[THINK TANK] Rangers


Races & Classes

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Okay so this is for the Alpha 3 discussion on rangers.

I'll start off with Hunter's Bond.

I'd like to add an alternate third choice that fits the title "Hunter's Bond".

The ranger forms a bond with the very land he hunts upon. The ranger gains special benefits for being in a favored terrain depending on his ranger level.

4th level - The ranger can use Ghost Sound (0-level), Detect Animals or Plants (1st level), Detect Snares and Pits (1st level), and Speak with Animals (1st level) as spell-like abilities at will.

9th level - The ranger can use Locate Creature (4th level) 3 times per day as a spell-like ability. The creature located by this ability must also be within the favored terrain.

14th level - The ranger rolls twice for Initiative checks, using the die result of his choice for his Initiative.

19th level - The ranger can teleport up to 30 feet within line of sight as a move action. The destination of the teleportation must be within the favored terrain.

This was inspired a bit by the movies Crocodile Dundee 2 and The Brothers Grimm.


quest-master wrote:


19th level - The ranger can teleport up to 30 feet within line of sight as a move action. The destination of the teleportation must be within the favored terrain.

I'm speechless.

Grand Lodge

I'm of the opinion that perhaps the rangers animal companion options shouldn't be quite so bad. How about ranger level -3 for effective druid level instead of half? Like the paladin with the new, and awesome, turn undead ability? (And I'd like to say how incredibly happy I am with that change. I've wanted to do something similar for years, I've just lacked the courage to do so I guess! So, thank you for putting it into the fantasy RPG I'm going to be playing for the next several years.)

Also, while favored enemy is a great ability, it is highly, highly, dependent on the DM to throw the right type of monsters at you. Something that could be done in that department would also be cool. Make the ability more free form. A pool of points like other classes have for signature abilities, which the ranger can apply to an enemy, or type of enemy, would be cool. You could even throw in Favored Terrain. Abilities that boost damage, and give tactical options based on where, and what, you're fighting. It might run the risk of looking a bit like the barbarian, but mining some of the ranger only spells from 3rd party sources and not OGL supplements, and some of the scout abilities, could help make it a bit more distinct, much more versatile, and more interesting as well.


JRR wrote:
quest-master wrote:


19th level - The ranger can teleport up to 30 feet within line of sight as a move action. The destination of the teleportation must be within the favored terrain.
I'm speechless.

Agreed. I just lost total respect for the thread. I thought Pathfinder was supposed to be an alternative to 4th edition, not a copycat.


airwalkrr wrote:
JRR wrote:
quest-master wrote:


19th level - The ranger can teleport up to 30 feet within line of sight as a move action. The destination of the teleportation must be within the favored terrain.
I'm speechless.
Agreed. I just lost total respect for the thread. I thought Pathfinder was supposed to be an alternative to 4th edition, not a copycat.

I like how one HIGH LEVEL ability shoots down the whole thread, how theres no way a HIGH level charcater should do HIGH level things. But yeah HIGH level characters shouldn't get any HIG level appropriate abilities.


Come on, JRR and airwalkrr, you could at least put up a suggestion for 19th level if you don't like that ability.

Anyone else find the 24 hour recharge period for quarry a bit odd?


Not a high level fighter subclass. A ranger is a very low-magic character. He shouldn't be zipping around the battlefield like that unless he has a magic item that let's him do it. There are some of us who think that D&D doesn't need to look like DBZ.


airwalkrr wrote:
Not a high level fighter subclass. A ranger is a very low-magic character. He shouldn't be zipping around the battlefield like that unless he has a magic item that let's him do it. There are some of us who think that D&D doesn't need to look like DBZ.

He's a low magic class throwing around *4th level spells*, spells on the level of power or beyond *anything Merlin ever cast in literature*. Not to mention *Gandalf*. Seriously, if that's low magic...


quest-master wrote:

Come on, JRR and airwalkrr, you could at least put up a suggestion for 19th level if you don't like that ability.

Anyone else find the 24 hour recharge period for quarry a bit odd?

Actually I have a number of suggestions. I have been working for several years (not all at once mind you) on my own fixes for 3.5. But teleportation abilities on a ranger just smacks of 4th edition, my disdain for which is what piques my interest in Pathfinder.

If there needs to be a change to Quarry and Improved Quarry, I agree that it should be a change to the 24-hour recharge. I think you could ditch the whole idea of a recharge anyway. In the grand scheme of things, the two abilities are fairly limited anyway. A lot of their benefits will rarely come up. And if a ranger spends his first action of every round declaring a quarry, is that really an issue? My opinion is no, it isn't.

