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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    I play characters that are sometimes up to par, sometimes not, and sometimes above it all the time. Maybe the mounted or ranged specialist gets caught in a fight inside, which isn't ideal. Maybe the duelist gets caught in thick swamp that puts the kibosh on footwork. Maybe the pilot ends up in a tank fight. These things happen, with specialties only sometimes being useful, and it isn't a problem unless they just keep happening. Plus, all of these specialists have their areas where they really end up shining, so it all works out.
    There's a huge gap between those examples and what we're talking about.

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    Pilot: OK, I'm all set to play! I have my fancy jet plane and everything all picked out. This will be great!
    C.O. : Good for you. Your mission is to infiltrate the enemy's underground base. I guess you can fly the team to outside the base or hang out doing overwatch.
    Pilot: Oh... well, I kind of wanted to do something this session so I guess I'll fly you guys out there.
    Soldier: Here's a spare rifle. Now you're like me.


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    Archer: Excellent, I've selected an intricate series of feats and abilities to make me an outstanding archer. I can't wait to see how it works!
    Quest Giver: I need you to fetch the Object of Power from a dungeon deep in the Gale Valley.
    Archer: Great! I bet there are lots of flying creatures to shoot!
    Quest Giver: ...no, the Gale Valley is a place of constant wind and rain. Archery is impossible.
    Archer: Oh. Well, at least the dungeon will be out of the wind.
    Quest Giver: The dungeon is underwater.
    Fighter: Don't worry buddy, I have a spare spear. Now you're just like me.

    The short of it is that "getting stuck in a melee" might take place for a couple of rounds at a time; "not fighting Goblins" tends to be constant over the course of an entire adventure, if not the whole campaign.

    Can you work around this? Sure, but the fact that you need to constrain your adventure design to cater to one class flags it as bad game design.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    How about Rangers get both Favoured Terrain and Favoured Enemy where whenever they picked up 1 that they have to pick just 1 choice between both lists expect for 1st level non-cross class Rangers whom pick 1 from 1 of the lists than picks 1 from the other list?

  3. - Top - End - #273
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle_Hunter View Post
    Can you work around this? Sure, but the fact that you need to constrain your adventure design to cater to one class flags it as bad game design.
    This would be why narrow favored enemy bonuses with absolutely nothing else attached are bad, yes. What's being proposed here are significantly broader bonuses that have tangential benefits elsewhere. Take the suggestion regarding dragons, where one gets some degree of energy resistance on account of their breath weapons. If one is fighting dragons, it's incredibly convenient, but it also helps with everything from flame gout traps to extremely cold weather. Stuff like that is fine, particularly if it doesn't come at the expense of the basic abilities too much.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    This would be why narrow favored enemy bonuses with absolutely nothing else attached are bad, yes. What's being proposed here are significantly broader bonuses that have tangential benefits elsewhere. Take the suggestion regarding dragons, where one gets some degree of energy resistance on account of their breath weapons. If one is fighting dragons, it's incredibly convenient, but it also helps with everything from flame gout traps to extremely cold weather. Stuff like that is fine, particularly if it doesn't come at the expense of the basic abilities too much.
    Oh absolutely. Personally I'd flip the emphasis and make each "Monster Hunter" package a suite of abilities with the numerical bonuses being an afterthought.

    For example "Dragon Hunter" might be "Resist (Element) of your choice" with later options for abilities like "Grounding Shot" (force a flying opponent to land with a successful attack roll) and "Evasion" (gain a defensive bonus vs AoE attacks). Additionally, gain a +2 bonus to all Dragon-related checks.

    What is important is that the defining traits of the class aren't limited to something as narrow as a specific type of enemy or even a single terrain. Elemental damage can be found anywhere which is why I made it the core of this specialty; later add-ons can afford to be more specific.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    I fail to see what is problematic about tailoring an adventure to the player characters. That's called giving the players the kind of game they want to play. If the players want intrigue, are you really going to serve them a dungeoncrawl; or vice versa?

