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yesferatu
2019-01-06, 09:56 AM
Greetings D&D folks. I'm running a ranger soon and like many of you I've been super disappointed with where they've ended up.
I've tried both the PHB ranger & the UA revised, but neither one feels right yet. So I created the Recycled Ranger.
It leaves most of the ranger's core abilities intact, but makes them more useful more often. Main changes are in bold. Have a look.

...and why aren't quarter staffs light, finesse & versatile?


As a Recycled Ranger, you gain the following Class Features.

Hit Points
Hit Dice: 1d10 per Ranger level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 10 + your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d10 (or 6) + your Constitution modifier per Ranger level after 1st

Starting Proficiencies
You are proficient with the following items, in addition to any proficiencies provided by your race or background.

Armor: Light Armor, Medium Armor, Shields
Weapons: Simple Weapons, Martial Weapons
Tools: none
Skills: Choose three from Animal Handling, Athletics, Insight, Investigation, Nature, Perception, Stealth, and Survival

Starting Equipment
You start with the following items, plus anything provided by your background.

ē (a) Scale Mail or (b) Leather Armor
ē (a) two shortswords or (b) two simple Melee Weapons
ē (a) a Dungeoneer's Pack or (b) an Explorer's Pack
ē A Longbow and a Quiver of 20 Arrows


Favored Enemy
Beginning at 1st level, you have significant experience studying, tracking, hunting, and even talking to a certain type of enemy.

Choose a type of favored enemy: Aberrations, Beasts, Celestials, Constructs, Dragons, Elementals, Fey, Fiends, Giants, Humanoid, Monstrosities, Oozes, Plants, or Undead.

You gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls with weapon attacks against creatures of the chosen type. You also have advantage on Wisdom (Survival) checks to track your favored enemies, as well as on Intelligence Checks to recall information about them, and Charisma Checks while communicating with them.

Choose one additional favored enemy for every two ranger levels you attain beyond the first. As you gain levels, your choices should reflect the types of Monsters you have encountered on your Adventures.


Natural Explorer
You are particularly familiar with one type of natural Environment and are adept at traveling and surviving in such regions. Choose one type of favored terrain: arctic, coast, desert, forest, grassland, mountain, swamp, or The Underdark. Choose one additional favored terrain type for every three ranger levels you attain beyond the first.

Each time you choose a favored terrain, you also learn one additional language. As you gain levels, your choices should reflect the types of Creatures you have encountered on your Adventures.

When you make an Intelligence or Wisdom check related to your favored terrain, your proficiency bonus is doubled if you are using a skill that you're proficient in.

While traveling for an hour or more in your favored terrain, you gain the following benefits:

Difficult terrain doesn't slow your group's travel.
Your group can't become lost except by magical means.
Even when you are engaged in another Activity While Traveling (such as foraging, navigating, or tracking), you remain alert to danger.
If you are traveling alone, you can move stealthily at a normal pace.
When you forage, you find twice as much food as you normally would.
While tracking other creatures, you also learn their exact number, their sizes, and how long ago they passed through the area.


Spellcasting
By the time you reach 2nd level, you have learned to use the magical essence of Nature to cast Spells, much as a druid does.

Spell Slots

The Ranger table shows how many Spell Slots you have to cast your Spellsof 1st level and higher. To cast one of these Spells, you must expend a slot of the spell's level or higher. You regain all expended Spell Slots when you finish a Long Rest.

For example, if you know the 1st-level spell Animal Friendship and have a 1st-level and a 2nd-level spell slot available, you can cast Animal Friendship using either slot.

Spells Known of 1st Level and Higher

You know two 1st-level Spells of your choice from the Ranger spell list.

You learn an additional Ranger spell of your choice at each odd numbered level thereafter. Each of these Spells must be of a level for which you have Spell Slots. For instance, when you reach 5th level in this class, you can learn one new spell of 1st or 2nd level.

Additionally, when you gain a level in this class, you can choose one of the Ranger Spells you know and replace it with another spell from the Rangerspell list, which also must be of a level for which you have Spell Slots.

Spellcasting Ability

Wisdom is your Spellcasting ability for your Ranger Spells, since your magic draws on your Attunement to Nature. You use your Wisdomwhenever a spell refers to your Spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your Wisdom modifier when Setting the saving throw DC for a Rangerspell you cast and when Making an Attack roll with one.

Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier
Spell Attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Wisdommodifier


Fighting Style
At 2nd level, you adopt a particular style of fighting as your specialty. Choose one of the following options. You canít take a Fighting Style option more than once, even if you later get to choose again.

Archery
You gain a +2 bonus to Attack rolls you make with Ranged Weapons.

Defense
While you are wearing armor, you gain a +2 bonus to AC.

Dueling
When you are wielding a melee weapon in one hand and no other Weapons, you gain a +2 bonus to Damage Rolls with that weapon.

Two-Weapon Fighting
When you engage in two-weapon fighting, you can add your ability modifier to the damage of the second Attack.


