); afterwards, there are very few abilities that I've noticed that could merit an increase, and that follow a mathematical pattern.

That last bit is crucial, since it has directed most of my homebrew. If you see, the bonus feats, the favored enemy bonus, the combat styles and the spellcasting follow mathematical patterns, which undoubtedly fill levels. There are some suggestions to possible patterns; level 3 has fast movement, level 7 has both woodland stride and swift tracker, so you can expect levels 11th, 15th and 19th to have movement-related abilities. Equally, level 9th has evasion, and level 14th has improved evasion; level 13th has camouflage and level 17th has HiPS, which are stealth-based abilities. Each ability has a specific pattern, which if it's broken it kinda reduces the organization of the class. Sometimes, these can be broken, but sometimes, organizing them in such a way leads to further dead levels and clutters of abilities. By organizing them in patterns, not only does it provide organization, but it also can provide ideas on what abilities you can provide. Furthermore, depending on how strong that ability is, you can provide an expected growth rate (one upgrade every 4 levels, starting from level X and ending in level X+Y) that will be reasonable, allowing for breaking abilities in parts, combining abilities, observing possible reinforcements, and so on.

There is a load of improvement around, but by the time you surpass level 15th, the class should provide you abilities befitting that level. Understandably, HiPS may not seem like such, but it doesn't mean it's pointless; quite the contrary, it's a strong ability that could be acquired later on, and which could develop into a stronger ability. But that the latter levels are dead levels; sure, even I recognize it. That's why I post this, to gather ideas and see how I can improve the class even further.

Hawriel
2010-08-26, 09:10 PM
Well I prefer my rangers as these guys

https://www.benning.army.mil/75thranger/index.htm

Or better yet the real ranger from middle earth

http://lotr.wikia.com/wiki/Aragorn_II_Elessar

NineThePuma
2010-08-26, 10:04 PM
Uncanny dodge, increased fast movement? Instead of nabbing Evasion at 9th, move it earlier (to 5th) and place Uncanny Dodge at 9th; this let's you slip Improved Uncanny in later. Of course this could disrupt the pattern.

Have fast movement advance at a rate of +10 on the given levels, which gives a speed/maneuvering boost. That'll also turn 19 less dead.

I'm good with worlds, but classes are much less simple.

T.G. Oskar
2010-08-26, 11:48 PM
Uncanny dodge, increased fast movement? Instead of nabbing Evasion at 9th, move it earlier (to 5th) and place Uncanny Dodge at 9th; this let's you slip Improved Uncanny in later. Of course this could disrupt the pattern.

Have fast movement advance at a rate of +10 on the given levels, which gives a speed/maneuvering boost. That'll also turn 19 less dead.

I'm good with worlds, but classes are much less simple.

Not so keen on the fast movement (otherwise, the fact that Rangers have fast movement and Longstrider means they need no horse), but Uncanny Dodge is possible.

However, I might need to determine the best position for each. It all depends on whether the ability has enough strength to stand alone, or if it could be coupled. For example: Woodland Stride and Swift Tracker are abilities that aren't self-standing, while stuff like Mettle are. Bonus feats are not self-standing, so any level divisible by 4 can have at least one self-standing partner. Favored enemy is also a non-self-standing ability, so they can have a partner. Fast Movement, Evasion, Uncanny Dodge, the improved versions of the latter two, Swift Tracker and Woodland Stride are movement-based abilities, and they stand at odd levels. Level 6 has Improved Combat Style, which I believe is self-standing enough so as to keep quiet. Camouflage and HiPS are stealth-based abilities, so they also go separate. I have 7 abilities that are movement-related, so the best bet is to go with a multiple of 2 or multiple of 3 progression, ending rather quickly and with Improved Evasion. Given that Trapfinding is on level 2 but Rangers are less trained than Rogues on trap finesse, they could get Trapfinding at level 3 and start with either Fast Movement or Uncanny Dodge on level 2, then keep level 4 and 6 quiet because they have self-standing abilities, then 8, 10, 12 and 14 have the rest of the abilities. The other would be keep them multiples of 3, ignoring level 6 yet using the rest of the levels.

With multiple of two, the gap would be pretty wide, and since Swift Tracker/Woodland Stride are best kept on low levels, it would not be a good idea. However, with Track on 1st level, it would be appropriate to use a progression of mobility abilities every two levels, ignoring 11th because of Combat Style Mastery. Thus, I get 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 13th and 15th, and most of the abilities are set up right there, so it seems like the best choice.

With multiple of three, I would have to ignore level 6th (because of Improved Combat Style), and keep 15th as the maximum since Improved Evasion on 18th seems a tad too late and a bit pointless.

It seems like a risk, but placing Uncanny Dodge at 5th, keep Evasion at 9th, get Imp. Uncanny Dodge at 11th and raise Imp. Evasion at 15th seems like the best choice. Then, perhaps downgrade Camouflage to 8th and HiPS to 13th, and probably some sort of Imp. Camouflage ability at 17th. Still won't help 18th and 19th, but some sort of movement ability at 19th level that's worthwhile.

The other idea is to set the Combat Style abilities at 2nd, 7th, 12th and 17th, but that would be a bit of a headache, since 1st, 6th, 11th and 16th seem like the right point (otherwise, the 1st level of a Ranger would be deprived of good abilities).

The final idea (and one I don't approve of, but it's necessary) would be to do as 4E did to some classes: let Ranger kill Scout and take most of its abilities. It has fast movement, camouflage, evasion, HiPS, bonus feats and most of the scout's abilities, so getting Skirmish wouldn't be too much of an insult. However, that would make the Scout entirely pointless as the Ranger would be much, much better. The progression of skirmish is pretty specific, as well (every odd level, alternating between 1d6 damage and +1 AC).

That reminds me: the Scout has Trackless Step but the Ranger, which is part-Druid, doesn't have it? Lemme add it to the list of "what to do" things...

Lord_Gareth
2010-08-27, 01:00 AM
I'ma join the bandwagon and say you should still find SOMETHING for those levels. Dead levels are BAD JUJU.

Coidzor
2010-08-27, 01:33 AM
Evasion and Improved Evasion + something at 19th? Mettle seems slightly underwhelming as a penultimate ability though. Maybe a Fortitude-only version at 14th? and delay Improved Evasion to 19th?

:smallsigh: But then, as you said, delaying even Improved Evasion that long seems too long and too underwhelming for Pre-Epic play...

Hmm. Spacing is all wonkified to hell by it, but maybe some kind of Combat Style Perfection at 19th or 20th. I was initially thinking maybe about allowing certain benefits from the combat style to be applied to non combat style weapons/techniques.

Hmm... A half-initiator or quarter-initiator in a 1/2-to-1/3 caster class like this would probably just be inappropriate, even if it could be tied to the combat styles... x.x

Move away from the combat styles though, i guess... look at it and its flavor... Agile/Mobile, Canny Combatant who is at one with his surroundings/da wilds...

Maybe crib a bit from the Horizon walker's terrain mastery (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/prestigeClasses/horizonWalker.htm)? Either in principle or fact...

Maybe make Wild Empathy applicable against plant then ooze creatures? Possibly then remove the penalty for using it on Magical Beasts... That could spread a minor thing across 3 levels in addition to first (4 if you unstick it from 1st as the basis for the pattern)... Fairly throwaway thought there, and it would be pretty random to boost it without any kind of pattern or to shift patterns in order to put it in as a pattern...

Even discussed it a bit with a friend of mine...
the capture really entertained me

the ability to stop jaunters at high level is excellent

NineThePuma
2010-08-27, 02:29 AM
I'm not particularly fond of the scout, but... Looking at it, I can't find a place for it that isn't filled already. It's an outdoor skill monkey, yeah, but... Isn't that what the Wilderness Rogue is?

Don't get me wrong, I hate having redundant/useless classes too, but having three classes that are basically the same thing, even if one is a variant seems... Dumb to me. It's WotC's error, but it wouldn't be horrible if Skirmish was eaten by Ranger.

