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* Pathfinder Society GM. 5,662 posts (12,271 including aliases). 1 review. No lists. No wishlists. 13 Organized Play characters. 4 aliases.


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WWHsmackdown wrote:
Not understanding the ranger hate all that much bc I was originally a abused martial player from 5e. PF2E's ranger and monk were the whole reason I switched when the system dropped. Even after all the new goodies they remain my two favorite classes to play

It isn't "hate" it's disappointment, frustration, dissatisfaction. The class could have been really good without making it substantively better at killing things.

The original 5e Ranger was equally abysmal. Then WotC came out with the (at the time) "official" Revised Ranger. Those changes were everything the class should have been. Natural Explorer and Primeval Awareness are inspired abilities that have mechanical benefits and narrative space for a GM to leverage. Comparatively, PF2 Ranger feels like the rules have a two-handed choke hold on it with a knee pinning one arm.

WotC unofficialed the Revised Ranger because they didn't want their PHB to have a dead class in it. The bean counters forced WotC to put optional feat replacements (which were better, but nothing close to the Revised Ranger) in another book and WotC tried to tell everyone these new feats "fixed" the Ranger--so go buy this new book. It was really transparent. WoTC also created the Gloom Stalker which was a subclass which can basically see in the dark and not be seen and this had everyone ignoring all the other issues with the class. This was a crit success on the Distraction roll. Still, there's a utube video of the WoTC guy explaining it and he rolls a combined 1 on his Persuasion/Deception. When asked about the "Revised Ranger" he says, "There is only one Ranger and that's the one in the PHB." Everyone I know who plays 5e uses the Revised Ranger.

shroudb wrote:
, it is a very versatile (in how you can build it) class and it's not really lagging behind other middle-of-the-road options.

But that versatility is largely a facade. The "support' Ranger, the "snare" Ranger, a build which turns Outwit into something impactful....are all urban legends...at least in PFS. Versatility that lacks efficacy is not versatility. As someone said, it's really easy to build an ineffectual martial with the Ranger. If you focus all your build capital on combat, you can have your moments. But are other classes reduced to moments, or do they have more sustained impact/payoff? Outside of that, IMO, you never get close to what historically the class has been able to do...in any version, let alone PF1.

The Ranger's real contribution to PF2 is that it presents another bow martial, a crossbow martial, and a two-weapon-fighting martial. All of which are mediocre, unless you've burned a sufficient number of wood elves to the Dice Gods.

Captain Morgan wrote:
Ranger has plenty going for it. It just doesn't have enough feats to support every aspect of what we consider the ranger identity. All the individual components are there:

Disagree with the former, but agree with the latter.

Even if you give the Ranger 10 more feats, it doesn't solve the inherent problems with the lack of synergy and janky feat structure. Look at Monster Hunter. For 9 levels, you're kind of goaded into bulding up your other creature identification skills....only to have all of that become superfluous at level 10 with Master Monster Hunter. I've seen a 1st level Ranger PFS who tried to do that. But really, MMH just begs you to retrain into MH and pick up MMH at 10.

Going back to Twin Takedown. Paizo has decided the Ranger is going to be a two-weapon fighting class....but your first round of combat, you might not get to use it. Hunt Prey, Draw Weapon, Draw Weapon. You haven't even moved closer to your target.

The Aforementioned Hunter's Aim which some rounds will convey no bonus for Flurry if you have to move or choose a prey.

More feats doesn't really fix these myriad problems.

Unfortunately you don't get enough class feats to accommodate all of those.

Or even half of those if you want to stay relevant in combat. Worse, if you do go for things like Wild Empathy or Favored Enemy ave very little impact. If a player is going to give up combat prowess, shouldn't the thematic abilities be substantial?

This design philosophy is even more perplexing when one of the design goals of PF2 was to reduce the benefits of system mastery. So Paizo knows there are people who play this game and focus on combat, but they choose to make non-combat alternatives wholly unattractive for those players?

I think Paizo missed an opportunity in making skill feats which were class tagged.

What they should have done is just give those things for free so every Ranger can feel like it has out-of-combat wilderness/Rangerish utility. Trackless Step, Nature's Edge, and Wild Stride don't achieve this.

But there their design scheme doesn't allow them to do these types of things. They can't give one class more feat choices. They can't create a separate combat feats and theme feat into separate choice pools. And they can't let a Ranger use their Skill or General feats to buy more class feats (something I was hoping for after the Playtest). And this is why I feel that they cannot fix the problem

Ranger has plenty going for it. It just doesn't have enough feats to support every aspect of what we consider the ranger identity. ***Otherwise, the ranger needs twice as many class feats to feel complete.

And the consequence of this is Paizo deciding that any individual Ranger is specifically not allowed to do all of those. So being a Ranger is not being able to do all the things we've typically seen Rangers do (snares being the exception). I feel that in Paizo's attempt to allow people to customize the class, they simply prevented players from being able to make the class feel complete. Again, I don't think the people working on the class were that emotionally invested in it.

Gortle wrote:

Your problem is one you have made for yourself by trying to apply a strict turn sequence to something that has not got one. Hunt Prey is clearly called out as applying its bonus to tracking. The RAI is crystal clear. What you are proposing is in clear violation of that. It is very much too bad to be true.

Don't do it!

Do me a favor and convince all of the PFS GMs it works that way. Thanks.

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Gortle wrote:
N N 959 wrote:

How do I start tracking?

Track p.252 CRB wrote:
You attempt your Survival check when you start Tracking
If you can find a rule or errata that says I'm "tracking" before I make a Survival roll, lay it on me.

That is exploration mode and it is talking about hours.

You are mixing up rules for exploration and encounter mode and insisting on tight timing. It is just the wrong approach.

That's right, Track is an exploration activity. Hunt Prey explicitly says you "must" be tracking "during exploration." I'm not mixing up anything.

If you want to set your prey while tracking it, you need to first be tracking it. It's black and white. If you want to play it another way, that's fine. But please dial down the gas-lighting

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Gortle wrote:

You are confusing the concept of a set of track and trail.

A set of tracks is any indication that a creature was in a location.
A trail is what you find when you succeed in a tracking roll. Now you know the direction of travel of the creature and can follow it.

I'm not confused.

Hunt Prey wrote:
You must be able to see or hear the prey, or you must be tracking the prey during exploration.

If I'm not already tracking the creature, I don't get to set it as prey.

In game play, at least with all the GMs I've played within PFS1 and PFS2, any time I've wanted to track a creature, I have to make a Survival check. Rangers don't get a bonus on that check. A Ranger has no inherent bonus to start tracking.

How do I start tracking?

Track p.252 CRB wrote:
You attempt your Survival check when you start Tracking

If you can find a rule or errata that says I'm "tracking" before I make a Survival roll, lay it on me.

Gortle wrote:

You can find some tracks, and choose that creature as your prey.

You don't have to be successful on your check first.
You can lose the trail, but your prey doesn't stop being your prey.

To "find some tracks" a Ranger has to roll a Survival check and they do not get any bonus on finding those tracks. After you've found the tracks, you generally don't need to make another tracking check.

You have to successfully find tracks to designate the owner of them as your Prey.

And honestly, Tracking creatures is not a thing in PFS. And as I said, 95% of the scenarios don't contemplate anyone tracking creatures. I recall a PFS1 scenario where an owlbear destroys someone's home and carries them off into the forest. There was no provision to track the creature. The scenario wouldn't allow it.

As far as using Hunt Prey to Seek prey, I think that has also happened once in 19 levels. Maybe it'll be more common at higher levels.

Mathmuse wrote:
But I don't think that the PF2 ranger would be a favorite.

Based on various conversations, I think Paizo designed the PF2 Ranger to appeal to players who didn't like the PF1 Ranger....they didn't seem to think about people who enjoyed it.

What I had liked about playing a ranger was the extra skills.

Definitely. And in the Playtest they bumped up the number of skills for many of the other classes....except the Ranger. Really?

I really don't understand the flavor of Hunt Prey.

I don't either, and I tried to dissuade Paizo from using that as the pivot. I told them they should have made Tracking a bigger deal and expanded on the uses of Survival and the information that one could gain from it. The Ranger should have been a tracker and a guide and that should have been turned into something that was useful in nominal encounters.

If I had to make an educated guess...I think Paizo needed to strip down the Ranger and they decided that "hunting prey" would be the pivot. They reinvented the class, somewhat like they did for the Paladin and the Investigator. Hunt Prey supports a combat focus, which has more general appeal than any of the things you mentioned. One of Paizo's mantra's was customizability of classes, and to facilitate that you have to take everything off it. I also think they felt "Hunt Prey" was the PF2 improvement of Favored Enemy....or maybe the preferred the Ranger more as a Slayer. I told them they should just call the class the Hunter and wait before making a Ranger.

It does not make the ranger feel like a hunter or like a wilderness expert or like Aragorn of Lord of the Rings, the inspiration for the ranger class.

] That's exactly my opinion. When I tried to make this point, Jason Bulhman came on and tried to punk me by positioning my opposition as tantamount to arguing that I was essentially asking that we restrict Rangers to the "Law" alignment from the original D&D introduction.

Ultimately, Paizo rejected the notion that the Ranger was any one thing and certainly rejected they were beholden to any legacy notion of the Ranger. They eschewed any LOTR or D&D 1e trappings and the forum discussion were dominated by a minority of posters who hated the PF1 Ranger and wanted to see the class changed.

A bard's Inspire Courage composition and a barbarian's rage and a monk's stances are action taxes, too, but they reinforce the flavor of their class.

I felt exactly the same way. But that requires you are willing to agree the the class has some specific flavor and Paizo rejected that notion. Hence the lack of self-generated synergy.

But for the ranger, the custom feats are to correct flaws in the class, such as having to pay the action tax of Hunt Prey too often, or having to take two Interact actions to draw two weapons for Twin Takedown. My houseruled Twin Takedown lets the ranger draw two weapons, one in each hand, with one Interact action.

