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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Apr 2015

    Default Non-magical variant ranger in need of perspective

    I'm going to be starting a Forgotten Realms campaign that is taking a turn similar to the Spellplague, but in some ways more severe; the Weave has been down for about eight centuries, and war has stripped down a number of establishments. The party has the option of all the non-magical classes and archetypes to start out with, and one of the players is inquiring as to a non-magical variant for a ranger. The world will slowly be regaining magic in segments (individual gods, branches of ley lines, etc), so those wanting to transition into other archetypes or magical classes will get the chance to convert over. That said, I'd like this ranger to be balanced in case the player wants to keep the class as is.

    Without further ado, here is my ranger variant. Only class features that were added or changed are described.
    Spoiler: Original version for reference
    Show
    --------------------------------------------
    1st Favored Enemy, Natural Explorer
    2nd Fighting Style, Fast movement
    3rd Ranger Archetype, Primeval Awareness
    4th Ability Score Improvement
    5th Extra Attack, Toxin Sense
    6th Favored Enemy and Natural Explorer improvements
    7th Ranger Archetype feature
    8th Ability Score Improvement, Land's Stride
    9th Terrain Mastery
    10th Natural Explorer improvement, Hide in Plain Sight
    11th Ranter Archetype feature
    12th Ability Score Improvement
    13th Favored Critical
    14th Favored Enemy improvement, Vanish
    15th Ranger Archetype Feature
    16th Ability Score improvement
    17th Terrain Mastery
    18th Feral Senses
    19th Ability Score Improvement
    20th Foe Slayer


    Fast movement: Your movement speed increases by 10 feet when you are in your favored terrain and you aren't in heavy armor.

    Primeval Awareness: Once per short rest, you can focus your awareness on the region around you. By concentrating for one minute, you can sense whether the following types of creatures are within 1000 feet of you (1 mile for favored terrain): aberrations, celestials, dragons, elementals, fey, fiends, and undead. This feature doesn't reveal the creatures' location or number.

    Toxin Sense: You have Advantage on checks to identify the presence of poisons or diseases in a target you inspect.

    Favored Critical: Your weapon attacks against a favored enemy score a critical hit on a 19 or 20.

    Terrain Mastery: Select one of the terrains that you have chosen for Natural Explorer. You gain the following benefits when in that terrain:
    * Arctic - You gain resistance to cold, and have advantage on checks to maintain footing on ice.
    * Coast - You gain a swim speed equivalent to your movement speed, and can hold your breath for twice as long as normal.
    * Desert - You gain resistance to fire, and require only half the water of a normal character.
    * Forest - You gain a climb speed in trees equivalent to your movement speed, and have advantage on stealth checks.
    * Grassland - You gain an additional 10 feet of movement speed, and are never surprised.
    * Mountain - You gain a climb speed over rock equivalent to your movement speed, and take 5 times your ranger level less falling damage.
    * Swamp - You gain resistance to poison, and have advantage on Stealth checks.
    * Underdark - You gain blindsense out to 120 feet.
    You select a terrain mastery at 9th and 17th levels.


    Revised edition
    --------------------------------------------
    1st Favored Enemy, Natural Explorer
    2nd Fighting Style, Marked Foe
    3rd Ranger Archetype, Primeval Awareness
    4th Ability Score Improvement
    5th Extra Attack, Animal Ken
    6th Favored Enemy and Natural Explorer improvements
    7th Ranger Archetype feature
    8th Ability Score Improvement, Land's Stride
    9th Terrain Mastery, Marked Foe
    10th Natural Explorer improvement, Hide in Plain Sight
    11th Ranger Archetype feature, Fast Movement
    12th Ability Score Improvement
    13th Favored Critical
    14th Favored Enemy improvement, Vanish
    15th Ranger Archetype Feature, Natural Explorer Improvement
    16th Ability Score improvement
    17th Terrain Mastery
    18th Feral Senses
    19th Ability Score Improvement
    20th Foe Slayer

    Marked Foe: Once per Long Rest, a ranger may mark a target. To do so, the ranger must spend 3 rounds studying a target within 60 feet, doing nothing other than moving. At the end of the third round, the target is considered Marked. A Marked foe takes an additional 1d6 damage from your attacks. Additionally, you have advantage on checks to locate your mark. This benefit lasts for one hour or until the target is felled.
    Starting at 9th level, you may perform this ability once per Short Rest, and you need only spend two rounds studying a target to Mark them.

