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Sindeloke
2015-12-03, 07:31 PM
This is a two-part post. The first part is Yet Another Ranger Fix, focused around trying to give the class a specific identity and improve its flexibility and utility without adding any combat power (the one place the ranger is absolutely fine), by modifying the base class, a couple spells, and the two existing subclasses to greater or lesser degrees.

The second part is a pair of completely new subclasses, which should be perfectly compatible with both my adjusted ranger and with the current ranger, for those who are interested in new "plug-and-play" content without any houseruling of what already exists.

So!

THE RANGER

http://i.imgur.com/ddPsSAL.jpg
(Pay no mind to the spellcheck lines, that's what happens when you use an image hack to get around your hatred of the forum's table markup. Pretend it's all professional-like.)

As a ranger, you gain the following class features.

Hit Dice: 1d10 per ranger level
Armor: Light armor, medium armor, shields
Weapons: All
Tools: Choose one of herbalism kit, fletcher's kit, leatherworker's tools, thieves' tools, or trapper's tools
Saving Throws: Strength, Dexterity
Skills: Choose three from Animal Handling, Acrobatics, Athletics, Insight, Investigation, Medicine, Nature, Perception, Stealth, and Survival

Considering that Acrobatics is the skill governing balance, agility, and general "being Legolas," it's a bit odd Rangers don't have it by default. Self-sufficiency demands the option of Medicine along with the tools required to maintain their own equipment.

Spellcasting
There is a primal magic that dwells wherever life does, generated and strengthened by the violent, boisterous cycle of birth, survival, and death. As a ranger, you can tap into this magic to cast spells, much as a druid does. See the end of the Ranger entry for the ranger spell list. Wisdom is your spellcasting ability.

Cantrips
At first level, you can cast only cantrips, of which you know two of your choice from the ranger spell list. You learn additional ranger cantrips of your choice at higher levels, as shown in the Cantrips Known column of the Ranger table.

Yes, cantrips. Specifically: Blade Ward, Homing Strike (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?424958-A-variety-of-new-spells-and-cantrips), Mending, Dancing Lights, Quickfoot (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?424958-A-variety-of-new-spells-and-cantrips), Shillelagh, Thorn Whip, True Strike. The most important one is Quickfoot, one of those class-features-masquerading-as-spells that I usually don't like, which gives them a poor man's Dash-as-bonus-action, allowing them 10-25 feet of extra movement depending on level. Inferior to the rogue or barbarian but enough to make them extremely mobile skirmishers for a fair opportunity cost.

Also worth noting is a larger pool of spells known, equal to the default EK/AT/Sorc(!!). I don't mind spontaneous ranger casting on principle, but in practice it just means every ranger has the same spells, which is lame. Hopefully an extra spell per level will provide a bit more room to customize.

Spell Slots and Spells Known
At 2nd level, you learn spells and gain spell slots of 1st level and higher. Consult the Ranger table for how many spells you know at each level and how many spell slots you have to cast them with. You learn your spells from the ranger spell list, and each time you gain a level in the ranger class, you may replace one spell known with another valid spell.

Peerless Tracker
As a ranger, you are a master of hunting, tracking, and navigating, and can find or follow just about any creature you seek. This grants you several benefits:
- You have advantage on any ability check made to track a creature, identify a creature's trail, determine its activities from the marks it leaves, or recall any information about the traits and habits of a creature that would help you to locate it. This applies to both tracking a creature through Survival checks in the wild, and through Investigation checks in civilized locations.
- Your movement is not slowed when you attempt to track a creature, or when you are foraging, covering your tracks, leaving traps, or navigating. Engaging in these activities while you travel doesn't distract you from danger in any way.

So this feature replaces both Favored Enemy and Favored Terrain in one fell swoop. Iconic they may be, but they're also a disaster for balance and apt to give the DM headaches. This feature is slightly weaker in terms of "roll to know how to stop troll regeneration" than default favored enemy, but it's always on, and requires zero bookkeeping, so the player and DM never have to haggle over whether the bonuses apply or not and the DM doesn't have to worry about keeping the enemies and locales of the adventure at some perfect balance of favored/unfavored to keep the ranger useful but not vital.

