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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Shadow Lodge

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Dragonborn3 wrote:

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. :)

Addendum: Class features costing gold(or anything at all) in a setting that's suddenly using silver as its main currency is bad.


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I have to say, I am not too enthused about the Ranger preview. When looking at the investment required to even use traps in combat and the area that a trap covers, it just sucks. Also, while I appreciate that options for spell-less rangers are available right off the bat, I prefer my rangers with spells, not without.


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I do actually want snares / traps to be a good option. But they have to be cost and time effective, and competitive in their effects with other options available at that level like alchemy or spells. You don't have to pay money every time you cast a spell, so I think it's fair to ask that an 8th level trap that costs hundreds of silver be /at least/ competitive with a 4th tier spell that an 8th level wizard could toss out.

As far as the time factor, it would at least be nice if you could, by default, make a skill check to try to get it out in one round, before taking the feat that lets you do so automatically and enables sub-round shenanigans.


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I for one am excited about a by-default spell-less ranger (and traps/snares!) - not only because my first (and so far, only) PF1 character is a trapper, but also because magic never felt 'core' to me to the Ranger at all (indeed I would say it almost runs counter to it), and snares sound pretty fun as well, although I do hope they're not clunky enough (be it in actual effect, difficulty of application, or cost) as to not be worth it.

(I'm coming over from D&D 5e and have been lowkey following PF for a while, have mercy on me and my newbies's PoV.)

We shall see how it all plays out in practice, though, but personally I am looking forward to the ranger, and hopeful.


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Maveric28 wrote:

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...

Reminder that all ranges have been cut from PF1. Spell ranges seem to max out at 120 ft, so I wouldn't be surprised if range increments were cut as well.

Hunt Target has the cost in the title: one action.

+1/+2 means a lot more with the new math.

I would be very surprised if Improved Initiative is more than +2 at best.

I read Animal Companion as requiring a feat chain for those benefits.

Lantern Lodge

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I have to admit I'm not feeling the love here.

One big area it is short at the moment is describing how Rangers get/acquire skills (hopefully in a way that is better than a fighter).

A ranger to me has always been attractive because they could master so many skills over and above their martial colleagues. I'm hoping that translates through the PF2 somehow.

I'm not too fussed about losing magic. While it is an RPG tradition, it is not really core to the concept in the wider literature.

Sovereign Court

Just remember this is your big class everyone. 80% of new players are going to pick this class given all available data I've got here so it needs to be easy to use and introduce those new players to your game.


How does a bow fighter and bow ranger compare?

Fighters get a +1 extra to all attacks due to being higher weapon proficiency at most levels. So fighters have +1 advantage on first attack of the round, equal on second and -1 compared to the ranger on 3rd. Rangers have to spend an action per target to get this but also have a +2 bonus over fighters outside the first range increment. Then it comes down to what feats you can add on top


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I like the ranger without magic

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
masda_gib wrote:

BUT another thing, since I see it again in this blog entry:

For the love of all that's holy change the order for the 4 degrees of success to worst -> best or the other way round!
I swear, if I see this abomination of a list in the playtest or the final PF2 rule book, I'l walk away from Pathfinder and never look back.

Ah.

You do know the playtest book is already at the printer, right?

At this point it's more than 99.999999999999999999% certain that you're going to see that order in the playtest.


I don't really like this threadbear kind of Ranger, its lacks panache and style in many areas.

In particular Hunt Target is great for those that wanted a Slayer-style Ranger that doesn't care what they're after (IE: "If its hostile, kill it!") but leaves other character archetypes of the Old Ranger in the cold.

A suggestion here would be to make Hunt Target one of three modular Class Features with the Player being able to chose which to type to take at first and which to improve latter.

1) So the catch-all Hunt Target for those that prefer versatility.

2) A stronger but limited version that effects Particular Characteristic (Ex: Monster Type, Size Differences, Spellcaster, etc.) for greater effect but more in line with the Old Ranger.

3) A Very Strong ability that is limited to a single narrow Characteristic (Ex: Red Dragons, Tiny Size, Bard, etc.) for those of more single purpose and ruthless drive and that don't care about being better at killing 'other' things besides their prey.

I figure that would at least allow for multiple types of Rangers archetypes beyond Slayer-lite.


