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    Default [3.5e] Ranger/Wizard ?

    So, these are two of my favorite D&D archtypes. The Ranger, who is skilled at wandering, exploration, and surviving on his own. The Wizard, whose interest lies in gathering knowledge and amasing arcane lore. My question: is there a way to combine the two classes?

    Yes, I realize that giving up caster levels for a pure caster is sub-optimal. I'm not asking for CoDZillaBatmanPunPun here; I'm curious if there are actually feats, prestige classes, or something else out there that would make a decent Ranger/Wizard.

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    Default Re: [3.5e] Ranger/Wizard ?

    Practiced Spellcaster (a feat from CA and CD) increases your CL by 4, but not above your HD. Obviously for multiclassers.
    See if your DM lets you choose a homebrewed version that decreases the CL increase but also gives you more spells per day/spells in spellbook/whatnot.
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    Default Re: [3.5e] Ranger/Wizard ?

    It's a superb class combination for a gestalt game, but as a multiclass character it would be very suboptimal. You can easily build a character to fit that theme without using those two classes specifically. For example, a Cloistered Cleric with Travel and maybe either the Magic or Spell domain for the arcane feel, or perhaps the Animal domain to feel more like a Ranger. Add on the feat Wild Cohort, and you'll have a character who's at home in both the wilderness and the library, who can get by in the outdoors on his own as he searches for more knowledge and ancient lore.

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    Default Re: [3.5e] Ranger/Wizard ?

    Isn't there some feat or ACF that replaces the Ranger's spellcasting with, essentially, slow Wizard spellcasting? "Sword of the Arcane Order" or something?

    Wizard 1 / Ranger 19 with Able Learner and Knowledge Devotion would be an interesting way to try to boost the Ranger's damage output, since the Wizard has all those Knowledge skills as class skills that the Ranger doesn't.

    Or just a Wizard with two levels dipped in Ranger is sub-optimal, but still pretty powerful if you just use the best Wizard spells. (What are the prereqs to enter that one PrC that combines your familiar and your animal companion? I think you need to have some actual Druid class features to enter it, sadly.)

    Or you could just copy one of my current builds-in-progress, a Factotum who thinks of himself as a Ranger. Nature-focused skills, archery feats, Knowledge Devotion at high levels, and able to pull a number of Wizard-like magic tricks out of his hat.
    Last edited by Draz74; 2009-06-30 at 08:01 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5e] Ranger/Wizard ?

    For spell-casting rangers sword of the arcane order is awesome, since it lets you cast wizard spells in your ranger spell slots. You then could use mystic ranger to give your self bard speed progression on spells, you could go wizard 1/ranger 19 and use sword of the arcane order to put your wizard spells in the ranger slots as well, or any other gish build you can think of. Of course sword of the arcane order gish builds are usually paladin/sorcerer for charisma synergy, but don't let that stop you

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    Default Re: [3.5e] Ranger/Wizard ?

    One of the things that makes Wizards so damn overpowered is that they really can do anything. There's nothing stopping you from going pure Wizard then spending your feats on Ranger abilities, which would be much more mechanically powerful than actually splitting your levels. (Yes, you'd be better off with the standard Wizard tricks, like metamagic and spell penetration and all that fun stuff, but that's not the point, now is it?) Take Improved Familiar and fluff it as your animal companion. Take Track. If you don't want to spend real feats on archery skills, spend spells on them instead. I'm about 80% certain there's a feat out there that makes your spells more effective against a chosen enemy (bane magic, or something?)... there's Favored Enemy right there. Learn the spells that make you better able to do outdoorsy things. If you're human, take Able Learner so you can load up on Spot, Listen, Survival, and other woodsmanlike skills. Then just use your wizard spells to cover the rest of it and you're done.

    Remember, no one, not even your character, knows what's actually written on his character sheet. He doesn't know his BAB is less, and neither does anyone else. He doesn't know that he doesn't have the word "Ranger" written down in the slot labeled "class." All he knows is that he spends a lot of time outdoors with his faithful cougar companion, he's good at following tracks, he really hates dwarves, and he carries a spellbook full of very powerful magic. If he calls himself a ranger, then dammit, he's a ranger, and no one will be able to tell him otherwise.
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    Default Re: [3.5e] Ranger/Wizard ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    Remember, no one, not even your character, knows what's actually written on his character sheet. He doesn't know his BAB is less, and neither does anyone else. He doesn't know that he doesn't have the word "Ranger" written down in the slot labeled "class." All he knows is that he spends a lot of time outdoors with his faithful cougar companion, he's good at following tracks, he really hates dwarves, and he carries a spellbook full of very powerful magic. If he calls himself a ranger, then dammit, he's a ranger, and no one will be able to tell him otherwise.
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    Default Re: [3.5e] Ranger/Wizard ?