    And it's true in any system: a character built for intrigue will be less skilled at combat, and vice versa. Do note that "less skilled" is completely different from "worthless". Trying to make all characters equally effective in all situations just means that you lose ways to diversify characters.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Can you work around this? Sure, but the fact that you need to constrain your adventure design to cater to one class flags it as bad game design.
    I disagree. In this day and age, where players get to practically pick and choose everything about their characters with little or no randomization, not constraining your adventure to the classes your players have chosen is a flag of a bad adventure and/or DM.

    This comes back down to the DMs and players needing to communicate before they sit down to play. And both sides need to learn to be flexible. You might really enjoy playing fire elementals, but that's not going to work well in your DMs frozen tundra adventure. Likewise, you as a DM may be itching to run a high espionage adventure, but that isn't going to work with your party of half ogre barbarians.

    Having specialized classes is not a sign of bad game design, nor is being able to put together difficult or impossible situations with the rules a sign of bad game design either. If the system expects that players can tailor their characters, it must also expect the DM to tailor the adventure. The only other alternative is so much sameness as to be boring.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by 1337 b4k4 View Post
    I disagree. In this day and age, where players get to practically pick and choose everything about their characters with little or no randomization, not constraining your adventure to the classes your players have chosen is a flag of a bad adventure and/or DM.
    It's not tailoring a given adventure to a given class; it's tailoring every adventure to make it so that the defining trait of a given class is relevant.

    As I alluded to before: there is a world of difference between "this is a non-stealth encounter" and "every day is Goblin day."

    Or, to put it another way: if you are designing a core class you should not make it a "sometimes" class. Any time you have to say "gee, this core part of the game isn't really going to work in this campaign" either it's a sign that the designers made some poor choices or that you should run a different system.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    I fail to see what is problematic about tailoring an adventure to the player characters. That's called giving the players the kind of game they want to play. If the players want intrigue, are you really going to serve them a dungeoncrawl; or vice versa?

    And it's true in any system: a character built for intrigue will be less skilled at combat, and vice versa. Do note that "less skilled" is completely different from "worthless". Trying to make all characters equally effective in all situations just means that you lose ways to diversify characters.
    But 3.5 style favored enemy isn't like building your character for intrigue, it's more like building your character for intrigue that only involves people with red hair. Your skill set works very well in that bizarrely specific instance, but, otherwise, you're useless. In the end, Favored Enemy makes you feel like Aquaman in the Justice League, where contrived coincidences have to occur for you to feel relevant.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Kadzar View Post
    But 3.5 style favored enemy isn't like building your character for intrigue, it's more like building your character for intrigue that only involves people with red hair. Your skill set works very well in that bizarrely specific instance, but, otherwise, you're useless. In the end, Favored Enemy makes you feel like Aquaman in the Justice League, where contrived coincidences have to occur for you to feel relevant.
    That's precisely why I wrote earlier that a type of favored enemy should be reasonably common, not something obscure that you'd encounter it only once in a blue moon. A good group should cover 15% - 20% of all monsters in the book.

    This makes perfect sense in a campaign perspective. If campaign backstory says that a valley is commonly attacked by giants, it's perfectly reasonable for your character to become extra skilled against fighting those (and if you play in a published setting like FR or Eberron, the player knows that). On the other hand, if the average person in a world doesn't know what a beholder is, why on earth would you play a beholder-hunter?
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Kadzar View Post
    But 3.5 style favored enemy isn't like building your character for intrigue, it's more like building your character for intrigue that only involves people with red hair. Your skill set works very well in that bizarrely specific instance, but, otherwise, you're useless. In the end, Favored Enemy makes you feel like Aquaman in the Justice League, where contrived coincidences have to occur for you to feel relevant.
    It's hardly a "contrived coincidence" for an e.g. Goblin-hunter to find himself primarily in situations which involve Goblins; he'll go out looking for them. In general the ranger is most likely to be involved in a game if his favored enemy will come up, and the player has a right to complain if more than, say, three adventures go by without this occurring. But the presence of Goblins is unlikely to strike an "off" chord for your average game; they're a major presence in the gameworld. If your favored enemy is something more obscure, Aquaman syndrome does begin to apply, but this is a bad choice on the player's part which the GM should try to discourage, but is justified in "punishing" a little if the player insists.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    I fail to see what is problematic about tailoring an adventure to the player characters. That's called giving the players the kind of game they want to play. If the players want intrigue, are you really going to serve them a dungeoncrawl; or vice versa?

