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    EvilClericGuy

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    Default How do you justify Rangers having spells?

    I love the concept of the ranger, as hard as that may be to pin down. I see it as a skill/survivalism oriented warrior with a wilderness inclination.

    But the spells seem kind of shoehorned in and it really breaks any possible immersion with the class. It makes it feel like a video game character.

    Like... You have this guy who takes to the woods and becomes such a good outdoorsman that he can turn his hands into claws, transform into a tree, or make animals double in size. Where the hell does that come from? It could make sense if it were like an Elf or something, but "ranger" just seems like such a simple, common concept, and you have this bizarre magical ability just thrown in there with no sense to it. There's no cohesion here whatsoever and it leaves the class with no appeal except to supplement a complex build.

    It would have been cool if the spell list was just emulating things that you could actually reflavor into things you could envision a ranger doing... Goodberry could be him gathering some nearby fruit with restorative properties. Charm animal could be considered just an uncanny way with animals. Delay poison could be him improvising an antidote with nearby plants or using anatomical knowledge to do something with their body that prevents the spread of the poison or something. Maybe even speak with plants could be flavored as him inferring information from looking at the plants. But then there's entangle, wind wall, and aspect of the earth hunter... I just don't get it.

    How do you guys justify the casting?
    #MundaneLivesMatter

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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: How do you justify Rangers having spells?

    Think of them as tricks then. Most could be explained away by terrain mastery

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    Default Re: How do you justify Rangers having spells?

    PHB's take:

    Characteristics: A ranger can use a variety of weapons and is quite capable in combat. His skills allow him to survive in the wilderness, to find his prey, and to avoid detection. He also has special knowledge about certain types of creatures, which makes it easier for him to find and defeat such foes. Finally, an experienced ranger has such a tie to nature that he can actually draw upon natural power to cast divine spells, much as a druid does.
    Religion: Though a ranger gains his divine spells from the power of nature, he like anyone else may worship a chosen deity. Ehlonna (goddess of the woodlands) and Obad-Hai (god of nature) are the most common deities revered by, though some prefer more martial deities.
    It comes from a close tie to nature. The only class that can match them in that respect (at least in core) also gets spells from nature, so it seems at least consistent.

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    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default Re: How do you justify Rangers having spells?

    What are you even talking about, dude?

    Rangers have always had spells. It's a core part of the concept, and they get them for the same reason that a druid does... because in D&D, having a strong affinity with nature is itself a path to magical power and that's just how it works.

    Think of the ranger being to the druid as the paladin is to the cleric, a champion of his beliefs who trades some potential for magic in exchange for greater combat ability and certain other skills. The ranger and paladin even have the same spellcasting schedule, so the comparison is a pretty obvious one IMO.

    You're getting the concept of the ranger confused with the idea of a hunter or simple woodsman. The ranger certainly can be those things, but they are also more (just like the paladin is more than a simple knight or soldier, just like the bard is more than a simple musician, just like the monk is more than a simple martial artist and the barbarian is more than a simple tribal warrior). D&D is a game where the world is full of magic and amazing things, and many character concepts which might have totally mundane real world counterparts are inherently charged with magic in that fantastic realm. And if it feels like a video game to you, that's only because video games have copied a great many concepts from Dungeons & Dragons over the years.
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    Kobold

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    Default Re: How do you justify Rangers having spells?

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    PHB's take:





    It comes from a close tie to nature. The only class that can match them in that respect (at least in core) also gets spells from nature, so it seems at least consistent.
    Rangers are just Druids who flunked out of Druid Community College before getting their degree.
    Quote Originally Posted by Deophaun;
    I'm imagining this guy when he's lvl 20, asked to give a speech for the graduating class of the Magicianl Institute of Theurgy: "Who will answer the call? If you're smart, not you! Abandoning my comrades to certain death has made me the successful mage I am today. When the world sends a hellcat to rip out the throats of your friends, you stay on that floor and milk as much healing out of your healer as possible."

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    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default Re: How do you justify Rangers having spells?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gallowglass View Post
    Rangers are just Druids who flunked out of Druid Community College before getting their degree.
    Rangers are just Aragorns who took a minor in Druidic magic because there was that one chapter in Return of the King where Aragorn healed some people. #TrueStory


    EDIT: Wait, they flunked out but still got their degree? I've been going to the wrong community colleges!

