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Transcendent Wayfarer - an arcane ranger archetype that needs critiquing!


Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew


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Hey there! My GM and I recently began work on an arcane ranger archetype because it fits the character concept of a fellow player who's brand new to the game and who started off taking levels of ranger, but has decided she wants to go a more arcane route. Neither my GM nor I is the most experienced ranger player, but we're both reasonably experienced players, and this is our first stab at an arcane ranger. The basic concept is to remove the really druidy feeling aspects of the ranger and replace them with more wizardly feeling parts instead. Please be honest about this and open with feedback! I can take critique and constructive criticism, but I'm not even going to acknowledge scathing remarks or posts to the tune of "this is a stupid concept and you shouldn't even bother with it." Our mind is at least made up that we are going to put forth this archetype as an option to the player. We just want help making sure it's not too over or underpowered. Thanks!

Transcendent Wayfarer Ranger Archetype

Class Skills

A transcendent wayfarer’s class skills are Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (geography) (Int), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Stealth (Dex), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), and Use Magic Device (Cha).

This replaces the standard ranger class skills.

Weapon and Armour Proficiency

A transcendent wayfarer is proficient with all simple and martial weapons and with light armour, medium armour, and shields (except tower shields). She can cast transcendent wayfarer spells while wearing light armour without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance. Like any other arcane spellcaster, a transcendent wayfarer wearing medium armour, heavy armour, or a shield incurs a chance of arcane spell failure if the spell in question has a somatic component. A multiclass transcendent wayfarer still incurs the normal arcane spell failure chance for arcane spells received from other classes.

This replaces the standard ranger weapon and armour proficiency.

Detect Magic (Sp)

A transcendent wayfarer can cast detect magic as a spell-like ability at-will with a caster level equal to her ranger level.

This ability replaces wild empathy.

Transcendent Wayfarer Combat Style

A transcendent wayfarer gains access to the following combat style. She may still only choose one combat style to pursue.

Arcane Combat Style:
Arcane

If the ranger selects arcane style, she can choose from the following list whenever she gains a combat style feat:

Arcane Armour Training, Arcane Strike, Spell Focus, Spell Penetration, and Spell Specialization**.

  • At 6th level, she adds Arcane Armour Mastery, Arcane Blast*, Arcane Shield*, and Greater Spell Specialization** to the list.
  • At 10th level, she adds Destructive Dispel*** and Spell Perfection* to the list.

Arcane Bond (Ex or Sp)

At 4th level, a transcendent wayfarer gains an arcane bond, as a wizard equal to her ranger level minus 3.

This ability replaces hunter’s bond.

Spells

At 4th level, a transcendent wayfarer gains the ability to cast a small number of spells exactly like a standard ranger does, except her spells are arcane and drawn from the transcendent wayfarer spell list and she uses Intelligence instead of Wisdom when determining the highest level of spells she can cast, her spell save DCs, and any effects of her spells normally determined by her Wisdom. She must also choose to specialize in one school of magic, adding all ranger and sorcerer/wizard spells of 4th level or lower from that school of magic (that are not already on her class list) to her class spell list at the same spell level a standard ranger or wizard would receive them (whichever is higher). This choice must be made at 4th level, and once made it cannot be changed.

Each day, instead of meditating, a transcendent wayfarer must spend 1 hour communing with her familiar or studying her bonded item (depending on which she chose) in order to prepare spells for the day, though she may still prepare any spell on her class spell list, provided that she can cast spells of that level.

Transcendent Wayfarer Spell List

1: abundant ammunition***, air bubble***, alarm, ant haul*, anticipate peril**, bowstaff***, cloak of shade*, dancing lantern*, deadeye’s lore***, delay poison, detect aberration*, detect animals or plants, detect poison, detect snares and pits, diagnose disease**, endure elements, feather fall, feather step*, glide*, gravity bow*, hide from animals, horn of pursuit**, hunter’s howl*, jump, keen senses*, know the enemy**, lead blades*, liberating command***, longshot***, longstrider, negate aroma*, obscuring mist, pass without trace, read magic, residual tracking*, resist energy, returning weapon***, sun metal***, tireless pursuit*