    And it's true in any system: a character built for intrigue will be less skilled at combat, and vice versa. Do note that "less skilled" is completely different from "worthless". Trying to make all characters equally effective in all situations just means that you lose ways to diversify characters.
    I think this is really just a matter of different playstyles. I've noticed that the more "old school" gamers prefer to have the DM tailor the adventures for the players while the "newer" gamers prefer to have their character be usefull without the DM having to specifically tailor the adventure.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    That's precisely why I wrote earlier that a type of favored enemy should be reasonably common, not something obscure that you'd encounter it only once in a blue moon. A good group should cover 15% - 20% of all monsters in the book.

    This makes perfect sense in a campaign perspective. If campaign backstory says that a valley is commonly attacked by giants, it's perfectly reasonable for your character to become extra skilled against fighting those (and if you play in a published setting like FR or Eberron, the player knows that). On the other hand, if the average person in a world doesn't know what a beholder is, why on earth would you play a beholder-hunter?
    So, what happens when the Ranger hits a high enough level that he's not fighting Giants anymore? Or do you keep making the entire campaign about Giants or whatever it is you decide to do?

    Hell, what if your other Players get sick of fighting Giants all the time and what to spend some time in a city? Does it scream "good design" that a mild change of pace can nullify a given class's core mechanic? Not in my book it doesn't.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by willpell View Post
    It's hardly a "contrived coincidence" for an e.g. Goblin-hunter to find himself primarily in situations which involve Goblins; he'll go out looking for them. In general the ranger is most likely to be involved in a game if his favored enemy will come up, and the player has a right to complain if more than, say, three adventures go by without this occurring. But the presence of Goblins is unlikely to strike an "off" chord for your average game; they're a major presence in the gameworld. If your favored enemy is something more obscure, Aquaman syndrome does begin to apply, but this is a bad choice on the player's part which the GM should try to discourage, but is justified in "punishing" a little if the player insists.
    But I don't play a ranger because I want to be the sort of guy who has a vendetta against a certain kind of creature. I play a ranger to be the sort of guy who has spent a lot of time in the wild, probably mostly by himself, and has honed his skills there. I don't see why that concept has to be tied up with the idea of likes to kill a certain type of monster. It could be a specialty or even a general Theme, but I don't see why every ranger needs to be a foo slayer.
    Last edited by Kadzar; 2012-10-25 at 07:52 PM.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Kadzar View Post
    But I don't play a ranger because I want to be the sort of guy who has a vendetta against a certain kind of creature. I play a ranger to be the sort of guy who has spent a lot of time in the wild, probably mostly by himself, and has honed his skills there. I don't see why that concept has to be tied up with the idea of likes to kill a certain type of monster. It could be a specialty or even a general Theme, but I don't see why every ranger needs to be a foo slayer.
    Why is the guy who's good at opening locks and talking to people also good at shanking people in the kidneys? Why is the guy who's good at punching people also good at running fast and not going splat at the end of a fall?

    Every class has a certain conceptual space. That conceptual space is made up of three things (among others): what does this class do that no other class does, what playstyles and character concepts does this class support, and how do this class's flavor and mechanics interact? Good classes answer those questions with "lots," "many," and "tightly," respectively, while bad classes answer them in opposite ways. The 3e fighter, for instance, is bad because it answers the first and third questions with "nothing worthwhile" and "badly."

    So any class really needs a defined niche and flavor and mechanics that make sense and work for them, but also needs to be able to support many kinds of characters and playstyles. If it doesn't have the former, it overlaps too much with other classes; if it doesn't do the latter, it's too narrow to be a class. So let's take the ranger: your defined theme for him is "the solitary wilderness guy" and conceptually that can support anything from wild savage to Aragorn to special forces and so forth. Good so far.

    Now let's talk about playstyle and niche: what sort of mechanics would that flavor imply and what sets him apart from the other classes? Being a solitary hunter doesn't make the ranger "the stealth guy," as that's more of the rogue's thing. Spending lots of time alone in the wilds doesn't make him "the in-tune-with-nature" guy, as that's more of the druid's thing. He's not "the bow guy" because that's more of the fighter's thing, he's not "the primitive warrior" because that's more of the barbarian's thing...you get the idea.