Latronis
2010-08-27, 04:54 PM
When I redid my ranger late last year I ended up combining the favored enemy and combat style into a nice little capstone package borrowing from that mess known as epic levels:



Bane Of Enemies (Ex)

Any weapon you wield as part of your chosen combat style is treated as a bane weapon against your favored enemy or enemies.

DracoDei
2010-08-27, 06:35 PM
I don't have the energy to spare from the game I hope to be running in half an hour to read everything that has been said here, but I will say that for a campaign that isn't getting above 5th level, I could see archers taking the Thrown Weapon track just to get 2 feats instead of one. I would say something about the Capture track, but those two feats are considered things that aren't so bad to give out like candy (The argument goes that everyone should have them or some such...).

T.G. Oskar
2010-08-27, 10:57 PM
I'ma join the bandwagon and say you should still find SOMETHING for those levels. Dead levels are BAD JUJU.

Well, duh. No offense; I do need to get something, the problem is what something might fit. Freedom of Movement at will seems like a choice, but then again the Ranger gets FoM as a spell, so it overlaps. Blindsight needs a set of early sight-based abilities, and Track/Swift Tracker doesn't cut it.

Hmm...Scent? Track -> Swift Tracker -> Scent seems like a natural, considering one of the jokes on my game table when I played a Ranger were tracking by "scent" (not exactly actual tracking, but getting a whiff of the area and saying some random technical stuff such as "they must have been here two days ago, because the grass they stepped still smells fresh" or something. Aragorn pulled something like that, I believe.


Evasion and Improved Evasion + something at 19th? Mettle seems slightly underwhelming as a penultimate ability though. Maybe a Fortitude-only version at 14th? and delay Improved Evasion to 19th?

:smallsigh: But then, as you said, delaying even Improved Evasion that long seems too long and too underwhelming for Pre-Epic play...

Hmm...delayed Mettle of Fortitude? Sounds reasonable as a late addition. Evasion and Imp. Evasion are strong abilities, but few times you'll get meaningful damage from area attacks so as to guarantee Evasion (and a ring gets you mostly what you need). I could justify Mettle of Fortitude by means of reinforcing the physical side of the Ranger right at the end, but by then...

Problem is, 1st level spells and Animal Companion at 4th level make for a very strong pair of abilities that justify adding no more. Adding, say, Mettle of Fortitude or Evasion at that level would be too wonky. Perhaps Resist Nature's Lure, since it's mostly a filler ability that Druids get.


Hmm. Spacing is all wonkified to hell by it, but maybe some kind of Combat Style Perfection at 19th or 20th. I was initially thinking maybe about allowing certain benefits from the combat style to be applied to non combat style weapons/techniques.

I don't want to progress Combat Styles any further than 16th because the idea is to get everything combat-related by level 16th, adding mostly a favored bonus and a feat at level 20th. Still, the allowance of certain benefits *could* apply, but the benefit would be pretty minor, and it would reduce the concept of a focused combat style anyways...


Hmm... A half-initiator or quarter-initiator in a 1/2-to-1/3 caster class like this would probably just be inappropriate, even if it could be tied to the combat styles... x.x

>.< Don't say that. ToB is awesome, but I prefer martial-related ACFs and classes with unique feel (*coughcoughBlademastercoughcough*) than retooling maneuvers into old classes. Not a fan of "Crusader is the new Paladin, Swordsage is the new Monk", though I do comply that "Warblade is the new Fighter, and PHB Fighter is the NPC martial class".


Move away from the combat styles though, i guess... look at it and its flavor... Agile/Mobile, Canny Combatant who is at one with his surroundings/da wilds...

Maybe crib a bit from the Horizon walker's terrain mastery (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/prestigeClasses/horizonWalker.htm)? Either in principle or fact...

Preferred environments? That would take a bit of hammering, but it would work fine. Maybe the latter favored enemy bonuses could get company with terrain bonuses (you get used to enemies, then you get used to terrain). Good point, but I'll have to consider it. Maybe some sort of "Favored Terrain" by levels 10th and 15th, and "Favored Plane" at level 20th, but make the terrain and planar bonuses closer to Favored Enemy than Terrain Mastery? That way, going Horizon Walker remains unique.

...whoops, forgot the Insight bonuses are present, and they are weaker than the Favored Enemy bonuses... Horizon Walker to the toolshop, anyone?


Maybe make Wild Empathy applicable against plant then ooze creatures? Possibly then remove the penalty for using it on Magical Beasts... That could spread a minor thing across 3 levels in addition to first (4 if you unstick it from 1st as the basis for the pattern)... Fairly throwaway thought there, and it would be pretty random to boost it without any kind of pattern or to shift patterns in order to put it in as a pattern...

Reasonable enough, but there's a slight problem out there. I feel that giving that ability to the Ranger without counting it to the Druid would be unfair, sorta like boosting Lay on Hands to awesomeness but keeping Touch of Vitality on a lower level. Though, I could add as a minor boost that penalties on Magical Beasts are eliminated at a certain level, since eventually you'll deal with Magical Beasts more than animals.


I'm not particularly fond of the scout, but... Looking at it, I can't find a place for it that isn't filled already. It's an outdoor skill monkey, yeah, but... Isn't that what the Wilderness Rogue is?

Don't get me wrong, I hate having redundant/useless classes too, but having three classes that are basically the same thing, even if one is a variant seems... Dumb to me. It's WotC's error, but it wouldn't be horrible if Skirmish was eaten by Ranger.

Wilderness Rogue is a variant class, so it doesn't count. Though, there are a few variant classes that do better than the official ones (Psychic Rogue vs. Lurk, full stop).

But yeah...Scout's only saving grace is Skirmish, since otherwise you'd have a non-casting Ranger, and non-casting Rangers are really weak. However, it's a problem to have a class that's part Fighter, part Rogue and part Druid because it acts like a skill monkey but has full BAB and martial weapon proficiency. Adding skirmish would be the ideal choice, but it would make the class far too loaded; not adding it, however, makes the Ranger a bit weak in attack potential (unless you go archery at level 16th, where you get leaps in combat potential with the amount of arrows you shoot). Perhaps the idea would be to get stunted Skirmish (but then Capture Rangers wouldn't get much damage from that), or a stunted Sneak Attack (but that would be stepping on the toes of the Rogue).

Theoretically, Favored Enemy acts like precision damage for the Ranger, so perhaps boosting Favored Enemy bonuses (and perhaps adding the Favored Terrain ability at level 10 and level 15) should work as a compromise. That, and working on the Scout to be a real scout and not a Ranger wannabe.

Maybe Scouts should get firearms -.-a?


When I redid my ranger late last year I ended up combining the favored enemy and combat style into a nice little capstone package borrowing from that mess known as epic levels...

Gee, I was speaking about Epic Levels and I wasn't smart enough to apply that idea. Downgrading some epic abilities into class abilities? Score!

...Though, there's not much to look at. Bane of Enemies and Death of Enemies is mostly the choice. Besides...that's an idea of yours, I don't like to steal when I can do something, though I do take the general enhancements that people ask for.


I don't have the energy to spare from the game I hope to be running in half an hour to read everything that has been said here, but I will say that for a campaign that isn't getting above 5th level, I could see archers taking the Thrown Weapon track just to get 2 feats instead of one. I would say something about the Capture track, but those two feats are considered things that aren't so bad to give out like candy (The argument goes that everyone should have them or some such...).

Problem is, an archer that chooses the Throwing combat style loses on the archery abilities (and losing the 16th level ability hurts like heck, not to mention the free attack at 11th. I can bypass the 6th level ability since a dip into Order of the Bow Initiate and high Strength + composite longbow should replace the 6th level ability).