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Maveric28 wrote:
Do they still get bonus archery feats or anything like they used to? Or are they just dumbed down fighters with less feats?

I feel like you're missing an aspect of 2e's design: "Bonus feats" are no longer a thing, at least like they were in 1e. It's all class feats now, so the fighter won't have more feats than the Ranger, and they'll draw from semi-exclusive, semi-overlapping pools. For example, we know the Fighter and ranger both get Double Slice as a class feat, and presumably archery feats will fall into this as well, but Fighters get options for stances and combo feats, while the ranger gets options for Animal Companion feats or Snares or Monster knowledge feats, ect.

Maveric28 wrote:
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.

The [[A]] means one action.

Maveric28 wrote:
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.

The goal of 2e is such that it avoids the issues that make the "sweet spot" effect you mention, so If high level campaigns are more viable, 13th is around mid-level.

Maveric28 wrote:
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.

Firstly, we don't even know that Improved initiative is in 2e (or how much bonus it grants), but even so, it's not the same cost. A class feat is not interchangeable for a general feat, or vis versa, so it's two separate costs.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Dragonborn3 wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:

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. :)

Addendum: Class features costing gold(or anything at all) in a setting that's suddenly using silver as its main currency is bad.

Snares aren't a class feature.


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Magus Black wrote:
threadbear

Now I want a threadbear animal companion. ;)


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Morgen wrote:
Just remember this is your big class everyone. 80% of new players are going to pick this class given all available data I've got here so it needs to be easy to use and introduce those new players to your game.

What is this data you speak of? Your conclusion that 80% of new players will pick Ranger surprises me.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Magus Black wrote:
I don't really like this threadbear kind of Ranger, its lacks panache and style in many areas.

I don't think this is everything.


Mark Seifter wrote:
Ikos wrote:


I will say, without knowing exactly how big ranged increments are or how much penalty they impose in 2e, TWF (or at least, agile weapons) seem like the go to with the 2e ranger. Going down to -0/-3/-6, and eventually -0/-2/-4 with iterative attacks seems quite powerful, especially if you can get some form of haste, such that you have a greater chance of making use of that third attack.

Agreed!

Yeah, but level 17 for the next reduction? I don't know, but to me that seems like an awfully long wait, especially when the average party only plays to level 16 if doing an adventure path.


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Quandary wrote:
BTW, re: Monster Hunter's "The creature is bolstered." wording, what does that mean.

We need to read the exact text in the Rule Books to know 100% for sure, but so far I think it was described by devs (always in comments) as:

"Unable to be affected again, for 24 hours, by that particular effect, from that particular source."

Maybe I'm making up the "from that particular source" part. But for sure is "Immunity for 24 hours to that effect".
I think the idea is to actually use "Immune" only when it can't never be affected by it (Golems are Immune to sleep), not when it just can't be "re-affected" for a while. Also maybe there are some Feats that allow you to by-pass the "bolstered" stuff, while not the immunity.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Davor wrote:
My curiosity: The preview states that spell-based options will be available for the Ranger

No, it doesn't. It says they would be easy to do. My impression is they will not be done at any point during the playtest. You might see them in the full version.


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drakkonflye wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Ikos wrote:


I will say, without knowing exactly how big ranged increments are or how much penalty they impose in 2e, TWF (or at least, agile weapons) seem like the go to with the 2e ranger. Going down to -0/-3/-6, and eventually -0/-2/-4 with iterative attacks seems quite powerful, especially if you can get some form of haste, such that you have a greater chance of making use of that third attack.

Agreed!
Yeah, but level 17 for the next reduction? I don't know, but to me that seems like an awfully long wait, especially when the average party only plays to level 16 if doing an adventure path.

It's a long way in, but the reason APs stop short of level 20 in 1e is that those high levels, especially when 9th level spells come it, are super hard to design for. Since the broken 9th level spells from 1e are now 10th level spells that only come on line at 20th level, with a feat, I suspect we'll see most APs reach those levels.

It's still a long way in, but it's the difference between having an ability that you can make use of against the BBEG and not having it.

Sovereign Court

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Kaemy wrote:


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.

Exploding freezing ice traps could easily be made without magic. Niter, or ammonium nitrate, is readily soluble in water and creates an endothermic reaction (extreme cold). Niter is also a component in many explosives used for mining. So explosive freezing liquid trap... totally doable via mundane means.