Ranger Archetype
At 3rd level, you choose an archetype that you strive to emulate, such as the Hunter. Your choice grants features at 3rd level, and again at 7th, 11th, and 15th level.

Primeval Awareness
Beginning at 3rd level, you can focus your awareness on the region around you. For each minute you focus, you can sense whether your favored enemies are present within 1 mile of you (or within up to 6 miles if you are in your favored terrain). This feature reveals the type of favored enemy, but doesn't reveal the creatures' location or number. You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum of once). You regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.

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 you can increase two Ability Scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you canít increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

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 8th level, moving through nonmagical difficult terrain costs you no extra Movement. You can also pass through nonmagical Plants without being slowed by them and without taking damage from them if they have thorns, spines, or a similar hazard.

In addition, you have advantage on Saving Throws against Plants that are magically created or manipulated to impede Movement, such those created by the Entangle spell.

Hide in Plain Sight
Starting at 10th level, you can spend 1 minute creating camouflage for yourself. You must have access to fresh mud, dirt, Plants, soot, and other naturally occurring materials with which to create your camouflage.

Once you are camouflaged in this way, you can try to hide by pressing yourself up against a solid surface, such as a tree or wall, that is at least as tall and wide as you are. You gain a +10 bonus to Dexterity (Stealth) checks as long as you remain there without moving or taking actions. Once you move or take an action or a reaction, you must camouflage yourself again to gain this benefit.

Vanish
Starting at 14th level, you can use the Hide action as a Bonus Action on Your Turn. Also, you can't be tracked by nonmagical means, unless you choose to leave a trail.

Feral Senses
At 18th level, you gain preternatural Senses that help you fight creatures you can't see. When you Attack a creature you can't see, your inability to see it doesn't impose disadvantage on your Attack rolls against it. You are also aware of the location of any Invisible creature within 30 feet of you, provided that the creature isn't hidden from you and you aren't Blinded or Deafened.

Foe Slayer
At 20th level, you become an unparalleled Hunter of your enemies. Once on each of your turns, you can add your Wisdom modifier to the Attack roll or the damage roll of an Attack you make against one of your favored enemies. You can choose to use this feature before or after the roll, but before any effects of the roll are applied.


Beast Master
Ranger's Companion
Choose a beast that is no larger than Medium and that has a challenge rating of 1/4 or lower. Add your proficiency bonus to the beastís AC, attack rolls, and damage rolls. Your animal companion gains proficiency in two skills of your choice. It also becomes proficient with all saving throws.

For each level you gain after 3rd, your animal companion gains an additional hit die and increases its hit points accordingly. Whenever you gain the Ability Score Improvement class feature, your companionís abilities also improve. Your companion can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or it can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, your companion canít increase an ability score above 20 using this feature unless its description specifies otherwise.

On each of your turns, you can use a Bonus Action to verbally Command your companion. You decide what action the creature will take and where it will move during its next turn, or you can issue a general Command, such as to guard a particular area, object or creature. If you issue no commands, your companion only defends itself against hostile creatures. Once given an order, your companion continues to follow it until its task is complete. The animal companion loses its Multiattack action, if it has one. The beast obeys your commands as best as it can. It takes its turn on your initiative.

While traveling through your favored terrain with only the beast, you both share the benefits of natural explorer. If the beast dies, you can obtain another one by spending 8 hours magically bonding with another beast that isnít hostile to you, either the same type of beast as before or a different one.

Like any creature, the beast can spend Hit Dice during a short rest. If you are incapacitated or absent, the beast acts on its own, focusing on protecting you and itself. It never requires your command to use its reaction, such as when making an opportunity attack.

Shared Foes
Beginning at 7th level, you and your companion share the benefits of favored enemy. In addition, the beast's attacks are now considered magical for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage.

Bestial Fury
Starting at 11th level, when you command your beast companion to take the Attack action, the beast can make two attacks, or it can take the Multi-attack action if it has that action.

Share Spells
Beginning at 15th level, when you cast a spell targeting yourself, you can also affect your beast companion with the spell if the beast is within 30 feet of you.


Hunter
Hunter's Prey
At 3rd level, you gain one of the following features of your choice.

Colossus Slayer: When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, the creature takes an extra 1d8 damage if itís below its hit point maximum.

Giant Killer: When a Large or larger creature within 5 feet of you hits or misses you with an attack, you can use your reaction to attack that creature immediately after its attack, provided that you can see the creature.

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 that is within 5 feet of the original target and within range of your weapon.

Defensive Tactics
At 7th level, you gain one of the following features of your choice.

Escape the Horde: Opportunity attacks against you are made with disadvantage.

Multiattack Defense: When a creature hits you with an attack, you gain a +4 bonus to AC against all subsequent attacks made by that creature for the rest of the turn.

Stillness of Mind: You can use your action to end one effect on yourself that is causing you to be Charmed or Frightened.



Multi-attack
At 11th level, you gain one of the following features of your choice.