2: accelerate poison*, acute senses**, allfood*, ant haul (communal)***, arrow eruption*, badger’s ferocity**, bear’s endurance, bloodhound*, brow gasher***, bull’s strength, campfire wall*, cat’s grace, chameleon stride*, create treasure map*, cure light wounds, eagle eye*, effortless armour***, endure elements (communal)***, forest friend***, fox’s cunning, glitterdust, guiding star*, hide campsite*, hunter’s eye*, locate weakness***, protection from energy, protective spirit*, reloading hands***, ricochet shot***, slipstream*, snare, stone call*, versatile weapon*, wind wall

3: blessing of the mole**, burrow**, burst of speed***, clairaudience/clairvoyance, cloak of winds, cure moderate wounds, darkvision, delay poison (communal)***, dispel magic, feather step (mass)*, fickle winds**, instant enemy*, life bubble*, named bullet***, neutralize poison, protection from energy (communal)***, remove disease, resist energy (communal)***, tireless pursuers*, venomous bolt*, water breathing, water walk

4: blessing of the salamander*, bow spirit*, commune with nature, cure serious wounds, darkvision (communal)***, darkvision (greater)**, dispel magic (greater), find quarry***, freedom of movement, named bullet (greater)***, nondetection, stoneskin, terrain bond***, tree stride, water walk (communal)***

* Advanced Player's Guide
** Ultimate Magic
*** Ultimate Combat


I guess no news is good news?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Theoretically, the 'pick a school and get all those spells' bit worries me. However, this is for a new player, so such a minor quibble is of little importance. They're unlikely to exploit it.


Yeah, I keep thinking that might be abusable, and although you're right--she's a new player and likely won't easily spot breakable loopholes, I'm still interested in making sure this is balanced. I'm going to start putting together a custom material wiki for my playgroup and I want everything I put up there to be usable by newbies and veterans alike. The thing is I can't think of anything all that abusable that can be done with this. The class could be really good at delivering touch spells, but will always have the caster level handicap, and both transmutation and illusion offer up some spells that seem a lot better in the hands of a full BAB character BUT those spells will be picked up late and will require using valuable actions to cast. Plus those effects are usually easily picked up using equipment-based options anyway. The class definitely opens up slightly earlier access to arcane archer, and on a base class that synergizes well with it, but that was intentional and is balanced by its delayed access to spells and much more limited spell slots, I think.

I don't know. I'm definitely all ears if you can think of any specific abuse this opens up. Thanks for your comment.


I've made some revisions! I tried to make it clearer what I was actually changing from the original ranger too. As for the spell list, check down at the very bottom of each spell level and I've added a list of which spells were added and removed from the original ranger spell list.

Transcendent Wayfarer Ranger Archetype

Class Skills

A transcendent wayfarer gains Knowledge (arcana) (Int) and Use Magic Device (Cha) as class skills and loses Heal (Wis) and Handle Animal (Cha).

Weapon and Armour Proficiency

A transcendent wayfarer can cast transcendent wayfarer spells while wearing light armour without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance. Like any other arcane spellcaster, a transcendent wayfarer wearing medium armour, heavy armour, or a shield incurs a chance of arcane spell failure if the spell in question has a somatic component. A multiclass transcendent wayfarer still incurs the normal arcane spell failure chance for arcane spells received from other classes. She otherwise retains the standard ranger weapon and armour proficiencies.

Magic Sense (Sp)

A transcendent wayfarer can cast detect magic and read magic as spell-like abilities at-will with a caster level equal to her ranger level.

This ability replaces wild empathy.

Combat Style

A transcendent wayfarer gains access to the following combat style. She may still only choose one combat style to pursue.

Arcane Combat Style:
If the ranger selects arcane style, she can choose from the following list whenever she gains a combat style feat: Arcane Armour Training, Arcane Strike, Spell Focus, Spell Penetration, and Spell Specialization**.

  • At 6th level, she adds Arcane Armour Mastery, Arcane Blast*, Arcane Shield*, and Greater Spell Specialization** to the list.
  • At 10th level, she adds Destructive Dispel*** and Spell Perfection* to the list.

