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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Doktor Weasel wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Your one shot is not going to one-hit-kill enemies, but hitting like a greatsword is still pretty good for a ranged attack. I had a player who went with the crossbow style ranger and made it as big one-hit as possible with a heavy crossbow. This caused eyebrow-raising amounts of damage, especially on crits, but the player was frustrated when his dice went on a bad streak because with just one shot, he didn't have the same number of chances as everyone else to keep rolling until he saw a high number; even though the overall damage was extremely solid for such a mobile ranged character, that style is not for everyone, and if getting frustrated when you bank it in one shot and miss sounds like you, I'd recommend going more machine gun arrow style.
So are you saying crossbows are now an actually viable option? Nice.

Viable is good, 5th Ed made the mistake of overcompensating and crossbows can be the best weapon!


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The Raven Black wrote:

YAY for Spell-less in the playtest. Here's hoping for magical options in the CRB for those who enjoy it

On a more general note, a great benefit from the feats-based design IMO will be that all classes can gain from additions in new splatbooks when casters where the only ones to gain such rich variety of resources in PF1 thanks to new spells appearing in every new book

I will miss the flavor of extra-super-awesomeness that came with using your favored style on favored enemies in a favored terrain. I hope some combination of feats helps recreate it

That said the blog post is so threadbare that I will definitely need to see the playtest to get a feeling about the new Ranger and how my Ranger character can be ported to PF2 (especially Animal Companion stuff, including non-Animal type Companions)

Acquiring a new target as an Action will hurt the machine gun style when you are killing mooks by the hundreds. I hope there is some way you can retarget freely when your initial target goes down

Combat-worthy Snares are not essential to my concept of the Ranger and those in PF1 were highly disappointing. I will need to see how people like them to consider ever using them

You may not really need to target monks in the first place. If you are at the point you can one shot a mook, the AC/to hit scaling of level means your attacks are all likely to land and you will probably get a crit on at least one of them. Hunt Target will matter less at that point than feats like Whirlwind attack.


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Chest Rockwell wrote:
Doktor Weasel wrote:
So are you saying crossbows are now an actually viable option? Nice.
Viable is good, 5th Ed made the mistake of overcompensating and crossbows can be the best weapon!

Yeah making them a super-weapon would also be problematic. But having a viable niche is something I've wanted to see. Make them a sniper weapon with bows as machineguns. So both have a niche and are viable without one making the other pointless.


Doktor Weasel wrote:
So are you saying crossbows are now an actually viable option? Nice.

They better be, I'm buying the bestest money can buy. And enchanting it. For starters.

No but really, yeah, all weapons will have their niches, a dagger will be optimal in certain situations, a greatsword in others... at least, as far as we've seen. Every weapon has different qualities and specializes in different effects. Not that daggers will do 2d6 damage, but they should have pros and cons like most other weapons.

Of course martials are still better than basics, generally speaking.

That's what I've gathered till now, at least. Very itchy to read the document and run the damn game!


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I like having a spell-less build being around (my rangers rarely used their spells), but this writeup sounds like there isn't even an option for spell casting in the book and it's just a theoretical future thing. It should really be a readily available option in core. Maybe a class feet or archetype or something. Taking what used to be a core ability of a class and relegating it to something you might eventually do in a future book is kind of jarring. Replacing Favored Enemy with Hunt Target is a mechanical thing, that's fine. But get rid of the spell ability is a big setting change. "Hey Harsk, didn't use used to be able to cast spells." "Yeah, I lost them in the edition change."

If it's not an option in the playtest, it should be added for the final core book. And I say this as someone who wouldn't take that option most likely. I just think it should still exist for those who would take it, and for the sake of continuity.


Chest Rockwell wrote:
Viable is good, 5th Ed made the mistake of overcompensating and crossbows can be the best weapon!

Okay, not sure 'cuz my players are focused on melee and spells, but crossbows in 5e need to be loaded, thus disrupting your multiple attacks. Or not?


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Ranger appears to me as the weakest class so far.
Spells are removed, Favored enemy is more flexible but weaker and there's not much in return.
Also, the other classes read more interesting.

I'll wait for the Playtest document to decide how I like it.


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Doktor Weasel wrote:
If it's not an option in the playtest, it should be added for the final core book. And I say this as someone who wouldn't take that option most likely. I just think it should still exist for those who would take it, and for the sake of continuity.

And so that my ranger can spam wands of clw :D


PossibleCabbage wrote:

I wonder if Rangers can get sudden charge, because the mental image of a Dwarf Ranger pointing at someone and shouting "YOU!" then charging them with axe raised high is deeply amusing to me.

I mean, you can always Hunt, Stride, and Strike but ... stubby little legs.

