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  1. - Top - End - #91
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: By request: Workshopping another Ranger

    Hmmm, what an option for setting traps in nature's boon?

    Maybe something like:
    You can set up traps when you finish a short or long rest, each requires 2 pieces of ammunition and uses whatever materials you have around you. The number of traps you can set up is equal to your wisdom modifier (minimum one). For each trap, designate a 5ft. square. When a creature enter that area, they must succeed on a dexterity saving throw or take 2d4 damage. The DC for avoiding it, noticing it, and disabling it is equal to 8 + your survival skill.

    If you pick this again, a creature that is damaged by this is restrained until the start of it's next turn.

  2. - Top - End - #92
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    Chimera

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    Default Re: By request: Workshopping another Ranger

    Quote Originally Posted by paladinn View Post
    Not anymore.. I'm out
    Since Paladinn is no longer with us in the thread, I think we should carry on with the last few mechanics for the Ranger. Though to address his point about video game shiny levels: the phb ranger has both a fluff and mechanical problem. On top, we are making it less magical. To properly catch the thematic feel, fun/unique playstyle and make it relevant next to high level casters, we have to invent some features. Since the main issue is, that the current phb ranger features don't live up to those criteria.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kane0
    Seasoned Explorer (14)
    As long as you are not incapacitated, you and up to five creatures you choose within 30 feet of you cannot be surprised.
    I think this is a straight forward feature, though I would also classify this as a combat feature and not utility. I'm having trouble coming up with ideas for a utility option myself though.

    About putting a trap option (placing traps, not describing the option :) ) suggested by Fnissalot, I think this would do better as a subclass. Making an actual Trapper subclass later on with a range of different traps and set-ups.

  3. - Top - End - #93
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: By request: Workshopping another Ranger

    Quote Originally Posted by Fnissalot View Post
    You can set up traps when you finish a short or long rest, each requires 2 pieces of ammunition and uses whatever materials you have around you. The number of traps you can set up is equal to your wisdom modifier (minimum one). For each trap, designate a 5ft. square. When a creature enter that area, they must succeed on a dexterity saving throw or take 2d4 damage. The DC for avoiding it, noticing it, and disabling it is equal to 8 + your survival skill.
    That is actually not bad as a selectable, albeit a bit clunky. I think this would be a nice addition when we publish the Kane0's Magnificent Emporium expanson around christmas season, but not a good idea right now. We don't want to bloat the poor class.

    We can also include a trapmaker's kit in the same book
    .
    Trapmakerís Kit
    As a part of a short rest you can create a rudimentary trap. You can either create a Hunting Trap, or a simple mechanism using a trip-wire or pressure plate which can exert up to 10 pounds of force to an object within 15 feet of the trigger. This can be used to close a self-locking door, sound an alarm, trigger a crossbow to fire, or empty a strategically placed container of Oil or (more commonly) poisonous snakes

    ----------------------

    I was looking at how this class builds on its base feature. Looks good to everyone?

    Base Class Quarry Uses
    - Bonus to damage rolls
    - Damage Reduction
    - Reroll attack rolls

    Beastmaster
    - Bonus to beast damage

    Hunter
    - Reroll Quarry damage
    - Eternal Hunter

    Warden
    - Spell as a bonus action
    Last edited by Bjarkmundur; 2019-09-05 at 02:54 AM.

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  4. - Top - End - #94
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: By request: Workshopping another Ranger

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjarkmundur View Post
    That is actually not bad as a selectable, albeit a bit clunky. I think this would be a nice addition when we publish the Kane0's Magnificent Emporium expanson around christmas season, but not a good idea right now. We don't want to bloat the poor class.

    We can also include a trapmaker's kit in the same book
    .
    Trapmakerís Kit
    As a part of a short rest you can create a rudimentary trap. You can either create a Hunting Trap, or a simple mechanism using a trip-wire or pressure plate which can exert up to 10 pounds of force to an object within 15 feet of the trigger. This can be used to close a self-locking door, sound an alarm, trigger a crossbow to fire, or empty a strategically placed container of Oil or (more commonly) poisonous snakes

    ----------------------

    I was looking at how this class builds on its base feature. Looks good to everyone?

    Base Class Quarry Uses
    - Bonus to damage rolls
    - Damage Reduction
    - Reroll attack rolls

    Beastmaster
    - Bonus to beast damage

    Hunter
    - Reroll Quarry damage
    - Eternal Hunter

    Warden
    - Spell as a bonus action
    Ohh, that kit is nice and such a clean way to do it!

    -----

    I think the quarry use looks better than I expected it to!

  5. - Top - End - #95
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    Kane0's Avatar

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    Default Re: By request: Workshopping another Ranger

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaxby View Post
    I think this is a straight forward feature, though I would also classify this as a combat feature and not utility. I'm having trouble coming up with ideas for a utility option myself though.
    I was starting to draw blanks but I think it fits for now, at least until someone comes up with a better idea.

    As for traps, I think it could be fine as either a subclass feature or option under Nature's Boon, right alongside poisons. Personally I think a subclass feature or two would do more justice to the concept but i'm leaving it open to debate.

