View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Revlid's Ranger 2.0 [PEACH]

2016-07-17, 05:47 PM
I've finished making my new version of the Ranger (http://homebrewery.naturalcrit.com/share/SkG62RCP) look all sexy on Homebrewery, which is an awesome resource.

It joins a long line of spell-less Ranger rewrites, but what makes this one stand out (I believe) is that I'm trying to tackle what I see as the root, conceptual weaknesses of the class, not just boost its numbers.

To quote my own commentary from the very end of this doc:

So why rewrite the Ranger? It's well-known that the class is underpowered compared to its martial or caster peers, but that wasn't the reason for this rewrite, and my solution wasn't to just tweak the numbers upward.

Firstly, Rangers lacked a distinct role or conceit. They weren't fighters, or casters, or even a good jack of all trades. Secondly, their distinct features (Favoured Enemy and Natural Explorer) were so dependent on context that they could be useless or grossly dominating depending on the campaign.

I settled on the Ranger's new role by looking at examples of the archetype in fiction, and harking back to the rest mechanics of Darkest Dungeon. As a result, this rewrite focuses on "strategic support".

While the Paladin or Rogue offer tactical utility, helping the party heal or overcome obstacles in the immediate short-term, the Ranger aims to keep the party supplied, rested, and on-track.
The Ranger doesn't get the party out of trouble, she keeps them away from trouble.

Explain Yourself
I had to cut spells, to restrict the class to what I wanted them to do. Despite being refreshed strategically, spells are a tactical resource, used on the go. As a result, they had to be replaced.

Instead, Rangers receive Campfire Knacks, an idea that went through a number of permutations before arriving at its current form, inspired mainly by the Bard's Song of Rest feature.
These powers allow Rangers to show off their wanderer's know-how and cushion the party against the perils of dungeons and wastelands with helpful tips or secret remedies. They are not, however, something you can toss out in combat.

I also removed a few features that belonged under the new knack umbrella, and compensated for the lost tactical power of spellcasting with some new or improved class features.
Notably, Favoured Enemy and Natural Explorer became the more universal and dip-worthy Hunter's Mark and Wayfarer.

Let me know your thoughts, whether they're tiny comments or in-depth essays, vicious attacks or a simple thumbs-up. I'm after them all!

2016-07-18, 01:39 AM
Would your beast bond work better with a fey-like creature whose stats are the same as the beast you desire? The text isn't clear as to how your bond is formed.

Other than that, looks great. Looks like the bad*** rangers are supposed to be. Bravo.

2016-07-18, 10:30 PM
3 things come to mind with an initial glance. I think the concept of knacks as a buff given by a mundane person doing mundane things while the party rests is a great idea.
Even though it feels very D&D, it reminds me of how the "camp" phase of adventuring is mechanized in Dungeon World and Torchbearer. I think this is something a game
intrinsically focused on wandering violent homeless people needs more of.

Not every Knack seems equally potent, though. Stitch In Time, for example, I'm not sure of the usefulness of. Granted, 5e isn't something I'm intimate with, but 1d6gp
fetches little in most circumstances. You can't even, say, cobble together some thieves tools in a pinch (25gp), although the basic idea is attractive to me regardless.
Elemental Wax and Scout Ahead, on the other hand, instantly look like potent things I'd want to grab right away.

Ranger Legends all seem cool and evocative. I like that they each have their own unique knack associated with them. The whole Beastmaster 'pet class' kinda thing has
never been my cup of tea. Did Exalted's new Survival tree loan any inspiration for creature features, tricks, and stuff like the Beast Transformation ability? I liked those
and I like these too, so maybe I should get around to playing that sort of archetype one of these days.

Legend of the Hunter is neat, although I feel like the Dragon-Hunter and Giant-Hunter paths are conceptually too similar with a Horde-Hunter being thematically different.
Something like a 'Changeling'-Slayer might offer more contrast in place of the Giant-Hunter? You've got a big-scary-thing-killer (dragons, giants), a goblin/kobold slayer,
while a third kind could hunt more subtle enemies, like infiltrating dopplegangers, and mind-mojo users like vampires and mind-flayers.

Hunter and Beastmaster aside, I don't have too much to say about Wyrd. There're already Druids and the core Ranger with spellcasting, so it seems a bit unnecessary.
Even so, I definitely think this is how they should've handled the Ranger right out of the box to begin with, rather than assuming they're magical by default. Mundane and
non-magical, with an archetype to splash those themes/mechanics in if you want.