My fix? Keep Quarry and Improved Quarry, but nix the whole recharge time. Make it a standard action for both and it becomes a nifty ability a ranger will use all the time, but it won't break the game. It gives the ranger a neat trick to use in party-on-1-monster situations or when tracking. And it is very difficult to abuse in multiple monster situations. Making it a standard action is a good enough balancing factor. Is anyone really concerned that this lets a ranger track really well? Isn't that his shtick?


airwalkrr wrote:
Not a high level fighter subclass. A ranger is a very low-magic character. He shouldn't be zipping around the battlefield like that unless he has a magic item that let's him do it. There are some of us who think that D&D doesn't need to look like DBZ.

This is for you too Squirelloid.

By 19th level, the ranger can survive a huge red dragon's firey breath weapon unsinged, walk on water, talk to plants and animals, reduce an animal to half its size, summon a Medium Elemental or Unicorn, and teleport from tree to tree with a maximum range of 3,000 feet. 3,000 FEET. All of this in one day.

Have you ever actually looked at the ranger's SPELL list?

He's actually a fighter/DRUID hybrid.


Squirrelloid wrote:
airwalkrr wrote:
Not a high level fighter subclass. A ranger is a very low-magic character. He shouldn't be zipping around the battlefield like that unless he has a magic item that let's him do it. There are some of us who think that D&D doesn't need to look like DBZ.
He's a low magic class throwing around *4th level spells*, spells on the level of power or beyond *anything Merlin ever cast in literature*. Not to mention *Gandalf*. Seriously, if that's low magic...

I am speaking in relative terms here. I didn't compare him to literary figures. I was speaking purely in terms of the game. There are no-magic characters, characters whose abilities are solely Extraordinary, such as the fighter, barbarian, and rogue (3.5). There are low magic characters who receive a small number of spells and have few if any magical abilities such as the monk, ranger, and paladin. There are medium magic characters, such as the bard. Then there are high-magic characters like the cleric or wizard.

I would expect a teleport ability to come from one of the high magic characters. A ranger's MO is tracking, fighting and wilderness survival. Most of his spells simply supplement that ability in fairly simple ways. So he can cast tree stride once he hits 14th level. The wizard was D-dooring at half his level.


quest-master wrote:

This is for you too Squirelloid.

By 19th level, the ranger can survive a huge red dragon's firey breath weapon unsinged, walk on water, talk to plants and animals, reduce an animal to half its size, summon a Medium Elemental or Unicorn, and teleport from tree to tree with a maximum range of 3,000 feet. 3,000 FEET. All of this in one day.

Have you ever actually looked at the ranger's SPELL list?

He's actually a fighter/DRUID hybrid.

You don't have to insult my intelligence. I'm quite familiar with everything the ranger can do. None of that tells me that he needs an at-will teleport ability. That takes the game in a direction I am unwilling to go. If I start seeing abilities like that in Pathfinder, it will start looking like a 4e clone to me and I won't be interested any more. That's all I am trying to say.


quest-master wrote:

Okay so this is for the Alpha 3 discussion on rangers.

I'll start off with Hunter's Bond.

I'd like to add an alternate third choice that fits the title "Hunter's Bond".

The ranger forms a bond with the very land he hunts upon. The ranger gains special benefits for being in a favored terrain depending on his ranger level.

4th level - The ranger can use Ghost Sound (0-level), Detect Animals or Plants (1st level), Detect Snares and Pits (1st level), and Speak with Animals (1st level) as spell-like abilities at will.

9th level - The ranger can use Locate Creature (4th level) 3 times per day as a spell-like ability. The creature located by this ability must also be within the favored terrain.

14th level - The ranger rolls twice for Initiative checks, using the die result of his choice for his Initiative.

19th level - The ranger can teleport up to 30 feet within line of sight as a move action. The destination of the teleportation must be within the favored terrain.

This was inspired a bit by the movies Crocodile Dundee 2 and The Brothers Grimm.

Not bad, I kind of like it, though I would make that last ability a 3/day thing or make it a full-round action.


airwalkrr wrote:
quest-master wrote:

This is for you too Squirelloid.

By 19th level, the ranger can survive a huge red dragon's firey breath weapon unsinged, walk on water, talk to plants and animals, reduce an animal to half its size, summon a Medium Elemental or Unicorn, and teleport from tree to tree with a maximum range of 3,000 feet. 3,000 FEET. All of this in one day.

Have you ever actually looked at the ranger's SPELL list?

He's actually a fighter/DRUID hybrid.

You don't have to insult my intelligence. I'm quite familiar with everything the ranger can do. None of that tells me that he needs an at-will teleport ability. That takes the game in a direction I am unwilling to go. If I start seeing abilities like that in Pathfinder, it will start looking like a 4e clone to me and I won't be interested any more. That's all I am trying to say.