    Now I don't want to jump the gun but I have a rough concept for the two expanded subclasses:

    Stalker
    - Trade quarry damage for bonus to the attack roll instead
    - Selection of traps and poisons with varying effects
    - Darkvision, Ambush and Shadow-dodge features derived from Gloom Stalker

    Slayer
    - Add riders to attacks against marked quarry ala Battlemaster/Arcane Archer
    - Favored enemy (all WIS and INT checks, can change it to a quarry's type when you drop one to 0 HP)
    - Teleporting movement derived from Horizon Walker
    - Marking a quarry tells you their resistances/immunities/vulnerabilities
    - Limited phasing abilities to see or move through solid objects

    To be refined of course

  6. - Top - End - #96
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    PaladinGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kane0 View Post
    Now I don't want to jump the gun
    Good. Let's not ;)

    At least, let's not clutter the OP with more stuff. It's supposed to be a clean and concise ranger base.

    I don't have anything against making a new thread, however, with some additional content :D

    There we could go a bit more 'out there' since the design goals would be to expand and experiment rather than just making a clean ranger rework.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fnissalot View Post
    Ohh, that kit is nice and such a clean way to do it!
    Thanks! I did it for the Kobold thread.
    Having a playable Kobold and not give him the ability to create traps is just completely insane to me.
    Last edited by Bjarkmundur; 2019-09-05 at 06:18 AM.

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  7. - Top - End - #97
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    Chimera

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    Default Re: By request: Workshopping another Ranger

    I tried writing a clean piece of text for the beastmaster companion, as it is the only feature where the text is still in note-form. I basically just took the PHB text and modified it to fit the homebrew options:

    You gain a beast companion that accompanies you on your adventures and is trained to fight alongside you. Choose a beast that is no larger than Large and that has a challenge rating of 1/4 or lower (appendix D of the PHB presents statistics for the hawk, mastiff, and panther as examples). Add your proficiency bonus to the beastís AC, attack rolls, and damage rolls, as well as to any saving throws and skills it is proficient in. It also deals the bonus damage from your Quarry feature when attacking a target marked as such.
    Its hit point maximum equals 4 + its Constitution modifier, for every level of ranger you have. It has the same maximum number of Hit Dice as you do.

    The beast obeys your commands as best as it can. It takes its turn on your initiative, and you can use a bonus action to verbally command it to take the Attack, Dash, Disengage, or Help action. If you do not command the beast to take any action, the beast can take the Dodge action and/or move up to its movement speed (no action require by you).

    If you fall unconscious, your beast will attempt to move and stay within 5 feet of you, and defend you from enemies.

    If the beast dies, you can obtain another beast companion by spending a long rest calling and bonding with another beast.


    I don't know how to precisely say (4+con mod)*lvl in text form without ending up with the possibility of understanding it as 4 + (con mod *lvl), but I tried.

    I also added a "will try and stay within 5 feet" of your cold dead body, but I don't know if that will lead to situation where the beast has to choose between staying within 5 feet of you and then defending you against a monster with reach.

  8. - Top - End - #98
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    RedKnightGirl

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaxby View Post
    The beast obeys your commands as best as it can. It takes its turn on your initiative, and you can use a bonus action to verbally command it to take the Attack, Dash, Disengage, or Help action. If you do not command the beast to take any action, the beast can take the Dodge action and/or move up to its movement speed (no action require by you).
    This seems to imply that the beast cannot move if you give it a command (aside from Dash). Is this desired? I would expect you to be able to command the beast companion to move and attack all at once, including things like standing up if it got knocked prone.

    If it should be able to move regardless of the command, I would write it as:
    The beast obeys your commands as best as it can. It takes its turn on your initiative. You can use a bonus action to verbally command it to take the Attack, Dash, Disengage, or Help action, or allow it to take the Dodge action if you do not explicitly command it. It may use its movement freely, with or without a direct command from you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaxby View Post
    I also added a "will try and stay within 5 feet" of your cold dead body, but I don't know if that will lead to situation where the beast has to choose between staying within 5 feet of you and then defending you against a monster with reach.
    Defending doesn't necessarily mean attacking. It may provide cover from any attacks made against your body. Can it Ready an action to interfere with an attack? What reactions does it have available? Might it have something like the Protection fighting style? That would seem appropriate.

    When a creature you can see attacks a creature other than you that is within 5 feet of you, you can use your reaction to impose disadvantage on the attack roll.
    Dropped the bit about needing a shield. But yeah, this is more of what I was imagining. The companion is dedicating everything towards protecting your body, so having this ability in that circumstance seems right.

    The companion should certainly stay within 5' of you, since obviously the above wouldn't work if it moved away. On the other hand, most of the time having reach means the attacker can be 10' away from the target, but that still leaves the attacker within 5' of where the companion can roam (ie: within 5' of the ranger's body), so it doesn't really have to move away from the body anyway.

    Do you think it's worth it as a general ability? That the ranger can command the beast to protect himself (or others)? Would restrict the companion's movement, and only works against one attack per round (using the reaction)...

    I would probably give it this ability automatically if the ranger falls unconscious. Should it be in the default list of commands, or only be acquired after a certain level? It uses the companion's action, so it wouldn't be able to attack as well as protect, but it could be a very nice feature; sort of a mini-Dodge for a specified person. ... After some thought, I don't think putting a level restriction on it is appropriate. It feels like something that should be part of the class flavor from the start.

