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weaseldust
2015-10-04, 11:42 AM
I didnít write this out as a reaction to the new UA Ranger and doesnít resemble it or the PHB version much at all. A couple of the high level abilities of my version of the Scout do resemble some from the UA Ranger, which I suppose is a case of convergent evolution.

My Ranger does not by default have resources to manage (what kind of a Ranger ever complains about needing a rest?) and its abilities can be fluffed as magical or non-magical. There are quite a few lists of options to pore through, which Iím conflicted about. On the one hand, I prefer classes to be simple and elegant, but on the other hand there are so many ideas that need mechanical representation.

Comment and criticism is always welcome.

What is a Ranger?

A Ranger is tasked to watch over and protect a large region. They have to be able to survive alone in remote and dangerous places, and also to provide for others who are less capable. They have to be able to cross large distances swiftly and safely. They have to be able to detect dangers that are not apparent to others. They have to be attuned to the natural world, either to protect nature against civilisation or to protect civilisation against nature.


Example Ranger

Amelia Sedgebrim is from a Halfling community on the edge of a vast swamp. The region has been plagued for centuries by occasional giant rat plagues, leading the sheriff to institute a permanent bounty of 1 gold piece for a dozen giant rat tails. Ameliaís family have lived as rat-catchers for over 150 years, operating out of small reed boats, and she has learned all of the tricks of the trade.

Amelia is a level 3 Beastmaster with the Commoner background, cooperating with her giant swamp adder (cobra) Alastair to catch rats, and also to fish for sustenance. Alastair has the Skilfulness talent, giving him proficiency in Stealth, as befits an ambush predator. Amelia has the Archery fighting style, and has taken the Camouflage and Hunterís Hide resourcefulness options, since her preferred tactic is to hide in a structure of reeds until prey come near, then skewer them with arrows. She tends to express her resourcefulness by making objects out of reed and willow, but remains ever adaptable. She has the Darkvision keen sense to allow her to hunt in the dark. She can move across swampy ground, the tangled branches of half-sunken trees, and thickets of reeds with ease, so no natural terrain can delay her.

Looking forward to level 11, Amelia has long since left her swamp, working first as an apprentice and then a full exterminator in the Worshipful Company of Exterminators, a glorified band of adventurers who have a royal mandate to eliminate monstrous vermin across the kingdom. Training and experience have enhanced her existing abilities considerably. Alastair now shares her darkvision, and she has an unnaturally sharpened sense of smell (Bloodhound). She can climb and swim with remarkable ease (All-Terrain Expert). She can craft snares, lures, and natural curatives to catch and protect against vermin, and can demolish walls to get at their nests. She is resistant to poisons of all kinds. She has learned to draw the most relevant lessons from her experience hunting many kinds of creature, so she can rely on it when she faces them again (Familiar Enemies).


The Ranger:





Level
Features
Resourcefulness Options


1
Survivalist, Archetype
-


2
Fighting Style, Resourcefulness
1


3
Keen Senses, Land's Stride
2


4
ASI
2


5
Extra Attack
3


6
Archetype
3


7
Natural Toughness
4


8
ASI
4


9
Keen Senses, Swift Movement
5


10
Bonus ASI
5





Level
Features
Resourcefulness Options


11
Archetype, Familiar Enemies
6


12
ASI
6


13
Keen Senses, Swift Movement
7


14
Archetype
7


15
Natural Resilience
8


16
ASI
8


17
Archetype
9


18
Remorseless Hound
9


19
ASI
10


20
Supreme Resourcefulness
10







General Information

Hit Dice: d10
Saves: Strength and Dexterity
Skills: 2 from Acrobatics, Animal Handling, Athletics, Medicine, Perception, Stealth
Proficiencies: All non-heavy weapons, longbows, light and medium armour, shields, one tool or vehicle
Starting equipment: A longbow, longsword, or shortsword; a shield or a shortsword; two daggers; leather armour or scale mail; an explorerís or dungeoneerís pack (if starting with coin, the amount is 4d4x10 GP).


Features

Survivalist (level 1)
You are an expert at surviving in the wild. You are proficient in the Survival skill and may add twice your proficiency bonus to Survival checks.

You are also adept in moving swiftly cross-country. You can use Stealth while travelling at a normal pace and suffer no penalty to your Perception for travelling fast. When alone and on foot, the distance you can cover per hour at a normal or fast pace is increased by 50%.

Archetype (level 1)
Choose either the Hunter or Beastmaster archetype. You advance in your archetype at levels 6, 11, 14, and 17.
There is an alternative third archetype, the Guardian, detailed underneath this document.

You may gain some abilities from the Ranger class or your archetype that require a creature to make a save against you. The DC for such a save is 8 plus your proficiency bonus plus your wisdom modifier.

Fighting Style (level 2)
Choose one of the following fighting styles: Archery, Defence, Protection, or Two-Weapon Fighting.

Resourcefulness (level 2)
You are skilled at making the most of your resources while in the wild, the better to provide for yourself and your companions. Over the course of 1 hour, in natural terrain, you may find materials for and create any piece of inorganic, non-magical gear costing no more than 5GP, though its construction may be somewhat unorthodox and fragile. Anyone other than you has disadvantage on checks to use the items you create. Further, it decays into an unusable state after 1 day. Such items do not have a stable market price, being of variable quality and appearance (others may not even be able to identify what they are or how they work), but they might be bartered for.

Besides this ability, you can learn to achieve options from the Resourcefulness list at the bottom of this document. You learn one at this level, and an additional one at every odd Ranger level, as shown in the Ranger table.

Keen Senses (level 3)
Choose one option from the Keen Senses list at the bottom of this document. You may choose a further option at level 9, and again at level 13.

Landís Stride (level 3)
You are so practiced at overcoming natural obstacles you hardly notice them. You ignore the effects of natural difficult terrain.

Natural Toughness (level 7)
As an experienced Ranger, you have been bitten or stung by every poisonous creature under the sun. Perhaps your skin has thickened, or perhaps you have developed a tolerance to all kinds of venom, but either way you are resistant to poison damage and you have advantage on all saves against poisons.