    So what mechanics would set him apart while supporting multiple playstyles? Not the beastmaster schtick, since (A) "I have a pet" is only one part of a larger class and not enough to hang a whole class on, (B) that commits people who want to be rangers to having a companion to deal with, (C) that commits people who want to have a companion to being a ranger, and (D) WotC said that's a module thing rather than a class thing anyway. It could be the fighter/caster to the druid just like the paladin is to the cleric, but (A) the ranger is traditionally more than that and (B) there's multiclassing if that's all he's going to be.

    The only thing left, as we've been saying for a page or so, is the favored enemy stuff. If you're a skilled loner, you could be a ranger, rogue, barbarian, monk, or something else. If you're an expert sniper, you could be a ranger, fighter, a sorcerer, or something else. If you're a dedicated slayer of evil, you could be a ranger, a paladin, a cleric, or something else. The one thing the ranger traditionally has that ties them all together is the monster hunting: your skill set, your fighting style, and other stuff is determined by the foes you face. There's nothing else that only the ranger has that you could make a full class of.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    It does mean that if "Belkar" the ranger takes favorite enemy goblin, then he's going to be in trouble when the arc is about fighting a bunch of human paladins. If he takes favored terrain dungeons then he's in trouble when fighting in the forrest and the city. We don't want Belkar to outclass the fighter "Roy" for an arc, and to be outclassed by Roy for an arc, we want them both to be able to shine in their spheres of power each session.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by willpell View Post
    It's hardly a "contrived coincidence" for an e.g. Goblin-hunter to find himself primarily in situations which involve Goblins; he'll go out looking for them. In general the ranger is most likely to be involved in a game if his favored enemy will come up, and the player has a right to complain if more than, say, three adventures go by without this occurring. But the presence of Goblins is unlikely to strike an "off" chord for your average game; they're a major presence in the gameworld. If your favored enemy is something more obscure, Aquaman syndrome does begin to apply, but this is a bad choice on the player's part which the GM should try to discourage, but is justified in "punishing" a little if the player insists.
    DM: The king calls you to his throne room, and asks you to retrieve his ancestral sword from the Abyss, to which it was spirited away by demons. If the sword is not restored to its proper place, the demons will be able to invade the kingom!
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    DM: ...goblins?
    Ranger: Yeah. My character fights goblins. How many goblins?
    DM: Why would there be goblins in the Abyss? There are no goblins there. You're 15th level, for crying out loud.
    Ranger: In that case, the world can burn. My character isn't interested.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    This is why I really only wanted 4 base classes then every other class is a module, so that the four classes can be used in (almost) every setting and then the other ones can be used when it fits according to both the DM and Player.

    *waves the train good bye*

    One of the mechanics I can think of, is similar to the "library of books" but rather the ranger can observe a creature and get some bonus to that creature and others of that race. This means that he has (kind of) a favored enemy, but can changes, but also he doesn't always get it if the encounter has more then one creature.

    Also if he observes the creature, this can help feed into the Initiative bonus/ambusher type role that rangers can be.

    I am not saying my idea is perfect, but after reading the last page (or two) its one I think fixes the common issues.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Personally, I'd design Rangers like the Scout from SWSE. Their abilities are survivalist based meaning they can range from surveillance, ambushes, speed, setting traps, and outlasting everyone, I'd be fine with an optional animal companion as well. Though I am for fewer more broad base classes in general. If there is a class called Fighter for instance, I don't see much a reason for their being a Barbarian, Knight, pr Monk. I'd axe it down to maybe: Fighter, Wizard, Rogue, Cleric, Ranger. If you want to make a Barbarian go Fighter/Ranger. If you want a Gish go Fighter/Wizard. If you want a Spy maybe Rogue/Ranger.