    The best way I could think of to multiclass it would be to have only 1 level in wizard. That would give you access to plenty of scrolls and wands of different levels: wands are auto-success and higher level scrolls are an easy caster level check. Later on metamagic rods could also boost first level spells like true strike. A lot of utility spells make good wand & scroll spells, so you could be a ranger that sneaks around with invisibility, figures out who's behind the next door with detect thoughts, etc., etc.

    Or what Zaq said.
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    Default Re: [3.5e] Ranger/Wizard ?

    Have you considered Soulbow? No Wizard or Ranger, but gets you a magic archer that needs very little help to survive.

    Really, what do you want out of Ranger? The survive alone in the wild seems a bit out-of-sorts with the Wizard's scholarly nature.
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    Default Re: [3.5e] Ranger/Wizard ?

    Thanks everyone, for the time and suggestions. Don't stop if you still have ideas; I like what I've seen so far.

    I will admit, I've considered an actual Ranger/Wizard multiclass. The only ways I've seen it work are Wizard 3/Ranger 17 (using Shield, Lesser Orbs, Scorching Ray, and other buffs) or Ranger 1/Wizard 19 (basically a slightly tougher Wizard) and hoping the DM uses the Once a Class Skill, Always a Class Skill variant. It looks useable, although not terribly efficient - hence the thread.

    I was trying to avoid Clerics and Druids, as while they really can to almost everything, they generally don't have quite the right "feel" to it. That said, the Travel Domain Cloistered Cleric is interesting; I'd forgotten they make good Wizardish characters. There technically isn't a diety of both travel and magic, although I'm sure it could be refluffed into having such a strong desire to explore and gain arcane knowledge.

    I'm liking the idea of a Mystic Ranger/Wizard using Sword of the Arcane Order - possibly in combination with Practiced Spellcaster, like GreatWyrmGold said. Able Learner is also interesting for a gish; now I just need to locate what books all these feats are in. Thank you for the links, Sebsmith.

    Unfortunately, I don't have the book with Factotum in it. It sounds like an interesting idea, so I'll take a look into it.

    And while it is true that my character doesn't know if he's a wizard, ranger, or cleric/druid/shadowdancer, he does know the difference between finding food with Survival vs. making it with Create Food and Water, or tracking someone down with Track vs. Locate Person. Basically, I was more looking for someone who can rely on his skills, using his magic as a backup when necessary. Thanks for the ideas, Zaq, to help making a Wizard more rangerish.

    Soulbow? Not something I'd considered yet. Hmm... *goes searching*

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    Default Re: [3.5e] Ranger/Wizard ?

    Here's Soulbow.

    Replace Wizard with Psion and you can take Slayer to do basically the same thing. Use the feat Able Learner from Races of Destiny to keep your skills up.

    A Ranger build that only takes a few levels in Wizard may as well take Suel Arcanamach instead, from Complete Arcane.

    Taking the Savage Bard and Wilderness Rogue variants as an example, you could work with your DM to create a more nature-focused version of the Beguiler in PH2. Be sure to pick up Wild Cohort for an animal companion. Just playing a Savage Bard instead of a Wizard/Ranger would be another option, get both Wild Cohort and Obtain Familiar (CA) with Improved Familiar (CW) for a Krenshar, and let your woodland friends do most of the fighting for you.

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    Default Re: [3.5e] Ranger/Wizard ?

    I'm not advocating using Locate Person instead of Track. In fact, you'll notice I said that you SHOULD actually take Track. One of the things about the Wizard is that while it certainly does BETTER when you give it, you know, Wizard feats, Wizard spellcasting is powerful enough to keep the character playable and even powerful even if you blow all of your feats on Track and Wild Cohort and all those other Rangery things.

    I am advocating using spells like Instant Search, Balancing Lorecall, Surefooted Stride, Marked Object, or Master's Touch to perform woodsman-style tricks. I am advocating using spells like Arrow Mind, Guided Shot, and Guiding Light to become a master archer, or spells like Daggerspell Stance, Blades of Fire, Flame Dagger (yay, touch attacks! Who needs BAB?), or Steeldance to make two-weapon fighting not completely suck for you. Will you be as powerful as a Wizardy wizard? Of course not. But you'll be as Rangery as you could hope to be, and you'll still have full normal Wizard spells if you want to keep a Haste or a Solid Fog handy.

