Ranger Class Preview

Monday, July 2, 2018

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

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

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

Ranger Features

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

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

[[A]] Hunt Target

Ranger

Requirements You can see or hear the target.

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

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

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

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

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

Ranger Feats

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

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

Monster Hunter Feat 1

Ranger

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

[[F]] Scout's Warning Feat 4

Ranger

Trigger You are about to roll Perception for initiative.

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

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

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

Snares

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

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

Slowing Snare Snare 1

Consumable, Mechanical, Snare, Trap

Price 2 gp

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

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

Freezing Snare Snare 8

Cold, Consumable, Mechanical, Snare, Trap

Price 50 gp

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

Success The target takes 1d8 cold damage.

Critical Success The target is unaffected.

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

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

Craft Requirements three vials of liquid ice

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

Stephen Radney-MacFarland
Senior Designer

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Tags: Harsk Pathfinder Playtest Rangers Wayne Reynolds
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2 people marked this as a favorite.
graystone wrote:
Magus Black wrote:
threadbear
Now I want a threadbear animal companion. ;)

D'oh! ...besides which its probably a Master Snare.

Threadbear Snare 10
Consumable, Mechanical, Snare, Trap, Lolz
Price: Bear Minimal

Anything that Triggers the Threadbear, gets taken by the Threadbear.

Its upgraded version shall be the "Portable Gazebo"

TriOmegaZero wrote:
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.

I know but as written these Class Features seem...low bar. I mean in many ways the primary feature of Hunt Target is not much different from how a Fighters bonus to certain weapons works, I'm just saying that the New Ranger looks like its just a little thin on use.

And Hell, it may be better off as an Archetype. A Fighter with the "Ranger Archetype" is focused on killing dangerous things with dangerous weapons. A Barbarian with the "Ranger Archetype" would be focused on more Primal Savagery and 'flint spear' style of combat. A Rogue with the "Ranger Archetype" may be more of the stylish hunter with overly-complicated plots and even more over-the-top traps.

But I suppose 30 days is the price we pay for knowledge.


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I liked pretty much everything here, nothing to complain ^^
Honestly, the Ranger's spellcasting was an old artifact, from a time which Rangers were vastly different from our "modern" conception, such as in OD&D and AD&D's Ranger. With that previous concept, it made sense for the Ranger to have spells. But once 3e was in, spells for Rangers became non-sense. Things make sense again, now ^^
Of course, there's nothing that stops us from including spellcasting Rangers later...


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N N 959 wrote:
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.

And a whole bunch of us who aren't min/maxers are happy as well.

I always found it strange that my 'mountain man' survivalist ranger had to also be a spellslinger, which was confusing and impossible for me to work into my understanding of such characters.

And, for newcomers, rangers were a great class, easy to run and conceptualize, right up until you had to explain spellcasting.

So, no, you can't paint everyone who disagrees with you as a "min/maxer" didn't like the implementation in earlier versions.

Sovereign Court

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BretI wrote:
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.

I'm not sure when you'd ever search a PDF for 'action'. Do you have an actual use case in mind?

Pretty sure you'll be searching for 'Ranger' or 'Survival' much more often. Once you find the list you want, seeing at a glance which options are free actions vs single or multiple actions is much more helpful than text searching would be.


Igwilly wrote:

I liked pretty much everything here, nothing to complain ^^

Honestly, the Ranger's spellcasting was an old artifact, from a time which Rangers were vastly different from our "modern" conception, such as in OD&D and AD&D's Ranger.

Dude, 1e rangers have spell casting, so it's no more an "old artifact" than the longsword doing 1d8. And speaking of concept, when has snare building ever been a part of Ranger lore? Seriously. It's mind blowing to me that Paizo thinks people who have loved the ranger since Day 1, now want to set traps. Where is that coming from?

