Ranger Class Preview

Monday, July 2, 2018

Rangers have a long tradition in heroic adventure. Whether they're portrayed as lone striders keeping the edges of the wilderness free of the threats that lurch forth from the world's shadows, as hunters tracking down fugitives or beasts, or as skilled archers serving as a scouting force for a local lord or group of village elders, rangers have a special place in our fantastical imagination.

For the Pathfinder Playtest, we decided to cleave closer to the core principles of the ranger—a rough and tumble warrior in the wild, possibly of the wild himself. Because of this, the most significant change we made to the class was that it no longer has spellcasting ability, at least as a default. Of course, this doesn't mean we have to abandon this aspect of the Pathfinder First Edition ranger forever. Because of the way classes are now structured, it would be easy to create a spellcasting build of the ranger later using Spell Points (like the paladin), but for the Playtest, we are trying out a a spell-less ranger.

But enough of what the ranger doesn't have. Let's take a look at what he does.

Ranger Features

First and foremost, the ranger is a hunter. In Pathfinder First Edition, you picked creature types or subtypes that you were skilled at hunting. There are few things more frustrating than playing a ranger who rarely—or worst of all, never—encounters their favored enemies. It also led to some players who tended to play in more human-centric campaigns picking the human subtype, even if their backgrounds may have pointed to better choices for favored enemies.

This time we made the ranger hunting ability a bit more flexible, based on some popular ideas from the guide archetype and the slayer's studied target. At 1st level, rangers gain the Hunt Target feature.

[[A]] Hunt Target

Ranger

Requirements You can see or hear the target.

You designate a single creature within 100 feet as your target and focus your attacks against that creature. While hunting that creature, you gain benefits for focusing your attacks. As long as all your attacks in a round are against the target you're hunting, the multiple attack penalty you take on the second attack is -4 (-3 with an agile weapon) instead of -5, and -8 (-6 with an agile weapon) instead of -10 on the third and any further attacks in the round. You also ignore the penalty for making ranged attacks against the target you're hunting within your second range increment. You also gain a +2 circumstance bonus to Perception checks when you Seek your target and a +2 circumstance bonus to Survival checks when you Track your target.

You can have only one creature designated as the target of your hunt at a time. If you use Hunt Target against a creature when you already have a creature designated, the prior creature loses the designation and the new target gains the designation. In any case, this designation lasts until your next daily preparation.

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

There are many class feats and some higher-level abilities that augment the ranger's Hunt Target. For example, at 17th level, the masterful hunter feature decreases the ranger's multiple attack penalty to -3 (or -2 with agile weapon) with his second attack and -6 (or -4 with agile weapons) on his third or further attack, and he can ignore the penalty against the target of his hunt in the second or third range increment, assuming that he has at least master proficiency in the weapon he is. Speaking of which, like the fighter, the ranger gains weapon mastery for a group of weapons, though he gains it at 13th level instead of at 3rd level like the fighter. At 19th level, the ranger gains the swift target feature, which allows him to use Hunt Target as a free action triggered before he makes his first Strike each round, so he's never without a target to hunt! The specifics of the Hunt Target ability make the ranger excel at a variety of combat styles, especially his traditional two-weapon fighting (since you can decrease the multiple attack penalty with agile attacks to be incredibly small) and archery (since you eliminate some of the most common ranged increment penalties). Of course, a ranger with a less traditional style, like a greatsword with a reduced multiple attack penalty, works great too!

Other class features allow the ranger to stalk and avoid his foes. At 5th level, he gains trackless step. At 7th level, he gains evasion (followed by improved evasion at 15th level). He gains nature's edge at 9th level, which allows him to treat enemies in natural difficult terrain or in difficult terrain resulting from a snare (more on snares later!) as flat-footed. Come 11th level, he gains the wild stride feature, which allows him to ignore or minimize the effects of difficult terrain.

Ranger Feats

Class feats, of course, determine the flavor of individuals within a class, and the ranger is no different. Specific ranger feats allow him to gain an animal companion at the same progression as a druid's, though potentially with special benefits that only a ranger can obtain. Other feats will enable him to further focus on his weapon choice, including a whole string of feats that allow him to specialize in two-weapon fighting.

Some fun feats allow the ranger to use his knowledge and senses to aid his allies as well as himself. Here are a couple of my favorites.

Monster Hunter Feat 1

Ranger

When you critically succeed to identify a target you're hunting with Recall Knowledge, you (and your allies, if you tell them) gain a +1 circumstance bonus to your next attack roll against it, but not against other creatures of that species. The creature is bolstered.

[[F]] Scout's Warning Feat 4

Ranger

Trigger You are about to roll Perception for initiative.

You audibly or visually warn your allies of danger, granting them a +1 circumstance bonus to their initiative rolls.

Harkening back to the hunter's bond class feature in Pathfinder First Edition, these feats allow the ranger to support the rest of the group with increased flexibility in how he chooses to do so, and these are just a few. The ranger can expand on Monster Hunter to grant even more benefits with a successful Recall Knowledge and even share the benefits of Hunt Target with other PCs (pretty much any martial class will love this benefit). And while flanking-savvy fighters might be a rogue's traditional best friend, the 12th-level Distracting Shot feat allows the ranger who hits a target with two ranged attacks in the same turn to leave that critter flat-footed until the start of the ranger's next turn. This helps fast rogues bring the pain quickly and farther away from more heavily armored support.

Another group of feats allows you to create snares. (Told you I'd get to that!)

Snares

Like alchemy, the ability to create snares is granted by a general feat (Snare Crafting). And like alchemists, rangers have the potential to lift general snare crafting to greater heights.