Fighting Style
At 1st level, you adopt a particular style of fighting as your specialty. Choose one of the following options: Archery, Defense, Dueling, Mariner, Mounted, Sniper (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?419955-Three-new-fighting-styles), Two-Weapon, or Versatile. You can't take a Fighting Style option more than once, even if you later get to choose again.

Expertise
At 2nd level, choose two of your skill or tool proficiencies. Your proficiency bonus is doubled for any tool or ability check you make that uses either of the chosen proficiencies.
At 6th level, you can choose one more of your skill or tool proficiencies to gain this benefit.

Here's the other part of replacing Favored X: potential expertise with Investigation, Survival, or Nature, a much more reliable method that isn't negated by advantage/disadvantage stacking. You only get three skills to avoid stepping too heavily on the rogue's toes (I sort of feel the bard should be limited to three as well, but that's a different post).

Skirmish
As a ranger, stealth and mobility are your stock and trade. Starting at 2nd level, if you move at least 10 feet in a turn, opportunity attacks provoked by your movement have disadvantage, and any melee or thrown weapon attacks you make during that turn deal 1d6 bonus damage. Alternately, if you are hidden from a creature at the beginning of a turn, any ranged attack you make against that creature during that turn deals 1d6 bonus damage.

It's important to note that this completely replaces Hunter's Mark in this version of the ranger. It's a minor power increase, since it no longer interferes with two-weapon fighting, no longer requires concentration, and is available for the entire day. However, it requires the ranger to do things to earn it, notably to think tactically about movement and cover/concealment, and enemies have ways to shut it down beyond just hitting the ranger hard, which makes for a more dynamic game.

Scouting Action
Beginning at 3rd level, your training with tracking and ambushes makes you quick at observation and stealth. You can take a bonus action on each of your turns in combat. This action can only be used to take the Hide or Search action.

This one came up on the discussion thread for the UA ranger, and it's perfect, so I used it. The class is unfortunately pretty front-loaded this way, but a lot of the martials are. My guideline was paladin and I don't think I've outstripped that.

Ranger Archetype
At 3rd level, you choose an archetype that you strive to emulate: Beast Master, City Stalker, Hunter, or Survivalist, all detailed at the end of the class description. Your choice grants you features at 3rd level and again at 7th, 11th, and 15th level.

Ability Score Improvement
When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or two by 1 each, to the normal maximum of 20.

Extra Attack
Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.

Land's Stride
Starting at 6th level, moving through nonmagical difficult terrain costs you no extra movement. You can also pass through nonmagical plants or hazards without being slowed by them and without taking damage from any thorns, spines, volcanic glass, or similar hazard. Magical obstacles can still slow you, but you have advantage on your saves against them.

Evasion
Beginning at 7th level, you can dodge nimbly out of the area of many spells and effects. When you are subjected to an effect that allows you to make a Dexterity saving throw to take only half damage, you instead take no damage if you succeed on the saving throw, and only half damage if you fail.

Natural Stealth
Beginning at 10th level, you may attempt to hide whenever you are lightly obscured or have cover, even if you are being observed, and may move stealthily without penalty at your full normal speed. If you choose to hide your tracks, you cannot be tracked by any mundane means.

Vanish
Starting at 14th level, you may attempt to hide even when you have no cover and are not obscured, though you make your ability check with disadvantage. If you do not wish to be tracked, even magic cannot uncover your trail, and any spell that attempts to locate you by other means has a 50% chance of failure.

Genuinely useful stealth features, that is. Here I'm incorporating some aspects of a few of the better Ranger PrCs of the 3.path gamut, with the natural nondetection.

Wild Resilience
From 16th level, you are as impossible to keep down as life itself. You gain proficiency with Constitution saving throws.

Because Rangers had good Fortitude saves, and there are still other Concentration spells on this melee class that deserve some protection.

Feral Senses
At 18th level, you gain preternatural senses that give you an awareness of your surroundings beyond any normal civilized person. Even if your primary sense is somehow disabled (via darkness or the deafness spell, for example), you still have normal awareness of your surroundings out to a range of 30 feet, and nothing within that range that you can see, hear, or smell is more than lightly obscured from you.

