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Class Acts: Rangers (PFRPG) PDF

***** (based on 3 ratings)

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The Class Acts PDFs introduce new class options for the base classes and core classes featured in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Every PDF contains two full pages of high quality content (no fluff or filler)!

Class Acts: Rangers includes eighteen new character options for rangers—fifteen feats designed with the ranger in mind, and three brand new combat styles: the Beast Tamer, Firearm, and Guerilla Warfare styles.

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Product Reviews (3)

Average product rating:

***** (based on 3 ratings)

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Good Combat Styles, GREAT Feats! Nicely Done.

*****

As always, I just want make it known I was offered on the EnWorld forums (and did accept, obviously) a review copy of this product, if anyone finds that relevant. Now on to the review.

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Formatting, layout, spelling and grammar, and overall appeal are equivalent to all the other Class Acts PDFs. That is to say, nice and tidy with no mistakes that I noticed.

As the product description says, there are fifteen new feats contained in this PDF, as well as three new combat styles. A quick word about those... In general, I'm not a fan of the idea that rangers should have a million combat styles to choose from. That's the fighter's thing. However, these three styles do feel quite ranger-y, and two of the three are definately fighting styles, not weapon styles. Big difference, there. Pretty good job on these.

Now for the feats - which are absolutely the "meat" to the combat styles' "potatoes."

Ahh, now this is the good stuff. Most of these feats are based on your ranger having specific favored enemy types. While this means that any given ranger might have a hard time benefitting from more than two or three feats from this product, it also means that you'll be able to turn your favored enemy bonuses into more than just plain, numerical bonuses to attack and damage rolls. First mention goes to Vile Stalker. I love Vile Stalker. Your "vile attentions" are so evil that your celestial favored enemies can feel them from miles away. Awesome. The fiendish counterpart feat is Fiend Warden, which allows you to track plane-hopping evil outsiders. Topple Giants has a neat mechanic, and so does Knowledgeable Tracker, which is almost a must-have feat for any game in which tracking occurs on a regular basis. One gripe: I think inquisitors should have been able to qualify for this one, too!

One more feat I want to talk about is Dragonslayer. The summary on the feats table says: "Ignore the natural armor bonuses of dragons." Naturally, I was wary of this one before I ever read it, but I was definately not disappointed. The feat is balanced, and cool. You can literally make dragons choke on your arrows.

My singular gripe? Staunch Enemy. The feat is dripping with cool-factor (you give your enemy your own favored enemy bonuses against you, but you gain a big bonus if you defeat them), but it has a mechanical flaw: nothing stops you from witholding the benefits until just before you kill your foe, thus denying them the ability to use the bonuses but enabling you to collect the benefits of the feat. I realize that you can never really be sure[i] of exactly when you'll drop your opponent, but I feel that this should be errata'd to give the enemy more time to use the bonuses you have to give it.

Overall, though, I like this almost as much as I liked the witches PDF. Most of the feats are pure gold. Really innovative stuff. I highly recommend this product to ranger fans, and I give [i]Class Acts: Rangers four and a half stars. ******

- Sara McLean


4.5 stars - almost all killer and a cool addition to the Ranger-class

*****

This pdf is 5 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving 3 pages of content, so let’s check this out!

This pdf kicks off with a bang, quite literally, by providing 3 new combat styles for use with the ranger base-class: If you’re confused about this particular wording of mine: One of them is the Firearm combat style, which enables you to create an old shatterhand-style ranger without resorting to multiclassing with the gunslinger class. The others are no less impressive/well-wrought: The Beast Tamer combat style is one for all the rangers who wanted to play a tricky combatant – it specializes on using both whip and net, two woefully underrated weapons – the former being especially tempting when taking the lasher-feat, also by abandoned arts. Nice! And then, there’s the Guerilla Warfare combat style – one for all the rangers that feel more at home in an urban environment or who want to focus more on fighting like e.g. elven guerillas fighting against an incursion of hostile humanoids: With bonus feats like the dirty-trick tree or the ganging and teaming up-options, this ranger feels distinctly dirty, but potentially quite satisfying to play: All around well-made combat styles with no balance-concerns of mine. Well done!

Now let’s take a look at the other new options, which come in the guise of 15 new feats, specifically designed for the ranger-class. Aberrant quarry is a mechanically interesting feat that improves your quarry-style class features and stacks with the improved ones to make you an especially efficient hunter of all things tentacle and slimy – per se a nice feat, though I have a minor gripe here: I had to read the feat-text twice to get its intention, i.e. the text is not as clear as it could be. That being said, the text is ok and not convoluted or anything. The second feat, Crack Construct, is a bit problematic for my tastes – one of the crit-dependant feats, it automatically lets you confirm all crits against a given construct once you’ve crited it once and makes the creatures susceptible to shatter-spells. I’m not a big fan of crit-dependant feats and even less so one of feats that essentially make a critical hit more devastating than it already is. That being said, the requirement of scoring a crit in the first place seems like way to balance the benefits – until you try to build a multiple hit-crit character, who then can take down golems in one flurry of attacks. I guess the limitation to a creature-type still makes this work, though personally, I wouldn’t allow this feat in a low magic campaign.
Now, a feat that is pure genius, at least to me, is dragonslayer: By readying a ranged attack for a dragon’s bite or breath weapon, you can shoot the dragon and ignore his/her natural armor class – the balance of readying and the ranged-only restriction balance this one quite nicely, while the benefit makes logical sense : My players have attempted this before and I houseruled it just like this feat. Great and kudos!