What are snares? Well, they're small portable hazards, very similar to traps, which can be set up in a short period of time (usually 1 minute). While it's unlikely that you will set up a snare in the midst of combat, they are perfect tools to arrange a battleground to your advantage. For instance, remember the nature's edge class feature that allows you to treat enemies in difficult terrain as flat-footed? Here's the most basic snare that creates difficult terrain.

Slowing Snare Snare 1

Consumable, Mechanical, Snare, Trap

Price 2 gp

A square with this snare becomes difficult terrain when the first creature enters it, and then it is destroyed.

Other snares set off alarms, trip, or deal damage to those entering the area of a snare. Grab some alchemical items, and you can deal even more damage with a snare.

Freezing Snare Snare 8

Cold, Consumable, Mechanical, Snare, Trap

Price 50 gp

You set a trio of liquid ice bombs to explode in unison when a creature enters the freezing snare's square. The target must attempt a DC 22 Reflexsave.

Success The target takes 1d8 cold damage.

Critical Success The target is unaffected.

Failure The target takes 3d8 cold damage and is hampered 10 until the end of its next turn.

Critical Failure The target takes 6d8 cold damage and is hampered 10 until the end of its next turn.

Craft Requirements three vials of liquid ice

Ranger feats that deal with snares allow you to learn more of them as your Crafting rank increases, lets you set them up faster (even in the middle of combat), and increases snares' DCs to match your class DC. Always make sure that your allies know where you hid your snares, or no bonus to attack rolls or initiative that you grant them will make up for the damage and humiliation you might cause.

Stephen Radney-MacFarland
Senior Designer

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Tags: Harsk Pathfinder Playtest Rangers Wayne Reynolds
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Ranger Combat Styles are a bandaid for a broken feat system. There's no need for any equivalents.


brad2411 wrote:
Does Hunt Target seem like it is trying to emulate the weapon styles of the ranger in PF1?

More like supplement. In essense, it will buff any style [two weapon, two handed and ranged].


The Ranger here seems to have a bit of a special forces flavour. Focusing on one enemy to take it out. I quite like it.


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brad2411 wrote:
Does Hunt Target seem like it is trying to emulate the weapon styles of the ranger in PF1?

Nah, that'd be this:

Blog wrote:
Other feats will enable him to further focus on his weapon choice, including a whole string of feats that allow him to specialize in two-weapon fighting.


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Secret Wizard wrote:
Ranger Combat Styles are a bandaid for a broken feat system. There's no need for any equivalents.

Indeed, if we want Rangers to be able to be good at a thing, we can just print some Ranger feats which enable Rangers to do that thing well if they take those feats.

I mean, this is kind of the point of making classes 1/2 modular- you can always print more options, but you can never unprint the CRB.


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You know, I hope that "string of feats" is a lot sexier than the old TWF feat tree was.

I mean, Double Slice is REALLY good in PF2, so I probably shouldn't be too worried. But having too many feats devoted to a single thing (even if they are all really good feats) can make it hard to diversify.


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Captain Morgan wrote:

When those action types include everything as basic as "open a door" to anything else you can think of? Yes, it is massively simpler.

Seriously, let's look at a specific example from my spoiler tag.

Manipulate an Item (Complex): You grab an item that is in a backpack, pouch, pocket, or other similar container on your person; pick up an item; or move a heavy object. Sometimes, the GM might rule that manipulating an item is an advanced action and determine the number of acts that must be committed to succeed. Based on what you want to do, those actions may need to be committed consecutively.

This is what is getting cleaned up here.

Right, this gives us all the things potentially done with this kind of action. In PF2 we have the base actions types, then modifiers on those action types based on what we're actually doing. You need both the action type information and the action specific information in front of you to know what's happening. For instance, if you're using a skill that requires an item, do you check the item, the skill, or both for determining the type and amount of actions required?

Magic item interaction also doesn't default to one standard, meaning that you're looking up item actions with relative frequency.

I doubt this will impact me all that much as my group plays in roll20 and we macro and copy paste everything. Someone trying to use books to do this is going to have an increasing burden with more publications. I'm struggling to see how multiplicative complexity with a minimum of 3 factors is going to be less burdensome than a master list of 30 action types.


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Captain Morgan wrote:

You know, I hope that "string of feats" is a lot sexier than the old TWF feat tree was.

I mean, Double Slice is REALLY good in PF2, so I probably shouldn't be too worried. But having too many feats devoted to a single thing (even if they are all really good feats) can make it hard to diversify.

I think the real challenge, in general, is to strive for feats that are circumstantial without being niche.

Double Slice is REALLY good. If you TWF, you pick up Double Slice. It's a no brainer.

However, if there's a, say, "Triple Slice" down the road, then it becomes a "railroad" for character builds.

I hope the next few feats down the line are things to the tune of "You gain the ability to [R] Parry while dual-wielding for +2 AC" or "If you hit an enemy two or more times in the same turn, that enemy is stupefied X, where X is the amount of times you've hit them", and so on.

Things that make your character relatively unique without being the end-all, best option out there.


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ErichAD wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:

When those action types include everything as basic as "open a door" to anything else you can think of? Yes, it is massively simpler.

Seriously, let's look at a specific example from my spoiler tag.

Manipulate an Item (Complex): You grab an item that is in a backpack, pouch, pocket, or other similar container on your person; pick up an item; or move a heavy object. Sometimes, the GM might rule that manipulating an item is an advanced action and determine the number of acts that must be committed to succeed. Based on what you want to do, those actions may need to be committed consecutively.

This is what is getting cleaned up here.

