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    Aug 2009

    Default [3.5] Ranger + Scout Remix: The Swift Hunter

    The swift hunter feat is widely considered to be the salvation of the scout class, mostly because it practically gestalts the ranger and scout. In fact, one way that some people balance low-tier classes against high-tier classes is by allowing players to gestalt two low-tier classes together. Why not take that to its natural conclusion with a little bit of homebrew? The swift hunter is a versatile wilderness explorer who functions as an all-around utility man and skill monkey, and provides solid combat support augmented by skirmish, favored enemy, and his combat style. As it is essentially a ranger//scout gestalt, the swift hunter is replaces both the ranger and the scout, and is intentionally superior to either.

    This class is designed as part of a comprehensive overhaul of 3.5 D&D intended to improve game balance and allow players who prefer martial characters to play on an even field with those who prefer casters. Watcha think?


    SWIFT HUNTER



    TL;DR commentary:
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    I dropped a couple of minor class features, but essentially this is the ranger class with all scout class features blended in and a variety of minor upgrades implemented.
    Major highlights of the changes:
    1. The ranger spell list is expanded across levels 0-6, and gained using the bard spell progression. It's still mostly the same list (although I added a few thematically appropriate druid spells at the higher levels), but the ranger gets the spells sooner now, so they aren't so woefully level-inappropriate, the caster level and save DCs are more level-appropriate, and it gets thrice as many spells per day as previously, so the default method of casting ranger spells is no longer “buy a wand of it”.
      The combat style feat chains have been greatly upgraded to support more viable TWF builds and to support high-level play more effectively.
      In general, everything scales better at the upper levels.
      The wildshape variant ranger is present as a combat style option, but uses the less powerful shapeshift variant rules for wildshape.
      The new Swift Hunter and Sudden Step class features are designed to facilitate full-attacking while on the move, creating a couple of options for accomplishing that critical task using in-class features.
      Favored enemy now scales better at higher levels, and providing virtual size category increases to your weapons (rather than flat bonuses to damage) keeps weapon choice relevant for longer as you advance in level.

    Change log:
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    1.0 Original version.
    1.1 Removed the Domain class feature.
    1.2 Minor edits to the Combat Style feature; Greater Archery Style grants Precise Shot, not Improved Precise Shot (which has been deprecated), and if you gain a feat you already have, you should get to retrain your existing feat slot.
    1.21 Repaired tables, made minor changes to improve layout.

    Sourcebooks used and abbreviations:
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    CM = Complete Mage
    DrM = Dragon Magic
    FB = Frostburn
    PHB = Player's Handbook
    PH2 = Player's Handbook 2
    RotW = Races of the Wild
    SpC = Spell Compendium
    SS = Sandstorm
    SW = Stormwrack


    GAME RULE INFORMATION
    Swift hunters have the following game statistics.

    Abilities: Dexterity is important for a swift hunter both because he tends to wear light armor and because several swift hunter skills are based on that ability. Strength is important because swift hunters frequently get involved in combat. Several swift hunter skills are based on Wisdom, and a Wisdom score of 16 or higher is required to get access to the most powerful swift hunter spells. A Wisdom score of 11 or higher is required to cast any swift hunter spells at all. One of the swift hunter's trademark skills, his ability to track foes, is based on Wisdom.

    Alignment: Any. Swift hunters in military service tend to be lawful.

    HIT DIE: d8

    Lvl Base Attack Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special -0- -1- -2- -3- -4- -5- -6-
    1st +1 +2 +2 +0 1st favored enemy, skirmish (+1d6), track, trapfinding 2
    2nd +2 +3 +3 +0 Combat style, uncanny dodge 3 0
    3rd +3 +3 +3 +1 Swift hunter (+5 ft/+5/+1), skirmish (+1d6, +1 AC) 3 1
    4th +4 +4 +4 +1 Animal companion 3 2 0
    5th +5 +4 +4 +1 2nd favored enemy, skirmish (+2d6, +1 AC) 3 3 1
    6th +6/+1 +5 +5 +2 Improved combat style 3 3 2
    7th +7/+2 +5 +5 +2 Flawless stride, skirmish (+2d6, +2 AC) 3 3 2 0
    8th +8/+3 +6 +6 +2 Swift hunter (+10 ft/+10/+2), swift tracker 3 3 3 1
    9th +9/+4 +6 +6 +3 Evasion, skirmish (+3d6, +2 AC) 3 3 3 2
    10th +10/+5 +7 +7 +3 3rd favored enemy, blindsense 30 ft. 3 3 3 2 0
    11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +7 +3 Greater combat style, skirmish (+3d6, +3 AC) 3 3 3 3 1
    12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +8 +4 Camouflage 3 3 3 3 2
    13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +8 +4 Swift hunter (+15 ft/+15/+3), skirmish (+4d6, +3 AC) 3 3 3 3 2 0
    14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +9 +4 Sudden step (swift) 4 3 3 3 3 1
    15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +9 +5 4th favored enemy, skirmish (+4d6, +4 AC) 4 4 3 3 3 2
    16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +10 +5 Combat style mastery 4 4 4 3 3 2 0
    17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +5 Hide in plain sight, skirmish (+5d6, +4 AC) 4 4 4 4 3 3 1
    18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +11 +6 Free movement, swift hunter (+20 ft/+20/+4) 4 4 4 4 4 3 2
    19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +11 +6 Skirmish (+5d6, +5 AC), sudden step (immediate) 4 4 4 4 4 4 3
    20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +12 +6 5th favored enemy, blindsight 30 ft. 4 4 4 4 4 4 4

    CLASS SKILLS (6 + Int mod per level, x4 at 1st level)
    A swift hunter's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Disable Device (Dex), Escape Artist (Dex), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (geography) (Int), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Speak Language (n/a), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), and Use Rope (Dex).

    CLASS FEATURES
    All of the following are class features of the swift hunter.

    Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A swift hunter is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, and with light armor and shields (except tower shields).

    Spells: A swift hunter gains the ability to cast a small number of divine spells, which are drawn from the swift hunter spell list (see spoiler). A swift hunter must choose and prepare his spells in advance.

    To prepare or cast a spell, a swift hunter must have a Wisdom score of 10 + the spell's level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a swift hunter's spell is 10 + the spell's level + the swift hunter's Wisdom modifier. Like other spellcasters, a swift hunter can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. The base daily spell allotment is given in the table above. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day for a high Wisdom score. When the table above indicates that the swift hunter gets 0 spells per day of a given spell level, he gains only the bonus spells he would be entitled to based on his Wisdom score for that spell level. A swift hunter's caster level is equal to his swift hunter level.

    At the DM's discretion, the swift hunter may know other spells from the ranger spell list that are not reproduced below. The DM should use best judgment in deciding what level to assign to these spells, but as a rule of thumb, they should be learned and cast at one level higher than they appear on the ranger list.

    SWIFT HUNTER SPELL LIST
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    The swift hunter spell list appears below. All spells are notated with the name and page number of the sourcebook in which they appear.

    0 Level: dawn (SpC 59), detect poison (PHB 219), guidance (PHB 238), know direction (PHB 246), naturewatch (SpC 146), read magic (PHB 269), resistance (PHB 272).

    1st Level: accelerated movement (SpC 7), alarm (PHB 197), arrow mind (SpC 15), aspect of the wolf (SpC 16), blades of fire (SpC 31), blockade (CS 95), branch to branch (SpC 38), calm animals (PHB 207), camouflage (SpC 43), charm animal (PHB 208), claws of the bear (SpC 47), climb walls (SpC 47), climbing tree (CM 99), conjure ice beast I (FB 91), crabwalk (SpC 53), crunchy snow (FB 92), deep breath (SpC 61), detect animals or plants (PHB 218), detect favored enemy (SpC 64), detect snares and pits (PHB 220), endure elements (PHB 226), enrage animal (SpC 82), entangle (PHB 27), ease of breath (FB 93), guided shot (SpC 108), hawkeye (SpC 110), hide from animals (PHB 241), horrible taste (SpC 116), ice skate (FB 100), impede sun's brilliance (SS 117), instant search (SpC 124), ivory flesh (FB 101), jump (PHB 246), locate city (RoD 166), locate water (SS 117), longstrider (PHB 249), low-light vision (SpC 134), magic fang (PHB 250), omen of peril (SpC 149), pass without trace (PHB 259), quickswim (SW 120), ram's might (SpC 166), rapid burrowing (SpC 166), raptor's sight (RotW 175), remove scent (SpC 173), resist planar alignment (SpC 174), sniper's shot (SpC 194), snowshoes (SpC 194), snowsight (FB 104), speak with animals (PHB 281), summon desert ally I (SS 122), summon nature's ally I (PHB 288), towering oak (SpC 221), traveler's mount (SpC 223), vine strike (SpC 230), waste strider (SS 128), webfoot (SW 125), wings of the sea (SpC 240).

    2nd Level: align fang (SpC 9), animal messenger (PHB 198), animalistic power (PH2 101), balancing lorecall (SpC 23), barkskin (PHB 203), bear's endurance (PHB 203), bloodhound (SpC 34), briar web (SpC 39), burrow (SpC 41), camouflage, mass (SpC 43), cat's grace (PHB 208), conjure ice beast II (FB 91), cure light wounds (PHB 215), curse of impending blades (SpC 56), delay poison (PHB 217), easy trail (SpC 76), embrace the wild (SpC 79), freedom of breath (SS 116), halo of sand (Sand 117), healing lorecall (SpC 110), hold animal (PHB 241), hunter's mercy (SpC 117), hydrate (SS 117), kuo-toa skin (SW 118), lightfoot (SpC 132), linked perception (PH2 117), listening lorecall (SpC 133), living prints (SpC 134), marked object (SC 139), nature's favor (SpC 146), one with the land (SpC 149), owl's wisdom (PHB 259), primal hunter (DrM 71), resist energy (PHB 272), rhino's rush (SpC 177), scent (SpC 180), share talents (PH2 124), smell of fear (SpC 193), snow walk (FB 104), stalking brand (SpC 204), summon desert ally II (SS 122), summon nature's ally II (PHB 288), surefoot (SpC 216), surefooted stride (SpC 216), tern's persistence (SW 123), tiger's tooth (SpC 221), tojanida sight (SW 123), train animal (SpC 221), urchin's spines (SDW 124), woodland veil (RotW 176), zone of glacial cold (FB 106).