Capture, on the other hand, has some nice extra abilities. As mentioned by Coidzor's pal, punishing jaunters at level 16th and stopping them in their tracks is excellent. The fact that you are treated as if having powerful build (or a size category larger) for grapple and trip are also "things that aren't so bad to give them out like candy" (I mean, the retooled Monk and the retooled Samurai have them, and they make perfect sense since one of the things you learn on grappling arts such as jujitsu, aikijutsu and perhaps even wrestling is to use your opponent's strength against you; in wrestling, it's more "learn how to fall without calling it 'ukemi'").

Still: I like the idea of Favored Terrains and Favored Plane, even if I should just make it "the Material Plane plus any other plane" :P. Lemme take that to the workshop and ponder upon it...hmm...

NineThePuma
2010-08-28, 06:33 AM
There's a Favored Terrain variant in Unearthed Arcana. I'd recommend taking a peak at it's mechanics (I believe it was just 'Favored Enemy, but applies to everything in X terrain' but I don't actually remember) and maybe applying them?

A thought: what happens if you fight a half dragon... Oh, say, Ogre, and your favored enemy would apply to the Ogre half? Would it still apply? (RAW says no)

If the various Outsider (Subtype) and Humanoid (subtype) were changed to X (Subtype) it might be worth it, given that there are ways to change the main types.

And, as I think someone noted, raiding Epic for a cap stone works x3

Latronis
2010-08-28, 07:24 AM
+2 bonus on Hide, Listen, Move Silently, Spot, and Survival checks. For UA's favored terrain (environment actually i think they call it) I've been looking at it to tweak my ranger a little further.

More useful overall, though less effective compared to FE bonuses when fighting your favored enemies

T.G. Oskar
2010-08-28, 07:26 PM
There's a Favored Terrain variant in Unearthed Arcana. I'd recommend taking a peak at it's mechanics (I believe it was just 'Favored Enemy, but applies to everything in X terrain' but I don't actually remember) and maybe applying them?


+2 bonus on Hide, Listen, Move Silently, Spot, and Survival checks. For UA's favored terrain (environment actually i think they call it) I've been looking at it to tweak my ranger a little further.

More useful overall, though less effective compared to FE bonuses when fighting your favored enemies.

As Latronis says. It's pretty useful overall, but weaker compared to FE bonuses. However, if we mix the two...


A thought: what happens if you fight a half dragon... Oh, say, Ogre, and your favored enemy would apply to the Ogre half? Would it still apply? (RAW says no)

Well, speaking of Ogre...nope. Ogres are Giants, and Half-Dragon Ogres are Dragons, so...

Now, a character with, say, Fey blood would be considered for the favored enemy bonus if it says "this character is considered fey for...", since otherwise those abilities are pretty silly.


If the various Outsider (Subtype) and Humanoid (subtype) were changed to X (Subtype) it might be worth it, given that there are ways to change the main types.

I was thinking of keeping Outsiders as their own subtypes, but collapse Humanoids into a single purpose. There are several varieties of Elves, sure, and also several varieties of humans, but the rest? Each races' variants that aren't humans or elves don't increase over 5. Heck, even elves with the large amount of variants they have rarely justify taking humanoid (elf).

Outsiders, on the other hand...Devils, Yugoloth and Demons are evil outsiders and there's several (not to mention they usually are high-level monsters), Angels, Archons, Guardinals, Eladrin and assorted miscellaneous are good outsiders (and there's almost enough to justify), Demons and Slaadi are chaotic outsiders, and Devils, Modrons and I believe Formians are lawful outsiders, so there's a reason to keep alignments separate. I might collapse elemental-type outsiders into Outsider (elemental), though.

Also, thinking: how about allowing to change favored enemies at 10th level and higher? Orcs and goblinoids are numerous at the first few levels, but a 20th level ranger with humanoid (goblinoid), even with a +2 bonus, is losing his time. Thus, that would be a reasonable change: exchange one favored enemy type for another, so that a Ranger slowly gains awareness of higher-level menaces and keeps other menaces low.


And, as I think someone noted, raiding Epic for a cap stone works x3

I agreed to the idea, though I need to do further raiding.

As for dead levels...I made a juggle, and did a few additions to the ranger on the document in my side. They haven't been written on the table above, but that is in order to provide the idea first and then place it whenever appropriate.

Uncanny Dodge goes at level 5, along with the second favored enemy. Improved Uncanny Dodge goes at 11th, which makes pair with Combat Style Mastery; I determined that Combat Style Mastery was best left alone, but otherwise it would have been a headache to place. Thus, Imp. Uncanny Dodge at 11th.

13th level, which ATM only contains Camouflage, now grants Trackless Step (because if Druids can have it, why not Rangers) and Uncanny Tracker. The latter is pretty simple: if someone uses Pass Without Trace, or Trackless Step, the character can do the tracking but with a -20 penalty. If it sounds too similar, look at the Bloodhound :P

Camouflage was demoted to level 8th, where a bonus feat stands. Hide in Plain Sight was demoted to level 12th, to follow yet another bonus feat. That would have meant a pretty strong ability at 16th that's stealth-related, but unfortunately Combat Style Supremacy is there, and that ability is just TOO good to pass up. Thus, there IS an ability...at level 18th, which makes it even levels for stealth. And that would be...Undetectable: a ranger using Hide and Move Silently cannot be detected by supernatural or magical means, although extraordinary versions of blindsense, blindsight and tremorsense do (blindsight and blindsense if they aren't listen-based). Thus, a dragon *MIGHT* be capable of detecting you, but a wizard with Mindsight doesn't. Detect Magic doesn't ping you. See Invisibility merely reduces the bonus on Hide checks, but you still require to have a good Spot to see the ranger. And so forth.

Favored Terrain and Favored Plane are a go.

Remember, these are mostly ideas I'm throwing and that I have organized on the "alpha" document, so to speak. They won't appear on the table above and on my post until there is enough approval for it. Still working on making 17th level and 19th level beautiful enough, but I still need to dig a bit more.

Coidzor
2010-08-28, 09:32 PM
Also, thinking: how about allowing to change favored enemies at 10th level and higher? Orcs and goblinoids are numerous at the first few levels, but a 20th level ranger with humanoid (goblinoid), even with a +2 bonus, is losing his time. Thus, that would be a reasonable change: exchange one favored enemy type for another, so that a Ranger slowly gains awareness of higher-level menaces and keeps other menaces low.


Yes. Sort of like how wossnames can replace maneuvers they learned earlier on in their careers with higher level ones.

So, yeah, I like this idea. So, 10th, 15th, and 20th, can switch one favored enemy out for another one... Looks good.

Hmm... An idea just occurred that you might want to consider, maybe as part of the capstone the ability to change favored enemies and such around more freely? Maybe a GP or XP cost (probably plus time, maybe have it take an entire rest period and only be capable of doing it 1/week or 1/month?) ...or... since you mentioned having multiple favored Xs in the scheme... maybe have it be free for favored terrain, GP cost for favored enemy, and XP cost for favored plane? Depending upon the power of the abilities anyway.


Uncanny Dodge goes at level 5, along with the second favored enemy. Improved Uncanny Dodge goes at 11th, which makes pair with Combat Style Mastery; I determined that Combat Style Mastery was best left alone, but otherwise it would have been a headache to place. Thus, Imp. Uncanny Dodge at 11th.

13th level, which ATM only contains Camouflage, now grants Trackless Step (because if Druids can have it, why not Rangers) and Uncanny Tracker. The latter is pretty simple: if someone uses Pass Without Trace, or Trackless Step, the character can do the tracking but with a -20 penalty. If it sounds too similar, look at the Bloodhound :P

Camouflage was demoted to level 8th, where a bonus feat stands. Hide in Plain Sight was demoted to level 12th, to follow yet another bonus feat. That would have meant a pretty strong ability at 16th that's stealth-related, but unfortunately Combat Style Supremacy is there, and that ability is just TOO good to pass up. Thus, there IS an ability...at level 18th, which makes it even levels for stealth. And that would be...Undetectable: a ranger using Hide and Move Silently cannot be detected by supernatural or magical means, although extraordinary versions of blindsense, blindsight and tremorsense do (blindsight and blindsense if they aren't listen-based). Thus, a dragon *MIGHT* be capable of detecting you, but a wizard with Mindsight doesn't. Detect Magic doesn't ping you. See Invisibility merely reduces the bonus on Hide checks, but you still require to have a good Spot to see the ranger. And so forth.