    EDIT 2: I might have read that wrong................
    Last edited by KillianHawkeye; 2016-06-27 at 02:48 PM.
    "Nothing you can't spell will ever work." - Will Rogers

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    Quote Originally Posted by Krellen View Post
    Remember, Evil isn't "selfish". It's Evil. "Look out for number one" is a Neutral attitude. Evil looks out for number one while crushing number two.

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    Default Re: How do you justify Rangers having spells?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gallowglass View Post
    Rangers are just Druids who flunked out of Druid Community College before getting their degree.
    Pretty much this. Even if the Ranger has a harder time turning into a dragon then a druid, doesn't mean they're 'just' a woodsman or outdoorsman. Those are Expert/Warriors who are lucky enough to have a whole two class levels! It's the difference between a Warrior and a Fighter and a Barbarian. DnD is usually built on the idea of Big Damn Heroes. The Ranger is a guy so in tune with nature it starts to empower him with magical abilities.

    Or you could use the Spell-Less ranger from Complete Warrior. I don't remember it being very good, however.
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    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default Re: How do you justify Rangers having spells?

    Quote Originally Posted by Honest Tiefling View Post
    Or you could use the Spell-Less ranger from Complete Warrior. I don't remember it being very good, however.
    I think it just gives a couple bonus feats here and there. Totally not worth it unless you don't plan on taking a lot more Ranger levels.
    "Nothing you can't spell will ever work." - Will Rogers

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    Remember, Evil isn't "selfish". It's Evil. "Look out for number one" is a Neutral attitude. Evil looks out for number one while crushing number two.

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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: How do you justify Rangers having spells?

    Quote Originally Posted by KillianHawkeye View Post
    I think it just gives a couple bonus feats here and there. Totally not worth it unless you don't plan on taking a lot more Ranger levels.
    That's the Complete Champion one.
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    Default Re: How do you justify Rangers having spells?

    Isn't the CWar spelless ranger the crap one that just gets fast movement+SLAs of spells you could simply cast as a ranger?

    EDIT: Yep, checked. Fast movement at 6, equivalent of Owl's Wisdom, Bear's Endurance, or Cat's grace 1/day at 11, 1/day neturalize poison or remove disease at 13, freedom of movement 1/day at 16. So pretty much strictly worse than having a ranger with spells.
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    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: How do you justify Rangers having spells?

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    It comes from a close tie to nature. The only class that can match them in that respect (at least in core) also gets spells from nature, so it seems at least consistent.
    Yes, I'm aware of the text. But it's not

    Quote Originally Posted by KillianHawkeye View Post
    Rangers have always had spells. It's a core part of the concept, and they get them for the same reason that a druid does... because in D&D, having a strong affinity with nature is itself a path to magical power and that's just how it works.
    In DnD, yes. That doesn't mean it makes sense. It's easy to wave a hand and say "affinity with nature=magical power, that's just how it works" but that doesn't actually explain at all how it works. I can get behind the idea that nature can give you a slight magical edge, but shapechanging into a tree or a bulette is taking it to a level of unjustifiable absurdity.

    Think of the ranger being to the druid as the paladin is to the cleric, a champion of his beliefs who trades some potential for magic in exchange for greater combat ability and certain other skills. The ranger and paladin even have the same spellcasting schedule, so the comparison is a pretty obvious one IMO.
    It is an obvious one, and likely an intentional one, and it is one that I considered. But the nature of their spells is quite different, and so too is the nature of the class concept. Everything a Paladin can do is sort of in line with the theme. It is not so with Rangers.

    You're getting the concept of the ranger confused with the idea of a hunter or simple woodsman. The ranger certainly can be those things, but they are also more (just like the paladin is more than a simple knight or soldier, just like the bard is more than a simple musician, just like the monk is more than a simple martial artist and the barbarian is more than a simple tribal warrior). D&D is a game where the world is full of magic and amazing things, and many character concepts which might have totally mundane real world counterparts are inherently charged with magic in that fantastic realm. And if it feels like a video game to you, that's only because video games have copied a great many concepts from Dungeons & Dragons over the years.
    The problem is that the Ranger is the one that makes less sense than the rest.
    #MundaneLivesMatter

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    Jormengand's Avatar

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    Default Re: How do you justify Rangers having spells?

    How do you justify anyone having spells?

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    SamuraiGuy

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    Default Re: How do you justify Rangers having spells?