    3rd Level: align fang, mass (SpC 9), binding snow (FB 89), bottle of smoke (SC 37), charge of the triceratops (SpC 45), conjure ice beast III (FB 91), crown of clarity (PH2 107), cure moderate wounds (PHB 216), curse of arrow attraction (PH2 109), curse of impending blades, mass (SpC 57), darkvision (PHB 216), diminish plants (PHB 221), easy climb (SpC 76), exacting shot (SpC 85), fell the greatest foe (SpC 90), forestfold (SpC 98), haboob (SS 117), haste, swift (SpC 110), hunter's eye (PH2 114), jagged tooth (SpC 126), lay of the land (SpC 131), lion's charge (SpC 133), magic fang, greater (PHB 250), nature's rampart (SpC 146), near horizon (CM 111), neutralize poison (PHB 157), phantasmal decoy, plant growth (PHB 262), primal instinct (DrM 72), protection from dessication (SS 119), protection from energy (PHB 266), reduce animal (PHB 269), remove disease (PHB 271), scales of the sealord (SW 121), snare (PHB 280), snowshoes, mass (SpC 194), speak with plants (PHB 282), spike growth (PHB 283), spore field (CS 104), summon desert ally III (SS 122), summon nature's ally III (PHB 288), tree shape (PHB 296), water walk (PHB 300), wind wall (PHB 302).

    4th Level: arrow storm (SpC 16), blade storm (SpC 30), blade thirst (SpC 31), burrow, mass (SpC 41), command plants (PHB 211), conjure ice beast IV (FB 91), cure serious wounds (PHB 216), decoy image (SpC 61), deeper darkvision (SpC 62), find the gap (SpC 91), freedom of movement (PHB 233), land womb (SC 130), magic fang, superior (SpC 136), mark of the hunter (SpC 138), nondetection (PHB 257), planar tolerance (SpC 159), primal senses (DrM 72), repel vermin (PHB 271), safe clearing (SpC 179), skin of the cactus (SS 120), slipsand (SS 121), snakebite (SpC 193), summon desert ally IV (SS 123), summon nature's ally IV (PHB 288), tremorsense (SpC 224), wake trailing (SW 124), wild runner (SpC 239).

    5th Level: animal growth (PHB 198), aspect of the earth hunter (SpC 16), aura of cold, lesser (FB 88), commune with nature (PHB 211), conjure ice beast V (FB 91), cure critical wounds (PHB 215), essence of the raptor (SpC 84), foebane (SpC 96), frostfell slide (FB 96), fuse sand (SS 116), heal animal companion (SpC 110), implacable pursuer (SpC 120), longstrider, mass, owl's insight (SpC 152), sharptooth (SpC 187) summon desert ally V (SS 123), summon nature's ally V (PHB 289), surefooted stride, mass (SpC 216), swamp stride (SpC 217), tree stride (PHB 296), weather eye (SpC 238).

    6th Level: animalistic power, mass (PH2 101), bear's endurance, mass (PHB 203), cat's grace, mass (PHB 208), conjure ice beast VI (FB 91), find the path (PHB 230), hide the path (SpC 114), megalodon empowerment (SW 118), nature's avatar (SpC 145), owl's wisdom, mass (PHB 259), primal speed (DrM 72), stone tell (PHB 284), summon desert ally VI (SS 123), summon nature's ally VI (PHB 289), tortoise shell (SpC 221), transport via plants (PHB 295).


    Favored Enemy (Ex): At 1st level, a swift hunter may select a type of creature from among those given on Table: Swift Hunter Favored Enemies, and declare it as a Rank I favored enemy. The swift hunter gains a +2 bonus on Bluff, Listen, Sense Motive, Spot, and Survival checks when using these skills against creatures of this type. Additionally, his natural weapons, manufactured weapons, and unarmed strikes deal damage as if they were one size category larger when he makes weapon damage rolls against such creatures. This increase is not cumulative with the mighty wallop series of spells, or with other magical effects that cause a weapon to deal damage as if it was of a larger size category.

    At 5th level and every five levels thereafter (10th, 15th, and 20th level), the swift hunter may select an additional Rank I favored enemy from those given on the table. In addition, at each such interval, his rank for any one favored enemy (including the one just selected, if so desired) increases by 1, qualifying him for larger bonuses as shown on Table: Swift Hunter Favored Enemy Ranks.

    If the swift hunter chooses humanoids or outsiders as a favored enemy, he must also choose an associated subtype, as indicated on the table. If a specific creature falls into more than one category of favored enemy, the swift hunter’s bonuses do not stack; he simply uses whichever bonus is higher.

    Favored Enemy Tables:
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    Table: Swift Hunter Favored Enemies
    Type (Subtype)
    Aberration Humanoid (reptilian)
    Animal Magical beast
    Construct Monstrous Humanoid
    Dragon Ooze
    Elemental Outsider (air)
    Fey Outsider (chaotic)
    Giant Outsider (earth)
    Humanoid (aquatic) Outsider (evil)
    Humanoid (dwarf) Outsider (fire)
    Humanoid (elf) Outsider (good)
    Humanoid (goblinoid) Outsider (lawful)
    Humanoid (gnoll) Outsider (native)
    Humanoid (gnome) Outsider (water)
    Humanoid (halfling) Plant
    Humanoid (human) Undead
    Humanoid (orc) Vermin
    Arcanist1 Organization2
    1Favored enemy: arcanist grants bonuses against all creatures capable casting arcane spells or invocations.
    2Favored enemy: organization must be selected for a specific organization, and grants bonuses against all creatures whom the swift hunter knows to be members of the named organization. Requires DM approval.

    Table: Swift Hunter Favored Enemy Ranks
    Rank Skill Bonus Damage Bonus
    I 2 +1 size
    II 5 +2 sizes
    III 10 +3 sizes
    IV 15 +4 sizes
    V 20 +5 sizes


    Skirmish (Ex): A swift hunter relies on mobility to deal extra damage and improve his defense. He deals an extra 1d6 points of damage on all attacks he makes during any round in which he moves at least 10 feet. The extra damage applies only to attacks taken during the swift hunter's turn. This extra damage increases by 1d6 for every four levels gained above 1st.

    The extra damage is precision damage, so it only applies against living creatures that have a discernable anatomy, and the swift hunter must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot. However, the swift hunter can deal skirmish damage to his favored enemies even if these enemies would normally be immune to precision damage.

    At 3rd level, the swift hunter gains a +1 competence bonus to Armor Class during any round in which he moves at least 10 feet. The bonus applies as soon as the swift hunter has moved 10 feet, and lasts until the start of his next turn. This bonus improves by 1 for every four levels gained above 3rd.

    A swift hunter loses this ability when wearing medium or heavy armor or when carrying a medium or heavy load.

    Track: The swift hunter gains Track as a bonus feat.

    Trapfinding (Ex): A swift hunter can use the Search skill to locate traps with a DC higher than 20, and he can use Disable Device to bypass a trap or disarm magic traps.

    Combat Style (Ex): At 2nd level, a swift hunter must select one of three combat styles to pursue: archery, two-weapon combat, or shapeshifting. This choice affects the character’s class features but does not restrict his selection of feats or special abilities in any way. If the swift hunter selects shapeshifting, this ability (and the improvements to this ability gained every five levels thereafter) is supernatural rather than extraordinary. If Combat Style or one of its advancements ever grants you a feat that you already have, you may immediately retrain your existing feat.

    Combat Style options:
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    If the swift hunter selects archery, he is treated as having the Rapid Shot feat, even if he does not have the normal prerequisites for that feat.

    Rapid Shot has been improved:
    RAPID SHOT [Fighter, General, Ranger]
    You can use ranged weapons with exceptional speed.
    Prerequisite: Dex 13, Point Blank Shot
    Benefit: You get one extra attack per round with a ranged weapon. The attack is at your highest base attack bonus, but each ranged attack you make in that round takes a -2 penalty. You must use the full attack action to use this feat.
    Advancement: If you also have the Manyshot feat, then when using this feat, you may ignore the -2 penalty on all ranged attack rolls.

    If the swift hunter selects two-weapon combat, he is treated as having the Two-Weapon Fighting feat, even if he does not have the normal prerequisites for that feat.

    Two-Weapon Fighting has been improved:
    TWO-WEAPON FIGHTING [Fighter, General, Ranger]
    You fight effectively with a weapon in each hand, and you can make extra attacks each round with the second weapon.
    Prerequisite: Dex 15
    Benefit: Your penalties on attack rolls for fighting with two weapons are reduced. The penalty for your primary hand lesses by two and the one for your off hand lessens by 6.

    You gain an additional attack at your highest base attack bonus with the offhand weapon. You gain additional attacks with the offhand weapon at progressively lower attack bonuses whenever your base attack bonus grants you additional attacks with your primary weapon.

    If the swift hunter selects shapeshifting, he gains the shapeshift ability, similar to the ability gained by the shapeshift druid variant described in the Player's Handbook 2 (pp. 39-41). He can only shapeshift into a predator form, as described here:

    Predator Form: This form, traditionally that of a wolf, panther, or other predatory mammal, is the first one a shapeshifting swift hunter learns.