Right, this gives us all the things potentially done with this kind of action. In PF2 we have the base actions types, then modifiers on those action types based on what we're actually doing. You need both the action type information and the action specific information in front of you to know what's happening. For instance, if you're using a skill that requires an item, do you check the item, the skill, or both for determining the type and amount of actions required?

Magic item interaction also doesn't default to one standard, meaning that you're looking up item actions with relative frequency.

I doubt this will impact me all that much as my group plays in roll20 and we macro and copy paste everything. Someone trying to use books to do this is going to have an increasing burden with more publications. I'm struggling to see how multiplicative complexity with a minimum of 3 factors is going to be less burdensome than a master list of 30 action types.

Simply due to the fact that the "master list" was never actually complete. In the same way as how classes add different actions, there were a variety of different actions added by feats in 1e - Vital Strike and Spring Attack being obvious examples. Most feats that modify stuff in 2e do so by referencing the action directly, so it's a lot easier. For example, Sudden Charge - which essentially says "Stride up to double your speed, then Strike". That makes it easier to reference, since anything that modifies those actions also implicitly modifies Sudden Charge.


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ErichAD wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:

When those action types include everything as basic as "open a door" to anything else you can think of? Yes, it is massively simpler.

Seriously, let's look at a specific example from my spoiler tag.

Manipulate an Item (Complex): You grab an item that is in a backpack, pouch, pocket, or other similar container on your person; pick up an item; or move a heavy object. Sometimes, the GM might rule that manipulating an item is an advanced action and determine the number of acts that must be committed to succeed. Based on what you want to do, those actions may need to be committed consecutively.

This is what is getting cleaned up here.

Right, this gives us all the things potentially done with this kind of action. In PF2 we have the base actions types, then modifiers on those action types based on what we're actually doing. You need both the action type information and the action specific information in front of you to know what's happening. For instance, if you're using a skill that requires an item, do you check the item, the skill, or both for determining the type and amount of actions required?

Magic item interaction also doesn't default to one standard, meaning that you're looking up item actions with relative frequency.

I doubt this will impact me all that much as my group plays in roll20 and we macro and copy paste everything. Someone trying to use books to do this is going to have an increasing burden with more publications. I'm struggling to see how multiplicative complexity with a minimum of 3 factors is going to be less burdensome than a master list of 30 action types.

There's no real action type information anymore. You have "Actions." Sure, you have free actions and reactions, but both of those are pretty intuitive. Free actions is stuff liking talking that doesn't use up your turn, reactions are things you react to.

Unchained RAE, if that is our point of comparison (it was with Chest Rockwell, I'm not sure if you are advocating for that as the best choice of system) had multiple subtypes as well and layers of coding as well.

First, you had acts, reactions, and free actions.

Second, you had simple actions and advanced actions (which determined how many of your 3 acts you had to spend to do a thing.) Simple actions are always 1 act. Advanced Actions take 2 or more.

Next you had action subtypes: Attack actions, Complex Actions, Move Actions, and Actions without subtypes.

Then you had the list of actions you can take, which wasn't 30. It is 82 items long, with a couple of sidebars on exceptions. And it still didn't cover everything preexisting like vital strike.

4 layers deep, there.

By comparison, PF2 has:

Actions, reactions, free actions.

A list of different kinds of actions: Strike, Stride, Operate, interact, etc. Dunno how many we will have, but it seems almost certain to be less than 82.

What actions you use take to do a specific thing, which will usually be listed in the item description or feat or whatever.

We are only 3 layers deep.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Dracoknight wrote:
I have to ask why Favored Enemy is so glorified? It was borderline useless most of the time until you got the 4th level spell that let you pick a favored enemy, and in some cases you had to beg the DM to tell you what was most likely enemy to meet in the campagin.

3rd level, actually. Picked up at 10th, plenty of common enemies to take, and not missed all that much when you can't get it. Ungodly when you are in a themed campaign that focuses on certain enemy types. (Giantslayer anyone?)


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TriOmegaZero wrote:
Dracoknight wrote:
I have to ask why Favored Enemy is so glorified? It was borderline useless most of the time until you got the 4th level spell that let you pick a favored enemy, and in some cases you had to beg the DM to tell you what was most likely enemy to meet in the campagin.
3rd level, actually. Picked up at 10th, plenty of common enemies to take, and not missed all that much when you can't get it. Ungodly when you are in a themed campaign that focuses on certain enemy types. (Giantslayer anyone?)

The interesting thing about that spell is that it's technically optimised through making bad favoured enemy choices. The more you suit the backup favoured enemies to the campaign, the less likely instant enemy is to be able to save you in a pinch.


Cyouni wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Dracoknight wrote:
I have to ask why Favored Enemy is so glorified? It was borderline useless most of the time until you got the 4th level spell that let you pick a favored enemy, and in some cases you had to beg the DM to tell you what was most likely enemy to meet in the campagin.
3rd level, actually. Picked up at 10th, plenty of common enemies to take, and not missed all that much when you can't get it. Ungodly when you are in a themed campaign that focuses on certain enemy types. (Giantslayer anyone?)
The interesting thing about that spell is that it's technically optimised through making bad favoured enemy choices. The more you suit the backup favoured enemies to the campaign, the less likely instant enemy is to be able to save you in a pinch.

Eh, I don't think that follows. You want the most common enemy type getting your maxed out bonus most likely no matter what. And then instant enemy just acts as a safety net for when something else pops up.

Instant enemy definitely encourages you to put all your eggs in one enemy basket, but you still want that to be the common enemy.