Bonded Weapon (Su)

At 4th level, a transcendent wayfarer forms a bond with a weapon of her choice, drawing power as though through an arcane conduit. She may choose a masterwork weapon she already owns or gain a new one at no cost. This functions like the wizard’s arcane bond class feature, except as noted here.

A transcendent wayfarer must study her bonded weapon to prepare her spells. Bonded weapons store all of the spells that a transcendent wayfarer knows, and a transcendent wayfarer cannot prepare a spell that is not stored by this weapon. A transcendent wayfarer’s bonded weapon begins play storing three 1st level transcendent wayfarer spells of her choice, as well as a number of additional 1st level spells equal to her Intelligence modifier. At each new transcendent wayfarer level, she adds two new spells of any level or levels that she can cast (based on her new level) to this weapon. A transcendent wayfarer can also use a scroll to add a new spell to her bonded weapon. This process takes 1 hour per level of the spell to be learned, during which time the scroll is absorbed by the weapon, destroying it entirely. At the end of this time, the transcendent wayfarer must make a Spellcraft check (DC 15 + spell level). If the check fails, the process went awry in some way and the spell is not stored in the weapon, although the scroll is still absorbed.

A transcendent wayfarer’s bonded weapon only stores transcendent wayfarer spells. Spells received from other classes are accessed as noted in their class features. If a bonded weapon is lost or destroyed, it can be replaced 1 day later through a special ritual that costs 500 gp per transcendent wayfarer level plus the cost of the masterwork weapon. The ritual takes 8 hours to complete. A new bonded weapon begins knowing two spells of every level the transcendent wayfarer is able to cast.

A bonded weapon grants special abilities based on its weapon group to its wielder, as given on the table below. The weapon groups are defined as by the fighter’s weapon training class feature. If a bonded weapon resides in two or more groups, the transcendent wayfarer may choose which applicable bonus her weapon grants.

Axe: +3 bonus on Intimidate checks
Blade, Heavy: +2 bonus on Will saves
Blade, Light: +2 bonus on Will saves
Bow: +3 bonus on Perception checks
Close: +3 bonus on Bluff checks
Crossbow: +3 bonus on Perception checks
Double: +3 bonus on Use Magic Device checks
Firearm: +3 bonus on Perception checks
Flail: +3 bonus on Bluff checks
Hammer: +3 bonus on Intimidate checks
Monk: +3 bonus on Use Magic Device checks
Natural: +3 bonus on Survival checks
Polearm: +3 bonus on Sense Motive checks
Siege Engine: +3 bonus on Survival checks
Spear: +3 bonus on Sense Motive checks
Thrown: +3 bonus on Survival checks

This ability replaces hunter’s bond.

Spells

At 4th level, a transcendent wayfarer gains the ability to cast a small number of spells exactly like a standard ranger does, except her spells are arcane and drawn from the transcendent wayfarer spell list and she uses Intelligence instead of Wisdom when determining the highest level of spells she can cast, her spell save DCs, and any effects of her spells normally determined by her Wisdom.

A transcendent wayfarer must also choose to specialize in one school of magic, adding all sorcerer/wizard spells of 4th level or lower from that school of magic (that are not already on her class list) to her class spell list at the same spell level a wizard would receive them. This choice must be made at 4th level, and once made it cannot be changed. She also receives an additional spell slot of each spell level she can cast. Each day, she can prepare a spell from her specialty school in that slot. This means the transcendent wayfarer always gets at least 1 spell (of her chosen school) per day as soon as she gains access to a level of spells, even if Table: Ranger lists 0 for spells per day.

Each day, instead of meditating, a transcendent wayfarer must spend 1 hour studying the secrets of her bonded weapon in order to prepare spells for the day. While studying, the transcendent wayfarer decides which of the spells stored in her bonded weapon to prepare.

Reflexive Magic (Su)

At 15th level, a transcendent wayfarer can cast one spell per day as if it were modified by the Quicken Spell feat. This does not increase the level of the spell.

This ability replaces the ranger’s fourth favoured enemy.

