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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Really dig the approach on this class! I especially like the spell-less base - this has always made sense to me. Also, love snares!


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Sammy T wrote:

2) "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" So, if we're fighting a pack of 5 wargs, and I critically identify one, the bonus doesn't carry over to the other creatures in the same combat?

It could be roleplayed in many ways, in your warg example it could be something like the ranger noticing that the target of his hunt is trying to avoid putting weight on its front left paw and exploiting that knowledge to get an advantage and the warg after noticing that it is being taken advantage off simply adjusting acordingly

Shadow Lodge

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Why are we adding more action types still?


I'm cool with most of this. I love snares and I don't mind them being spell-less (I actually think that makes more sense to what a ranger should be in a fantasy setting). I do miss the old flavor of favoured enemy though. I want to have a grudge against certain types of enemies and be able to track any creatures of that type to their lair because I've been studying them most of my life. I love the way you can make a great backstory just from this one simple class feature so I'm going to really miss it.


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Dragonborn3 wrote:
Why are we adding more action types still?

This is no different than saying " you can study a target as a move action" in Pathfinder first edition. It's a new action in the same way that numerous class abilities were new uses of an action in PF1. Is there anything difficult about this.


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Okay, reading through this blog, there are some questions that I have... I apologize for the long post, but for once I read this on my laptop instead of on my phone. Additionally, if any of these questions, thoughts, or concerns were already brought up, I apologize; I read what existed up until I started writing this.

(1) Obviously we have different types of actions (operate, interact, manipulate, activation, etc). The flavor text of the Hunt Target ability says that you focus on an enemy you can see or hear in 100 feet. However, there is no indication as to what type of action this is. Is it a focus action? I know that focus activation actions are a thing (for magic items), but what about plain old focus actions without activation? I am assuming that the differences in action types exist so that way some status restrict certain action types. Could your ranger easily use this on a boat in a stormy sea? How about while under a fear effect?

(2) It really feels like this ability is bait for multi-classing into ranger for 1 level to get the lesser attack penalties and then going back into your main class. Is there any downside for doing this? How is multi-classing going to work in PF2E? I know we have not had a blog post of it, but I'm reminded of the paladin in PF1E not getting the good class abilities until at least 2nd level to avoid the OP 1 level dips. (Not saying that hunt target is OP, but it leads me to questions about multi-classing in general and how hard it was in PF1E)

(3) Can a ranger use Hunt Target an unlimited times per day? Are there any use restrictions such as not being able to target the same enemy more than once or it costing a spell point? Can a ranger keep switching back and forth between different enemies in a fight just based off of who is closest? I feel like that would be too strong if that is the case.

A side note: please reconsider the term "spell points" when referring to class abilities, even if they can act like spells. We already have actual magic spells in the system which have no interaction with spell points, but with this wording they seem related. I would prefer "power points" personally - no weird overlap with ability scores by calling them "ability points" and less confusion about why my monk or fighter has a pool referring to spells.

(4) The class feat Monster Hunter seems like a rather large investment for something which may or may not pay off. First, you have to spend a precious class feat, thereby forgoing other potentially interesting class abilities. Secondly, you have to spend an action on Recall Knowledge and critically succeed at that check. Thirdly, the ranger is the only one who gets the bonus from this feat and it lasts for one attack roll; you would have to spend an action every turn to get the +1, which somewhat flies in the face of the reduced multiple attack penalty. It is unclear from the ability if sharing the information with your companions is an action or not - historically small amounts of talking are free actions but in this new system where you spend actions to change weapon grips and the like, I would expect this to cost an action as well, which means you would have to spend 2 actions to give everyone +1 on 1 attack roll against 1 specific enemy.

(5) For the class feat Scout's Warning, it specifically calls out that you have to be rolling perception for initiative. I have 2 thoughts on this, although I will say that I am happy that this is a free action and level 4 seems like an acceptable level to be able to take this.

(a) Since you can roll different skills for initiative now, and the ranger is supposed to be a good tracker, I would expect to be rolling survival fairly often for my initiative. Even if I as a player said I was tracking with perception, I would be worried about my GM ruling that as survival and then not being able to apply my feat.

(b) Since everyone can potentially be rolling different skills for initiative, it seems somewhat odd that my great ability to perceive things would make everyone else better. In some cases, this makes sense like allowing the rogue to sneak better, but depending on what my other party members are doing or how I convey the information I am not sure if that bonus should always apply. If I call out or gesture to my party about am ambush, would that potentially alert the enemies ahead and so make my initiative boost a moot point? I am likely reading too much into flavor text on this one, but in-game reasons as to why something happens can be important.

(6) Why are the snares listed as both Traps and Snares in their descriptions? The blog claims that snares are like traps but are not, and yet they still have the trap classification. What does this mean?

In the same vein, what game significance does Mechanical have? I originally assumed that meant "non-magical" but then again non-magical traps/snares could just not have a tag unless they WERE magical. Are there specific effects which affect mechanical things?

Can snares be detected with the spell Detect Traps or with the Trap-spotting ability? Does the Trap Sense ability confer its increase to saves versus traps to saves against snare DCs? (assuming these spells and abilities exist and work like in PF1E, of course)

(7) The freezing snare specifically calls out alchemical items when crafting it.