The while concept of a ranger taking time to set up a trap is like from left field. It feels horribly like snares was someone's baby in the 1e and Paizo doesn't want to let it go. The class is called "Ranger" not "Pre-colonial Trapper." The fact that Paizo is now trying to make snares some big selling point is utterly disappointing. I can only guess that the design team that worked on rangers are not fans of the class from old.


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CrystalSeas wrote:


I always found it strange that my 'mountain man' survivalist ranger had to also be a spellslinger, which was confusing and impossible for me to work into my understanding of such characters.

That's what I'm saying about 3.X and PF1's ranger: it got his spells out of nowhere. There was not much (if any) explanation behind this.

Of course, the previous explanation was lost in the edition change, so we had spellscaters that got spells from the game's designer itself just so an old artifact, which made no sense now, could be maintained.
If people want Rangers with divine magic, at least give Rangers a pretty good reason to have so.


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N N 959 wrote:

when has snare building ever been a part of Ranger lore? Seriously. It's mind blowing to me that Paizo thinks people who have loved the ranger since Day 1, now want to set traps. Where is that coming from?

The while concept of a ranger taking time to set up a trap is like from left field. It feels horribly like snares was someone's baby in the 1e and Paizo doesn't want to let it go. The class is called "Ranger" not "Pre-colonial Trapper." The fact that Paizo is now trying to make snares some big selling point is utterly disappointing. I can only guess that the design team that worked on rangers are not fans of the class from old.

For me rangers who can set snares and traps is an integral element of the concept. Right along with setting fires with flint and steel.

A ranger who couldn't trap and set snares would starve quickly


Igwilly wrote:
CrystalSeas wrote:


I always found it strange that my 'mountain man' survivalist ranger had to also be a spellslinger, which was confusing and impossible for me to work into my understanding of such characters.

Aragon was not a "mountain man' survivalist. He was educated and of noble birth and chose to spend his time in the wild. Part of the problem is people have some singular view of the class.

Quote:
That's what I'm saying about 3.X and PF1's ranger: it got his spells out of nowhere.

Rangers do not get their spells "out of nowhere." They get them from the same source that Druids get them and the presumption as the study of nature is what leads them to that understanding. This is a fantasy game. Please don't pretend spell casting Rangers are some oddity in this milieu.


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I mean the biggest problem with the Ranger's spellcasting in PF1 was that it's not spontaneous. If you made it like the Bloodrager (nobody had a problem with the Bloodrager's spellcasting) people wouldn't have minded.

But it's a waste of mental energy for a 7th level character to have to figure out what 3 spells they can cast today.


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N N 959 wrote:
Aragon was not a "mountain man' survivalist. He was educated and of noble birth and chose to spend his time in the wild. Part of the problem is people have some singular view of the class.

Irony much?


CrystalSeas wrote:
For me rangers who can set snares and traps is an integral element of the concept. Right along with setting fires with flint and steel.

Yeah, that's all subsumed in the Survival skill. I've never seen any Ranger in popular fiction setting exploding traps to kill pursers outside of Rambo.

Quote:
A ranger who couldn't trap and set snares would starve quickly

Uh, no. He would hunt with a bow and arrow...which people still do today.


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CrystalSeas wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
Aragon was not a "mountain man' survivalist. He was educated and of noble birth and chose to spend his time in the wild. Part of the problem is people have some singular view of the class.
Irony much?

No, it's not Irony, because my only view of Ranger isn't Aragorn. I'm pointing out the fallacy in your logic that the ranger is only what you think it is. Aragon is a counter example, not the only example.


PossibleCabbage wrote:

I mean the biggest problem with the Ranger's spellcasting in PF1 was that it's not spontaneous. If you made it like the Bloodrager (nobody had a problem with the Bloodrager's spellcasting) people wouldn't have minded.

But it's a waste of mental energy for a 7th level character to have to figure out what 3 spells they can cast today.

I completely agree. I was seriously hoping Paizo would make it spontaneous this go around. I made a post several weeks ago about allowing Rangers to spontanously cast any spell on their list. IMO, this would have been a home run for the class without making it over powered. Getting rid of spells completely robs the class of a lot of its cache. Spell casting and having Spellcraft gave the class an air of intelligence beyond some "mountain man" living hand to mouth.