Swift Movement (level 9)
You can cover vast and hazardous tracts of land both safely and with the urgency that adventuring often requires. You may choose one option from the Swift Movement list at the bottom of this document. You may choose a further option at level 13.

Familiar Enemies (level 11)
A Rangerís greatest asset is their ability to learn from experience, and over the course of your training and adventures you develop both a deep intuitive understanding of certain creatures and a variety of tricks to deal with them.

At the end of a short or long rest, you may reflect on your knowledge of one species, race, organisation, or culture you are familiar with, gleaning lessons on their typical habits, strengths, and foibles. Your reflections pay off whenever you make an opposed check against one of your chosen enemy, such as to grapple, hide from, detect, or deceive them, or when you make a check to recall information about them. After you roll, but before you know the result, you may expend your reaction to make the check again. When you re-roll, you use your wisdom modifier in place of the usual ability modifier, though the check counts as a check against the original ability.

Choosing a new enemy to reflect on ends the effect with respect to the previous one.

At level 18, you further gain the ability to impart your reflections to your allies in a timely manner. After an ally within 60ft makes an opposed check against one of your chosen enemy, you may use your reaction to allow them to re-roll (and use your wisdom modifier if they choose). The ally must be able to hear you to benefit.

Natural Resilience (level 15)
Your survival in spite of the hardships you regularly expose yourself to has taught you to persevere when others fold. You have advantage on saves against exhaustion, such as from dehydration and forced marches. Exhaustion and the Poisoned and Frightened conditions do not give you disadvantage on ability checks that fall under skills on the Ranger list.

Remorseless Hound (level 18)
You have developed the ability to run your quarry into the ground with your ferocity and perseverance. When a creature knows you are hunting it, you seem to be forever breathing down its neck, and it exhausts itself straining to hear your footsteps behind it.

A creature familiar with you that knows you are pursuing it with hostile intent cannot benefit from short or long rests. If it is moving under its own power, every hour it travels counts as part of a forced march. The effect ends if the creature believes you can no longer find it or that you are no longer pursuing it.

Creatures immune to being frightened are not affected by this feature.

Supreme Resourcefulness (level 20)
Choose three of the ten options you have learned from the Resourcefulness list. If they are normally accomplished in 1 minute, you may now accomplish them in 1 action. If they are normally accomplished in 1 hour, you may now accomplish them in 10 minutes.

You might think that there isnít much scope for damage-dealing here, but that comes from the archetypes. Even then, Iím aiming for damage levels roughly similar to a Thief Ė this class is primarily about being useful by providing for the party and looking out for danger rather than simply killing things, but it is fairly decent at that too. The Resourcefulness options are partly to make up for not having spells, but also just to give the feel of learning lots of little tricks through experience. When using Familiar Enemy, the player is encouraged to reference their background or some event from their past when they sit by the fire reminiscing about how best to kill gnolls, or whatever.

Resourcefulness Options

You may use any of these options so long as you are in natural terrain. Any constructions are not suitable for sale and decay after 1 day, just like those created with the Resourcefulness feature itself.

Dowsing
You dowse for water or any other natural, inorganic substance, gaining an idea of the direction of any deposit within 100ft and roughly how large it is.

Hunterís Hide
Given camouflage or suitable materials, you disguise yourself, or another creature or object, as an inanimate object or surface. While unmoving, the disguised creature or object requires an Investigation check against the save DC for your Ranger abilities to identify as disguised.

Lure
You create an instrument that can be used as an action to replicate a type of harmless noise you are familiar with, such as the call of any animal, babbling water, hushed voices, or distant thunder.

Magic Detection
You create and use a test to discover whether a particular object or creature is being affected by a spell or curse and which school of magic the effect belongs to, if any.

Pit
You hide a pit up to 10ft wide. It requires a Perception check against the save DC for your Ranger abilities to discover. A creature that is Large or smaller that steps on the pit must succeed on a dexterity save or fall to the bottom. If it succeeds, it moves to an adjacent square instead.

Salts
You find means to create a strong smell or other powerful sensation to end one effect on a creature that holds it charmed, influences its thinking, or otherwise alters its mental state. A drunken creature is sobered up for 1 minute.

Snare
You create and/or hide a snare, which requires a Perception check against the save DC for your Ranger abilities to discover. A creature that is Large or smaller that steps on the snare must succeed on a dexterity save or have its movement reduced to 0. It may use its action to make a strength save to break the snare, but if it fails it takes damage equal to its strength score, to a minimum of 1. You may link the snare to another mechanism, like a trap, alarm, bucket of paint, etc.

Toxin Detection
You create and use a test to detect and identify any poisons or diseases, either in an affected creature or in a means of delivery, like food or a weapon.

Animal Affinity
You accustom any non-hostile animal or group of animals to your presence, so that they do not view you or you companions as hostile for as long as you do not attack them. In the case of social animals, you learn to understand and mimic (where physically possible) their non-verbal communications and you may establish yourself in any position of your choice in their hierarchy.

Camouflage
You find materials to camouflage up to 8 creatures. Each may apply or remove their camouflage over the course of a minute, but it decays after 1 day. A camouflaged creature counts as heavily obscured whenever it would normally be lightly obscured, as long as it is in the same kind of terrain you gathered the materials from.

Construction
You find materials for and create: a hut up to 30ft wide and tall, a bridge up to 60ft long, fences or barricades up to 500ft in total length, or a land or water vehicle up to 10ft long that carries up to two creatures or 400 pounds. Any construction has 15HP per 10ft-square section and decays after d6 days.

Cure
You find natural curatives to cure up to 8 creatures of a poison or disease you know the nature or source of.

Demolition
You safely fell a tree up to 30ft across, break a 10ft-radius hole in a wall up to 5ft thick, or excavate loose rock, snow, earth, etc. fitting in up to 10 5ft cubes.

Weapon Infusion
You find natural materials that are repellent to supernatural creatures and apply them to up to 3 weapons, making those weapons count as magical for 8 hours for the purposes of overcoming damage resistance and immunity. You may apply them to the natural weapons of a creature.


Keen Senses Options

Each option is available at the listed level and afterwards.