    While in predator form, the swift hunter gains a primary bite attack that deals 1d6 points of damage. He has the reach of a long creature of his size (5 feet for Small or Medium). He gains a +4 enhancement bonus to Strength, and his natural armor bonus improves by 4. His base land speed becomes 50 feet.

    At 5th level, the swift hunter gains Mobility as a bonus feat (ignoring prerequisites) whenever he is in predator form.

    The benefits of the swift hunter's chosen style apply only when he wears light or no armor. He loses all benefits of his combat style when wearing medium or heavy armor.


    Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 2nd level, a swift hunter retains his Dexterity bonus to AC even if he is caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, he still loses his Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. If a swift hunter already has uncanny dodge from a different class, he automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead.

    Swift Hunter (Ex): At 3rd level, the swift hunter learns his eponymous ability, and gains a +5 ft bonus to his speed, a +5 competence bonus to Tumble checks, and a +1 competence bonus to initiative checks. With a DC 40 Tumble check, the swift hunter can move 10 feet as a “5-foot step” while also performing a full-round action during the round (such as a full attack).

    These bonuses increase by a like amount for every five levels gained above 3rd.

    Animal Companion (Ex): After reaching 4th level, the swift hunter may acquire an animal companion as a druid does. He uses his swift hunter level as his druid level when determining what animal he may select and what advancement benefits the animal companion receives.

    Improved Combat Style (Ex): At 6th level, a swift hunter's aptitude in his chosen combat style (archery, two-weapon combat, or shapeshifting) improves.

    Improved Combat Style options:
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    If he selected archery at 2nd level, he is treated as having the Manyshot feat, even if he does not have the normal prerequisites for that feat.

    Manyshot has been improved:
    MANYSHOT [Fighter, General]
    You can fire multiple arrows simultaneously against nearby targets.
    Prerequisites: Dex 17, Point Blank Shot, Rapid Shot , base attack bonus +6
    Benefit: As a standard action, you may fire two arrows at the same or different targets within 30 feet, but both attacks take a -4 penalty to hit.

    For every five points of base attack bonus you have above +6, you may fire one additional arrow, to a maximum of four arrows at a base attack bonus of +16. However, each arrow after the second adds a cumulative -2 penalty on the attack rolls for all arrows.

    Damage reduction and other resistances apply separately against each arrow fired. Likewise, precision-based damage is applied separately with each arrow, and if you score a critical hit with multiple arrows, each critical hit deals critical damage. You may not combine Manyshot with Rapid Shot, but you may combine it with Shot on the Run.

    If the swift hunter selected two-weapon combat at 2nd level, he is treated as having the Two-Weapon Defense feat, even if he does not have the normal prerequisites for that feat.

    Two-Weapon Defense has been improved:
    TWO-WEAPON DEFENSE [Fighter, General, Ranger]
    Your two-weapon fighting style bolsters your defense as well as your offense.
    Prerequisites: Dex 15, Two-Weapon Fighting
    Benefit: When wielding a double weapon or two weapons (not including natural weapons or unarmed strikes), you gain a +1 shield bonus to your AC.
    Advancement: This bonus increases by +1 for each 5 base attack bonus you have above 1 (to +2 when you reach a +6 base attack bonus, +3 when you reach a +11 base attack bonus, and so on). When you are fighting defensively or using the total defense action, double the bonus.

    If the swift hunter selected shapeshifting at 2nd level, he can now assume an aerial form when he shapeshifts.

    Aerial Form: At 6th level, the swift hunter can shapeshift into a flying creature. Traditionally resembling an eagle, vulture, or bat, the aerial form enables fast travel and the ability to soar out of harm's way.

    While in aerial form, the swift hunter gains a primary talon attack that deals 1d6 points of damage. He has the reach of a long creature of his size (5 feet for Small or Medium). He gains a +2 enhancement bonus to Strength and a +2 enhancement bonus on Reflex saves, and his natural armor bonus improves by 2. He gains a fly speed of 40 feet (good maneuverability).

    At 8th level, he gains Flyby Attack as a bonus feat whenever he is in aerial form.

    As before, the benefits of the swift hunter’s chosen style apply only when he wears light or no armor. He loses all benefits of his combat style when wearing medium or heavy armor.


    Flawless Stride (Ex): Starting at 7th level, a swift hunter can move through any sort of terrain that slows movement (such as undergrowth, rubble, and similar terrain) at his normal movement speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment.

    This ability does not let him move more quickly through terrain that requires a Climb or Swim check to navigate. However, it is effective against terrain or undergrowth (such as the area of an entangle or spike growth spell, or a wall of thorns) that has been magically manipulated to impede motion.

    A swift hunter loses this benefit when wearing medium or heavy armor or when carrying a medium or heavy load.

    Swift Tracker (Ex): Beginning at 8th level, a swift hunter can move at his normal speed while following tracks without taking the normal -5 penalty. He takes only a -10 penalty (instead of the normal -20) when moving at up to twice normal speed while tracking.

    Evasion (Ex): At 9th level, a swift hunter can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If he makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, he instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the swift ranger is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless swift hunter does not gain the benefit of evasion.

    Blindsense (Ex): At 10th level, a swift hunter gains the blindsense ability out to 30 feet.

    Greater Combat Style (Ex): At 11th level, a swift hunter’s aptitude in his chosen combat style (archery, two-weapon combat, or shapeshifting) improves again.

    Greater Combat Style options:
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    If the swift hunter selected archery at 2nd level, he is treated as having the Precise Shot feat, even if he does not have the normal prerequisites for that feat.

    If the swift hunter selected two-weapon combat at 2nd level, he is treated as having the Dual Strike feat, even if he does not have the normal prerequisites for that feat.

    Dual Strike has been improved:
    DUAL STRIKE [Fighter, General, Ranger]
    You are an expert skirmisher skilled at fighting with two weapons. Your extensive training with two weapons allows you to attack with both while moving through a chaotic combat or fighting a running battle.
    Prerequisites: Two-Weapon Fighting, base attack bonus +6
    Benefit: As a standard action, you can make a melee attack with your primary weapon and an attack with your off-hand weapon. You take the normal penalties for attacking with two weapons.
    Advancement: If you also have the Combat Reflexes feat, then you may choose to attack once with both weapons when making an attack of opportunity (incurring the normal penalties for attacking with two weapons).

    If the swift hunter selected shapeshifting at 2nd level, he can now assume a Ferocious Slayer form when he shapeshifts.

    Ferocious Slayer Form: At 11th level, you can shapeshift into a large and fierce predator form, such as a tiger, brown bear, or dire wolf.

    While in ferocious slayer form, the swift hunter gains a primary bite attack that deals 1d8 points of damage and two secondary claw attacks that each deal 1d6 points of damage. His size increases by one catergory (to a maximum of Colossal), and he has the reach of a long creature of his size (5 feet for Medium or Large). He gains a +8 enhancement bonus to Strength and a +4 enhancement bonus on Fortitude saves, and his natural armor bonus improves by 8. His base land speed changes to 40 feet.

    At 14th level, the swift hunter gains Improved Critical (bite) and Improved Critical (claw) as a bonus feats whenever he is in ferocious slayer form.

    As before, the benefits of the ranger’s chosen style apply only when he wears light or no armor. He loses all benefits of his combat style when wearing medium or heavy armor.


    Camouflage (Ex): A swift hunter of 12th level or higher can use the Hide skill in any sort of natural terrain, even if the terrain doesn’t grant cover or concealment. He loses this benefit when wearing medium or heavy armor or carrying a medium or heavy load.

    Sudden Step (Ex): As a swift action, a swift hunter of 14th level or higher can move a distance equal to his Swift Hunter bonus movement. This movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

    Upon reaching 19th level, he can instead move this distance as an immediate action. If the swift hunter uses Sudden Step to interrupt a melee or ranged attack targeting him, the attack automatically fails and is wasted.

    Combat Style Mastery (Ex): At 16th level, a swift hunter's aptitude in his chosen combat style (archery, two-weapon combat, or shapeshifting) improves again.

    Combat Style Mastery options:
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    If the swift hunter selected archery at 2nd level, he is treated as having the Penetrating Shot feat (PH2 81), even if he does not have the normal prerequisites for that feat.

    If the swift hunter selected two-weapon combat at 2nd level, he is treated as having the Two-Weapon Rend feat (PH2 84), even if he does not have the normal prerequisites for that feat.

    If the swift hunter selected shapeshifting at 2nd level, he gains the ability to assume a Forest Avenger Form.

    Forest Avenger Form: At 16th level, the swift hunter can take the form of a massive plantlike creature, similar to a shambling mound or a treant. (Swift hunters not native to forest terrains typically rename this form to fit their environment.)

    While in forest avenger form, the swift hunter gains a pair of primary slam attacks that deal 1d8 points of damage each. His size increases by one size category (to a maximum of Colossal) and he has the reach of a tall creature of his size (5 feet for Medium, 10 feet for Large). He gains a +12 enhancement bonus to Strength and a +4 enhancement bonus on Fortitude and Will saves, and his natural armor bonus improves by 12. His base land speed becomes 20 feet.

    The swift hunter gains damage reduction 5/slashing while in forest avenger form.

    At 18th level, the swift hunter gains Improved Overrun as a bonus feat while in forest avenger form (even if he doesn't meet the normal prerequisites).

    As before, the benefits of the swift hunter’s chosen style apply only when he wears light or no armor. He loses all benefits of his combat style when wearing medium or heavy armor.


    Hide in Plain Sight (Ex): While in any sort of natural terrain, a swift hunter of 17th level or higher can use the Hide skill even while being observed. He loses this benefit when wearing medium or heavy armor or carrying a medium or heavy load.