Captain Morgan wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Dracoknight wrote:
I have to ask why Favored Enemy is so glorified? It was borderline useless most of the time until you got the 4th level spell that let you pick a favored enemy, and in some cases you had to beg the DM to tell you what was most likely enemy to meet in the campagin.
3rd level, actually. Picked up at 10th, plenty of common enemies to take, and not missed all that much when you can't get it. Ungodly when you are in a themed campaign that focuses on certain enemy types. (Giantslayer anyone?)
The interesting thing about that spell is that it's technically optimised through making bad favoured enemy choices. The more you suit the backup favoured enemies to the campaign, the less likely instant enemy is to be able to save you in a pinch.

Eh, I don't think that follows. You want the most common enemy type getting your maxed out bonus most likely no matter what. And then instant enemy just acts as a safety net for when something else pops up.

Instant enemy definitely encourages you to put all your eggs in one enemy basket, but you still want that to be the common enemy.

Well, it's more the problem with instant enemy is that it can't work on something that's already your favoured enemy. So yeah, you want your main favoured enemy to be your most common enemy, but for maximum usage of instant enemy you don't want to have any other applicable ones.


Cyouni wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Dracoknight wrote:
I have to ask why Favored Enemy is so glorified? It was borderline useless most of the time until you got the 4th level spell that let you pick a favored enemy, and in some cases you had to beg the DM to tell you what was most likely enemy to meet in the campagin.
3rd level, actually. Picked up at 10th, plenty of common enemies to take, and not missed all that much when you can't get it. Ungodly when you are in a themed campaign that focuses on certain enemy types. (Giantslayer anyone?)
The interesting thing about that spell is that it's technically optimised through making bad favoured enemy choices. The more you suit the backup favoured enemies to the campaign, the less likely instant enemy is to be able to save you in a pinch.

Eh, I don't think that follows. You want the most common enemy type getting your maxed out bonus most likely no matter what. And then instant enemy just acts as a safety net for when something else pops up.

Instant enemy definitely encourages you to put all your eggs in one enemy basket, but you still want that to be the common enemy.

Well, it's more the problem with instant enemy is that it can't work on something that's already your favoured enemy. So yeah, you want your main favoured enemy to be your most common enemy, but for maximum usage of instant enemy you don't want to have any other applicable ones.

Ah, I see what you are saying. Yeah, I guess if you're goal is use instant enemy as much as possible, that would be the case. But given how few spell slots the Ranger has I think I'd rather have the my +2 FEs in stuff I'll actually fight. Something most of the time is better than the best possible bonus an additional 5% of the time. (Hope that made sense.)


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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Also not a fan of glyphs instead of words or numbers. Really not a fan of posts implying I actually do, will, or should.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Jhaeman wrote:
Also not a fan of glyphs instead of words or numbers. Really not a fan of posts implying I actually do, will, or should.

Do, will, or should what?


Jhaeman wrote:
Also not a fan of glyphs instead of words or numbers. Really not a fan of posts implying I actually do, will, or should.

I feel though that it's worth giving it a chance because PF1 had a lot of issues with "formatting for space" and "[A]" will be a single character whereas "As a standard action you may" is 28 and they mean the same thing.

X archetype, feat, item, etc. gets mangled because of the space limitations of a player's companion is a thing I'll be happy to not have happen again.


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Ranger looks cool lets check the ol forum to see what issue I should be upset about.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Jhaeman wrote:
Also not a fan of glyphs instead of words or numbers. Really not a fan of posts implying I actually do, will, or should.

I feel though that it's worth giving it a chance because PF1 had a lot of issues with "formatting for space" and "[A]" will be a single character whereas "As a standard action you may" is 28 and they mean the same thing.

X archetype, feat, item, etc. gets mangled because of the space limitations of a player's companion is a thing I'll be happy to not have happen again.

I have no issue with simplification. My issue is with that simplification being symbols when you have something known, numbers, that you can use. IMO, if you want to note how many actions, why not a number in a diamond instead of something you can't tell at a glance without looking it up?

So I don't see that I really have to see the options to know I would prefer that they were something else that serves the exact same purpose what actually works better for me.


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
Ranger looks cool

I agree! ;)


graystone wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Ranger looks cool
I agree! ;)

THATS THREE! Did we just summon beetlejuice or something?

(and I Favorited it because I had to have a marker on this momentous occasion.)

One thing that always kept me from playing the Ranger was the whole favored enemy mechanic where I had to guess or consult the DM to get an idea of when I might be able to use my primary class feature. I'm kind of glad that I won't be seeing that exact mechanic.


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Captain Morgan wrote:


There's no real action type information anymore. You have "Actions." Sure, you have free actions and reactions, but both of those are pretty intuitive. Free actions is stuff liking talking that doesn't use up your turn, reactions are things you react to.

Unchained RAE, if that is our point of comparison (it was with Chest Rockwell, I'm not sure if you are advocating for that as the best choice of system) had multiple subtypes as well and layers of coding as well.

First, you had acts, reactions, and free actions.

Second, you had simple actions and advanced actions (which determined how many of your 3 acts you had to spend to do a thing.) Simple actions are always 1 act. Advanced Actions take 2 or more.

Next you had action subtypes: Attack actions, Complex Actions, Move Actions, and Actions without subtypes.

Then you had the list of actions you can take, which wasn't 30. It is 82 items long, with a couple of sidebars on exceptions. And it still didn't cover everything preexisting like vital strike.

4 layers deep, there.

By comparison, PF2 has:

Actions, reactions, free actions.

A list of different kinds of actions: Strike, Stride, Operate, interact, etc. Dunno how many we will have, but it seems almost certain to be less than 82.