A lot of species in my setting use their hearing or sense of smell more than their eyes, which leads to a lot of complicated edits to various features involving "that you can see" and "when X is invisible". I'm attempting to convey here that as long as you have any one of a functioning nose, eye, or ear, anything within 30 feet of you needs to make a Hide check if it doesn't want you to act like a human staring at it in broad daylight.

Killing Blow
At 20th level, you are an unparalleled hunter of your enemies. As an action, you may make a single melee attack after moving at least 10 feet, or a single ranged attack against an enemy who you are hidden from. If the attack hits, do not roll damage normally; instead, the target takes 100 damage. Whether the attack hits or misses, you may not use this ability again until you finish a long rest.

No, there are no good uses for true strike. This is meant to encourage teamwork, though. Get some Bless/Inspiration stacking going, etc.


Ranger Archetypes
The ideal of the ranger has four classical expressions: the Beast Master, the Hunter, the City Stalker and the Survivalist.

Beast Master
The Beast Master archetype embodies the friendship between the civilized races and the primeval animals that first worked together for survival, in the form of a deep bond with a powerful agent of the wild. United in focus, the beast master and her wild companion work as one to defeat the evil and unnatural enemies of nature and civilization alike. Emulating the Beast Master archetype means committing yourself to this ideal, working in partnership with an animal as its companion and friend and promoting harmony between the cities and the wilds.

Beast Bond
At 3rd level, when you adopt this path, you form a deep bond with a creature of the wilds. This can be a small, medium or large natural creature (such as a wolf, shambling mound, or gryphon) of 1/8 your CR or less that is friendly to you. Forming the bond requires an uninterrupted 8 hour ritual during which both you and the creature (hereafter "beast") stay together in a ritual circle. At the end of the ritual, the beast gains the following properties, superseding its normal attributes wherever they conflict:

Its minimum number of hit dice is equal to your level; it uses these to determine its maximum hit points and recover health during rests as normal. If this feature increases its total hit dice, it adds +1 to one ability score of your choice for each two hit dice it gains.
It uses your proficiency bonus when making attack rolls and any saving throws or ability checks with which it is proficient, and to calculate the DCs of any saving throws it imposes. It applies 1/2 your proficiency bonus to its other saves and as a bonus to its armor class.
Its Intelligence score increases to 5, if it isn't already 5 or higher.
In combat, it acts on your initiative. If left to its own devices, it will defend you and anyone else it considers an ally to the best of its ability, in accordance with its personality; different companions may attack the weakest-looking foe first, the one attacking you, the one nearest, the one that just hit it, or even attack no one at all and instead run away when badly hurt.
Whenever you could make an attack roll, you may forgo that attack to give a specific order to your beast. It will attempt to follow that specific order to completion, to the limit of its understanding, including on subsequent turns if necessary. Once done it will return to acting of its own volition unless given new orders.
Your companion shares a magical affinity with you. If you are the target of a spell that targets a single creature (including a spell with a target of self), you may choose to apply the effect to your companion as well, if it you are touching it when the magic takes effect. It also benefits from your Peerless Tracker and Land's Stride class features, if you have them.

If your beast dies or you choose to permanently dismiss it, you can bond with a different valid creature the same way.

Additionally, you learn the spell modify beast, which costs only half as much when cast on your companion as a ritual. This spell does not count against your spells known, and if you already knew it, you may therefore learn another valid spell in its place.


1st-level transmutation (ritual)
Casting time: 8 hours
Range: Self
Components: V, S, M (a selection of natural chalks and paints, and a figurine of the creature to alter, carved from rare wood or stone worth 200 gp)
Duration: permanent (or until removed)
Availability: Druid, Ranger

During the eight hours of this ritual, you sit quietly in a circle of runes with a single beast, plant creature, or monstrosity, using your magic to reknit its bones, reshape its skin, and imbue it with new abilities. Each casting of the ritual adds a single modification, and a single creature can have a maximum number of modifications equal to its proficiency bonus. The ritual can also be used to remove a modification or exchange one for another. A creature cannot receive the same modification more than once, unless specifically noted otherwise.