Sovereign Court

Maybe I'm misunderstanding that slow snare but it seems it does not help in attacking as implied earlier. Something enters the square, the snare goes off and causes difficult terrain for a moment slowing it down briefly, then clears itself leaving normal terrain. Which means you can only get that bonus if you ready an attack (if that is still a thing).

Spell less though is good. Just doesn't really have any cool stand out options for me.

Sovereign Court

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Ellias Aubec wrote:

Maybe I'm misunderstanding that slow snare but it seems it does not help in attacking as implied earlier. Something enters the square, the snare goes off and causes difficult terrain for a moment slowing it down briefly, then clears itself leaving normal terrain. Which means you can only get that bonus if you ready an attack (if that is still a thing).

Spell less though is good. Just doesn't really have any cool stand out options for me.

Or if you've set your snares such that the enemy stops in them. Probably to attack you. You can make more than one, remember.


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N N 959 wrote:
No, it's not Irony, because my only view of Ranger isn't Aragorn. I'm pointing out the fallacy in your logic that the ranger is only what you think it is. Aragon is a counter example, not the only example.

And now Paizo has made it possible for both of us to play the way we like. I'm no longer required to be a spellcaster in order to play a Ranger.

I count that as a win.


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CrystalSeas wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
No, it's not Irony, because my only view of Ranger isn't Aragorn. I'm pointing out the fallacy in your logic that the ranger is only what you think it is. Aragon is a counter example, not the only example.

And now Paizo has made it possible for both of us to play the way we like. I'm no longer required to be a spellcaster in order to play a Ranger.

I count that as a win.

You weren't required to spell cast at all. If you had a 10 Wisdom, you weren't doing any spell casting. But you had a choice.

Now, we don't get a choice. That isn't a win, it's really a loss. Spell casting gave the class some flair, something unique. There's a reason why it was incredibly popular and it had nothing to do with snares. I've never seen a Trapper ranger in PFS. Not in six years of playing.


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I like this a lot. Most of my rangers, PC and NPC alike, ended up either never using spells or taking an archetype to swap them out. They were never particularly effective, and were downright redundant if you had a druid or a hunter in the party. The only things worth casting were lead blades and gravity bow, because I feel like they were actually made to compensate for the ranger's lackluster list.

I'll be interested to see the different options for a ranger, like the animal companions and extended snare options. A ranger antagonist focused on snares who has prepared his lair ahead of time sounds like it could be a lot of fun as a GM :)

I get the feeling this post was a little rushed, but that's understandable - the countdown to the release of the Playtest is, in theory, around 30-40 days at this point, so there's probably a lot going on at the Paizo office! I appreciate that y'all can still make the time to continue with these bi-weekly posts.

But aaaaargh maybe only a month left but GIMME! Give me that Playtest! 8D


I'm interested in seeing the traps.

Full Animal Companion is also nice to see, have to wait and see what it competes with. And if it takes more than 1 feat to pull off.

Lack of magic is kinda odd. Rangers had their own spell list and while had some cross over, I'll mess some of those more unique spells much like I will with Alchemist. Have to see what they do with that later.


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N N 959 wrote:
CrystalSeas wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
No, it's not Irony, because my only view of Ranger isn't Aragorn. I'm pointing out the fallacy in your logic that the ranger is only what you think it is. Aragon is a counter example, not the only example.

And now Paizo has made it possible for both of us to play the way we like. I'm no longer required to be a spellcaster in order to play a Ranger.

I count that as a win.

You weren't required to spell cast at all. If you had a 10 Wisdom, you weren't doing any spell casting. But you had a choice.

Now, we don't get a choice. That isn't a win, it's really a loss. Spell casting gave the class some flair, something unique. There's a reason why it was incredibly popular and it had nothing to do with snares. I've never seen a Trapper ranger in PFS. Not in six years of playing.