Favored Terrain and Favored Plane are a go.

Hmm, like it all so far. Doesn't sound like you're making it too busy, either.

Where are you thinking of starting Favored Terrain and Favored Plane?

Knaight
2010-08-29, 12:38 AM
Concerning the dead levels, you could improve favored enemy on one of them, even with a bonus that isn't a proper continuation. You may take 10 on all opposed skills when opposed to your favorite enemy or some such.

Overall, this is one of the best Ranger classes I have seen, and the only one competing with it was made by Fax Celestis.

Latronis
2010-08-29, 03:51 AM
I was thinking of keeping Outsiders as their own subtypes, but collapse Humanoids into a single purpose. There are several varieties of Elves, sure, and also several varieties of humans, but the rest? Each races' variants that aren't humans or elves don't increase over 5. Heck, even elves with the large amount of variants they have rarely justify taking humanoid (elf).


Well depending on the campaign maxing out a FE on (human esp) a specific humanoid can get quite the work out, you won't be facing lv20 humanoids afterall more like lv20 wizards that happen to be humans or elves.

But I agree in general Cutting down on the humanoids is a good plan. All humanoids being 1 might be a bit too much though hmm


Outsiders, on the other hand...Devils, Yugoloth and Demons are evil outsiders and there's several (not to mention they usually are high-level monsters), Angels, Archons, Guardinals, Eladrin and assorted miscellaneous are good outsiders (and there's almost enough to justify), Demons and Slaadi are chaotic outsiders, and Devils, Modrons and I believe Formians are lawful outsiders, so there's a reason to keep alignments separate. I might collapse elemental-type outsiders into Outsider (elemental), though.

If you were going to start collapsing the big ones I'd just drop it down too Outsider(Alignment Any) And Outsider(Elemental Any) Many of the alignment subtype outsiders are just reskinned versions of the others anyway


Also, thinking: how about allowing to change favored enemies at 10th level and higher? Orcs and goblinoids are numerous at the first few levels, but a 20th level ranger with humanoid (goblinoid), even with a +2 bonus, is losing his time. Thus, that would be a reasonable change: exchange one favored enemy type for another, so that a Ranger slowly gains awareness of higher-level menaces and keeps other menaces low.

Fluff it up and let's see it :D

Mechanically it makes perfect sense.. but trading in kinda spits in the face of flavour IMO.


13th level, which ATM only contains Camouflage, now grants Trackless Step (because if Druids can have it, why not Rangers) and Uncanny Tracker. The latter is pretty simple: if someone uses Pass Without Trace, or Trackless Step, the character can do the tracking but with a -20 penalty. If it sounds too similar, look at the Bloodhound :P

Never thought of that... I like it. I just put a 4+ HD ranger can still track clause in...


Camouflage was demoted to level 8th, where a bonus feat stands. Hide in Plain Sight was demoted to level 12th, to follow yet another bonus feat. That would have meant a pretty strong ability at 16th that's stealth-related, but unfortunately Combat Style Supremacy is there, and that ability is just TOO good to pass up. Thus, there IS an ability...at level 18th, which makes it even levels for stealth. And that would be...Undetectable: a ranger using Hide and Move Silently cannot be detected by supernatural or magical means, although extraordinary versions of blindsense, blindsight and tremorsense do (blindsight and blindsense if they aren't listen-based). Thus, a dragon *MIGHT* be capable of detecting you, but a wizard with Mindsight doesn't. Detect Magic doesn't ping you. See Invisibility merely reduces the bonus on Hide checks, but you still require to have a good Spot to see the ranger. And so forth.


In natural terrain I assume?

Another stealth option if you keeping in evasion and improved evasion could be cunning evasion (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/iw/20060406a)


Favored Terrain and Favored Plane are a go.

Have something written down for your plane option?

DaragosKitsune
2010-08-29, 04:59 AM
Just thought of something amusing after reading the Capture style and lasso suggestion. Middle aged human ranger with capture combat style, max ranks in survival and a horse animal companion.

Ashtagon
2010-08-29, 06:20 AM
http://www.thepiazza.org.uk/bb/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=3654

This is how you keep favoured enemy relevant across all levels.

Favoured terrain is good, but still suffers from the "you're either awesome or you're nerfed" problem. If your low-level adventures all took place in a forest, but by the time your mid-high adventures start, you're only ever in a desert or tundra, you still wasted your low-level slot.

Andion Isurand
2010-08-30, 01:16 AM
http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/cwc/20061013a

you may want to work the abilities found on this thread into what you already have for your ranger

Cieyrin
2010-08-31, 01:13 PM
Your work is always good, Oskar, and this Retooled class is no exception. I do have a couple of nitpicks, though.

Bringing up the Domains thing in the spell section makes no sense to me, as since it brings up clerics for no apparent reason, especially since you're attempting to link Ranger spells up with Druids. I'd drop the sentence from the section.

Combat Style and Favored Enemy seem decent and better than they were originally.

Fast Movement still has a mention from Barbarian, which you probably want to change to Ranger. :smalltongue:

Animal Companion is definitely better, especially if said Ranger were to pick up Natural Bond, as then they'd have a Druid strength companion. Definitely worth a feat in my book, especially if the Ranger is to make a mounted build (which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing to have as a Combat Style, methinks. =3)

The rest seems good up until Combat Style Supremacy. At least for Archery, I think the bonii gained from hits and misses should be locked to the target they were fired at, as what does knowing the range to one target necessarily say about the range and defenses of a different one? The bonii imply correcting your aim against that target, which shouldn't help you shoot somebody else. The same deal for Throwing, methinks.

For Two Weapon Supremacy, what exactly does 'bleeding damage' mean? Is it just extra damage or is it a free Arterial Strike to the target, so they bleed that amount each round? Does the bleeding stack? Does it work against creatures without blood or other fluid that would mean bad things for them to leak? Does it work against Fortified targets, with the same clause as Improved Archery for Favored Enemies? Details, details...

Also, shame there's no Shillelagh for Rangers, as quarterstaff-wielding Two Weapon Style Rangers with Shillelagh would be sexy.

Beyond that, the ACFs seem alright and I look forward to the closing off of the dead levels with tasty bits.

Them's my 2 coppers. Take as you will.

T.G. Oskar
2010-08-31, 06:11 PM
First and foremost: sorry if I got delayed so much. I was waiting for more replies, but Earl got to me. Yes, that hurricane, which fortunately didn't struck so hard. But I got no light/no Internet for about a day and a half, so...

(Just in case I don't answer because of Shrek's wife...I mean, tropical storm Fiona)


Yes. Sort of like how wossnames can replace maneuvers they learned earlier on in their careers with higher level ones.

So, yeah, I like this idea. So, 10th, 15th, and 20th, can switch one favored enemy out for another one... Looks good.

Wossnames? You mean, Crusaders, Swordsages and Warblades? Well...that, as well as spontaneous spellcasters replacing their spells.

Actually, it's much more focused on the Bard/Sorcerer spell replacement. Or rather, a combination of both. I'll explain a little bit later on.


Hmm... An idea just occurred that you might want to consider, maybe as part of the capstone the ability to change favored enemies and such around more freely? Maybe a GP or XP cost (probably plus time, maybe have it take an entire rest period and only be capable of doing it 1/week or 1/month?) ...or... since you mentioned having multiple favored Xs in the scheme... maybe have it be free for favored terrain, GP cost for favored enemy, and XP cost for favored plane? Depending upon the power of the abilities anyway.

I'll think about it, but the capstone thus far seems a lot loaded...


Hmm, like it all so far. Doesn't sound like you're making it too busy, either.

Where are you thinking of starting Favored Terrain and Favored Plane?