What actions you use take to do a specific thing, which will usually be listed in the item description or feat or whatever.

We are only 3 layers deep.

We still have actions, reactions and free actions, so that's a wash.

With PF2 we still have complex actions, they just aren't called anything. Any specific action can have more than one action type, so that's about even as well. We also have focus, stride, activate and so on and so forth. More than a few. We don't need a list of 82 to compete with a list of 82, just 82 combinations, a number we can get to trivially.

We also have actions that increase the number of actions we can take, or decrease the action cost of some action combinations. We've also been told that the extra actions granted can be spent on other actions which is a new layer of complexity.

We have three action points. You can also take a feat to grant you an extra action, the example we have is raise shield. These feats can also be spent to increase action points by presetting specific actions spent, but we'll set it at 5 for simplicity. Then we have at the very least item, status and ability based action modifiers. We're already to the point where all we need is 6 distinct actions to get to where Pathfinder is. Free and manipulate actions are a rider available for at the very least somatic casting and interact, so we can potentially triple this list. Focus, attack, stride, operate, reaction, (casting)somatic, (casting)verbal, (casting)material, command, cast a spell(distinct from the other three casting actions), activity, interact, raise shield, metamagic, and I think steal though that one isn't codified it appears distinct when talking about legendary thief skills.

About 14 before considering the free and manipulate riders. I also don't have info on what sort of actions are required for skill checks in general, so we may be able to add recall knowledge to the list.

It looks different, but it doesn't look simpler or faster. It will be better for handling status effects as they can target specific action types. And it will make chaining abilities easier to parse and design. I overall like it. But it is a trade off and I think people who find it more complex are probably right.

So, opening a door. Object interaction(manipulate)(free) or is it operate(manipulate)(free)? I assume we'll have a chart.


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Dollars to donuts RAW will say to spend an action to open a door, even though that should be a free action in all cases except with a locked or stuck door...


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Fuzzypaws wrote:
Dollars to donuts RAW will say to spend an action to open a door, even though that should be a free action in all cases except with a locked or stuck door...

Why should it be free? "Open or close a door" is a move action in PF1.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
Here's the thing you're missing bud.

Hahahahahaha, "bud"....? ...so masculine, very sexy.

Anyway, I do not agree with your assertions/examples, in the end, with the Unchained RAE, everything boils down to how many acts (I have been calling them actions since day one, acts did not gel with me) it takes to perform something, you do not need to deal with lots of micro-terms for any particular act/action.


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Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:
Dollars to donuts RAW will say to spend an action to open a door, even though that should be a free action in all cases except with a locked or stuck door...
Why should it be free? "Open or close a door" is a move action in PF1.

True, but I don't think I've ever had a PC try to operate a door during combat so it's mostly an academic distinction.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Chest Rockwell wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
Here's the thing you're missing bud.

Hahahahahaha, "bud"....? ...so masculine, very sexy.

Anyway, I do not agree with your assertions/examples, in the end, with the Unchained RAE, everything boils down to how many acts (I have been calling them actions since day one, acts did not gel with me) it takes to perform something, you do not need to deal with lots of micro-terms for any particular act/action.

And the same seems to be true of PF2. In most circumstance you are just going to say "I spent 2 actions to cast x spell" You aren't going to care about the microterms. The microterms are important for when there are other things going on. "Oh I'm paralyzed, so I can't use any spell with the Somatic component."


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Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:
Dollars to donuts RAW will say to spend an action to open a door, even though that should be a free action in all cases except with a locked or stuck door...
Why should it be free? "Open or close a door" is a move action in PF1.

To avoid the two-people-closing-the-door and aborted movement problems in normal Pathfinder. Being able to ready an action to close a door when it opens makes barricading a door trivial for two familiars if one readies their action to close it when it opens, and the other readies its action to close it when it opens if the other familiar has already closed it. If the action is free or taken as part of another move, then you don't need to ignore the rules for intuitive play.

But it's mostly that and I'd forgotten that Jason Bulmahn's comment wasn't the real rule. Since as far as I know we can't spend five feet of movement on something, I wasn't sure how to get this effect.

I guess it could be an interact manipulate reaction.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Crayon wrote:
True, but I don't think I've ever had a PC try to operate a door during combat so it's mostly an academic distinction.

Seriously? You've never had an NPC close a door after throwing a spell or something into the room with the PCs? It breaks line of sight/effect and can force PCs to waste actions.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
ErichAD wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:
Dollars to donuts RAW will say to spend an action to open a door, even though that should be a free action in all cases except with a locked or stuck door...
Why should it be free? "Open or close a door" is a move action in PF1.

To avoid the two-people-closing-the-door and aborted movement problems in normal Pathfinder. Being able to ready an action to close a door when it opens makes barricading a door trivial for two familiars if one readies their action to close it when it opens, and the other readies its action to close it when it opens if the other familiar has already closed it. If the action is free or taken as part of another move, then you don't need to ignore the rules for intuitive play.

But it's mostly that and I'd forgotten that Jason Bulmahn's comment wasn't the real rule. Since as far as I know we can't spend five feet of movement on something, I wasn't sure how to get this effect.

I guess it could be an interact manipulate reaction.

Well hopefully there will be rules to deal with this. One possibility is the order of operations may not allow this. I.E if it goes:

x declares and action that triggers a readied action.
y performs their readied action.
x completes the triggering action.

At which point readying to close a door as it opens doesn't actually stop the door opening.