Fiend Warden is another feat that can be considered pure genius: With it, you can track teleportations of evil outsiders! Awesome storytelling potential and makes the ranger a valuable asset to tracking down the denizens of the lower planes, in spite of their nasty teleporting habits. Genius, concise rules and new potential for storytelling – track the demon that is desperately teleporting all over the world before the trail runs cold – can you see the excitement?

More o the low fantasy end, but nevertheless iconic is the game hunter feat, which increases your foraging skills and makes your traps more lethal for animals as well as the knowledgeable tracker-feat, which lets you identify creatures and their weaknesses by looking at their tracks – though the latter has no hard rules. I really like that the particulars are left to the DM’s fiat here, though some people might miss a table of e.g. sample DCs.

Monster Hunter is quite cool: The feat grants you your favored enemy (magical animals)-bonus on saves and if you successfully save, you can instruct your allies, also granting hem bonuses – now that, ladies and gentlemen, is what a wise and knowledgeable ranger should be able to do – I approve! Special mention does the signature ranger trap-feat warrant – with it, you can enhance the so far rather neglected ranger trap rules from the APG. I wished we had gotten further enhancements, perhaps with a second or third feat, though!

Staunch enemy takes the trope of a noble feud between a ranger and his quarry and amps it up by enabling you to declare a foe a staunch enemy – the designated foe gets a bonus equal to your favored enemy bonus against you, but if you defeat the foe, you get the bonus on just about all d20-rolls for 1 turn. A cool concept, though depending on the creature-type, I think this feat could use some additional benefit.

In the rather nice, but nothing too awesome-section, we have a feat that lest you topple giants much easier and deal minimal falling damage to them by triping them and a feat that lets you demoralize prey that can’t see you – the latter feat is awesome, though I wish there were additional feats to further enhance the terror or add new tactical options to hunting prey frightened by this ability.

There’s also a feat for vile stalkers that enhance their powers against good outsiders as well as a feat that makes you the bane of deadly flora and one that grants you the scent-quality against a selection of favored enemies. These are ok, though not all up with the best of the feats.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are good – with the notable exception of “Abberant Quarry[sic!]” (which is btw. Written with one “b” and two “r”s…), the feats are concisely presented. Layout adheres to a 2-column, no-frills standard and there are no bookmarks or artworks, but neither are particularly necessary.

The three combat styles are awesome and Fiend Warden, Dragon Slayer and e.g. Monster Hunter are plain awesome. Crack Construct, as mentioned, has some potential to be abused, but is limited in its focus. I’m happy to report that none of the feats felt overpowered to me and, apart from the rather weak staunch enemy and the knowledgeable tracker feat, which could use some hard mechanics for DMs who don’t enjoy handwaving information, I did not find any particular piece of content I had problems with and even these two fall into my “minor-blemish”-category. That being said, while surely not perfect, one has to take the bang-for-buck-ratio into account and realize that the amount of great crunch we get for less than a buck will be hard to beat indeed. That, and, well – some pieces of new content herein are simply absolutely awesome, iconic and could have been written by SGG’s Owen K.C. Stephens. Not all, but some of them. Overall, this pdf is very close to being top-tier and thus, I’ll rate it accordingly – 4.5 stars, which, due to the great content I’ll round up to 5 in spite of the aforementioned minor blemishes. Fans of rangers should definitely take a look at this very cheap pdf.

Endzeitgeist out.


19 of 20

*****

This is another Class act I would allow most of in my games. 3 solid pages. It starts with 3 new combat styles: Beast Tamer, Firearms and Guerrilla warfare. Firearms is something which was definitely skipped in a couple classes while included in others. The rest of the class act is 15 Ranger Feats. Many of these work off of favored enemy or quarry bonuses, and while I was leery of the Dragonslayer feat, after reading it, I love it and would definitely allow it. The one I'm not really sure about is Staunch Enemy, it had a huge write-up but a short-lived benefit and use, it might be useful if you're good drow killing other drow, or in urban campaigns. Signature Ranger trap is really cool, letting a ranger modify one of his Ranger traps (APG) with a while slew of extra effects (though there seems to be a typo, sleep trap says sleet storm lasts longer...uh, what?). Terrorize Prey is awesome , I love intimidate feats. All in all it's a very useful bag of tricks presented in very few pages.

check out more reviews on EpicRPGBlog.blogspot.com


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