Sounds more like a barb to me... you know, fluffwise. But sure, why not.

Or, something that could help even rangers who want to be casters too - multiclassing. I mean, we still don't know how it works, but multiclassing into druid would give some spells back to the ranger, and multiclassing into fighter would give it sudden charge. You wanna make really strong potions and possibly save some snare money? Multiclass as an alchemist.

Of course I'm a little suspicious of how multiclassing will work in the playtest, as everyone is, I think, but hopefully it's gonna be better than in 5e...


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Quandary wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
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.
I've been wondering if there is alternate skill-path hinging on Nature or Survival, at least letting you use Proficiency of other... Doesn't even need to be as good at healing vanilla HP damage, but could help for Poison/Disease/Conditions...???

That'd be pretty cool - using nature instead of medicine for some applications of the skill, like herbalism, mainly. I hope that becomes a feat, or something similar to that.


Chest Rockwell wrote:
Yeah, the liquid ice trap does feel a bit more like an alchemist/artificer deal, to me. I think traps made by rangers would be more like First Blood (really is a superb action film).

Do remember snares aren't a class feat, but a general one. Anyone can make snares with the feat, and they can choose to craft those they prefer. Perhaps some snares like liquid ice could require a minimum level of skill in crafting or some "alchemist skill", while simpler, purely mechanical snares would be more available to any snare-crafter.

I think this is the kind of detail one needs to give feedback on a lot while reading and playing the playtest, to make sure the devs at least take it into consideration (if it's not already as one wants it).


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I always felt the ranger was the weakest class in PF1, with their main shtick, favored enemy, so circumstantial that it became useless unless the DM was kind enough to indicate what creature type would come up in the campaign; weak spells, just good enough to get level with other martials for a few minutes per day; and a miserably weak animal companion. Now in PF2 it seems all these issues are begin addressed. The new abilities are thematically relevant. Now, they don't feel very impressive, but I think this has a lot to do with me needing to adjust my mindset to the new math.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Roswynn wrote:
Chest Rockwell wrote:
Yeah, the liquid ice trap does feel a bit more like an alchemist/artificer deal,...

...

Perhaps some snares like liquid ice could require a minimum level of skill in crafting or some "alchemist skill", ...
Freezing Snare wrote:
Craft Requirements three vials of liquid ice

I really think, the way the Snare is written, that you have to have the three vials on hand before producing the Snare. It could be that your friend the alchemist made them yesterday, or that you bought them in the last town, or that you invested your time to learn how to make them yourself.

But I doubt you mix them up while setting the Snare.
The 50gp price would be to craft a contraption that sets off the three vials together.


The obvious misgivings I have from here are the Monster Hunter feat appearing really weak. And by that I mean it's basically a trap option.

Anything that requires a Critical Success to do anything is going to be ineffective at least 80% of the time. I think that the "four degrees of success" is used in this case to increase DCs by 10.

Looking at the traps: they appear really overpriced. A ranger starting out has 15gp. To build a single first-level trap, it costs one sixth of the ranger's starting gold. For a consumable.

But that's okay, because if you're ninth-level and you laid that trap, and the enemy stands on it, and remains in that square of difficult terrain until your next turn... you get a +2 to hit him. Again, extremely situational, with a pretty poor payoff.


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gwynfrid wrote:
I always felt the ranger was the weakest class in PF1, with their main shtick, favored enemy, so circumstantial that it became useless unless the DM was kind enough to indicate what creature type would come up in the campaign; weak spells, just good enough to get level with other martials for a few minutes per day; and a miserably weak animal companion. Now in PF2 it seems all these issues are begin addressed. The new abilities are thematically relevant. Now, they don't feel very impressive, but I think this has a lot to do with me needing to adjust my mindset to the new math.

And the fact we're NOT seeing the classes in their entirety. These are only tidbits. Mark mentioned for instance that rangers have evasion like rogues do, but we still don't know a lot, about anything actually. We'll need the playtest document to really see how things are balanced over those 20 levels for each class.

And yeah, you definitely have to get used to the new math - I know I still haven't and my first feeling on seeing bonuses and penalties is that they're underwhelming (coming from the advantage/disadvantage of 5e doesn't help) and I need to constantly remind myself of the double worth of a single point - 1 point less to reach the dc, PLUS 1 point less to crit. Really nothing to laugh at.

Earlier in this thread Mark also calculated the odds of hitting and critting with your 1st attack, 2nd and 3rd on your turn, against different-level enemies and iirc using a couple of different classes/builds. It was pretty impressive, and the bonus difference involved was quite small.


Franz Lunzer wrote:
Roswynn wrote:
Chest Rockwell wrote:
Yeah, the liquid ice trap does feel a bit more like an alchemist/artificer deal,...