Amen. The Twin Takedown issue is one that I find to be slap in the Ranger's face. Quick Draw doesn't address it. And I couldn't help notice that with the Gunslinger, Paizo gave them a built in Quickdraw. TT should have had text that said you get to draw two weapons with a single action.

For awhile, I was active on the forums hoping enough people wouldl complain about the Ranger that they'd issue a PF2 Revised Ranger. But I came to realize that they can't fix the Ranger in PF2. Paizo's class structure doesn't leave them the flexibility to wholesale fix the Ranger. So I'm hoping PF3 does.

Sagiam wrote:
Ummm... No?

Ummm. Yes. You don't get a +2 bonus to track something unless it's already your prey. If you're out in the forest looking for tracks of anyone who has passed by, you don't get any bonus.

And as far as starting the round with the creature you were tracking....heh. 95% of the encounters you have, the scenario doesn't provide any basis for there to be tracks for you to track. What you can do is get lucky when the scenario says you hear something up ahead. And usually that's when there are several creatures, so when you actually get in line of sight, there's no provision for who your "Prey" is going to be. If the GM determines it randomly, it may not be the creature you need to or want to attack.

And remember that lack of synergy? If you have Monster Hunter, you get to roll that whenever you Hunt Prey....but how does that work on creature you can't see? Many GMs want to give you a negative modifier on your check because you can't see the creature. So now you are screwed over for using Hunt Prey on the creature you're tracking.

Trixleby wrote:
I did feel my Survival skills and Nature were useful for the adventure.

Sure. PFS scenarios under PF2 have done a better job than PF1 of using Survival for non-tracking opportunities, if only marginally. But consider that if there is a Druid or Cleric who wants to go the nature route, they will have better Nature and Survival modifiers.

Amazingly, the Ranger gets no inherent bonus for tracking (only your Prey if it runs away...and how often does that happen?). Find some tracks in the wood? A Cleric with the same proficiency in Survival is going to be better at initial tracking. A Druid, Cleric, or even Rogue with equal Wisdom can make your Ranger's primary skills redundant.

The reality is that Ranger is good at Nature and Survival simply because you start with those skills Trained. Any class with the same Wisdom and Skill Increases can be just as good. Doesn't it seem odd that the Ranger who is suppose to "hunt prey" is no better at initially locating tracks than any other class? I mean really?

... but I am beginning to see the action economy problem. Against low HP foes, if my cat kills the foe after I hunt prey, then I'm left to take 1 normal shot, or hunt prey and cannot Hunted Shot a different target. That feels a bit bad...

Yeah. It does. You end up trying to target things that are less likely to die in the 1st round, rather than focusing on things you might naturally target. So you end up meta-gaming around your pivot. Contrast that with a Rogue whose pivot (sneak attack) motivates it to Flank, which increases the Rogue's damage. Or the FIghter who can make AoO's and benefit from its +2 weapon. Why couldn't the Ranger's pivot provide some type of synergy? I suppose the closest thing you get is the extra range so you can target things away from the party....if you are ranged. But then your companion is making extra strides to get there, so...no synergy

Maybe in time I will become disillusioned.

As a martial, the Ranger gets better at 5th level...just like all martials. The stat bump, the crit specialization unlock, the upgrade to Striking weapons, all converge to make the character feel like it makes a huge jump in efficacy. And as I said, the Ranger can infrequently (like 1 in 10) attacks get those string of rolls that make a Flurry Ranger shine. I've had at least one game in 6 levels where I just rolled high and lots of crits and did a ton of ranged damage.

But do I feel more like "Ranger"? No. Not at all.

Then again there is more to a character than just physical stats.

There absolutely is. There absolutly should be. And this is my biggest complaint. Paizo needed to give the Ranger a lot more thematic abilities. But the way class designed worked at launch, classes got one pivot (Hunt Prey), an edge/methodology/Cause/Way/Instinct, etc. Paizo took things like Wild Empathy and Favored Enemy/Terrain and commoditized them. So you have to give up combat if you want theme. And worse, the theme is ether of minimal impact or has feat tax progressions...or both.

IMO, the PF2 framework doesn't allow the Ranger to enriched. Instead it hands out a feat like Path Without Trace....which I have actually never used in all my playing of PFS in PF1 or PF2. For comparison, look at 5e's Revised Ranger and you can see how PF2 can't support that approach....so there's no real fix in PF2.

Gortle wrote:
The Ranger can be Ok but it is also very easy to build one with negative synergies.

I think there's an argument to be made that all of the Ranger abilities are the worst version of that ability. The vast majority of it's combat Feats only work against its Prey...and there's no compensating upside to other similar feats. Double Slice is statistically superior to Twin Takedown, even with Flurry. Shouldn't TT be better against my Prey than Double Slice? I can't even use TT unless it's against Prey.

Or compare Known Weakness and Monster Hunter.

The Ranger feels like a class that was designed under a far more conservative mindset than other classes in core. I can't decide if it suffers from the designers lack of experience with their own system, or the lead designer on the class just didn't identify with it. I mean, if someone told me my Champion design feels mediocre to them, I'd think that was okay. Nothing wrong with mediocre because I don't really care about the Champion more than any random class.

The other fundamental problem is that the Ranger's thematic aspect is a casualty of Paizo's class design schematic. Paizo had to whittle down the Ranger to fit inside this rigid class schematic and that screws the class over. Not a problem for the Rogue or the Fighter...but the Ranger needs a host of extra abilities to flesh it out and the class schematic didn't support that. Nevermind that they kind of broke the rules with later classes.

SuperBidi wrote:

I'd personally go for:

Fighter with Champion Dedication. You need someone who trades blows at melee range and protects allies. Fighter is definitely the king at it....
OP wrote:
Which classes are considered must haves in any party

But the question was classes, not builds. Dedications aren't part of a class, they are part of a build.

Rangers are fine (C means functional). Just, they don't do anything better than other classes.

Regardless as to what extent this is true, IMO, the problem is that if we are just talking classes, not builds, there's really nothing a Ranger brings to the party that feels needed or necessary. At best, they give few Survival skill checks, and that's about it. Their spell casting was severely nerfed. Their skills edge over Fighters was reduced. And now they have to give up combat efficacy to get any kind of thematic utility. I honestly don't think I've seen a single Ranger in PFS take Favored Terrain or Wild Empathy...lol

Even worse, a lot of the Ranger-themed abilities were transferred to the General Feats and provide almost zero benefit to advancing the story. Survey Wildlife anyone?

People talk about "Support" Rangers, and it's more of an idea than a reality. And even if you go that route, you're in risk of providing redundant bonuses

At best, the Ranger can do single target burst damage slightly better than most. Which is what Paizo has reduced being "Ranger" down to...hunting prey.

Trixleby wrote:
I was not aware Rangers were voted so low in power. That's interesting. I am still heavily enjoying mine. Only lvl 1 but I put out between 3 and 5 attacks a round and do a lot of dmg.

You're still enjoying yours, but you're only level 1? Okay.... :)

A Flurry Ranger with a companion is going to average less than 3 attack. Having played 19 level of PFS Ranger across three different Rangers, a situation where you're going to five attacks would be rare, either due to movement or the monsters simply don't last long enough in a party of 6.

At level 6 you might get more of these because your animal can move without Command, so you can get it in position without giving up an Action. Also more likely in a boss fight, but then a Companion is a crit magnet so you're gong to have to hope your GM intentionally avoids killing it. In PFS, I've seen two go down in a single encounter.

IME,IMO, the Flurry Ranger was very poorly designed and this is evident when you recognize the asymmetrical interaction of the Hunter's Edge with the various feats. Just to get you thinking, look at Hunter's Aim. A Precision Ranger can Hunt Prey and Hunter's Aim in the first round and get the full benefit of their Hunter's Edge. The Flurry Ranger gets nothing from its Edge that round. Nor is there any use of it that gives a benefit to Flurry such that Precision does not benefit.

Look at your Mature Companion. At 6th level, the animal can Strike without a Command. Against your Prey, it gets Precision's 1d8. The Flurry Ranger gets nothing. There are several of feats that work this way, but not one situation where a Feat is more advantageous for Flurry.

Edges aside, there are a host of other of incongruities in the Feats and redundancies. The reality is the class is a hodgepodge of ideas and Feat taxes that don't harmonize well.

On the strictly combat side, the Ranger does pass as a martial. Mainly because it provides those "moments" when the dice gods bless you and you get those high burst damage rounds. For Precision, you crit and roll max damage and get that doubled. I think at 1st level I pulled a crit for like 30 points. That creates an impression that outlives the statistical truth. For Flurry, you get a flank with your Companion and your attacks hit and some crit and no one has ever seen that much damage in a single round.

But....I actually collected stats on some of my early PFS games and looked at the total damage my Rangers did in comparison to other martials and it was typically dead last. Champions and Fighters were easily out-damaging me. Sure, I outdid the Investigator, but that is a faux martial.

but at level 8 I'd be taking Warden's Boon, at level 12 Double Prey (although I am conflicted between that and Distracting Shot) at level 14 Shared Prey to give other people my Hunter's Edge benefit,

Let us know how impactful that ends up feeling if you make it to level 8.

Oh wait, you don't need STR for Athletic Strategist, but you'd be investigating in DEX and CON for survivability in melee. . So you're only need INT, DEX, CON, and possibly WIS. I guess the benefit of DaS is that you don't get into melee if your aren't likely to be successful using it. I'll have to see if I can pick it up at 4 and make it work.

Squiggit wrote:

From my experience, Investigators have been spectacularly mediocre in practice. They have class feats that let the GM feed them information you probably would have fed the party anyways, are mildly better than normal at a handful of checks, and have standout options like the GM getting to tell them to stop wasting everyone's time on something trivial or nudging the group toward relevant plot elements. All things that many threads on this forum and reddit will tell you just qualifies as good GMing and something you should be doing anyways.

