View Full Version : Ranger Spells (Mostly Caster Level)

2007-05-29, 10:23 PM
I've been looking at ranger spells, both core and outside, and I think there are a lot of them that are quite good. The thing is, the ranger's caster level is half of its class level. I looked in Complete Arcane at Practiced Spellcaster and it would appear to work on divine spells (at least it doesn't say arcane spells only, I would appreciate if someone could tell me if this is correct)

Would it be possible to have an effective ranger that concentrates significantly on spellcasting? Between practised spellcaster, orange ioun stone and a prayed bead alone you have up to +9. I know I could do this better with a druid, but I really like the idea of TWF while flanking with an animal companion that I've used Greater Magic Fang, Barkskin, Animal Growth and Nature's Favor (Complete Divine). There are some other decent spells like protection from energy etc. that also benefit from having a greatly increased caster level.

I have bookmarked the wizards thread about raising caster level, but are there any besides those listed on that page (and not in my post above) that would apply to rangers? Also, is there any way of boosting spells per day (since a ring or wizardry is arcane only :smallfrown: ) Basically, how would you make a straight ranger that concentrates on spellcasting (equipment/animal companion suggestions very welcome)?

Pre-emptive thanks!

2007-05-30, 06:48 AM
Re: Animal Companion. I'd go for something that can fly, preferably Good or better (This gives you the Hover ability as a default. Dire Bat is good, but only for small PCs, or at the very least if you're "M" you better be light.

If you're relying on spells you really don't want to be forced to mix it in melee except when you're using a spell designed for it.


ps. The simplest way to deal with Caster Level problems is to convince your DM to use Ranger level -3, rather than 1/2 Ranger level. It's one of the more common house rules I know of.

2007-05-30, 08:55 AM
You could try a prestige ranger and have it based off druid casting. I'm not sure how this interacts with ranger only spells from the spell compendium, but I assume they're added to your list.

2007-05-30, 09:31 AM
A prestige ranger? And where might an upstanding citizen such as myself find such a thing?

2007-05-30, 09:48 AM
A prestige ranger? And where might an upstanding citizen such as myself find such a thing?

Prestige Ranger variant (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/prestigiousCharacterClasses.htm#prestigeRanger) in the SRD. (From Unearthed, I think.)

Fax Celestis
2007-05-30, 10:35 AM
That's a very interesting idea. I would recommend getting Wandstrike (CArc) and TWFing wands.

But that's because I think it's amusing to smack someone with a reduce person. Your mileage may vary.

2007-05-30, 12:01 PM
I have two recommendations for you.

The Spell Compendium and Dragon Magazine #336. SC offers a plethora of incredibly useful spells, (like arrow mind, which negates attacks of opportunity when using your bow in melee)...

Dragon Magazine #336 (available on back order) offers the Mystic Ranger, a 20 level variant that grants access to 0-5th level spells, at the expense of gaining some of your ranger abilities (i.e. combat style and favored enemies) at later levels. It requires a non-evil alignment, and bans you from getting the animal companion and proficiency with martial melee weapons, but I still think it's a solid option.

2007-05-30, 12:41 PM
Practiced Spellcaster does work with divine casting, and can boost the Ranger's caster level above 1/2 his level. Note that Bead of Karma only works for 10 minutes, so it's probably not practical to use it to boost your caster level every time you cast a spell.

Dire Bats are Large and can therefore presumably carry a Medium rider with no trouble.

The house rule of ranger's caster level (Level -3) isn't as common as the equivalent rule for Animal Companions. Nor does it make as much sense, IMHO.

Spell compendium spells are indeed a must.

TWF with Wandstrike is hilarious and made of win.

Prestige Ranger is a good idea, but if you can use variant classes from UA, I'd recommend this variant druid (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantCharacterClasses.htm#druid). Maybe with a 1- or 2-level dip in Fighter or Ranger to help you get the TWF you want. I like this variant because it gets rid of the thing that, IMHO, makes a Druid unable to function as a spellcasting-focused ranger, fluff-wise: Wild Shape.