...

Perhaps some snares like liquid ice could require a minimum level of skill in crafting or some "alchemist skill", ...
Freezing Snare wrote:
Craft Requirements three vials of liquid ice

I really think, the way the Snare is written, that you have to have the three vials on hand before producing the Snare. It could be that your friend the alchemist made them yesterday, or that you bought them in the last town, or that you invested your time to learn how to make them yourself.

But I doubt you mix them up while setting the Snare.
The 50gp price would be to craft a contraption that sets off the three vials together.

Absolutely, I think so too. The ranger doesn't come packing liquid ice by default, that's more down the alchemist's alley, or down some serious feat investment's at best. So if I explained myself poorly I'm sorry, I meant that crafting the basic components of the trap might be something you can do on your own if it's simple mechanical stuff or something you'd need to sacrifice something else for in the case of stuff like liquid ice. I don't know if I've been clearer this time around but I really need to go eat something ;)

The result, I think, it's still that the ranger doesn't automatically know how to craft freezing snares. It's an investment. If that's not how someone's ranger is supposed to roll and bear-traps and small mines are more their speed it's totally doable and the player is not choosing to be suboptimal (also b/c snares are NOT a class feature).

At least, again, that's my impression.


Ranger has been my favorite class for a long time. I'll have to see the full write-up, but I'm not feeling it with the details in the blog.

I don't necessarily mind the Favored Enemy change. What they say about being in a game where you can't seem to ever use your favored enemy rings true. But having to see/hear the target is a touch weak to me. How about extending it so that they can name something they are tracking? I never liked the Slayer class, so my first reaction to seeing a Slayer feature put into the Ranger is for me to recoil in horror. Also, the "single target" limitation doesn't really fit, to me. Sure, if you're hunting a boss critter, its great. But if you're hunting a pack of wargs, why would the bonus apply to just one. I'd think I'd rather see the classic Favored Enemy turned into a Studied Enemy, where the Ranger could change their Favored Enemy list during downtime, or something like that. That is, accept a mission to hunt something, spend a little time preparing for that, and then getting the bonus.

Snares are neat, but not usually practical except in the rare circumstance you are attempting to arrange to defend something. It also seems odd to take away magic but then have the Ranger make snares with what seem to be magical effects. I can't think of a single Ranger character conception that I've had where I envisioned the Ranger is placing ice bombs. Through various archtypes I've had a snare feature before and never managed to use it.

I don't mind the notion of a magic-less Ranger. I'd say about 1/3 of my Ranger character concepts were unable to cast spells, either by multiclassing out of Ranger after 4th level (more common) or through an archtype (less common). It just doesn't feel like D&D without a magic casting ranger, so I'm curious how they'll provide for adding it.

Favored terrain wasn't mentioned, but to me this was a notable addition to the class with PF1e. It wasn't a huge feature, but it really reinforced many Ranger character conceptions.

Like I said at the start, I'll need to see the full write-up and have time to think about things, but at first blush I'm a bit disappointed.


dariusu wrote:
I don’t think rangers are “hunters” first and foremost. I think they are protecters of regions of wilderness

I would have said a Ranger has knowledge and expertise related to a specific region/domain. As such, they would have some advantages in hunting and scouting in that region/domain.

A desired to protect that region/domain is a common motivation for a Ranger. Allowing the characters to determine how and why they want to protect it opens up some fun options. Not all Rangers have to be "good guys."

Dark Archive

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One other thing. Currently, in Pathfinder, a ranger can make a 40' radius difficult terrain, for ten minutes plus at fourth level. At long range. In a single action. For no monetary cost. Imposing a -2 penalty to hit and AC to every enemy involved.

This is replaced by the ability to make a single square difficult terrain for less than one round, requiring a minute to set up, presumably being at the location. For a non-trivial monetary cost. And at nineth level, it imparts a -2 penalty to you alone.

This is not an improvement. It's a lemon.


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Ecidon wrote:

One other thing. Currently, in Pathfinder, a ranger can make a 40' radius difficult terrain, for ten minutes plus at fourth level. At long range. In a single action. For no monetary cost. Imposing a -2 penalty to hit and AC to every enemy involved.

This is replaced by the ability to make a single square difficult terrain for less than one round, requiring a minute to set up, presumably being at the location. For a non-trivial monetary cost. And at nineth level, it imparts a -2 penalty to you alone.

This is not an improvement. It's a lemon.

You're making a comparison with a PF1 spell that's pretty OP, unless there are no plants in the area, making it wholly useless. I don't think it's a valid reference point.