I'm not saying the ranger needs to teleport at will. But perhaps what you're looking for is a lower level game. Seriously, its 19th level, teleport at will is not that exciting, and not that magically powerful. The game stopped working 2 levels ago because the wizard started casting 9th level spells and the universe broke. 'Low-magic' in that context is rather different than low-magic 10 levels ago. So would rangers teleporting at will bother me? Not especially. Then again, rangers being eliminated from the game wouldn't especially bother me either. Just give fighters survival and we're good to go. I remember when rangers were fighter/mages. Any flavor we give them is just the latest in an endless line of poor excuses for the existence of a class that isn't needed and has never been notably playable.


Squirrelloid wrote:
Any flavor we give them is just the latest in an endless line of poor excuses for the existence of a class that isn't needed and has never been notably playable.

At least you finally got to the heart of the matter.

I just want the ranger class to stick to the archetype of an outdoorsman who is almost at skilled at weaponplay as a fighter. For that, giving him a wizard-like ability doesn't seem warranted. Especially since there is nothing particularly wrong with his improved quarry ability in the first place. It certainly sticks with the archetype better.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I´m fine with the Rangers spellcasting, especially as his spells per day were buffed. He has some devastating spells for his combat abilities in the mix ( Hunter's Mercy, Lion's Charge ) and some great utility as well. Not to mention that he is one of the classes which can use a Cure Light Wounds wand from level one.

I´d rather have him get more combat styles, as I´ve mentioned elsewhere on the board.


airwalkrr wrote:

You don't have to insult my intelligence. I'm quite familiar with everything the ranger can do. None of that tells me that he needs an at-will teleport ability. That takes the game in a direction I am unwilling to go. If I start seeing abilities like that in Pathfinder, it will start looking like a 4e clone to me and I won't be interested any more. That's all I am trying to say.

I don't mean to come off as insulting. I am simply emphasizing that by 19th level a ranger is hardly "low-magic", unless you're calling the class "low-magic" compared to a full caster. THAT is all I'm trying to say.


quest-master wrote:

This is for you too Squirelloid.

Sorry about that. I misread your post.

If anyone here doesn't like the teleport at will within the favored terrain, it would be nice to see some alternate suggestions to replace it.

Again the 24-hour recharge on quarry seems odd considering it is an extraordinary ability that is based on a skill. Does anyone agree or is it just me?


I don't really understand why the ranger just can't have an animal companion and caster level equal to his ranger level. Is that really going to break the class? I can't see how. They had such in NWN if I recall and no one was screaming "RANGERS ARE BROKEN!"


The Hedgewizard wrote:
I don't really understand why the ranger just can't have an animal companion and caster level equal to his ranger level. Is that really going to break the class? I can't see how. They had such in NWN if I recall and no one was screaming "RANGERS ARE BROKEN!"

It wouldn't be.

But remember, non-casters can't have nice things. Otherwise we'd just be using Races of War martial classes and Dungeonomicon monks.


quest-master wrote:
I don't mean to come off as insulting. I am simply emphasizing that by 19th level a ranger is hardly "low-magic", unless you're calling the class "low-magic" compared to a full caster. THAT is all I'm trying to say.

As I said later, that was, in fact, the purpose of my comparative. Glad we have that cleared up.

As an aside, the whole idea of a ranger teleporting reminds me of the much-maligned horizon walker teleport ability. I can barely stomach the idea with the horizon walker concept (which is itself an even lower-magic class than the ranger). I simply don't like it at all with the ranger concept.

quest-master wrote:


If anyone here doesn't like the teleport at will within the favored terrain, it would be nice to see some alternate suggestions to replace it.

Again the 24-hour recharge on quarry seems odd considering it is an extraordinary ability that is based on a skill. Does anyone agree or is it just me?

How about we just nix the 24-hour recharge. Make it a 1-minute recharge so that a ranger generally won't be able to use it more than once per combat.

Squirrelloid wrote:


But remember, non-casters can't have nice things. Otherwise we'd just be using Races of War martial classes and Dungeonomicon monks.

Your cynicism is not very constructive for the conversation.

I think the barbarian is a very good example of a class that doesn't cast spells getting nice things. So is the rogue. So is the monk.

That said, I don't see any good reason why the ranger shouldn't have a better caster level. I've often advocated making it equal to ranger level -3 (same for paladin). As for the animal companion, that one is a little shadier. Maybe have the same limitation (animal companion level = ranger level -3) just so as not to encroach too much upon the druid?


airwalkrr wrote:


How about we just nix the 24-hour recharge. Make it a 1-minute recharge so that a ranger generally won't be able to use it more than once per combat.

What if we nix it altogether?

The ranger takes a few moments to survey the battlefield and re-focus his attention to a different target. It already takes a standard action to select a quarry, taking the ranger's attacks out of the battle for a round.

+11/+6/+1

The ranger has three attacks per round at 11th level when he gets quarry.

What if the ranger must use all of his attacks on the quarry or targets adjacent to the quarry since he has to focus so much on the quarry.

The ranger shouldn't be able to attack a target in the opposite direction without losing his focus on the quarry he's selected.