Possible modifications include:
Amphibious Alteration: You give the creature the ability to breathe water or air, and a swim speed equal to its current walk speed or a walk speed equal to its current swim speed.
Bolster Damage: Select one attack type the creature possesses. The damage dice for that attack increase by one die size.
Enchant Weapons: The creature's natural weapons become magical.
Grow Wings: The creature grows leathery or feathered wings that permit it to fly (with poor maneuverability) at its highest current speed. You must be at least level 10 to grant this modification.
Harden Skin: You grant the creature a +1 increase to its armor class.
Increase Speed: You grant the creature a +10 foot increase to a movement speed of your choice. A creature can recieve this modification multiple times, affecting a different speed each time.
Improve Senses: You grant the creature either 60 ft darkvision, 10 ft tremorsense, or advantage on Perception checks with one sense of your choice. A creature can recieve this modification multiple times, affecting a different sense each time.
Reduce/Enlarge: You change the creature's size by one size category. This reduces or increases its damage rolls and hit dice by one die size, respectively, and alters its maximum hit points accordingly.

Beast-Friend
At 7th level, natural creatures will not attack you or your beast unless badly provoked, and you may converse freely with such creatures as though permanently under the effect of the speak with beasts spell. You also learn the spell beast sense, and may cast it on your companion as an action at-will, without expending a spell slot or performing a ritual. This spell does not count against your spells known, and if you already knew it, you may therefore learn another valid spell in its place.

Primeval Ally
Beginning at 11th level, your companion is no longer a simple beast, but a minor avatar of nature. Its natural weapons become magical and can thus overcome the resistance or immunities of some creatures. It also gains one of the following benefits:
Bestial Fury. Your companion adds your proficiency bonus to all damage rolls.
Impenetrable Hide. Your companion gains resistance to all nonmagical damage. If it is forced to make a saving throw to reduce damage, it instead takes no damage on a success and only half damage on a failed save.
Wrathful Aura. When your companion is in combat and not incapacitated, any foe that begins its turn within 5 feet of it must make a Constitution saving throw (8+Con+prof) or take 1d4 psychic damage.

This transformation may reflect itself in small physical changes as well, such as a more ferocious and primitive appearance, glowing eyes, new tusks or horns, or other minor cosmetic features.

Beastly Apotheosis
At fifteenth level, your beast becomes fully connected to the forces of nature, becoming a pure elemental power in its own right, a transformation that echoes along your bond and changes you as well. Select one of the following benefits:
Bonded Vigor. Whenever you or your beast takes damage, you may use your reaction to grant either you or your beast a number of temporary hit points equal to your Wisdom score.
Elemental Rage. Select cold, fire, or lightning. Your beast gains a breath weapon that deals 4d8 damage of that type in a 15-foot cone, usable as an action (Dex save vs Con for half). Additionally, once per turn, when you would deal Skirmish damage, you may instead deal 2d6 damage of that same element. You may change the element after a long rest.

Your beast may show drastic signs of its elemental nature as well, such as swirling winds that seem to surround it even in calm weather, flowers that spring up in its footsteps, a faded appearance almost like a living shadow, feet that actually run about an inch above the ground, a mane of flame, or other such impressive effects. Even the most ordinary-looking beast, at this point, still gleams with strength and health like the absolute paragon of its kind.

The idea here is to start with a less offensively powerful, much more durable beast and allow superior scaling, as well as changing the dynamic of the subclass from "start with a gimped thing and slowly unlock it to normal levels" to the much more satisfying "get cool new stuff as you go like everybody else". The beast being able to act without stealing the ranger's actions most turns, however, means that DMs will have to be even more careful than currently about what beasts they allow, and gentlemen's agreements may be needed to curtail particularly potent choices. Personally I think it's worth it for a class that actually feels like a partnership rather than a dude and his meat puppet, but for those who find it too strong, removing the Beast Master's Extra Attack feature is an easy and effective solution.

Hunter
The Hunter archetype is a peerless slayer of foes, a devoted and self-sufficient combatant dedicated to the pursuit and destruction of even the most deadly monsters. Emulating this archetype means learning specialized techniques to use against these unique foes, and pledging yourself to the fearless and relentless defense of society against such evil.