--Schoolhouse Vrock


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I can't give you exact 80% data, but I've seen ranger as one of, if not the, most frequently picked classes for new players. With a little bit of GM guidance a ranger can be decent at a number of different things, so they always have something to contribute to almost any situation, compared to some more specialized classes that might sit out entire scenes (fighters out of combat or wizards in non-boss combats).


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WhiteMagus2000 wrote:
I can't give you exact 80% data, but I've seen ranger as one of, if not the, most frequently picked classes for new players. With a little bit of GM guidance a ranger can be decent at a number of different things, so they always have something to contribute to almost any situation, compared to some more specialized classes that might sit out entire scenes (fighters out of combat or wizards in non-boss combats).

The good news is they're expanding the other classes to make them less absolute specialists, so I don't think that'll be as necessary. Fighter and ranger both have the same number of legendary skills at level 20, for example, and wizards can now actually rely on their cantrips to be useful.


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Fuzzypaws wrote:


I would like to see the old flavor of Favored Enemy expanded in feats though. Maybe not specifically damage and attack bonuses vs a certain creature type that may rarely or never come up, but rather, thematic abilities that would be excellent against most creatures of a given type. For example, maybe a Ranger who has the equivalent of Favored Enemy Giants does extra damage and gets bonuses on maneuvers against creatures larger than she is.

This. Like a bonus to saves and something to disable creatures from flying if Favored Enemy Dragons is chosen. Also, I feel like rangers are less a "a rough and tumble warrior in the wild" and more a protector of a given range, so Favored Terrain are more what Rangers are about than the hunter/slayer feel that this gives. I know some may feel druid takes over this role, but that's more someone that communes with nature instead of someone that keeps intruders out.

Maybe something that allows a ranger to scope out a given terrain before hand and gain all sorts of advantages while inside it?

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
blog wrote:

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

Did an editor give this a pass?? The subject is "A square", so does that mean the square is destroyed? Or maybe the "first creature" is what's destroyed? Oof.

RAW people will hate this. Maybe it's a troll for them.

If this is a direct quote, please make sure an editor hits it with a correction pen before it hits PF 2 initial release (yes I know it's likely too late to correct playtest at this point.)

Grand Lodge

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Snares, ugh.

-Skeld


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Another blog and once again I'm blown away by the analytical powers of several posters. It must take a mindblowing amount of brain-processing power to extrapolate an entire subsystem from a few examples and deduce that it's not going to work, it's "broken" or that it'll ruin their/everyone's fun. Without having seen the entire playtest book or even the rest of a class' options.
Truly astounding feat, that.


Yachiru5490 wrote:
Okay, reading through this blog, there are some questions that I have... (etc., etc., etc.)

Just wanted to say, these are some AWESOME questions!!

Sovereign Court

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

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

Did an editor give this a pass?? The subject is "A square", so does that mean the square is destroyed? Or maybe the "first creature" is what's destroyed? Oof.

RAW people will hate this. Maybe it's a troll for them.

If this is a direct quote, please make sure an editor hits it with a correction pen before it hits PF 2 initial release (yes I know it's likely too late to correct playtest at this point.)

I read it as the "square with this snare" is destroyed, leaving only a square.


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Yeah the "it" in the second half of that snare is gramatically the square itself... though "it" was obviously intended to be the snare (so that you cannot re-use the snare).


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

I like the fact that snares and spells are options.

plus for people talking about the additional attack penalty reductions we must also remember that two-weapon fighting will also have a feat chain that could reduce the penalty further.

also remember that when you are trained in an ability, like weapons, spells, skills, and abilities, you add your class level to the roll.

so multiple attack penalties at 5th level with the Hunt Target active, would look like the first attack at a +5, you take on the second attack at +1 (+2 with an agile weapon), and -3 (-1 with an agile weapon)on the third attack.

at 17th level with the new class ability for ranger's Hunt Target, your attacks will look like, +17 on the first, +14 (+15 with agile weapons) on the second, and +11 (+13 with agile weapons) on the 3rd attack.

so yeah, I let Mark confirm those numbers after the 4th.

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
Quandary wrote:

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.

I think you should see how they look in print. I was very pleased with the look on the playtest pregens and expect the glyphs to be quite handy in the rulebook.