    Free Movement (Ex): At 18th level and higher, a swift hunter can slip out of bonds, grapples, and even the effects of confining spells easily. This ability duplicates the effect of a freedom of movement spell, except that it is always active. The swift hunter loses this benefit when wearing medium or heavy armor or carrying a medium or heavy load.

    Blindsight (Ex): A 20th-level swift hunter gains the blindsight ability out to 30 feet. His senses become so acute that he can maneuver and fight flawlessly even in total darkness. Invisibility, darkness, and most kinds of concealment are irrelevant, though the swift hunter must have line of effect to a creature or object to discern it.
    Last edited by jiriku; 2014-05-28 at 01:28 AM.
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    Default Re: [3.5 PEACH] Swift hunter options

    SWIFT HUNTER ALTERNATE CLASS FEATURES
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    Trade Animal Companion for Distracting Attack (PH2 55).
    Trade Flawless Stride for Crowd-Walker (CS web).
    Trade Evasion for Spell Reflection (CM 35).
    Trade Camouflage and Hide in Plain Sight for Hidden Stalker (CS web).

    Champion of the Wild: Trade spellcasting for bonus feats at levels 2, 4, 7, 10, 13, and 16. Bonus feat list includes Blind-Fight, Brachiation, Cold Endurance, Combat Expertise, Danger Sense, Dodge, Dual Strike, Far Shot, Favored Power Attack, Hear the Unseen, Heat Endurance, Improved Favored Enemy, Improved Initiative, Improved Skirmish, Improved Swimming, Manyshot, Natural Bond, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Quick Draw, Quick Reconnoiter, Rapid Reload, Rapid Shot, Shot on the Run, Spring Attack, Toughness, Two-Weapon Defense, Two-Weapon Fighting, Two-Weapon Rend, and any feat that grants a saving throw bonus or a bonus to a swift hunter class skill.

    You may use swift haste to qualify for the swiftblade prestige class.


    NEW AND REMIXED FEATS

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    COLD ENDURANCE [General]
    Either because of growing up in a frostfell or training your body and mind to ignore the biting effect of cold, you can exist with ease in low-temperature environments.
    Prerequisite: Base Fortitude save bonus +2
    Benefit: You can exist comfortably in conditions between 0° F and 90° F without having to make Fortitude saves (see Cold Dangers, Frost 8). You also gain a +2 bonus on saving throws against cold effects. Your protection against cold is level 1 (see Protection Against Cold, Frost 9).
    Advancement: If you have base Fortitude save +6 or greater, you gain resistance to cold 5, or your existing resistance to cold increases by 5. You can exist comfortably in temperatures as low as -50° F without having to make Fortitude saves. Your protection against cold is level 3.

    COMBAT EXPERTISE [Fighter, General]
    You are trained at using your combat skill for defense as well as offense.
    Prerequisite: Int 13
    Benefit: When you use the attack action or full attack action in melee, you can take a penalty on your attack roll and add the same number as a dodge bonus to your Armor Class and your Reflex saving throws. This number may not exceed your base attack bonus. The changes to attack rolls and Armor Class last until your next action.

    DODGE [Fighter, General]
    You are adept at dodging blows.
    Prerequisite: Dex 13.
    Benefit: You gain a +1 dodge bonus to AC, increasing to +5 against attacks of opportunity. During your turn as a free action, or during another player's turn as an immediate action, you may designate an opponent as the target of your dodge feat. Against your dodge target, your dodge bonus increases by +1 per four levels you have. Once you select a dodge target, you may not change it until the beginning of your next turn.
    Special: This feat counts as both Dodge and Mobility.

    DUAL STRIKE [Fighter, General]
    You are an expert skirmisher skilled at fighting with two weapons. Your extensive training with two weapons allows you to attack with both while moving through a chaotic combat or fighting a running battle.
    Prerequisites: Two-Weapon Fighting, base attack bonus +6
    Benefit: As a standard action, you can make a melee attack with your primary weapon and an attack with your off-hand weapon. You take the normal penalties for attacking with two weapons.
    Advancement: If you also have the Combat Reflexes feat, then you may choose to attack once with both weapons when making an attack of opportunity (incurring the normal penalties for attacking with two weapons).

    FAR SHOT [Fighter, General]
    You are far more effective than others when using ranged weapons against distant targets.
    Benefit: When using ranged projectile weapons, such as a bow, your range increment is increased by +50%. When using throw weapons, your ranged increment is increased by +100%. You can use ranged weapons in windstorm conditions at a -8 penalty.
    Advancement: If you have base attack bonus +8 or greater, treat wind conditions as one category less severe when determining how difficult it is to use ranged weapons.
    If you have base attack bonus +16 or greater, instead treat wind conditions as two categories less severe.
    Normal: It is impossible to use ranged weapons in windstorm conditions.
    Special: Far Shot can be used in place of Point Blank shot to qualify for a feat, prestige class, or other special ability. You can take both this feat and Point Blank Shot.

    HEAT ENDURANCE [General]
    Either as a result of growing up in the waste, or by training your body and mind to ignore the effects of searing heat, you can exist with ease in high-temperature environments.
    Prerequisite: Base Fortitude save +2.
    Benefit: You gain a +2 bonus on saving throws against fire effects. You can exist comfortably in temperatures up
    to 120° F without having to make Fortitude saves (see Heat Dangers, Sand 12). Your protection against heat is level 1 (see Protection against Heat, Sand 14).
    Advancement: If you have Base Fortitude save +6 or greater, you gain fire resistance 5, or your existing fire resistance increases by 5. You can exist comfortably in temperatures up to 160° F without having to make Fortitude saves. Your protection against heat is level 3.

    MANYSHOT [Fighter, General]
    You can fire multiple arrows simultaneously against nearby targets.
    Prerequisites: Dex 17, Point Blank Shot, Rapid Shot, base attack bonus +6
    Benefit: As a standard action, you may fire two arrows at the same or different targets within 30 feet, but both attacks take a -4 penalty to hit.
    For every five points of base attack bonus you have above +6, you may fire one additional arrow, to a maximum of four arrows at a base attack bonus of +16. However, each arrow after the second adds a cumulative -2 penalty on the attack rolls for all arrows.
    Damage reduction and other resistances apply separately against each arrow fired. Likewise, precision-based damage is applied separately with each arrow, and if you score a critical hit with multiple arrows, each critical hit deals critical damage. You may not combine Manyshot with Rapid Shot, but you may combine it with Shot on the Run.

    POINT BLANK SHOT [Fighter, General]
    You are skilled at making well-placed shots with ranged weapons at close range.
    Benefit: You get a +1 bonus on attack rolls with ranged weapons at ranges of up to 30 feet per four levels you have (minimum 1). Additionally, you deal damage as if your ranged weapon was one size larger for each +1 bonus this feat grants you to hit, but only at ranges of up to 30 feet. This stacks with other effects that cause your weapon to deal damage as if it was larger in size. You can use Point Blank Shot with weapon-like spells or spell-like abilities, such as a scorching ray spell or an eldritch blast, but then it provides only a bonus to hit. It does not improve the damage of spells or spell-like abilities.

    PRECISE SHOT [Fighter, General]
    You are skilled at timing and aiming ranged attacks.
    Prerequisite: Point Blank Shot.
    Benefit: You can shoot or throw ranged weapons at an opponent engaged in melee without taking the standard -4 penalty on your attack roll.
    Advancement: If you also have Dex 19 or better and base attack bonus +11 or better, you ignore cover and concealment, and when firing into a grapple you never hit the wrong target. Total cover and total concealment still provide their normal benefits against your ranged attacks.

    QUICK DRAW [GENERAL]
    You can draw weapons with startling speed.
    Prerequisite: Base attack bonus +1.
    Benefit: You can draw a weapon as a free action instead of as a move action. You can draw a hidden weapon (see the Sleight of Hand skill, PH 81) as a move action.
    A character who has selected this feat may throw weapons at his full normal rate of attacks (much like a character with a bow), and may use ranged and thrown weapons with the Iaijutsu Focus skill.
    Normal: Without this feat, you may draw a weapon as a move action, or (if your base attack bonus is +1 or higher) as a free action as part of movement (see PH 142). Without this feat, you can draw a hidden weapon as a standard action.

    RAPID SHOT [Fighter, General, Ranger]
    You can use ranged weapons with exceptional speed.
    Prerequisite: Dex 13, Point Blank Shot.
    Benefit: You get one extra attack per round with a ranged weapon. The attack is at your highest base attack bonus, but each ranged attack you make in that round takes a -2 penalty. You must use the full attack action to use this feat.
    Advancement: If you also have the Manyshot feat, then when using this feat, you may ignore the -2 penalty on all ranged attack rolls.

    SPRING ATTACK [Fighter, General]
    You are trained in fast melee attacks and fancy footwork, allowing you to move and attack with superior speed and power.
    Prerequisites: Dex 13, Dodge, base attack bonus +4
    Benefit: When using the attack action with a melee weapon, you can move both before and after the attack, provided that your total distance moved is not greater than your speed. Designate one foe to be the target of your spring attack. You do not draw attacks of opportunity from this foe.
    You must move at least five feet both before and after the attack to gain the benefits of this feat.
    Advancement: If you have base attack bonus +12 or greater, designate a second foe. Your movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity from either of these foes. Also, you can make a second attack with a -5 penalty. You can use both of the attacks against one of the opponents targeted with this feat, or split the attacks between them.
    If you have base attack bonus +18 or greater, designate a third foe and gain a third attack with a -10 penalty.