And in exchange they pay out the nose for this by being the worst class in the entire game in a fight (by a lot).

Admittedly, I only have two levels of PFs Investigator under me, but this is 100% accurate so far. The class, is, IMO, a dud. I was excited about this class when it was introduced, but in actual gameplay it offers very little to the party. Wait...let me rephrase that. The best thing I've done with my Investigator is upgrade the Medicine skill and take Continual Recovery. So I'm a big help to the party, but it has nothing to do with being an Investigator.

Now, maybe at higher level, the combat gets better...but I'm not holding my breath. I do see there is some type of kicking Kato path with Takedown Expert and Athletic Strategist, but then you're looking at pumping STR and getting into melee, neither of which is complimentary to the class.

But I couldn't be more disappointed with how That's Odd is implemented. Add to that, many of the Feats like Flexible Studies or Underworld Investigator are just not generally useful.

Granted, I'm only 2nd level, but after playing through level 1, I was so underwhelmed, i lost interest in even playing it. Sure, many 1st level characters are underwhelming in PF1, but the Investigator has been doubly so.

In many ways, the Investigator suffers from the same problem that the Ranger suffers from and much of PFS implementation of feats. It creates this very narrow scope of applicability, but even when applied, it has negligible impact. So it combines a feeling both limited use and uselessness. I contrast this with the PF1 Investigator who, by 4th level had Talents and abilities that were substantial in combat and out of it. I suppose things could turn around by lvl 4, but I don't see where that happens.

Watery Soup wrote:
Warah wrote:
Typo maybe?

Yes, I apologize - 3-07, not 3-06.

I'll buy 1-13 and reserve seats for you (Warah), Palandri, NN959, and GM Tiger (I'll have open recruiting for the other two seats when I prep the scenario - maybe opening on Monday and closing later next week).

Thanks less than 24 hours passed and I missed two sign ups.

PM me if there is an open slot. Thanks.

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AlastarOG wrote:
I think the main issue we face here is the Nirvana Fallacy not the wicked problem.

Close. I think it's not so much that people compare realistic to unrealistic, it's that the solutions are, to some extent, mutually exclusive. If I build a Ranger to excel at melee combat, I can't then argue the Ranger excels at ranged combat. An individual player has one build, not all of them. So while a class may be built to solve orthogonal problems to some degree or another, that isn't useful information for the player who has to choose one build.

Stepping back, congrats on having an interesting thread that hasn't devolved into nasty, especially given the polarizing nature of the Tier rankings paradigm. I realized that you've moved on from the original Tier paradigm, but I thought you might find it interesting to hear more background on it. To add what knowledge I have, I believe the Tier system was first discussed on Brilliant Gameologist by a poster named "Jared." I tracked him down about 10 years ago and exchanged emails and PMs with him. A couple of things to point out.

1. Jared claims his tier system was not about comparing classes to one another. It was intended as an aid for GMs to identify classes that were most capable of "breaking a campaign." It naturally follows that such classes would trivialize other classes, but the extent to which this is true was not the focus of his efforts.

2. It was my opinion that Jared's analysis suffered from the same logical flaw that has been brought up in the early part of this thread: perfect knowledge. In arguing his point, Jared discussed what a caster could do as compared to what a martial could do. But as has been pointed out, a caster would need to prepare spells in advance. If the caster did not know what to expect, the scope of what could be accomplished was not considered. Of course, the more spell slots a caster has, the more contingencies they can prepare for, where as a martial doesn't generally get that increase in flexibility. So while there was a flaw in the analysis, it was a matter of degree. A caster's ability to break the game is still going to increasingly outpace a martial's ability as they level.

3. Oddly enough, the trees get overlooked for the forest, imo (yes, I am reversing the idiom). The real culprit that gets overlooked is...spells. While that seems self-evident, since Tier 1 was essentially all casters, the problem is that fundamental design approach to spell creation on the part of the developers. Spells are inherently intended to break the rules, or to put it more accurately, spelll creation lacked a rigorous framework to keep them from overreaching. We can imagine a content creator sitting in their chair saying, "Wouldn't it be cool to have a spell do X?" For a non-caster to do X, or anything approaching X, might require various degrees of build capital. But for a caster, it was as easy as adding another spell. So, imo, the problem is a direct result of spell proliferation and the inherent design challenge in developers having any type of consistent framework for adding spells that don't overstep.

I think Paizo has certainly made a concerted effort in PF2 to curb spells, much to the uproar of the PF1 caster community. But it's a battle that is easily los because it must be continually fought over every new publication. New spells are easy to develop, but because this game lacks any closed form solutions, understanding their total impact is difficult

It's not gonna be perfect, no objective attempt at measuring a multi-subjective perceptoral concept is, but we've made some decent headway from the Original Post, that should be called ''the draft'' from now on.

I would argue that the would "perfect' is not applicable in this context. As I stated above, game design does not have a closed-form solution. This means we have no mechanical means of reaching an answer, a solution. Which is why someone compared this to a "Wicked Problem"

I submit that perhaps the goal isn't to find "the list," but to understand what factors influence a class' position on that list? What would move a Ranger from one ranking to another?


A Pf2e class tier compilation should have 2 stated goals

1 - To accurately represent the ability of each class to affect meaningful change to multiple areas of the narrative at broad, through only their core class kit, discounting archetypes, skill feats, general feats, items and ancestries as non-pertinent to the matter.

2 - In a broader sense, to accurately determine how these classes intermesh with each other in a party, so as to determine where a party, based on only their classes, might be weak or strong, and thus tailor further build options around that, if so desired.

I like that you're recognizing that a list must serve a purpose. Since it seems we've moved away from the Tier paradigm, what utility could a list serve for a player/GM? Why would I want to read the list?

1. [b]Purpose[b] Determine the extent two which a class serves a non-trivial purpose in nominal game-play/publish content. To what extent does the class contribute to advancing the narrative and overcoming the encounters typically presented in a nominal game. In other words, how important is any specific class to the party? Why would a party want this class as a a member?

2. What classes are most easily invalidated or rendered unnecessary in an average party? Do a Druid and Fighter totally negate the need for a Ranger? To what extent does an Investigator or Thief infringe on each other? Perhaps a corollary is exploring this with Dedications. Does Class A with Dedication X totally spell Class B?

roquepo wrote:
either the GM was going for the kill when they were unconscious instead of having the creatures trying to defend themselves from the rest of the group, potentially to permanently weak them for the future (which usually is a result of a GM vs PC mindset that I don't think has a place in a collaborative game like a ttrpg), or some PC would have died instead in that fight were not for them. The only way I see AC dying a "useless death" is by being collaterally hit by AoE while the fight progresses.

The companions tried to enter combat with a boss and where one-shotted. AC's are crit-magnets. The GM wasn't going for the "Kill"

As far as a AC taking a death for a teammate. That's a lot of feat investment that gets wiped out in one encounter/one or two hits. It's one of the downsides of having a companion. If it gets killed, you're handicapped.

About the Flurry thing, the bad edge for Animal Companions is bad with Animal Companions. Wow.

I'm not sure what your point is here. You claim that the benefit is "insane" I'm pointing out that he AC's benefit varies dramatically, and it is highly susceptible to getting killed by bosses. Again, if you insist that it still amounts to an "insane" benefit, that's your choice. But, IMO/E, you're overselling them.

Yes, you can't heal them in combat by level 1 without having Battle Medicine or a healing spell. Like hmm, a PC?

But I'm not taking Player Companion as a feat. I have an animal and I have no way to heal it if it gets injured in combat...without investing more feats. And the Heal spell only works on my companion. This goes back to benefits on paper are different than what happens on a normative basis.

Your main problem with rangers switch hitting seems to be Hunt Prey.

Irrespective of switch hitting, I do think Hunt Prey is a really bad mechanic for Rangers, the way it has been implemented. Make it a Free action at lvl 1, let it apply to all creatures of the same type that you initially put Hunt Prey on. Then things start looking a lot better.

As far as switch hitting, I don't see value in tryin to rank who is better because there are are no metrics/definitions as to what is required to call oneself a switch hitter or be deemed effective at it. If I were going to talk about "switch hitting" in a guide, I would first provide a framework and threshold concepts. Because anyone can switch from Ranged to Melee. Your guide doesn't explain why the Ranger is better at it than anyone else, other than just saying it's so and pointing to Quickdraw (which can potentially get you AoO'd by a boss).

Do you really think that a Precision Ranger going Hunt Prey -> Quick Draw -> Strike/Step/Stride had a bad turn?

There's no reason to Quickdraw if you're not in melee. You'd just draw a weapon normally. Even for Precision, that is suboptimal. If the simulations on Precision vs Flurry vs Fighter are to be believed, Precision benefits tremendously from two attacks. Even at -5, it adds a significant boost to the Ranger's expected damage. So Quickdraw only gets you one weapon and you'll have to Quickdraw at the start of the next round to use Twin Takedown. Quickdraw in round 2 gets you one attack at +0 and TT then gets you an attack at -5 and -10. Doesn't seem like a good tactic.

For me, there's something off about how that plays out. If Paizo wants Rangers to switch hit, then there's got to be a better synergy with TT and Hunted Shot. Quickdraw should allow you to draw two weapons, but then it would be nearly mandatory for normal TWF, but something more is needed. IMO, the Ranger's feat design fights itself in a lot of spots. Paizo's trying to do too many things with the class and it doesn't mesh well. Everything feels like it was rushed and no one went back and really worked through the class design.

Is that a bad round? I don't know, what's the threshold for "bad round." Is it a bad round to just stay at range and fire? I think the question we should ask is if I want to switch hit, what makes the Ranger better or worse than other classes? Sure, you can talk about it qualitatively, but it has to be about more than a Ranger has Quickdraw. Fighters and other classes also have action saving feats (Sudden Charge) and they don't have to Hunt Prey.