Liberty's Edge

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Ecidon wrote:

One other thing. Currently, in Pathfinder, a ranger can make a 40' radius difficult terrain, for ten minutes plus at fourth level. At long range. In a single action. For no monetary cost. Imposing a -2 penalty to hit and AC to every enemy involved.

This is replaced by the ability to make a single square difficult terrain for less than one round, requiring a minute to set up, presumably being at the location. For a non-trivial monetary cost. And at nineth level, it imparts a -2 penalty to you alone.

This is not an improvement. It's a lemon.

You are comparing a 4th level ability to a 1st level one, first off. Secondly, the Slowing Snare works automatically, with no roll to avoid it, while Entangle, when used by a Ranger, generally has a Save DC of around 12 or 13 to avoid (ie: the vast majority avoid it most of the time). Thirdly, as mentioned, Entangle doesn't work at all in areas without undergrowth.

Really, while Slowing Snare isn't great, I'd probably rather have it in PF2 than Entangle on a Ranger in PF1 in the vast majority of circumstances.

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Not a fan of these changes. Aside from snares, the ranger now feels more like a fighter archetype. They don't have enough interesting game mechanics to set them apart. The new Hunt Target is boring and useless at low levels.

I'm really disappointed in this preview.


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graystone wrote:
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. ;)

Or something like this from 3 minutes?


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Ecidon wrote:

One other thing. Currently, in Pathfinder, a ranger can make a 40' radius difficult terrain, for ten minutes plus at fourth level. At long range. In a single action. For no monetary cost. Imposing a -2 penalty to hit and AC to every enemy involved.

This is replaced by the ability to make a single square difficult terrain for less than one round, requiring a minute to set up, presumably being at the location. For a non-trivial monetary cost. And at nineth level, it imparts a -2 penalty to you alone.

This is not an improvement. It's a lemon.

Eh. Entangle is a good spell and all, but sometimes you don't want a 40 foot radius turned to difficult terrain, because that messed with your melee allies too. Also, crap DC on that save. Plus I usually see it ruled as only working in areas with plants, and you got so few spells per day, where as this can be done a lot more often given sufficient gold, and deployed anywhere. (It

Also, you are looking at 1 1st level snare which isn't even a Ranger specific ability, it is the most basic item anyone can craft. There are higher level snares with better effects-- even just tripping an enemy makes them flat-footed to everyone, not just the Ranger. And then the Ranger can opt into taking various ways to improve the snares, including using them in the space of a round.

Like, I can get not being into Snares, and I can get being bummed about losing spellcasting, but your analysis ignores a lot.


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Cyrad wrote:

Not a fan of these changes. Aside from snares, the ranger now feels more like a fighter archetype. They don't have enough interesting game mechanics to set them apart. The new Hunt Target is boring and useless at low levels.

I'm really disappointed in this preview.

Man, I swear, I feel like some folks would rather have every martial in the game become a fighter archetype. The Ranger's identity is fine. They get various perception, tracking, and nature based abilities. They will probably get more skills. They have a built in animal companion. And they can provide team buffs in the right circumstances.

They seem to pretty much have exactly as much that set them apart from the fighter as PF1, but have had some of the features people didn't like trimmed away. You could make a case that "Ranger" is perhaps more suited to a universal archetype like "Pirate," but that's a critique of the Ranger as a concept dating back to AD&D.

Also, Hunt Target is excellent at low levels with agile weapons, and even better once haste enters the picture. You can make 3 attacks at level 1, and the second will effectively be +1 and the third +2. Heck, if you can get flurry from monk it is even better. We have also been assured it is solid with ranged weapons; we just lack details on how those weapons work to verify.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Ranger fighting styles might be class feats that the Fighter doesn't have access, for all we know right now.

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Captain Morgan wrote:
Cyrad wrote:

Not a fan of these changes. Aside from snares, the ranger now feels more like a fighter archetype. They don't have enough interesting game mechanics to set them apart. The new Hunt Target is boring and useless at low levels.

I'm really disappointed in this preview.

Man, I swear, I feel like some folks would rather have every martial in the game become a fighter archetype.

When you strip away all the mechanics that make a martial class fun and distinct, this will always result in a class that feels like a fighter archetype.

Also, I played a lot of Starfinder. Even with a -4, iterative attacks feel worthless at low levels.

Sovereign Court

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BretI wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
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.

I also don’t like the glyphs they use in Starfinder.

I do not find them intuitive (especially the ellipsis used to indicate language dependent) and do not find the mystic symbol clear enough to be immediately recognized. Eventually I will learn to recognize the the dotted purple blob is the mystic symbol, but nothing about it immediately says...

I get that it is a concern, but the concepts for ‘0, 1,2,3’ are way simpler to represent than ‘language’ and ‘mystic’. Don’t knock the symbology until you’ve seen it.