But they had to balance the rest of the class around you having access to spells, without them being auto-included it opens up to much more power for people who don’t want to use them while leaving open design space for people who do want to invest in them to be able to.


quillblade wrote:
I like this a lot. Most of my rangers, PC and NPC alike, ended up either never using spells or taking an archetype to swap them out.

That's because of how they were implemented. Prepared spells for a class that got three spells at 7th level made no sense.

Quote:
The only things worth casting were lead blades and gravity bow, because I feel like they were actually made to compensate for the ranger's lackluster list.

That's right. These were great go-to-spells. Now they are gone? What has Paizo put in their place? LB and GB were the only thing that allowed my Rangers any kind of combat edge.

Quote:
I get the feeling this post was a little rushed, but that's understandable

I got that same feeling. But the fact the the first place the author goes is level 17 abilities is troublesome. I get the feeling that this class is going to be totally mediocre. I fear there is something mental block with this class and the designers suddenly feel the need to reign it in. The other classes, come across like they designers couldn't wait to give them new and exciting toys. This one? Suddenly they feel the need to be sensible.


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N N 959 wrote:
CrystalSeas wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
No, it's not Irony, because my only view of Ranger isn't Aragorn. I'm pointing out the fallacy in your logic that the ranger is only what you think it is. Aragon is a counter example, not the only example.

And now Paizo has made it possible for both of us to play the way we like. I'm no longer required to be a spellcaster in order to play a Ranger.

I count that as a win.

You weren't required to spell cast at all. If you had a 10 Wisdom, you weren't doing any spell casting. But you had a choice.

Now, we don't get a choice. That isn't a win, it's really a loss. Spell casting gave the class some flair, something unique. There's a reason why it was incredibly popular and it had nothing to do with snares. I've never seen a Trapper ranger in PFS. Not in six years of playing.

"You could just dumpstat the stat used for one of your class features and be less than 100% of a class, you had a choice." Seriously?

One of the reasons the Ranger was always such a suboptimal class was that spellcasting was an assumed part of the class. And it was a basically worthless feature outside a few specific spells that was nonetheless weighted very highly in the "balancing the class" metric.

Now, both sides can win, assuming the base power level of the class is brought up to par. You can get more focused and theoretically better spells as spell point abilities, and have your spellcasting ranger. And people for whom spellcasting doesn't make sense don't have to take it, and can focus their build in other directions instead.


Cuttlefist wrote:
But they had to balance the rest of the class around you having access to spells, without them being auto-included it opens up to much more power for people who don’t want to use them while leaving open design space for people who do want to invest in them to be able to.

Everyone wanted to use spells. The problem is the spell options sucked because the class had to prepare the 1-3 spells per day and that mean 95% of the spells you don't touch. But you got access to scrolls and wands that other Martials didn't get.

So what do you see in the blog that compensates for lack of spells? I see nothing. I can only hope that it's there.


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With regards to the potential for an archetype to let Rangers cast spells: would it be possible to get archetypes that do this in general for other classes? Would be a great way to make Arcane Tricksters and Mystic Theurges.


Fuzzypaws wrote:
One of the reasons the Ranger was always such a suboptimal class was that spellcasting was an assumed part of the class. And it was a basically worthless feature outside a few specific spells that was nonetheless weighted very highly in the "balancing the class" metric.

1) The class was not suboptimal. What happened is Paizo was guilty of power creep when they started adding new classes.

2) Spell casting was hardly worthless. Resist Energy, Barkskin, Cat's Grace, Gravity Bow, Feather Step have been literal life savers for my rangers on many occasion. The problem isn't the ability to cast spells, it was the manner in which the spells were available.

3) We have no idea how much spell casting was "balanced" for Rangers.

Quote:
Now, both sides can win, assuming the base power level of the class is brought up to par. You can get more focused and theoretically better spells as spell point abilities, and have your spellcasting ranger. And people for whom spellcasting doesn't make sense don't have to take it, and can focus their build in other directions instead.