    Example:
    Ranger: "Protect the healer!"
    Healer: <Attempting to heal the downed Fighter in the middle of a fight>
    Wolf: Moves to stand guard around the healer, growling at anyone who approaches, and able to use its reaction to impose disadvantage on one attack against the healer.

    I really like this, actually. It perfectly fits in with what I would expect an animal companion to do in a fight, and is a good counterpart to Help.

    It would end up something like:

    You acquire a beast companion that accompanies you on your adventures and is trained to fight alongside you. Choose a beast that is no larger than Large and that has a challenge rating of 1/4 or lower (appendix D of the PHB presents statistics for the hawk, mastiff, and panther as examples). Add your proficiency bonus to the beastís AC, attack rolls, and damage rolls, as well as to any saving throws and skills it is proficient in. It also deals the bonus damage from your Quarry feature when attacking a target marked as such.

    Its hit point maximum equals 4 + its Constitution modifier, for every level of ranger you have. It has the same maximum number of Hit Dice as you do.

    The beast obeys your commands as best as it can. It takes its turn on your initiative. You can use a bonus action to verbally command it to take the Attack, Dash, Disengage, Protect, or Help action, or allow it to take the Dodge action if you do not explicitly command it. It may use its movement freely, with or without a direct command from you.

    If you fall unconscious, your beast will attempt to move and stay within 5 feet of you, and defend you from enemies, acting as if it had been commanded to take the Protect action.

    If the beast dies, you can obtain another beast companion by spending a long rest calling and bonding with another beast.


    Protect action: When a creature you can see (or otherwise detect using a Keen sense) attacks a designated creature other than you that is within 5 feet of you, you can use your reaction to impose disadvantage on the attack roll.
    Not sure the "can see" part is always appropriate with all animal companions, so added a little rider in there.

    Edit: Added "designated creature" instead of just any creature, because a Protect action should have a specific focus (which is a bit more limited than the more generalized fighting style).
    Last edited by Moxxmix; 2019-09-06 at 05:09 PM.

  9. - Top - End - #99
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    Kane0's Avatar

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    Default Re: By request: Workshopping another Ranger

    That sounds like an excellent start, i'll edit it in

    On another note, how does this sound for an ability:
    Favored Enemy: [When you get this feature] choose one creature type. You can add your Quarry die as a bonus to Intelligence and Wisdom checks regarding this creature type. When you reduce a marked quarry to 0 Hit Points you can choose to change your Favored Enemy type to match that of the creature you felled.

    Could even replace the Hunter 3 proficiency/expertise.

  10. - Top - End - #100
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    RedKnightGirl

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    Default Re: By request: Workshopping another Ranger

    Quote Originally Posted by Kane0 View Post
    That sounds like an excellent start, i'll edit it in

    On another note, how does this sound for an ability:
    Favored Enemy: [When you get this feature] choose one creature type. You can add your Quarry die as a bonus to Intelligence and Wisdom checks regarding this creature type. When you reduce a marked quarry to 0 Hit Points you can choose to change your Favored Enemy type to match that of the creature you felled.

    Could even replace the Hunter 3 proficiency/expertise.
    Oh, I do like that as a replacement for Hunter 3. Mechanically it's not too terribly different, but flavor-wise it fits well. It brings back the Favored Enemy concept without binding it to a single race. Also doesn't allow you to cheat; can't get the bonus for dragons if you've never killed a dragon, for example.

    Only really works because of the Quarry feature, which helps support Quarry as a strong core feature. And it feels more suited to the Hunter than the other subclasses, so making it a subclass feature instead of a class feature is fine.
    Last edited by Moxxmix; 2019-09-07 at 03:47 AM.

  11. - Top - End - #101
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: By request: Workshopping another Ranger

    I love the beast change, it makes it feel much more alive!

    I kinda like the Favored Enemy, although I would like a different name. Why Wisdom checks though? Isn't this just a 'studied mark' where the hunter gains info on his target as he gains experience from defeating it?

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  12. - Top - End - #102
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    RedKnightGirl

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    Default Re: By request: Workshopping another Ranger

    Looking at what command options the Beastmaster has, with the addition of the Protect action I would guess that the three most common commands would be:

    1) Attack [that target]
    2) Help me attack [this target]
    3) Protect [that person]

    One of the main problems with animal companions is that they're very easy to kill. If their primary use is [attack that target], then that target is obviously going to retaliate, and make your animal companion more likely to die. The Help command is less likely to have that happen, since a player is the principal opponent, there. Other actions, like Dash, Disengage, and Dodge, are mostly the animal companion not doing anything, and thus not being a useful class feature. I suspect most players will always want their animal companion to do something, and that the limits on what they can do without quickly dying are pretty limited.

    Protect, on the other hand, introduces an entirely new dynamic. The animal companion is being actively useful to someone other than itself, so the player feels like having the companion actually matters, while at the same time being slightly less of an active target. Yes, an enemy could attack the wolf protecting the healer, but all that does it take time away from its real goal: killing the healer. It's a way to gain time for someone else, and maybe take a hit if the enemy wants to get the animal out of the way, while not being the most direct target. And if the enemy does switch focus, you can change the order to Dodge just to buy more time.

    It adds a defensive element that is sorely lacking in 5E. It's not terribly useful for players because it uses up an action, and killing an enemy to keep it from attacking is almost always better than just trying to disadvantage one of its attacks. It also has minimal effect on dice rolling, so it has less time cost than making the animal companion attack. One of the major issues with minions is slowing down combat; this allows you to avoid that downside while still being actively useful.