As for the tech concerns, that is all wait and see. It is possible for symbols to behave nicely in the pdf, but we have no idea what changes they’ve made to support them.


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I find myself kind of disappointed at the lack of spells as a playtest option. I would have preferred a couple of spell-point options that leaned into the old "Favored Terrain" or "Favored Enemy", easing that particular blow as well.

Something like "Favored Enemy-Dragon" could gain an energy resistance equivalent power and the ability to designate a dragon as your hunting target as a free action instead of an action (edit: probably need to add a skill challenge to pull that off though, like you can only do this if you got a crit success on your monster lore or survival Track roll). Favored terrain could give a +1 to perception rolls in that terrain and/or an appropriate druid power, like entangle for grasslands, darkness for underground, firebolt for fire planes, etc. I'd need the full playtest book to do more than spitball, but those are the directions I would have wanted to see Ranger spellpoints.

Edit: That said, I DO like the new Hunting Target. I'd want favored enemy as an optional flavor ability, but this new thing the baseline every ranger can expect.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

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Captain Morgan wrote:
Cyrad wrote:

Not a fan of these changes. Aside from snares, the ranger now feels more like a fighter archetype. They don't have enough interesting game mechanics to set them apart. The new Hunt Target is boring and useless at low levels.

I'm really disappointed in this preview.

Man, I swear, I feel like some folks would rather have every martial in the game become a fighter archetype. The Ranger's identity is fine. They get various perception, tracking, and nature based abilities. They will probably get more skills. They have a built in animal companion. And they can provide team buffs in the right circumstances.

They seem to pretty much have exactly as much that set them apart from the fighter as PF1, but have had some of the features people didn't like trimmed away. You could make a case that "Ranger" is perhaps more suited to a universal archetype like "Pirate," but that's a critique of the Ranger as a concept dating back to AD&D.

Also, it's not cool to strawman arguments.

"The new ranger feels like a fighter archetype" =/= "new ranger should be a fighter archetype"

My concern is that they replaced favored enemy with an ability that's not very fun or exciting while also stripping away many of the other aspects that make the class interesting. Unless you actually playtested the class, nothing you say here alleviates this concern.


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Cyrad wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
Cyrad wrote:

Not a fan of these changes. Aside from snares, the ranger now feels more like a fighter archetype. They don't have enough interesting game mechanics to set them apart. The new Hunt Target is boring and useless at low levels.

I'm really disappointed in this preview.

Man, I swear, I feel like some folks would rather have every martial in the game become a fighter archetype.

When you strip away all the mechanics that make a martial class fun and distinct, this will always result in a class that feels like a fighter archetype.

Also, I played a lot of Starfinder. Even with a -4, iterative attacks feel worthless at low levels.

Your to-hit is something like +0 to +2, depending on to-hit stat and if ranger is expert or not. Even if you go up against a pretty high monster AC of 15, that's still a 13-15 required on the die. I wouldn't call that worthless in any way.


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Bear in mind that the PF1 Ranger actually already had a Studied Target-like ability in Quarry at high levels. It's just now been cleaned up into something you can do with less restrictions from level 1.

I'm still hoping for the thematic favored enemy abilities I mentioned on the first page, but maybe they're already present and just weren't mentioned for some reason. Perhaps the author thought it was obvious the Ranger would have favored enemy and didn't think to bring it up. Or perhaps it will end up in the final published version thanks to our comments. :)


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Cyrad wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
Cyrad wrote:

Not a fan of these changes. Aside from snares, the ranger now feels more like a fighter archetype. They don't have enough interesting game mechanics to set them apart. The new Hunt Target is boring and useless at low levels.

I'm really disappointed in this preview.

Man, I swear, I feel like some folks would rather have every martial in the game become a fighter archetype.

When you strip away all the mechanics that make a martial class fun and distinct, this will always result in a class that feels like a fighter archetype.

Also, I played a lot of Starfinder. Even with a -4, iterative attacks feel worthless at low levels.

What fun and distinct martial mechanics are they losing? Favored enemy and terrain were neat and all but highly meta gamey. Spells weren't a martial mechanic anyway, and people seemed to not be able to trade them out fast enough when archetypes offered the option to. (All that being said, my gut still thinks there should be an option like the monk.)

The new Ranger still gets woodland stride and some new features like treating enemies in natural difficult terrain as flat footed. They get a Slayer esque studied target mechanic. They will have ways to identify monster weaknesses to allies. And then there is all that snare jibber jabber.

Also, this isn't Starfinder. There you take a -4/-4 on both attacks in order to take more attacks. That's significantly worse than throwing out 3 attacks that get progressively less accurate, or 0/-5 with an action left.