Notice that the glyph is in the header, right next to the name of the ability. That is way easier to find than a few words in the body of the ability. The glyphs I saw at least were instantly recognizable; they didn't require a context switch to understand and were easier to pick out when scanning the rules summaries than the subheadings (e.g. traits).

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

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I'm not loving the flavor of the PF2 ranger, even if it seems mechanically solid. Specific thoughts below:

1) Not really a big fan of getting rid of spells. I love that a spelless ranger is part of Core, and I'm even okay with it being the default. I don't think PF2 should leave traditional ranger spellcasting for a future book though. If this isn't in Core, it's not letting many traditional rangers from both gaming history or literature to be played. For me, my first ranger was from the Prydian series by Lloyd Alexander. It was super cool to me then that the ranger character essentially case an entangle like web spell, which perfectly matched what a ranger in D&D could to.
2) Hunt target replacing favored enemy might be mechanically strong, but I don't like the flavor of it at all, and would prefer a mechanic that actually made sense.
"Hey, I've studied everything about Orcs, so I'm extra good at killing,tracking, and understanding them. Oh, look at that weird lobster thing attacking me - don't know what it is, but I'm extra good at fighting it, because.....I've watched it for 3 seconds and declared I'm 'hunting' it.
3) it's also weird that hunt target works on creatures you can already see. What about tracking a creature, learning about how it moves from its tracks, and therefore already be hunting it and get bonuses against it once you track it down and start fighting it. I think this should be a default part of the ability, and not some - spend a class feat on something which you should just be able to do situation.
4) How does the reduction of iterative attack penalties replace TWF mastery? Can't you do that with 1 weapon (and a shield, since they're pretty awesome in PF2)?
5) Why does nature's edge only work on natural terrain or snare created difficult terrain? Wouldn't the skill actually be how to fight a target which is having difficulty moving from anything? Why wouldn't it work on a creature in an entangle spell, or an alchemist's tanglefoot bag, or a mechanical or magical trap which made the ground hard to move through, a wall of netting or webs, etc?
6) Monster hunter - this also doesn't make a lot of sense. You spot a group of 4 trolls, pick one to hunt, and make your recall knowledge check to learn about trolls, and you get a bonus to attack that one troll you're hunting, even though the knowledge you gained is for all trolls, including the other 3 right in front of you.
7) Snares - why are rangers especially good at them with class feats, and not druids, rogues etc? Maybe those class feats are also on those other class lists, but seems like something rogues should be able to be just as good at as rangers. The freezing snare in particular doesn't seem very rangery, using alchemical items - that one definitely seems a lot more rogue like.
8) Slowing snare "A square with this snare becomes difficult terrain when the first creature enters it, and then it is destroyed." How long does the difficult terrain last? The snare is destroyed after it's triggered, but would the square be forever difficult terrain? Would it only affect the creature which triggered it, and once they leave, the destroyed snare doesn't cause the square to remain difficult terrain anymore? The description doesn't say.
9) do you have to learn through feats specific snares? Why? they don't seem magical, and I'd think once you know how to make snares, you'd know them all, just like if you know how to make armor you can make them all, or if you're a wizard you can add all spells to your spellbook. At the very least I'd expect a skill at a certain proficiency level unlock snares that require expert, master, etc levels in snare crafting.


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I'm impressed with the new rules for Barbarians rage and Rangers favoured enemy, to keep them constantly relevant. These great new changes are why I have strong faith in PF2.


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Putting Snares on the CRB seems counterintuitive – it's highly unlikely they'll be effectively used. New players could get tricked into spending their feats for something that would rarely come into use.

Snares are a trap option.


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Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

So glad that spellcasting isn't required for Rangers any more.


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Secret Wizard wrote:
Snares are a trap option.

I see what you did there.


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Secret Wizard wrote:

Putting Snares on the CRB seems counterintuitive – it's highly unlikely they'll be effectively used. New players could get tricked into spending their feats for something that would rarely come into use.

Snares are a trap option.

2E seems like the perfect place to try to change that though. We've been told that with investment, snares can be placed as a single action, and can be either free or have high DCs.

I'm hoping that Paizo can pull it off and make alchemical items, poisons, and traps actually viable in this second edition.

Liberty's Edge

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I'll miss favoured enemy. It's such an iconic part of the ranger, and it's replacement is bland A.F.