Transcendent Wayfarer Spell List
1: abundant ammunition***, air bubble***, alarm, ant haul*, anticipate peril**, bowstaff***, cloak of shade*, dancing lantern*, deadeye’s lore***, delay poison, detect aberration*, detect animals or plants, detect poison, detect snares and pits, diagnose disease**, endure elements, feather fall, feather step*, glide*, gravity bow*, hide from animals, horn of pursuit**, hunter’s howl*, jump, keen senses*, know the enemy**, lead blades*, liberating command***, longshot***, longstrider, negate aroma*, obscuring mist, pass without trace, residual tracking*, resist energy, returning weapon***, shield, sun metal***, tireless pursuit*

(Ranger spell list minus animal messenger, aspect of the falcon*, call animal*, calm animals, charm animal, compel hostility***, entangle, magic fang, read magic, speak with animals, sumon minor ally**, summon nature's ally I, and wartrain mount** and plus feather fall, obscuring mist, and shield)

2: accelerate poison*, acute senses**, allfood*, ant haul (communal)***, arrow eruption*, badger’s ferocity**, bear’s endurance, bloodhound*, brow gasher***, bull’s strength, campfire wall*, cat’s grace, chameleon stride*, create treasure map*, eagle eye*, effortless armour***, endure elements (communal)***, fog cloud, forest friend***, fox’s cunning, glitterdust, guiding star*, hide campsite*, hunter’s eye*, locate weakness***, protection from energy, protective spirit*, reloading hands***, ricochet shot***, slipstream*, snare, stone call*, versatile weapon*, wind wall

(Ranger spell list minus animal aspect***, aspect of the bear*, barkskin, cure light wounds, hold animal, lockjaw*, owl's wisdom, perceive cues*, returning weapon (communal)***, speak with plants, spike growth, summon nature's ally II, web shelter**, and wilderness soldiers*** and plus bull's strength, fog cloud, fox's cunning, and glitterdust)

3: blessing of the mole**, burrow**, burst of speed***, clairaudience/clairvoyance, cloak of winds, darkvision, delay poison (communal)***, dispel magic, feather step (mass)*, fickle winds**, instant enemy*, life bubble*, named bullet***, protection from energy (communal)***, resist energy (communal)***, tireless pursuers*, venomous bolt*, water breathing, water walk

(Ranger spell list minus animal aspect (greater)***, aspect of the stag*, bloody claws*, command plants, companion mind link***, cure moderate wounds, diminish plants, magic fang (greater), neutralize poison, plant growth, reduce animal, remove disease, repel vermin, strong jaw*, summon nature's ally III, and tree shape and plus clairaudience/clairvoyance, dispel magic, and water breathing)

4: blessing of the salamander*, bow spirit*, commune with nature, darkvision (communal)***, darkvision (greater)**, dispel magic (greater), find quarry***, freedom of movement, named bullet (greater)***, nondetection, stoneskin, terrain bond***, tree stride, water walk (communal)***

(Ranger spell list minus animal growth, aspect of the wolf*, cure serious wounds, grove of respite*, raise animal companion**, and summon nature's ally IV and plus dispel magic (greater) and stoneskin)

* Advanced Player's Guide
** Ultimate Magic
*** Ultimate Combat


I like it! Well done!


I like the overall gist... Here's my critique:
Keep the option to have a Familiar... That's extremely Wizard-esque, and crucially is an Arcane-y alternate to Familiar.
(having a 'Wizard Level Adjustment -4 seems reasonable since you gain the Bond later, just like Ranger ACs)
Familiar's aren't usually as combat-useful as AC's, but can be more useful in other ways.
Improved Familiar could be a Combat Style Feat.
(Arcane Armor Training/Mastery just aren't going to be taken by 99% of players, given Mithril Medium Armor has no ASF% as it counts as Light except for proficiency sake)

Instead of turning Bonded Items into 'get a bonus' ala Familiars, I think just standard Bonded Items is fine for those who want that: 'no Feat' item enhancement for Weapons is great for a Martial, and casting anything from their spellbook is great for a prepped caster, especially focusing on utility spells.