Hunter's Prey
At third level, your specialized training begins, granting you one of the following features.
Colossus Slayer. Once per turn, when you hit a creature with a weapon attack, that creature takes an extra 1d8 damage if it's below its hit point maximum.
Giant Killer. When a Large or larger creature within reach of your weapon makes an attack against you, you may use your reaction to attack that creature immediately after the attack, provided you can see it.
Horde Breaker. Once on each of your turns when you make a weapon attack, you can make another attack with the same weapon against a different creature within 10 feet of the original target and within range of your weapon. This extra attack can't benefit from Skirmish.

Defensive Tactics
At 7th level, you learn to protect yourself from the unusual attacks of your monstrous enemies, gaining one of the following features.
Escape the Horde. When you start your turn within reach of two or more enemies, you may use your Scouting Action to take the Dash action.
Multiattack Defense. When a creature hits you with an attack, you gain a +5 bonus to AC against any subsequent attacks by that creature for the rest of the turn.
Steel Will. You are immune to effects that would make you frightened.

Escape the Horde obviously has to change, since it's made redundant by Skirmish. Steel Will got the upgrade because none of us could see a reason to take it compared to the other two.

Multiattack
At 11th level, you develop skills to quickly destroy hordes of enemies. Select one of the following features.
Volley. You can use your action to fill the sky with arrows. You must be wielding a ranged weapon without the loading property. Select a point you can see within range of your weapon, and make a single attack roll against each enemy within 10 feet of that point. You must have sufficient ammunition for these attacks, as normal.
Whirlwind Attack. You can use your action make a multitude of melee attacks, becoming a roving maelstrom of violence as you sweep across the battlefield. You move as normal for your turn, making a single melee weapon attack against each enemy you can reach during your movement. This feature doesn't allow you to hit the same creature more than once, though other abilities (such as extra attacks from wielding two weapons or the Horde Breaker feature) may still do so.

Whirlwind is now both useful, synergistic, and consistent with the "mobility" theme. Volley is still probably better under most circumstances.

Superior Hunter's Defense
At 15th level, you calmly shrug off dangers that would chill the marrow of any ordinary mortal. Select one of the following features.
Four-Season Fury. You have resistance to all environmental damage (such as fire damage from nearby lava), and advantage on all saves against non-damaging environmental effects (such as the poisoned condition bestowed by the toxic fumes).
Stand Against the Tide. When a hostile creature misses you with a melee attack, you can use your reaction to force that creature to repeat the attack against another creature of your choice within your reach (other than itself).
Swift Escape. When you make a successful weapon attack, you gain an additional 5 feet of movement for that turn, to a maximum of 20 feet.

No evasion, because we already put that in the base class at an appropriate level, and no Uncanny Dodge because it just feels too much like stepping on the rogue's toes, to me.

No big changes here, mostly just stuff to adjust for changes in the base class and bring the lesser options up to the level of the better ones.

Sindeloke
2015-12-03, 07:33 PM
And now, two sexy new archetypes fit for any campaign! The City Stalker, based on the Urban Ranger and its various "detective"-themed PrCs for all your Sherlock or Batman needs, and the Survivalist, a high-durability utility subclass with an affinity for traps.


City Stalker

http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/ec/3a/5d/ec3a5d38e5662f687edbed2df3d7ef3e.jpg

Most rangers spend their time in the deep wilderness, far from the so-called "civilized" races, feeling most comfortable and most needed in the heart of nature. But the archetypal City Stalker knows that even in the most crowded metropolis, people are as dangerous and driven by instinct as any other animal. Where other rangers stand on guard from ravenous wolf packs, city stalkers hunt down gangs and cultists. Where other rangers track dragons to their remote caves, City Stalkers follow corrupt nobles into their magic-warded lairs. When you emulate this archetype, you feel the pulse of urban life with every heartbeat as crowded, ordered, and deadly as any ankheg warren or nest of wasps and move effortlessly through it as its guardian.

Street Scrapper
Your experience in close-quarters street fights and crowded mobs has taught you unusual but effective tricks. When you take this archetype, choose one of the following abilities.
Brutal Grapple. Whenever you make a successful grapple or shove attempt against an enemy, you may choose to deal 1d6 + your Strength modifier bludgeoning damage as part of the action.
Dirty Strike. If an enemy who you are hidden from, and who is in melee reach of at least one of your allies, makes an attack, you may use your reaction to attack that enemy immediately after its attack, provided you can see the creature.
Split the Mob. Once per turn, when at least two creatures stand next to each other (not including yourself), your weapon attack against one of them deals an extra 1d8 damage. You can only deal this damage once per turn.