    Primeval Awareness: Once per short rest, you can focus your awareness on the region around you. By concentrating for one minute, you can sense whether the following types of creatures are within 1000 feet of you (1 mile for favored terrain): aberrations, celestials, dragons, elementals, fey, fiends, and undead. This feature doesn't reveal the creatures' location or number.

    Animal Ken: You have advantage on checks to intuit the demeanor and condition of animals native to your favored terrain.

    Terrain Mastery: Select one of the terrains that you have chosen for Natural Explorer. You gain the following benefits when in that terrain:
    • Arctic - You gain resistance to cold, and have advantage on checks to maintain footing on ice.
    • Coast - You gain a swim speed equivalent to your movement speed, and can hold your breath for twice as long as normal.
    • Desert - You gain resistance to fire, and require only half the water of a normal character.
    • Forest - You gain a climb speed in trees equivalent to your movement speed, and gain an additional +1 AC from cover.
    • Grassland - You gain an additional 10 feet of movement speed, and are never surprised.
    • Mountain - You gain a climb speed over rock equivalent to your movement speed, and take 5 times your ranger level less falling damage.
    • Swamp - You gain resistance to poison, and have advantage on Stealth checks.
    • Underdark - You gain blindsense out to 120 feet.

    You select a terrain mastery at 9th and 17th levels.

    Fast movement: Your movement speed increases by 10 feet when you are in your favored terrain and you aren't in heavy armor.

    Favored Critical: Your weapon attacks against a favored enemy score a critical hit on a 19 or 20. If the enemy is also Marked, you score a critical hit on an 18, 19, or 20.

    Natural Explorer Improvement: You choose an additional favored terrain type at 15th level.


    BEAST MASTERY ARCHETYPE
    Clever Girl (Replaces Share Spells): The benefits of Marked Foe, Land's Stride, and Favored Critical extend to your beast companion as well. Once per long rest, you can use a bonus action to command the beast to take the Dash, Disengage, Dodge, or Help action on its turn, even if it has attacked on your turn.

    If you think anything is off on the power scale, not a great fit, or doesn't make sense, please ask. I appreciate any feedback you all may offer.
    Last edited by alackthereof; 2015-04-04 at 10:56 PM. Reason: Summarizing revisions

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Non-magical variant ranger in need of perspective

    Everything seems to make sense and fit the ranger pretty well.

    At first my impression was that it would be pretty underpowered compared to a official ranger, but many of the terrain mastery features look pretty good, especially since they are always on. But many consider the ranger the weakest 5e class so being a bit stronger than the official ranger wouldn't be a bad thing.

    Do you think you could work in a 4th "favored terrain"? I think that would give you more ability to pick the terrains you want to be good in as well as get the terrain mastery bonuses you desire.

    Also did you notice two terrains give you advantage on stealth?
    Last edited by eleazzaar; 2015-04-03 at 05:57 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Non-magical variant ranger in need of perspective

    Quote Originally Posted by eleazzaar View Post
    Do you think you could work in a 4th "favored terrain"? I think that would give you more ability to pick the terrains you want to be good in as well as get the terrain mastery bonuses you desire.
    I think that adding another Natural Explorer Improvement at 15th level would allow that extra flexibility.
    Also did you notice two terrains give you advantage on stealth?
    I did, and I haven't thought of a better option. I had considered giving Forest an extra +1 AC from cover instead of advantage on stealth, but that was still under debate.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Griffon

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    Default Re: Non-magical variant ranger in need of perspective

    I like the ideas, but I'm not sure if what you've added at early levels enough to make up for the loss of spells yet. Toxin sense in particular is going to be useful much less often than the ability to cast 2nd-level spells, which is what it replaces.

    I think rangers are expected to use spells to keep up on the damage front, hence the availability of Hunter's Mark and the various magic arrow spells. You might want to add the ability to replicate the effect of the former a limited number of times (once per short rest, maybe?) through non-magical means.

    You could also let them replicate the effects of some other spells, at least to some extent. E.g. they could have advantage on interpreting the behaviour of animals and communicating their peaceful intent in return, which goes some way to replicating the effects of Speak with Animals and Animal Friendship, but in a plausibly non-magical way.

    I'm not sure, but doesn't the Beast Master get to share spells with their beast at some level? If so, that ability will need replacing too.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Nov 2014

    Default Re: Non-magical variant ranger in need of perspective

    Instead of fast movement at level 2, I'd give them a ability that mimic's Hunters marks, let say once per long rest. At 9th level, the ability last for 8 hours. And at 17th level the ability last for 24 hours.