    TOUGHNESS [Fighter, General, Ranger]
    You are tougher than normal, and are capable of amazing feats of stamina.
    Benefit: You gain +5 hit points.
    You also gain a bonus on skills checks and ability checks to perform feats of endurance or tolerate environmental hazards. The bonus is +4, with an additional +1 per four levels.
    Additionally, you may sleep in light or medium armor without becoming fatigued.
    Special: This feat counts as both Endurance and Toughness.
    Advancement: If you have six or more hit dice, you gain +1 hit point per hit die, instead of the flat +5 hp.
    Normal: Characters who sleep in medium armor become fatigued.

    TWO-WEAPON DEFENSE [Fighter, General, Ranger]
    Your two-weapon fighting style bolsters your defense as well as your offense.
    Prerequisites: Dex 15, Two-Weapon Fighting.
    Benefit: When wielding a double weapon or two weapons (not including natural weapons or unarmed strikes), you gain a +1 shield bonus to your AC.
    Advancement: This bonus increases by +1 for each 5 base attack bonus you have above 1 (to +2 when you reach a +6 base attack bonus, +3 when you reach a +11 base attack bonus, and so on). When you are fighting defensively or using the total defense action, double the bonus.

    TWO-WEAPON FIGHTING [Fighter, General, Ranger]
    You fight effectively with a weapon in each hand, and you can make extra attacks each round with the second weapon.
    Prerequisite: Dex 15
    Benefit: Your penalties on attack rolls for fighting with two weapons are reduced. The penalty for your primary hand lesses by two and the one for your off hand lessens by 6.
    You gain an additional attack at your highest base attack bonus with the offhand weapon. You gain additional attacks with the offhand weapon at progressively lower attack bonuses whenever your base attack bonus grants you additional attacks with your primary weapon.
    Advancement: If you have the Weapon Focus feat for each of your weapons and a base attack bonus of +5 or greater, you may reduce the penalty for fighting with a one-handed weapon in your offhand to -1. When you reach base attack bonus +9 or greater, eliminate the penalty entirely.

    WILD EMPATHY [General]
    You can use body language, vocalizations, and demeanor to improve the attitude of an animal.
    Prerequisite: Swift Hunter level 1st.
    Benefit: You may use the Handle Animal skill to improve the attitude of an animal just like you can use the Diplomacy skill to improve the attitude of a person. Add one-half your swift hunter level as a competence bonus to this roll. The typical domesticated animal has a starting attitude of indifferent, while wild animals are usually unfriendly.
    To use wild empathy, the swift hunter and the animal must be able to study each other, which means that they must be within 30 feet of one another under normal visibility conditions. Generally, influencing an animal in this way takes 1 minute, but, as with influencing people, it might take more time.
    The swift hunter can also use this ability to influence a magical beast with an Intelligence score of 1 or 2, but he takes a -4 penalty on the check.
    Last edited by jiriku; 2014-05-28 at 12:00 AM.
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    Default Re: [3.5 PEACH] The ranger reborn!

    .
    While this class seems quite balanced power-wise, I believe that so far it received no feedbacks because it’s awkward theme-wise.

    As far as folklore goes, the Ranger is supposed to be a hybrid of:
    - Woodsman
    - Hunter / stalker
    - Lycan-ish forest defender

    Here’s how I’d go at it:
    - Bow: a ranger without one is no ranger. End of discussion.
    - Spell-effects should be quite scarce and not resemble typical spellcasting at all. And they shouldn’t come earlier than the core Ranger gets them.
    - Shapeshift should definitely be a class feature – and not an optional one. Maybe it should start as controlled lycanthropy and later on evolve to the PHB-II shapeshift.
    - As for Skirmish and Favored Enemy… I think you should try and mesh them together somehow. This would leave more room in the table for other features.
    - Consider using Favored Terrain.

    Also check out this thread and see my opinion of it.
    .

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    Default Re: [3.5 PEACH] The ranger reborn!

    I'm not sure I agree on all of those points. Yeah, the iconic ranger typically has a bow (I don't really count Drizzt as an iconic ranger, since he's more of a fighter than anything else), but it's not an absolute necessity. I also don't think that lycanthropy has to be a consideration at all; that's the druid's schtick and it should stay that way in my opinion. As far as I'm concerned the druid is an actual warrior type who has abilities concerned with nature and hunting, but not necessarily anything particularly magical. That said, I still think spells have their place, but basically as buffs to increase his combat ability just like the standard ranger does. But since the normal ranger's spell progression is pretty dismal, I think it can go as high as level 6 spells with a limited spell list without getting anything too powerful.

    I think skirmish has some value, but I think a ranger should really place more emphasis on Favored Enemy, which desperately needs a reform because of the plethora of overly specific subtypes and the lack of many real benefits beyond a it of attack rolls against only a select few creatures. There should be a narrower scope of creatures (sorted completely by type and with all the subtypes removed) and then increase the individual benefits of each favored enemy. If nothing else, there should be at least one favored enemy per two levels, which allows you to actually do stuff against a variety of creatures instead of being a one trick pony.
    Last edited by Cidolfas; 2010-10-07 at 11:10 AM. Reason: favored enemy is already categorized by type, clarification was needed
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    My favorite class is the ranger, a fact that I am ashamed of because the 3.5e incarnation of it kind of sucks. As a result, I'm very stubborn and opinionated concerning what I think a ranger should be, so if you post a ranger variant I will probably post what I think about it for good or ill.

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    Default Re: [3.5 PEACH] The ranger reborn!

    Hmm... if I'm reading this thing properly, a 15th (or lower) level Swift Hunter could make a pretty much automatic "10-foot foot step" each round, moving back 5 feet and forward 5 feet (as there is no restriction keeping them going in one direction) and allowing skirmish full attacks each round without fail. As the class doesn't deal that much damage except against favored enemies (even when TWFing) and he has low armor, though, that probably works out okay.

    Nice work.
    Last edited by Realms of Chaos; 2010-10-06 at 03:21 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5 PEACH] The ranger reborn!

    Errata to Complete Adventurer requires a character to move 10 feet away from his starting location to qualify for skirmish, but you've got the idea. And with sufficient Tumble checks, it's possible to pull it off pretty consistently even from lower levels (10-13). People were so frequently resorting to barbarian, monk, and cleric toys to get moving full attacks that I figured I ought to put it in the class.

    We're in playtesting right now, and finding that the swift hunter's damage is quite impressive under heavy optimization (greatbow with raptor arrows, using Manyshot against well-selected favored enemies). The character can actually deal more damage than a blaster-caster while exposing himself to less risk than an ubercharger, with more versatility than a fighter-based archer would have. I'm considering whether the domain access might be a little over-the-top, but so far (level 6) there's no evidence that it's a problem.
    Last edited by jiriku; 2010-10-06 at 05:04 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5 PEACH] The ranger reborn!

    One thing that I always found absurd about the Ranger (and that your Swift Hunter does not address yet) is the "even if he does not have the prerequisites" part of the Combat Styles, combined with two hated words "light armor." Supposedly, the Ranger does not need Dexterity to qualify for his special feats, but that is hypocrasy when you limit him to light armor. Giving the shield proficiency after that is just adding insult to injury.

    I suggest that the Ranger get a Wis-replaces-Dex (with a whichever-is-higher option) for AC, ranged attacks, skills, even Initiative (but limited by his number of Ranger levels). If that's too much as a package, break it down:
    Combat Style archery includes Zen Archery
    Combat Style two-weapon fighting includes Wis-to-AC
    Combat Style shapeshift gets Wis-to-Initiative while in Predator form
    [as with Zen Archery, these latter two would be a whichever-is-higher v Dex option]

    With these, you can have a ranger who is less MAD, who has the Wis needed for spellcasting and who has the theme of using the wisdom derived from living close to nature.

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    Default Re: [3.5 PEACH] The ranger reborn!

    I'd probably like this more with less spellcasting rather than more. I'm sure you did it for balance or some such, but i never liked that on the original, though i guess it could be reflavoured as an EX ability as long as i stuck with the non-fantasicaly spells [healing as poultices and powders, archery as simply being awesome]...

    I disagree with the guy above, but that's because I actually belong to the camp that thinks that SAD is a bad thing.

    Nothing much more to say though, interesting class. If i ever find myself being outclassed by other players, i might try it.
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    Default Re: [3.5 PEACH] The ranger reborn!

    Good feedback here!

    Mulletmanalive, I know where you're coming from with the dislike for spells: several of my players really enjoy playing martial characters who succeed through skill and strength of arms, and to them, spellcasting just isn't a satisfying way to defeat their enemies.

    I tried to make room for a much more "nonmagical wilderness warrior" feel through ACFs. By trading the spells and animal companion for Champion of the Wild bonus feats and Distracting Attack, and avoiding the Shapeshifting combat style, you can create a swift hunter who fills his role without using magic.


    Fitz, you make a good point. Really, there aren't many viable ranger or scout builds that don't include a high Dex. Stylistically, though, does this mean that the ranger and scout are overly Dex-dependent, or that the ability to ignore the Dex requirement on Combat Style feats is mostly a fluff ability with little actual function?

    I can understand why the ability to ignore prerequisites is there: in low-power, low-op games, a ranger might have difficulty getting to 17 Dex by level 6 or to 19 Dex by level 11. Using the elite array, you basically can't do it without a +Dex race or gear. However, in games where a point-buy of 32+ is the norm, hitting those Dex numbers is pretty trivial.
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    Default Re: [3.5 PEACH] The ranger reborn!

    I agree SAD is not the goal, but I don't think eliminating the Ranger's need for Dex makes it a SAD class. It changes it from MAD to MADlite. Rangers will always want Str for decent damage, Con for HPs and Wis for spells. Even if you don't want spellcasting, it's a shift from Dex to Wis, so that's still at least 2 important Abilities to stock. As it's the better of the two, so Dex would remain an option.