    I've never liked Favored Enemy/Terrain as an idea as it inherently seems to either limit the GM or the player unfairly. Though the idea of more broad abilities that are actually effective against a lot of things sounds fine, though then I would argue that it isn't really favored X it's just a bunch of situational useful abilities. Hell I think every class should have a bunch of situational useful abilities.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by willpell View Post
    It's hardly a "contrived coincidence" for an e.g. Goblin-hunter to find himself primarily in situations which involve Goblins; he'll go out looking for them. In general the ranger is most likely to be involved in a game if his favored enemy will come up, and the player has a right to complain if more than, say, three adventures go by without this occurring. But the presence of Goblins is unlikely to strike an "off" chord for your average game; they're a major presence in the gameworld. If your favored enemy is something more obscure, Aquaman syndrome does begin to apply, but this is a bad choice on the player's part which the GM should try to discourage, but is justified in "punishing" a little if the player insists.
    Really?

    I mean, I suppose at lower levels it can make some kind of sense. After all, goblins are an accepted low-level menace that tend to infest certain areas. Sure, your village fought with goblins all the time and you hate them.

    But the thing about D&D is that eventually you start reaching this "Minimum Badass Quotient" with regards to Things That Can Reasonably Fight You.

    You start out fighting goblins. You upgrade to bugbears. You upgrade to hobgoblins. You upgrade to hobgoblins with class levels. But when you've finally managed to crush whatever evil plot the Gods of Goblins have clearly been cooking up, what then? Do we start making goblins and hobgoblins that are on-part with high-level PCs? If so, where were they this whole time that you were massacring the armies of evil? Why weren't they threatening the world earlier? And then you get into the player complaints that they're fighting nothing but Goblins and they'd like to fight demons or devils or slaadi or dragons or illithids or Colossal Monstrous Centipedes or something just to mix things up.

    If you want threats to stay plausible with PC level you have to move up the food chain. Level one, Chucklehead Goblin is a threat. Level twelve, Count Chuckles von Head the Vampire is more your speed. Failing to do so breaks verisimilitude, but ACTUALLY doing so - leaping the rungs - invalidates the Favored Enemy bonus. Getting worse, Favored Enemy doesn't just smack of sloppy design in that sense - its bonuses are low and wholly not worth capitalizing on. Even the spells and ACFs that improve Favored Enemy don't go the distance in making it function!

    So to cap, the 3.5 Favored Enemy is parasitic, encourages sameness in gameplay, provides weak bonuses that encourage trap feat choices and is, all-in-all, unworthy of even getting notation on the character sheet.


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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    I'm playing a ranger in a 3.5 campaign right now, so I guess I'll throw in my 2 coppers.

    What I thought of that made me decide to go for a ranger:
    Stealth and tracking
    Result: Tracking has come in handy a few times, I haven't used stealth at all.

    What I thought of when I decided on ranger:
    Animal companion, 2WF, bows
    Result: Feats and prcs taken to keep companion on par with druid animal companion (Why is the druid companion 2x the level of the rangers? Did they really need that with their host of abilities?)
    2WF focus, fighter dip, feats to improve 2WF and I'm currently able to dish out a ton of damage. Granted we're rather low power level, as we lack a caster.

    What I never actually bothered to think about:
    Favored enemy, spells.
    Result: The one encounter in months where favored enemy may have come into play, I constantly forgot I had it. Relegated to fluff. I think I cast entangle once every other month or so.

    What I think a ranger should have:
    Companion, light armor restriction, survivalist/tracking skills.

    I honestly think the ranger should be closer to a rogue, but where a rogue thrives in dungeons/cities, rangers thrive in the outdoors. Companions should be used to trip/grapple/grant advantage and deal damage. They are to rangers what sneak attack is to rogues.

    One fight ended with me having my companion grapple and drag the mini-bbeg around, giving everyone a host of AoO's against him (The rogue with combat reflexes turned into a wood-chipper as the bbeg was pulled through his space).

    Screw the spells, screw favored enemy. I want a hunter that knows how to engage at range and close up to bring down his quarry, and utilizes a rather dangerous animal to help him do so.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Dienekes View Post
    Personally, I'd design Rangers like the Scout from SWSE. Their abilities are survivalist based meaning they can range from surveillance, ambushes, speed, setting traps, and outlasting everyone, I'd be fine with an optional animal companion as well. Though I am for fewer more broad base classes in general. If there is a class called Fighter for instance, I don't see much a reason for their being a Barbarian, Knight, pr Monk. I'd axe it down to maybe: Fighter, Wizard, Rogue, Cleric, Ranger. If you want to make a Barbarian go Fighter/Ranger. If you want a Gish go Fighter/Wizard. If you want a Spy maybe Rogue/Ranger.
    1) There are lots of classes because WotC is including every PHB class in 5e. I'd prefer a more trimmed-down selection myself.