2) I think they could do with expanding the spell list further...
of course Specialization nets them some more spells, but I think they could use more across the board... Especially since depending on your Specialization, you WILL get some of these spells anyways, these should be looked at with an eye to adjusting their spell level downward... Bard spells or Inquisitor spells or Magus spells are appropriate as well. It may also make sense to have a list of spells gained at lower spell levels, depending on the School Specialization.

It seems reasonable that they could also gain the benefits of Wizard School Specialization...
Certainly if they suffered the penalties (2x slot cost for opposed schools, etc)

Focusing on 'what is the difference from an Arcane Ranger to a normal one'? I would think Arcane Rangers would be about dealing with arcane/magical stuff that happens to be out in the wilderness... Identify seems like a great spell in said context. WHere is See Invisible... Much less Invisibility? Those should definitely be on there, possibly at lower than Wizard spell level. Arcane Rangers would plausibly be more prepared to deal with 'Arcane' enemies, whether Casters or Monsters. 'Anti Casting' Feats could also fit on the Combat Style list, e.g. Disruptive et al... Perhaps even throw in some Rogue Talents like Dispelling Strike!?!?

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

And remember, if a ranger gets a familiar, it gets half of d10-based hit points, so it will be considerably more beefy than half of d6-based hit points.

I really like the idea of the arcane weapon bond skill bonuses, etc. I just wish there was some more variety in the skill bonuses given out.

If this becomes a little bit more anti-caster, then you might even want to figure out a way to get the Superstitious rage power tree somehow added to the bonus feat list.

Definitely throw in some see invisiblity and invisiblity, maybe even faerie fire and glitterdust. Lower darkvision to 2nd level, maybe even 1st.

EDIT:

Actually, you may want to expand the spell list to grant the arcane ranger all sorts of utility stuff that melee or ranged warriors could really use: mobility enhancement (flight and teleportation and freedon of movement, maybe even haste), sense enhancement (darkvision, see invisible, detection spells), and maybe even some battlefield control (walls, entangle, pits, etc.). Maybe some fear effects, de-buffers, and protections.


Thanks for all the suggestions, guys! I'm open to a lot of them, but I figured I'd go point by point and explain why I did what I did, because a lot of these suggestions will increase the power level for the build and I've been intentionally cautious thus far.

Quandary wrote:

I like the overall gist... Here's my critique:

Keep the option to have a Familiar... That's extremely Wizard-esque, and crucially is an Arcane-y alternate to Familiar.
(having a 'Wizard Level Adjustment -4 seems reasonable since you gain the Bond later, just like Ranger ACs)
Familiar's aren't usually as combat-useful as AC's, but can be more useful in other ways.

The main thing I disliked about my first draft was that it was still essentially using the divine model of casting (spells known=class spell list), but calling it arcane. And I really needed that to change. I don't want a divine ranger with arcane spells. I actually want an arcane ranger who casts the way an arcane caster would. It just doesn't make any sense to me that the class would use a spellbook, though, so I started thinking more about a solution not unlike the witch's familiar-as-spellbook. But thinking about that just made my head hurt, because the class had the ability to choose a bonded item OR a familiar, and writing the rules to enable the choice to use either one as a spellbook felt really messy and outside the scope of an archetype. At that point it's a major class feature.

I think the bonded item option is important, though, and fits really well with the ranger... which led me to the notion that perhaps the familiar needed the axe. This was further backed up by the fact that many of the spells I was cutting were animal-oriented, and no matter how I thought about it, I couldn't shake the idea that familiars (being animals) didn't fit as well with the class. I have a lot of ideas about what a ranger is, and it actually proved really difficult to cut away the right portion of that to make room for arcane spells. This ranger is a tracker, a guide, a nomad, or maybe even a bit of a hunter, but I don't think of her as someone with any sort of spiritual connection to the natural world, and even though familiars are arcane in nature, they felt like an odd fit for that train of thought.