Well, if spell casting is still available, then I'll agree.

Shadow Lodge

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I must be missing something on that level 1 feat - monster hunter (aside from the ludicrously sized hammer). It doesnt seem very good at all, so why is it one of your favourites Mark? Seems like a trap (to quote the admiral), Is it a free action to recall knowledge?


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Magus Black wrote:
graystone wrote:
Magus Black wrote:
threadbear
Now I want a threadbear animal companion. ;)

D'oh! ...besides which its probably a Master Snare.

Threadbear Snare 10

I was thinking a hybrid animal between a spider and a bear! A tree living bear that drops out of the trees, bear hugs someone and disappears back into the trees on it's silk thread! Either that or a bear made out of thread [teddy bear golem] animated by a nature spirit. ;)

N N 959 wrote:
Now, we don't get a choice. That isn't a win, it's really a loss. Spell casting gave the class some flair, something unique.

They're putting the base class up for playtesting and have said it should be easy to add spellpoint options in the future. Seems fine to me. If you really enjoy the ranger, it'd be in your best interest to have the class work well at it's base: If you feel that after that it's lacking then reply to the playtest that you though you needed those 'spells'. It's REALLY hard to say 'I'll miss the spells' before you try/see the class. If the class now has an 'edge' that keeps them competitive vs the other martials, you wouldn't need an extra 'edge' from spells would you?


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N N 959 wrote:
Cuttlefist wrote:
But they had to balance the rest of the class around you having access to spells, without them being auto-included it opens up to much more power for people who don’t want to use them while leaving open design space for people who do want to invest in them to be able to.

Everyone wanted to use spells. The problem is the spell options sucked because the class had to prepare the 1-3 spells per day and that mean 95% of the spells you don't touch. But you got access to scrolls and wands that other Martials didn't get.

So what do you see in the blog that compensates for lack of spells? I see nothing. I can only hope that it's there.

Just for the record, I didn't want to use spells. I don't think they make sense on a ranger, the various archetypal rangers from fiction don't really have them, and every time I've considered making a ranger in ANY version of D&D/PF I have been annoyed by the spellcasting. Judging by the multiple people who've ALREADY posted in this thread to say they're happy that the new ranger doesn't have spells by default I'm probably not the only one.

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


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N N 959 wrote:
Everyone wanted to use spells. The problem is the spell options sucked because the class had to prepare the 1-3 spells per day and that mean 95% of the spells you don't touch.

No, the problem is that not everyone wanted to use spells.


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N N 959 wrote:
Igwilly wrote:

I liked pretty much everything here, nothing to complain ^^

Honestly, the Ranger's spellcasting was an old artifact, from a time which Rangers were vastly different from our "modern" conception, such as in OD&D and AD&D's Ranger.
Dude, 1e rangers have spell casting, so it's no more an "old artifact" than the longsword doing 1d8. And speaking of concept, when has snare building ever been a part of Ranger lore?

Um...when has it *not*? D&D Ranger mechanics are not Ranger *lore*. Ranger lore is that they are scouts, survivalists, hunters, guerilla fighters, masters of the wilderness. Trapping is *essential* to that lore. Spellcasting has lore precedence almost solely in Aragorn, and that's better represented with Herbalism.


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Tangentially, I'm happy to see the crossbow actually prominent on Harsk this time, whereas I don't think last time we saw PF2 Harsk that it was visible at all? That gives me hope that with all the other changes to weapons, maybe crossbows will actually be useful for once.


rooneg wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
Cuttlefist wrote:
But they had to balance the rest of the class around you having access to spells, without them being auto-included it opens up to much more power for people who don’t want to use them while leaving open design space for people who do want to invest in them to be able to.

Everyone wanted to use spells. The problem is the spell options sucked because the class had to prepare the 1-3 spells per day and that mean 95% of the spells you don't touch. But you got access to scrolls and wands that other Martials didn't get.