    2) That class setup works in Saga because the class archetypes for Soldier/Jedi/Scoundrel/Scout/Noble basically break down to Fighter/Wizard/Urban Rogue/Wilderness Rogue/Bard (or, let's be honest here, Chewie/Obi-Wan/Han/Luke/Leia ). There's no equivalent of the arcane/divine split there because, firstly, the Force is much more focused thematically and so you don't need to spread the "magic" among multiple classes; secondly, there's a lot more noncombat support in Saga such that "utility magic" is handled by talents and separating the hacker/pilot skilled class from the stealth/perception skilled class and splitting social skills between them makes sense; and thirdly, there's a lot more "plot armor" involved, so the healer/defender/warder archetype isn't really there. A more D&D-esque Saga would look more like Soldier/Jedi/Scoundrel/Noble with a full medic/technician support/repair/healing class taking the fifth slot.

    3) If you're dropping things down to the classic four, there's no reason to have the ranger as a fifth wheel. Everything it does can be done by either a fighter/wizard or a fighter/cleric depending on the kind of ranger you're going for--fighter/wizard for the archery/TWF buffs and surprise attack stuff, fighter/cleric (i.e. fighter/druid) for the utility magic and companion. The bard has a much better claim to the fifth wheel slot, since it actually has a fairly even split of the four roles historically and can be focused to any one of the four fairly well.

    4) Your five-class setup reminds me of the people who want to keep the primal power source around in 5e, in which case the base five would be fighter/wizard/rogue/cleric/druid and you'd have combinations like ranger = martial/primal, marshal or warlord = martial/skills, bard = arcane/skills, and so on. I don't like this setup because (A) we already have arcane and divine magic, we don't really need a kinda-arcane-kinda-divine "nature magic" source and (B) if you're looking for alternate magic, psionics was there first. In any case, ranger doesn't really deserve to be in the base 5 any more than it deserves to be in the base 4.

    I've never liked Favored Enemy/Terrain as an idea as it inherently seems to either limit the GM or the player unfairly. Though the idea of more broad abilities that are actually effective against a lot of things sounds fine, though then I would argue that it isn't really favored X it's just a bunch of situational useful abilities. Hell I think every class should have a bunch of situational useful abilities.
    Every class is a bunch of situationally useful abilities. Anything that isn't an always-on passive ability is situational to some extent: sneak attack is situational, so is weapon specializatoin (doesn't count as always-on because it requires a certain weapon), turn undead, enchantment spells, etc. It just so happens that the ranger's collection of situational abilities is grouped thematically under "package of abilities good against creature type X," as opposed to "package of similarly-themed spells" which you may know as domains or schools of magic, or "package of similarly themed feats and combat maneuvers" which you may know as barbarian totems and monk fighting styles, and so on and so forth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob Tyr
    What I think a ranger should have:
    Companion, light armor restriction, survivalist/tracking skills.

    I honestly think the ranger should be closer to a rogue, but where a rogue thrives in dungeons/cities, rangers thrive in the outdoors. Companions should be used to trip/grapple/grant advantage and deal damage. They are to rangers what sneak attack is to rogues.

    One fight ended with me having my companion grapple and drag the mini-bbeg around, giving everyone a host of AoO's against him (The rogue with combat reflexes turned into a wood-chipper as the bbeg was pulled through his space).

    Screw the spells, screw favored enemy. I want a hunter that knows how to engage at range and close up to bring down his quarry, and utilizes a rather dangerous animal to help him do so.
    Again, companions are off the table in 5e for PHB classes and the "light-armored skilled tracker" view of the ranger is getting into "the rogue, except outdoors" territory. That doesn't leave the ranger a unique niche.