And the reason why it's so loaded is because Favored Plane will be at level 20. Favored Terrain starts at level 10. However, Favored Plane has a bit of a quirk.


Concerning the dead levels, you could improve favored enemy on one of them, even with a bonus that isn't a proper continuation. You may take 10 on all opposed skills when opposed to your favorite enemy or some such.

Overall, this is one of the best Ranger classes I have seen, and the only one competing with it was made by Fax Celestis.

Hmm...Favored Enemy Skill Mastery? That's a reasonable idea, but not so worthy for such high level.

Unless...well, it can count on all favored enemies, or even make it a general Skill Mastery (by levels 17-20, they should take 10 without problem since they'll have massive bonus). Perhaps that Skill Mastery could go on the earliest of the dead levels.


Well depending on the campaign maxing out a FE on (human esp) a specific humanoid can get quite the work out, you won't be facing lv20 humanoids afterall more like lv20 wizards that happen to be humans or elves.

But I agree in general Cutting down on the humanoids is a good plan. All humanoids being 1 might be a bit too much though hmm

It makes perfect sense. You can figure that they'll have the same tactics and evasive maneuvers. Maybe one or two changes, but that's the focus of racial abilities such as the dwarven and gnome racial hatred for certain creatures.

It also depends on which races to group in smaller, compact groups. Any group that has humans will have a strong traction, followed by elves. Making it civilized humanoids and savage humanoids would be reasonable (battle tactics on one place would be different than those on other places), but you'll eventually figure that, by means of choices, civilized will always succeed over savage.

It's hard to "balance" or at least make it reasonable enough to make the choices remain on doubt, but given that there'll be a change on favored enemy choices, humanoids could be collapsed on smaller groups. If it weren't, then humanoids (all) would have been better choices.


If you were going to start collapsing the big ones I'd just drop it down too Outsider(Alignment Any) And Outsider(Elemental Any) Many of the alignment subtype outsiders are just reskinned versions of the others anyway

Pretty much. Good call, in any case.


Fluff it up and let's see it :D

Mechanically it makes perfect sense.. but trading in kinda spits in the face of flavour IMO.

Ashtagon provides a good example on how fluff works. Basically, aside from hatred and spite, there is no reason why a ranger shouldn't change their favored enemy. Much like, say, a detective looks on information to capture a criminal, or specific gang; when they capture the gang or the criminal, they might retain some knowledge but they'll largely forget it, as they focus on the next target. Or, say...a game hunter that all of a sudden changes to be a fisherman; they'll keep the base tactics but they'll forget some of the specifics, as they get accustomed to other tactics.


In natural terrain I assume?

I was making it so that it was it worked everywhere, but it could be mostly natural terrain and dungeons. Basically to keep it relevant but flavorful.


Another stealth option if you keeping in evasion and improved evasion could be cunning evasion (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/iw/20060406a)

That would be useful, but the problem is that there's already a feat for it. You're having free feats, so I don't think I should make it a specific bonus feat (you're already expected to have 9+ ranks on Hide) would work.


Have something written down for your plane option?

Mostly like the Favored Terrain option: choose a plane, get bonuses on skills, attack and weapon damage rolls against creatures native to the terrain. Favored Plane also allows untrained Knowledge (the planes) checks if related to the specific plane, and also being treated as native for the plane (so you can't get banished or dismissed).

Oh, and you get the Material Plane favored terrain for free (since everyone will choose Material Plane, and it's basically the capstone ability).


Just thought of something amusing after reading the Capture style and lasso suggestion. Middle aged human ranger with capture combat style, max ranks in survival and a horse animal companion.

If you were thinking of the Lone Ranger, or Clint Eastwood, or the traditional cowboy...that was quite intentional. I believe that native Americans and indigenous tribes, not to mention cowboys (and gaķchos), could make for awesome rangers; hence the Capture and Throwing combat styles.


http://www.thepiazza.org.uk/bb/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=3654

This is how you keep favoured enemy relevant across all levels.

Favoured terrain is good, but still suffers from the "you're either awesome or you're nerfed" problem. If your low-level adventures all took place in a forest, but by the time your mid-high adventures start, you're only ever in a desert or tundra, you still wasted your low-level slot.

I intend to start it at 10th level, and also to allow a change on terrain on later levels (15th, 20th, etc. if you go Epic...) Any change to Favored Enemy will probably affect Favored Terrain and Favored Plane.


http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/cwc/20061013a

you may want to work the abilities found on this thread into what you already have for your ranger

I had already checked it (I did mention that most of the dead levels abilities are rather weak), but after a second checkup there are some nice abilities I could get in. Also, I find Kolja is a good material writer, if I consider the Waking Lands changes and what few I could get from Complete Mage.


Your work is always good, Oskar, and this Retooled class is no exception. I do have a couple of nitpicks, though.

Bringing up the Domains thing in the spell section makes no sense to me, as since it brings up clerics for no apparent reason, especially since you're attempting to link Ranger spells up with Druids. I'd drop the sentence from the section.

Fast Movement still has a mention from Barbarian, which you probably want to change to Ranger. :smalltongue:

Thanks for the catchups. I cheat a bit and copy-pasta from other documents, so usually I keep some stuff that flies away from my attention.


Combat Style and Favored Enemy seem decent and better than they were originally.

Animal Companion is definitely better, especially if said Ranger were to pick up Natural Bond, as then they'd have a Druid strength companion. Definitely worth a feat in my book, especially if the Ranger is to make a mounted build (which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing to have as a Combat Style, methinks. =3)

Intentional. Combat Style could be done better, but unfortunately the styles were basically bonus feats, and Favored Enemy had some odd choices on Bluff (to feint, basically, but otherwise you're looking on Urban Ranger behavior) and Gather Information (which makes much better sense if you were a bounty hunter -or- an Urban Ranger). Hide and Move Silently make sense for their stealth focus, while Listen, Spot and Survival are just the perception and natural skills they will probably keep.


The rest seems good up until Combat Style Supremacy. At least for Archery, I think the bonii gained from hits and misses should be locked to the target they were fired at, as what does knowing the range to one target necessarily say about the range and defenses of a different one? The bonii imply correcting your aim against that target, which shouldn't help you shoot somebody else. The same deal for Throwing, methinks.

Hmm, I was thinking on that idea. Certainly, applying that bonus to everyone might be a bit too strong. On the other hand, locking the bonuses means a bit too much book-keeping (you do get some book-keeping, but it's basically a sum: hit +2, miss +5). But the spellcasting and the animal companion should imply some book-keeping, so basically more book-keeping is expected.


For Two Weapon Supremacy, what exactly does 'bleeding damage' mean? Is it just extra damage or is it a free Arterial Strike to the target, so they bleed that amount each round? Does the bleeding stack? Does it work against creatures without blood or other fluid that would mean bad things for them to leak? Does it work against Fortified targets, with the same clause as Improved Archery for Favored Enemies? Details, details...

Basically it's Arterial Strike, or other kinds of damage that are meant to bleed and be healed by a DC 15 Heal check or CwhateverW spells.

Given that, bleeding damage stacks as intended (so you can deal pretty high amounts of damage with each successful strike).

As it's "bleeding" damage, it doesn't work against creatures without fluids (basically oozes, undead, plants and constructs) but it should work if there's a way to make the character bleed.

As for Fortified targets, IIRC bleeding damage doesn't work on creatures immune to critical targets, but it could be reasonably allowed to work on favored enemies. So as long as they bleed, of course.

The reason it says "extra bleeding damage" is because it *is* added damage, and there's no other way to call it. But if necessary; it works much like Arterial Strike. It makes sense because slashing damage (and piercing damage too, but piercing damage is related to bypassing damage) usually allows for lots of bloodletting.


Also, shame there's no Shillelagh for Rangers, as quarterstaff-wielding Two Weapon Style Rangers with Shillelagh would be sexy.

Yep, but hey...Mighty Wallop is much better than Shillelagh (or at least Greater Magic Weapon and Greater Mighty Wallop). But druids could make a bit more use out of it.