(a) Can alchemical items be added to any snare to create added effects or does this only work for snares that are specifically called out?

(b) Does the gold cost of the snare include the gold cost for the alchemical items (in this case, 3 vials of liquid ice)?

(c) Do you have to buy the vials of liquid ice before you go adventuring? If you have an alchemist with you, can they make the vials of liquid ice for you? Do they have to spend resonance to make the items? If resonance needs to be spent for the vials, could you use your resonance points instead of those of your alchemist (who presumably needs to points for his own stuff and is just doing you a favor)? If your alchemist creates the vials of liquid ice using unstable alchemy (assuming they can be made using that ability), are the vials temporary as normal, thus making your trap temporary? How long does a trap normally last and how would that compare to using unstable alchemy items?

(8) Further on the alchemist, what is preventing the alchemist from becoming a required player for any adventuring party? Yes, technically you could not have one, as in you could technically run without any healers, but I'm not seeing why you would. Granted, I like to run overly-optimized builds and parties, so I understand that this concern may not be at the top of everyone's list.

It seems as though the alchemist is integral to every party as they create these items which can be used by anyone (and, despite having read all of the past blogs and many of the comments, I am still unclear on resonance use for alchemically made items) and reduce the need for the now-finicky magic items. On the flip side, what is preventing the alchemist from becoming the party's armorer who just makes items for the party all day and may as well not be adventuring?

This problem is why my home groups disallow item-crafting wizards and are fairly strict on bards, as you can end up with a PC who has no personality or use outside of supplying the party. This is also why my home group disallows NPC companions now, so people don't walk around with free buff-bots and armorers while they still get their fully fledged characters.

Whew, okay, that's all I can think of for now.
Some parts of PF2E look interesting and parts make me really worried (looking at you, resonance points >.> <.<)
Can't wait to get my hands on the play test materials!


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This is both fun and something I can look forward too. Oddly enough, I think snare crafting has been my favorite aspect of this blog post.

In Pathfinder 1st Edition crafting was time consuming and complex, and traps just never seemed like a great investment. It made sense for my Ranger to bring a couple of bear traps along with him to catch prey or litter the battlefield, but I am far happier than I thought I would be that I get to make snares like a hunter/ranger would instead of buying bear traps in bulk, and going full Rambo in the jungle. Very pleased.

Shadow Lodge

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MusicAddict wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:
Why are we adding more action types still?
This is no different than saying " you can study a target as a move action" in Pathfinder first edition. It's a new action in the same way that numerous class abilities were new uses of an action in PF1. Is there anything difficult about this.

Except this does nothing to streamline the game when people have to look up what kind of action something is. Instead they could just say "as an action" and no one has to page flip.


Crayon wrote:
Seems rather superfluous that this Class wasn't simply folded into the Fighter...

Yeah. Everything here seems like it should be do-able by selecting a few feats. Seems like the brawlermonk again.


So, I have never beeng a big fan of the Ranger. Nothing against it neither, just that I didn't play any and didn't see many being played.
Probably had something to do with the fact that to most people "Ranger = Ranged" (because of the name and WoW's hunters with their pets), and that they had half-casting and half-animal companion, along with multiple feat-taxes for the ranged part to start working, made it a half-baked class in too many fields, while forcing you to learn Animal Companion and Spell Casting rules for a crappy companion and crappy low level spells.

No spells sounds like the right approach to me, and as someone suggested I hope they have some Feat or ability related to "Herbalism" a la Aragorn, to get the medical and poisonous plants and such.

I don't care mucha bout Favored Terrain/Enemy, and probably Studied Target is a better options, but from some of the comments it feels like it would be nice to have some Archetype or Feat that allow to still grab the old versions for those that loved them.

The only thing that stroke me in the wrong way, were the snares. The fact that you have to use one of your 5 General Feats to grab "Snare Crafting" already felt weird, but if there are many types and have their uses, the cost is fair I guess.
But then we get 2 snares presented:

The first one that transforms terrain into difficult terrain witout even attempting to trip the target (so just making them lose 1 square worth of movement, if they step on it) feels like most of the time it could be replaced with just actually creating some difficulty terrain by moving rocks and branches...

The second... I didn't like. Many people may disagree with me, but that Freezing Snare felt more like MMORPG Skill than a Tabletop RPG snare. Creating a trap, with vials of "Liquid Ice", that explodes into cold damage/ice and slow-freezes the target? Is not something I would picture your typical movie/book ranger crafting and placing.
But ey, that's probably just me. Golarion, after all, oozes magic and weird items galore.


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Dragonborn3 wrote:
Why are we adding more action types still?

Words that are capitalized (like Seek or Track) used to be described as "when using the perception skill to seek" or "when using the Survival skill to track."

So they are not really "new," just given a single word, capitalized, to summarize their in-game function, which has already existed.

This (ironic?) compromise is trading clarity for Clarity!

Spoiler:

clarity = being able to pronounce the sentence perfectly in english the first time

Clarity = specific in-game function that leaves little room for interpretation / argumentation


...

By establishing Clear language from the beginning of the life of the game, the idea is that even though it may take a little extra effort at the beginning to grasp the language, once you get past that hump your will be able to understand and communicate in-game terms more Clearly, leading to less variance in shared expectations across players and game masters generally, leading to a more unified game experience.