    All that it comes down to is that your idea of the ranger is not compatible with the concept of the ranger in D&D. Neither is wrong, but the ranger in D&D is the way that it is because in D&D the ranger is a naruralist who has such a close affinity with nature they can cast spells. You do not need to agree with that for your concept of a ranger, but that is a ranger in D&D.

    As far as building what you see as the ideal ranger, have you considered playing a barbarian or varient rogue? What about a Fighter with ranks in Knowledge Nature and Survival?
    Last edited by SethoMarkus; 2016-06-27 at 03:45 PM.
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    Default Re: How do you justify Rangers having spells?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gallowglass View Post
    Rangers are just Druids who flunked out of Druid Community College before getting their degree.
    So a ranger is like a Bachelor of Applied Druidology.

    I want that title. I want it BAD.
    Last edited by Lvl 2 Expert; 2016-06-27 at 03:45 PM.
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    Kobold

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    Default Re: How do you justify Rangers having spells?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lvl 2 Expert View Post
    So a ranger is like a Bachelor of Applied Druidology.

    I want that title. I want it BAD.
    More like Associate of Applied Druidology.

    or, you know, whatever "degree" they give people for attending a handful of seminars and then opening up a small business in herbcraft out of their garage.

    The chiropractors of nature.
    Quote Originally Posted by Deophaun;
    I'm imagining this guy when he's lvl 20, asked to give a speech for the graduating class of the Magicianl Institute of Theurgy: "Who will answer the call? If you're smart, not you! Abandoning my comrades to certain death has made me the successful mage I am today. When the world sends a hellcat to rip out the throats of your friends, you stay on that floor and milk as much healing out of your healer as possible."

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    Default Re: How do you justify Rangers having spells?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lvl 2 Expert View Post
    So a ranger is like a Bachelor of Applied Druidology.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lvl 2 Expert View Post
    So a ranger is like a Bachelor of Applied Druidology.
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    Default Re: How do you justify Rangers having spells?

    Quote Originally Posted by georgie_leech View Post
    You owe me a new coffee and phone screen cover. Permission to sig?
    The ultimate OOTS cookie cutter nameless soldier is the hobgoblin.

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    Default Re: How do you justify Rangers having spells?

    For a decent spell-less ranger I recommend the Skirmisher from PF. They replace their spells with a list of interesting Ex abilities that give them decent utility - for example, Skill Sage, Surprise Shift, Defensive Bow Stance, Uncanny Senses and Sic' Em.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
    Quote Originally Posted by gogogome View Post
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    Default Re: How do you justify Rangers having spells?

    If you're thinking of just some outdoorsy dude, that hunts and ambushes and whatnot, you're looking for wilderness rogue or scout.

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    Kobold

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    Default Re: How do you justify Rangers having spells?

    Quote Originally Posted by LTwerewolf View Post
    If you're thinking of just some outdoorsy dude, that hunts and ambushes and whatnot, you're looking for wilderness rogue or scout.
    Oh dear, this is going to turn into a rehash of the "words have power! if I want to be a monk I want to be a monk" thread from last week isn't it.

    "But I want to be a ranger!"
    Quote Originally Posted by Deophaun;
    I'm imagining this guy when he's lvl 20, asked to give a speech for the graduating class of the Magicianl Institute of Theurgy: "Who will answer the call? If you're smart, not you! Abandoning my comrades to certain death has made me the successful mage I am today. When the world sends a hellcat to rip out the throats of your friends, you stay on that floor and milk as much healing out of your healer as possible."

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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: How do you justify Rangers having spells?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gallowglass View Post
    More like Associate of Applied Druidology.

    or, you know, whatever "degree" they give people for attending a handful of seminars and then opening up a small business in herbcraft out of their garage.

    The chiropractors of nature.
    Exactly. Druids go to the UCLA of nature. Rangers go to community college.
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    WhiteWizardGirl

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    Default Re: How do you justify Rangers having spells?

    It seems like people are more willing to accept fighting men that get divine miracles from Good (or Good gods) than fighting men that get divine miracles from nature.
    They both get companions, they both have weapon tricks (ranger styles, paladin smite), but the magic's too weird?

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    Default Re: How do you justify Rangers having spells?

    Rangers are a spellcasting class. They get spells. Why does it need any special justification? A lot of classes get spells. It's not weird.

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    NecromancerGirl

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    Default Re: How do you justify Rangers having spells?