Urban Casting
As a City Stalker, the following spells become Ranger spells for you, available to learn on level-up like any other: Comprehend Languages, Detect Thoughts, Tongues, Faithful Hound, Animate Objects.

City Sense
The noisy warrens, broad streets and dirty cobblestones of the urban wilderness tell a story that only a city stalker can hear. When you enter a city for the first time, you may spend one hour wandering the back-alleys, rooftops and thoroughfares in a state of mobile meditation, forging a connection to the location, its people, and its past. You instinctively avoid danger and excitement during this communion, but it still interferes with any attempt to rest or perform other actions. At the end of the hour, you know any notable information about the city (such as its major trades, where the bad part of town is, and if there are any local heroes or important political figures), and can automatically find any type of location or service within the city that you seek. This ability doesn't lead you to specific buildings, only general services; you can find "an inn with fair prices" or "a safe place to lie low," but getting the address of "Flappy Frederick's Fried Fish Shack" still requires a map or an Investigate check.

Urban Adaptation
At 7th level, you may choose one of the following abilities.
Alley-bred. Navigating dark and narrow spaces has become second nature. You take no penalties when squeezing through a space one size too small for you, and whenever you fail a Perception or Investigation attempt due to poor lighting, you may reroll the check and take the new result.
One with the Crowd. No one is more adept at dodging flailing limbs than you. You may freely move through an enemy's space, and crowds and occupied spaces don't cost you extra movement. Additionally, creatures have disadvantage on Perception checks made against you whenever at least three creatures are within 5 feet of you.
Rooftop Strider. You can stand steady on the thinnest gutter or find handholds and crevices on even the most impossible walls. You may freely climb any surface as though affected by the spider climb spell, and have advantage on Dexterity (Acrobatics) checks made to keep your balance.

Guerilla Combat
At 11th level, you may choose one of the following abilities.
Ambush. You add your proficiency bonus to Initiative checks. When you attack a creature which is surprised or which you are hidden from, you may reroll any damage dice showing 1s or 2s and take the new result.
Cat Among Rats. If you are within melee reach of more than one enemy, for each enemy past the first, your weapon attacks against those enemies deal 1d4 bonus damage (to a maximum of 3d4).
Opportune Blow. When you make a weapon attack against an enemy who is grappled, prone, or incapacitated, you deal 1d10 bonus damage.

City Step
At 14th level, you gain the ability to move mystically around the city by teleporting from one building to another. This ability functions as the spell Tree Stride, except that you move into and out of any stone, brick, stucco, wood beam, concrete, or otherwise deliberately manufactured wall or edifice that is at least large enough to fit your entire body; and become aware of, and can move to, structures of the same material. You do not expend a spell slot or require any verbal or somatic components to use this feature, but once you use it, you must complete a short or long rest in order to use it again.

Actually, this is meant to be fully functional outside of cities as well, but hopefully it covers the bases of the old classes and PrCs I'm trying to evoke (I spent a lot of time in particular on the Justicar & its cousins and their nonlethal/hogtie stuff). Although can I just say, the Urban Ranger spell list is kind of... weird?


Survivalist

http://i.imgur.com/c0TsIjC.jpg/

The Survivalist archetype is that of the trapper and toolmaker who laughs at the dangers of the wilderness, secure in his own ingenuity. The hallmarks of this archetype are resourcefulness, creativity and preparedness, and by emulating it, you dedicate yourself to the same principles, and having a plan or a trap on hand for every occasion.

Master Trapper
You may use the bonus action granted to you by your Scouting Action feature to take the Use an Object action, letting you quickly leave hunting traps, activate a magnet glove, or drop caltrops, and when you use a trap or other clockwork item, it uses its own save DC or yours, whichever is higher.
Additionally, each time you complete a long rest, you may use whatever scraps and makeshift tools you find to jury-rig a number of traps equal to your proficiency bonus. You can't make an item in this way that would have a DC higher than your own, and the items you make degrade and become worthless by the time of your next long rest.
The following items count as "traps" for the purpose of this feature: Ball bearings, caltrops, fire traps, gas traps, hunting traps, scream wires, shock traps, spring nets, and walking bombs.