From a design perspective, they will also be able to save page-count in future expansions, because having established what Seek and Track mean, they will be able to sink mechanics hooks into them later.


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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.

Um, what kind of terrain is the square with the snare after it is destroyed by the snare? Or is the creature destroyed by the snare, instead? The grammar is ambiguous.

Okay, I guess that since this is a 1st-level snare, it cannot destroy a square or a creature; therefore, it must have destroyed itself. But the grammar makes this the third possible meaning of the final "it." And how long does the square stay difficult terrain? Until the snare is destroyed, which happens in the middle of the creature's movement? Until the end of the movement action? Until the end of the turn?

Furthermore, isn't becoming difficult terrain when the creature enters the square too late? Difficult terrain matters when the movement cost must be paid.

I recommend, "When a creature enters the snared square, it loses 5 feet of movement. Triggering destroys the snare."


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I'm all for "a specific use of a skill is an action type" rather than "when you use a [skill] for x purpose". Presumably "Seek" will be easier to find in an index and read than finding the rules for the appropriate skill and skimming it until you find the part you need.


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Snares/traps can be an ok/nice/interesting option, but as a permanent/common/fixed/main class feature, you're doing totally wrong...

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Kaemy wrote:
The first one that transforms terrain into difficult terrain witout even attempting to trip the target (so just making them lose 1 square worth of movement, if they step on it) feels like most of the time it could be replaced with just actually creating some difficulty terrain by moving rocks and branches...

Sure. But that would be super easy for the enemy to avoid. The point of this level 1 snare is to surprise them with difficult terrain. A few put together can really mess with enemy mobility.

Quote:

The second... I didn't like. Many people may disagree with me, but that Freezing Snare felt more like MMORPG Skill than a Tabletop RPG snare. Creating a trap, with vials of "Liquid Ice", that explodes into cold damage/ice and slow-freezes the target? Is not something I would picture your typical movie/book ranger crafting and placing.

But ey, that's probably just me. Golarion, after all, oozes magic and weird items galore.

Would you feel the same way about a trap made with alchemist's fire that can set enemies on fire?


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Dragonborn3 wrote:
MusicAddict wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:
Why are we adding more action types still?
This is no different than saying " you can study a target as a move action" in Pathfinder first edition. It's a new action in the same way that numerous class abilities were new uses of an action in PF1. Is there anything difficult about this.
Except this does nothing to streamline the game when people have to look up what kind of action something is. Instead they could just say "as an action" and no one has to page flip.

If you are talking about what I think you are. Seek is likely a general action any one can use and is probably moderately involved. You can't include the paragraph of rules text it requires to explain Seek each time you do something that interacts with it.

Now it can go to far. But if I can fit condensed rules for all the action types on one side of A4 as a reference to my players I will be happy.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Bruno Mares wrote:
Snares/traps can be an ok/nice/interesting option, but as a permanent/common/fixed/main class feature, you're doing totally wrong...

They are a nice/interesting option. They are not a fixed class feature.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
I like the hunting ability, but it seems like you should be able to designate a creature whose tracks you're following with Survival, not just one you can already see/hear in person.

Although I have the same concern, I’m wondering if it might be the case that Rangers are specialized in Survival skill. If they are, that would already give them an advantage over other classes when it comes to tracking.


KingOfAnything wrote:
Kaemy wrote:

The second... I didn't like. Many people may disagree with me, but that Freezing Snare felt more like MMORPG Skill than a Tabletop RPG snare. Creating a trap, with vials of "Liquid Ice", that explodes into cold damage/ice and slow-freezes the target? Is not something I would picture your typical movie/book ranger crafting and placing.

But ey, that's probably just me. Golarion, after all, oozes magic and weird items galore.
Would you feel the same way about a trap made with alchemist's fire that can set enemies on fire?

I think not. "Alchemist's Fire" feels more "normal/medieval" to me than Liquid Ice. I guess is the freezing part, being crafted by a non-caster/non-alchemist, that strikes me weird. I can imagine Aragorn placing something to break/burn when stepped on, but freeze-explosion feels a little too in the magic-side more than something you craft as a trap.

Dunno. To me feels like the ranger (but this is a general feat, so everyone can get it I guess?) should be placing Spike Traps and Bear Traps, not Ice-Freezing Traps. XD

I really think the difficult terrain one could use a free trip attempt (low DC if you want), like if it were just a hidden rope. It also matches with "difficult terrain on 1 square" and "destroyed on trigger" stuff.

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Malk_Content wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:
MusicAddict wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:
Why are we adding more action types still?
This is no different than saying " you can study a target as a move action" in Pathfinder first edition. It's a new action in the same way that numerous class abilities were new uses of an action in PF1. Is there anything difficult about this.
Except this does nothing to streamline the game when people have to look up what kind of action something is. Instead they could just say "as an action" and no one has to page flip.

If you are talking about what you think I am. Seek is likely a general action any one can use and is probably moderately involved. You can't include the paragraph of rules text it requires to explain Seek each time you do something that interacts with it.

Now it can go to far. But if I can fit condensed rules for all the action types on one side of A4 as a reference to my players I will be happy.