    It's a good point about low-magic, low point-buy games. However, I would design a new class for the typical games, not the dark corners.

    Hah, and I can't see how "doesn't need to meet the prerequisites" can be fluff -- it's much to mechanical! Stylistically, I don't think "overly Dex-dependent" is a flaw, I wouldn't use "overly" there at all. Let the Scout rely on Dex. Let a Thrower build rely on Dex. The Ranger should feel different from either of those, and Wis-for-Dex is one way to do that, that makes sense with the spell-casting ability of the class.

    I realize I'm out on a limb here, though.

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    Default Re: [3.5 PEACH] The ranger reborn!

    Hmmm, you make some good points that I hadn't really considered before. Lemme think about this here.

    When I said "fluff abilities", I wasn't expressing myself very well. What I was trying to say is that 3.5 (unlike previous editions) has moved away from requiring that you have X ability score in order to take the class. If the feats were granted but required you to qualify for them, then it would be possible (and actually pretty easy, if you were new and didn't know how the game worked yet) to build a Ranger who didn't qualify for his own class features. Then we'd all be sitting around poking fun at the Ranger for being a broken class that can't use its own abilities. Removing the qualification requirement means the Ranger can always use his combat style regardless of his ability scores.

    I also see what you mean about designing for the mainstream and the intended audience, but I can't resist a nitpick here (I tried, I promise ). The DMG recommends 25-point-buy as the default point-buy value, and the elite array that all stock NPCs and elite monsters are built on is a 25-point-buy. The starting assumption of the game designers can hardly be called a "dark corner". I myself have run and played in many games that used 25-point-buy.

    I'm gonna let this soak into my brain and see if I can't come up with some way to integrate this into the class that I'm happy with. Will post an update once I come up with something.
    Last edited by jiriku; 2010-10-28 at 08:01 AM.
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    Default Re: [3.5 PEACH] The ranger reborn!

    Sudden Step is wrong. You grant it at 14/19, not 15/19. Also the ability at level 19 seems a bit much. It makes your class immune to almost any physical attack. As an immediate action you can move 15', thus granting your Skirmish ability if it wasn't already and causing melee or ranged attacks to fail. It seems like only an area attack that targeted a 30' circle centered on the Swift Hunter would be able to hit it.

    Also: not a fan of the shape shifting. I also believe that it should be for druids only. You are also granting a cleric domain which even favored souls, a direct cleric variant don't allow.

    I'd suggest: reworking sudden step at lvl 19 or losing it. Get rid of shape shifting (while balanced you are stealing the druids thunder). Drop the cleric domain. You've basically combined 2 classes, increased them and sprinkled in another 2 classes. The whole class seems a bit over powered, yet can compete with spell casters at higher levels so not too much.
    Last edited by Deadlykire; 2010-10-28 at 01:07 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5 PEACH] The ranger reborn!

    Good catch! Typo is now corrected.

    Shapeshifting is actually a watered-down version of the wildshape ranger class variant. Perhaps I should include a specific class variant for "nonmagical swift hunter" for those who want a class with more "wilderness warrior" and less "magical naturalist"?

    I've been leaning against the domain too -- I'd originally added it when I was using the ranger spell progression and class features only, and with the bard spell progression and scout class features here, I think the class may no longer need the domain. Yeah...the more I think about this, the more I'm in agreement with you.

    Immediate-activation sudden step is very powerful. For balance considerations, compare to abrupt jaunt, wings of cover, celerity/contingency+teleport. Because it is not limited in uses per day, it is more powerful than these. However, it's also available 8-18 levels later than these options, and can be defeated/overwhelmed by many things (e.g. spells that don't roll to hit, full attack with ranged weapons, full attack with considerable reach, or tag-teaming by two or more opponents). If you were to change it, how would you make it work?
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    Default Re: [3.5 PEACH] The ranger reborn!

    Actually because its an immediate action you could argue that it is taken after each attack is attempted. Meaning on a full attack you'd be moving before every strike (thus stopping ranged weapons). The only way multiple opponents can prevent this is by boxing you in. Reach weapons do counter this, but you are moving 15' which might be difficult for most reach weapons to hit.

    I'm not sure how I'd change it, I'll think on it some more.

    Quick Idea:
    Some sort of check.. reflex/spot/listen/some other idea to use the ability on an enemy you are not facing. So when a ranged or melee you aren't looking at/directly fighting attacks you make a check to see if you realize its coming in enough time to use it. This means you can pretty much dodge whoever you are fighting, but if someone gets the drop on you they may still hit you. Basically treat it like Dodge I guess.
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    Default Re: [3.5 PEACH] The ranger reborn!

    Quote Originally Posted by Deadlykire View Post
    Actually because its an immediate action you could argue that it is taken after each attack is attempted. Meaning on a full attack you'd be moving before every strike (thus stopping ranged weapons). The only way multiple opponents can prevent this is by boxing you in. Reach weapons do counter this, but you are moving 15' which might be difficult for most reach weapons to hit.
    Except for the fact that pending a class feature that says otherwise, you only can have one immediate action per turn. So yeah, it lets you dodge one person. But then you have no swift action the next turn.
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    Default Re: [3.5 PEACH] The ranger reborn!

    Quote Originally Posted by Deadlykire View Post
    Quick Idea:
    Some sort of check.. reflex/spot/listen/some other idea to use the ability on an enemy you are not facing.
    3.5 doesn't have facing, and I'm pretty sure it's not missed. I would try to avoid introducing another roll, too.

    It could use up the ranger's AoOs for the round.

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    Default Re: [3.5 PEACH] The ranger reborn!

    Edit nitpick, there's two places I see references to Domains that haven't been removed:
    -first paragraph in the spoiler under Swift Hunter spellcasting
    -description of Champion of the Wild ACF

    I think removing it was a good call, I think it added too much complexity.

    I like that you changed Dual Strike to have precision damage on each hit. Personally, I really hate how precision damage is nerfed and only affects the first target/attack of most things by RAW. That issue has caused me to abandon the Scout in the past, as it just made getting more than one skirmish hit impossible without being a twink. Thanks for fixing that, too.

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    Default Re: [3.5 PEACH] The ranger reborn!

    Corrected.

    Totally agree with you on precision damage. You'll notice I did the same thing with Manyshot as well. IMC, I also grant crit/PD immunity only to oozes, and not to constructs, incorporeal creatures, plants and undead. A lot of sub-par classes suddenly become more viable when you do that, and the DM's workload is reduced too, because it's no longer necessary to think "how can I make sure the rogue will be able to contribute in this combat?" when building encounters the previously crit-immune monsters.

    I'm kind of sad to see option for the Travel domain to go, as it provided easy access to Travel Devotion. However, without turn undead uses, TD isn't that hot for a swift hunter anyhow, and between Swift Hunter, Sudden Step, and the improved versions of Dual Strike and Manyshot, there are plenty of ways to move and full attack.
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    Default Re: [3.5 PEACH] The ranger reborn!

    I love this class. Amazing job. * Stunned by amazing-ness*

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    Default Re: [3.5 PEACH] The ranger reborn!

    Thank you!

    I've also now added Wild Empathy as a feat option for a swift hunter who wants to retain that ability (it is slightly improved over different from the druid version, and I suppose that in a campaign with both swift hunters and druids, druids should receive this feat as a bonus feat at 1st level instead of gaining their usual class-based wild empathy ability).
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    Default Re: [3.5 PEACH] The ranger reborn!

    Is there any particular reason that Spring Attack is on the Champion of the Wild bonus feat list and Bounding Assault isn't? If not, I have a suggestion!

    EDIT: Also, a very, very nice fix. Swift hunter is a wilderness-themed character's best friend, and Champion of the Wild is actually good now. I wish you had more new/revised feats like with the monk remix, though!
    Last edited by CaptainPlatypus; 2011-04-23 at 10:41 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5 PEACH] The ranger reborn!

    This looks great for a Tome level ranger. Compare with the Frank and K assassin or jester, which use the same methodology - take a T4 martial, make its class features a little sexier, slap 6-level casting on it.

    Also looks slightly stronger than a Ranger-entry Highland Stalker + Adept gestalt, so it's pretty close to the brilliantgameologists recommendation for gestalting low-tier classes.


    If I had one complaint, it's Favored Enemy. I'll spare you all a rant on why 3e Favored Enemy is an awful mechanic in every conceivable way, but you already have Skirmish as a damage-adder. Why not take the opportunity to axe Favored Enemy?


    Overall I like it. Bookmarked.

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    Default Re: [3.5 PEACH] The ranger reborn!

    Wheee my comments.

    You buffed the Ranger's animal companion pretty drastically (gain full ranger level as opposed to 1/2 ranger level), yet you didn't make any real change to the ACF where you trade it out. Distracting attack is in basically every possible way inferior to a full fledged animal companion.

    With the core ranger's companion, it's a decent trade. Your companion is low level and squishy, having distracting attack for the guaranteed flank once a turn is nice, since your companion will likely die if you actually try to use it in combat at all.

    With a full fledged druid companion, however, you're looking at dropping a fully competent melee attacker out of your group, which could be providing flanking the full round instead of for just one attack, and be dealing damage on its own as well. The trade off is frankly.


    I'd also suggest that a handful of feats doesn't really compensate for losing full 6th level spellcasting. This is another significant buff you handed the ranger to help it keep up (along with the full caster level) that taking away really drops it significantly in a way a few feats won't make up. I understand you want to raise the power of feats separately, but that's a completely different and more radical change that fewer people are going to be willing to accept, and has further reaching implications than simply buffing weaker classes. (This is a large part of why I don't care for your Fighter fix as well, it is far too feat oriented even still, but at least the feats in that case are intended to be fighter specific feats with fighter level requirements, rather than being open to everyone). I'm not sure what you could give to make up for the huge loss in flexibility and power from losing spellcasting, but it needs to be something special, if you're going to do it at all.