Adaptive Eyes (level 3)
You can see in dim light as if it were bright light and vice versa, and you have advantage on saves against being blinded by bright light.

Bloodhound (level 9)
You always know by smell if any natural creatures are within 30ft of your location or have been at any time in the last day, to the nearest hour. You do not learn their distance or direction and you canít distinguish between living and dead creatures or between creatures present now and ones present within the last hour. You recognise a particular race or species if you have smelt it before. A scent can be masked by other, stronger smells.

Darkvision (level 3)
You gain darkvision with a range of 120ft.

Eidetic Image (level 3)
You may use a bonus action to form a perfect mental image of any scene you can see. At any subsequent time, you may instantaneously and infallibly examine the scene in your memory, answering any question you like about what was visible in your field of view. Your ability to recreate the scene in any artistic medium remains proportionate to your skill. You may store a number of images equal to your proficiency bonus, choosing one to forget whenever you wish to form another over this limit.

Gustator (level 3)
You may taste any part or natural product of a creature to determine its species, recent diet, and state of health. You may do the same for the body of a dead creature to discover, in broad terms (exsanguination, poisoning, suffocation, etc.), its cause of death.

Homing Pigeon (level 3)
You always know which way is North and the distance and direction of places within 100 miles that you have previously visited, so long as you havenít teleported or left the plane since.

Parasense (level 9)
You gain blindsight with a range of 10ft, but you can only detect creatures. You can spot and interact with creatures within 10ft normally even when you cannot see them.

Rumble Detector (level 9)
You can detect burrowing creatures that are at least Small, and also the footsteps of any creature that is at least Large, within 100ft, as if you had tremorsense.

Uncanny Ear (level 3)
You speak all of the languages you know as if you were a native speaker, with the ability to flawlessly replicate any accent or manner of speech. You can learn a language in only 1+d3 weeks if they are largely spent studying with or observing native speakers.


Swift Movement Options

All-Terrain Expert
You have a climb speed and swim speed equal to your land speed.

Dogged Pursuer
You may choose for any circumstances that should halve or reduce your speed, except by setting it to 0, to merely reduce it by 10ft, and you only spend 10ft of movement to stand from prone.

Energetic Guide
While at the head of the marching order, you may allow up to 8 companions (and yourself) to move 50% further per hour over natural terrain, ignore natural difficult terrain, and benefit from short rests while travelling (but not doing anything else).

Slippery Assailant
You can freely move through other creaturesí spaces, but not stop in them, and they do not count as difficult terrain for you.

Sprung Step
Your land speed increases by 10ft, and the distance you can cover per hour when alone and on foot in natural terrain is doubled (rather than increased by 50%).

weaseldust
2015-10-04, 11:43 AM
Archetype: Hunter

Hunterís Mark (level 1)
At the end of a round in which you attack a creature, you can use your reaction to focus your instincts and talents on ways to evade or subdue it. The creature then becomes Marked.

At the start of each turn, you gain a number of Marking points equal to your Ranger level. When you damage a Marked creature with an attack, you may spend any number of these points to increase the damage by the same amount. Once per round, when a Marked creature damages you with an attack, you may spend any number of points to reduce the damage by half that amount (rounding up) plus your wisdom modifier. Unused points are lost at the start of your next turn.

You may instead Mark a creature by observing it for one minute, in which case you also gain advantage on attempts to detect or track it.

A creature ceases to be Marked when you lose track of it for at least 1 minute, when you select another creature to Mark, or when you choose for the effect to end.

Toolkits (level 1)
To be a Hunter requires you to know how to protect yourself and others from a variety of particularly dangerous creatures. At this level, and again at levels 6, 14, and 17, you choose a feature from one of the following: the Giant-killing toolkit, the Exorcism Toolkit, or the Horde-breaking Toolkit.

At each level, you may choose only from those abilities listed against that level. An ability that makes multiple creatures count as Marked for you still allows you to Mark up to one additional creature in the usual way.

Improved Marking (level 11)
You have learned to maintain your usual aggression and awareness even while studying the weaknesses of one target. Once per round, you may Mark a creature at the same time as you make a weapon attack against it. It counts as Marked even for that attack itself, and the effort no longer consumes your reaction.

Additionally, when you choose a type of enemy to focus on with your Familiar Enemies feature, those enemies automatically count as Marked. You may still have up to one other creature at a time Marked in the usual way.


Toolkit Options:


Giant-killing: Creatures at least Large in size always count as Marked for you, and you have advantage on saves against being frightened by them.
Exorcism: Outsiders (celestials, elementals, fey, and fiends) and undead always count as Marked for you, and you have advantage on saves against being charmed or possessed by them.
Horde-breaking: Any creature that is actively obeying or working with a Marked creature also counts as Marked for you. Whenever you leave the reach of more than one creature in a turn, only the first may make an attack of opportunity against you.



Giant-killing: Giants should beware trying to squash you or pick you up. You can draw and attack normally with a light melee weapon while prone or restrained. When you deal damage to a Marked creature, you may expend 5 Marking points to cause it to have disadvantage on strength and dexterity contests until the end of your next turn.
Exorcism: Even the most unnatural creatures have weaknesses to exploit. When you deal damage to a Marked creature, you may expend 5 Marking points to cause your attacks to ignore one of its damage resistances until the end of your next turn. Weapons you wield can be used as if a free hand to grapple any creature that is not larger than yourself and is not a swarm, even if it is normally immune to grappling.
Horde-breaking: A horde is held together only by a chain of command, and you have learned to break it. You can use a bonus action to become aware of any tensions and hierarchies within a group you can see. When you deal damage to a Marked creature, you may expend 5 Marking points to cause it to lose the ability to give or receive commands until the end of your next turn.



Giant-killing: You can dance around clumsy giants. Whenever you are within 5ft of a creature that is Large or bigger and able to move, you count as being behind half cover against all attacks. If the creature misses you with a melee weapon attack, you may choose one structure or loose object within its reach to take damage as if from the attack.
Exorcism: You can use your strength of mind to create openings against your enemies. Whenever a creature forces you to make a wisdom save, you may use your reaction to add your proficiency bonus to the roll. If you succeed on a wisdom save caused by a creature, you have advantage on attacks against that creature until the end of your next turn.
Horde-breaking: You are adept at handling packed enemies. Whenever you are within 5ft of at least 2 enemies at least Small in size and you are able to move, you count as being behind half cover against all attacks. When a melee attack made against you while you have this cover misses, you may use your reaction to force one creature within 5ft of you to succeed on a dexterity save or be hit by the attack instead.