Yeah, if I know the rules well enough to know how an action like Seek works, I know the rules well enough to know how many actions it takes. If I need to look up the number of actions, I will likely need a refresher on what the actual rules are as well.


Mark Seifter wrote:
Bruno Mares wrote:
Snares/traps can be an ok/nice/interesting option, but as a permanent/common/fixed/main class feature, you're doing totally wrong...
They are a nice/interesting option. They are not a fixed class feature.

How does the DC work for the snares? You mentioned that quick snares have a lower DC and that a ranger can use a scaling DC instead of the fixed one for their traps.

Thanks for answering all of our questions!


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Mbertorch wrote:

I like this. If Sorcerer doesn't blow me away (which it probably will, since I love them so much I usually help them over whatever bar I set), this will be the class of my first Pathfinder playtest character.

Ooh. Unless Bards can be built to be nasty debuffers. Then I'll actually have some thinking to do.

If you want to be the debuff master, there's a lot of classes that can do that now (even fighter, Luis put together what I called a "Malboro" fighter who chained together up to 4 conditions if his turn went really well for him (and bad for my monsters!). Bards can be nasty buffers or debuffers and more besides, but you'll have to wait for the bard blog for details!

... On the one hand, this is awesome, and thank you for taking the time to give this info... On the other hand... I'm back to square one.. yay... Haha!


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Very underwhelming. Ranger has lost a lot for seemingly no gain. And additional +1/+2 at lv 17 is laughable. Snares are also a joke, they are simply not impressive for something that will see so little use. In my last 5 campaigns we've gotten a proper ambush on an actual challenging encounter less than 10 times. If they are going to replace spells then they need to be usable in combat. I'm also noticing a lot of "Maybe" and "We might" in these blog posts.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Jinjifra wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Bruno Mares wrote:
Snares/traps can be an ok/nice/interesting option, but as a permanent/common/fixed/main class feature, you're doing totally wrong...
They are a nice/interesting option. They are not a fixed class feature.

How does the DC work for the snares? You mentioned that quick snares have a lower DC and that a ranger can use a scaling DC instead of the fixed one for their traps.

Thanks for answering all of our questions!

It depends; is this just some random guy or gal who spent a single skill feat on snares, or is this a ranger who's actually sinking class feats into snares? For the former, you use the DC in the snare, but for the latter, you can use a strong scaling DC. The lower DC is for the no-cost snares; setting them quickly does not decrease the DC.

Sovereign Court

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Kaemy wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
Kaemy wrote:

The second... I didn't like. Many people may disagree with me, but that Freezing Snare felt more like MMORPG Skill than a Tabletop RPG snare. Creating a trap, with vials of "Liquid Ice", that explodes into cold damage/ice and slow-freezes the target? Is not something I would picture your typical movie/book ranger crafting and placing.

But ey, that's probably just me. Golarion, after all, oozes magic and weird items galore.
Would you feel the same way about a trap made with alchemist's fire that can set enemies on fire?

I think not. "Alchemist's Fire" feels more "normal/medieval" to me than Liquid Ice. I guess is the freezing part, being crafted by a non-caster/non-alchemist, that strikes me weird. I can imagine Aragorn placing something to break/burn on stepped, bu freeze-explosion feels a little to in the magic-side more than something you craft as a trap.

Dunno. To me feels like the ranger (but this is a general feat, so everyone can get it I guess?) should be placing Spike Traps and Bear Traps, not Ice-Freezing Traps. XD

I understand the impulse. Fire feels more commonplace to me, largely because alchemist's fire is Core in PF1, and liquid ice is not. In PF2 though, liquid ice is Core just the same as alchemist's fire. Anyone with the right feat can craft either of those items. It is going to take some time to reestablish our baseline setting assumptions.


Yachiru5490 wrote:
Stuff

I have no insider information, on this, but at least my perspective from various bits of information:

1) I'm fairly sure that not all actions will be typed. Only actions that they feel will play into rules (for example, the manipulate action provokes AoOs, stuff like that), and I feel since no type is listed, that means it's probably untyped.

2) I've been more and more coming to the conclusion that they're converting multiclassing into archetypes. Not sure how I feel about that, but I think it's probably necessary if you want 1st level characters to feel reasonably Ranger-y, but not have dips be a thing. I expect to focus on how much multiclassing feels like multiclassing in 2e

3) I don't think it's that overpowered. Obviously, we don't know for sure, but I think it costing an action makes it so it's not desirable to just switch up targets, and while it does seem powerful, I don't think it's much more powerful compared to other stuff we've seen that's also unlimited #/day

4)Probably fairly underpowered, but do we actually know that recall knowledge is an action? In 1e it was a free action, and I'm not sure why that would change. So getting a bonus every so often for free seems not too bad.

5) I can see the reason to specify "perception for initiative" because it's harder to raise perception, now not being a skill, but it does seem kind of weird, and a bit counter to their new initiative system

6)I'm guessing they're using keywords like that to solve precisely the questions you asked: Does Detect Traps detect snares? Well, they have the Trap keyword, so yes.

7) Can't really answer any of these, for sure, but my guess is a) just for snares specifically called out, b)Based on what we know of the price of bombs, I'd say it doesn't include those, but at least for that snare, it'd be only a ~9 gp difference, which isn't a lot by 8th level, even with the x10 gp value.

