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View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Beast Master Ranger Fix.



Shadus
2014-12-30, 01:59 AM
So having now read the 5E books I gotta say there is a lot to like. However; one thing that stands out to me is how bad the Beast Master Ranger Archetype is. It makes me rather sad. After all The Beastmaster is one of my favorite fantasy movies of all time, and 5E's Beast Master plain sucks. I mean using YOUR action to have your pet attack is pretty lame. Also, there is no way to get many of the, in my opinion, more classic beast pets is a shame. A Beast Master who can't can't have Lions, and Tigers, and Bears? Oh My.

So after talking it over with a friend, this little bit of inspiration hit me. I present, my fix.


Beast Companions
At 3rd level, you gain a beast companion that accompanies you on your adventures and is trained to fight alongside you. Choose a beast that is no larger than Medium and that has a challenge rating o f 1/4 or lower (appendix D presents statistics for the hawk, mastiff, and panther as examples). Add your proficiency bonus to the beastís AC, attack rolls, and damage rolls, as well as to any saving throws and skills it is proficient in. Its hit point maximum equals its normal maximum or four times your ranger level, whichever is higher. The beast obeys your commands as best as it can. It takes its turn on your initiative, though it doesnít take an action unless you command it to. On your turn, you can verbally command the beast where to move (no action required by you). You can use your bonus action to verbally command it to take the Attack, Dash, Disengage, Dodge, , Help action or use a skill it is proficient in. A beast will continue to follow your command every round until it no longer can or told do another action. As you gain levels in Ranger your ability to train beasts improves. At 7 Level you can control multiple beasts or a single more powerful beast. The total challenge rating of your beasts cannot surpass 2/4 and you can have up to 2 beast companions. This further increases to 3/4 CR and 3 companions at level 11 and CR 1 and 4 companions level 15. In addition, starting at 7 level you can obtain animal companions of large size. While traveling through your favored terrain with only the beast, you can move stealthily at a normal pace. If the beast dies, you can obtain another one by spending 8 hours magically bonding with another beast that isnít hostile to you, either the same type of beast as before or a different one.

Beast Training
Beginning at 7th level, any beast companions you have had for over one week gain proficiency in one of the following skills: Athletics, Acrobatics, Sleight of Hand, Stealth, Perception, or Survival. Also if you are ever separated from your beast companions, you can call them to your side with a whistle, and they will appear in 1d4 rounds, crossing any gaps, voids, or planes as necessary.

Beast Bond
Starting at 11th level, your kinship with your beast companion has risen to a supernatural level. You gain a spiritual mind link with your beast, allowing you to communicate with them. In addition you can spend an action to see through any one of your companions eyes and feel what they feel. While in this state you can take direct control of their actions but it uses your own actions. Your companion must be within a number of miles equal to 1/2 your ranger level (rounded down) for you to use this ability.

Share Spells
Beginning at 15th level, when you cast a spell targeting yourself, you can also affect your beast companion with the spell if the beast is within 30 feet o f you.]


So what do you think? Is having multiple pets broken? Dose giving them skills make the Ranger to good of a skill monkey(AKA allow it to surpass the Rouge who should remain the king of skills)? Dose something not make sense/ is to complicated? Let me know. I'd love your feedback.

Amnoriath
2014-12-30, 09:59 AM
1. Yes having up to 4 pets is very broken in the sense it is stomping on every martial character as you inherently have 6 attacks, 4 of which add prof. bonus to damage rolls. The only real issue with the Beastmaster is its purely tactical ability at level 3. Otherwise it ends up surpassing the Hunter in many respects. I wouldn't really worry about the skills as they are a list you likely would have plus a Rogue has Expertise and Reliable Talent.
2. I do think the option of taking a higher CR pet would be nice but not multiple in the sense of this feature. Instead at higher levels those whom you have previously bonded with are considered to be charmed/friendly once you let them go and lose their features. This would be restricted to a certain amount of course. This way you can have multiple pets as well as uses without flooding the field.
3. Personally, I would expand the utility of the 1st and add a couple of things to round the flavor of the sub class as it is rather bland. This would include a Beast Sense ability that is exclusive with your pet and being able to speak to animals at will.
P.S. in eliminating the extra attack its natural attacks aren't considered magical for bypassing resistance.

Demonic Spoon
2014-12-30, 12:35 PM
I'm obviously going to be biased against this because I don't think the BM is nearly as bad as you apparently do, but your solution is pretty grossly overpowered. Even at level 3, your BM is outright better than the hunter in pretty much every way. The hunter can do a single extra D8 to a target or, in specific situations, get an extra attack. The BM has an extra free attack with a bunch of riders and utility based on the pet, plus extra HP and opportunity attacks.