Giant-killing: You can force the largest of creatures to their knees. When you attack and Mark a creature that is Large or bigger, you may expend all your Marking points to immediately knock it prone.
Exorcism: You can face down creatures that usually hold mortals in contempt. When you Mark and damage an outsider or undead creature with a weapon attack, you may expend all your Marking points to attempt to Turn it as per the Clericís Turn Undead feature. It must pass a wisdom save or be Turned until the start of your next full turn.
Horde-breaking: You can throw out a veritable whirlwind of attacks when your enemies foolishly cluster together. When you attack and Mark a creature, you may forfeit your two attacks to make one attack against that creature and one against each of any number of creatures within 5ft of it. All the targets count as Marked for that round.



Archetype: Beastmaster

You gain a beast companion, which can be of one of the kinds listed below. However, your DM may allow you to choose another creature if it uses the same statistics as one of those choices or a set of statistics built in a similar way to them.

The beastís base statistics are as follows: its strength, dexterity and constitution scores are equal to 10, its intelligence score is 3, its wisdom score is 12, and its charisma score is 7. It is in the same size category as you. It uses your proficiency bonus and is proficient in strength and dexterity saves. It gains the effects of your Survivalist feature and, when you get them, your Landís Stride and Swift Movement features.

The beast counts as a character of the same level as you for effects like Polymorph. It gains an ASI (which cannot be spent on a feat) when you get one from this class, with an ability cap of 20.

The beast understands at least one language you speak and can communicate simple emotions or yes-no answers to simple questions, but to you only.

Example:

A dog or wolf adds 2 to its strength, 4 to its dexterity, and 2 to its constitution. Its natural weapon deals d6 piercing damage. Its land speed is 40ft. It is proficient in Perception and has advantage on checks relating to hearing or smell. Once per turn, when it hits a creature no larger than Medium with its natural weapon, it can make a free attempt to shove it prone.

A big cat adds 4 to its strength and 4 to its dexterity. Its natural weapons deal d6 piercing damage. Its land speed is 40ft and it has a 40ft climb speed. It is proficient in Perception and has advantage on Perception checks relating to smell. It is also proficient in Stealth, and adds twice its proficiency bonus to Stealth checks. When it uses the Attack action, it may instead deal 2d4 slashing damage with its natural weapons.

A bird of prey adds 6 to its dexterity and 2 to its wisdom. Its natural weapons deal d4 slashing damage and are finesse weapons. Its land speed is 10ft and it has a 60ft fly speed. It is proficient in Perception and has advantage on checks relating to sight. In a turn in which it flies towards and attacks a creature, it does not provoke an attack of opportunity if it then flies away.

An ape or monkey adds 2 to its strength, 4 to its dexterity, and 2 to its intelligence. Its natural weapons deal d4 bludgeoning damage, but it has hands and is proficient with one-handed improvised melee or thrown weapons. Its land speed is 30ft and it has a 30ft climb speed. It is proficient in Perception and Athletics.

A bear adds 4 to its strength and 4 to its constitution. Its natural weapons deal d6 piercing damage. Its land speed is 40ft and it has a 30ft climb speed. It is proficient in Perception and has advantage on checks relating to smell. It adds half your proficiency bonus to its AC and counts as possessing natural armour. When it uses the Attack action, it may instead deal 2d4 slashing damage with its natural weapons.

A cobra adds 4 to its dexterity, 2 to its constitution, and 2 to its wisdom. Its natural weapon deals d4 piercing damage and is a finesse weapon. Its land speed is 30ft and it has a 30ft swim speed. It has blindsight with a range of 10ft. When it deals damage to a creature no bigger than Large with its natural weapon, you may choose to force the target to make a constitution save - if it fails, it takes the same amount of damage again as poison damage and is poisoned for one day. The cobra has a number of uses of this ability equal to your proficiency bonus, which renew after a long rest.

Cooperation

You can cooperate with the beast on your turn, combining your efforts the better to protect each other. To do so, you must start your turn within 10ft of the beast, you must both be able to take actions, and the beast must not be directly controlled by another (e.g. by magic or as a mount).

When cooperating, the beast acts on your initiative count. You share one action and possible bonus action between you, but you get a reaction and free object interaction each. You share any extra actions provided by effects like Haste.

You can divide your action and bonus action between you as you wish. You can spend your movement simultaneously if moving together or move one after the other, alternating between you any number of times. You can act simultaneously on tasks that you perform together (such as lifting a heavy log with one at each end). When you take the Dash, Disengage, or Dodge action you are both affected simultaneously. When you gain the Extra Attack feature, you may divide the attacks between yourself and the beast however you wish each turn. You both qualify as having taken the Attack action even if the other uses both attacks, and your beast making an attack counts as you making an attack with a light weapon for the purposes of two-weapon fighting.

Further, while cooperating, after either of you makes use of your action (including if you split it between you to each make an attack), the other may use your bonus action to make an attack, but may not add their ability modifier to the damage.

HP and AC

The beast has an HP cap and starting HP equal to your own. Whenever it comes within 10ft, its remaining HP is set equal to your own. While it is within 10ft of you, the following rules apply:

After either of you take damage, whichever has more HP sets it equal to the HP of the one that has less, unless the other is at 0HP
After either of you gain HP, the other gains an equal amount.
Effects that target every creature in an area to heal or damage target only one of you Ė you choose which at the time.
You may gain individual pools of temporary HP from the usual sources, but if your partner loses HP, you lose the same even while some of your temporary HP remains.


While the beast is within 10ft of you, each covers the other while it takes actions. Whatever you are wearing, each of you may calculate your AC as 10 plus your dexterity modifier plus your partner's dexterity modifier.