It might balance nixing the recharge period if the ranger can't attack other targets in the same round without losing the benefit of quarry, which would take another round to recover.


airwalkrr wrote:
Squirrelloid wrote:


But remember, non-casters can't have nice things. Otherwise we'd just be using Races of War martial classes and Dungeonomicon monks.

Your cynicism is not very constructive for the conversation.

I think the barbarian is a very good example of a class that doesn't cast spells getting nice things. So is the rogue. So is the monk.

I can agree with the Rogue... he also has UMD, lots of stuff to do outside of combat, and a good combat schtick - and you'll notice people complaining about how good he is (despite the fact that he's actually balanced and playable).

The monk and barbarian not so much. Especially not the monk who is made of epic fail in 3.5 and the 3.P.0.3 version did nothing to correct his problems. (The unwillingness to give him full BAB doesn't help, it also doesn't help that Jason isn't giving us any feedback on directions he's thinking about going for the beta.)

The barbarian is probably the best of the 3.5 non-rogue-or-full-casters, but that just means he sucks slightly less than the rest of them. The paizo 'fix' doesn't go far enough, and if nothing else the rage powers lack useful high level abilities (although he underperforms as early as level 4 in the 3.P.0.2 version).

The real problem is this unwillingness to give such classes 'supernatural' or 'magical' abilities, because at some point you have to be so tall to play the game, and being that tall requires magic. Classes can't keep doing the same things from levels 1-20, and full casting classes don't because they get new higher-level spells every 2 levels. Martial classes are expected to just keep up with slightly bigger numbers, and this is a serious problem of game design. When the wizard's 'cool stuff' seriously changes and the rangers/fighters/barbarians/etc... *doesnt*, that means the non-wizard(clerics/druids/...) aren't able to adapt to the changing monster environment.

So am I cynical about it? yes. And that cynicism is generally born out by people's unwillingness to allow martial classes to do level-appropriate things (like fly, something every monster that won't just eat a martial class in melee is doing by or before CR 10).


quest-master wrote:
airwalkrr wrote:


How about we just nix the 24-hour recharge. Make it a 1-minute recharge so that a ranger generally won't be able to use it more than once per combat.
What if we nix it altogether?

I'm giving Jason the benefit of the doubt for now in assuming he has some reason for giving it a recharge in the first place. Perhaps we should commission some high-level play-tests.


Squirrelloid wrote:
The real problem is this unwillingness to give such classes 'supernatural' or 'magical' abilities, because at some point you have to be so tall to play the game, and being that tall requires magic.

I think you might want to consider playing 4e in that case. It has a lot of what you seem to desire. I don't mean that in a derogatory manner. I'm just trying to help you figure out what you want from your game. I believe the people who are sticking with Pathfinder (aka 3.75) rather than moving on to 4e are traditionalists who like the old way of doing things and don't think our fighters should be casting spells. If you think martial classes should get magical abilities, then 4e is the game for you.

Me? I don't want my barbarians, fighters, rogues, and rangers etc. doing all the cool things casters can do all while having more hit points, better attack bonuses, and better saves. D&D is meant to be played cooperatively. That means that while the fighter doesn't possess the ability to fly, he has a mage backing him up who can let him do just that when the time arises. Giving a fighter the ability to fly, or teleport, or create fireballs, leaves nothing special for the magic classes. What you are arguing for is a slippery slope that could eventually lead to all classes have d12 HD, good BAB and saves, and full casting ability. Diversity is part of what makes the game interesting, and keeps it a team game rather than a pissing contest.


airwalkrr wrote:
Squirrelloid wrote:
The real problem is this unwillingness to give such classes 'supernatural' or 'magical' abilities, because at some point you have to be so tall to play the game, and being that tall requires magic.
I think you might want to consider playing 4e in that case. It has a lot of what you seem to desire. I don't mean that in a derogatory manner. I'm just trying to help you figure out what you want from your game. I believe the people who are sticking with Pathfinder (aka 3.75) rather than moving on to 4e are traditionalists who like the old way of doing things and don't think our fighters should be casting spells. If you think martial classes should get magical abilities, then 4e is the game for you.

By the old way of doing things you mean fighters as expendable mooks for when you don't roll well enough on stats to play a real class? (No, I'm serious, that's what the fighter started as - and its evolution shows that origin because its never been as good as a full caster, not even close).

airwalkrr wrote:


Me? I don't want my barbarians, fighters, rogues, and rangers etc. doing all the cool things casters can do all while having more hit points, better attack bonuses, and better saves. D&D is meant to be played cooperatively. That means that while the fighter doesn't possess the ability to fly, he has a mage backing him up who can let him do just that when the time arises. Giving a fighter the ability to fly, or teleport, or create fireballs, leaves nothing special for the magic classes. What you are arguing for is a slippery slope that could eventually lead to all classes have d12 HD, good BAB and saves, and full casting ability. Diversity is part of what makes the game interesting, and keeps it a team game rather than a pissing contest.