    And of course one of the problems with balancing a Beastmaster ranger was making sure it didn't get too powerful because of the extra damage from the animal companion. If the class leans more towards a protective/defensive playstyle, though, that balance issue is reduced. It also suggests uses for the companion that are already possible, but don't spring to mind as much because of the mechanical design. For example, the companion using its Attack action to grapple or knock down an enemy.

    Thus the overall feel for this subclass drifts away from pure damage, leaving that to the Hunter. Instead, the Beastmaster has an incredibly versatile assistant, allowing him to protect others, subdue targets, summon help, etc, without necessarily raising the damage threshold very much.

    I might even suggest changing the Quarry die effect for the animal companion. Rather than have it add damage to the companion's attack, make it a bonus to skill or attack checks which target the current quarry. Examples: Tracking a fleeing target. Grappling the quarry to keep it from running. Knocking the quarry down with a pounce/shove.

    May need to look into how this interacts with what (if any) skills animals have. Almost no animals are granted skills other than Perception and Stealth, so currently trying to do a shove attack, which requires an Athletics check, is rather pointless. The Quarry die is, on average, roughly equal to proficiency, and at best matches expertise. Tracking or grappling with the current quarry would be much more viable if using the Quarry die as a bonus.

    I'd been considering the issue of power balance due to how much the Quarry die interacts with the ranger's damage output. Taking that damage away from the animal companion I think will help keep it from getting too overpowered in that sense, while still allowing it to be powerful in a more utility sense.
    Last edited by Moxxmix; 2019-09-07 at 04:48 PM.

  13. - Top - End - #103
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: By request: Workshopping another Ranger

    Check out 4e's sentinel,, their beasts had auras that passively helped nearby allies. Its a good inspiration for increasing the beasts versatility laterally, instead of trying to make it less or more powerful.

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  14. - Top - End - #104
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moxxmix View Post
    Looking at what command options the Beastmaster has, with the addition of the Protect action I would guess that the three most common commands would be:

    1) Attack [that target]
    2) Help me attack [this target]
    3) Protect [that person]

    One of the main problems with animal companions is that they're very easy to kill. If their primary use is [attack that target], then that target is obviously going to retaliate, and make your animal companion more likely to die. The Help command is less likely to have that happen, since a player is the principal opponent, there. Other actions, like Dash, Disengage, and Dodge, are mostly the animal companion not doing anything, and thus not being a useful class feature. I suspect most players will always want their animal companion to do something, and that the limits on what they can do without quickly dying are pretty limited.

    Protect, on the other hand, introduces an entirely new dynamic. The animal companion is being actively useful to someone other than itself, so the player feels like having the companion actually matters, while at the same time being slightly less of an active target. Yes, an enemy could attack the wolf protecting the healer, but all that does it take time away from its real goal: killing the healer. It's a way to gain time for someone else, and maybe take a hit if the enemy wants to get the animal out of the way, while not being the most direct target. And if the enemy does switch focus, you can change the order to Dodge just to buy more time.

    It adds a defensive element that is sorely lacking in 5E. It's not terribly useful for players because it uses up an action, and killing an enemy to keep it from attacking is almost always better than just trying to disadvantage one of its attacks. It also has minimal effect on dice rolling, so it has less time cost than making the animal companion attack. One of the major issues with minions is slowing down combat; this allows you to avoid that downside while still being actively useful.

    And of course one of the problems with balancing a Beastmaster ranger was making sure it didn't get too powerful because of the extra damage from the animal companion. If the class leans more towards a protective/defensive playstyle, though, that balance issue is reduced. It also suggests uses for the companion that are already possible, but don't spring to mind as much because of the mechanical design. For example, the companion using its Attack action to grapple or knock down an enemy.

    Thus the overall feel for this subclass drifts away from pure damage, leaving that to the Hunter. Instead, the Beastmaster has an incredibly versatile assistant, allowing him to protect others, subdue targets, summon help, etc, without necessarily raising the damage threshold very much.

    I might even suggest changing the Quarry die effect for the animal companion. Rather than have it add damage to the companion's attack, make it a bonus to skill or attack checks which target the current quarry. Examples: Tracking a fleeing target. Grappling the quarry to keep it from running. Knocking the quarry down with a pounce/shove.

    May need to look into how this interacts with what (if any) skills animals have. Almost no animals are granted skills other than Perception and Stealth, so currently trying to do a shove attack, which requires an Athletics check, is rather pointless. The Quarry die is, on average, roughly equal to proficiency, and at best matches expertise. Tracking or grappling with the current quarry would be much more viable if using the Quarry die as a bonus.

    I'd been considering the issue of power balance due to how much the Quarry die interacts with the ranger's damage output. Taking that damage away from the animal companion I think will help keep it from getting too overpowered in that sense, while still allowing it to be powerful in a more utility sense.
    The ranger can always get that extra die with TWF anyway so it won't be that big difference?

    Adding a range of command words that you teach your companion as you level up is an interesting prospect. Something similar to battle masters special attacks. Most of the commands should be bonus actions to try to balance out the strength of the companion. I would also be tempted to give the companion proficiencies in a skill and Dex saves around tier 2 to make them more useful and less easy to kill?