As for the "ranger level minus 3" qualification, I'm okay with that. I deleted it because it doesn't seem like it does anything when combined with a bonded item. I could see an argument that you would need to be three levels higher than than the prerequisite for a casting feat in order to count as having the feat for your bonded item, but that was almost a reason to cut the reduced effective level in and of itself, since it isn't clear-cut and would likely just cause confusion. Similarly, I nearly put in a paragraph about how you can use your bonded item as the bonded item for another class, but you always use the transcendent wayfarer rules for bonded items (a'la the witch's familiar clause), but realized that the rules already allow for using the same item as a bonded item for different classes without explanation, and the text actually complicated the issue by implying that there would be some sort of benefit for using an item in common, even though the two class abilities wouldn't interact in any meaningful way.

If anyone has a suggestion that solves all these dilemmas and still allows for a familiar, I'm absolutely open to the idea! But I thought I should let you know what went into my decision to cut the ability.

Quandary wrote:

Improved Familiar could be a Combat Style Feat.

(Arcane Armor Training/Mastery just aren't going to be taken by 99% of players, given Mithril Medium Armor has no ASF% as it counts as Light except for proficiency sake)

I love the idea of improved familiar as a combat style feat, and I agree that the arcane armour feats are completely awful. I left them in because I wanted to give players the option of heavy armour if they were multi-classing or otherwise choosing to heavily arm. Or if mithral was scarce in a particular setting, etc. I just don't know how to fit familiars as mentioned above. I will give this thought, however.

Quandary wrote:
Instead of turning Bonded Items into 'get a bonus' ala Familiars, I think just standard Bonded Items is fine for those who want that: 'no Feat' item enhancement for Weapons is great for a Martial, and casting anything from their spellbook is great for a prepped caster, especially focusing on utility spells.

The idea here was that changing the spellcasting from Wis to Int made the class more MAD since the important ranger skills tend to be Wisdom-based. Again, I needed a spellbook solution, and it felt weird to keep Wisdom as the casting stat since the class was now an arcane prepared class, BUT a ranger is still a ranger and still needs Perception and Survival. I didn't want Str, Dex, Con, Int, AND Wis to all be important. I'm open to changing the model on how this works. I honestly thought about just including a clause about adding Int bonus to two skills of the player's choice as part of the Detect Magic/Read Magic ability, since getting two cantrips is definitely mostly about flavour anyway. This just seemed like a cool nod to familiars.

Quandary wrote:

2) I think they could do with expanding the spell list further...

of course Specialization nets them some more spells, but I think they could use more across the board... Especially since depending on your Specialization, you WILL get some of these spells anyways, these should be looked at with an eye to adjusting their spell level downward... Bard spells or Inquisitor spells or Magus spells are appropriate as well. It may also make sense to have a list of spells gained at lower spell levels, depending on the School Specialization.

It seems reasonable that they could also gain the benefits of Wizard School Specialization...
Certainly if they suffered the penalties (2x slot cost for opposed schools, etc)

I'm open to this, but I was trying to be cautious. I did add a few staple arcane spells to their list already, but arcane magic has way more offensive potential, and I was trying not to push the power level of the class over the top. I did actually already write in the benefit of school specialization with the last draft I posted, but frankly I wasn't sure that would be okay. I did it because realistically rangers really don't have a lot of spell slots, but I want to be wary of giving out too many benefits with not enough trade-off. Right now the class stands to gain way more spells than they lose AND gain an extra spell slot at each level AND the spells they're gaining are arcane. What are they losing? And is it enough? Again, I'm open to some key additions to the spell list. I just want to be careful. Spells like invisibility crossed my mind, but do we want a full BAB guy to have such easy access to that spell? It's probably not a big deal, but what if it is?

Quandary wrote:
Focusing on 'what is the difference from an Arcane Ranger to a normal one'? I would think Arcane Rangers would be about dealing with arcane/magical stuff that happens to be out in the wilderness... Identify seems like a great spell in said context. WHere is See Invisible... Much less Invisibility? Those should definitely be on there, possibly at lower than Wizard spell level. Arcane Rangers would plausibly be more...