At level 1, a Ranger probably has a +5/+2/-1 attack routine with agile weapons. A zombie has AC 11 and slashing weakness 5; the Ranger has better odds than anyone except maybe a weapon monk at triggering that weakness 3 times in a round, and his final attack still hits in on a 12. With two slashing weapons, he's almost certain to one round the zombie's 20 HP and will probably have an action leftover that can mess up a third.

Sovereign Court

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Fuzzypaws wrote:

Bear in mind that the PF1 Ranger actually already had a Studied Target-like ability in Quarry at high levels. It's just now been cleaned up into something you can do with less restrictions from level 1.

I'm still hoping for the thematic favored enemy abilities I mentioned on the first page, but maybe they're already present and just weren't mentioned for some reason. Perhaps the author thought it was obvious the Ranger would have favored enemy and didn't think to bring it up. Or perhaps it will end up in the final published version thanks to our comments. :)

I think the thematic favored enemy abilities would make some excellent class feats for the ranger.

Shadow Lodge

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Gregg Reece wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:
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.
Yeah, using crafting feats for a +5 vorpal scimitar should cost like 9 silver and 9 copper. No more than that, though.

Nice job twisting context.


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KingOfAnything wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:

Bear in mind that the PF1 Ranger actually already had a Studied Target-like ability in Quarry at high levels. It's just now been cleaned up into something you can do with less restrictions from level 1.

I'm still hoping for the thematic favored enemy abilities I mentioned on the first page, but maybe they're already present and just weren't mentioned for some reason. Perhaps the author thought it was obvious the Ranger would have favored enemy and didn't think to bring it up. Or perhaps it will end up in the final published version thanks to our comments. :)

I think the thematic favored enemy abilities would make some excellent class feats for the ranger.

I'd like for favored enemies to be an archetype like the pirate. Dragonslayer (dodge breath!) could give different benefits than demonslayer (ignore dr!), but they could both be available to, oh, pretty much anyone willing to invest.

Same for favored terrains. Hell, a favored terrain could be just 1 feat deep. More if you really want to be the avatar of the forest or whatnot, sure, but 1 feat would totally be feasible.

Shadow Lodge

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graystone wrote:

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. ;)

Reflavor the Dropsplacer beast found here?

Sovereign Court

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KingOfAnything wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:

Bear in mind that the PF1 Ranger actually already had a Studied Target-like ability in Quarry at high levels. It's just now been cleaned up into something you can do with less restrictions from level 1.

I'm still hoping for the thematic favored enemy abilities I mentioned on the first page, but maybe they're already present and just weren't mentioned for some reason. Perhaps the author thought it was obvious the Ranger would have favored enemy and didn't think to bring it up. Or perhaps it will end up in the final published version thanks to our comments. :)

I think the thematic favored enemy abilities would make some excellent class feats for the ranger.

Brainstorm: Favored Enemy class feats could include the ability to designate hunted targets without the requirement to see or hear them. The humanoid(human) version could even open up a few investigator-like class feats for an urban campaign.


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Dragonborn3 wrote:
Gregg Reece wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:
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.
Yeah, using crafting feats for a +5 vorpal scimitar should cost like 9 silver and 9 copper. No more than that, though.
Nice job twisting context.

I'm not entirely clear on what point you are making. Could you clarify?

Is it that the price should be listed in silver instead of gold? That seems like a minor quibble. And having a silver based economy mostly means you're using silver for every day living expenses type things. It still leaves room for using gold for big ticket purchases, which most adventuring gear would qualify as.

Is it that the snares are too expensive? That seems premature without having the full economy rules, especially with downtime crafting + earning money.

Is it that one has to spend feats to craft stuff? That seems like a pretty strange presumption, given wizards in PF1 could take item crafting feats and spend gold to use them. How else do you expect item crafting to work?

Sovereign Court

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Roswynn wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:

Bear in mind that the PF1 Ranger actually already had a Studied Target-like ability in Quarry at high levels. It's just now been cleaned up into something you can do with less restrictions from level 1.

I'm still hoping for the thematic favored enemy abilities I mentioned on the first page, but maybe they're already present and just weren't mentioned for some reason. Perhaps the author thought it was obvious the Ranger would have favored enemy and didn't think to bring it up. Or perhaps it will end up in the final published version thanks to our comments. :)

I think the thematic favored enemy abilities would make some excellent class feats for the ranger.

I'd like for favored enemies to be an archetype like the pirate. Dragonslayer (dodge breath!) could give different benefits than demonslayer (ignore dr!), but they could both be available to, oh, pretty much anyone willing to invest.

Same for favored terrains. Hell, a favored terrain could be just 1 feat deep. More if you really want to be the avatar of the forest or whatnot, sure, but 1 feat would totally be feasible.