    Some commands could be including what you said:
    Attack
    Distract (help action or give disadvantage or try to break concentration?)
    Grab (grapple)
    Pounce (shove)
    Protect (defend someone, either add a quarry die to AC or disadvantage on attacking them?)
    Fetch (return object, ammo or thrown weapon)
    Guard (extra opportunity attacks/reactions for one turn)
    Frighten (howling or barking to cause fear for 1 turn)
    Heels (attacks their feats to slow them?)
    Puppy eyes (try to charm them into thinking you are a good boy! (Yes you are!))
    Catch (reaction to stop ranged weapon attack?)
    Stop (reaction to opportunity attack, 0 movement speed until your turn?)
    Last edited by Fnissalot; 2019-09-08 at 12:32 AM.

  15. - Top - End - #105
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    Chimera

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    Default Re: By request: Workshopping another Ranger

    Quote Originally Posted by Moxxmix View Post
    This seems to imply that the beast cannot move if you give it a command (aside from Dash). Is this desired? I would expect you to be able to command the beast companion to move and attack all at once, including things like standing up if it got knocked prone.
    Yes, you are quite right. It was not intended that the beast cannot move without an action command. Your description is much better.

    With the protection option text, should it maybe say "the beast" instead of "you", to prevent confusion with the player character?

    Favoured Enemy: I have only played 5e, so I don't have any nostalgia or knowledge of how the feature worked in previous editions. Only that it is wonky and annoying in 5e. Therefore I am apprehensive about bringing it back into this rework.

    Though I think the reworked FE captures the feel of the PHB one pretty well, while being less restrictive, I prefer the expertise option. It is always applicable, and you won't have the issue of going against a dragon, wanting to track it/gain info, but only having your feature available after you have killed it.

    This is of course an extreme example, as you might kill several orcs after the first one, in which case you would gain the benefit.

  16. - Top - End - #106
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    Default Re: By request: Workshopping another Ranger

    Currently I have the companion as a bonus action to issue an action on its part, with the protect function being a reaction as part of the level 7 feature. I'm not super keen on adding tricks you teach it will probably run into the battlemaster problem of picking the ones you want and then having just the ones you dont after that, or wanting more than you can get and feeling like you are missing half your pet.

    Doing some quick numbermath a bonus action for one beast attack appears appropriate, I might need to specify they don't get multiattack if that becomes an issue.

  17. - Top - End - #107
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    RedKnightGirl

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    Default Re: By request: Workshopping another Ranger

    Quote Originally Posted by Fnissalot View Post
    The ranger can always get that extra die with TWF anyway so it won't be that big difference?

    Adding a range of command words that you teach your companion as you level up is an interesting prospect. Something similar to battle masters special attacks. Most of the commands should be bonus actions to try to balance out the strength of the companion. I would also be tempted to give the companion proficiencies in a skill and Dex saves around tier 2 to make them more useful and less easy to kill?

    Some commands could be including what you said:
    Attack
    Distract (help action or give disadvantage or try to break concentration?)
    Grab (grapple)
    Pounce (shove)
    Protect (defend someone, either add a quarry die to AC or disadvantage on attacking them?)
    Fetch (return object, ammo or thrown weapon)
    Guard (extra opportunity attacks/reactions for one turn)
    Frighten (howling or barking to cause fear for 1 turn)
    Heels (attacks their feats to slow them?)
    Puppy eyes (try to charm them into thinking you are a good boy! (Yes you are!))
    Catch (reaction to stop ranged weapon attack?)
    Stop (reaction to opportunity attack, 0 movement speed until your turn?)
    Hmm.

    Attack: Includes normal attack, shove, and grapple, assuming the companion's attack works the same as a player's attack. It's also sufficient to trigger concentration checks on casters, just like any attack. So Grab/Pounce/Distract/Heels aren't needed as explicit mechanics.

    Protect: If using the Protection fighting style as a base, it would give disadvantage as a reaction, but it could also use the Cavalier's Warding Maneuver as a template, and add the Quarry die to the guarded target's AC. Need to give it some thought for balance and flavor.

    Fetch: Amusing, but I'm not sure it needs a strict mechanic, given Object Interaction is a thing. Might need to be explicit in that the companion can perform object interactions as part of its turn, though, in the same auto-allow as movement, reactions, etc. It makes sense to allow the animal to pick things up, push open doors, knock over tables, etc.

    Guard: I'm not sure whether or not this is needed. On the one hand, you could tell the companion to stay in one spot and attack anyone that comes near. On the other hand, the Attack command doesn't quite work that way. Aside from seemingly assuming an explicit target, you need to give it the command every turn to get it to attack, and Guard feels like a set-and-forget kind of command. Not as useful in combat, but more of, "Guard this doorway; don't let anyone through." kinda thing. I think I would be OK with it, but it needs a deeper evaluation.

    Catch: I'd say no on this one. It starts breaking suspension of disbelief.

    Frighten/Puppy Eyes: I love the idea of it for flavor. Just not sure how to work with it mechanically. Would start with allowing the animal companion to use arbitrary skills. The main problem is that it doesn't feel like it would work right if it requires the verbal command, but that starts creating exceptions to the verbal requirements for giving commands (which allows Silence to interfere with commands). Puppy Eyes feels like pure non-combat, so more of a roleplaying thing than a mechanical thing. I don't think I'm quite comfortable allowing a frighten effect from a command in combat. I would most likely consider it a flavoring of having the animal companion Help you on an Intimidate check. In fact, considering these as manifestations of the Help action fits pretty well both in and out of combat.