Acting Apart

When you are not cooperating, the beast acts immediately after you in the initiative order. It is under the DMís control, but it attempts to fulfil any simple orders you have given it as best it can before returning. It can be given orders to move in a particular way, travel to a particular location, search for a place, object, or creature, retrieve or deliver an object, and similar tasks, but will not voluntarily engage in violence without you and will attempt to escape danger before fighting. The beast will return as quickly as possible if it completes its orders, or if you call it. When it returns, it spends its action only to Dash or Disengage, or to Dodge if it cannot move.

If the beast dies or is lost, you may replace it with another with the same statistics (possibly its reincarnation) over the course of an hour spent in an appropriate wild area.

Beast Talents (level 1)
The beast may advance in one of the ways listed below at level 1, and again at levels 6, 14, and 17.

Superior Training (level 11)
While you are cooperating with the beast, you may both add your wisdom modifier to the damage from your weapon attacks.

Additionally, when you use your Familiar Enemies feature to choose an enemy to focus on, your beast shares the benefits you gain with respect to that enemy, using your wisdom modifier.


Beast Talents:

Each option may be taken at or after the listed level.

Darkvision (level 1)
The beast gains darkvision with a range of 60ft.

Pounce (level 1)
The first time the beast hits a creature no larger than Medium with its natural weapons in a turn it moved at least half its movement directly towards the target, it gets a free chance to shove the target prone.

Skilfulness (level 1)
The beast gains proficiency in Acrobatics, Athletics, Perception, or Stealth. This option may be taken more than once.

Assistance (level 6)
The beast can use the Help action as a bonus action.

Elusiveness (level 6)
Attacks of opportunity against the beast are made at disadvantage.

Keen Sense (level 6)
The beast gains one item from the Keen Senses list. This option may be chosen more than once.

No Ordinary Beast (level 6)
The beast counts as a monstrosity rather than a beast for the purposes of targeting spells.

Acute Beast (level 14)
When you send the beast to act independently, it can understand and follow any orders at all, including orders to attack or otherwise commit violence.

Intervention (level 14)
When you are the target of a melee attack from a creature within 5ft of the beast, it may use its reaction to attack that creature. If the beast deals any damage, the attack against you is made with disadvantage.

Predatory Instinct (level 14)
Whenever a creature within 5 feet of the beast is stunned, incapacitated, or knocked prone, the beast may use its reaction to make an attack against that creature.

Double Team (level 17)
While you and your beast are both within 5 feet of a creature, neither of you may have disadvantage on attack rolls against it unless you both do. Further, while you are cooperating, if either of you has advantage on melee attacks against a creature, the other gains advantage on them too.

Protective Instinct (level 17)
When you make a strength or dexterity save while within 10ft of the beast, you may choose for both of you to make saving throws, in which case (or if you both have to save anyway) neither of you fail unless both of you do.


The rules on cooperation might take a bit of reading, but hopefully Iíve succeeded in making the beast feel genuinely present and relevant at all levels without adding the full damage/actions of a second creature. While the beast can be sent on errands, it wonít fight independently of the Beastmaster (until level 14, anyway) and is more vulnerable on its own, so that its master isnít effectively doing two creaturesí work and outshining other party members, and also so that they have some incentive to play as if they were partners who work really well together and watch each otherís backs. The HP weirdness is to give the beast survivability at all levels without giving the partnership the net HP of two separate characters. The AC bonus is to explain why the two creatures get only one action between them Ė they are busy covering each other.

Note that a dual-wielding Ranger can still benefit from the beastís attacks even at low levels. Most beastsí attacks will either have a higher damage die than their own weapon or have useful riders, so the best strategy is to have the beast attack with your joint action and then make an off-hand attack with your bonus action, adding your strength/dexterity mod if you have that fighting style.

weaseldust
2015-10-04, 11:44 AM
Rogue Archetype: Scout

Unseen Watcher (level 3)
You gain one of the Keen Senses options. Whenever you use your bonus action to Dash or Disengage, you may also attempt to Hide.

Swift Stalker (level 9)
You can use Stealth while travelling at a normal pace. You gain one Swift Movement option.

Land's Stride (level 13)
You ignore natural difficult terrain.

Elusive Shadow (level 17)
When you roll initiative, you may choose to start the first subsequent round hidden from all creatures that cannot see you. Further, whenever a creature locates you while you are hidden, you may use your reaction to move up to half your movement and hide again, so long as you are then at least lightly obscured from them.

This Scout doesnít get bonus damage just from moving, as the traditional version does, but it is incentivised to be highly mobile. The second part of the level 17 feature might seem a bit odd, but the idea is that your enemies blunder around the forest (or wherever) looking for you and only see glimpses of movement, so that as soon as they look behind the bush that was hiding you, youíve already slipped away and are standing behind them. Otherwise, this subclass is pretty straightforwardly about being a mobile, stealthy Rogue-Ranger hybrid.


Beastmaster Druid (alternate class feature)

Druid Companion: At level 2, instead of gaining the Wild Shape class feature, you gain a beast companion as per the Beastmaster above. You do not gain Beast Talents or the Superior Training feature as the Beastmaster does, and the beast does not gain the Survivalist feature. It does gain an ASI whenever you gain one from the Druid class.

At level 18, ďBeast SpellsĒ now refers to the following:
While you are cooperating with your beast, when you cast a spell without material components it can use its reaction to cast the spell for you.

At level 20, ďArchdruidĒ now refers to the following:
As an action, or when you are incapacitated or killed, you may shift your consciousness into the body of your beast, no matter where it is, so long as it is alive. If still living, your own body then lies comatose and the beast qualifies as you for all purposes. You retain all Druid class features - except those relating to the Druid Companion feature - while in its body, plus your personality and mental ability scores, and any proficiencies that the beast is physically capable of possessing. You cannot speak, but you can cast spells with verbal components. You may shift your consciousness back without harm, as an action or whenever the beast is incapacitated or killed, so long as you have a living body to move back to.

Archetypes:

The Circle of the Land is unchanged.

Any replacement for the Circle of the Moon will have to be somewhat different. I suggest the following:

Bestial Resilience (level 2)
Your HP maximum is increased by your Druid level and you regain 1 extra HP from every Druid hit die you spend.