Volley: You can use your action to make a ranged attack against any number of creatures within 10 feet of a point you can see within your weapon's range. You must have ammunition for each target, as normal, and you make a separate attack roll for each target.

Whirlwind Attack: You can use your action to make a melee attack against any number of creatures within 5 feet of you. with a separate attack roll for each target.

Superior Hunter's Defense
At 15th level, you gain one of the following features of your choice.

Evasion: 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.


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 same attack against another creature (other than itself) of your choice.


Uncanny Dodge: When an attacker that you can see hits you with an attack, you can use your reaction to halve the attack's damage against you.

Ashtagon
2019-01-09, 10:25 AM
Humanoid type as favoured enemy: Considering the game was designed around these being the vast majority of common enemies, this has potential to be very unbalanced in favour of this choice. You also seem to have consolidated a lot of choices (14 total remain, and you can have up to 10 total chosen).

+2 AC while wearing armour: What about unarmoured rangers? This bonus seems oddly chosen.

Charisma bonus vs favoured enemies: This makes some sense for Intimidate, and also for Bluff when used to distract in combat, but not for the other skills. The whole concept of favoured enemy is you hunt and kill them, not play nice with them.

Favoured terrain: I like this.

Extra language skills: Nice extra, but largely useless in actual games.

Total number of favoured terrains/enemies: tbh, rather than having increased total numbers, I'd prefer to make them retrainable. Something like:

1st: Choose one terrain and one enemy. Retraining takes a full day in the new terrain as "downtime" (hiking, observing, climbing trees, etc.) or eight hours of close observation of the new enemy.

5th: Choose a second terrain and a second enemy. Retraining now takes one hour.

10th: Choose a 3rd terrain and a 3rd enemy. Retraining now takes five minutes.

15th: Choose a 4th terrain and a 4th enemy. Retraining now takes three rounds.

20th: Choose a 5th terrain and a 5th enemy. Retraining now takes a swift action.

Primaeval Awareness: I like this a lot.

Land's Stride: I'd tie this back to the favoured terrain (many class variant options in WotC books also tie it to terrain type)

yesferatu
2019-01-13, 11:36 AM
First off, thanks for replying. I appreciate the feedback. In addition to potentially homebrewing this option, I wouldn't mind seeing more people talking about it - if it is a viable solution.


Humanoid type as favoured enemy: Considering the game was designed around these being the vast majority of common enemies, this has potential to be very unbalanced in favour of this choice. You also seem to have consolidated a lot of choices (14 total remain, and you can have up to 10 total chosen).

- In my opinion, the favored enemy rules as written in the PHB are way too weak and situational.
- Consolidating makes them much more useful, more often. Honestly, how often is the BIG BAD a humanoid?
- Like all favored enemies, rangers can easily go an entire career without ever encountering one. That will obviously change depending on the campaign.
- I hate to think that somebody would choose one of the humanoid races without ever actually seeing one. Who's going to pick halfling or dragonborn as a favored enemy?


+2 AC while wearing armour: What about unarmoured rangers? This bonus seems oddly chosen.
- It's a fighting style, like Two Weapon Fighting, Archery or Duelist. +1AC for a fighting style always seemed ridiculously underpowered to me.
- You're giving up potentially double damage every round for +1AC?


Charisma bonus vs favoured enemies: This makes some sense for Intimidate, and also for Bluff when used to distract in combat, but not for the other skills. The whole concept of favoured enemy is you hunt and kill them, not play nice with them.
- I added this because of the PHB text on favored enemy. It says you get something from "even talking to" your enemies, but the PHB never says what.
- How many charisma skills are there? Deception, Intimidate, Performance, Persuasion? It theoretically means you know what scares them, you know what they like, you've learned some of their customs.
- Charisma advantage - which is still probably not going to be a strong ability/skill combination for a ranger - reflects that familiarity.


Extra language skills: Nice extra, but largely useless in actual games.
- Like all favored terrain & enemies... I tied it to terrain to reflect a ranger's travels, without making it too powerful. 10 languages is a little nuts.
- It's still a role rangers could/should play. It's a small & unique benefit.


Total number of favoured terrains/enemies: tbh, rather than having increased total numbers, I'd prefer to make them retrainable. Something like:

1st: Choose one terrain and one enemy. Retraining takes a full day in the new terrain as "downtime" (hiking, observing, climbing trees, etc.) or eight hours of close observation of the new enemy.

5th: Choose a second terrain and a second enemy. Retraining now takes one hour.

10th: Choose a 3rd terrain and a 3rd enemy. Retraining now takes five minutes.

15th: Choose a 4th terrain and a 4th enemy. Retraining now takes three rounds.

20th: Choose a 5th terrain and a 5th enemy. Retraining now takes a swift action.

- This just seems way more complicated than it needs to be. I was just shooting for more.


Land's Stride: I'd tie this back to the favoured terrain (many class variant options in WotC books also tie it to terrain type)
- Yup. I totally agree.