Wow, classic strawman argument there. Yes, clearly because I want martial classes to be able to do supernatural/magical things eventually must mean my end goal is to give everyone d12 HD, good BAB and saves, and full casting ability. There is no other possible middle ground. And there's certainly no way to maintain diverse character classes when everyone has access to some magical abilities.

And by golly, by your logic druids are identical to clerics who are identical to wizards (= sorcerors = beguilers = etc...). This argument is undefeatable, I should just quit now.

/sarcasm

Now seriously, where does the claim 'martial classes should be able to do some magical things' automatically imply any of what you said?

As to it being a team game, you have to also answer why the wizard would *bother* casting fly on the fighter when he could just cast a spell or two and *end the encounter* right then and there. Or when, instead of recruiting a fighter, he buddies up with a druid who can achieve flight on his own while bringing full spellcasting at the same time. My claim is the optimal party should not look like D/C/W/* where * is another of W/C/D (or possibly a rogue, but the rogue can be someone's cohort and you won't even notice).


Squirrelloid wrote:
By the old way of doing things you mean fighters as expendable mooks for when you don't roll well enough on stats to play a real class? (No, I'm serious, that's what the fighter started as - and its evolution shows that origin because its never been as good as a full caster, not even close).

You might want to take a closer look at the origins of the game. Fighters had the 3rd-fastest level progression (after thief and cleric), meaning they were always just a step ahead of rangers and paladins. In addition, they got more attacks per level at earlier levels, got more minions and better castles when they reached "name level," and had no alignment or behavioral restrictions at a time when such were fairly rigidly enforced. (The phrase "lawful stupid" is an artifact of these times.) Finally, fighters got more weapon proficiencies than any other class in the game (until the barbarian was unveiled in Unearthed Arcana), meaning the fighter had a much better chance of being able to use that flashy +3 flail (+5 vs. lycanthropes) when the BBEG dropped it. Sure, the fighter might not have been as sexy as some of the other classes, but they were far from expendable mooks. That was the job for hirelings. :)

Squirrelloid wrote:


Wow, classic strawman argument there. Yes, clearly because I want martial classes to be able to do supernatural/magical things eventually must mean my end goal is to give everyone d12 HD, good BAB...

You might want to brush up on your logical fallacies too. A straw man is when you intentionally attack the most insignifcant point of your opponent's argument. I was merely making the point that if non-magical classes become magical, it leaves nothing for the magical classes? On the contrary, I find that to be a major weakness in your argument, and not an insignificant one at all.


I hate favored terrain.

I hated it in Necropolis by Gygax (RiP)and I hate it now. I was most disappointed with the 3.p ranger. Of all the classes out there I most wanted to play a ranger and after reading the latest incarnation it is the one I am least inclined to play, and DM.


airwalkrr wrote:
Squirrelloid wrote:
By the old way of doing things you mean fighters as expendable mooks for when you don't roll well enough on stats to play a real class? (No, I'm serious, that's what the fighter started as - and its evolution shows that origin because its never been as good as a full caster, not even close).
You might want to take a closer look at the origins of the game. Fighters had the 3rd-fastest level progression (after thief and cleric), meaning they were always just a step ahead of rangers and paladins. In addition, they got more attacks per level at earlier levels, got more minions and better castles when they reached "name level," and had no alignment or behavioral restrictions at a time when such were fairly rigidly enforced. (The phrase "lawful stupid" is an artifact of these times.) Finally, fighters got more weapon proficiencies than any other class in the game (until the barbarian was unveiled in Unearthed Arcana), meaning the fighter had a much better chance of being able to use that flashy +3 flail (+5 vs. lycanthropes) when the BBEG dropped it. Sure, the fighter might not have been as sexy as some of the other classes, but they were far from expendable mooks. That was the job for hirelings. :)

You haven't read the original edition have you? Yes, pre-1st edition. 1st edition is by far not the original edition of the game, as AD+D was 'advanced' relative to things that preceeded it.

airwalkrr wrote:


Squirrelloid wrote:


Wow, classic strawman argument there. Yes, clearly because I want martial classes to be able to do supernatural/magical things eventually must mean my end goal is to give everyone d12 HD, good BAB...
You might want to brush up on your logical fallacies too. A straw man is when you intentionally attack the most insignifcant point of your opponent's argument. I was merely making the point that if non-magical classes become magical, it leaves nothing for the magical classes? On the contrary, I find that to be a major weakness in your argument, and not an insignificant one at all.

Um... no.

A strawman is when you misrepresent your opponent's argument by constructing a position that superficially resembles it and which is easier to attack. Don't believe me? Ask Wikipedia. (Which has the correct definition - i took logic classes, thank you).