Beyond that, the ACFs seem alright and I look forward to the closing off of the dead levels with tasty bits.

Them's my 2 coppers. Take as you will.

How many coppers have I successfully taken from you? I think I already have a silver piece of you, methinks.

Cieyrin
2010-08-31, 07:31 PM
Thanks for the catchups. I cheat a bit and copy-pasta from other documents, so usually I keep some stuff that flies away from my attention.

No prob


Intentional. Combat Style could be done better, but unfortunately the styles were basically bonus feats, and Favored Enemy had some odd choices on Bluff (to feint, basically, but otherwise you're looking on Urban Ranger behavior) and Gather Information (which makes much better sense if you were a bounty hunter -or- an Urban Ranger). Hide and Move Silently make sense for their stealth focus, while Listen, Spot and Survival are just the perception and natural skills they will probably keep.

Yepyep.


Hmm, I was thinking on that idea. Certainly, applying that bonus to everyone might be a bit too strong. On the other hand, locking the bonuses means a bit too much book-keeping (you do get some book-keeping, but it's basically a sum: hit +2, miss +5). But the spellcasting and the animal companion should imply some book-keeping, so basically more book-keeping is expected.

I don't think it's that big a deal, unless you're doing crazy volleys against multiple creatures at a time. Even then, it's just a matter of having a list of sums with a name attached to 'em, so not that big a deal, as compared to spell lists, which shouldn't be that big an issue on a half caster like Rangers.


Basically it's Arterial Strike, or other kinds of damage that are meant to bleed and be healed by a DC 15 Heal check or CwhateverW spells.

Given that, bleeding damage stacks as intended (so you can deal pretty high amounts of damage with each successful strike).

As it's "bleeding" damage, it doesn't work against creatures without fluids (basically oozes, undead, plants and constructs) but it should work if there's a way to make the character bleed.

As for Fortified targets, IIRC bleeding damage doesn't work on creatures immune to critical targets, but it could be reasonably allowed to work on favored enemies. So as long as they bleed, of course.

The reason it says "extra bleeding damage" is because it *is* added damage, and there's no other way to call it. But if necessary; it works much like Arterial Strike. It makes sense because slashing damage (and piercing damage too, but piercing damage is related to bypassing damage) usually allows for lots of bloodletting.

Sounds good, just need to add it to the entry, as bleeding damage isn't really a definitive term in 3.5 like it is in Pathfinder.


Yep, but hey...Mighty Wallop is much better than Shillelagh (or at least Greater Magic Weapon and Greater Mighty Wallop). But druids could make a bit more use out of it.

Not really, unless it's in terms of flexibility on what bludgeon you want to beat people with. Early on, Shillelagh magics it up and makes it TWO sizes bigger, in before Greater Mighty Wallop at CL 8 and combines it up with Magic Weapon, which I call early game efficiency. :smallbiggrin:


How many coppers have I successfully taken from you? I think I already have a silver piece of yours, methinks.

No clue, I don't use my classic post ending as often these days. Running short on coppers, maybe, since I was pretty free with them early on in my posting as a Pixie and Halfing. Man, those were the days, when pants properly fit and didn't have to be custom made... [/wistfulthoughts] :smalltongue:

DaragosKitsune
2010-08-31, 08:46 PM
If you were thinking of the Lone Ranger, or Clint Eastwood, or the traditional cowboy...that was quite intentional. I believe that native Americans and indigenous tribes, not to mention cowboys (and gaķchos), could make for awesome rangers; hence the Capture and Throwing combat styles.


While those are also good examples, my reference was a little more recent. Namely, Mantracker.

T.G. Oskar
2010-09-07, 01:12 AM
Not really, unless it's in terms of flexibility on what bludgeon you want to beat people with. Early on, Shillelagh magics it up and makes it TWO sizes bigger, in before Greater Mighty Wallop at CL 8 and combines it up with Magic Weapon, which I call early game efficiency. :smallbiggrin:

Perhaps, but a Ranger already has some strong points. Leave the Shillelagh to the Druid; it fits the idea better. I mean, Druid can't be removed that much from Celtic/Gaelic roots, while Ranger can be pretty much universal (as I mentioned, you can be a hunter, a native American, a cowboy, a gaķcho, a pirate, a mountain climber, an underground dweller, a desert nomad, and that's what gets on my mind).


No clue, I don't use my classic post ending as often these days. Running short on coppers, maybe, since I was pretty free with them early on in my posting as a Pixie and Halfing. Man, those were the days, when pants properly fit and didn't have to be custom made... [/wistfulthoughts] :smalltongue:

Mayhaps its the time to shell out the silver? Or perhaps break up the copper pieces...or...I recall there was something that was less than copper. Krynn Steel Piece?

--

Anyways...UPDATE!
--Favored Enemy now has an exchange mechanic. I used part of the ideas suggested with some of my own, which should make it reasonable but also mechanically viable.
--Favored Terrain and Favored Plane are added. Favored Plane, thus far, is basically the "capstone" of the class, though the truth is basically having three kinds of favored opposition in one level (and in further levels, if you manage to go epic!)
--Camouflage and Hide in Plain Sight were downgraded to 8th level and 12th level, respectively. Now, they should be used a bit more.
--Added Uncanny Dodge, Trackless Step, Improved Uncanny Dodge, plus the adapted/brand new abilities Hunter's Mastery, Undetectable and Uncanny Tracker.
--Cleared the Combat Style Supremacy abilities of Archery and slashing Two-Weapon Fighting.

While there's still a dead level hanging around, the class now has much less dead levels and a bit more power than before.

Darn, I am a bit late with my brewing schedule. I have far too many stuff to post, which means I should be posting at least one stuff per week (and I presume it'll reach the end of the year that way). I feel tempted to post something else, specifically a PrC which I haven't done so in some time...

Cieyrin
2010-09-07, 03:27 PM
Got a little Spoiler happy, there, Oskar. Trackless Step is spoilered instead of bolded. :smalltongue:

Otherwise, the new stuff looks good. I especially approve of Undetectable, especially if a Ranger picks up Darkstalker at that level or earlier than that, so he can foil those pesky extraordinary senses as well. Though I do wonder whether this'll foil Mindsight or Touchsight, as the big 2 senses to have, as the ToS demonstrated.

I also approve of minimum Favored Enemy bonii, to keep them relevant when you get new ones so it's not just 'meh, another +2 or 4. GREAT. :smallannoyed:'.

I also note that you could almost have a classic Swift Hunter build here, with a Ranger 18/Scout 2, making Undetectable the capstone ability...then I noted Swift Hunter required Skirmish 1d6/+1, making the minimum Scout contribution Scout 3, possibly 4 for the bonus feat. OH WELL, at least with a Ranger 16/Scout 4, you'll get your Combat Style Supremacy as a capstone, which isn't half bad, really.

T.G. Oskar
2010-09-08, 12:34 AM
Got a little Spoiler happy, there, Oskar. Trackless Step is spoilered instead of bolded. :smalltongue:

Yep, a bit too spoiler-happy, I believe. Oddly enough, I didn't notice of that while I noticed another one as I was writing.


Otherwise, the new stuff looks good. I especially approve of Undetectable, especially if a Ranger picks up Darkstalker at that level or earlier than that, so he can foil those pesky extraordinary senses as well. Though I do wonder whether this'll foil Mindsight or Touchsight, as the big 2 senses to have, as the ToS demonstrated.

I was thinking of Darkstalker while I was writing that one. Still, the line of thought to that idea wasn't so bad: you're great at hiding, so why not reach the point that even magical and supernatural abilities can't find you? Darkstalker deals with the extraordinary, so you depend on those senses you conveniently neglect (Listen and Spot), while you can depend on your abilities and on three detection skills (the former two, plus Survival since you can track them as well).