Dragonslayer is a neat archetype idea, but it's the only favored enemy I feel that has enough oomph to support an archetype. Oozes and plants for instance feel like single feats to me. Plus, favored enemy is such an iconic ranger thing, I think most are best left as ranger class feats. Probably with some higher level cross-class access, though.


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Chief Cook and Bottlewasher wrote:
Magus Black wrote:
threadbear
Or something like this from 3 minutes?

I would claim Thread Bear is a brand of pretty neat fabrics, but that's not as exciting.

In other news, I'd really like the option for martial attacks to either go SWOOSH SWOOSH SWOOSH or ... SSWOOOOSSSHHH!!

I.e., multiple attacks are fine, but as it's apparently possible through some witchery to snipe once with a crossbow and make it count, I'd like martial characters like fighters and rangers to be able to focus like 3 actions in a single attack that would hurt like hell.

Usually fighters try to aim straight and go for the throat instead of stabbing you repeatedly.

Not always. Ask any knife-brawl victim. It seems the aggressor always wants to *really make sure* the target dies.

But still, the expert swordsman often studies the opponent... and BAM, thrust at the vitals. Which can be parried, dodged, met by armor, but if it enters your body, boy I don't wanna be in your place.

Relatedly (?) I would like rangers to be able to be competitive using a single weapon, possibly some kind of spear. Am I the only one who thinks hunters, when not using bow and arrows, usually seem to go for spears - also to keep the dangerous prey at bay, btw? 1 spear, not 1 in each hand and TWF. 1, wielded 2-handed. Like when in 300 child!Leonidas kills that wolf (I know, 300, but still the action sequences were good imo).

Same way as boar hunters historically went and thrust the spetum into the body of the boar with both hands, for instance. Once. With 1 spear.

The other good hunting weapon I see is the knife/dagger. 2 daggers doesn't sound bad.

Now 2 hand axes sounds like something Harsk would wield while fighting a band of orcs, which is totally cool and fine... but the basic hunting process, I would really like to see it covered.

That said,

Stephen wrote:
Of course, a ranger with a less traditional style, like a greatsword with a reduced multiple attack penalty, works great too!

So I think it should work.


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Why are people such fans of favoured enemy? It was awful and the single reason I didn't play a ranger.


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For flying opponents, I imagine we'll get back the ability to shoot snares at a distant target and have them immediately go off, which would give us the potential to hamper flyers or even drop them from the sky (I can't imagine there's no entangling trap).

Granted, that's a total guess on my part, but it seems like an obvious application.


KingOfAnything wrote:
Roswynn wrote:

I'd like for favored enemies to be an archetype like the pirate. Dragonslayer (dodge breath!) could give different benefits than demonslayer (ignore dr!), but they could both be available to, oh, pretty much anyone willing to invest.

Same for favored terrains. Hell, a favored terrain could be just 1 feat deep. More if you really want to be the avatar of the forest or whatnot, sure, but 1 feat would totally be feasible.

Dragonslayer is a neat archetype idea, but it's the only favored enemy I feel that has enough oomph to support an archetype. Oozes and plants for instance feel like single feats to me. Plus, favored enemy is such an iconic ranger thing, I think most are best left as ranger class feats. Probably with some higher level cross-class access, though.

Mmm, I think demonslayer has enough oomph too, but sure, oozeslayer and plantslayer sound pretty stupid XD So yeah, if someone has faced a lot of oozes (in the Darklands?...), 1 feat sounds about right & proper to simulate that particular focus.

You're right, favored enemy is very iconic to rangers... mmm... maybe I can see your point. In a campaign against lots of orcs everyone will want orc-slaying feats, and that reduces variety and fun I think. Limiting that kind of feat to the ranger is probably best. If one really wants to be an orcslayer they can always multiclass I guess, but of course that comes at a cost - you wouldn't do it just for some bonuses against orcs... you'd do it if that's an integral part of your character.

I hope.

If I'm wrong and everyone and their mum and pet would multiclass to get those bonuses against orcs (or hobgoblins in Ironfang Invasion?), maybe it would be preferable to not even having that kind of feat at all.

Not sure. We really need to playtest this baby. Ugh, still a month to go T_T


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I love the idea of Monster Hunter, someone who fight well not because they're strong or quick, but because they're smart... but +1 to 3-5 attacks (whole party) against 1 creature, and only on a critical skill check, seems awfully limited compared to Weapon Focus: +1 to pretty much all attacks you make. Maybe the baseline has changed? Maybe Weapon Focus isn't there anymore, and +1 attack is considered more valuable?

Snares are a fun idea in the abstract, but in the life of a D&D adventurer, vastly more time is spent on the offense. Can you count on being able to lure enemies into specific squares often enough to invest feats in it?

