View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next DND 5e Alternative Ranger/Scout/Druid hybrid class

2016-08-19, 02:46 PM
Currently my group are playing in a homebrew world/campaign made initially built by our previous DM, currently being expanded on by me (as current DM) and eventually by the next person to take my place if and when my campaign ends.
However, nature and druids play a pretty large part in my campaign (a mountain circle in particular is a pretty key plot thing at the moment) and from what I've been discussing with the DM after me their campaign as well (they may be expanding on a thing I'd started dropping in as small plot devices but abandoned when I kinda lost direction with it). And one thing that came up was how underwhealming both people to have played ranger before have felt it was and how much they felt like they were mostly constrained into being "the hunter" almost rather than the live off the land care about the environment kind of ranger (a pretty niche complaint compared to what most people online wrote about about how the ranger stacks up) but I figured I'd attempt to address it by tweaking some of the features.
Now the Rangers in question decided early on that they were related. One being a pure wood elf and the other a half elf (of the wood variety) who were raised in a mountain forest by a circle of elven druids both of them beast masters and currently lvl 14 and asked if there was a way to give the ranger class a bit more of a wood elven/druidic lean whilst there's a large chunk of down time since neither wanted to play as a full caster.
So in many many many words without directly asking they were asking if I could homebrew up a bit more of a hybrid spin on ranger/druid beyond just the spell casting. below are the tweaks and replacements I made. Most of the earlier abilities are pretty much the same as I figured favoured terrain and enemy along with landstride don't need much tweaking and give that sense of survivalist knowing and moving through their habit incredibly effectively. Anyway, let me know if they seem terribly unbalanced. (i'm not worried about stepping on other classes toes in regards to flavour or features since the rest of my group have generally picked blasters such as sorcerers or outright tanks)
Class Features
For HP, Proficiencies and starting equipment see Ranger PHB – 90

Lvl 1 - Favoured Enemy
See Ranger PHB - 91
Lvl 1 - Natural Explorer
See Ranger PHB - 91

Lvl 2 – Fighting Style
See Ranger PHB - 91
Lvl 2 – Spellcasting
See Ranger PHB – 91

Lvl 2 – Vanish
The same as the ability you originally gain at level 14 as a ranger, I’d always thought It was given to ranger far too late for most rangers to benefit from and given I’m modelling this class tweak as more of a druidic forward scout than a hunter of beasts I saw no harm in providing it a little earlier given that paladins gain three features at level 2 and are probably the closest you get to ranger on a potential acceptable power scale (this is arguable I’m sure)
Lvl 3 – Ranger Archetype
See Ranger PHB – 92

Lvl 3 – Primeval Awareness
See Ranger PHB – 92

Lvl 4, 8, 12, 16, 19 – ASI
Lvl 5 – Extra Attack
See Ranger PHB – 92

Lvl 8 – Lands Stride
See Ranger PHB 92

Lvl 10 – Keen eyed Insight
Starting at 10th level, if you spend atleast 1 minute observing or interesting with another creature outside of combat, you can learn certain information about its capabilities compared to your own. The DM tells you if the creature is your equal, superior, or inferior in regard to two of the following characteristics of your choice, if the target is a member of a race or species that is deemed your favoured enemy you can choose four instead of just two of the following characteristics of your choice:
*Armour Class
*Current Hit points
* total Class levels (if any)
* Class Levels (if any)
(This is of course based off basically the same ability the fighter gains, but gaining this at a much later level, with a minor link to your favoured enemies feature I figured it was buffed just enough to make it an acceptable stand in for a level ten feature without being combat based)

Lvl 14 - Natures Sanctuary
When you reach 14th level, creatures of the natural world sense your connection to nature and your respect/reverence for wild beings and become hesistant to attack you. When a beast or plant creature attacks you, that creature must make as wisdom saving throw against your ranger spell save DC. On a failed save the creature must choose a different target or the attack automatically misses. On a successful save the creature is immune to this effect for 24 hours.
( of course given the more druidic spin on this tweak I nicked and tweaked two features from various areas in that class, those being this one and the one below at level 18. I was thinking about adding a clause here stating that this effect is negated if you attack and hit the target that would otherwise suffer this effect in order to lessen this effect a little and keep in with the flavour, I’m currently undecided whether it needs it or not)

Lvl 18 - Wild Sentinel
Starting at the 18th level the primal magic that you wield causes you to age more slowly. For every 10 years that pass your body ages 1 year.
You also suffer none of the ill effects of old age and cannot be aged magically.
(Turning this into more of a story based feature in comparison to the original feature felt fairly balanced given the more combat based ability at lvl 14 but providing a minor buff to make up for it being the only thing you gain at level 18 in comparison to the druid version felt fairly balanced)

Lvl 20 – Primal Focus
At 20th level you can enter a state of focus where you’re capable of almost inhuman movement and do so with deft silence through the terrains your most familiar with. Using your action you enter this primal state of focus for 1 hour gaining the following benefits -
Your honed state of focus allow you and running and climbing speed of 60ft
When in your favoured terrains your experience in these regions benefit you with the ability to stalk through them unseen granting you a bonus of +10 to stealth

(Nicking and tweaking a capstone from the palandin here to make up for the pretty abysmal original ranger capstone. Tried to keep it from being op by making the stealth only applicable in favoured terrains for flavour and balance)