As for Mindsight and Touchsight... Touchsight would be easy to fool: magic-psionics transparency means that if you're attempting to fool magic, it is reasonable to think you're fooling psionics. I usually go with "spells, spell-like abilities, psionic powers, psi-like abilities, supernatural abilities, invocations and mysteries" (with a clear-up on mysteries and whether they affect only the spell versions, the SLA versions, or all three). Thus, Touchsight would be fooled: you're supernaturally cutting its line of effect, even at plain sight.

Mindsight might be tougher, since it's technically an extraordinary ability based on a usually supernatural ability. If telepathy was extraordinary, then Mindsight would be effective; however, since telepathy is supernatural, the idea is that you are undetectable by supernatural means, which means you shouldn't be telepathically contacted. Technically, it should fool Mindsight but the feat's RAW is brutally ambiguous in that regard. In that case, I'd defer to whether you can be telepathically contacted or not, which makes this the range of Mind Blank-type protection. Though...doesn't that mean that Protection vs. Alignment wouldn't protect you?


I also approve of minimum Favored Enemy bonii, to keep them relevant when you get new ones so it's not just 'meh, another +2 or 4. GREAT. :smallannoyed:'.

It was a minor something I thought as I was dealing with adding more options. The big problem of favored enemy is that it makes sense to provide small growths to favored enemies, but they realized that such growth would be senseless since you can't change your specialization, thus they decided to make a minimum bonus of +2. That was closer to what a favored enemy really should be, but mechanically, it makes the progression a mess: either one bonus to +10, two bonuses to +6, four bonuses to +4, or one bonus to +6 and two bonuses to +4 (since you get a total of +8 to your bonuses). Minimum FE bonus means that, every ten levels, all of your bonuses take a hike (so while you still distribute a +8 total bonus amongst 20 levels, you get a boost of +2 on all your bonuses as well), making specialization on one or two creatures (or even three or four) more palatable.


I also note that you could almost have a classic Swift Hunter build here, with a Ranger 18/Scout 2, making Undetectable the capstone ability...then I noted Swift Hunter required Skirmish 1d6/+1, making the minimum Scout contribution Scout 3, possibly 4 for the bonus feat. OH WELL, at least with a Ranger 16/Scout 4, you'll get your Combat Style Supremacy as a capstone, which isn't half bad, really.

Well...I was thinking of adding Skirmish to the Ranger, but that would mean the Scout would have no reason to exist. I might still do it, but replacing something else entirely (maybe the spellcasting, as a form of ACF, which would make a fine scouting build regardless). You'd lose on Favored Plane (YMMV whether that is bad or not), and also whatever I decide to put on level 19th (I haven't forgotten about that, but being a prime number means I can add something unique and exclusive, yet having a ranger feel).

Latronis
2010-09-08, 12:44 AM
I'm liking the way it looks, kinda feel like revisiting mine now :D

Particularly fond of the tracing and stealth improvements such as the undetectable and skill mastery.

Why not let them take urban settings as a favored terrain? Kinda negates the point of urban ranger ACF's but so what? more choice can't hurt and I can think of no reason why ranger's must only benefit in the wilderness

Still it really needs something at the end there just to make it look complete.

T.G. Oskar
2011-01-03, 05:06 AM
Alright, after some time (and playing more DDO), I have to hand it to Turbine to make Favored Enemy all the more interesting.

Basically, they decided to take out that restriction of +2 minimum bonus on favored enemies and +2 increases to one favored enemy every 5 levels. They decided to give a specific increase in bonus of +2 every level, applying to ALL favored enemies.

Then they treat favored enemies as feats, hence you can retrain them (with a Mind Flayer, so I suspect Psychic Reformation).

Now, the retraining option is still there, but I decided to take the favored enemy option one step further; it's now a fixed bonus that increases every 5 levels and applies to all favored enemies you choose (so at level 10 you get a +6 on three favored enemies). You can exchange them once per week, or once per day with a cumulative -2 penalty on the bonus (so you could change, say, undead for constructs, and that same 10th level ranger would have a +4 on all favored enemies for the remainder of the week; afterwards, it regains its +6 full bonus).

This might shook things a bit, since the increase also applies to favored terrain and favored plane; if you fight the right enemy in the right terrain in the right plane, you're going on a max bonus of +18 per every hit. Now add the archery option, and suddenly the ranger outdamages just about everything. So I was asking; since I don't wish to nerf favored enemy again, how should I work with the archery option? Should I replace the adjustment bonus or reduce it (probably to a +1 on hit, +2 on miss)?

Still working on a proper idea for the last few levels. Don't think I've forgotten about that one.

Cieyrin
2011-01-04, 11:10 AM
This might shook things a bit, since the increase also applies to favored terrain and favored plane; if you fight the right enemy in the right terrain in the right plane, you're going on a max bonus of +18 per every hit. Now add the archery option, and suddenly the ranger outdamages just about everything. So I was asking; since I don't wish to nerf favored enemy again, how should I work with the archery option? Should I replace the adjustment bonus or reduce it (probably to a +1 on hit, +2 on miss)?

Still working on a proper idea for the last few levels. Don't think I've forgotten about that one.

I was leery of the adjustment mechanic before, so backing it off to +1 on hit, +2 on miss is a fine idea.

19th is still leering at us, I see, as well. Good luck on getting it filled with something useful.

T.G. Oskar
2011-07-06, 05:16 AM
So, as mentioned on the Project Heretica thread, I managed to do some playtesting, and this included using the Retooled Ranger as part of a group of enemies. The results, IMO, were quite satisfactory.

I mentioned about the group a bit, but I want to specify the enemy group here in its entirety:
The five-man band leader was a Shifter Ranger whom took the Trapsmith ACF. He wasn't really designed for magic traps, so he was pretty straightforward: Longstride Shifter, using a bow for damage, set up a few traps at his location to take down unwary chargers, and putting the trainers and their bears in an unusual pincer formation to lure them into a single point, which had a trap he had set. Being a Ranger 4th, he had some 1st level spells (mainly Magic Weapon) prepared, alongside the trio of Cure Minor Wounds, Guidance and Resistance. The character also had an owl animal companion (hidden, of course).

The two trainers were Expert 2/Ranger 2, both specializing in Capture. Since Capture allows them to use Improved Trip, they were meant not to damage the enemy but to keep them down for their friends the bears. Since they used whips for that purpose, they were pretty good doing that, having a few of my players (and the DMPC I made for them, the Project Heretica Paladin) fall off a few times. They definitely had Handle Animal and Ride, alongside a few random skills.

The bears...were brown bears. I can't believe they're CR 4. I was gonna use black bears instead, but I got a bit confused. An attack bonus of +11, a +16 in grapple AND improved grab, as well as 51 hp were enough to down the super-damage-dealing Fighter.

The players won the battle with some assistance (5 crossbowmen using light crossbows and striking from the upper ground while taking advantage of the Bard's song for a +9 to attack and a +3 to damage), but the ranger became quite the challenge, if only because of a few things:

Having Magic Weapon meant the longbow the main Ranger used dealt had a reasonable +9 attack bonus (though, with AC 23 that's not a strong advantage) and some damage. Shifting only caused Dex to rise even more and move pretty fast (50 ft movement!!), so the Ranger could kite in and attack very, very easily.

Although he never added any other trap, he could have easily mined the battlefield as they drew near. He already added a few traps around, though they were an inconvenience to the Fighter with 23-25 AC.

Capture on the animal trainers made them superior trippers, at one moment pretty much making the entire group risk total TPK (mostly because of the bears). The Paladin was tripped at least once, and the Bard was tripped twice, even as a Crucian. This, followed by the bears attacking the prone creatures, caused some serious damage.

The battle ended with the group taken into negatives, but healed and arrested by the group (sans one, whom activated a trap to perish before the group captured them). The ranger became a terrorist (but I wish to use him again, so an escape attempt will happen) and one of the animal trainers remains alive, so that's two characters who got a sound beating but can be improved for latter battles (at least the ranger leader, with perhaps a druid and totemist as backup).