    If you don't like my advice, eh, no big deal. But please don't misunderstand me. I'm not saying you should use Wizard spells to make ranger-type tasks irrelevant, as you suggested with your Create Food and Water or Locate Person examples. I'm saying you should use your Wizard spells to make yourself fully capable of ranger-style tasks, while keeping full Wizard power when you want it.
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    Default Re: [3.5e] Ranger/Wizard ?

    this may not be what you want, but there is the Arcane Archer, more or a well archer, the feat could be form the ranger class, and some of the quais-spells are cool though you don't get better spell as wizard...

    just an idea
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    Default Re: [3.5e] Ranger/Wizard ?

    Arcane Archer is a waste of paper. Don't even bother looking at it. You're better off with a straight Ranger/Wizard multiclass.

    As you can see from the links earlier, Sword of the Arcane Order is from Champions of Valor (and can be used with or without a Wizard dip, but a one-level dip is probably the more powerful option). Able Learner is from Races of Destiny, and only works for human characters. Knowledge Devotion is from Complete Champion. Wild Cohort is only from the WotC website. Factotum is from Dungeonscape.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    spells like Instant Search, Balancing Lorecall, Surefooted Stride, Marked Object, or Master's Touch to perform woodsman-style tricks. I am advocating using spells like Arrow Mind, Guided Shot, and Guiding Light to become a master archer, or spells like Daggerspell Stance, Blades of Fire, Flame Dagger (yay, touch attacks! Who needs BAB?), or Steeldance
    Most of these are in Spell Compendium.
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    Default Re: [3.5e] Ranger/Wizard ?

    There's always eldritch knight, as well. The main problem with THAT is that you have to be AT LEAST level 7 to get into it because it has the absurd requirement of level 3 arcane spells to enter, so that's at least 5 levels of wizard and 1 of Ranger, and really you're probably going to want to go to at least level 2 ranger to get the fighting style.

    If I were doing one, I'd go Ranger 2/Wizard 5/Eldritch Knight 10 and then the last 3 levels you can fill out how you want. if you really want the animal companion you're going to be going Ranger 4/Wizard 5/Eldritch Knight 10, and filling the last level with whatever. I'd go the first route though and be happy with a familiar; at least with that route you can still get level 9 spells at level 20 and you can worry less about WIS since you won't be casting Ranger spells. One upside to this build is that all the classes are core so even very strict DMS will most likely have no problem with it.


    Another alternative is Bladesinger, which has the nice benefits of adding a dodge bonus to your AC equal to your Bladesinger level, allowing you to use light armor while casting at Bladesinger level 6, and only requiring 1st level arcane casting to enter. You may as well take level 7 in it at that point since it grants caster levels at odd levels and you get a better hit die than from a wizard level.

    The downside is that it takes 4 feats and a BAB of 5 to enter and you have to be an elf or half-elf. Since by level 6 (what level you'd need to ahve a BAB of 5 with a wizard multiclassed with Ranger) you'd only have 3 feats, my recommendation would be to take Ranger 2/fighter 2/wizard 2/bladesinger 7 (go archery as ranger since you have to fight with an empty offhand to get the benefits of a bladesinger). If you're a half-elf you can then pick whether to go farther in Ranger or Wizard after CL 13 since you have flexibility in favored class. If you're an elf, you're stuck with going farther in Wizard unless you don't mind the EXP penalty once Ranger and Fighter get de-sync'd.
    Last edited by Diamondeye; 2009-07-01 at 05:16 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5e] Ranger/Wizard ?

    Why not go ranger2/transmuter 4/spellsword1/abjurant champion5/eldritch knight X or use swiftblade?

    There's no reason you couldn't have a standard gish build, but go with a ranger instead of a fighter or paladin entry.

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    Default Re: [3.5e] Ranger/Wizard ?

    If you just want a more castery Ranger, there's the Mystic Ranger from Dragon 336 (can also be found on crystalkeep.com/d20).

    You could also do an Archivist/Prestige Ranger, and reflavor the Archivist as a Wizard, they're already very similar in flavor. Prestige Ranger can be found here.
    Last edited by JaxGaret; 2009-06-30 at 11:27 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5e] Ranger/Wizard ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Myrmex View Post
    Why not go ranger2/transmuter 4/spellsword1/abjurant champion5/eldritch knight X or use swiftblade?