Their new "signature power" is one that reduces a penalty for multiple attacks... against one target. And at the cost of an action. That's not very evocative and has no impact on the story, being entirely in the mechanics. And as a bonus, effectively getting a +1/+2 doesn't feel particularly huge.

This feels very weak and situational. You can spend an action *slightly* reducing a penalty for multiple attacks... or you can make a second attack. It's giving yourself a bonus for theoretical multiple attacks, as the first time you use the ability you'll likely be moving into position and drawing a weapon. It's a choice between attacking or trying to get a bonus the next round OR a choice between attacking twice or attacking & setting-up the next round.

But I can imagine a lot of rangers picking the wrong target and having their hunted enemy killed by allies between turns.
Or having the dice entirely negate the small bonus.

It feels like you'd be better off using that action to get into a flank, which benefits *all* your attacks, not just the 2nd and 3rd, as well as your allies' attacks.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
KingOfAnything wrote:
Notice that the glyph is in the header, right next to the name of the ability. That is way easier to find than a few words in the body of the ability. The glyphs I saw at least were instantly recognizable; they didn't require a context switch to understand and were easier to pick out when scanning the rules summaries than the subheadings (e.g. traits).

I make heavy use of PDFs when searching through the rules.

Will I be able to somehow search electronically for glyphs? I don't know of any way.


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I'm not at all surprised that the Ranger is spell-less. I am also not surprised a contingent of people are unhappy with that. I am surprised that there isn't a spell feat option for Rangers and I am surprised by how few people want spells on a Ranger.

I expect when the playtest gets into full swing we'll have a more vocal group upset over the ranger. There'll be the camp who are upset about the lack of spells. There'll be the camp upset over losing favored enemy and favored terrain. Finally there will be the camp who are upset over the action economy of animal companions. I expect Paizo will give us a spells feat for rangers in order to address some of the concerns, but animal companions will need to be nowhere near as powerful as they currently are so we will not see them in their current form return.

drakkonflye wrote:
Yeah, but level 17 for the next reduction? I don't know, but to me that seems like an awfully long wait, especially when the average party only plays to level 16 if doing an adventure path.

There's two reasons for it:

1) It's mathematically balanced/mandated.
2) APs are suppose to go to level 20 in PF2e (it may not work out due to balance issues/timing issues. But you can expect at least one to do so). I'd expect that's why we'll also get an accelerated XP chart (also the faster you level, the faster you get interesting class features, the less complaints we'll have that classes feel anemic).


I like magic/spelled Rangers. I want them to do it justice.
I don't know if they will do that in final Core rules, or in subsequent product where they can dedicate more space to it.
I don't think that is big difference in the grander scheme of things, and won't throw tantrum if they prioritize other aspects in Core.
I do like Favored Terrain, and think it obvious material to draw on, but aren't leaping to assumptions about lack of preview info on that.
Related to Favored Terrain, is also the Favored Enemy skill bonuses, based on preview those could be Critical Success Knowledge/Identify trigger?


Really digging this version of the Ranger! The Ranger was my second least favorite class after Paladin, and you have piqued my interest in both once again(less so with the Paladin until non-LG is an option) with these changes.

I love the swap to Hunt target over favored enemy, mechanically improved and great flavor as well. Basically focusing on the targets weak points to make up for the loss of energy after each attack by striking at weak points. Great way to play a savage character as well, instead of hulking out like a Barbarian you jump in and tear away with multiple strikes. Loving it.

Lack of spells is also a big plus! The spells always seemed like a kinda nice bonus but in actual practice just caused developers to hamper other facets of the class to make up for their inclusion. The Spell-less Ranger was one of my favorite 3pp archetypes and am very pleased to see this be the default.

Snares... I’m glad they are not a default class feature but a potential focus. That’s nice, because unless you are able to prepare and have a favorable battlefield I don’t see them being overall useful. Great in certain situations, like a narrow hall or a doorway, but more often than not how are you going to predict where an enemy will be standing? Will need to see more examples before deciding if they are too resource-investment heavy.

A cool nod to favored Enemy I think would be an archetype of class feats that allow trophy collection. Like when you kill an enemy, you can spend a few actions to collect a piece of them to get a morale bonus (or whatever those fall under now) against enemies of that species or creature group.