8)I don't think they're any more necessary than in 1e. I don't see alchemical items as being that much more powerful in 2e, nor any rarer to purchase. Item crafting, and alchemical crafting is something anyone can do now, so it's not even like the alchemist has much of an advantage there, and 2e's advantage in item crafting won't be as pronounced, I suspect, because unless you have a lot of downtime, I suspect most people will just take the 4-day full gp route, most of the time.


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Dragonborn3 wrote:
Why are we adding more action types still?

We aren't? People keep saying stuff like this, and as far as I can see everything is either and Action (which admittedly should probably gain an Adjective given that Free Actions exist), a Free Action, or a Reaction.

I can't be bothered to check if Free Actions were included in the original actions blog, but even if not thats one additional type, and one which cannot possibly be a surprise to anyone.

_
glass.


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worldhopper wrote:

NEGATIVE:

-Monster Hunter looks, frankly, awful. I know a +1 means more in 2E, but for one attack roll, and only on a critical success? Take off one of those restrictions (either make it last the duration of the Hunt or make it proc on a regular success) and it might be worth taking.

Something that may be easy to miss is that you can give the bonus to your whole party, which means a +1 to your entire party's next attack, which could help with critical attacks.


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Kaemy wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
Kaemy wrote:

The second... I didn't like. Many people may disagree with me, but that Freezing Snare felt more like MMORPG Skill than a Tabletop RPG snare. Creating a trap, with vials of "Liquid Ice", that explodes into cold damage/ice and slow-freezes the target? Is not something I would picture your typical movie/book ranger crafting and placing.

But ey, that's probably just me. Golarion, after all, oozes magic and weird items galore.
Would you feel the same way about a trap made with alchemist's fire that can set enemies on fire?

I think not. "Alchemist's Fire" feels more "normal/medieval" to me than Liquid Ice. I guess is the freezing part, being crafted by a non-caster/non-alchemist, that strikes me weird. I can imagine Aragorn placing something to break/burn on stepped, bu freeze-explosion feels a little to in the magic-side more than something you craft as a trap.

Dunno. To me feels like the ranger (but this is a general feat, so everyone can get it I guess?) should be placing Spike Traps and Bear Traps, not Ice-Freezing Traps. XD

I really think the difficult terrain one could use a free trip attempt (low DC if you want), like if it were just a hidden rope. It also matches with "difficult terrain on 1 square" and "destroyed on trigger" stuff.

The Freezing Snare is an 8th level trap. I would guess that the more mundane traps such as Pit Traps, Spike Traps, and Steel-Jaw Bear Traps would be lower level traps. The Alchemist's Fire trap might be 6th level, when incorporating alechemy or magic into traps requires more skill.

I hope for a 1st-level Wire with Bell trap, to give away anyone trying to sneak toward the ranger's camp.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Jinjifra wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Bruno Mares wrote:
Snares/traps can be an ok/nice/interesting option, but as a permanent/common/fixed/main class feature, you're doing totally wrong...
They are a nice/interesting option. They are not a fixed class feature.

How does the DC work for the snares? You mentioned that quick snares have a lower DC and that a ranger can use a scaling DC instead of the fixed one for their traps.

Thanks for answering all of our questions!

It depends; is this just some random guy or gal who spent a single skill feat on snares, or is this a ranger who's actually sinking class feats into snares? For the former, you use the DC in the snare, but for the latter, you can use a strong scaling DC. The lower DC is for the no-cost snares; setting them quickly does not decrease the DC.

Oh okay, that sounds pretty solid. Is it a two or three feat investment to be able to quickly set snares at the scaling DC? IT seems like if you are focusing on it you could be build a pretty interesting character based around traps.

Lantern Lodge

Mark Seifter wrote:
Bruno Mares wrote:
Snares/traps can be an ok/nice/interesting option, but as a permanent/common/fixed/main class feature, you're doing totally wrong...
They are a nice/interesting option. They are not a fixed class feature.

Does this means spellcasting could still be an option for rangers?

Also, the Hunt Target and Traps/Snares is giving this Ranger preview a very strong feeling of World of Warcraft(WOW)'s Hunter.


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Jinjifra wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Jinjifra wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Bruno Mares wrote:
Snares/traps can be an ok/nice/interesting option, but as a permanent/common/fixed/main class feature, you're doing totally wrong...
They are a nice/interesting option. They are not a fixed class feature.

How does the DC work for the snares? You mentioned that quick snares have a lower DC and that a ranger can use a scaling DC instead of the fixed one for their traps.

Thanks for answering all of our questions!

It depends; is this just some random guy or gal who spent a single skill feat on snares, or is this a ranger who's actually sinking class feats into snares? For the former, you use the DC in the snare, but for the latter, you can use a strong scaling DC. The lower DC is for the no-cost snares; setting them quickly does not decrease the DC.
Oh okay, that sounds pretty solid. Is it a two or three feat investment to be able to quickly set snares at the scaling DC? IT seems like if you are focusing on it you could be build a pretty interesting character based around traps.