What about a Flurry Ranger that started at range going Hunt Prey -> Quick Draw -> Twin Takedown (with a Gauntlet)? Is that a bad turn either?

Well, I just have had to read through numerous posts by DF that Flurry work for every weapon and type. So by going Gauntlet, you're trying to sidestep the fact that QD only draws one weapon and to leverage Flurry in melee, you really need TT. IME, a Flurry Ranger has all kinds of issues. The main one being that Twin Takedown should automatically let you draw two weapons with one Interact. QD doesn't really fix that problem. I'd rather just stay out of melee and draw two weapons in safety, move in, and then TT at my best MAP. QD requires a Strike, so you're burning through MAP before you get to use TT.

I never had the chance to play a PFS game.

There's a misunderstanding on my part as to what people consider "scouting." Yes, people frequently try to move up quietly to a door and listen. IME, that doesn't perceptibly tilt the battlefield in the Ranger's favor any more than it does for anyone else.

Everyone has access to Fighter dedication if they meet the stat requirements. Everyone has access to Archer dedication. Of course it should be in a class guide if it is useful. Fighters make more use of Gravity Weapon than Rangers de and Rangers make more use of Point Blank Shot than Fighters. It is not a big deal.

If you want to bring up other class option in a Ranger class guide, then you're blurring the lines as to what the guide is about. Why not talk about Druid Dedications, or Rogue Dedications? What is the scope of your guide. It helps to define that and then stick to it.

Watery Soup wrote:
Or a 9.

Sure. You get to avoid a normal hit on a 1 out of 20 and a Crit on 1 out of 20, so 1 out of 10. But if the creature cannot crit you, then you are only avoiding a normal hit on 1 out of 20....

....and then only if it's your Prey.

Watery Soup wrote:
N N 959 wrote:

A +1 AC bonus to your prey is worthless when you're not being attacked by your Prey and nearly so if you are.


you're going to get hit by non-prey more than prey. Sure, it might save you from being crit by a boss....1 out of 20 attacks, but that's the high point.

Against tough monsters (that need only a nat 2-9 to hit you), you're going to save both a crit 1 out of 20, plus a hit 1 out of 20.

If a boss hits you on a nat 7, you're cutting crits by 25% and hits by 7%. It's really good for an ability you get at Level 1 and costs 1 action with no resources used.

You're misrepresenting the math. A +1 modifies has a 1 in 20 chance of avoiding the crit. If they can only crit you on a 19 or 20, that is still only going to benefit you 1 out of 20 times. Yes, you've cut your crit rate down by 50%, but that doesn't change the fact that it only comes into play 1 out of 20 rolls. The GM has to roll a 19 for that +1 to benefit you. If the that attack rolll is anything but a 19 on the button, then Outwit is doing nothing.

You may think that's a worth giving up the damage bonus from the Edges. I don't. Now, if I wanted a pacifist Ranger, then Outwit is a good choice.

Arcaian wrote:
Quite interesting to suggest I put words in your mouth when I was pointing out that you were assuming your experiences were true for everyone else,

Yes, you're putting words in my mouth. I never claimed my experiences were "true for everyone else." That statement or anything close to is wholly absent from any of my posts. So yes, stop ascribing that to my statements.

and then immediately tell me that "scouting" means "soloing the dungeon while everyone else waits".

I didn't tell you what scouting means, I asked if that's what you do, and if you didn't, to define what it means to you. So I specifically acknowledged you may have a different definition. But hey, don't let the facts distort the narrative you're trying to push.

This was all in the context of you replying to someone claiming that the stealth abilities of the rangers they've played let them start the fight at ~100 feet distance, and with a Hunt Prey action already taken, quite regularly.

Starting a combat at 100 feat has nothing to do with Stealth and everything to do with the encounter map. How many of your PFS combats start with combatants 100+ feet apart?

That's a far cry from searching all the rooms in a dungeon on your own, and is something that I do not think is particularly unlikely to occur in non-dungeon settings.

Once again, how many PFS scenarios have you played that contemplate an encounter occuring at 100+ feet because someone was using Stealth?

I also think it's pretty clear that someone who is getting the equivalent of ~3-4 extra actions (the enemy Striding up to you, plus the Hunt Prey) before the start of each combat is getting more out of a class chassis - that's quite a boost in power when it occurs.

Once again, that has nothing to do with play style and everything to do with the encounter map and scenario writing. But if you want to spin that as someone playing their ranger with more skill than me, knock yourself out.

You claim to play and GM PFS scenarios, so I am very curious which scenarios you've GM'd that have those types of circumstances.

Deriven Firelion wrote:
No. They don't. Skill feats can build out narrative feats. Why do you keep saying this stuff like it's true when I have spent the feats to get these things myself and not had any reduction in capability. I've literally done this with my ranger.

Skill feats are not Ranger feats. I would never talk about General or Skill feats in making a guide about Rangers except if they were prereqs for other Ranger abilities.

PF2 commoditized a lot of what was standard issue for Rangers in Class feats, not in Skills or General feats.

You take Archer Dedication which picks you up Weapon Critical Specialization even on non-Prey and buy Point Blank Shot. All done. Use Natural Ambition if a human for Gravity Weapon or Hunted Shot, all done.

If you want to talk about taking non Ranger feats in your Ranger guide, knock yourself out. That doesn't make the Ranger class better, it makes it worse if you're having to go outside of your class to do things you claim are part of the Ranger's domain.

I play a ranger. They are not compelled to attack their prey.

Then you're not getting the most of out of you Ranger. More than half the combat feats only work on Prey. So if you're wasting actions on attacking things that aren't your Prey, chances are that is suboptimal. There are some edge cases where that isn't true, but nominally it is. But if you want to assist that attacking non-Prey comes at no lack in effectiveness, be my guest.

For a precision ranger, after you attack your prey once you can pretty much attack whoever else you want and no reduction in ability.

You have to hit once. So if you don't hit, you are giving up your Edge benefit attacking something else. Ignoring, of course, that you can use that -10 attack to instead designate another Prey. But again, I don't begrudge anyone playing a Ranger in a way that they think serves them best.

It's a discussion of the ranger class and ways to optimize it.

Right, using the Ranger's classes abilities not using any and all feats and abilities from any class. But again, you're free to write a guide any way you choose....and label it whatever you want. The OP asks for feedback and I would not talk about talking Fighter feats in my Ranger guide. No more than I would talk about taking Ranger feats in my Barbarian guide. Those types of things, IMO, are more appropriate for generic/specific build guides.

Deriven Firelion wrote:
You act like making a stealth check to move up to a door is some kind of time consuming activity. It amounts to littte more than, "I stealth up to the door. I check the door for traps and listen at the door." Takes not much time at all.

I don't count that as scouting. But if that's what you you mean, then yes, that happens all the time. That has minimal benefit, IME. Maybe once in five attempts you might hear something, you designate Prey and then 1 out of those 5 times, you actually get to target that creature before it dies or something else stops you from attacking it. But most GMs aren't letting me make RK checks on something I can't see, of if they do, it's at penalty.

When I play Ranger's, I'm always trying to find tracks and designate Prey. The statistical benefit is minimal at best. I do it more for the roleplay aspect.

I'm not sure how that makes the Ranger better than any other class that has Stealth and a comparable modifier.

Deriven Firelion wrote:
It does not change the edges work with all types of weapons without an additional feat investment. It doesn't matter whether you're using melee or ranged with the edges.

Edges working is not what defines switch hitting. You keep coming back to that as for why the Ranger is a better switch hitter. I'm afraid that doesn't make it so. Maybe for you, but not on any objective level.

It is a low feat cost to gain the action economy advantage with either bow or two weapons.

It is not a low "cost" feat. It's a low level feat. Because the Ranger has to purchase its narrative abilities, spell casting, and combat all from the same resource, all the feats come at a high opportunity cost. Other classes don't have this same problem or least not to the same extent..

When I say switching, I mean switching between ranged and melee attacks. Not switching targets.

I think you missed the point. A Ranger is compelled to attack its Prey. If your Prey stays at range, but another target comes into melee, you essentially screw yourself over switching to melee. Other classes don't have this problem.

It takes two feats to obtain Point Blank Shot if you don't want to move. I have found no trade off save in tight rooms.

Point Blank Shot is not a Ranger feat. This is discussion about Ranger feats in a guide. It's not a guide on how to build an archer.

Why do you get to punish the skirmisher rather than use their abilities in a productive fashion with the group?

The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

I'm glad you've found group where the entire party can stealth as well as the ranger or a GM that will routinely make five players do nothing while one gets to keep playing.

So you've stopped the game and made the other five players do nothing while one player searches all the rooms, finds all the creatures, and then returns to the party? If not, then what are you counting as "scouting"?

I don't read that anyone here is "geting more" out of the class (except if their GM is letting them solo the dungeon while everyone else waits). I read that they are valuing the experience differently. Which is fine.

I never said my experiences were "universal" so please don't put words in my mouth.

roquepo wrote:
When dealing with a complex matter, like rating abilities in a ttrpg guide, you can't be precise with just numbers. There is no way to rate something like a feat in a way that really matters besides guiving a written opinion.

For me, the issue isn't that guides aren't accurate (after all it's largely subjective) the issue is that the ratings can feel arbitrary. If you're going to use numbers, then I would want to make sure I'm using the same framework for all the assessments. But that's not a trivial task. So, yes, I get that people just kind of spitball the ratings. But that's why I think most guides are often misinformation.

In most guides ratings mean just a vague "how I feel about this option" for a reason.

Right. And since I don't necessarily understand what matters to most guide writers, their guides aren't informative. Telling someone that I give vanilla a 3/5 and chocolate mint a 4/5 doesn't inform anyone how good the ice cream is. It just tells them what I like and don't like. But if I base those numbers on sugar content and milkfat, then we are getting somewhere.

Insane at level 1. Don't omit things, please. Very few options can compete at low levels with an Animal Companion.