    Now, off the topic of the ACFs, I do actually like a lot of what you did with the class itself.

    The Swift Hunter bonus movement is really nice. Having effectively a full attack action spring attack starting at level 14 (tumble 10 foot in, full attack, swift action swift hunter movement out) is a pretty neat feature, especially since this way plays nice with haste/TWF (unlike the spring attack feat chain that gives you up to 3 attacks).


    On Combat Styles:
    -Dual Strike, even redone, seems kind of weak. Especially as a bonus feat for a class that will very rarely be using standard action attacks because they have so much mobility they can get where they want without using a move action. I'd recommend changing this to giving the Ranger the ability to make an offhand attack any time they make a main hand attack, so that it also includes things like attacks of opportunity, which are likely to come up a bit more frequently.

    -Multishot for the Archery tree suffers a similar problem, but isn't as bad because at least it lets you make 4 attacks with your standard action rather than just 2, so those rare situations when it does come up, you don't feel as screwed.

    -The entire series of shapeshifting forms feel too weak. I'd suggest:
    1) Cut the stat/save bonuses in half, but turn them into racial bonuses or something, anything, other than enhancement bonuses.
    2) Gain the Animal subtype (or whatever it's called) while shapeshifted, this opens up buffing options for the ranger that synergize well with his spell list and animal companion.
    3) Possibly consider making the combat forms a hybrid/lycanthropic deal rather than a full on shapeshift, but leave Aerial form, and maybe one extra form (a ground travel form with higher landspeed but weaker stats), that are a full shapeshift.

    This helps to explain why you keep most of your own stats, just getting stronger, and lets the ranger function more normally, gaining the full benefits of his BAB etc. You can still add on secondary attacks if you want to, but you'd need fewer of them. If you go that route you may want to give multi-attack as a bonus feat while in a combat form.




    On the other hand, you may have been making the shapeshifting intentionally weak to balance it against the fact it's competing against 4 feats. I'm sure there's a balance to be struck though, cause right now the shapeshifting just seems weak.


    edit:
    If I had one complaint, it's Favored Enemy. I'll spare you all a rant on why 3e Favored Enemy is an awful mechanic in every conceivable way, but you already have Skirmish as a damage-adder. Why not take the opportunity to axe Favored Enemy?

    I actually forgot to comment on favored enemy til I read this comment and it reminded me. I agree, the mechanic is meh. I do like that you downplayed it, so that the damage bonus is less of a big deal, while the skill bonus is boosted. But I agree with the above person that while flavorful, the mechanic itself is pretty terrible, it generally results in the ranger being too strong or too weak depending on encounters. Honestly I'd either downplay it even further, taking out the size damage bonus as well and making it just a skill bonus that is mostly flavor, or eliminate it entirely.
    Last edited by Seerow; 2011-04-23 at 11:28 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5 PEACH] The ranger reborn!

    Holy crap, I just realized how badly I necroed this thread. It doesn't seem like anybody noticed though!

    I agree with seerow's comments re: the companion (though frankly, a druid companion becomes a lot less useful when you have to actually obtain the companion in-game and in character instead of just saying "oh, I have <insert exotic dinosaur/dire tortoise/etc to taste> as my companion now") - as written, distracting attack isn't very good compared to a full companion. I also agree in regards to spells and Champion of the Wild, though I disagree with the majority he mentions - increasing the power of feats is a perfectly valid thing to do, especially when they're class-specific feats (like the extra swift hunter feats a la your monk fix I mentioned).

    As far as shapeshifting goes, the solution IMO is to give just a little more option power with it. For example, if you add Improved Grab instead of Mobility to the predator form at 5th level...

    Edit: Oh, and I don't like favored enemy at all either, though I tend to ignore it as best I can by picking favored enemy: arcanists at one and just common creature types that the character's used to fighting for the others, and playing every ranger/swift hunter as an anti-arcanist for character-specific reasons. Some ACF to replace it would be excellent. Favored Environment is all well and good, but in your average campaign is actually a step down in power. Favored Organization is only good if you can retrain it when the organization is wiped out as a relevant entity - players tend to do this to organizations a lot, and retraining favored enemy isn't allowed by RAW, so...

    A reroll system would probably be the best substitute, but that's already spoken for by your daring outlaw class remix. Maybe something that includes the Scout's level-scaling initiative bonus (but buffed) (you have the other half of Battle Fortitude in the form of a good Fort save), as well as some other level-scaling ability, like a knockoff of the Nature's Warrior's Nature's Armament (CW) or the Elocater's Opportunistic Strike (XPH), or a bonus when fighting with your chosen style in some way, or something like that.
    Last edited by CaptainPlatypus; 2011-04-24 at 12:13 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5 PEACH] The ranger reborn!

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainPlatypus View Post
    Holy crap, I just realized how badly I necroed this thread. It doesn't seem like anybody noticed though!
    No harm done. I still consider all of my remix classes to be actively under development, so I dropped a quick note to the mods to request that this thread be left open.

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainPlatypus View Post
    Is there any particular reason that Spring Attack is on the Champion of the Wild bonus feat list and Bounding Assault isn't?
    We use this.

    SPRING ATTACK [Fighter, General]
    You are trained in fast melee attacks and fancy footwork, allowing you to move and attack with superior speed and power.
    Prerequisites: Dex 13, Dodge, base attack bonus +4
    Benefit: When using the attack action with a melee weapon, you can move both before and after the attack, provided that your total distance moved is not greater than your speed. Designate one foe to be the target of your spring attack. You do not draw attacks of opportunity from this foe.
    You must move at least five feet both before and after the attack to gain the benefits of this feat.
    Advancement: If you have base attack bonus +12 or greater, designate a second foe. Your movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity from either of these foes. Also, you can make a second attack with a -5 penalty. You can use both of the attacks against one of the opponents targeted with this feat, or split the attacks between them.
    If you have base attack bonus +18 or greater, designate a third foe and gain a third attack with a -10 penalty.


    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainPlatypus View Post
    I wish you had more new/revised feats like with the monk remix, though!
    Can do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    [Many ACFs are sub-optimal.]
    True. The ACF section for this class is mostly intended to show people how the swift hunter would qualify for ranger or scout ACFs. some of them are probably sub-optimal. What do you think distracting attack would need to be a fair trade? Would Champion of the Wild be a decent choice if it also provided a d10 hit die and +2 skill points per level?

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    On Combat Styles:
    -Dual Strike, even redone, seems kind of weak. Especially as a bonus feat for a class that will very rarely be using standard action attacks because they have so much mobility they can get where they want without using a move action. I'd recommend changing this to giving the Ranger the ability to make an offhand attack any time they make a main hand attack, so that it also includes things like attacks of opportunity, which are likely to come up a bit more frequently.
    This is already an advancement ability, unlocked by taking Combat Reflexes. Do you mean to say you want to see it as part of the core function of the feat?

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    [unimpressed with shapeshifting]
    Swift hunter shapeshifting is basically a slight nerf of the Druid shapeshifting ACF in PH2, scaled back to leave the druid a better shapeshifter when using said ACF. One of my standing rules to follow when remixing a class is "when in doubt, go back to earlier editions of the game". In 2e, the ranger had an animal companion and the druid could wild shape. I'm ok with swift hunter having a shapeshifting track (mostly because everyone sings the praises of wildshape ranger), but the druid still needs pride of place as a shapeshifter over other classes (especially since the shapeshift feature is such a huge nerf to the druid, and despite the fact that the nerf is well-deserved). And much like the wildshape variant ranger, the chief benefit the swift hunter is getting is an increase in versatility, rather than improved combat prowess.

    Quote Originally Posted by All
    [Hate for favored enemy.]
    As a faithful remix of its constituent classes, swift hunter will retain favored enemy if for no other reason than because it's the single most iconic ranger class feature of all time. However, I'm open to re-interpreting it. You'll notice that arcanists and organizations are already on my favored enemy chart. What would you think of tying it to extremely broad creature types, or even sets of creature types, similar to how Knowledge Devotion works?
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    Default Re: [3.5 PEACH] The ranger reborn!

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    As a faithful remix of its constituent classes, swift hunter will retain favored enemy if for no other reason than because it's the single most iconic ranger class feature of all time. However, I'm open to re-interpreting it. You'll notice that arcanists and organizations are already on my favored enemy chart. What would you think of tying it to extremely broad creature types, or even sets of creature types, similar to how Knowledge Devotion works?
    Yeah, broadening it is something I'd be 100% in favor of - the overspecialization is really the main thing hurting it from both a flavor and function standpoint IMO. You have to be all "I HATE ELVES WITH A PASSION" instead of "I'm good at fighting other humanoids because I've studied it", for example.

    As for the other stuff you posted (which I didn't want to waste space quoting), it all makes plenty of sense to me (the Champion of the Wild fix is brute force, but there's not a damn thing wrong with a little brute force here and there), though you didn't address the animal companion issue - of course, I haven't looked at the OP again yet, so you've probably edited in an ACF for it or something that I didn't notice!
    Last edited by CaptainPlatypus; 2011-04-24 at 02:00 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5 PEACH] The ranger reborn!

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post

    True. The ACF section for this class is mostly intended to show people how the swift hunter would qualify for ranger or scout ACFs. some of them are probably sub-optimal. What do you think distracting attack would need to be a fair trade? Would Champion of the Wild be a decent choice if it also provided a d10 hit die and +2 skill points per level?
    To make Distracting attack a fair trade, I'd think you'd need to make it apply to all attacks for the next turn, rather than just one, and possibly bump up the skirmisher bonus, or if you want to emphasize the ally support, give your skirmish bonus to any ally that takes advantage of the distracting attack. That will bring it closer to the benefits of the animal companion.