    There's no reason you couldn't have a standard gish build, but go with a ranger instead of a fighter or paladin entry.
    Because you need heavy armor proficiency to qualify for spellsword, and Ranger, of course, doesn't grant that.

    You can, however, dispense with the spellsword dip since Abjurant Champions get a bonus to the AC from spells that gant armor or shield bonuses anyhow.

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    Default Re: [3.5e] Ranger/Wizard ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Myrmex View Post
    Why not go ranger2/transmuter 4/spellsword1/abjurant champion5/eldritch knight X or use swiftblade?

    There's no reason you couldn't have a standard gish build, but go with a ranger instead of a fighter or paladin entry.
    Spellsword requires heavy armor proficiency, Ranger only grants light. Plus I think he's more focused on having a lot of skillpoints and the Ranger class skills with spellcasting, rather than a high BAB.

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    Default Re: [3.5e] Ranger/Wizard ?

    Bladesinger is NOT core, it's Complete Warrior. And it adds your INT bonus to AC, not your Bladesinger level. And it has funky skill rank prereqs, so it might take you even longer to get into it. And generally it's more cut out for swashbuckling types, not so much for Rangerdom or Wizardry. Basically, Bladesinger's not much good at all except in very particular builds (Rogue 2/Swashbuckler 3/Assassin 5/Bladesinger 10).
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    Default Re: [3.5e] Ranger/Wizard ?

    Arcane Archer two-level dip can be good for Imbue Arrow. This plus Anti-Magic Field is pretty much the staple "shut down other casters" combo, although Silence works just as well (in area-effect no-save form, centered on arrow).
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    Default Re: [3.5e] Ranger/Wizard ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Biffoniacus_Furiou View Post
    Spellsword requires heavy armor proficiency, Ranger only grants light. Plus I think he's more focused on having a lot of skillpoints and the Ranger class skills with spellcasting, rather than a high BAB.
    Ohh, I was thinking more like Aragon going PEW PEW PEW LAZER EYES!!

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    Default Re: [3.5e] Ranger/Wizard ?

    I worked on ranger/spellcaster characters a lot, and I think it's important if it should be a ranger who knows some arcane spells or a wizard with some outdoor and combat experience?

    Ranger6/Wizard2 or Wizzard10/Ranger3 both work so much more better than a ranger5/wizard5. If you just compine such two classes at equal levels, you end up with a character who is both a very bad ranger and a very bad wizard.
    Trust me, I know from a lot of first hand experience. ^^
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    Default Re: [3.5e] Ranger/Wizard ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    Ranger6/Wizard2 or Wizzard10/Ranger3 both work so much more better than a ranger5/wizard5. If you just compine such two classes at equal levels, you end up with a character who is both a very bad ranger and a very bad wizard.
    Trust me, I know from a lot of first hand experience. ^^
    Yep, I totally agree that a 13 lev. is better than a 10 lev...
    (i don't agree so much on your idea that Rgr6/Wiz2 > Rgr5/Wiz5)
    Jokes apart, it's true that combining two classes, trying to keep them at equal levels, is often a bad idea.
    Last edited by Killer Angel; 2009-07-01 at 02:25 AM.
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    Default Re: [3.5e] Ranger/Wizard ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Biffoniacus_Furiou View Post
    It's a superb class combination for a gestalt game, but as a multiclass character it would be very suboptimal. You can easily build a character to fit that theme without using those two classes specifically. For example, a Cloistered Cleric with Travel and maybe either the Magic or Spell domain for the arcane feel, or perhaps the Animal domain to feel more like a Ranger. Add on the feat Wild Cohort, and you'll have a character who's at home in both the wilderness and the library, who can get by in the outdoors on his own as he searches for more knowledge and ancient lore.
    Use the Divine Magician option as well. Then you may chose some spells from the wizard/sorc list.

    You could also use a Ranger/Battle Sorcerer so you can still use armor etc.