    How do you justify fighters having no spells, when they are clearly so very useful?

    Every class should have casting, at least on the level of paladins and rangers. That means: every Big Damn Hero past the 'common' levels (level 4+) knows some magic, whether by being in tune with nature (ranger), good (paladin), fighting (warblade, crusader, swordsage), thinking really hard (divine mind, lurk), training and study (maybe duskblade, but also assassin and such), or inherited power (the only arcane minimal caster I can think of is hexblade).

    These minimal casters represent the least amount of magical knowledge you can pick up over an epic career across twenty levels. It's just so unlikely that you fight nightcrawlers and dread wraiths all over, and never think to yourself: "Well this death ward has saved my ass yet again, maybe I should learn to cast that thing sometime, this cleric may not always be there to do it for me!".

    A high-level D&D character without magic is like a decorated commando without electronics. Yes, you're very deadly, but where is your night vision, your radio, your satnav? Life's just so much better if you don't ignore part of the world's physics.
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    Default Re: How do you justify Rangers having spells?

    I don't justify it because it had never been something that I had ever considered needs justification. It's like asking me to justify a why a fighter can use a sword.
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    Default Re: How do you justify Rangers having spells?

    Quote Originally Posted by KillianHawkeye View Post
    Rangers are just Aragorns who took a minor in Druidic magic because there was that one chapter in Return of the King where Aragorn healed some people. #TrueStory
    D&D rangers don't really have anything in common with Aragorn other than "hey we're out in the woods."

    Aragorn
    Two weapon fighting? Nope.
    Archery? Nothing special.
    Spells? Nope still.
    Animal Companion? Big bag of nope.

    Aragorn isn't a d&d ranger.

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    Fresh and exciting doesn't exist in a game that's almost old enough to drive. Which is why it's extra fun every time someone comes in to say that no, fighters are totally a real character class, because you all missed that one thing or that other one thing and once I saw a fighter beat up a squirrel.

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    Default Re: How do you justify Rangers having spells?

    I've always flavored it as unique tricks that Rangers can do, which is the common method, but more and more I'm thinking of it as Rangers being friendly with vaguely defined "nature spirits' and essentially going "hey friendly invisible sylph thing, can I ask you for a favor?"
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    Default Re: How do you justify Rangers having spells?

    Quote Originally Posted by inuyasha View Post
    I've always flavored it as unique tricks that Rangers can do, which is the common method, but more and more I'm thinking of it as Rangers being friendly with vaguely defined "nature spirits' and essentially going "hey friendly invisible sylph thing, can I ask you for a favor?"
    That's a cool fluff. I like that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Deophaun;
    I'm imagining this guy when he's lvl 20, asked to give a speech for the graduating class of the Magicianl Institute of Theurgy: "Who will answer the call? If you're smart, not you! Abandoning my comrades to certain death has made me the successful mage I am today. When the world sends a hellcat to rip out the throats of your friends, you stay on that floor and milk as much healing out of your healer as possible."

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    Default Re: How do you justify Rangers having spells?

    *shrug* Rangers in D&D have always had spellcasting. I've never worried about justifying because it doesn't seem to me to need justification, as it's never been weird to me. Also, they don't really feel like a video game thing to me either, because the spellcasting ranger was a thing right around the same time that Space Invaders was a thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by LTwerewolf
    D&D rangers don't really have anything in common with Aragorn other than "hey we're out in the woods."

    Aragorn
    Two weapon fighting? Nope.
    Archery? Nothing special.
    Spells? Nope still.
    Animal Companion? Big bag of nope.

    Aragorn isn't a d&d ranger.
    And yet, the D&D Ranger is explicitly based on Aragorn. Go figure.
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: How do you justify Rangers having spells?

    I agree that it's awkward.

    Especially since they don't even start with spells. They're just generic trackers (who sometimes fight with two swords for some reason?), then all of a sudden once they've killed their Xth Orc, they start plucking badgers out of thin air. It's something we usually just look past with Rangers and multiclassed casters, but it's still weird when it gets brought up head on, especially in a singleclassed core character.

    It's least awkward when they're just casting subtle effects like Charm Animal or spells that improve their senses, but effects like catching their swords on fire or physically transforming into a wolf just kind of demand that you don't take the game world too seriously.
    Last edited by Pluto!; 2016-06-27 at 07:23 PM.

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