At higher levels, you pretty much take the fighter's shtick of "have lots of attacks" and completely overtake it in every meaningful way.

Shadus
2014-12-30, 03:42 PM
1. Yes having up to 4 pets is very broken in the sense it is stomping on every martial character as you inherently have 6 attacks, 4 of which add prof. bonus to damage rolls. The only real issue with the Beastmaster is its purely tactical ability at level 3. Otherwise it ends up surpassing the Hunter in many respects. I wouldn't really worry about the skills as they are a list you likely would have plus a Rogue has Expertise and Reliable Talent.

As I feared. And while I feel that trying to balance the BM to the Hunter is a bad idea (Seeing how the hunter isn't that great itself) I do see the need to tone this down compared to other martial classes. However I'm still attached to the idea of Beast Master with multiple pets. To clarify I want to be able to emulate Dar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beastmaster). So I don't want all the pets to be combat ready, but rather be tools for the Ranger to use.



2. I do think the option of taking a higher CR pet would be nice but not multiple in the sense of this feature. Instead at higher levels those whom you have previously bonded with are considered to be charmed/friendly once you let them go and lose their features. This would be restricted to a certain amount of course. This way you can have multiple pets as well as uses without flooding the field.

So forgive me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like your misreading (Which may be my fault). You can have either 1 higher CR pet or up to four lower CR pets. If you go the many beast option the highest CR beast you can get is still 1/4 since the combined total CRs can't surpass CR 1 at level 15. Is the way I worded that not make it clear?



3. Personally, I would expand the utility of the 1st and add a couple of things to round the flavor of the sub class as it is rather bland. This would include a Beast Sense ability that is exclusive with your pet and being able to speak to animals at will.

I'm not sure what you mean in the last part, because Beast Sense is limited to your pets. Also I feel like the sub class add a crap ton of utility already through the pets. As right now this archetype give the Ranger scouts, attack minions, a mount, little thieves and I'm sure more if you use your imagination. I'm afraid that adding anymore might be to much.



P.S. in eliminating the extra attack its natural attacks aren't considered magical for bypassing resistance.

Is this really a big deal? Just having the extra attack options is a pretty huge boost

Nonetheless, I've made some changes due to the feedback I've gotten. Changes are BOLD for convince.

Beast Companions At 3rd level, you gain a beast companion that accompanies you on your adventures and is trained to fight alongside you. Choose a beast that is no larger than Medium and that has a challenge rating o f 1/4 or lower (appendix D presents statistics for the hawk, mastiff, and panther as examples). Add your proficiency bonus to the beastís AC, as well as to any saving throws and skills it is proficient in. Its hit point maximum equals its normal maximum or four times your ranger level, whichever is higher. The beast obeys your commands as best as it can. It takes its turn on your initiative, though it doesnít take an action unless you command it to. On your turn, you can verbally command the beast where to move (no action required by you). You can use your action to verbally command it to take the Attack, Dash, Disengage, Dodge, , Help action or use a skill it is proficient in. A beast will continue to follow your command every round until it no longer can or told do another action. As you gain levels in Ranger your ability to train beasts improves. At 7 Level you can control multiple beasts or a single more powerful beast. The total challenge rating of your beasts cannot surpass 2/4 and you can have up to 2 beast companions. This further increases to 3/4 CR and 3 companions at level 11 and CR 1 and 4 companions level 15. In addition, starting at 7 level you can obtain animal companions of large size. While traveling through your favored terrain with only the beast, you can move stealthily at a normal pace. If the beast dies, you can obtain another one by spending 8 hours magically bonding with another beast that isnít hostile to you, either the same type of beast as before or a different one.

Beast Training Beginning at 7th level, any beast companions you have had for over one week gain proficiency in one of the following skills: Athletics, Acrobatics, Sleight of Hand, Stealth, Perception, or Survival. In addition pick one of you beasts to become your pack leader. It gains your proficiency bonus to attack and damage and whenever you make an attack you can give the pack leader a command in place of your second attack. Also if you are ever separated from your beast companions, you can call them to your side with a whistle, and they will appear in 1d4 rounds, crossing any gaps, voids, or planes as necessary.]

I'm trying to think of a simple way to lower their hit points that still allows them to able to take a hit. What do you think now?

aspekt
2015-01-03, 11:17 AM
As a DM I would probably allow a second pet at half the HD of the character by way of a series of Feats the player and I would create together.

AstralFire
2015-01-04, 08:21 AM
I think a feat that allows for an additional weaker pet, rather than a restructuring of the BM subclass, is pretty much the only way to handle this.