    Stop: Not sure I really understand this one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaxby
    Favoured Enemy: I have only played 5e, so I don't have any nostalgia or knowledge of how the feature worked in previous editions. Only that it is wonky and annoying in 5e. Therefore I am apprehensive about bringing it back into this rework.

    Though I think the reworked FE captures the feel of the PHB one pretty well, while being less restrictive, I prefer the expertise option. It is always applicable, and you won't have the issue of going against a dragon, wanting to track it/gain info, but only having your feature available after you have killed it.

    This is of course an extreme example, as you might kill several orcs after the first one, in which case you would gain the benefit.
    Thinking on it more, I think I'm leaning back away from it, and back towards the proficiencies. It does have a cool flavor to it at first blush, but the mechanics of how it would play out does feel like it would start to become irritating over time.

  18. - Top - End - #108
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    RedKnightGirl

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    Default Re: By request: Workshopping another Ranger

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjarkmundur View Post
    Check out 4e's sentinel,, their beasts had auras that passively helped nearby allies. Its a good inspiration for increasing the beasts versatility laterally, instead of trying to make it less or more powerful.
    At this point I think we're just playing around with ideas of how the beast can be used with the existing mechanics. I'd be against adding auras, as that seems to be getting overly-complicated. If we're just fishing for more ideas of what the beast could do, I don't think we really need to go much further.


    Primary actions:

    Attack: Normal attack, grapple (nullify movement), shove, knock prone; these are all things that can be done with the Attack action, and gives plenty of concept space to work with the flavor of how your companion acts in combat. The only thing I'd add is an assumed proficiency in Athletics for the animal companion ó though probably only for non-flyers.

    Help: At base, it only applies allowing the companion to give you advantage on an attack. However Help is also valid for skill checks, and being creative can give lots of flavor, such as the intimidating growl or puppy dog eyes when trying to intimidate or charm someone.

    Object Interaction: Need to add this as a default thing that can be done, just like movement and reactions. This alone has tons of flavorful uses, as well as occasional tactical ones. (EG: Your hawk swoops down and snatches the ritual dagger from its stand, stymieing the cultist about to perform a dark ceremony!) Rather than adding an extra command for this, though, it may be easier to just treat it as a way that the animal companion can perform the Help action. (EG: "Help slow him down!" <Wolf knocks over furniture in the way, creating difficult terrain.>)

    Protect: As described earlier.

    It may be easier to rewrite how the companion's turn works, than keep fiddling with what it's "allowed" to do outside the commands. Something like:

    The beast has a full standard turn, which it takes on your initiative. You can use a bonus action to verbally command it to take the Attack, Dash, Disengage, Protect, or Help action, which the beast obeys as best as it can. If you do not give it a command, it may use its action to Dodge.
    "Full standard turn" would then imply the beast can move, take reactions, and make object interactions, in addition to the standard action which is determined by the ranger's command (or Dodge, if no command is given). I'm pretty sure this wouldn't need any extra details tacked on for anything else.

    If Help is not sufficient for the handling of object interaction, then perhaps:

    The beast has a full standard turn, which it takes on your initiative. You can use a bonus action to verbally command it to take the Attack, Dash, Disengage, Protect, or Help action, or a general command involving Object Interaction, which the beast obeys as best as it can. If you do not give it a command, it may use its action to Dodge.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaxby
    With the protection option text, should it maybe say "the beast" instead of "you", to prevent confusion with the player character?
    I just wrote it as a generic action, and thus available to anyone, and then applied it to the animal companion. I wasn't trying to Battlemaster it, as a special companion skill, although if you want to limit it in that way that's fine.

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    Chimera

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kane0 View Post
    Currently I have the companion as a bonus action to issue an action on its part, with the protect function being a reaction as part of the level 7 feature. I'm not super keen on adding tricks you teach it will probably run into the battlemaster problem of picking the ones you want and then having just the ones you dont after that, or wanting more than you can get and feeling like you are missing half your pet.
    Yes, when I said action, I meant the beast's action and therefore the player's bonus action.
    I was under the impression though, that the protection thing should be issued as a bonus action command by the player, and the beast then using its action to assume the "protection stance" giving disadvantage on attacks made by a creature towards a designated target. But I guess reaction also makes sense.

    Shouldn't "the beast moves within 5 feet of your unconscious body etc" feature be part of the first, main beast companion feature? Otherwise, what does the beast do when you fall unconscious at lvl 3?

    Different beast action types: I think we should try and keep the description of the companion mechanic as short and simple as possible. I would say that picking up a sword and minor stuff like that is covered by the move "action" which the beast can do for free. And if it gets more complicated then that, its either a DM call or a case of; maybe a beast shouldn't be able to do overly complicated item interactions.

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    PaladinGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kane0 View Post
    I'm not super keen on adding tricks you teach it.
    Yeah I think these are all thoughts that are more appriopriate post-playtesting. Specifying the multi-attack bit is probably a good idea though.

    Edit:: Won't be able to test this quite yet, but when the opportunity presents itself, I'm ready

    How did you calculate when to increase the Quarry dice size? Did you account for Quarry not applying to the first attack? Just looking at this I feel like Quarry should be 1d6 at level 3, but I don't know if the math supports this.