A second way to do this (and I think a fairly good rule to just have in general) is that if two or more characters are attempting to manipulate the same object at the same time and are in opposition to each other they must make an opposed Athletics check. The character on each side with the highest Atthletics modifier makes the roll, with a bonus equal to half the strength modifier of each additional character on their side.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Hah! I like the idea of bull rushing through the door.


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KingOfAnything wrote:
Hah! I like the idea of bull rushing through the door.

PF1 had this Kool-Aid man feat, FWIW.

Dark Archive

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I like the change from Favored Enemy to Hunt Target, as 1e's version was both very limited and ridiculously powerful, although the Instant Enemy spell removed the biggest limitation on it as a Swift action of all things. I also like the concept of snares so long as they can be set mid-combat and have relevant effects for their level. Of all the classes the Ranger is the first one that comes to mind when I think of creating traps, so I'M not even surprised it wound up with feats for them.

On the other hand, Monster Hunter appears to be difficult to Activate given just the info we have here. Requiring a crit success to identify a creature to get yourself and allies a one-use +1 to attack seems like a minor benefit for what appears to be a difficult check. What's the DC to identify a creature? Do they get any bonuses on such checks from class feats or features that this blog didn't mention? And most importantly, when's the Bard preview? That keeps me up at night!


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rooneg wrote:
Just for the record, I didn't want to use spells. I don't think they make sense on a ranger.

And Bloodrager "make sense?" Hunter "make sense"? This is a fantasy game. How does spell casting by anyone, "make sense"?

In AD&D, Rangers got their spells from Druids and Magic-Users. It was the same exact spell list. So the spell casting came from Rangers actually studying the arcane/divine arts, just like Druids and Magic-Users.

In 3.5, WotC took away the wizard spells, but Rangers started seeing unique spells, essentially giving them their own spell list. Paizo took that further. 3.5/Paizo did a lousy job of perpetuating the tie-in with Druids, so I can see how younger players don't really get why spells are there.

Quote:
the various archetypal rangers from fiction don't really have them

This statement is invalid. There are no archetypal rangers in fiction. Outside of novels specifically licensing D&D and Pathfinder, no work of fiction ever tried to portray the AD&D ranger. Even Aragorn isn't an actual AD&D Ranger. What you're confusing is the notion that the Ranger class can be used to portray these works of fiction. That doesn't make them archetypal AD&D/Pathfinder Rangers.

The Ranger, in AD&D as well as Pathfinder, is its own thing, just like the healing Cleric. Yes, the class was modeled after real life concepts and undoubtedly burrowed from Tolkien, but AD&D created something unique and fictional writers don't use the Ranger in non-licensed content.

Quote:
and every time I've considered making a ranger in ANY version of D&D/PF I have been annoyed by the spellcasting. Judging by the multiple people who've ALREADY posted in this thread to say they're happy that the new ranger doesn't have spells by default I'm probably not the only one.

The spell casting is "annoying" because of how it was implemented. I also found it annoying that Rangers had a ton of interesting spells that were too situational to prepare head of time, when you're getting 1-3 spells. Paizo can fix that.

Quote:
As for compensation for lack of the spells, just like with literally every other class they've done a blog post on you can't possibly evaluate that because you don't have anywhere near enough information to do so. Wait a month, then we can talk about if the ranger was suitably compensated for the loss of its spells.

Fair enough. But the fact that Rangers could cast "spells," in my opinion, was an important part of the lore around the class. So while Paizo could replace the mechanical benefit, it's not just about the numbers, but the ethos and mindset of the class. The spell casting was function of the education and training of Rangers that exceeded other martials. Take that away and the class feels like an unwashed Fighter or mild-mannered Barbarian.


N N 959 wrote:
The Ranger, in AD&D as well as Pathfinder, is its own thing, just like the healing Cleric.

Yeah, the Cleric is an interesting case, it was originally deigned to counter vampires, a sort of Van Helsing deal.

Scarab Sages

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Crayon wrote:
True, but I don't think I've ever had a PC try to operate a door during combat so it's mostly an academic distinction.
Seriously? You've never had an NPC close a door after throwing a spell or something into the room with the PCs? It breaks line of sight/effect and can force PCs to waste actions.

For me, this is a pretty common tactic. I see it used by PCs when I'm GM'ing and playing, I've used it many times, and I've suggested others use it many times.

I'm sure there is probably some form of regional variation on whether this becomes a tactic though.

Scarab Sages

KingOfAnything wrote:
Hah! I like the idea of bull rushing through the door.

I've done this before.


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I'm sorta curious if PF2 is going to have any classes who cast from spell slots who aren't full 9 (or 10) level casters. I guess we'll have to wait for the bard preview, as a number of people are confident the bard is a full caster now.

Since the Alchemist no longer has any casting, the Paladin lost its slots in exchange for spell point spells, and the Ranger doesn't have any spells by default but the blog suggests they will get spell point spells at some point.

Of PF1's "6-level casters" the only one I feel strongly about being included in a post-release book is the Occultist, which you could easily roll out to a full caster with limited spell selection and a resonance focus. So is PF2 going to have any "half-casters"?


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Blog wrote:
First and foremost, the ranger is a hunter

I hope Paizo is still reading because I think the problem starts here. The Ranger was/is first and foremost a tracker, not a hunter. Tracking is what Gygax got from Tolkien's Legolas and Aragorn. The ability to read tracks and identify how many, what type, are central concepts in D&D lore.

I've noticed that after years of playing PFS that tracking is essentially/almost worthless. Scenarios don't contemplate it, even in the most obvious situations e.g. 4-05 Sanos Abduction. I would really like to see Paizo look beyond the numbers and address this. Ranger's should be the best at tracking, and it should count for something.