As I mentioned above, I think of them on one hand as the traditional ranger: a guide, tracker, and hunter, but on the other hand a disciple of the arcane rather than that of nature. It's difficult to put into words. I think somebody who deals with magical problems in the wilderness certainly falls within the scope of this class, but isn't necessarily the limit of it. I did put glitterdust on the spell list already, thinking that seemed a little more rangery than see invisibility, but I'm not opposed to the switch. And I'm definitely open to lowering spell levels within reason. I just want to be careful. I lowered greater dispel magic to 4th level, because it fit the class and didn't seem overpowered for the level they'll get it, but lowering spells to 4th level or 3rd level is really tricky, because that opens them up to wands and potions when they otherwise wouldn't have been. A wand of greater dispel doesn't worry me, but a potion of greater invisibility maybe does.

You had a lot of fantastic suggestions, though! And I appreciate them! I'll post the next revision of the class when I've thought enough about the ramifications.

SmiloDan wrote:
And remember, if a ranger gets a familiar, it gets half of d10-based hit points, so it will be considerably more beefy than half of d6-based hit points.

That's a good point. See my above thoughts on familiars, though. Do you have any suggestions that assuage my other concerns?

SmiloDan wrote:
I really like the idea of the arcane weapon bond skill bonuses, etc. I just wish there was some more variety in the skill bonuses given out.

To let you know what I was thinking there, I figured that rangers didn't need help on skills or saves that relied on physical stats. They were already going to need Intelligence for casting, and given that the idea behind adding the skill bonuses was to reduce MAD issues, I decided it didn't make sense to give them help on Intelligence skills either. That left Cha and Wis, so I figured I'd vary the list as much as I could without really veering away from those two ability bases. I would loooove input on the specifics of that list, as I'm not 100% happy with it and a lot of the weapon groups were pretty tough to assign skills to, but I thought I should let you know a little bit more about why I chose what I did. Any suggestions?

SmiloDan wrote:
If this becomes a little bit more anti-caster, then you might even want to figure out a way to get the Superstitious rage power tree somehow added to the bonus feat list.

That's an interesting thought, and I'll ponder it a bit. My gut reaction is that it might be a little outside the scope of an archetype since it would involving canning class abilities and making feats out of them, but it's not a bad idea. I don't want the class itself to be "anti-caster" by default, but I like the idea that that could be an option.

SmiloDan wrote:
Definitely throw in some see invisiblity and invisiblity, maybe even faerie fire and glitterdust. Lower darkvision to 2nd level, maybe even 1st.

I did already include glitterdust on their list, but there seems to be a lot of support for invisibility and see invisibility so maybe I'll try adding those. faerie fire makes some sense too. Fae are basically the intersection between arcane magic and the wilderness, which is basically where I want this class to sit. Hmm... I love the idea of dropping darkvision down in level a bit. That makes a ton of sense for an arcane ranger.

SmiloDan wrote:
Actually, you may want to expand the spell list to grant the arcane ranger all sorts of utility stuff that melee or ranged warriors could really use: mobility enhancement (flight and teleportation and freedon of movement, maybe even haste), sense enhancement (darkvision, see invisible, detection spells), and maybe even some battlefield control (walls, entangle, pits, etc.). Maybe some fear effects, de-buffers, and protections.

Again, I'm open to this. I just want to be cautious. Haste in particular is interesting. I actually removed entangle which is normally on the ranger list, because it was a little too naturey, but I'll definitely look into some of these, and I truly appreciate the feedback. I've been agonizing on whether to keep tree stride or replace it with dimension door. The problem is they ultimately do such different things, and walking through trees just feels so rangery to me. There's always teleport, but there's no way I want that spell to exist on a wand, you know? So I can't really make it a 4th level spell for anyone.

I'll keep thinking about it. It's a tricky balance to achieve.

Thanks again, guys!


maybe the 'bond' could take three forms: to a weapon, to a familiar, or to their studies.

if the third option, then the specialty school.


That's an interesting idea, but I worry it might leave the class a little weak. I guess that would ensure that adding a number of additional arcane spells to their list wouldn't be overpowering. Worth some thought, anyway...


The Magus' spell list may also be a good place to look for viable spells for this archetype, as most of those spells are combat oriented (offensive and utility).

I would also do away with the school specialization, as that should be a uniquely wizard feature.

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