Sorry, not trying to take it out of context, but I had a companion at level 1 and on my Flurry Ranger, 90% of the time it does nothing because I simply don't have the actions to activate without a net negative impact to my Ranger's effectiveness. If I'm lucky, a boss might last enough rounds I get it into position, but usually, no. So at level 1, I can't agree that the benefit is "insane" or anything close to it. I've also seen other Ranger builds with companions and I would not qualify the effect as "insane." On one occasion I played with two Ranger and both saw their companions die. Not much benefit from a companion that can't survive melee combat.

The point here is that what looks good on paper isn't always good in practice. It's one thing to have a potential benefit, it's another to achieve that benefit with live bullets. I would think that any rating on a companion considers the expected benefit vs the potential benefit is being much more useful.

They have 2/3rds of your health pool and are 1 or 2 points behind of your to hit and AC. Even after factoring the reduced actions that's like half a PC worth of power in one feat.

Not really. You're reducing your PCs's actions by 1/3 and in a class that is already spending an action to to Hunt Prey. You also can't heal it in combat, without burning feat. Plus....taking the companion costs many feats throughout the build. So the Ranger sans companion is less powerful than the Ranger who is built without one.

IME, the companion gets better later when it can at least move/attack on its own. And of course Precision benefits far more from having companion than Flurry.

And I'm not. As I said, I'm evaluating things from the lens of those 5 edge + weapon(s) combinations.

Apologies, I was agreeing with you that it's not possible to evaluate every single build. But my point is that for me, the 5 edges + weapons combinations, gets confusing in what rates what.

If I understand correctly, you are telling me that you think it would be better if I just posted the 5 different builds and go more deep into them. I don't believe that is a class guide.

Not exactly. I would recommend you talk about Ranged, Melee, Support and talk about how each feat contributes to those in your experience.

Of course I need to theorycraft here and there, it is unrealistic to expect someone to have experience with everything you have to cover in a class guide.

Agreed. But you would be better served, IMO, by pointing out feats you've actually used and those you haven't I know nothing about snare use. Never tried it, never seen it.

What i wanted to convey is that Rangers thrive when they are able to focus on one single target.

Right. I think we are on the same page here.

Of course Ranger has limitations, all classes have them, but when talking about weapon switching, the limitations they have are a non-issue compared with the others.

The switch hitting topic is a bit of a sticky wicket. Part of the challenge is what determines whether someone wants to switch hit with any particular class? It seems that people see a feat like Quickdraw or that the Ranger has feats for improving melee and range as evidence that the Ranger is designed or geared towards switch hitting.

Adding to this confusion is that we don't all agree on what the threshold is for calling oneself a switch hitter or how we evaluate one build vs another.

For now, I'm just going to point out that anyone can switch hit. And I would argue that any individual person will use switch hitting if they feel they aren't disadvantaged by doing so and the cost is equal to or at least doesn't critically outweigh the benefit. If the simple addition of Quickdraw and a pivot that works in both situations is the sum total of your criteria, then I would mention it. I would encourage you to explain your thresholds for being a switch hitter and talk about how you define it.

Far from the truth. You can and should always involve the rest of the party when scouting. Early on it can be difficult due to low resources and abilities, but as the game progresses everyone can collaborate with this. using Recall Knowledge, casting divination and illusion spells, making distractions, setting up signals to be coordinated, setting ambushes together...

I've been playing PFS for over 10 years. There is almost zero party scouting. On rare occasions, one or two people might "scout ahead" but unless you can make the whole party invisible and silent, it doesn't happen. And especially in PFS, the GM absolutely doesn't want any single player to routinely get more game time than the others.

Deriven Firelion wrote:
Ranger's edge has no such limitations.

Every class pivot has limitations and the Edges are no different. Flurry requires that you must make at least two attacks per round. This means if you don't use TWF or a Reload 0 weapons and take the appropriate feat, you're paying an action tax. Honestly, in some cases, you're going to do more damage NOT designating a Prey (especially a 2 handing Outwit Ranger). The Ranger is the only class that can make that claim. In addition, a Flurry Ranger is far better served going Reload 0 to maximize it's chance at getting three and four attacks in a round.

Precision doesn't work against some creatures, but yes, because it was added after the class was designed it avoids a lot of the intended nerf from Hunt Prey. But it still requires that you Hunt Prey and that has a huge impact on the class throughout that overwhelming experience of the players. Double Prey doesn't come along until 12 at which point you're paying a huge opportunity cost to possibly save one action on your next target.

At the moment I run a ranger with a bow and a two-handed d12 weapon for melee and switch easily with Precision adding to the damage of either with ease.

Yes, Precision is flat out better for switching than Flurry. That doesn't make the Ranger better at switching than other classes. You're over looking the fact that you're focused on your Prey. If your Prey isn't in melee range, then you aren't switching to some other target that is in melee. If your Prey stays in melee, you aren't switching to some other target that is at range. If your Prey is moving in and out, you're burning actions switching, or you're burning actions designating a new Prey.

And my group doesn't feel the ranger underperforms.

That's a different claim than asserting that "no one" has issues with the Ranger's efficiency. And I'll point out that I'm playing a three different Rangers in PFS, not to mention all the times I've played along various Rangers and their different builds. So I'm seeing a LOT more table variation than someone who is in a single four person campaign. I would submit I have a larger set of data points on how the Ranger performs comparatively.

Our group likes to use ranged attacks to soften targets and I've read tons of groups on here view ranged weapons as inferior to martial. That leads me to believe they are starting encounters at a much closer distance than us.

I'm playing published content. It's a mix of close and distant, but I've never had an encounter out of shortbow range.

I've read tons of groups on here view ranged weapons as inferior to martial.

If you mean inferior to melee, that's because it is, by design. Paizo intentionally nerfed ranged damage on several levels. And it should be noted that the Ranger class and all others were clearly set up to use shortbows and crossbows as opposed to the FIghter's maxmizing the longbow. But that isn't Ranger specific, so I don't hold it against the Ranger.

We tend to use Stealth heavily, engage at 100 feet plus when possible, and have zero problem letting monsters come to us. Rangers are very good at...

I'm not sure I've ever had a PFS or AP encounter at 100+' feet. But that just puts more value on switching, which is again not something limited to the Ranger.

There is also a huge underestimation of the action saving power of ranged weapons in these discussions

Yes, and that's exactly why Flurry works better for Ranged. But not moving also subjects the Ranger to cover penalties and if you use a longbow, you're frequently compelled to move. So while there are opportunities to get more attack (save actions) it's frequently comes at a trade-off.

These can be factors in underperformance if Stealth and range is not being taken advantage of.

I've never seen Stealth scouting used effectively or consistently in PF1, PF2, or 5e. Scouting ahead is anti-collaborative at a table with 4-5 other players who aren't scouting ahead. I've seen GMs actively discourage the party from splitting up So yes, if you're frequently scouting ahead of combat, designating a prey before Initiative, you're saving some actions. I've never seen a GM or scenario support this type of activity on any type of nominal basis.

Deriven Firelion wrote:
Precision and flurry allow a ranger to switch between ranged and melee easily.

So does the Fighter's +2, and the Barbarians Rage, and the Rogues Sneak attack. Precision and Flurry aren't actually "allowing" anything. Anyone can switch between melee and ranged. My Investigator can switch with ease.

But the Ranger has to additionally pick feats to compensate for having to Hunt Prey and those feats are different for melee and ranged. So in actuality, it cost a Ranger more to switch than it would other martials Or put another way, the opportunity cost for switching is much higher for the Ranger and their effectiveness drops even more if they don't take class feats to support both. Those class feats purchased with the same currency that the class has to purchase its utility and narrative facets. You can't get it all.

What's really fascinating about this discussion is how some people perceive the state of the class. Because Paizo has essentially required you take a feat to use Hunt Prey in melee and ranged, it's seen as a boon for the class rather than a combat tax.

No one feels like they're not effective as a ranger.

i know plenty of people who feel the class underperforms.

@OP. So let me just clarify that I'm giving you feedback on your guide.

roquepo wrote:
I gave those numbers as a generalization given to help people identify things easily, What is important is what I say about the feats (in mine and every guide

People generally put more value in quantitative analysis than qualitative. I'm looking at your guide and the first thing I am looking at are the numbers. So then I am looking at your text, but your perspective is kind of unclear. Is Outwit a 3/5 overall, or only if I want to play a 2 handed build?

Honestly though, your approach is very typical of guides.

I believe, an arbitrary number without context means nothing). I took into consideration the 5 proposed weapon + edge combinations I listed after the edges and rated everything acording to those, I should make that clear.

I don't see how that is reflected in the numbers. For example, you have Animal Companion 4/5 and called the benefit "insane." Except I have a companion on a Flurry Ranger and it's a terrible match. Flurry wants to use all the actions for attacking. And even if you're Precision, your first round action is Hunt, Draw Weapon/And or Move, Attack. So until you get a mature companion who can move on and attack on its own, you're not getting a whole lot out of it on average.

The only thing I consider true there is that I see the Outwit as a Support edge. I stated several times that Precision works for mostly everything (you can play a dual wielding Precision Ranger and it will work fine) and one of the listed builds is a ranged flurry build. I didn't try to analyze them only in those roles.

It's not really feasible to evaluate every facet/aspect. So I am recommending you pick one or two and talk about what feat choices make sense. As a reader, I don't find it helpful when guides make general statements that are usually not based on an actual data but just theorycrafing.

Again, lots of guides do this and I generally find it uninformative.

While true, I don't thing this is useful for a guide. I want to help people build their Ranger and offer my perspective on what works best. That is something related to how well the class is designed.

I have to disagree. Satisfaction is based on the difference between expectation and reality. If people have a realistic understanding of how a class fails or areas where it struggles, they are more likely to appreciate things that do work. It also makes the guide seem more credible and not an attempt to whitewash.

Worse than Fighter and Barbarian isn't a bad spot to land taking in consideration that you also have ways to boost your skills, more base skills and things like Warden's Boon.