As with the group, some changes were made:
The ranger and the animal trainers were level 4, so they received the same traits as the DMPC: elite array for their stats, 2 points worth of ability score increases. That made the ranger have a huge Dex bonus, while the animal trainers had some decent Strength.
The longbow adds its Dexterity modifier to damage, so the ranger could deal 4 extra points of damage easily. Add the Magic Weapon bonus and shifting, and that added to a 1d8+6 attack).
Rapid Shot is quite different, no longer requiring Point Blank Shot (but still requiring a good Dex score) and BAB of at least +1. This meant the Ranger could take that feat at 1st level, so he could make two attacks right from the beginning. Even with a +8 to both attacks, it didn't mean much to AC 23, but 2d6+12 points of damage on a full attack could have been pretty painful).
I decided that whips could provoke trip-based attacks of opportunity, though it rarely worked based on how I devised trip to work (opposed BAB + Str or Dex rolls). It was already nightmarish to deal with the Half-Giant with a +10 to the trip attempt, the Bard and the Paladin having less scores while at that.
The bear/animal handler interaction is excellent. I figure the Capture can be used for a beastmaster-type Ranger, which works in unison. Use bolas, nets, whips and other capture instruments while the animal companion deals with them!
The main ranger had Iron Will, which not only added a decent bonus to Will saves but also the chance to ignore one failed Will save per encounter (at the cost of losing the bonus). All animal handlers had Animal Affinity, which granted them not only a +1 to Handle Animal and Ride checks, but since they got both as class skills it also added a +1 bonus to wild empathy checks, and this bonus increases with more ranks. So essentially useless feats were made more useful!

I'm planning eventually a rematch between the players and the ranger leader, this time with a better animal companion AND fully using the traps while alongside the ever-powerful Druid and a well-built totemist. The character had some endurance and was more of a bother than anything, but the two levels in Ranger from the animal handlers alongside their huge Handle Animal checks and tactics (and the bears) made for a surprisingly strong battle. Although they weren't very optimized for combat (they used whips instead of other weapons, hence they couldn't do damage to any of the group's members), the synergy between both is pretty amazing, and by the time the Ranger manages to get a brown (or even black!) bear into their party, they could fight extremely well.

So: comments about the results? Questions? Do consider that this has some 'brew as of yet unposted, but eventually I'll deliver with the retoolings to feats, some of which saw action very recently.

Dryad
2011-07-06, 06:32 AM
I love this retooling!
It adds so much more to the ranger class, which has always felt incredibly empty to me. ^_^
But the added versatility (much needed) didn't lift the power overboard. So.. This re-tooling has my full support!

deuxhero
2011-07-11, 01:23 AM
Sadly, only two images usually present themselves:


Wildshape ranger is pretty common actually

NineThePuma
2011-07-12, 12:36 AM
I find that you post up a play test (is it bad I want a campaign journal?) and no one comments amusing.


I'm considering playing a natural weapon using Kobold Ranger, any suggestions?

cmakonline
2011-07-12, 01:05 PM
this looks great! since you included some ranger variants - how about the urban ranger? personally i like it (esp works great with rogue multi classing and even better with the changeling 1st level substitution).

Coidzor
2011-07-12, 01:38 PM
I thought capture looked like fun times for some support to some heavies. :smallbiggrin: Nifty.

Urpriest
2011-07-12, 03:00 PM
For the natural weapon styles, I'd do some sort of baffling-wings thing. I believe that the Feathered Wings graft has an ability like that, you could use that as a rough base. Basically, you wave your wings around to disorient people, much like a swashbuckler does with a cloak.

T.G. Oskar
2011-07-13, 06:42 PM
Wildshape ranger is pretty common actually

Pretty common variant, mind you. Anyone whom bans Unearthed Arcana cannot play it, because the variants ARE from Unearthed Arcana. It's mostly common because of how the forum praises it alongside Sword of the Arcane Order Mystic Ranger, which grants up to 6th level spellcasting, but that's essentially a Druid with full BAB instead of 9th level spellcasting, which entirely defeats the point of making a Ranger on the first place.

Besides, what kind of famous transforming Ranger whom is ALSO an elf would I place? After all, the entire idea was to place Legolas (a Wood Elf) as one example, with Drizzt (a Drow) as the complete opposite.


I find that you post up a play test (is it bad I want a campaign journal?) and no one comments amusing.

C'est la vie. Do consider that I mentioned some special rules in play, so there's not much to discuss aside from a specific build with a specific kind of animal working well; the brown bear is already pretty powerful, but the tricks to make trip a menace at any level ALONGSIDE a strong damage source really made it worthwhile.

I could make a campaign journal, but it might not have a steady following, compared to...say, SCS. It's hard to top that, even if making it a sort of playtest with a control group serving as contrast.


I'm considering playing a natural weapon using Kobold Ranger, any suggestions?

Well, obviously you're using the two claws and a bite variant, and the Natural Warrior ACF for the improvements to those.

The claws net you INA and a Rake attack, so you definitely get more damage potential that way (if only around 11th level). You can get nice Dex and TWF at around 6th level and use your claws for several attacks, then at 11th level you can get the rake attack. The problem is the rake, which will basically be 1d3 + 1-1/2 your Strength, which you might never have high enough.

The bite deals less damage overall, but you get slightly more damage and eventually a "control" option through the bite attack, although with some difficulties because of size and lack of Strength. This makes the claw a better option because you can deliver many attacks even if unarmed, instead of only a few.

As for abilities, most of the Ranger spells (and even the Druid spells that the Ranger has access to) aid natural attack wielders. Thus, Magic Fang should be a must until you get access to Greater Magic Fang. Good Spell Compendium level 1 spells are Blades of Fire, Ram's Might, Rhino's Rush (which works well with the level 16th Pounce for impressive damage), Babau Slime (a deterrent if you get hit). Good 2nd level spells are Decomposition, Daggerspell Stance (if you get two daggers to play with), Align Fang to bypass DR, Swift Haste for extra attacks and speed on a pinch, and Lion's Charge to have Pounce before 16th level. The rest should be easy to deal with.

Oh, and Favored Enemies? Gnomes are a fitting option.


this looks great! since you included some ranger variants - how about the urban ranger? personally i like it (esp works great with rogue multi classing and even better with the changeling 1st level substitution).

Part of why I didn't add an Urban Ranger was because the concept is really overused (the Urban Ranger from UA, the Cityscape web enhancements, the Half-Elf Ranger which is essentially an urban ranger). I find the Cityscape Web Enhancements to successfully capture the idea of an Urban Ranger. Though, I *might* consider how to deal with a Urban Ranger's spell list and make a proper ACF out of it, though most of the spells will be based on the Bard's spell list rather than that of the Druid.


I thought capture looked like fun times for some support to some heavies. :smallbiggrin: Nifty.

It can be a style of its own. Since you can treat yourself as one size larger for grapple and trip, and eventually catch up against jaunters and annoy those with FoM. However, it's just as good for support.


For the natural weapon styles, I'd do some sort of baffling-wings thing. I believe that the Feathered Wings graft has an ability like that, you could use that as a rough base. Basically, you wave your wings around to disorient people, much like a swashbuckler does with a cloak.

Interesting proposal, though the bonus is a bit small compared to, say, pounce or rake. They also lack Bluff. So, it should be a stronger bonus based on the ranger's attack bonus instead of Bluff. It's actually something to consider, but probably as a debuff. Drone would be interesting.

Perhaps some sort of technique to create a cloud of dust? A Fog Cloud-based ability that forces a Reflex save against blindness makes for a perfect debuffing tactic.

gunnar11
2011-09-05, 10:07 AM
I loved it, FINALLY some decency for my favorite class in the whole game!

Only one comment though:
When choosing thrown weapons as your combat style on first level you gain two ranged feats that can be used for all weapons (I think it wasn't mentioned otherwise), thus making it easy to take just one class level in ranger to get two feats at once (this is also applyable for the grapple and trip).

Maybe put some restrictions on it, or even move it to second level (making it a lot less wanted to take those levels)