Give Rangers the ability to fully ID creatures from tracks, just as if one rolls a Knowledge skill check. As others have suggested, allow a successfully identified track to trigger Hunt Target. Explicitly state that identifiable tracks can be found outside of entrances/exits or within X yards of the target and make that X yards grow with each level.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Late to the party, but I feel that I should vocalize my opinion given that I've spoken up in a couple of places recently about things that have made me sad (including some of the style and choices of writing that have gone into the blogs).

This, is the first class blog that I don't come away feeling that someone is trying to used car salesman me on how the new class is superior to the old class despite the change of paradigm the class is being set in. (Put another way, it didn't try to sell me on getting pieces of the old version back over a longer period of time as something exciting and 'better'.) Instead, it focused on how the playtest ranger fits into the new paradigm, and what the new system does for me/us with regards to the class. Sure, spellcasting was taken off the playtest version - but that fits the /playtest/ as we need to test out the non-casting parts of the new plan more than we need to test a few magical tricks for THIS class. (And I am of the school that looked funny at rangers being a spell casting class by default, so I am not uncomfortable with this particular experiment.) Bringing back 'magic tricks' via spell points, given the direction of the paladin that way, works fine for me, and is easily gotten back up to speed for the CRB and beyond.

This also gives me the feel that of all the classes so far previewed (and that is mostly all we have, and not a complete playtest version) that the ranger is the first class to be really comfortable in its new home; maybe I am anthropomorphizing a bit much here, but this class actually looks like it will THRIVE in the new format relative to its comfort level in PF1. Maybe it was because the PF1 ranger was too much 'partially this'/'partially that'/'partially another thing' for it to feel right straight from its box (ie, without significant archetyping for specialty and more useful functionality)... anyhow, this is a class review I can actually feel HAPPY for having read. (Fighter wasn't bad, but not exciting. Most of the others... well. 'nuff said.)


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber
Tallow wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Crayon wrote:
True, but I don't think I've ever had a PC try to operate a door during combat so it's mostly an academic distinction.
Seriously? You've never had an NPC close a door after throwing a spell or something into the room with the PCs? It breaks line of sight/effect and can force PCs to waste actions.

For me, this is a pretty common tactic. I see it used by PCs when I'm GM'ing and playing, I've used it many times, and I've suggested others use it many times.

I'm sure there is probably some form of regional variation on whether this becomes a tactic though.

Playing a low-level caster, there have been many times that a readied open/close cantrip has been my most valuable contribution to a fight, making the NPCs on the other side of the door waste actions they could otherwise spend attacking.


PossibleCabbage wrote:

I'm sorta curious if PF2 is going to have any classes who cast from spell slots who aren't full 9 (or 10) level casters. I guess we'll have to wait for the bard preview, as a number of people are confident the bard is a full caster now.

Since the Alchemist no longer has any casting, the Paladin lost its slots in exchange for spell point spells, and the Ranger doesn't have any spells by default but the blog suggests they will get spell point spells at some point.

Of PF1's "6-level casters" the only one I feel strongly about being included in a post-release book is the Occultist, which you could easily roll out to a full caster with limited spell selection and a resonance focus. So is PF2 going to have any "half-casters"?

I suspect we won't see any half casters in the CRB, as I fall into the camp that suspects bards will be full casters now, but I don't know that they'll be gone completely. If I were to say my suspicions, I'd say half casters won't be done by limiting spell progression, but by limiting spell slots per level, as there's a lot of things in this new edition (the new heightening mechanics, effects now based more on spell level, like detect magic, cantrip scaling, ect) that seem to indicate limiting to 6-level will be weaker in 2e than 1e, so the version that I'd see as most likely is 9 level casting, 2 slots per spell level, and maybe limited higher level spells available, but I suspect that the design team isn't really thinking about that right now, assuming Bards are full casters. I suspect it's a problem they're planning on tackling when they want to update the Inquisitor or maybe Magus (though I could see magus as a likely Spell-point caster, though probably with more spell points than most)


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Late to the party opinions:
I like Hunt Target a lot. I like that it encourages rangers to make a lot of furious attacks in the way the old twf/bow weapon specialization did, but does so in a way that doesn't force you to focus on one weapon group or the other.

The general utility of snares seems kind of suspect to me. So far as Pathfinder is a game about going out and exploring new areas, I think it is kind of rare that players will want to use that option without also taking the ranger feat that lets you set them up in combat (since it is rare that you will have the opportunity to prepare a battle field). Also, I assume that the ranger, unlike the alchemist, will not get any of their snares for "free", right? I think it is a little odd to have all these feats tied to a costly consumable when other competing feats can be used for "free". Maybe snares will grant enough utility and versatility to make them a worthwhile path for the ranger but I am allowed to be skeptical.

I am also skeptical of the competitiveness of a feat like Monster Hunter that only activates on a critical success. A +1 is pretty good in this system, but it is unclear to me how often this kind of thing will come up and feats like it are competing with powerhouse feats like power attack and two weapon fighting that will increase the party's damage output in a far more reliable manner. I bet this feat could see some use with a super dedicated "monster lore" build, but I feel like it is a trap option otherwise.

Meanwhile, the bonus from scout's warning seems really minimal given that "critically succeeding" on an initiative roll doesn't seem to be a thing. Perhaps there are mechanics in the game that only work if you are going first or beat your opponent's initiative by 10 or more, though? Either way, I still question this feats usefulness.

Just for clarity on feat selections, I am kind of thinking about these feats competing with other options we know about that I am assuming a ranger can access:
Dual Strike, Power Attack, Quick Draw (so the ranger can switch between melee and ranged combat and also move/Hunt Target/Attack all on the same turn that they draw their weapons)
Frankly from a pure optimization perspective, I'd almost always want to take quick draw and either DS or PA before I took any of the feats listed here. I recognize that there is much to be seen, though.