Stats pending on the various new traps. Generally, they do what they sound like they do.

Firearm Expertise
You suffer no chance of misfire when using guns. When you make a successful weapon attack with a gun, add 1/2 your proficiency bonus to the damage.

Pistols deal 2d4 damage, add no ability score modifier to damage, have the reload property, and misfire (needs an action to clear before it can be fired again) on a roll of 1. Longarms are the same, but deal 2d8 damage and misfire on a 1 or 2.

Superior Tenacity
By 7th level, you can shake off even the harshest punishment if you have a moment to focus. You may use an action to spend any number of your available hit dice, recovering hit points as normal. Whenever you spend hit dice, you regain two extra hit points for each hit die spent.
Additionally, whenever you take a short rest, you recover a number of hit dice equal to your proficiency bonus.

Adaptive Knack
Starting at 11th level, you can use herbs, resins, and plain old-fashioned know-how to protect yourself and your allies from the rigors of the elements. By spending half an hour modifying and adjusting a set of clothing or armor, you can cause it to grant its wearer resistance to one of the following damage types: acid, cold, fire, lightning, or poison. Your resources are not infinite, however; you can't have more than six outfits modified in this way at once, and you can't grant resistance to more than one type of damage to the same outfit. Trying to add a new resistance simply replaces the old one.

Deadly Snares
Also at 11th level, you can weave a deadly synergy between your weapons and your traps. When your traps deal damage, roll two extra dice and add them to the damage dealt. When you make a successful weapon attack against a creature who has been affected by one of your traps since the end of your last turn, you deal an extra 1d8 damage.

Supreme Tenacity
At 15th level, no amount of physical abuse can slow you. No effect short of death can force you to become unconscious against your will (including being reduced to 0 hit points), and you are immune to any negative effects of exhaustion. You must still track your levels of exhaustion, because six levels will still kill you, but you take no penalties prior to that point.

I feel like there's less of a sense of cohesion between the trap aspect and the resilience aspect of this subclass than I'd like. Still, it feels solid and like it does what it's supposed to. IDK. Suggestions are welcome.

So there's that. Questions? Comments? Criticisms? Raving troll rants/offers of marriage? I'm all ears here. (Or would that be eyes, in a text medium?)

RedOndjage
2015-12-06, 09:36 PM
I really like this ranger fix overall, but I do have a few issues and questions in regard to the base chassis and the Beastmaster archetype.

1. Nowhere in the actual rules text of the class do you mention that Hunter's Mark is no longer a Ranger spell. Is that intentional, or an oversight? Since it seems like skirmish is supposed to replace it according to your commentary?

2. Does the Beastmaster's companion add the Beastmaster's proficiency bonus to his attacks in addition to the beast's own proficiency bonus, or in place of? I'm assuming that with the scaling stats it is in place of the beast's proficiency bonus and that seems to work out great, overall.

3. Speaking of scaling stats...what is the cap on the beast's stats? 20? 30?

4. Would it be balanced/feasible to have the beast share some of the stealth features like Scouting Action/Natural stealth/Vanish? It seems like a Ranger should be good at stealthing alongside his/her companion, but maybe that would be unbalancing?

5. I don't like Beastly Apotheosis. I feel like the potential damage of Elemental Rage is overall a bit much in comparison to what other martials are capable of. I think that maybe if the extra damage on Skirmish were removed, it might be a little better balanced. Now, as for the defensive option, it seems like that is a LOT of potential bonus HP over the course of a fight. I think, perhaps, it would be better if it granted resistance against the attack. However, that could overlap with Impenetrable Hide. It would still be useful against magic damage and for the ranger in that case, so maybe it could still work?

6. I think that Modify Beast should allow modifications up to half the ranger's prof bonus, rather than keying the amount of mods off of the beast's prof bonus. That would help the balance between the wolf a ranger might start with and want to keep, versus some higher CR enemy with a higher prof bonus.

7. I think that including a line in the companion rules that mandates only a single instance of Multiple attacks/Multiattack between the ranger and his companion per turn would be appropriate as well, to prevent a DM from getting blindsided by a potentially OP pairing.

Overall, I think that this this class, and especially the beast master archetype, is VERY well balanced.