And this is how I would build my Ranger for the playtest. I've never been big on Animal Companions or Ranger Spells, so this is definitely what my Ranger will be investing in. Also, I want to see if snares suck or are awesome, since, well, isn't that the kind of thing that the playtest is for?


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Secane wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Bruno Mares wrote:
Snares/traps can be an ok/nice/interesting option, but as a permanent/common/fixed/main class feature, you're doing totally wrong...
They are a nice/interesting option. They are not a fixed class feature.

Does this means spellcasting could still be an option for rangers?

Also, the Hunt Target and Traps/Snares is giving this Ranger preview a very strong feeling of World of Warcraft(WOW)'s Hunter.

Don't know much about WOW, but isn't the animal a very important part of the Hunter, as well as it's ranged capabilities? Whereas I plan on building (and seem to be able to) a melee focused companion-less Ranger. I'm not saying you're wrong; I just wanted to point that out.


Hm. Sounds workable, I feel like I need to know more about the other Ranger specific Feats to say more, such as Animal Companion etc. I will assume the Ranger has a large amount of Skills and good proficiency in Nature stuff, too bad the blog didn't go into that, if it's a partial version of Rogue's 2x Skill Feats etc.

I guess I'm fine with Spells not being in Core, my only worry is the basic structure not being built around them, and them being added in via Feat or ability Swap not being as smoothly balanced. I imagine just having roughly sketched out concept for how it could be implemented, e.g. assuming you will take between 1/4 and 1/2 of Feats for Spell stuff, will alleviate that. Since it will be optional/'splat', I hope it does emphasize more specific flavor, Druidic, Fey, whatever. Hell, there could be multiple magical traditions to tie into.

re: Hunt Target, it sounds like it should be usable out of combat, although that's not 100% clear (not sure how actions work out of combat mode), so you should be able to already have designated one enemy at beginning of any combat unless you are surprised?

re: Monster Hunter, I'm not sure if Recall Knowledge is Ranger thing or just general skill rule, but the feat's reference to "critically succeed to identify a target you're hunting" doesn't seem clear to me, I assume that refers to Hunt Target ability but it doesn't seem clear-cut that specific ability is being referred to, as opposed to general English version of "hunting" (which plausibly wouldn't apply to most straight up combats). AFAIK the goal is to clarify rules reference formats, but this doesn't seem to have gotten that attention yet...?

re: Scout's Warning, I understand the [F] means a Focus action, does that 'consume' one action in your first round or does that occur entirely before first round? (and thus [F] only exists in case other effects interact with [F] actions) If it didn't consume an action, it would seem simpler to just say the effect of Feat is "you and allies who can hear you gain +1 bonus to Init". If you are spending action, I wonder if the bonus shouldn't scale at higher levels...?

re: Snares, I noted the comments on being 'only one 5x5' square' (although this is lowest level Snare), and also discussion on being able to quickly set up area of these (with Ranger ability to do so as 1 action), but IMHO the necessary movement to do that should be taken into account. It's plausible you could set up Snare in all squares adjacent to you (so, 9 including own), but it may be good idea to also allow 5' movement with the "Snare" action, otherwise it's not so quick if you have to intersperse them with Stride/Move actions.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Just to let you guys know, the designers are all off for a long holiday weekend. I came in for a partial day today specifically to reply to this thread just in case, but I'm not going to be watching it as closely from now on. For all other Pathfinder fans from the USA, have a great Independence day!

EDIT: As typing this I noticed something. [[F]] is a free action, not Focus. Focus is a type of action you can do for mental activated items (and sometimes spellcasting or item activations will be free or reactions, like feather fall, so it's possible to do a Focus free action too).


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Mbertorch wrote:
Jinjifra wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Jinjifra wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Bruno Mares wrote:
Snares/traps can be an ok/nice/interesting option, but as a permanent/common/fixed/main class feature, you're doing totally wrong...
They are a nice/interesting option. They are not a fixed class feature.

How does the DC work for the snares? You mentioned that quick snares have a lower DC and that a ranger can use a scaling DC instead of the fixed one for their traps.

Thanks for answering all of our questions!

It depends; is this just some random guy or gal who spent a single skill feat on snares, or is this a ranger who's actually sinking class feats into snares? For the former, you use the DC in the snare, but for the latter, you can use a strong scaling DC. The lower DC is for the no-cost snares; setting them quickly does not decrease the DC.
Oh okay, that sounds pretty solid. Is it a two or three feat investment to be able to quickly set snares at the scaling DC? IT seems like if you are focusing on it you could be build a pretty interesting character based around traps.
And this is how I would build my Ranger for the playtest. I've never been big on Animal Companions or Ranger Spells, so this is definitely what my Ranger will be investing in. Also, I want to see if snares suck or are awesome, since, well, isn't that the kind of thing that the playtest is for?

The idea of a long range scout that drops traps sounds like a interesting concept to me too. It will be fun to see if you can pull it off.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Just to let you guys know, the designers are all off for a long holiday weekend. I came in for a partial day today specifically to reply to this thread just in case, but I'm not going to be watching it as closely from now on. For all other Pathfinder fans from the USA, have a great Independence day!

Thank you for coming in and answering questions!

Shadow Lodge

You know... except for the loss of Favored Enemy(which is to be expected since it would have been SUPER strong in PF2 without changes) this is actually my favorite blog post so far.