Again keywording seems a bit out of control. Once Snare and Trap are different keywords, but a given object is both Snare and Trap, it might be time to wonder whether there's too much granularity there.

I really liked the general section, where the ranger comes across as a warrior who's not as good with weapons as the fighter, but is even better than the fighter at focusing on one guy with a flurry of quick attacks. Yep, feels like a ranger!


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AnimatedPaper wrote:

For flying opponents, I imagine we'll get back the ability to shoot snares at a distant target and have them immediately go off, which would give us the potential to hamper flyers or even drop them from the sky (I can't imagine there's no entangling trap).

Granted, that's a total guess on my part, but it seems like an obvious application.

That's something we need to have, in some way, shape or form. Either a type of ammo, net-users with the right feat, an alchemical entangling bag, whatever, but I want it. Really cool.

Dragonhunterq, because it was quite iconic as fluff. Having optional mechanics to capture that kind of flavor, but better, more functionally, wouldn't be bad. I won't shed a tear if that never happens, but still.

Liberty's Edge

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jasin wrote:
I love the idea of Monster Hunter, someone who fight well not because they're strong or quick, but because they're smart... but +1 to 3-5 attacks (whole party) against 1 creature, and only on a critical skill check, seems awfully limited compared to Weapon Focus: +1 to pretty much all attacks you make. Maybe the baseline has changed? Maybe Weapon Focus isn't there anymore, and +1 attack is considered more valuable?

This is precisely correct. To-hit bonus is very finely calibrated and very limited. All you ever get to it is Level + Proficiency + Ability + Weapon (ie: the up to +5 from a magic weapon, mostly)...and a few conditional bonuses like this one.

Whether that's enough to make Monster Hunter good is another matter, but Weapon Focus and Feats like it are as dead as disco.


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dragonhunterq wrote:
Why are people such fans of favoured enemy? It was awful and the single reason I didn't play a ranger.

It was mechanically awful but thematically awesome. But that's why you go with abilities that can be widely used against a wide spectrum of enemies, but which in flavor and mechanics are particularly good against the designated enemy. Like bonuses against Large+ creatures for Giant, bonuses on saves and/or anti-air for Dragon, bonuses vs groups / flank resistance for Humanoid, and so on.

Silver Crusade

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KingOfAnything wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:

Bear in mind that the PF1 Ranger actually already had a Studied Target-like ability in Quarry at high levels. It's just now been cleaned up into something you can do with less restrictions from level 1.

I'm still hoping for the thematic favored enemy abilities I mentioned on the first page, but maybe they're already present and just weren't mentioned for some reason. Perhaps the author thought it was obvious the Ranger would have favored enemy and didn't think to bring it up. Or perhaps it will end up in the final published version thanks to our comments. :)

I think the thematic favored enemy abilities would make some excellent class feats for the ranger.
Brainstorm: Favored Enemy class feats could include the ability to designate hunted targets without the requirement to see or hear them. The humanoid(human) version could even open up a few investigator-like class feats for an urban campaign.

oooo


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jasin wrote:

I love the idea of Monster Hunter, someone who fight well not because they're strong or quick, but because they're smart... but +1 to 3-5 attacks (whole party) against 1 creature, and only on a critical skill check, seems awfully limited compared to Weapon Focus: +1 to pretty much all attacks you make. Maybe the baseline has changed? Maybe Weapon Focus isn't there anymore, and +1 attack is considered more valuable?

Snares are a fun idea in the abstract, but in the life of a D&D adventurer, vastly more time is spent on the offense. Can you count on being able to lure enemies into specific squares often enough to invest feats in it?

Again keywording seems a bit out of control. Once Snare and Trap are different keywords, but a given object is both Snare and Trap, it might be time to wonder whether there's too much granularity there.

I really liked the general section, where the ranger comes across as a warrior who's not as good with weapons as the fighter, but is even better than the fighter at focusing on one guy with a flurry of quick attacks. Yep, feels like a ranger!

Bonuses to hit and Armor class math is tighter, so +1 to hit remains about as valuable from level 1 to 20, and it's likely that monster hunter is the start of a 2-3 feat chain that ends up combining with hunt mark to make it an efficient ability and provide increased benefit to the rest of the party(as a guess). This is the kinda feat and class design we've seen and I expect from pf2.

A snare is a trap, but a trap is not a snare. Snares are something that can be made with snare crafting, and they work like traps so things that make you better against traps also make you better against snares, and they don't have to specify that snare crafters cant use snare crafting to make standard traps or that all trap-resisting abilities work on Snares. They're choosing to be clear and decisive with keywords rather than run the same show as PF1 with unclear, imprecise language.

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