2007-05-30, 01:05 PM
The Spell Compendium includes lots of insanely useful Ranger spells, that basically put a well built pure Ranger on par with a run of the mill Psychic Warrior. Arrowmind lets them threaten with a bow as if it were a melee weapon. They get the Pounce ability with another. Another spell gives them the Arcane Archer's Hail of Arrows ability. Most of the really good Ranger spells don't rely on caster level, so there's really no reason to try and buff it.

Re: Animal Companion, you have a lot of options, depending on what your DM will allow. There are a variety of feats that will get you a stronger companion. But even without special feats, you can still use the companion quite effectively. I'm fond of putting a Halfling Ranger on the back of a Dire Bat. Fly around, raining death down on your enemies. A TWF Ranger with the mounted combat tree would do well on the back of a Deinonychus.

And you might want to take a look at the Wildshape Ranger (http://www.systemreferencedocuments.org/35/sovelior_sage/unearthedCoreClass.html#simple-ranger). There are a variety of feats and PrC that will get you around the medium animal restriction (Dragon Wildshape, Aberration Wildshape, Exhalted Wildshape, Frozen Wildshape, Master of Many Forms, etc). With full BAB, Natural Spell and the Spell Compendium, your Animal Companion, plus your Ranger abilities and Skills, you become quite a formidable build.

2007-05-30, 01:07 PM
Wow, the idea of a wand wielding ranger hadn't occured to me but it totally fits the flavor of a mage-like ranger that buffs his animal companion to do the melee'ing for him. You guys are brilliant!

Edit) Another Practised Spellscaster question: The text says the benefit cannot exceed your character level (ECL of course, I assume), how does this interrract with items that boost caster level? Example: Cleric 1/Fighter 4 who gets his hands on an orange ioun stone and has the practised spellcaster feat: is his caster level 5 or 6? Essentially does practised spellcaster raise your caster level before magic items or after?

Sadly, I think I might be able to pull this off better by using druid to get into chameleon... (I'd probably end up with about the right animal companion and spellcasting power, just doesn't seem right somehow)

2007-05-30, 08:57 PM
Caster level increases are applied when it is most beneficial, so the caster level in your example is 6. Practiced Spellcaster increases your caster level to a maximum of your HD, not your ECL.

2007-05-30, 11:54 PM
If you want to increase caster level for the sake of making certain spells last longer, just get a lesser rod of extend spell. It's much, much cheaper than ioun stones and a feat.

If you really want a higher caster level for the sake of buffing your animal companion, try to convince your DM to houserule level-3 for your caster level and animal companion progression.

Aside from that, most of the good/useful Ranger spells don't have any significant dependance on caster level.

2007-05-31, 02:42 AM
Dire Bats are Large and can therefore presumably carry a Medium rider with no trouble.

The DMG specifies that a Dire Bat is a mount for small creatures.
It has a CC of 300lbs, so you could argue that it can carry a short/light M size creature. DMs call.

If you want to go the spellcasting Ranger who buffs his mount to do the fighting then Dire Bat using the Greater Flyby Attack from Savage Species is an awesom way to go (allows the creature with flight to make a single move in a straight line, make a single attack roll, and apply it to a number of targets along that line as your Dex mod and those targets gets no AoO. Since Direbats have a +5 Dex mod to start with, before increases from Companion advancement, attribute increases/per 4HD, and Cats Grace, it gets really nasty.

Unfortunately the best pump up your Companion is done by taking Arcane Heriophant - Races of Wild, which gives you full advancement in both Arcane and Divine casting, as well as advancement in Animal Companion and Wild Shape. Requires Trackless step (which for some daft reason Rangers don't get) and the ability to cast 2nd lev Arcane and Divine spells. Also gives your Companion all benefits of your Familiar. Assuming your DM doesn't allow Precocious Apprentice to fill the Arcane casting prereq you could do the following -
Druid 1,2
Wizard 1,2,3
Druid 3
Arcane Heriophant 1-10 (taking the 1st lev of Beastmaster for a further +3 bonus to your Animal Companion levs is also good).
You lose on high level spells, but a lot of the good buff spells are 1st and 2nd level - Chill Touch, All the stat buffs, Shocking grasp.