    Fast movement could be moved later on.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Non-magical variant ranger in need of perspective

    I do like the idea of mimicking Hunter's Mark, and can borrow slightly from 3.5's Bloodhound. With that said...

    2nd level, replace Fast Movement with Marked Foe
    Marked Foe
    Once per Long Rest, a ranger may mark a foe. To do so, the ranger must spend 3 rounds studying a target within 60 feet, doing nothing other than moving. At the end of the third round, the target is considered Marked. A Marked foe takes an additional 1d6 damage from your attacks. Additionally, you have advantage on checks to locate your mark. This benefit lasts for one hour.

    I had considered making the duration to study the foe one minute, but I feel that 3 rounds should be more than adequate.

    5th level, replace Toxin Sense with Animal Ken
    Animal Ken
    You have advantage on checks to intuit the demeanor and condition of animals native to your favored terrain.

    This takes into account the doubled proficiency bonus on Intelligence and Wisdom checks you already have in favored terrain.

    I'll post a summary of proposed changes next.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Non-magical variant ranger in need of perspective

    Spoiler: Further revised, moved to main entry.
    Show
    --------------------------------------------
    1st Favored Enemy, Natural Explorer
    2nd Fighting Style, Marked Foe
    3rd Ranger Archetype, Primeval Awareness
    4th Ability Score Improvement
    5th Extra Attack, Animal Ken
    6th Favored Enemy and Natural Explorer improvements
    7th Ranger Archetype feature
    8th Ability Score Improvement, Land's Stride
    9th Terrain Mastery, Marked Foe
    10th Natural Explorer improvement, Hide in Plain Sight
    11th Ranger Archetype feature, Fast Movement
    12th Ability Score Improvement
    13th Favored Critical
    14th Favored Enemy improvement, Vanish
    15th Ranger Archetype Feature, Natural Explorer Improvement
    16th Ability Score improvement
    17th Terrain Mastery
    18th Feral Senses
    19th Ability Score Improvement
    20th Foe Slayer

    Marked Foe: Once per Long Rest, a ranger may mark a foe. To do so, the ranger must spend 3 rounds studying a target within 60 feet, doing nothing other than moving. At the end of the third round, the target is considered Marked. A Marked foe takes an additional 1d6 damage from your attacks. Additionally, you have advantage on checks to locate your mark. This benefit lasts for one hour or until the target is felled. At 9th level, this ability is extended to last for two hours.

    Primeval Awareness: Once per short rest, you can focus your awareness on the region around you. By concentrating for one minute, you can sense whether the following types of creatures are within 1000 feet of you (1 mile for favored terrain): aberrations, celestials, dragons, elementals, fey, fiends, and undead. This feature doesn't reveal the creatures' location or number.

    Animal Ken: You have advantage on checks to intuit the demeanor and condition of animals native to your favored terrain.

    Terrain Mastery: Select one of the terrains that you have chosen for Natural Explorer. You gain the following benefits when in that terrain:
    * Arctic - You gain resistance to cold, and have advantage on checks to maintain footing on ice.
    * Coast - You gain a swim speed equivalent to your movement speed, and can hold your breath for twice as long as normal.
    * Desert - You gain resistance to fire, and require only half the water of a normal character.
    * Forest - You gain a climb speed in trees equivalent to your movement speed, and gain an additional +1 AC from cover.
    * Grassland - You gain an additional 10 feet of movement speed, and are never surprised.
    * Mountain - You gain a climb speed over rock equivalent to your movement speed, and take 5 times your ranger level less falling damage.
    * Swamp - You gain resistance to poison, and have advantage on Stealth checks.
    * Underdark - You gain blindsense out to 120 feet.
    You select a terrain mastery at 9th and 17th levels.

    Fast movement: Your movement speed increases by 10 feet when you are in your favored terrain and you aren't in heavy armor.

    Favored Critical: Your weapon attacks against a favored enemy score a critical hit on a 19 or 20.

    Natural Explorer Improvement: You choose an additional favored terrain type at 15th level.