So you're introducing a non-sequitor. I quoted your section about a Ranger excelling at single target and countered by saying the Ranger is actually worse at that than other martials. The fact that a Ranger has more skills or better saving throws has no bearing on your original assertion. It sounds like you should change your statement to say that although a Ranger isn't better at single target killing compared to other martials, it has the other benefits that you think make up for it.

Of course the real problem is that the Ranger should be noticeably better at killing a target it designates as Prey than anyone else would be at killing it and it's not. It's just a LOT better at killing it's Prey than it is is at killing things that are not its Prey. Which is another way of pointing out that the whole Hunt Prey mechanic works as a constraint, not an enabler. But, you don't really get into Hunt Prey, so this is a tangent we can ignore.

Rogue deals less damage in general unless they can always expend 2 actions attacking (which just brings it to par).

I think a Rogue has a number of advantages for damage as compared with a Ranger, but we can table that discussion as I don't have a database of combats to validate this. I will point out that I'm finding my various Rangers' damage is typically last or the bottom half of the party. And yes, I am playing PFS which is typically 5-6 person parties, so Hunt Prey like every round.

That no feat has a line mentioning 2 handed weapons doesn't mean Ranger does not synergize with 2 weapons. An optimized outwit Ranger for sure uses one.

I'm not sure we define "synergy" the same. There's nothing in the Ranger build that lets an Outwit Ranger do more with a 2 handed weapon than a Flurry or Precision Ranger, and arguably it does less. If you think an Outwit Ranger is somehow better for using a 2-hander, it's not evident in the guide. What is true is that a Flurry Ranger gets more using TWF or Reload 0 because there are specific feat which bump the number of attacks an leverage Flurry. I don't see anything in the Ranger feats that does that for 2-handing.

Nothing stops you for picking both melee and ranged oriented feats. they are really good at switching from ranged to melee with most builds if you make space for some feats that support this.

Yes, there is something that stops you and that is the opportunity cost and limited number of class feats. You simply can't fit in all the feats. Yes, you can take Hunted Shot, and Twin Takedown, and Quickdraw, but you're spending a lot of actions switching weapons. If you want to go from bow to 1 or 2 hander, then you're not taking Twin Takedown and you're not getting any melee weapon support from the class.

All edges apply with any weapon and work regardless of the type of strikes you make

It's not a function of weapons and Edges, it's a function of Feat support and Hunt Prey. Twin Takedown requires two separate weapons. Hunted Shot requires a reload 0 weapon. You can't use a greatsword with TT and you can't use throwing axes with Hunted Shot. Yes, the Edges still function, but Flurry isn't fully leveraged without the Feats that were specifically designed to leverage it. If you're creating a guide for players, I think that point needs to be emphasized rather than overlooked. As a player, I would want someone to point that out to me.

AoO I believe is there from 15 to 30-ish percent of monsters from low to high levels.

With the exception of Skeletal Champions, AoO's tend to show up on bosses. And those are exactly the types of foes you do not want to give a free attack to.

Moreover, when you switch from ranged to melee (the case you are talking about) most of the time you are doing it to soak damage.

That's not why people switch hit. Switch hitting has historically been done (outside of just mimicking Aragorn) because you've built a character to use ranged attacks to soften the creature up as it come into melee. Typically you have a STR build Fighter because you're going heavier armor and you take a few ranged feats to justify not immediately going into melee.

Another advantage and/or historical reason to switch in PF1 is that if you approach the monster, you going to give it a Full Round of attacks. If it approachs you, it gets one attack and you'll get the full round (with quickdraw).

Now, I've seen some PF2 posts where people insist everyone needs to run into melee to take damage (It's great to see so many GMs so obliging), but don't see that as common tactic. Obviously people can make switcher for whatever reason they want and may do so because they want to do both. I don't see the Ranger any better at it than the Rogue or the Fighter. And from playing and seeing some of the Gunslinger Paths, that class is, imo, waaaaay better suited for SH than the Ranger could ever hope to be.

If the GM gives you nothing useful they are not giving you an "Useful clue about your situation" and that is not fault of the edge.

It's not the "fault" of the Edge, but it is something a guide should warn players of. I do not know if you've seen them, but there are probably a dozen long threads on the problem with Recall Knowledge in PF2. IME, it is not a problem with the GMs. It's a core problem with the game and how Paizo has implemented RK. in 90% of the fights I've been in, there just isn't anything "useful" the GM can provide if you're not authorizing GMs to give out meta-data. Honestly, what is RK going to give you on other human? Or the third orc group you've fought?

The point here, is that Master Monster Hunter is not quite as wonderful as it should be...by a large margin. It seem great in theory, in practice, it's of questionable value seeing as how you have to give up two feats to get it (and one of them at a high opportunity cost). I will say that I think the biggest payoff for MMH is the narrative value of identifying all monster with Nature and a success being a crit succes. It may not amount to much, statistically, but it does feel like it sets the Ranger in a unique place.

Again, I believe this is something appropriate to bring in a class design discussion, not in a class guide.

Well, I think it's really valuable for a player to see how Precision is asymmetrically treated by the class feats.

So once again, I'm just giving feedback, if you don't find it helpful, that is okay. As I mentioned, your guide is very similar to most guides, so it's not like you're doing or saying anything out of the ordinary. But then I do not find that most guides are very informative. That includes Youtube videos I've seen on D&D 5e. They typically come across as very idiosyncratic and based on criteria and outcomes that seem divorced or non-representative of my gaming experience.. I would much rather hear about how things play out in nominal game play.

Your english is fine, though I will suggest that some word choices tend to be less accurate. The clarity is fine. I do think this guide, like many, tends to overstate the case.

So in no particular order

1. You're rating feats/abilities, but a lot of how one scores something depends on specific criteria. You do, in some cases, account for the different edges, but there are more facets or reasons to choose or not choose a feat other than just Edge. It would help if you identified your default Ranger in terms of what you're expecting the class to do: Frontline, ranged, support are a good place to start.

I do see you're generally arguing Precision for ranged/switching, Flurry for melee, Outwit for Support, but you sometimes blur the lines and that tends to blur the ratings.

2. I'll point out that i have been playing rangers since the launch of PF2, and IME, this is a very disjointed class. There is a tremendous lack of synergy in the feat designs. Some may see that as a feature i.e. there's no critical path for a build, but others may feel like the class never really comes together.

3. "Rangers excel at focusing on a single enemy due to their Hunter’s Edge, they put the eye on one target and hunt it until they are no more" The Ranger doesn't "excel" at single target focus. IMO, it would be more accurate to say the Ranger is constrained to single target focus. The Ranger's single target damage isn't any better than any other classes single target damage, and notably worse than the Fighters or Barbarians, and probably the Rogue (with Sneak Attack and Dex to Damage).

What is demonstrably true is that the ranger essentially sucks at attacking anything that isn't designated as Prey (Outwit Ranger excluded...it sucks regardless). Even on Prey, the Ranger does not out damage a Fighter. So I submit that using the word "excel" is not entirely accurate and arguably misleading.

3. "Depending on the decisions you make in character creation, you may end up with a precise archer, a deadly two weapon fighter, a 2-handed weapon wielder or even a mix of them all, because this class is also really good at mixing tactics" The Ranger has no 2-handed weapon support. So that's not an intended Style path. While you can certainly go that route, that would be true for any class.

I would also call these "combat styles" as opposed to tactics and question the basis for saying the class is 'really good" at mixing them. Any class can switch between weapons in a single fight. But the Ranger is the one class whose combat feats really make you choose one combat style over another because of the Prey mechanic. Ranger's melee feats or ranged feats are limited to Prey. That mean when you're attacking in mode that doesn't use a Prey supported feat, your combat prowess drops precipitously. So while it looks like the class supports mixing styles, it actually penalizes you for doing that.

And as an FYI, Quickdraw is a risk feat for switch hitting because it has the Manipulate trait and will trigger an AoO if the enemy has one. You can't Quickdraw away from the enemy, you have to use it standing next to the enemy.

4. Action economy. Perhaps the biggest impediment to the Ranger class (beyond a lack of purpose as a Ranger) is the action economy. You don't really address it, IMO.

5. Outwit. The Outwit Ranger is just a flat out bad choice, in all cases. It might make sense if you are trying to build a Lore master or something that isn't really a Ranger per se, but if you're staying Ranger. The Edge is a 1/5. Why?

a) A +1 AC bonus to your prey is worthless when you're not being attacked by your Prey and nearly so if you are. Maybe at level 18 with Shadow Hunter if you're always attacking Foe in natural terrain...but outside of that, you're going to get hit by non-prey more than prey. Sure, it might save you from being crit by a boss....1 out of 20 attacks, but that's the high point.

b) Master Monster Hunter just isn't that good. Yes, at first blush, this seems like an ability to build a character around, in reality, it's impact on your party and your effectiveness is mnimal. First, a +1 to one creature, for one attack (for the party) is going to be imperceptible from a player perspective Second, because Paizo didn't hardcode any real benefits from Recall checks, I've found that they've had zero impact on game play in the last 2 years of my playing PFS. If GMs would hand out meta-game knowledge like AC, hit points, or even what attack the creature was likely to do next, then it could be good. But in 99% of the times that someone has succeeded, the information has had no influence on party actions (and maybe it's 100% for me, I'm probably being generous with a 1%).

c) Outwit is deficient in combat. Yes, if you switch to a 1d10 weapon, you might kind of compensate, but then you're overlooking a host of other factors. Namely that someone who goes Outwit for support is most likely not investing in STR, or CON. You can't use a shield 2HF, and you don't have Fighter or Champion armor. You're not getting any weapon support for 2HF.

d) The skill check bonuses are limited: Stealth, Deception, Intimidate. Against your "Prey" and your prey only. So this isn't helping you sneak into a compound unless you can see everyone who is seeing you and you have to sneak by them one at time. Even at +2, these are affecting the outcome about 1 out of 10 rolls...asumming they are always against your prey.