    Shouldn't healing salve read "Applying a healing salves requires two free hands and an action"


    Does beastcall beasts aid in combat, or are the more disney princess-esque?

    Player: I summon rats to make me a dress!
    DM: You what?
    Last edited by Bjarkmundur; 2019-09-08 at 02:52 PM.

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    Ah right okay, I've made some small adjustments to Beastmaster. It's now limited to one attack and focuses a little more on supporting others with the defending function moved back to level 3.

    @Bjarkmundur
    I sort of worked backwards for quarry dice, moving from smallest to largest die size evenly over 20 levels. Which coincidentally happens to match prof bonus in DMG proficiency dice terms.
    Healing salves logically would need two hands, but there's all sorts of that kind of thing handwaved in the books already so I tried not to start down the rabbit hole. Got a boo-boo, slap some balm on it. Just like the pally kissing it better.
    Beastcall by design would allow beasts to help you however animals would typically be able to help you. It's between you and your DM what that might entail in-game (Awakened beasts are a thing). Much like divine intervention.

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    I like how the Beastmaster is looking, although a bit confused about the protection fighting style. But, after some clean-up I think it'll make much more sense.

    Usually the Ranger will want to trigger his Quarry damage with Two-Weapon fighting on the same turn as he applies it, since it applies to every attack. This has some implications:

    - The Hunter is really bad at using a Bow.
    - The beastmaster does a lot of damage with his bonus action, since the beast adds ability modifier, proficiency bonus AND quarry to the damage roll.

    I'm not so much worried about the ranger's balance with other class as I am with the balance between subclasses.

    You CAN bump the hunter up to the beastmaster's level by removing the reroll feature and instead say "You gain a second Quarry dice of the same size. When you trigger your quarry damage, roll both dice and add the results to your attack's damage", ​ but that's assuming the beastmaster's damage is OK.

    If you really want to compare classes, it still doesn't look good. I do think it's the right decision on keeping the Ranger's damage below the damage of the rogue, but maybe just by a few points?
    Remember feats and multiclasses should not affect class balance, since those are variant rules and make everything 100 times more convoluted.

    This assumes no fighting style, since I think you removed it. With a fighting style, things look a little better (+6 with melee, but very little difference with a bow), but not much better.

    Over two turns, assuming everything hits:
    The hunter: 2d8+6+1d4 up to level 5 with a longbow
    The rogue: 2d8+6+4d6 up to level 5 with a longbow

    The hunter obviously does better with two weapons
    Hunter: 2d6+6+2d6+3d4 up to level 5 with a light weapon
    Rogue: 2d6+6+2d6+4d6 up to level 5 with a light weapon

    I am by no means a DPR expert, I'm just making observations. I have no idea if what I'm saying means anything, or if I'm even right. But on the off chance I am, I decided to write a reply.
    Last edited by Bjarkmundur; 2019-09-08 at 06:46 PM.

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  23. - Top - End - #113
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    Default Re: By request: Workshopping another Ranger

    That is a good point, the Warden has access to Hunter's Mark which also puts it ahead of the Hunter. I'll make some changes.

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    Did you remove the fighting styles? I think that's a good choice, to create design space elsewhere.

    You might need some special features on the base class, since using a bow is just down right awful because the quarry damage isn't triggered until next turn. You might even have to make a new selectable :S

    Bull's Strength: Ignore light requirement for two-weapon fighting.
    Eagle's Eyes: Quarry as a bonus action

    Maybe those two are enough, but maybe you can add a third option to give the beastmaster more freedom on how he uses is beast:

    Wolf's Pack v1: Advantage on attack rolls against creatures within 5 feet of your beast.
    Wolf's Pack v2: Your beast triggers quarry damage.
    Wolf's Pack v3: Your beast has the Protection Fighting Style.

    I think its okay that melee does more damage than the archer, since it creates a risk/reward scenario.
    Last edited by Bjarkmundur; 2019-09-08 at 06:59 PM.

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    Derp, forgot to write in the Fighting Styles. Same ones as the PHB plus some extras.

    Edit: Also Quarry triggers on any hit after the first so extra attack, bonus action attack and opportunity attack can all get it. Yes archers generally don't get those (crossbow mastery excluded) but they do get other nice things like not being in claw range and one of the better fighting styles.
    Last edited by Kane0; 2019-09-08 at 07:06 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kane0 View Post
    Derp, forgot to write in the Fighting Styles. Same ones as the PHB plus some extras.
    I don't think you should, since it only makes the problem worse...

    AND

    if you're gonna use them, use them as written. We are doing this for the masses, so using our personal homebrewed fighting styles is in poor taste.

    Just make a completely new feature called Way of The Hunt or something, instead of creating a discrepancy between this and official mechanics.
    Last edited by Bjarkmundur; 2019-09-08 at 07:14 PM.

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    Default Re: By request: Workshopping another Ranger

    I have to agree I don't think the fighting styles make sense at this point...

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    Taking another pass at reviewing the current text. This time, beast companion hit points.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beastmaster
    Its hit point maximum equals 4 + its Constitution modifier, for every level of ranger you have. It has the same maximum number of Hit Dice (which are d8s) as you do.
    It's nice that you specified the type of hit dice the animal companion has, however this now feels like it's slightly skewed in implementation. The default "average" HP that you gain with a d8 hit die is 5 points, but you specify the animal gaining 4 HP instead (which is the default average for a d6 hit die).