Or, something I thought up in other threads, each monster type can drop race-specific loot like poison glands or claws or wings, that can be used as expendable items or sold or used in crafting, and Rangers can collect an extra one of these items, or have a higher chance of getting them if it is random, if the enemy is the target of their hunt ability when killed. Just an idea to give them more of a hunter vibe.


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Whoever made the call to make the Ranger officially spell-less, I sincerely desire to hug you.

I have been hoping for so long that the Ranger would get an official spell-less variant or archetype. My image of the Ranger has always been the rough and tumble frontiersman hunting game and keeping an eye on the wild tribesmen across the border like in 'Beyond the Black River' by R.E. Howard, not Tolkien's Aragorn. And now I can finally play that without having to scrounge for some third party variant or shooting my character in the foot by not selecting spells. I really hope the spell-less Ranger makes it into PF2. This is one of the best decisions Paizo has ever made.


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Jester David wrote:
I'll miss favoured enemy. It's such an iconic part of the ranger, and it's replacement is bland A.F.

Favored Enemy is problematic from a campaign design standpoint because it puts the GM in an uncomfortable situation where designing combats with a variety of creatures can mean you're denying class features to a player. I have the same problem with precision damage and how it means if the GM decides that today we're fighting Elementals the Rogue gets to find out what it feels like to be an NPC class for a session.


BretI wrote:

I make heavy use of PDFs when searching through the rules.

Will I be able to somehow search electronically for glyphs? I don't know of any way.

I mean, I'm not sure why you would want to search for "all things that cost actions" to begin with; this is a lot of things and many of them have nothing to do with each other.

AFAIK there are only 3 Glyphs: Action, Reaction, and Free Action. In the text the glyph stands for "as a [type or number of actions] you may..."


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Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

Snares shouldn't cost money, maybe another limiting factor like spell points, hero points, X/day, etc.


Wow. Totally disappointed in the Ranger. Other classes, Paizo goes out of its way to make them own some thing useful and powerful. Rangers, it's like you're trying to get by with the bare minimum.

1) In 6+ years of playing PFS, I've never used the 2nd range increment on a composite bow. The game/map scale prohibits combat at these types of distances, so this benefit is for axe throwers and shortbow users, not the prototypical human/half-elf ranger who uses a composite longbow. Please get rid of that benefit and give Rangers more damage or extra shots.

2) The loss of spells is huge. This alone has killed my interest in the class. It's not that spells were overly powerful, but that they added to the flavor of the Ranger. Yes, I understand that the min/maxers are happy to get rid of spells because they impementation in 3.5/1e was horrible. But rangers benefited from it. Please bring back spells or provide it as a general feat like snares.

3) I don't get snares. I've never seen anyone in PFS use snares. The whole concept of a PC taking time to set up a snare, I don't see how that works when you're exploring. Paizo has gone through all this trouble to make something I've never seen used a key element of rangers and yet you've ditched spells? I'm at a loss.

4) While I can understand the need to revamp Favored Enemy, let me remind Paizo that the feat also provided a skill boost for a bunch of other skills outside of combat.

You said this

Quote:
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.

That's right, and rangers got a huge benefit from that. It allowed them to hold their own, at least some of the time, against all the other martial that got far superior combat abilities. I'm hard pressed to see how a +1 on a second attack is compelling compared to what you've given other classes.

5) The blog talking about stuff that happens at level 17 comes off as a slap in the face. The fact that we have to hear about things at level 13 is troublesome.

The ranger is one of the most iconic classes in this genre and if feels like you guys mailed it in. I hate to say it, but this class will determine whether I spend a penny on 2e and at this point, I am so terribly disappointed given the effort and energy you've put in to the other classes. I really hope this blog is the part that has been mailed in, and not the class itself.

Bring back spells, please.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
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!

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).

Um... do you mean you have Tuesday and Wednesday off, or that you have the rest of the week off and there's no Blog on Friday? I hope you guys have a good time off, and thank you so much for showing up and giving us the tidbits you have.

And thanks for telling us [[F]] is Free Action. :)

Shadow Lodge

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Vlorax wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:

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. :)

Addendum: Class features costing gold(or anything at all) in a setting that's suddenly using silver as its main currency is bad.
Snares aren't a class feature.

Sorry, 'feats' shouldn't cost gold in a primarily silver currency setting.

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