6. Precision vs Flurry. During the playtest, Rangers only had Flurry. Looking at the class design, it seemed obvious that all the Ranger combat feats were designed around balancing Flurry via the action economy. I, along with some other, complained long and hard about how bad this problem was and that Flurry did not comport with a "hunt" paradigm (I also said Rangers should be more clever than other martials, which is why I believe they gave us Outwit). Paizo responded by giving us Precision.

Because it is my belief (I have no facts) that Precision was added after the Playtest and not designed prior, the Ranger feats were not (re)balanced around it. As a result Precision avoid a lot of the action economy constraints that limit Flurry. Does it still balance out? I don't know. But when you look at Animal Companions, they get NOTHING from Flurry if they attack on their own, where as they do get Precision damage. There other feats where they benefit is asymmetrical

Don't have time to go through the rest of it. Maybe later if you're still interested in these types of observations.

roquepo wrote:

I made a Ranger guide, hope it is useful.

I will update it periodically until it is as complete as the Bard guide I made last year. if you spot any mistake or errata let me know.

I have some constructive criticism, but it's not clear from your post that you are looking for feedback, so I'll hold off until I know you're interested.

Azu is Horizon Hunters

Kazimakazi wrote:
Why would your hunted foe be able to see you better than his friends?

Because it's a game that is primarily focused on game "balance" not realism or any notion of in-game consistency. These feats and ability are wholly and 100% arbitrary. Paizo is making them up out of thin air. That means they aren't going to follow any logic that doesn't suit the purpose for which they were contrived.

This is a reoccurring and common issue with gamers. Players routinely want to invent some in-game justification for how contrived feats/abilities/spells work. That often requires mental gymnastics/contortionism that are more nonsensical than the underlying ability.

Why would you be able to or even choose to drop concealment versus a foe?

Because you can Hunt Prey out of combat and you may not want to tip everyone off when you are suddenly hard to see. You may also want to attract attention or make yourself available as a target so the GM isn't forced to attack someone who is already near death, or dying.

Perhaps a more nuanced questions is whether you can "choose to be" concealed or revealed at any point during your turn and whether you can do it multiple times during the same turn.

I have to say, I would love to see a Witch in action

Thanks for the invite. I'll figure out who am I going to play based on the table.

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Unicore wrote:
If a person were to try to play the game Mario Brothers without ever choosing to jump, of course they could play the game that way, perhaps even for hours, restarting after getting killed every time, attempting to run back and forth for as long as possible, and maybe they would even have fun exploring the mind space of a Mario Mario trapped in an endless loop of death and rebirth.

I think this is a disanalogy. The issue people are voicing is not that they refuse to use some basic mechanic, like Skill checks or using Weapons. I see there are some accusations that there is some contingency of players who "refuse" to use ranged weapons, followed by attempts to link that to some level of failure. That really has nothing to do with the OP's ask.

Paraphrasing the OP and some of the supporting posts, players are simply explaining that the change in paradigm/design is leaving an enjoyment gap which is not fulfilled by the available tools. That's going to be true on many varying levels and facets, depending on the player, when you have the type of paradigm shift that Pf2 employed. Players...customers, will like/idislike the changes to varying degrees. The best place for them to voice that displeasure is on the forums.

Paizo, and Jason Bullman himself, has specifically and repeatedly said they want to hear player feedback. Paizo has repeatedly asked for input from the players and in many cases, even the Ranger, they've changed the game as a result. Yes, most of those changes were made before launch, so certainly timing is a factor in when/if changes might be made. Nevertheless, I find it unfortunate that so frequently player complaints are invariably met with "this is the wrong game for you."

As stated above, my discussion or interest in the discussion is about how/whether/to what extent the requested changes are possible. Is it something Paizo is likely to do and if not, why? Is there a way for Paizo to address this gap? Could Paizo make those changes without undermining other aspects of the game? I think answering these questions is more productive than essentially telling players they don't get it.

Not trying to pick on your response, but it seems to be rather representative of a reoccurring response to people who voice issues with the game.

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dmerceless wrote:
Not gonna lie, a lot of this later conversation just sounds like blaming/shaming people for playing the concepts they want to play.

I have definitely noticed that these forums have a minority of posters who have a low tolerance threshold for anything that sounds like criticism of PF2. You can complain a little, but after awhile, the pressure builds and you get far more resistance.

And I really think "X person is still in the 1e mentality" became the new scapegoat to dismiss any criticism of the game or want that differs a bit. Both me and my group have been acused of being in the 1e mentality when talking about some negative experiences and none of us ever touched 1e. Heck, half the group started playing RPGs in PF2.

Yup, there is definitely a mindset that anything that 1e did that 2e doesn't do is badwrongfun if people preferred the 1e approach.

Now, it may seem like I am part of that group, but my approach in this thread is aimed at clearly identifying the design/philosophy that 2e is using (at least as I see it) that directly conflicts with the desires expressed by the OP and others. My point is not that anyone has a 1e mentality, but to discuss how 2e has eschewed that approach. So I'm trying to explain why I think the OP isn't going to get what they want.

Yes, in some cases I think that some of the desired outcomes are part of the 1e and even D&D 5e mindset, and I'm not saying that preferring that is badwrongfun, at all. In fact, there are many things 2e does that I think make me enjoy the game less as compared to earlier versions. What I am trying to do in this thread is identify why Paizo did those things, I'm not trying to pass judgment on them as universally good or bad.

A good analogy is when Apple decided to go to USB-C and remove access ports for HMDI and media cards. Many people hated that change and certainly some people celebrated it. Now, Apple has done an about face and essentially conceded they made the wrong design choice.

Angel Hunter D wrote:
Thought are seven classes could get Reach Spell, for example. I'd like more of that, and for Martials too.

I think this is more of the PF1/D&D 5e paradigm right? Make a bunch of generic feats that are more combat-oriented or improve efficacy along a specific vector. that any class can take.

As others have mentioned, PF2 has made it a point to really gate a lot of that behind the Class. For example a Hunted Shot is only available to the Ranger/Ranger MC. It's not part of the Archer Archetype and you do not appear to have access to it any other way. While I cannot imagine how Paizo "balances" all these decisions, they clearly have a concept of using the Archetype system to keep the system "balanced." I suspect that if they start handing out general feats like Reach, it will slowly or maybe even rapidly start undermining that Tight Math.

The curious thing is that Spells are the exception. Paizo has to add spells to a list available to almost any character directly a via Multi-class. So that means there is still high probability that new spells will upset the "balance." Spells have always been a problem for D&D style games and "balance." The IC and OOC fact that its "magic" makes it somewhat hard to have hard lines that cannot be crossed with spell design, especially compared to martial feats. It will be interesting to see how Paizo handles this moving forward.

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Sanityfaerie wrote:
Why should they be poor choices for the alchemist? I'm not saying that they should be amazing or anything, but making it even as good as a "reasonable" choice seems like it wouldn't break anything.

I think the problem is that given Paizo's deisgn objective, the choice is "reasonable."

The point of letting the alchemist take alchemist archetypes is the same as the point of letting a fighter take Dual Weapon Warrior - it lets them focus further in that direction.

I don't think that is what Paizo intends for Archetypes. The way I've interpreted the design, it aligns with what SuperBidi is saying. The Archetypes are not intended for focus, they are primarily intended to allow a character to do something that is otherwise or to some degree orthogonal to its Class. The more aligned you are with the archetype, the less benefit you are intended to receive. Paizo's trying to facilitate the Rogue who can make some bombs. They are not trying to facilitate the bomb-making Alchemist who is even better at making bombs.

I see two primary reasons for this. The first is exactly what SuperBidi identifies: Paizo absolutely wants to avoid players feeling compelled to take Archetypes to fulfill their class function. The second is simply the "balance"/tight math aspect of PF2. Paizo has gone out of its way to reduce benefits of stacking/synergy. The game design seems to advocate horizontal improvement over vertical improvement i.e. Robust vs Specialized. Paizo doesn't want the the Alchemist-Alchemist to be doing 15% more damage than the plain old Alchemist.

That having been said, I feel your pain. I think part of the problem is that imo, Paizo, once again tries to have its cake and eat it too. Rather than providing zero benefit from taking thematically associated Archetypes, Paizo insisted on putting some unique benefit. So an archery Ranger looks at the Archer and sees some benefit, but is uncertain if it is enough to justify the Archery dedication given how feat starved the Ranger feels.

What exasperates this problem is that some classes are more victimized than others. Some classes, like the Ranger imo, are having to use their Class feat currency to cover narrative, utility, and combat gaps. A class like Fighter doesn't really suffer from that dilemma, imo.

My guess is Paizo doesn't see a problem. Either the Archetype gives you want you want and you take it, or it doesn't and you don't. And as someone who doesn't play an Alchemist, it's kind of hard to understand the complaint other than a fundamental complaint about the Alchemist class itself. I guess I feel if you're wanting the Achetype to do more for you class, isn't that just wanting your class to do more for itself? Shouldn't the best way to improve an Alchemist be to take more Alchemist Class feats?

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HolyFlamingo! wrote:
I'm with OP, here. While I love archetypes, a character's class is still the most important aspect of their functionality, and their subclass is usually that character's first foray into flavorful specialization. It doesn't make sense for a character's core to feel like the most boring part.

I personally don't like Archetypes and don't use them for any of my classes. Either the class is fun to play out of the box, or it's not. I don't want to spend time and effort trying to make the Class fun by digging through Archetypes as a solution.

That having been said, I recognize that Paizo would argue the Classes are fun, the Archetypes are for those people who want to build a Class, as it were.

I think Paizo is trying to have its cake and eat it to. They want a "Class" system, but they want lots of modularity for people who don't really like the class system. IMO, it suffers from the classic problem of being mediocre at two things rather than being really good at one. I would rather Paizo had baked far more functionality into the base chassis. But my preference is harder to future proof compared to what they've gone with. So I have to give Paizo credit for an solution to one of the design goals (of course I do not know if they borrowed the idea from some other system). The only questions is whether it's "fun?"