There is a large range of magical abilities, as 'magical' is defined as 'things which can't be done by mundane means' by the game. That's a lot of territory - I don't see any impingement on the overall purpose or mechanics of primary casters by handing out some choice morsels to the martial classes.


How do you think the ranger would play if we took out Hunter's Bond altogether?

Here's an alternate progression. I'd like your takes on this.

1st level - 1st favored enemy, Track, 1st favored terrain
2nd level - combat style feat
3rd level - Endurance, Hunter's edge
4th level - Wild empathy, 2nd favored terrain
5th level - 2nd favored enemy
6th level - combat style feat
7th level - woodland stride
8th level - Swift tracker, 3rd favored terrain
9th level - Evasion
10th level - 3rd favored enemy, combat style feat
etc...

Hunter's Edge (Ex) - The ranger can reroll a failed Survival check to track a creature if the creature is a favored enemy or if the ranger is tracking it in a favored terrain. He must accept the result of the second roll. In addition, the ranger can use a move action to grant half his favored enemy bonus against a single target to all allies within 30 feet who can see or hear him. This bonus does not stack with any favored enemy bonuses possessed by his allies; they use whichever bonus is higher.

I moved Wild empathy to 4th because that's when Druid-like spells come in and druid has this at 1st level. Also because there may not be many animals worth using Wild Empathy on where the ranger starts out at 1st level.
I replaced wild empathy with 1st favored terrain because the ranger has to begin his training somewhere and that somewhere would be his 1st favored terrain.
Hunter's Edge guarantees the ranger a better rate of success at tracking than any other class even for players with poor dice luck. I added party bond effect to it because it was situational anyhow.
This build further emphasizes the ranger's ability as a hunter/tracker/wilderness expert type character and possibly places less difficulty for the DM to put the ranger where he is most useful (because of added terrain).

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Sprain Ogre wrote:
I'm of the opinion that perhaps the rangers animal companion options shouldn't be quite so bad. How about ranger level -3 for effective druid level instead of half?

Unlike the druid's companion who is more of a combat ally, the ranger's animal friend is more of a scout, since the Ranger has a more formidable combat side to him. I would be more in favor of a feat that added a fixed number to the Ranger's effective druid level than a formula change.

Grand Lodge

LazarX wrote:
Sprain Ogre wrote:
I'm of the opinion that perhaps the rangers animal companion options shouldn't be quite so bad. How about ranger level -3 for effective druid level instead of half?
Unlike the druid's companion who is more of a combat ally, the ranger's animal friend is more of a scout, since the Ranger has a more formidable combat side to him. I would be more in favor of a feat that added a fixed number to the Ranger's effective druid level than a formula change.

I'm not uncomfortable with that, but I'd like to point out that the druid is plenty combat effective without his companion. And really, unless you can talk with your animal (sure, rangers can with a spell or with gear, I know, but it's not something they can just do), using them as a scout is of limited utility. As a flanker, aid, and back-up combatant seems more in line. Using a feat to help reset this wouldn't be a bad choice I guess.


quest-master, I don't have a problem with your latest posting on the ranger. But it doesn't really FIX anything that was broken with the ranger write up to begin with. So I could take it or leave it. I'd need to see some more compelling arguments for why it was broken in the first place before I'll accept that it needs a re-write.


If the animal companion is to be kept as is, it would be nice to see some ranger spells that can interact with the animal companion.

I'd like to see spells that temporarily boost the ranger's bond with his companion to give bonuses on skills and in combat.

Bull's Eye Messenger
A spell that lets the ranger make a ranged attack on a target with a ranged weapon that is delivered by his animal companion would be cool. The arrow/bolt/etc. stops above the companion and remains floating above the companion as she moves around obstacles that would have blocked the path of the arrow/bolt/etc. under normal circumstances. When the companion gets within 10 feet of the target, the arrow/bolt/etc. spins around and shoots off towards the target. The ranger makes his ranged attack roll then as if attacking normally.

The spell would also give the companion a temporary enhancement bonus to movement speed for 1 round. Thus the companion can "deliver" the ammunition or thrown weapon and then return to the ranger's side.

Spells like that would make the companion a lot more fun to play with.


Sprain Ogre wrote:
I'm of the opinion that perhaps the rangers animal companion options shouldn't be quite so bad. How about ranger level -3 for effective druid level instead of half? Like the paladin with the new, and awesome, turn undead ability? (And I'd like to say how incredibly happy I am with that change. I've wanted to do something similar for years, I've just lacked the courage to do so I guess! So, thank you for putting it into the fantasy RPG I'm going to be playing for the next several years.)

SECONDED!