    BEAST MASTERY ARCHETYPE
    Clever Girl (Replaces Share Spells): The benefits of Marked Foe, Land's Stride, and Favored Critical extend to your beast companion as well. In addition, once per short rest, your beast companion may take an additional action during your turn.
    Last edited by alackthereof; 2015-04-04 at 10:53 PM. Reason: Moved to main entry and further revised

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Griffon

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    Mar 2015

    Default Re: Non-magical variant ranger in need of perspective

    I still think they'll be a bit short on damage, but they'll be very good at ranging, which is, after all, the point of the class and might make up for the damage (depending on the player and the campaign). You could afford to make Hunter's Mark once per short rest at higher levels, or even simply at will if it takes 3 turns to set up. The magic-using Ranger has more than enough spell slots for that by level 9, given they can reassign it when the target dies without expending a slot anyway, though it requires concentration so they do risk losing it when hit. For comparison, the Paladin starts getting an extra d8 to every hit at level 11, so an extra d6 versus one creature is something the Ranger could reasonably expect to have available all the time. But, again, whether that amount of damage is appropriate depends on how much you think the player will get out of the other abilities like Terrain Mastery.

    Also, Clever Girl has a great name and is pretty strong now, but not, I think, too strong.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Non-magical variant ranger in need of perspective

    Do you think that it would be more appropriate to extend the ability to two targets within 10 feet at a higher level, or keep it the way it is, and allow unlimited uses?

    Alternatively, I could drop the extra action from Clever Girl, keep Marked Foe the way it is, and add an Extra Attack at 11th level.

    Are any of those thoughts a move in the right direction?

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Non-magical variant ranger in need of perspective

    I've moved the changes that I've made into the main entry and kept the original in a spoiler for reference. I also made some small alterations to Marked Foe, Favored Critical, and Clever Girl based on other discussion.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Non-magical variant ranger in need of perspective

    Given some of the details listed https://dnd.wizards.com/articles/features/modifying-classes from WotC's authors as suggestions for a non-magical ranger, do you think that the version I have presented is still usable? Or would some of the features presented work better than some of my own?

    Aside from that, I had considered changing Favored Critical to be Marked Critical, giving a crit range of 19-20, and 18-20 if a favored enemy. That would provide more usability.

    Also, I had considered adding another rank of Marked Foe at 16th level, which would either remove the rest requirement, drop the time to study a target to one round, or maybe even both. I could ramp back on earlier ranks, making it two rounds at first with a short rest, then one round, and then finally no rest requirement.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Non-magical variant ranger in need of perspective

    I'm not quite sure about either, having a greater threat range is pretty much the staple ability of the Champion. Remove this exclusivity from them and they loose pretty much what makes them worth taking

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Non-magical variant ranger in need of perspective

    That's a very valid point. Other classes can pick up Battle Master maneuvers from the Martial Adept feat, but nobody can get the extra crit range without being a Champion. I will have to look into other options to boost their combat ability.
    Last edited by alackthereof; 2015-04-06 at 04:55 PM.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Griffon

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    Default Re: Non-magical variant ranger in need of perspective

    I think the exact details of Marked Foe are the sort of thing you'd have to judge the strength of in play. You can always make it improve faster or slower depending on how good it is at low levels and how the Ranger is performing compared to their teammates. As I said before, though, looking at the Paladin, I don't think there'd be a problem having it on permanently by level 11 (which isn't to say you should remove all the limitations by then, because they're flavourful and the Ranger has other things to focus on than damage, but by level 16 there'd be no problem letting them use it freely with 1 round to prepare).

    I don't see what's wrong with replicating the Champion's features on a class you're only making for your own table. Unless maybe if another player took that option and objects. If you want an alternative, you could just have a rule like 'if the damage die granted by Marked Foe lands on 6, add another d6 damage'. That way it's linked to the marking mechanism, and it allows damage spikes kind of like half a critical hit, but it only adds an average of (1/6)*3.5 (i.e. just over 1/2) damage per hit (roughly the same as the Champion's ability). You could let the Ranger re-roll the d6 from Marked Foe versus their favoured enemies so it interacts with that feature too.

    Your Ranger seems pretty comparable to Wizards' at high levels, but they add a lot at levels 2 and 3 and your changes are more spread out. The following assumes you get 2 short rests per day and fight stuff about twice per short rest.

    Spoiler: Comparison
    Show
    They add 4d8 damage per short rest, or probably 12d8 per day, so 54 damage not accounting for the probability of missing. An average probability of hitting of 2/3 seems plausible and makes the numbers nice, giving us 36 extra damage per day. That increases to 45 at level 9 and then 54 at level 17 (plus the bonus from Relentless, but I'm not sure how to estimate that; it probably won't add more than 1d8 per short rest, for 63 expected damage in total). There will be a bit of extra damage from summoning beasts, but in most circumstances I doubt they'll do much when you're facing encounters appropriate to level 13. They also grant the effects of manoeuvres, which are hard to quantify.