, but it required a little house-ruled leniency from the GM and picking up the Medic archetype.

And I think that's the drawback of Paizo's approach. You have to go pick up an Archetype to feel fulfilled.

Although, since so much of the class depends on piddling around with items, and that's the bit that's most obnoxious to work with, I don't know how exactly the class could be improved.

They probably should have given you feats with action economy discounts, exactly how they did with the Gunslingers. But they can't really go back and do that with this system.

I'd be content to wait until late 2022/early 2023 for a big core class update.

While I would love get a completely overhauled (did someone say "Revised") Ranger, I don't see that ever happening. Paizo put so much effort into the tight math, you're asking them to go through what has to be an extremely tedious effort again. I suppose they could try and limit it to a few classes, like they did with Unchained, but the risk is they end up making classes out of tolerance.

I suppose whether that happens will also depend on how successful PF2 is in the face of D&D 6. At the point, maybe Paizo just pushes on to v3.

PossibleCabbage wrote:
I guess the consideration is, if there's a desire for "I want to use [foo]" is it better to release class feats for a number of different classes that enable [foo] or just to release an archetype that enables [foo] that lots of people can take.

Late to the discussion, but I am going to echo the opinion/observation that PF2 is set up so that Paizo doesn't have to go back and add class support for new tech/options. As others have observed, this is primarily accomplished through the Archetype and Paizo clearly wants to leverage this schema.

If you want to use guns on a Ranger....grab Archetype with guns, or MC. This is the solution to the problem that Paizo discussed during the playtest. Whether by foresight, dumbluck, or some combination of both, Paizo realized that they could kill two birds with one stone using this Dedication approach.

Of course, the answer isn't always cut and dry; I'm not sure that Bullet Dancer shouldn't have just been monk feats (since the dedication straight up calls out "monk abilities").

Sure, it's not going to be 100% robust for 100% of the options. But if Paizo "balances" the classes against each other, and then "balances" the Archetypes against each other, then they don't have to spend a lot (or any) resources making sure the "class support" is fair.

What's more, it's a simple matter of resource economy. A well crafted Archetype can be used by any class. Class features are only available to that specific class. That creates all kinds of long term considerations about which classes are getting more support vs others. There's no way Paizo wants to open that can of worms when they have a universal solution.

If I'm being objective, Paizo should not add any more feats to extant classes. General Feats, Skill Feats, sure. Spells, sure...those are easy to add (if we ignore "balance" considerations). Focus Spells are more problematic because for a class like the Ranger having all of their Focus Spells strapped to its own Class feat, so you can't simply add them to a list and have them be available.

Not really saying anything that hasn't already been covered by other posters, but just another opinion for the OP.

Sedoriku's 二番目 Pregen wrote:
Yes, or make/use a generic pregen one. Like this one.

Are there pregen aliases you can copy?

Okay, so I should just createa a Zak Zak alias for this game.

I'm here for Zakzak. Not sure I understand your request.

Just for my sanity, if the profile you plan on posting as for this scenario is different than some variation of the pregen's name, would you mind changing the Paizo alias part of slide two to match the profile's name?

GM Sedoriku wrote:

Due to a mix up in signups and the non-repeatable nature of the one shot, my first table of Head Shot the Rot has an opening. If you were interested in playing, but weren't able to secure a spot at a different table here's your chance!

Please add your name and a paizo alias I can message you at here! We'll be starting in a few days!

What is the tier for the One Shots?

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HumbleGamer wrote:
It's not affecting the developers in any way to addrees a really frequent question per week. Just not the best approcach towards the game.

Based on numerous statements I've seen made in youtube videos by the developers themselves, it turns out that many of the questions people have do involved a lot of discussion on the part of the developers.

In other words, there is no one person who has the authority to make rulings, or even if there were, that is not how Paizo wants to handle it. The developers have also discussed an awareness that any ruling can adversely affect some subset of players and that seems to be a basis for why they just don't crank them out.

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Arcaian wrote:
Your PCs will have to do more total damage, but it'll be a very different type of Severe encounter - though not necessarily less difficult. I've found that this second sort of Severe encounter tends to be a lot more enjoyable to players seeking difficulty if you're using harder encounters regularly

So it sounds like you're saying that you can change the nature of the combat encounter to make it more enjoyable, without changing the difficulty?

I have to say, that sounds familiar.

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Karmagator wrote:

After playing 2e pretty much since release, I can't believe I'm just now noticing this. Without being able to Step at least 10 feet, Feather Step actually doesn't do anything.

It only removes the limitation on being able to Step into difficult terrain, it critically doesn't change the movement cost associated with it. And since it costs 10 feet of movement to go into a square of difficult terrain... you need another feat for it to actually do anything.

Thoughts? Errata?

I do not understand the issue.

The only reason to Step is to avoid triggering an AoO. Normall, you can't Step into diferent terrain. Feather Step, thus allows you to move 5' in difficult terrain and avoid an AoO. What is the confusion?

It seems irrelevant whether it cost you 10' of movement or 5'. You use up your entire Action to Step into difficult terrain...which is what Feather Step says you get to do.

Feather Step actually doesn't do anything.

It does. It lest you move 5' in difficult terrain without triggering an AoO. A 10' Stride does not give you that.

What am I missing?

RaptorJesues wrote:
-I don't know about that, persistent damage is quite a doozy, sure, but i think that burning two action to end it could be a bit much. As for the healing i think medicine can cover that easily.

It's not about the healing, but the Persistent Damage removal. Consider that if a PC gets criit killed and gets Persistent damage at the same time, they will die in like two rounds. They have to make dying saves and then take Persistent damage saves and if they fail both, they hit Dying 4 in the next round. I've run into this and Soothing Mist would have both removed the poison damage and brought them back to positive hit points in one casting.

Also, I do not know how many other classes get access to this spell, so it is one way to provide some less common assistance.

It's also important to keep in mind that the disjointed nature of the class feats somewhat to contribute to a broader range of build concepts. A feat like Soothing Mist facilitates that "support" Ranger concept (though I have not seen anyone go that route).

I don't normally comment on Ranger guides because it really comes down to the subjective as opposed to the objective, but I will offer my thoughts.

I'm not sure if you were around for the Playtest, but the short version is that the Precision and Outwit Rangers were added after the Playtest and were never tested by the players = Paizo never got feedback on the balance of those Edges.

Based on a number of facts and analysis of the class, the Ranger was originally balanced around the Flurry Edge and that balance consisted of ways to chew up actions. Every action a Flurry Ranger spends that is not used to attack, reduces the Ranger's ability to leverage Flurry. When Precision was introduced, the class was not rebalanced (at least not from playtest feedback). The result is that Precision gets to avoid the inherent nerfing from the way the class was designed.

The best example of this is Hunter's Aim, but it also applies to several other archery feats. Another area where this manifests itself is with Animal Companions. As I believe Falco points out, a Flurry Ranger using a Companion has to give up attacks. A Precision Ranger is minimally impacted by this decision AND when a Ranger gets a Mature Companion that can attack (using its one free Action) on its own. that Companion gets the full benefit of Precision (against Prey) but gets nothing from Flurry and never will. A Flurry Ranger will always have to Command its animal to get the minimal benefit from Flurry.

Conversely, it's not clear that anything that impacts Precision is less impactful to Flurry. So it's a one-way street. Gravity Weapon, while seemingly neutral, is more potent with Hunter's Aim, and thus is more likely to both get cast and get realized with a Precision Ranger.

Edges aside, one other observation I've had is that the Ranger feat tree feels very disjointed and lacks cohesion. Many abilities seem to overlap and/or partially cancel each other out. An example is the Blind-fight+See the Unseen + Hunter's Vision. Each of them allows you detect an adjacent Undetected creature as Hidden. Yes, they each do something slightly more, but given these are all part of the Ranger class, the partial overlap doesn't make a lot of sense for someone who takes all three. I suppose this is part of Paizo's anti-stacking policy, but I'm not aware that other classes run into this so distinctly. You get some of the same thing with Favored Terrain, Terrain Master, and Wild Stride. Wild Stride seems to turn Favored Terrain into a feat tax that you can't get a refund on if you want the benefits of Terrain Master

Another thing to keep in mind is that you can't take it all. So some feats may seem great, in and of themselves, but what are you going to give up to get them? I put Disrupt Prey and Snap Shot into this category. Sure, I'd love to have them, but if I'm an archer, I'm having to pay the DP feat tax and that's a very expensive option, especially when they only work against Prey

Some random comments
- I see Gravity Weapon a feat tax get Animal Feature, which I think is an we all agree is an S for Humans. You can back door the benefits of Animal Feature if you play with Rare races, like the Strix, but getting a little extra damage is kind of almost a freebee. IMO, it's way better than the other Focus options. Mechanically, it's probably a net negative for Flurry, but then you don't have to use it and you can occasionally precast it (and I mean occasionally in the like almost never sense).

- Soothing Mist. This is actually VERY useful. Persistent damage removal is not to be underestimated. But it comes at the cost of using up your focus points and action economy to act as a medic. So if you're burning your focus on GW and AF, then you won't have any left. Plus, there may be other feats you want to go back and take at this level.

- Monster Hunter. I agree with Falco that mechanically this is near worthless before MMH, and arguably after, but narratively I find it impactful. While I've only got the crit benefit once below level 10 (and I don't think the +1 helped anyone) it does give you information and definitely contributes to the feeling of a monster hunter (even if the info isn't actionable).

- Hunters's Aim. Kind of an D for Flurry and an S for Precision. It's almost worth not taking Hunted Shot and using Hunter's Aim for Precision. For Flurry, IMO, it is a trap option, but can give an archer a feeling of flexibility, even if it's mechanically a dud.

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