I don't mean any offense, but your opinion that the animal companion is not fun to play with does not mean the mechanic is broken. I have known plenty of players over the years who enjoy the ranger's animal companion, but we have never encountered any difficulty with the rules to make us think they are broken.


airwalkrr wrote:
I don't mean any offense, but your opinion that the animal companion is not fun to play with does not mean the mechanic is broken. I have known plenty of players over the years who enjoy the ranger's animal companion, but we have never encountered any difficulty with the rules to make us think they are broken.

I personally feel that, since it is a parallel to channel energy, it should also be Rgr level - 3. I think that's all he's saying, and it's definitely all I'm saying. It also makes it mroe fun at high levels.


Gnome Ninja wrote:
I personally feel that, since it is a parallel to channel energy, it should also be Rgr level - 3. I think that's all he's saying, and it's definitely all I'm saying. It also makes it mroe fun at high levels.

I have no problem with that. As a matter of fact I am the one who suggested the rgr level -3 thing. But he was suggesting adding new spells because the animal companion wasn't worth it without or otherwise inventing a new mechanic to replace it. As I said, I don't think such drastic measures are warranted when the mechanic isn't really broken to begin with so a slight adjustment would be quite preferable.


airwalkrr wrote:
Gnome Ninja wrote:
I personally feel that, since it is a parallel to channel energy, it should also be Rgr level - 3. I think that's all he's saying, and it's definitely all I'm saying. It also makes it mroe fun at high levels.
I have no problem with that. As a matter of fact I am the one who suggested the rgr level -3 thing. But he was suggesting adding new spells because the animal companion wasn't worth it without or otherwise inventing a new mechanic to replace it. As I said, I don't think such drastic measures are warranted when the mechanic isn't really broken to begin with so a slight adjustment would be quite preferable.

Okay. It's like 11:38 here and I didn't feel like reading the whole thread. I think it's fine if we just give them Rgr level - 3, and that's my only point.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

An interesting discussion so far. I'd also be keen to see the Companion at level -3, at higher levels the Companion can be more of a liability in combat as they have nowhere near the HP of the Ranger shifting to -3 would alleviate that problem.

On to a different subject, am I the only one who thinks that Favoured Enemy should add to Knowledge checks, if you've spent most of your adventuring life focusing on combating a certain category of creatures surely you'll have a better time of identifying members of that category.


Oni_NZ wrote:
On to a different subject, am I the only one who thinks that Favoured Enemy should add to Knowledge checks, if you've spent most of your adventuring life focusing on combating a certain category of creatures surely you'll have a better time of identifying members of that category.

A capital idea, and one that is easily backwards compatible!


Given the TWF ranger's problems with AC, is there a reason NOT to take the Deft Shield approach?


Give players the option to drop spell casting in favor of an additional flavorful ability or improving the abilities they do have (more powerful animal companion, better terrain bonus, better favored enemy bonus, or an extra favored or terrain bonus).

Wasting points in Wisdom is a big deal, depending on how much of a stickler your DM is. Technically, you need an ability score of 14 to cast your highest level spells, not a WIS 10 with a +4 enhancement bonus by item. (Some DMs hand-wave that, however.) That requirement of a score of 14 hurts, requiring either an investment of a big score early in Wisdom or the placement of most of your ability score boosts there. And, let's not forget that if you don't have the 12, you wait until 10th level to get 1 2nd level spell per day. And don't forget that Will saves are your Achilles heel.

It's not a big deal when abilities are determined by array, but when it's point buy... the wizard and druid are boosting their spell-casting stats sky high while the ranger is achieving adequacy in his 4th best stat.


roguerouge wrote:

Give players the option to drop spell casting in favor of an additional flavorful ability or improving the abilities they do have (more powerful animal companion, better terrain bonus, better favored enemy bonus, or an extra favored or terrain bonus).

Wasting points in Wisdom is a big deal, depending on how much of a stickler your DM is. Technically, you need an ability score of 14 to cast your highest level spells, not a WIS 10 with a +4 enhancement bonus by item. (Some DMs hand-wave that, however.) That requirement of a score of 14 hurts, requiring either an investment of a big score early in Wisdom or the placement of most of your ability score boosts there. And, let's not forget that if you don't have the 12, you wait until 10th level to get 1 2nd level spell per day. And don't forget that Will saves are your Achilles heel.

It's not a big deal when abilities are determined by array, but when it's point buy... the wizard and druid are boosting their spell-casting stats sky high while the ranger is achieving adequacy in his 4th best stat.

Uh... wisdom 10 +4 enhancement = wisdom 14. You have an ability score of 14 for all purposes so long as the item keeps functioning. Now, should you enter an AMF or something else similar happen you'll forget how to cast your spells in that case...


I'm curious. In what order do you guys prioritize the Ranger's stats?

From 1 being highest to 6 being lowest.