Combat Partnership (level 2)
You may add your wisdom modifier to concentration checks when the spell targets only your beast, or only your beast and yourself. When you cast a spell on your beast, it may add your proficiency bonus to the damage from its natural weapons for the duration of the spell.

Primal Strike (level 6)
You gain the Extra Attack feature and your beastís natural weapons count as magical while it is cooperating with you.

Swift Assistance (level 10)
While cooperating with your beast, on a turn in which it uses your shared action, you may cast any spell with a casting time of one action and of level at most 5 as a bonus action, so long as you only target yourself and/or your beast. The spell targets both of you regardless of its usual range and number of targets, unless you choose otherwise. Spells with areas of effect do not qualify.

Adaptable Partnership (level 14)
As an action, you may replicate any effect of Alter Self on you or your beast without expending a spell slot.

The Beastmaster Druid will have less HP but better AC. It will remain able to scout with its companion - not as well as through Wild Shape, but without putting itself in harmís way. I vacillated over letting the Druid see through the beastís eyes as if it were a Wizardís familiar, even at level 2, but I preferred the flavour of sending it off and then asking it questions when it gets back. Bear in mind that the Druid has access to Speak with Animals and Beast Sense to help with that.

On the replacement Moon Druid: The extra HP somewhat makes up for losing the existing Moon Druidís incredible bonus Wild Shape HP. The bonus to the beastís damage is to allow its output to scale. The bonus to concentration is to allow the Druid to more confidently spend spell slots buffing the beast knowing they are going to have to be on the front line alongside it. Theyíve exchanged a feature that is resource-limited to one that is resource-free, so Iím aiming to encourage spending spells on the beast to make its effectiveness at least a bit resource-dependent. Extra Attack is to make up for missing forms with Multi-attack. The level 10 feature is the most unorthodox, but is to help make up for the loss of elemental forms Ė it makes it easier to gain resistances and other improvements.


Ranger Archetype: Guardian

The aim with this is to reintroduce spell-casting. You could pretty much give them the original Rangerís spell-casting back, but I like experimenting and the following set of mechanics just seemed more appropriate to me to capture the ďdrawing power from natureĒ feel. The spell progression is designed to be faster than an Eldritch Knight but slower than a Paladin. The number of spell points is roughly balanced against a Paladin. They also get some (potentially quite influential) at-will abilities.

In a sense, the Guardian is almost as versatile as a full spellcaster, in that the list of things they can possibly do is quite long, but on any particular occasion they will actually only be able to use a much more restricted set of abilities.

Attunement (Level 1)
When in need, you can call for aid from the earth and the air, the forests and the streams. When you roll initiative, or when you make a supplication lasting 1 minute, you attune to all natural substances and terrain (earth, sand, water, air, fog, smoke, lava, forest, coral, and so on) within 100 feet of you.

Your attunement lasts until you attune again, move outside the affected region, or begin a short or long rest. While it lasts, you have advantage on Perception and Survival checks in the affected terrain, and you may use your action each turn to produce one of the following effects:

Natural material fitting in a 10ft cube moves or extends up to 10 feet to fill an adjacent 10ft cube or 8 5ft cubes. Any occupying object or creature is pushed 10 feet directly away, but the attempt fails if the object or creature has nowhere to move. Material underneath a structure cannot be affected.
Any flow or movement of natural material in a region fitting in a 10ft cube or 8 5ft cubes stops, changes direction, or assumes a chosen pattern until the end of your next turn.
Natural material fitting in a 10ft cube or 8 5ft cubes comes to display a visible or tangible pattern, or becomes difficult terrain.
Any number of creatures fitting in a single 10ft cube are unaffected by natural difficult terrain or a specified natural hazard until the end of your next turn.


Attuned Spellcasting (Level 1)
When you attune to a region, you temporarily gain the following as known spells, so long as you are of the indicated level:

Dancing Lights, Thaumaturgy (1); Entangle, Animal Friendship (3); Spike Growth, Warding Wind (7); Erupting Earth, Meld into Stone (11); Control Water, Giant Insect (15)

Your spellcasting ability for these spells is Wisdom.

From level 3, when you attune on rolling initiative, you may gain a single level 1 spell slot, which improves to a level 2 at Ranger level 7, a level 3 at Ranger level 11, a level 4 slot and a level 1 slot at Ranger level 15, and a level 4 slot and a level 2 slot at Ranger level 19. The spell slot cannot be expended except to cast a spell and is lost immediately after your attunement ends. A spell requiring concentration also ends when your attunement does.

Once you have gained a spell slot in this way, you may not do so again until you have completed a short or long rest.



Ranger Level
Level 1 Slots
Level 2 Slots
Level 3 Slots
Level 4 Slots


3-6
1
0
0
0


7-10
0
1
0
0


11-14
0
0
1
0


15-18
1
0
0
1


19-20
0
1
0
1



Elemental Attunements:

If certain sources of elemental power listed below are naturally present in or over the region you attune to, you may also choose to gain the ability to cast spells from one of the corresponding lists, without need for material components.

Fire: Natural sources of heat Ė fire or smoke, lava or hot springs, bright sunlight
Burning Hands (3), Heat Metal (7), Gaseous Form (11), Wall of Fire (15)

Cold: Natural sources of chill - cold winds or fogs, mountain streams, ice or snow
Fog Cloud (3), Gust of Wind (7), Sleet Storm (11), Ice Storm (15)

Lightning: Natural etheric phenomena - storm clouds, auroras, minerals like amber and lodestone
Faerie Fire (3), Levitate (7), Lightning Bolt (11), Storm Sphere (15)

Thunder: Natural sources of loud noise - gales, waterfalls, choruses of birds, crickets, or frogs
Thunderwave (3), Silence (7), Counterspell (11), Confusion (15)

Acid: Natural corrosives Ė stinging plants or insects, volcanic gases, minerals like soda ash and lime
Ray of Sickness (3), Blindness/Deafness (7), Stinking Cloud (11), Vitriolic Sphere (15)

Deepened Affinity (Level 6)
You now gain a spell slot from your attunement whenever you roll initiative, without needing a rest in between.