    The damage Marked Foe first grants is d6 times however many times you hit the marked enemy. That's pretty hard to estimate, depending on your chances of hitting, how much damage your allies do, and how many hits the target can take; everything that follows is a broad guess. I'll optimistically call it 4 hits for an extra 14 damage. It should increase at level 5 when you get another attack. It probably won't double (especially if you were already using 2 weapons), but let's call it 50% extra, i.e. 21 damage. At level 9 we could times that by 3 to get 63 damage. If you dropped the short rest requirement at 16 you could maybe as much as double that, getting 126, but that's even harder to estimate. If you add the extra criticals, or my suggestion above, for about 0.5 damage per hit, you might get 15-20 more expected damage per day that way.

    Their poultices provide about (3 times half your level times your wisdom mod times 3.5) hp healed per day. That might be 3x1x2x3.5 = 21hp at level 3, 3x4x2x3.5 = 84hp at level 9 and 3x8x3x3.5=252hp at level 17, but lots more if you prioritise wisdom. Of course, that will be reduced if your allies don't get hurt enough to use it, or die first.

    Your Terrain Mastery is as good as or better than their Natural Antivenom (at least, the swamp option is) and you give it twice. You also grant extra movement and understanding animals. They get some utility from manoeuvres and summoned beasts, but much less.


    I think your damage advancement is more reasonable than theirs, which is heavily front-loaded, though it seems that allowing your Ranger to mark something once per short rest wouldn't break anything. I don't know how the (seemingly very large) amounts of hp theirs can heal compare in usefulness to killing enemies faster (and therefore being hit less by them). The extra utility you grant is better and more flavourful than theirs. I think yours comes out looking just as good, though if your player really wants to heal people they'd have reason to use the Wizards version.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Non-magical variant ranger in need of perspective

    True, it is just for my table. If it becomes an issue, that's something I can tackle at that point.
    I've taken another look at the progression, and here's what I suggest to make everyone happy -

    Marked Foe: Once per Short Rest, a ranger may mark a target. To do so, the ranger must spend 2 rounds studying a target within 60 feet, doing nothing other than moving. At the end of the second round, the target is considered Marked. A Marked foe takes an additional 1d6 damage from your attacks. Additionally, you have advantage on checks to locate your mark. This benefit lasts for thirty minutes per Ranger level or until the target is felled.
    Starting at 9th level, you may use Marked Foe at will. You may only have one Mark active at any time.
    Starting at 16th level, you only require one round of study to Mark a target.

    Vicious Sting (Replaces Favored Critical): If you score a critical hit against a target, you may choose to instead subdue your target. If the target fails a Constitution save, they are Incapacitated for one minute, with saves allowed on each subsequent round. The saving throw is determined by: 8 + Proficiency Bonus + Strength/Dexterity modifier, depending on the attack made.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Non-magical variant ranger in need of perspective

    So...
    WotC made their own version,
    https://dnd.wizards.com/articles/fea...ifying-classes
    I would really like some input on this 5e Homebrew
    Buttload of Homebrew Subclasses for 5e
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...7#post18178817
    Swashbuckler Base Class Homebrew for 5e
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...LOVE-YOUR-HELP
    Alchemist Homebrew
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...ME!&p=18770629

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Non-magical variant ranger in need of perspective

    Quote Originally Posted by BRKNdevil View Post
    Yep! I pointed that out above, and it provided some of the discussion between weaseldust and myself. It's certainly interesting reading, but the whole article was prefaced in part by:

    These game mechanics are in draft form, usable in your campaign but not fully tempered by playtests and design iterations. They are highly volatile and might be unstable; if you use them, be ready to rule on any issues that come up. They’re written in pencil, not ink. For these reasons, material in this column is not legal in D&D Organized Play events.

    That isn't to say that mine are any better. Just that their version isn't wholly solid, either.
    Last edited by alackthereof; 2015-04-06 at 07:30 PM.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Griffon

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    Mar 2015

    Default Re: Non-magical variant ranger in need of perspective

    It would be interesting to do a play-test with your version and the Wizards' version side-by-side to see if there was any difference in strength. I don't suppose you have any other players who want to try a Ranger?

    Vicious Sting looks decent too. It gives the ranger something different from extra damage but still makes criticals special, and it improves a little bit as the ranger levels up. If you didn't already, you should compare it to the Monk's stunning ability, but I can't remember how it works at the moment so for all I know you already did.

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