Chest Rockwell wrote:
Ah, yes, but this is about not liking iconography in rules-text, right? I do not like it in RPGs (fantastic for CCGs), especially, another thing that did not appeal about 4th Ed.

I think glyphs work pretty well in Star Wars as well, where you have a significant number of them to keep track of (I can think of 16 off-hand). Though in Star Wars, things are helped by being highly context-dependent - even if you don't know what a glyph means, it could never mean anything other than a maximum of six things based on the context.

First, you have the regular dice. These are a blue or black square, a green or purple diamond, or a yellow or red hexagon. These correspond to a blue/black six-sided die, a green/purple eight-sided die, or a yellow/red 12-sided die. These are super easy to remember, because both the shapes and colors match the dice used in the game.

Second, you have the symbols on those dice. Again, there are six of them - three good symbols (representing successes, side benefits, and a success plus extra benefits) and three bad symbols (one removing successes, one removing side benefits and adding side penalties, and one combining both). These are probably the most problematic, but in my group we had them down within a single session.

Third, you have the symbols representing force use. They include a seventh die - a white twelve-sided die, represented by a white hexagon. You also have light-side points (a white circle), dark-side points (a black circle), and general force points (a half white/half black circle). These are fairly self-explanatory.


N N 959 wrote:
Blog wrote:
First and foremost, the ranger is a hunter

I hope Paizo is still reading because I think the problem starts here. The Ranger was/is first and foremost a tracker, not a hunter. Tracking is what Gygax got from Tolkien's Legolas and Aragorn. The ability to read tracks and identify how many, what type, are central concepts in D&D lore.

I've noticed that after years of playing PFS that tracking is essentially/almost worthless. Scenarios don't contemplate it, even in the most obvious situations e.g. 4-05 Sanos Abduction. I would really like to see Paizo look beyond the numbers and address this. Ranger's should be the best at tracking, and it should count for something.

Give Rangers the ability to fully ID creatures from tracks, just as if one rolls a Knowledge skill check. As others have suggested, allow a successfully identified track to trigger Hunt Target. Explicitly state that identifiable tracks can be found outside of entrances/exits or within X yards of the target and make that X yards grow with each level.

Bullseye, good post here.

In the LotR movies there're two subtle yet cool scenes in... the second movie I guess, where the hobbits were taken to Isengard. One of them is how Aragorn is able to know the direction, numbers and other stuff about the enemy just listening the earth, and how the tracking party was faster than the fleeing one. The second is probably unrelated, but I love the scene where Legolas says "A red sun rises. Blood has been spilled this night".


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Neriathale wrote:

So you have to be able to see your target to determine that they are your 'favoured enemy'?

I'm sort of sad that you loose the 'I have been hunting dragons all my life, and I am particularly skilled at spotting evidence of their presence by the slightest signs' flavour as a result. The new version is probably mechanically stronger, but less character defining.

What would be nice if they made favoured enemy ability as an archetype feat so any class can be like I've been hunting/studying this creature all my life. I've always like the idea of a barbarian with a favored enemy.


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I feel like one thing that merits mentioning is that if we were to play the literal events of Lord of the Rings as a tabletop roleplaying game, it would frankly be pretty dull. So I don't think trying to cleave to that, even if it was an important inspiration, is a good idea.

I mean, the reason "tracking" has been downplayed in basically every edition is that tracking is not especially interesting- it's a binary pass/fail state in which failure does not result in anything interesting, and involves at most the GM and one player.

It makes more sense for the Ranger to be a hunter than a tracker in a game like Pathfinder, because Pathfinder focuses extensively on combat as a game focus, and "the PCs do not find what they are looking for" is not something that actual humans playing the game tend to find compelling, so this is something that generally happens by default without the need for a dedicated specialist.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I feel like one thing that merits mentioning is that if we were to play the literal events of Lord of the Rings as a tabletop roleplaying game, it would frankly be pretty dull. So I don't think trying to cleave to that, even if it was an important inspiration, is a good idea.

I mean, the reason "tracking" has been downplayed in basically every edition is that tracking is not especially interesting- it's a binary pass/fail state in which failure does not result in anything interesting, and involves at most the GM and one player.

I think tracking and investigation in general can be interesting avenues of play, but they just aren't handled particularly well with Pathfinder's base rules. The added rules from the 3PP Gumshoe help if you want to focus an adventure on that kind of stuff, though.

I will also note that I think "skillful woodsy fight boy" is decent fodder for a class even in the absence of Tolkien's influence. Ranger covers hunters/survivalists/woodsman stuff pretty well.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I mean, the reason "tracking" has been downplayed in basically every edition is that tracking is not especially interesting- it's a binary pass/fail state in which failure does not result in anything interesting, and involves at most the GM and one player.

That's right. You're 100% right. Tracking has been reduced to simply the ability to follow a creature and Paizo even errat'ed the Track ability to convey less information than originally intended.

So Paizo needs to fix this. A Ranger's use of Survival should convey a lot more information than simply following something's tracks. Why not allow a Ranger to determine extraordinary things, like if it's wounded, tired, armored, how far is it, etc. Mandate that tracks can be found in likely areas, you know, like the cave entrance of where the ogre is living. Allow it to trigger other benefits.

But I 100% agree with you, Tracking has become pointless because it's been reduced to some binary outcome that a GM can't afford to hinge the entire adventure on. So fix it, don't eliminate it.

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