Good job, Paizo people. :)

Sovereign Court

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Quandary wrote:
re: Scout's Warning, I understand the [F] means a Focus action, does that 'consume' one action in your first round or does that occur entirely before first round? (and thus [F] only exists in case other effects interact with [F] actions) If it didn't consume an action, it would seem simpler to just say the effect of Feat is "you and allies who can hear you gain +1 bonus to Init". If you are spending action, I wonder if the bonus shouldn't scale at higher levels...?

[[F]] is for Free Action. It is telling you that it doesn't cost an action, but you still must be able to act. Your passive construction misses a case where the ranger is unable to warn his allies.

The Focus Activation Action is an entirely different thing related to activating magic items. A Focus Activation can be an action or a reaction or a free action.

Edit: Ninja'd by Mark's edit. Thanks for checking in, Mark!


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Placing three Snares in the cardinal-adjacent squares (or in a foreward line if you can place them in corner-adjacent squares) makes for a very good roost from which to snipe, and may only take a round to set up with feat investment. It is a feature much better for the defenders than the attackers.

In the hands of NPCs I think it can be used to justify littering dungeons with weak pseudo-traps to slowly wear PCs down for the boss fight without counting as encounters like PF1 Traps do (and the awarding XP and treasure).


Mark Seifter wrote:
EDIT: As typing this I noticed something. [[F]] is a free action, not Focus. Focus is a type of action you can do for mental activated items (and sometimes spellcasting or item activations will be free or reactions, like feather fall, so it's possible to do a Focus free action too).

Thanks for the clarification... Which resolves my balance concern about it, but IMHO confirms that presentation is more confusing than necessary. If it's Free action before Init is rolled, why even bother classifying it as an action? Why do people need to scan it for that action word / glyph, if it can just be expressed as direct bonus effect of Feat? (conditional on allies hearing you)

Relatedly, this reminds me of my concern re: "glyph" over usage. I think they can be valuable in constrained space scenarios, such as the 'quick version' Feat list/tables (which don't now in P1E list action requirements, but given those are key to P1E, would be useful to see at a glance in those tables), potential products like Feat cards, and as convention to use for character sheets (i.e. space adjacent to Feat name with blank space or circle with which to designate action type).

But in terms of regular rules exposition, where there isn't real hard constraint on spelling out "Free Action", I don't think glyphs are justified. Just as a layman's guess, I don't think fluent English speakers will recognize glyphs much (if at all) faster than reading a word or two (which they're already primed for by context). English words could be seen as glyphs whose strokes are horizontally displaced (vs. for example Chinese glyphs) and are quickly scanned by fluent readers. Breaking the flow of text with glyphs IMHO reduces readability by forcing context shift from prose to pictography.

Anyhow, thanks for the feedback, and enjoy the holiday weekend!


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Corrik wrote:
Very underwhelming. Ranger has lost a lot for seemingly no gain.

For me it stripped out what I never liked [favored terrain/enemy] and replaced it with things I actually like.


Meophist wrote:
worldhopper wrote:

NEGATIVE:

-Monster Hunter looks, frankly, awful. I know a +1 means more in 2E, but for one attack roll, and only on a critical success? Take off one of those restrictions (either make it last the duration of the Hunt or make it proc on a regular success) and it might be worth taking.
Something that may be easy to miss is that you can give the bonus to your whole party, which means a +1 to your entire party's next attack, which could help with critical attacks.

But again, it's only attacks against that one target, only their first attack against that target, and only on a *critical* success on the knowledge check (AND you have to be able to share the information, so good luck if you're silenced/underwater/100 feet away sniping). In PF1, that would be, at best, a trait (and probably a derided one). Again, it's just a problem of being way too conditional. Loosen up one of the conditions, and it's a much more worthwhile feat.

I'd personally lean towards keeping it on a critical success - encouraging pumping your monster ID skills, and feeling more exciting when it procs - but have it last for more attacks, ideally for the duration of your Hunt Target but if that's too powerful, maybe just for a number of rounds equal to your ranger level.

Scarab Sages

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My curiosity: The preview states that spell-based options will be available for the Ranger, but what form will those take? We already know that Paladins will gain access to Litanies, which were some of the cooler divine spells and really gelled with the class as a whole (them primarily being martial with a small amount of spell prowess). I, for one, really hope they get unique access to the "Animal's Verb" line of spells (Cheetah's Sprint, Raven's Flight, etc.). They were really cool spells, and seem like they'd fit the wilderness-oriented Ranger of PF2 perfectly. The idea of playing a martial Ranger who also has access to special forms of movement spells seems LEGIT.


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KingOfAnything wrote:
Quandary wrote:
re: Scout's Warning, If it didn't consume an action, it would seem simpler to just say the effect of Feat is "you and allies who can hear you gain +1 bonus to Init".
[[F]] is for Free Action. It is telling you that it doesn't cost an action, but you still must be able to act. Your passive construction misses a case where the ranger is unable to warn his allies.