Additionally, you can cast Speak with Animals and Speak with Plants as rituals.

Natureís Spite (Level 11)
The first time you attack each creature that is inside a region you are attuned to, it must make a wisdom save. If it fails, your weapon attacks deal an additional 2d4 radiant or necrotic damage (your choice) to it for as long as you remain attuned. The enemies you choose to focus on with your Familiar Enemies feature have disadvantage on the wisdom save, but beasts native to the area automatically succeed.

If you are attuned to one of the 5 elements, the additional damage is instead of that elemental type.

Instinctive Attunement (Level 14)
While attuned, when you use the Attack action, you may make one of the environmental changes allowed by the Attunement feature as a bonus action.

In natural terrain, you may attune as a reaction whenever you are forced to make a dexterity check or save. You may then immediately influence a 10ft-cube region or 8 5ft cubes in any of the ways permitted by the Attunement feature. Any changes are resolved before you make the throw.

Guardian Ally (Level 17)
You may spend 10 minutes in the presence of natural materials in a region you are attuned to create a personification of the regionís natural energies. It has the statistics of an Earth, Air, Water, or Fire Elemental or a Shambling Mound (depending on the materials you caused it to form from), except that its creature type is Construct and it counts as native to the plane its materials came from.

The creature is intelligent, is friendly to you, and obeys your orders. If left to its own devices it will attempt to protect itself and nearby beasts and plants. It speaks Common and Primordial. It can cast Speak with Animals and Speak with Plants at will, and cast Commune with Nature as a ritual.

The creature is permanently destroyed (leaving only the materials it formed from) when it is reduced to 0HP, when you create another, when your attunement ends, or when it leaves the region you were attuned to.

Amnoriath
2015-10-04, 05:49 PM
I agree the UA alternative is just bad in many ways but I am not sure yours can compare to the original. While you did give some interesting options and flavor hooks with resourcefulness you utterly lost what you gained by how you treated favored enemy and terrain. This is compounded with the lost of spells in which resourcefulness only makes up about maybe half at best. Additionally by putting your offensive and damaging options in your sub-classes you have created a huge expectation on each and every one of them to always have them. This is one of the reasons why Zeigander flubbed on his 5e Fighter fix because not only did he create a class with a few multiclass passive perks in a base class but then his subclass gave 2 more extra attacks. This not only may have caused issue with other classes on battle numbers but it set an expectation for every sub-class he made to at least have an offensive boon. Your expectation is far bigger than what he did.

weaseldust
2015-10-05, 07:01 PM
While you did give some interesting options and flavor hooks with resourcefulness you utterly lost what you gained by how you treated favored enemy and terrain. This is compounded with the lost of spells in which resourcefulness only makes up about maybe half at best.

I don't really find all that much flavour in the PHB Ranger's favoured enemy/terrain to be lost. (The Land Druid's favoured terrain adds more because of the extra spells, which can significantly alter how they play.) I had planned to actually make the player tell a story when they used the Favoured Enemies feature, but it came across as a bit too cute. I had to settle for just making it at bit more active (you re-roll rather than just getting advantage, and you can grant the benefit to your friends), but I don't think I actually lose much compared with the original. What would make the ability more flavourful for you?

I also don't think the PHB Ranger gains that much utility from spells that mine can't reproduce. Things like Beast Sense and Speak with Plants are the big ones to me, but I was hoping Keen Senses made up for them. Between 10 resourcefulness options, the basic Resourcefulness ability, and the Keen Senses, doesn't that make up for 15 spells, half of which will be used for damage-dealing instead of utility anyway?


Additionally by putting your offensive and damaging options in your sub-classes you have created a huge expectation on each and every one of them to always have them.

I'm not sure if you mean that any sub-class I designed in the future would have to have similar damaging options (why would that be a problem?) or that the damaging options within each subclass are competing with the non-damaging ones. The latter would be a bigger problem, but the important damage isn't optional (Marking, or adding wisdom when cooperating with the beast), so the rest are gravy. Lots of classes get to choose between a bit more damage and something else. Besides, I made sure to make the choices at each level between abilities with similar roles (e.g. the Hunter gets a control ability at level 6, a defensive/damaging ability at level 14, and a damaging ability at level 17, no matter which option they choose).

By the way, I really need a name for the archetypes other than 'archetypes'. Any suggestions?

EDIT: I should explain that I dumped the damage in the archetypes rather than the base class because the Hunter and Beastmaster are so radically different from each other, so they need to rely on different mechanics. In particular, giving the beast more to do is easier when the Beastmaster doesn't get so much damage from elsewhere. I do realise that the degree to which the archetypes contribute is outside the norm, but I don't see it matters as long as it all adds up to about the same as any other class.

Amnoriath
2015-10-08, 01:36 PM
I don't really find all that much flavour in the PHB Ranger's favoured enemy/terrain to be lost. (The Land Druid's favoured terrain adds more because of the extra spells, which can significantly alter how they play.) I had planned to actually make the player tell a story when they used the Favoured Enemies feature, but it came across as a bit too cute. I had to settle for just making it at bit more active (you re-roll rather than just getting advantage, and you can grant the benefit to your friends), but I don't think I actually lose much compared with the original. What would make the ability more flavourful for you?

I also don't think the PHB Ranger gains that much utility from spells that mine can't reproduce. Things like Beast Sense and Speak with Plants are the big ones to me, but I was hoping Keen Senses made up for them. Between 10 resourcefulness options, the basic Resourcefulness ability, and the Keen Senses, doesn't that make up for 15 spells, half of which will be used for damage-dealing instead of utility anyway?



I'm not sure if you mean that any sub-class I designed in the future would have to have similar damaging options (why would that be a problem?) or that the damaging options within each subclass are competing with the non-damaging ones. The latter would be a bigger problem, but the important damage isn't optional (Marking, or adding wisdom when cooperating with the beast), so the rest are gravy. Lots of classes get to choose between a bit more damage and something else. Besides, I made sure to make the choices at each level between abilities with similar roles (e.g. the Hunter gets a control ability at level 6, a defensive/damaging ability at level 14, and a damaging ability at level 17, no matter which option they choose).

