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    Default A question regarding rangers (3.5)

    How do they compete at higher levels? Don't they pretty much have to be fighting their highest favored enemy bonus (assuming they specialize) to pull their own weight in combat? What else do they have? Even at 20th, their animal companion is a dire lion at best, which would be slaughtered by any CR 20 creature (though with spell buffing and summoned/charmed backup, they might break even).

    I ask you, would giving them skirmish (as the scout) or sudden strike (as the ninja) make them overpowered?

    Or even skirmish + 1/2 sudden strike? (5d6 at 20th)

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    Default Re: A question regarding rangers (3.5)

    Generally, rangers aren't considered very good at later levels. Both two-weapon fighting and archery have terrible late-game issues, and ranger spellcasting is nothing to write home about. Giving even full skirmish shouldn't be that overpowered compared to Tome of Battle classes, and they would still be leagues behind full casters.

    Not sure about Sudden Strike though (never bothered with ninja) but I doubt it'd be overpowered.
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    Default Re: A question regarding rangers (3.5)

    actualy giving rangers 5d6 in sneak attack is a common alteration for rangers suggested on the stick boards. Also having the animal companion progress at ranger level -3 or 4. Or adding different feat chains for combat styles.

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    Default Re: A question regarding rangers (3.5)

    The best use of Ranger is to go Scout 4/ Ranger 16 with the feat Swift Hunter from Complete Scoundrel. That gets you 20th level Skirmish progression on top of everything else. Move and Greater Manyshot and you'll get Skirmish and Favored Enemy (if any) to every arrow. You could use the Distracting Attack ACF in PH2 in place of your Animal Companion, otherwise get a Dire Eagle from Races of Stone to use as a flying mount but keep it out of combat. The feat Natural Bond in Complete Adventurer can make your animal companion a little bit buffer, or maybe pick up Wild Cohort if you want something usable in combat. It's still a weak character compared to a Cleric or Archivist archer or any other full spellcaster, but it's definitely playable in the higher levels.

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    Default Re: A question regarding rangers (3.5)

    I'm probably getting boring with this, but to me Manyshot is very crapy feat for archer...

    30 feet range means that you are in range of charge/someone's charge almost everytime, unless one's speed is very low. And everyone speeds are usually getting better at high levels, not worse...

    So you are attacking from the range from which everyone can get to you without problem, and more importantly, you could attack anyone with melee weapon.

    And aside weird look, melee build in D&D will be more practical/damaging than archery one (not even mentioning trips/other moves), which is rather logical.

    So attacking from bow in melee range one is basically playing archer build just for the sake of attacking someone from bow... while attacking with close range weapon would be much more logical, and bow should stay for ranged combat - 100 feet +.
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    Default Re: A question regarding rangers (3.5)

    One thing to remember is that at higher levels, melee monsters in D&D tend to be horribly deadly. The big advantage of archery is that it doesn't require you to stand around in melee range of the huge 40 Strength monster that's just looking for a victim for its claw/claw/bite/wing/wing/tailslap routine.

    At higher levels, I'd rather play an archer ranger than a fighter, barbarian, or paladin, as there's much less chance of being swatted like a bug. Also remember that Rangers are quite competent skillmonkeys, just as good at sneaking and spotting enemies as a Rogue.

    TWF rangers, on the other hand, are just terrible. They don't really have any saving graces.

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    Default Re: A question regarding rangers (3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawriel View Post
    actualy giving rangers 5d6 in sneak attack is a common alteration for rangers suggested on the stick boards. Also having the animal companion progress at ranger level -3 or 4. Or adding different feat chains for combat styles.
    Why not just give him the same animal companion level as the druid? The ranger still can't Wildshape/Cast lvl 9 spells/Spontanously Summon.

    For favored enemy, I strongly recommend the Arcane Hunter ACF from Complete Mage. Get a bonus against every enemy capable of casting Arcane Spells. After that, pick enemys that are Immune to your Skirmish damage.

    Btw... anybody ever made a Swift Hunter with the Wildshape Variant ranger? I was thinking pounce from lvl 1 barb + multiattack.

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    Default Re: A question regarding rangers (3.5)

    Use Mystic Ranger, it has better spellcasting and full caster level at the cost of an animal companion, one less favored enemy and feats at a slightly later level. The spellcasting isn't even affected by the swift hunter, it's only one less fifth level slot, and the healing and buffs will really help in a pinch
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    Default Re: A question regarding rangers (3.5)

    Most encounters will occur in rooms small enough that every shot you take will be within 30 feet, so having to be within that range is inevitable. Plus most settings will require a balance check to charge or have undergrowth that outright prevents it, which a Ranger happens to be right at home in. Furthermore, most parties will have melee characters who are capable of standing between dangerous monsters and squishy ranged characters, again outright preventing a charge. Otherwise you could easily just take Wild Cohort for a Fleshraker or similarly useful companion to stand in the way of a charge for you. Skirmish + Greater Manyshot deals at least as much damage as most (nonspellcaster, normal form) melee builds are capable of without charging, and the only viable alternative fighting style for a Ranger would be Strong-Arm.