Hmm, not sure if that still can't just be expressed directly as conditional, rather than load all that inference onto Free action typing. I mean, it's before Init is rolled so who is/in't Flat Footed hasn't even been determined yet. What I wrote is already implicit on ability to speak (or telepathically communicate I suppose), perhaps I might also include "if you Perceive the enemy before Init is rolled" which seems the really relevant condition, and which current wording doesn't overtly address. /shrug


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Bruno Mares wrote:
Snares/traps can be an ok/nice/interesting option, but as a permanent/common/fixed/main class feature, you're doing totally wrong...
They are a nice/interesting option. They are not a fixed class feature.

I'm glad to know this! It wasn't clear in the blog post. Thanks for that! (And for the relief! Haha!)


It was always a bit "out of character", but I really found ranger spells to be useful. The right spell at the right time was the thing that let rangers compete with the supernatural trickery that would always trip up the fighters. Trading spells for traps (that take a full minute to arm, and only ward a single square, and cost $$$) seems like a bad deal to me. I'm hoping that their animal companions are going to be exellent and save them from being a sub-par fighter.


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BTW, re: Monster Hunter's "The creature is bolstered." wording, what does that mean.
Personally that reads very strangely, it doesn't say what it is bolstered AGAINST. Is there 24h default duration for bolster?
AFAIK bolster was supposed to somehow clarify 'immunity' mechanics, but it just isn't really helping for me.
Would they be bolstered against you using Monster Hunter against them again? Would they be bolstered against ANYBODY using Monser Hunter against them?


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Maybe it's just that the blog is not explaining everything but I'm relatively unimpressed by this first impression of the Ranger.

In my campaigns, people use Rangers as wilderness-skilled hunters and scouts, focusing on either archery or two-weapons for their combat factors. I don't really see anything here that says they'll be good at archery. Well yes, they get to eliminate the first range penalty, which sounds good on the surface... but realistically, how many fights does your party get into that take place between 100 and 200 feet away? In my experience, not many. So that's a class feature that won't help the bow-using ranger much at all. (though I will admit it makes axe and spear throwing much more effective). Do they still get bonus archery feats or anything like they used to? Or are they just dumbed down fighters with less feats?

I like the Hunt Target feature, overall. It might serve as well as favored enemy, but less restrictive for Rangers who chose poorly initially. You didn't mention how long it takes to "designate target" ... is it an action, a full round, a minute, what? The time involved will determine whether this is really useful or not.

Weapon Mastery at 13th level is meh, at best. Many campaigns don't make it that far, 4th thru 11th level being the sweet spot in my experience. And an additional +1 or +2 at level 13 seems like far too little, far too late. I guess the playtest will tell us for sure.

Trackless Step is practically useless... it's a cute class feature and fits the flavor, but you rarely see a party of just rangers, and even if the monsters can't track the ranger, they can easily track his clumsier friends.

Nature's Edge seems like a nice addition. I like that one very much, though 9th level seems like a late addition at a point where flat-footed bonuses don't matter much in the grand scheme of things, unless you're talking about sneak attacks.

The Ranger feats shown seem lackluster. Monster Hunter needs a CRITICAL success to get any bonus at all?? And although Scout's Warning SOUNDS nice, a +1 bonus to your party's initiative is not nearly as nice a bonus as a +4 bonus to just yourself, but they both cost the same: One feat.

Snares are interesting but seem really costly for what they do. Will the ranger spend his hard earned gold on a chance to slow down a creature that enters one specific square (which his teammates might need to avoid, btw, so might hurt them instead)? Or will he instead use his gold on potions or other equipment that is more likely to help him more effectively than in trusting your foes to step exactly into that one specific space on the board? Let's not even talk about the Freezing Snare, which costs 500 gold, and possibly the additional cost of three vials of liquid ice, on the off chance you can get something to step directly into that one specific square. Seems more more likely to be used by NPCs or enemies against the party, than the other way around.

And lastly, I don't mind losing the spells for the ranger. Spending a feat to get access seems right, since I know a lot of players don't even bother with Ranger spells at mid- to higher-levels. But... why not do the same with Animal Companion? The blog seems to imply that Rangers still get an animal companion automatically, with the option to make them as tough as a Druid companion by spending feats. I disagree with this. Rangers should be free to select or NOT to select an animal companion, as they choose. Most players I know don't even bother with animal companions, since they tend to be fairly weak unless you get the druid-level sidekick. Until a certain dark elf started the tradition of animal sidekicks with his black panther magic item, animal companions weren't even canon for rangers. So why make them mandatory? Doesn't make much sense to me.

Anyway, I'm still excited about the new edition and can't wait to see how it plays. But this is by far my least favorite of the preview blogs.


WhiteMagus2000 wrote:
It was always a bit "out of character", but I really found ranger spells to be useful. The right spell at the right time was the thing that let rangers compete with the supernatural trickery that would always trip up the fighters. Trading spells for traps (that take a full minute to arm, and only ward a single square, and cost $$$) seems like a bad deal to me. I'm hoping that their animal companions are going to be exellent and save them from being a sub-par fighter.

I agree with your general sentiment re: spells and companions here, but they aren't trading spells for traps. There are no built in trap abilities, those are Feats Rangers can choose to take. They have indicated they plan to develop Spells/Magic in future products, although it isn't clear if that will be fully via Feats (competing vs Trap feats in a sense) or via ability-swap Archetypes. IMHO the default assumption would be that it is Feat chain, so something like Monk Ki Pool.

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