By the way, I really need a name for the archetypes other than 'archetypes'. Any suggestions?

EDIT: I should explain that I dumped the damage in the archetypes rather than the base class because the Hunter and Beastmaster are so radically different from each other, so they need to rely on different mechanics. In particular, giving the beast more to do is easier when the Beastmaster doesn't get so much damage from elsewhere. I do realise that the degree to which the archetypes contribute is outside the norm, but I don't see it matters as long as it all adds up to about the same as any other class.
1. Yes spells are more significant in power than the perks provided by those abilities but we are not comparing them especially when you eliminated spells. You gain several perks from those features which can represent all kinds of experiences, hunting grounds,..etc or "quick routes", "refuges", foraging grounds,..etc. They could have done better but what you have here are like specialized rituals which only applies to the environment. I am not saying they are bad I am just saying because you took out both casting and favored enemy/terrain you didn't make up for the loss.
2. It is both actually, the first you have created a necessity in every one of your sub-classes which means it must include it. This narrows what kind of concept you have for the sake of optimization. Your Scout is an example on how you failed to realize that since it really is just slightly more mobile, slightly more perceptive, slightly more stealthy, and slightly more defensive than your base Ranger.

weaseldust
2015-10-23, 08:59 PM
1. Yes spells are more significant in power than the perks provided by those abilities but we are not comparing them especially when you eliminated spells. You gain several perks from those features which can represent all kinds of experiences, hunting grounds,..etc or "quick routes", "refuges", foraging grounds,..etc. They could have done better but what you have here are like specialized rituals which only applies to the environment. I am not saying they are bad I am just saying because you took out both casting and favored enemy/terrain you didn't make up for the loss.
2. It is both actually, the first you have created a necessity in every one of your sub-classes which means it must include it. This narrows what kind of concept you have for the sake of optimization. Your Scout is an example on how you failed to realize that since it really is just slightly more mobile, slightly more perceptive, slightly more stealthy, and slightly more defensive than your base Ranger.

Sorry, I didn't notice your reply before.

I'm still not seeing the flavour gap. While I understand that having a real favoured enemy (I changed the name of my version to avoid confusion, by the way) gives you another hook to hang background on, it's not a hook that belongs as a class feature, and the effect is, if anything, too specific.

E.g. I once made a prospector Ranger that had oozes as a favoured enemy because they were such a problem in mines, which I still like as an idea, but when I had to choose another enemy later it felt artificial, as did the bonus to tracking oozes, which I had no reason for. Now I would just have the character carry alchemist's fire and a hammer instead of an axe, say it was because of a bad experience with an ochre jelly, and I get the same flavour with much less hassle.

The same goes for spells - I can fluff Longstrider as pointing out how to spot the fastest paths in this terrain, but I can do the same for the bonus Energetic Guide gives to overland travel. They're different abilities with different effects, but the point is that there's going to be some capacity for that kind of flavour in many abilities, so long as they are not too abstract and are relevant to the class concept.

I added an example build at the top of the OP to give some idea how certain class features act as hooks to hang flavour on. E.g. when you use Resourcefulness to make an item, you get to explain how, so the halfling I describe can talk about learning how to make a pen from reeds from her grandmother while she does it.


If I made Hunter's Mark part of the class, made the Hunter toolkits into archetypes, and then made the Beastmaster a variant instead of an archetype, would you feel differently about loading combat features into the archetypes/ But why should it make a difference what I call them?

I think the toolkits are already characterful enough on their own. the choice between not being scared of giants versus being good at wiggling free of crowds is substantial and character-defining.

I have cut the Scout back because it overshadows the other Rogues a little bit, but I think I was careful enough in not letting it steal the exploration and survival abilities that should define the Ranger.

Amnoriath
2015-11-08, 06:29 PM
Sorry, I didn't notice your reply before.

I'm still not seeing the flavour gap. While I understand that having a real favoured enemy (I changed the name of my version to avoid confusion, by the way) gives you another hook to hang background on, it's not a hook that belongs as a class feature, and the effect is, if anything, too specific.

E.g. I once made a prospector Ranger that had oozes as a favoured enemy because they were such a problem in mines, which I still like as an idea, but when I had to choose another enemy later it felt artificial, as did the bonus to tracking oozes, which I had no reason for. Now I would just have the character carry alchemist's fire and a hammer instead of an axe, say it was because of a bad experience with an ochre jelly, and I get the same flavour with much less hassle.

The same goes for spells - I can fluff Longstrider as pointing out how to spot the fastest paths in this terrain, but I can do the same for the bonus Energetic Guide gives to overland travel. They're different abilities with different effects, but the point is that there's going to be some capacity for that kind of flavour in many abilities, so long as they are not too abstract and are relevant to the class concept.

I added an example build at the top of the OP to give some idea how certain class features act as hooks to hang flavour on. E.g. when you use Resourcefulness to make an item, you get to explain how, so the halfling I describe can talk about learning how to make a pen from reeds from her grandmother while she does it.


If I made Hunter's Mark part of the class, made the Hunter toolkits into archetypes, and then made the Beastmaster a variant instead of an archetype, would you feel differently about loading combat features into the archetypes/ But why should it make a difference what I call them?

I think the toolkits are already characterful enough on their own. the choice between not being scared of giants versus being good at wiggling free of crowds is substantial and character-defining.

I have cut the Scout back because it overshadows the other Rogues a little bit, but I think I was careful enough in not letting it steal the exploration and survival abilities that should define the Ranger.
Sorry for the wait didn't have time the first time I saw it and forgot about it later.
1. The flavor gap exists because the Resourcefulness options require a minute to prepare at least. Others require an hour. It simply doesn't encompass the intuitive knowledge and quick-thinking tricks that are represented in favored enemies/terrains nor spells because of the time required each time. Tools do not equal experience.
2. It makes a difference because optimization is going to point you in the direction of which poses the most threat. The Scout simply isn't much of threat because it literally is just giving one more option from a couple of lists you already have and only slightly increases your capability to hide when it has nothing to capitalize from hiding.
3. The idea of a Hunter's Mark feature sounds like a step in the right direction.