So what do you see in the blog that compensates for lack of spells? I see nothing. I can only hope that it's there.

Just for the record, I didn't want to use spells. I don't think they make sense on a ranger, the various archetypal rangers from fiction don't really have them, and every time I've considered making a ranger in ANY version of D&D/PF I have been annoyed by the spellcasting. Judging by the multiple people who've ALREADY posted in this thread to say they're happy that the new ranger doesn't have spells by default I'm probably not the only one.

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

So why not Hunter? Or Slayer?

I always have ideas for non Mystic Punchy characters and I don't want to dip into Fighter for that. I've picked up Brawler for it. I can do the same, now, if I want something ranger like but no spells.

I do agree we should wait to see what they get to make up fro the loss, though it seems to be a topic of debate on how useful they were in the first place so wonder if they will be.


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Cat-thulhu wrote:
I must be missing something on that level 1 feat - monster hunter (aside from the ludicrously sized hammer). It doesnt seem very good at all, so why is it one of your favourites Mark? Seems like a trap (to quote the admiral), Is it a free action to recall knowledge?

You're missing Mark didn't write the blog, it is the devilry of Stephen Radney-MacFarland.

re: the Scout's Warning ability, I think +1 to all allies (incl. yourself I assume) is pretty equivalent to +4 to one person's Init, in terms of likelihood of one ally acting before an enemy they wouldn't have otherwise, also considering that higher Init beats ties (if that works similarly), and of course also having chance for multiple allies to be advantaged in turn order.


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Fuzzypaws wrote:
Tangentially, I'm happy to see the crossbow actually prominent on Harsk this time, whereas I don't think last time we saw PF2 Harsk that it was visible at all? That gives me hope that with all the other changes to weapons, maybe crossbows will actually be useful for once.

One Idea I had to solve the Simple vs Martial weapon problem (Ok, mostly the Crossbow problem, as I'm not sure what else, besides maybe the dagger, is yearning for this), was that simple weapons are weaker than martial weapons for those simply trained in them. If you're a wizard, with only trained proficiency in crossbows, you'll never match someone trained in Bows, but if you're an expert, you get an extra weapon trait, that symbolizes the effectiveness that the weapon can be in the hands of someone who is well-trained in their use. That way, a fighter with a Bow and a fighter with a crossbow would be roughly equal, at least in the long view of things.

And it wouldn't necessitate something like rapid reload, but could instead focus on the differences in usage. Like, maybe Crossbows have something like, spitballing here, 'Aim' as a property, giving "If you spend an action to aim, you gain +X to your next attack roll with this weapon" and then just balance X, such that a turn of Aim,Attack,Reload would be about as powerful as what a bow user could do.


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re: Hunter class, I can see good case they will be superfluous.
The Blog already tells us Rangers can get full power companions "with special unique benefits".
Take as many magic/casting Feats as you can along with Companion stuff, and you're pretty much in Hunter territory.
(Deity worship specific Feats are also a thing, for the Hunter-thru-Inquisitor-Back-Door flavor)
There is also opportunity for Skill/General Feats to interact with or depend on Class Feats (or simply Levels) as pre-reqs.
I get impression this is by design, and they'd rather move onto Golarion flavor specific stuff than rehash every splat class.
...Like the Pure Legion spell-less Trapper Rangers warring to defeat the god-slave Spell Criminal Rangers. /s


interesting


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Quandary wrote:

re: Hunter class, I can see good case they will be superfluous.

The Blog already tells us Rangers can get full power companions "with special unique benefits".
Take as many magic/casting Feats as you can along with Companion stuff, and you're pretty much in Hunter territory.
I get impression this is by design, and they'd rather move onto Golarion flavor specific stuff than rehash every splat class.

I'm getting this impression too: it seems like they are trying to cover the hybrids in the base classes options.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Speaking as a GM, I rarely saw a Ranger's spells as something that was actually useful. For instance, I had a Ranger who constantly would cast Sun Metal on her throwing axes. The problem is over and over again she would run into things with fire resistance - especially at high levels. There were other spells which would have been more beneficial but she never bothered to try them as buff spells are "boring."