    Honestly, rather than making the ranger the animal companion class, I'd much rather see one companion-focused class that can do the ranger and animal companion duo as well as paladin and holy mount, cultist and summoned demon, necromancer and animated guardian, artificer and golem warrior, mindbender and dominated thrall, warlord and bonded knight, noble and mercenary bodyguard, and any other "main character paired with single level-appropriate buddy" setup. Siccing a minion on your enemy isn't something only a beastmaster ranger should be able to do, and putting all followers on the same advancement schedule would certainly help to balance them.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Oscredwin View Post
    It does mean that if "Belkar" the ranger takes favorite enemy goblin, then he's going to be in trouble when the arc is about fighting a bunch of human paladins.
    Not "in trouble", just less effective. Nobody's arguing that a ranger should be worthless against anything that's not his favored enemy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    DM: The king calls you to his throne room, and asks you to retrieve his ancestral sword from the Abyss, to which it was spirited away by demons. If the sword is not restored to its proper place, the demons will be able to invade the kingom!
    Ranger: Sweet. How many goblins will we be facing?
    It follows, then, that "goblin" is too narrow for a favored enemy. That's easy to solve. Once again, for the abilty to useful, a FE needs to be a group of enemies that covers 15%-20% of the monster manual (spanning most or all levels). And it would help if you were able to retrain it; but then, that goes for feats and similar choices as well.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    I don't believe a Knowledge Devotion-style of FE has been more than passingly mentioned. Anybody have thoughts on how well that would work?

    I'm inclined to think that the basic idea of "knows a lot about a lot of creatures, can fight more effectively against any specifically identified" should neatly fulfill the "monster hunter" aspect, and without being locked down to a narrow niche either.

    However, I do also like the idea of packages that would usually work well against a particular set of foes, but have other uses as well (such as the suggested Evasion + Grounding for dragonslaying).
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by tuggyne View Post
    I'm inclined to think that the basic idea of "knows a lot about a lot of creatures, can fight more effectively against any specifically identified" should neatly fulfill the "monster hunter" aspect, and without being locked down to a narrow niche either.
    My problem with this kind of archetype has always been that it uses a dice roll to determine whether you've heard of a creature and learned its weaknesses even if you've already encountered that creature in-game. It's like the way Skills don't improve over the course of a level; it's completely contrary to what logic suggests to me should qualify as "earning experience".

    Quote Originally Posted by tuggyne View Post
    I'm inclined to think that the basic idea of "knows a lot about a lot of creatures, can fight more effectively against any specifically identified" should neatly fulfill the "monster hunter" aspect, and without being locked down to a narrow niche either.
    My problem with this kind of archetype has always been that it uses a dice roll to determine whether you've heard of a creature and learned its weaknesses even if you've already encountered that creature in-game. It's like the way Skills don't improve over the course of a level; it's completely contrary to what logic suggests to me should qualify as "earning experience".

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    DM: The king calls you to his throne room, and asks you to retrieve his ancestral sword from the Abyss, to which it was spirited away by demons. If the sword is not restored to its proper place, the demons will be able to invade the kingom!
    Ranger: Sweet. How many goblins will we be facing?
    DM: ...goblins?
    Ranger: Yeah. My character fights goblins. How many goblins?
    DM: Why would there be goblins in the Abyss? There are no goblins there. You're 15th level, for crying out loud.
    Ranger: In that case, the world can burn. My character isn't interested.
    Favored Enemy: Goblins would apply to CR 15 Fiendish Bugbear Paladins of Slaughter just fine. If something doesn't scale across levels, then it is an unwise choice of favored enemy, but most creature types have some representation in nearly every level. You probably don't want to pick Outsider or Dragon at 1st level, but beyond that most of the choices are at least semi-valid.
    Last edited by willpell; 2012-10-26 at 03:59 AM.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by willpell View Post
    My problem with this kind of archetype has always been that it uses a dice roll to determine whether you've heard of a creature and learned its weaknesses even if you've already encountered that creature in-game. It's like the way Skills don't improve over the course of a level; it's completely contrary to what logic suggests to me should qualify as "earning experience".
    Hmm, that is an unfortunate flaw. It's not hard to patch it to say "if you have encountered this kind of creature before, you may use the previous result", or something. (I'd suggest an alternate "+2 circumstance to roll for having fought this species", but 5e doesn't seem to do those, and Advantage doesn't make a lot of sense here.)