When I build a ranger I usually go:

1. Dexterity - For AC and ranged attack rolls and/or Weapon Finesse
2. Wisdom - For getting spells and bonus to Perception and Survival and Will save
3. Constitution - For staying alive
4. Strength - For carrying equipment and extra damage in melee
5. Intelligence - Already have 6 ranks per level, I'm okay with a score no lower than 10
6. Charisma - Not important unless I HAVE to be the leader.

It would be great if the ranger could add his Wisdom bonus to his favored enemy bonus. It puts less pressure for Strength to boost damage for melee or composite bow ranged attacks. Some of the time at least.


Squirrelloid wrote:
roguerouge wrote:

Give players the option to drop spell casting in favor of an additional flavorful ability or improving the abilities they do have (more powerful animal companion, better terrain bonus, better favored enemy bonus, or an extra favored or terrain bonus).

Wasting points in Wisdom is a big deal, depending on how much of a stickler your DM is. Technically, you need an ability score of 14 to cast your highest level spells, not a WIS 10 with a +4 enhancement bonus by item. (Some DMs hand-wave that, however.) That requirement of a score of 14 hurts, requiring either an investment of a big score early in Wisdom or the placement of most of your ability score boosts there. And, let's not forget that if you don't have the 12, you wait until 10th level to get 1 2nd level spell per day. And don't forget that Will saves are your Achilles heel.

It's not a big deal when abilities are determined by array, but when it's point buy... the wizard and druid are boosting their spell-casting stats sky high while the ranger is achieving adequacy in his 4th best stat.

Uh... wisdom 10 +4 enhancement = wisdom 14. You have an ability score of 14 for all purposes so long as the item keeps functioning. Now, should you enter an AMF or something else similar happen you'll forget how to cast your spells in that case...

Like I said, the vast majority of DMs allow your interpretation. It's still 16 grand to get an item to do that for you, which is 16 grand you can't spend on boosting your middling HP, your poor AC, or your lagging damage and BAB.

Sovereign Court

Sprain Ogre wrote:
I'm of the opinion that perhaps the rangers animal companion options shouldn't be quite so bad. How about ranger level -3 for effective druid level instead of half?

I've been house-ruling that since about two weeks after I got 3.5. Otherwise you reach a point where the only decent role-playing option is to leave the poor animal at home so that it doesn't get eaten.


quest-master wrote:

I'm curious. In what order do you guys prioritize the Ranger's stats?

From 1 being highest to 6 being lowest.

When I build a ranger I usually go:

1. Dexterity - For AC and ranged attack rolls and/or Weapon Finesse
2. Wisdom - For getting spells and bonus to Perception and Survival and Will save
3. Constitution - For staying alive
4. Strength - For carrying equipment and extra damage in melee
5. Intelligence - Already have 6 ranks per level, I'm okay with a score no lower than 10
6. Charisma - Not important unless I HAVE to be the leader.

It would be great if the ranger could add his Wisdom bonus to his favored enemy bonus. It puts less pressure for Strength to boost damage for melee or composite bow ranged attacks. Some of the time at least.

1. Dexterity - For AC, Initiative, Reflex Save and Weapon Finesse

2. Wisdom - For getting spells and bonus to Perception and Survival and Will save
3. Intelligence - My rangers tend to be more skill focused. But we tend to play less focused on combat in general.
4. Charisma - Gather Information, Handle Animal, Intimidate etc. Plus I tend to play the "PARTY LEADER" (y'know "shield... just shield")
5. Constitution - Staying alive is good
6. Strength - Not combat focused campaigns, tend to use weapon finesse/ranged weapons

Have played three rangers this way;
One was a pure ranger through 14th,
One was a ranger 6/rogue 4
Currently playing a ranger 3/rogue 2/evangelist (cleric variant) 1

Liberty's Edge

I tend to go DEX, STR, INT, CON for a bow ranger. The STR gets added in to a mighty bow of some sort for much needed extra damage.

I almost always use a variant no-spell build for rangers (the Complete Champions feat variant is nice so far), but if I didn't, I'd put a WIS of 14 in if possible. The only reason I might keep casting is for Hunter's Mercy; an old level 1 3.0 spell that's still legit that auto threatens a critical hit on a ranged attack (It's out of Magic of Faerun, I think).

Not sure if the Complete Champion is part of the SRD or whatever it is; I'm kind of thinking no.

I actually really like the new ranger build a lot, but as with almost everyone else, I'd like a standardized no-casting variant as an option.

One of the guys in my group mentioned the option for more terrain-specific class abilities, which sounded pretty good, but I'm not sure if it's necessary.

Dark Archive

Kirwyn wrote:

I hate favored terrain.

I hated it in Necropolis by Gygax (RiP)and I hate it now. I was most disappointed with the 3.p ranger. Of all the classes out there I most wanted to play a ranger and after reading the latest incarnation it is the one I am least inclined to play, and DM.

I'm curious as to why you hate it so much; it seems to be perfectly in-line with the ranger archetype, and it's hardly overpowering in any way.

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