    Also try looking at Hathran and a few feats to get into Hathran early. It means being female and wasting a feat though. :P
    Last edited by Gaiyamato; 2009-07-01 at 02:27 AM.
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    Default Re: [3.5e] Ranger/Wizard ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Killer Angel View Post
    Jokes apart, it's true that combining two classes, trying to keep them at equal levels, is often a bad idea.
    You can, but it only works with classes that have abilities that complement each other. Fighter/Barbarian or Ranger/Rogue at the same levels work just fine.
    But except for the spells, wizard levels don't help a ranger to do any ranger stuff better, and ranger levels don't help a wizard with spellcasting.
    So do one thing reasonable well and add just a few levels in another class for variety. Even with just three 1st level and two 2nd level spells, a ranger can do some nice tricks which a full ranger can not, and the loss of three levels in ranger only reduces skills, BAB and hp by a very small ammount.
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    Default Re: [3.5e] Ranger/Wizard ?

    It could be doable to build a standard Gish with Ranger-base. An arcane adaption of Slayer seems like just the thing. You could also do this in a more traditional Gish-build (say, Ranger 1/Wizard 5/Eldritch Knight 1/Spellsword 1/Abjurant Champion 5/Eldritch Knight ->), if you picked up Able Learner or something to work with the appropriate skills; thanks to your Int, you can really have enough skillpoints even with 2+Int classes

    But yeah, Mystic Ranger with Sword of the Arcane Order would also be a v. decent alternative. Also, Unseen Seer [Complete Mage] is a good combination of BAB, skill points and some divination buffs. Ranger 1/Wizard 4/Unseen Seer 10/Full BAB Wizard Advancement Class 5 is pretty good, for example. Ranger 2/Wizard 4/Unseen Seer 8/Spellsword 1/Abjurant Champion 5 would also work.


    And I can't help but mention some Bard-base like Bard 8/Arcane Archer 2/Sublime Chord 2/Sacred Exorcist 4/Abjurant Champion 4. They get skill points and arcane magic, though of course it's not actually Wizard-casting. Still, best way to deploy Arcane Archer (a class with very Ranger/Wizardish feel to it; if only 9 of the 10 levels didn't suck...) I know.
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  28. - Top - End - #28
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    Default Re: [3.5e] Ranger/Wizard ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel;6404538
    It could be doable to build a standard Gish with Ranger-base. An arcane adaption of Slayer seems like just the thing.
    Indeed. For that to work, pick up Erudite, take the Spells to Power variant and you can pretend to cast spells just like a real wizard. 1 Ranger / 6 Erudite / 10 Slayer with Able Learner and Practiced Manifester should work fine.
    Last edited by JeminiZero; 2009-07-01 at 03:24 AM.
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    Default Re: [3.5e] Ranger/Wizard ?

    Harper Agent from Player's Guide to Faerun seems to be meant for ranger/wizards and definitely plays to the themes you described earlier. I don't know how powerful or balanced it's considered though.

  30. - Top - End - #30
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    Default Re: [3.5e] Ranger/Wizard ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Draz74 View Post
    Bladesinger is NOT core, it's Complete Warrior. And it adds your INT bonus to AC, not your Bladesinger level. And it has funky skill rank prereqs, so it might take you even longer to get into it. And generally it's more cut out for swashbuckling types, not so much for Rangerdom or Wizardry. Basically, Bladesinger's not much good at all except in very particular builds (Rogue 2/Swashbuckler 3/Assassin 5/Bladesinger 10).
    1) I meant the build with Eldritch Knight was core, not Bladesinger; that sentence got added to the wrong paragraph

    2) The Bladesinger gains an AC bonus equal to their class level, not their INT bonus. Their INT bonus only caps the AC benefit, but since my build only took 7 levels, it shouldn't be that hard to get an INT bonus hish enough to max that out, or at least come close.

    3) Bladesinger is really pretty good for quite a few builds. The only thing it's not good for is if you want a gish that maximizes spellcasting with minimal emphasis on melee power. It does not have "funky" skill requirements at all. With the extra intelligence you'd have to make a wizard/ranger MC anyhow you'll have the extra skill points to buy a few OC class skills without even touching the Ranger skill points. None of the skills that are CC skills are more than 2 points and there are 4 of them; that would cost 16 points. Over the 6 levels you need to meet the BAB prereq you would get 18 bonus skill points at 16 INT, enough to have 2 left over plus your 38 points from the class choices I cited to spend on class skills.

    Bladesinger is only "weak" if you care about an optimized Gish that gets as many spellcasting levels and ahs as much Batman potential as possible. If you're not worried about maximizing that aspect, it works just fine, especially if you don't regard it as some sort of heresy of suboptimization to spend what are BONUS skill points anyow on meeting some pretty easy prerequisites.
    Last edited by Diamondeye; 2009-07-01 at 05:17 PM.

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