    If you don't want to stay (mostly) single-classed, you could go Human Wild Shape Ranger 5/ Nature's Warrior 1/ Master of Many Forms 7/ Warshaper 4/ MoMF 3. Take Combat Reflexes, Power Attack, Alertness, Leap Attack, Frozen Wild Shape, Robilar's Gambit, Multiattack, and Defensive Sweep, with Nature's Weapons from Nature's Warrior. It's a strong Tier 3 and probably just as capable a melee combatant as any CoDzilla or Gish build. Not much of a Ranger after the early levels, but it uses the otherwise weak class to make a very capable build.

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    Default Re: A question regarding rangers (3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Spiryt View Post
    I'm probably getting boring with this, but to me Manyshot is very crapy feat for archer...

    30 feet range means that you are in range of charge/someone's charge almost everytime, unless one's speed is very low. And everyone speeds are usually getting better at high levels, not worse...

    So you are attacking from the range from which everyone can get to you without problem, and more importantly, you could attack anyone with melee weapon.

    And aside weird look, melee build in D&D will be more practical/damaging than archery one (not even mentioning trips/other moves), which is rather logical.

    So attacking from bow in melee range one is basically playing archer build just for the sake of attacking someone from bow... while attacking with close range weapon would be much more logical, and bow should stay for ranged combat - 100 feet +.
    Yes, but 30 ft means you're not within Full-attack range of the beasties. I'll take ONE charge attack compared to a full-attack routine.
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    Default Re: A question regarding rangers (3.5)

    Ranger really needs Spell Compendium to be ok at higher levels. You still want the Swift Hunter-dip (Scout 5/Ranger 15 with Spell Reflection is pretty good, as is Scout 3/Ranger 17) and Mystic Ranger helps. But yeah, Spell Compendium almost multiplies Ranger's spellcasting powers. Just get Circlet of Rapid Casting [MiC] and you can let fly while letting fly.

    Sword of the Arcane Order [CoV] is also awesome since it gives you the best thing in the game: arcane casting. Sure, it makes you more MAD but if you let go of your usual divine spells, you'll be fine with just Int. Anyways, getting access to the best of a mid-level Wizard's toolbox kicks ass (Celerity & Polymorph-line if not banned; Polymorph makes you an Arrow Demon for insanity - otherwise just Flame Arrow, Greater Magic Weapon, Greater Mirror Image, Dimension Door, Heroism, etc.) and definitely goes a long way towards making a Ranger more impressive. Really, a Ranger wants both lists to choose from if possible; decent Wis & Int would accomplish that.
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    Default Re: A question regarding rangers (3.5)

    I think half sudden strike progression is brilliant; it makes that Hide in Plain Sight/Camouflage combo rangers get actually worth something, and makes Greater Many Shot worth taking without a dip into Rogue, Scout, or Ninja.

    I'm a big fan of the Distracting Attack Alternate Class Feature from PH2. Basically, you surrender your companion (which as you pointed out is going to get turned into a pile of red paste in one round in the endgame) to set up flanks with every attack. Flank from 100' away!

    Sadly, from my meager experience even in a relatively low-power game (Fireball wizards, healer clerics, S&B fighters) Rangers are going to struggle to keep up after level 6 or so (where the extra damage from Rapid Shotting ceases to be as impressive). The precision damage would be a huge boon, but if you don't want to houserule it then Wildshaping Ranger or Swift Hunter are the best options. You can also just accept that you aren't a combat all-star and focus on tracking, trapping, and carrying a Wand of CL Wounds to bandage people with.
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    Default Re: A question regarding rangers (3.5)

    Most of the good stuff has already been hit by the other regulars. I'd add that with Polymorph (via Sword of the Arcane Order) plus Minor Shapeshift any build can be competitive.

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    Default Re: A question regarding rangers (3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Biffoniacus_Furiou View Post
    Most encounters will occur in rooms small enough that every shot you take will be within 30 feet, so having to be within that range is inevitable.
    Well, style of campaign is important. In the very outdoors camapign that I am playing in we have an archer, and we've taken on foes from well over a thousand feet away - I recall starting combats from 1200 feet off. In most of our fights the archer is well back from combat, hitting folks from outside of charge range. The (nerfed) druid buffs the ranger up with Raptor's Sight in the morning (hour/level duration, only -1 per increment) and he uses Hawkeye (+50% range increments) if he wants a bigger range increment. At that point you can fire ~160 feet without a penalty with a composite longbow, and shooting 500 feet is only a -2 penalty. An entangle out there to slow them down (or more fun with wind spells if they're dumb enough to fly) and the archer just picks them apart.

    Dungeoncrawl though, I agree completely, anything more than 30' is gravy.

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    Default Re: A question regarding rangers (3.5)

    Hmm, they're part of the entry into the Horizon Tripper build, if I recall correctly, which is comparatively nifty withint the coreworld.
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