If a class's spellcasting abilities end up serving no purpose then the ability ends up being wasted and the class underpowered. Don't forget: the Ranger did NOT get certain abilities BECAUSE they could cast spells. And while you didn't HAVE to use those spells, you COULD have a Ranger with a 10 Wisdom... well, you could also build your character on a five-point build while everyone else uses a 15-point build. It doesn't serve much of a purpose.

Liberty's Edge

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Arachnofiend wrote:
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.

Yes. That is problematic for the reasons you state. But it’s also a solved problem.

You grant bonuses that have a story/ flavour tie to the favored enemy but that are not restricted to the creature type.
Such as being a giant killer and gaining a bonus against creatures larger than you. Or a dragon slayer and getting a bonus against area effect spells/ breath weapons. Or a witch hunter and gaining the ability to repeat saving throws to shrug off magical effects.

There’s lots of options that are far, far more interesting and work with the idea or a “hunter” beyond getting a 5% better chance to hit with a second attack and a small bonus to tracking creatures you’ve already seen and will be long dead before you lose sight of them.


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Tangent101 wrote:

Speaking as a GM, I rarely saw a Ranger's spells as something that was actually useful. For instance, I had a Ranger who constantly would cast Sun Metal on her throwing axes. The problem is over and over again she would run into things with fire resistance - especially at high levels. There were other spells which would have been more beneficial but she never bothered to try them as buff spells are "boring."

If a class's spellcasting abilities end up serving no purpose then the ability ends up being wasted and the class underpowered. Don't forget: the Ranger did NOT get certain abilities BECAUSE they could cast spells. And while you didn't HAVE to use those spells, you COULD have a Ranger with a 10 Wisdom... well, you could also build your character on a five-point build while everyone else uses a 15-point build. It doesn't serve much of a purpose.

Examples of what they didn't get JUST because they got spells? I can't think of any off the top of my head.

Not saying you're wrong but some examples would be nice. Though I don't recall Ranger being called underpowered in my time here.


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Monster Hunter hinges on Recall Knowledge checks, Crit Success there also reveals key info that may be more important to easily defeating enemy than more +X or 1 action, and building around this implies that will happen alot more... Vs 3.x/P1E where you didn't even need one rank in those knowledges because they were irrelevant to getting your +X. If/when Paizo builds general stuff on top of Recall Knowledge, Rangers will be well placed to use it, and of course we don't know any subsequent Chain Feats off of Monster Hunter.


Tangent101 wrote:
If a class's spellcasting abilities end up serving no purpose then the ability ends up being wasted and the class underpowered.

In my experience, their spellcasting got used more often to use wands than actual spellcasting. Someone that could use the CLW wand without UMD, resist energy, feather step, endure elements, ect. The only spell I saw used with any regularity was Dream Feast.

The vast amount of ranger 'casting' can be covered by a 1/2 elf's Arcane Training...


Others have probably said this already but… one target per Hunt per day makes Hunt Target a useless ability out-of-the-box without feats modifying it.

I’ve had trap making PCs and… snares are typically not something adventurers can use as most often we are invading someone else’s abode. Also, they don’t seem very worthwhile compared to the fuss that would be needed to make them work.

The ranger feats seem really weak, almost not worth taking. I can see now that all classes are nerfed, I’m just wondering if PCs will be able to do anything interesting before they become level 10.

I’m not impressed by the 2E Ranger and this preview makes me nervous about 2E. 4 more weeks to go.


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I don't think Hunt is one use/day, I think it's just one target at a time and it lasts until you do your hour long breakfast ritual or you choose a new target (or the target dies, I suppose.)


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Jason S wrote:

Others have probably said this already but… one target per Hunt per day makes Hunt Target a useless ability out-of-the-box without feats modifying it.

Blog wrote:
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.

