Okay recently our group ran into a snag with some "people incompatibility" causing one of our group members to leave taking our merry little band down to four and without an arcane caster. Currently our party is a Paladin of Cayden, Warpriest of Torag, Zen Archer and me the Ranger. We had an Arcanist in the group in the hands of someone who should not have ran a caster, but thats neither here nor there, and now we are without certain useful tools.
So Im thinking of retiring my Ranger, though I really don't want to, to fix our merry little band but what to play is the question of the hour. Me being the Ranger, was always the switch-hitting scout with a backpack that would make McGuyver proud, and I would like to incorporate that kind of playstyle but cover some more support ground.
The two I am considering would either be a Bard or a Reincarnated Druid/Gray Warden but the lack of arcane power bothers me a bit so if I go that route then Wizard or Arcanist that will play as an Admixture Blaster type. I've read the Forge of Combat and every guide over the years and have plenty of builds floating around in my head but mechanically I'm torn on which way to go.
So I come to you all in the boards for some friendly advice if any are ready to give it =D
If you read the forge of combat then you know your party already consists of:
Going Blaster wizard adds a Hammer/anvil as the anvil side does not come into effect till you can get dazing spell.
I recommend NOT going Blaster wizard.
Sadly you have several Bible thumpers in your group who will bogart the party alignment or I'd mention a Debuffing/Control necromancer Wizard using Less reanimate style and more spells like Enervate, Fear(s), and Magic Jar. But usually if even 1 bible thumper is in a group you can expect them to force their religious beliefs on you and fight you tooth and nail over every "necromancy" spell you cast. Even if they are not evil spells.
Fruian is quite right. Blaster Wizard isn't as good in PF as it used to be in 3.5. The name of the game in PF is control spells which are much more effective (not making a single attack is more hp loss prevention then doing half damage on a mob with a fireball).
SPell like Enervate, Fear, Crushing Despair, Siphon Might, Confusion can be just as effective in killing targets than actual blasting spells.