    My problem with this kind of archetype has always been that it uses a dice roll to determine whether you've heard of a creature and learned its weaknesses even if you've already encountered that creature in-game. It's like the way Skills don't improve over the course of a level; it's completely contrary to what logic suggests to me should qualify as "earning experience".
    Hmm, that is an unfortunate flaw. It's not hard to patch it to say "if you have encountered this kind of creature before, you may use the previous result", or something. (I'd suggest an alternate "+2 circumstance to roll for having fought this species", but 5e doesn't seem to do those, and Advantage doesn't make a lot of sense here.)
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by willpell View Post
    Favored Enemy: Goblins would apply to CR 15 Fiendish Bugbear Paladins of Slaughter just fine. If something doesn't scale across levels, then it is an unwise choice of favored enemy, but most creature types have some representation in nearly every level. You probably don't want to pick Outsider or Dragon at 1st level, but beyond that most of the choices are at least semi-valid.
    So just because there's a Ranger in my party, I have to build every monster from a CR 1/2 goblin by hand, instead of just picking a demon from a Monster Manual? Yeah, thanks for that.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    For what you guys are saying about a study-based FE variation, that's what I always pictured Hunter's Quarry from the 4e ranger to be. He's skilled enough to study the quarry for a split second and identify a weakness, a chink in the armor that he can exploit to deal extra damage. It's not the same as precision damage from a rogue, and it can be different for each target, thus the need to study each target individually to gain the bonus damage effect.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by 123456789blaaa View Post
    I've noticed that the more "old school" gamers prefer to have the DM tailor the adventures for the players while the "newer" gamers prefer to have their character be usefull without the DM having to specifically tailor the adventure.
    Once more: "less effective" does not mean "useful".

    I don't see this distinction between old and new, except if you mean that "new" = 4E and "old school" = everything else. It is true for every major RPG on the market that different characters are more effective in certain situations and less effective in certain others, except in 4E. That's why you play as a team: nobody expects the rough barbarian to participate in fast-talking the city guard; again, except in 4E. This is not rocket science.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by RedWarlock View Post
    For what you guys are saying about a study-based FE variation, that's what I always pictured Hunter's Quarry from the 4e ranger to be.
    Maybe so, but the effect is that he always gets this bonus against every single enemy. It might as well be a flat bonus.

    The key here is that it's not memorable, and part of the fun of roleplaying games is to create memorable situations for the characters. Remember that time when the barbarian dropped from the ceiling, critted the dragon, and chopped its head clean off? Sure you do, because it's unique. Remember when the ranger studied the mind flayer to gain a +2d6 damage bonus? No, because he always does that, every single combat against every single enemy he fights. Remember when the rogue last made a sneak attack? Neither do I, because the rogue always sneak attacks, every single hit he makes.

    If you take a cool idea and use it every time, it stops being cool.

    (I'm sure somebody will now respond how frustrating it would be if the rogue could only successfully sneak attack once per campaign, or something like that, but that's the other extreme and that's equally silly)
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Sneak Attack IS the defining ability of the Rogue, though. The fact that he can use it a lot doesn't cheapen it, because he still needs to put effort into getting it off. Maybe he takes pains to position himself for flanking, and is an acrobatic tumbling Rogue. Maybe he attacks from the shadows with a bow and arrow, and is a sneaky archer Rogue. Maybe he turns himself invisible, and is a magical trickster Rogue. Maybe he feints the enemy, and is a useless Rogue. But he doesn't just say "I want to deal +2d6 Sneak Attack to this enemy, make it so!".

    A Ranger could work in a similar way. What does studying an enemy actually mean? Maybe he can make use of a Rangery divination that reveals the enemy's weak spot (like the UMD Rogue's spells). Maybe his eyesight is good enough to spot that weak spot, and his knowledge of monsters tells him where to look (like the stealthy Rogue's Hide and Move Silently checks). Maybe he can trick an opponent into stumbling momentarily with a cleverly placed snare, or fool them with a clever imitation of a mating call?

    Obviously, these are just examples of what it could be. I'm not saying that the Ranger should have those precise options. But a bit of choice like the Rogue gets would go a long way towards making such a mechanic iconic of the Ranger in a meaningful way.
    Last edited by Flickerdart; 2012-10-26 at 09:29 AM.
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