It's not one target per day; it's one target at a time. You can switch it as many times as you want during the day. "Okay, that thing's dead; now it's your turn." Or even, "Damn, that thing looks more dangerous than the thing I was fighting; forget that other thing."


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Jason S wrote:

Others have probably said this already but… one target per Hunt per day makes Hunt Target a useless ability out-of-the-box without feats modifying it.

I’ve had trap making PCs and… snares are typically not something adventurers can use as most often we are invading someone else’s abode. Also, they don’t seem very worthwhile compared to the fuss that would be needed to make them work.

The ranger feats seem really weak, almost not worth taking. I can see now that all classes are nerfed, I’m just wondering if PCs will be able to do anything interesting before they become level 10.

I’m not impressed by the 2E Ranger and this preview makes me nervous about 2E. 4 more weeks to go.

Uh, you're adding on restrictions that don't exist. There's no per-day limitation on Hunt. It's just one target at a time, which you're going to do anyways since it's based on hitting one thing.

Since you can drop a trap in a single action, you could drop a trap, maneuver around, and push an enemy into it if you wanted. Granted, that particular usage isn't likely the greatest, but it's totally usable.

I don't think you can call the ranger weak since it's been made clear that all its non-spell features still exist, and have been given more specialization bonuses.


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Re: No spellcasting.

Honestly, as far as spellcasting classes go, thematically I feel like the Ranger is the one that
a) it makes the least sense on, compared to many other classes - you couldn't take it away from a druid, paladin or especially wizard or cleric without basically ruining the class, but a mundane ranger seems very doable, especially considering the next point:

b) is the most easily replaced with more thematically (and mechanically) apt alternatives - be it animal companions, traps/snares, or all the other survivalist-ish stuff that rangers get/got throughout the editions (whether it's favored terrain/enemy, or natural explorer) that is ultimately non-magical in nature.

Again I fully realize I might be biased (but so is pretty much everyone else in these discussions, one way or the other), but I'm really not attached to the idea of rangers/hunters/slayers/woodsmen using magic (either within the context of D&D-heritage RPGs, or in fantasy fiction at large), and I'm fully convinced that you can absolutely make the class feel distinct and strong, without resorting to giving it magic.

That being said, I do hope that the option for spellcasting arises quickly after or even during the Playtest (though that doesn't seem all too likely), but I'm totally okay with spell-less being the de facto default, and what we get to play with during the Playtest, starting next month.


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Igwilly wrote:
CrystalSeas wrote:


I always found it strange that my 'mountain man' survivalist ranger had to also be a spellslinger, which was confusing and impossible for me to work into my understanding of such characters.

That's what I'm saying about 3.X and PF1's ranger: it got his spells out of nowhere. There was not much (if any) explanation behind this.

Of course, the previous explanation was lost in the edition change, so we had spellscaters that got spells from the game's designer itself just so an old artifact, which made no sense now, could be maintained.
If people want Rangers with divine magic, at least give Rangers a pretty good reason to have so.

What I want is the option to have rangers who brew potions and poultices and such to take on the healer role without being a spellcaster. I expect I'll just have to be satisfied with ritual casting.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Igwilly wrote:
CrystalSeas wrote:


I always found it strange that my 'mountain man' survivalist ranger had to also be a spellslinger, which was confusing and impossible for me to work into my understanding of such characters.

That's what I'm saying about 3.X and PF1's ranger: it got his spells out of nowhere. There was not much (if any) explanation behind this.

Of course, the previous explanation was lost in the edition change, so we had spellscaters that got spells from the game's designer itself just so an old artifact, which made no sense now, could be maintained.
If people want Rangers with divine magic, at least give Rangers a pretty good reason to have so.
What I want is the option to have rangers who brew potions and poultices and such to take on the healer role without being a spellcaster. I expect I'll just have to be satisfied with ritual casting.

That seems simple enough - just skill feat into Medicine. You don't even need it in-class anymore, though that would certainly be eased if Medicine was a signature skill.

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