    Is there a reason for those specific selections? What is the metric used for determining how much HP the beast should have?

    Example Con bonuses: Wolf +1, Raven -1, Panther +0, Mastiff +1, Lion +1, Hawk -1, Black Bear +2, Brown Bear +3.

    It looks like you'll be restricted to between 0 and +1 prior to level 7 (CR 1/4), unless you take a CR 0 creature like a hawk or bat, in which case you're likely getting Con -1. At CR 1/2 (level 7), Con bonuses range from +0 to +2. At CR 1 (level 14), Con bonuses range from +1 to +3. There may be other animals that fall outside this range, but this feels fairly representative of what I see in a quick scan.

    So, picking some levels at random, with average and high Con bonuses, and using the base 4 HP value:

    Level 5: Panther: 20 HP; Wolf: 25 HP
    Level 10: Giant Goat: 50 HP; Black Bear: 60 HP
    Level 15: Dire Wolf: 90 HP; Brown Bear: 105 HP

    Using a 5 HP value, you'd have:

    Level 5: Panther: 25 HP; Wolf: 30 HP
    Level 10: Giant Goat: 60 HP; Black Bear: 70 HP
    Level 15: Dire Wolf: 105 HP; Brown Bear: 120 HP

    Compared with the ranger himself, with an expected 14 Con:

    Level 5: 44 HP
    Level 10: 84 HP
    Level 15: 124 HP

    The only HP value of note that I'd consider particularly significant would be at level 5. Average Fireball damage is 28. If the animal companion fails the saving throw, the 4 HP per level wolf will probably die, while the 5 HP wolf has a chance to survive (though likely with only 1 or 2 HP left). The wolf also has the highest HP that a companion is likely to have, with the +1 Con bonus. A panther would be at 20-25 HP, and would almost certainly die from a fireball.

    Given that deaths from AOEs are a notable concern for beastmasters, this makes me lean towards the 5 HP per level setup. In fact, it may be easier to use standard HP growth mechanics. IE:

    The beast's level is equal to your ranger level, and it has a d8 hit die. It is granted 8 HP + Constitution modifier for 1st level, and gains 5 HP + Constitution modifier for each level above that.
    Using this scaling, we'd end up with:

    Level 5: Panther: 28 HP; Wolf: 33 HP
    Level 10: Giant Goat: 63 HP; Black Bear: 73 HP
    Level 15: Dire Wolf: 108 HP; Brown Bear: 123 HP

    The wolf should survive a Fireball, while the panther is borderline. Cone of Cold at 10th level isn't a real risk (average of 36 damage). Sunburst at 15th level is also a non-risk (averaging 42 damage), although Meteor Swarm at 17th level averages 140. Probably shouldn't balance for Meteor Swarm.

    So, are those higher level beast HPs appropriate? The feeling I get is that the companion needs a boost at low levels to survive early AOEs (Fireball being the prime offender), but doesn't need to scale a huge amount at higher levels.

    If Fireball wasn't so overtuned for its level, this wouldn't be such an issue. Tidal Wave averages 18 damage, and Erupting Earth averages 19.5 damage, and both of those are 3rd level AOEs (from Xanathar's). 25 HP for the animal companion would be fine for surviving one of those attacks, and even 20 HP (Con +0) is doable.

    For a panther using the current scaling to be more likely than not to survive a Fireball, it would need to be level 8 (32 total HP at 4 HP per level). That makes it very hard to utilize most beasts in early post-Fireball levels, since you'll want to use Dodge to get advantage on the Dex save. If you're not facing off against Fireball-wielding mages, that's fine, but it's likely to be a rare GM that attacks you with Tidal Wave instead of Fireball.

    Since levels 5-8 are probably some of the most-played levels of the game, we don't want to make using the beastmaster a downer in that time period. I'm inclined to support the boosted HP scaling, even if it makes the animal companion a bit over-buff in later levels.

    One alternative is some sort of resistance or damage reduction, but I can't think of a way to introduce that that feels balanced, when it's really only compensating for two spells (Fireball and Lightning Bolt).

    Another alternative is a stronger starting boost for HP. Something like 10 HP + (4 HP + Con) per level. That helps get over the Fireball hump without overbuffing the companion at higher levels. You'd have a range of 25 (Hawk) to 30 (Panther) to 35 (Wolf) HP at level 5, which I would find acceptable. As long as you get over 45 HP by level 10 (which is basically guaranteed), you should be mostly fine from then on.

    ~~~~

    tl;dr

    Suggested revision:

    The beast's hit point maximum is equal to (4 + its Constitution modifier) HP for each level of ranger you have, plus 10. Its hit die is a d8, and it has the same number of hit dice as you do.
    Last edited by Moxxmix; 2019-09-08 at 08:21 PM.

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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: By request: Workshopping another Ranger

    I'm glad we have someone so thorough going over the beast mechanics. Cheers.
    Last edited by Bjarkmundur; 2019-09-08 at 08:12 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moxxmix View Post
    -Snip-
    Both the long and short is appreciated, i'll edit that in.

    As for Fighting style, shall I remove and move Keen Eye to level 2?

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