    As for the Champion of the Wild, that's still just adding numbers. Like I said, the problem is that the spellcasting is providing your ranger with a ton of flexibility, to a degree I feel you're severely underestimating. 2 extra skill points may help a bit, but I'm still inclined to stick with my original statement that you'd need something more unique and interesting. Possibly even make the shapeshifting variant something that is a spellcasting alternative rather than an alternative to a combat style, which gives you a bit more freedom to make it more powerful without worrying. Though that doesn't really address making a more mundane ranger. (Then again I think someone looking for a Mundane ranger should probably be looking towards a Fighter or Barbarian instead honestly)



    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku
    This is already an advancement ability, unlocked by taking Combat Reflexes. Do you mean to say you want to see it as part of the core function of the feat?
    Ah I missed that advancement. Though I was thinking with any attack action you are able to make an attack with the offhand for any mainhand attack. In addition to AoOs, it also allows for other things. One example off the top of my head is say one of your revised Monk, who can flurry with a standard action, as written this feat would be incompatible, with what I'm saying, you would be able to flurry as a standard action while two weapon fighting. I'm sure there's other examples where the change would make a difference.



    Swift hunter shapeshifting is basically a slight nerf of the Druid shapeshifting ACF in PH2, scaled back to leave the druid a better shapeshifter when using said ACF. One of my standing rules to follow when remixing a class is "when in doubt, go back to earlier editions of the game". In 2e, the ranger had an animal companion and the druid could wild shape. I'm ok with swift hunter having a shapeshifting track (mostly because everyone sings the praises of wildshape ranger), but the druid still needs pride of place as a shapeshifter over other classes (especially since the shapeshift feature is such a huge nerf to the druid, and despite the fact that the nerf is well-deserved). And much like the wildshape variant ranger, the chief benefit the swift hunter is getting is an increase in versatility, rather than improved combat prowess.


    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku
    *shapeshifting variant stuff*
    Are you planning on making a revised Druid to go alongside this? If so, such a justification can work. However, if you're not, this is competing with standard druid Wildshape, and is clearly inferior since you made it inferior to the ACF which was already a nerf. Also the justification that Druid has Shapeshift and Ranger has Companion doesn't work when the druid has the companion AND the better shapeshifting. Not to mention better casting.

    I'm not saying make the shapeshifting better than or even equal to core wildshape, but I am saying you need to make it competitive. My primary worry right now is that you can take the shapeshifting variant and while trying to use it in combat you could end up strictly weaker than if you had just picked up a two hander and gone to town. Sure, you save a marginal amount of gold on your str enhancement item, but that's about it.

    In return, you no longer get iterative attacks, since you're using natural attacks, and a smaller weapon die, and you're now weaker at ranged than even the TWF ranger (since you have no reason to invest in dex and can't use your ranged attacks while shapeshifted, so you also lose your str enhancement bonus). It seems like a pretty raw deal to me, which is why I was suggesting you make it a more lycanthropic style, where you can still use your own weapons and gear, with maybe some extra natural attacks added on at the higher tiers.

    You say that the intention for shapeshifting is to give a lot of flexibility rather than combat prowess, if that's the intention you need to add more non-combat forms, and just make the one combat form scale. Right now the only non-combat form is flight form, you could have a rodent/insect forms (undercover scouting), a travel form (cheetah, horse, something fast), etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku
    *Favored enemy stuff*
    Making it more wide would probably help, may I also recommend if you intend to keep it, making it so you have one primary favored enemy, then all other favored enemies are at the same level? Rather than having 1 max level one and a bunch of low level ones, or a bunch of mid level ones.
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    Default Re: [3.5 PEACH] The ranger reborn!

    The following is a bit long, so I hope it's useful. :)

    I've been thinking in more detail about spellcasting replacements. My criteria were as follows:
    Mundane: Nothing that couldn't be justified as an extraordinary ability, such that the ACF can be used by characters who want to play an "ordinary" ranger.
    Unique: This is less for the sheer joy of creation (though I'd be lying if I didn't say that was part of it) than because you don't want to steal somebody else's thunder. PrCs and things from other systems are okay to "borrow" from, other base classes not so much.
    Balanced: It should actually replace spellcasting, either by providing similar versatility or enough of a raw-power bonus to compensate for the lack of versatility (ideally, somewhere in between, because the latter would be boring and the former would be either boring, annoying, or tome of battle).
    Flavorful: It should be fun to describe, use, and play with.

    Honestly, I think Champion of the Wild is on the right track with the bonus feats, because that's more or less the only thing that fulfills most of my criteria - it's mundane (to the extent that the bonus feats are, at least), it's flavorful (ditto), it's unique (to the extent that the list is), but it doesn't really go far enough for balance. I'd make two suggestions:
    1. Add optional class features (OCF), such as the PHB rogue has. Give a menu of abilities to choose from. For starters, Improved Uncanny Dodge and Improved Evasion are no-brainers (since the class has the unimproved version of both). Another obvious one is the ability to use half your favored enemy bonus as a bonus on save DCs targeting your favored enemies - most useful for multiclassers or poison-users, maybe, but you could add the ability to give part of it to an ally with Aid Another. To add to that, combat options while skirmishing against favored enemies (or using particular combat styles on favored enemies) sound cool. Aiming for particular body parts to impose particular penalties, or the ability to sacrifice skirmish dice to inflict conditions (from Shaken or Sickened for Wisdom rounds up to Blind or Slowed for Wisdom rounds with additional sacrificed dice) and so on. Some of them would need level or ability requirements, or everyone would have all the cool stuff by level 10.
    2. Add a capstone. A final feat/OCF slot at 19th, and options that can only be chosen in that slot. For example, you could have "upgrades" to the combat options mentioned above that turn them into save-or-kinda-sucks ("kinda" because the favored enemy DC thing would otherwise be ridiculous), or just flat-out new stuff, like a Master Thrower trick of choice for ranged-style, Superior TWF for TWF-style, some warshaper or MoMF ability for shapeshift style...the possibilities are endless.

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    Default Re: [3.5 PEACH] The ranger reborn!

    I was just about to start a new thread about a Ranger Hotfix I am fiddling with, but then I saw this thread and found that this class does a lot of the things I've had in mind for it.

    Spellcasting:
    Kudos to you for revamping the spellcasting. My approach would have been to simply make the Ranger a spontaneous caster and give him +1 spell per level per day, simply because I couldn't be arsed to rewrite the whole spell list.
    I just glanced at it, but so far it looks good and useful.

    Favoured Enemy: needlessly complicated in my opinion, the thing with the weapon sizes. I'd rather just start with a +2 bonus to damage, and then increase this bonus by 1 point for every 5 levels, for each FE. So at 15th level the Ranger, er, Swift Hunter would have 4 FEs with a +5 bonus to each.

    Also, I am sorely tempted to get rid of all the subtypes. You could just pick Humanoid and cover everything from Gnome to Orc. Likewise for Outsiders. Yes, this makes these very strong and versatile choices, but it's not like the Ranger couldn't use the versatility. Though this would make it very tempting to take a 1 level dip to grab a free +2 vs all humanoids.

    Uncanny Dodge: Good show, it's always been a major peeve of mine why the Ranger as light-armour class doesn't get UC.
    Now also throw in Improved Uncanny Dodge, maybe at level 6.

    Combat Style: nice new revamps especially for the TWFer. Now actually the Archer may fall a bit behind. Why does he still gain Manyshot, if he can move and full attack anyway? You write it has been improved, but I don't really see the improvement.
    I'd rather have Improved Rapid Shot or something like that. [Edit: nvm, I now realized you've worked IRS into Manyshot]

    Animal Companion: It's a great change, but I agree that there should also be a worthwhile ACF for characters for which a pet would be inappropriate.

    Capstone: I'd make it a good one that can't be duplicated by a single 9000GP item. Screw Blindsight (or move that one up to replace Blindsense).
    Enter Bane of Enemies. Any weapon the Swift Hunter wields counts as Bane weapon (+2 to Attack, +2d6 damage) versus all Favoured Enemies.

    All in all, great work! I'm going to offer this in my upcoming game, maybe with some of my proposed changes worked in.
    Last edited by Firechanter; 2011-04-29 at 06:37 PM.
    So you know, university Physics D&D 3.5 Optimization is essentially three seven years of this discussion among like-minded enthusiasts. Done with supercomputers, access to the textsplatbook collections of five continents and thirty languages with thousands of classes, prestige classes, feats and spells.
    On four hours sleep a night.
    With no sex.
    You're not going to find the loophole these guys missed.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [3.5 PEACH] The ranger reborn!

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    As a faithful remix of its constituent classes, swift hunter will retain favored enemy if for no other reason than because it's the single most iconic ranger class feature of all time. However, I'm open to re-interpreting it. You'll notice that arcanists and organizations are already on my favored enemy chart. What would you think of tying it to extremely broad creature types, or even sets of creature types, similar to how Knowledge Devotion works?
    If you don't mind me proposing a mechanic, I like something like this:

    Favored Enemy: The ranger picks a race out of the monster manual, such as "orcs," "gazelles," or "things like that guy over there with the metal arm." (Half golem elans, as it turns out.) The ranger must either be familiar with the chosen race or currently be observing or tracking a member of that race. The ranger spends one minute watching the target or meditating, then gains Favored Enemy against that race. A ranger can only have one favored enemy at a time.

    Hopefully that reinforces the idea of the ranger as the scout (he wants to track things or watch the dungeon entrance to set his favored enemy), and it keeps him from having to deal with the creature type rules or guess what he'll fight in several levels advance.
    Last edited by stainboy; 2011-04-30 at 04:23 PM.

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