Rangers: By Core, The Dumbest Class?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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MrSin wrote:
Atarlost wrote:
Fighter: (snip) well designed
You put those words in the same sentence...

The base design of the class with high modularity leveraging the general feat mechanic and a minimum of constraining fluff is good design. All it really needs is better saves and to be able to have noncombat skills. At least that's all it needs in core. Other books raised the bar for other martials, especially barbarian, to the point that the all books fighter needs a bit more than that.


Atarlost wrote:


Ranger: a guy defined by his racism

The Ranger doesn't get bonuses against his favoured enemy because he (necessarily) hates them, but because he knows them well.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

If he knew them well it'd be knowledge skills.

Favored Enemies are things a ranger likes to hunt, track and kill. They are his preferred prey.

==Aelryinth


Atarlost wrote:
MrSin wrote:
Atarlost wrote:
Fighter: (snip) well designed
You put those words in the same sentence...
The base design of the class with high modularity leveraging the general feat mechanic and a minimum of constraining fluff is good design. All it really needs is better saves and to be able to have noncombat skills. At least that's all it needs in core. Other books raised the bar for other martials, especially barbarian, to the point that the all books fighter needs a bit more than that.

Fighter is awful for dozens of reasons, its actually pretty awfully designed. Your basically saying its well designed, except its not well designed. I also disagree with your idea about what defines what classes and as to who has it better too, their very much dependent on your opinion rather than fact. Rangers are defined by far more than racism, and I'd put monk much closer to the bottom and I wouldn't say he has 'slightly more mundane power', that award goes to the barbarian if anyone(rage itself could likely be better described by another word than temper).

Moving back to rangers, there are a lot of things that define the class and it has many features, the OP was only talking about the combat styles though.


Honestly, my internet dies for a day and this is what I get.
*Rolls up sleeves*

Zouron wrote:

I thinmk Kobold Cleaver is regarding Worst in terms of "most restricted" in terms of customization options

Kobold Cleaver wrote:
I just think, compared to the rest, rangers are the most pointlessly restrained.
Also he/she/it clearly doesn't mean mechanically. Also it seems only to be a semi serious inquiry:

This. So much this.

I think the point about rogues being similarly limited--just more subtly--is a good one. Is a rogue similarly 'forced' to dual-wield like a ranger? Obviously, a rogue could just choose to be less effective with his sneak attacks, but would his disadvantage be even greater than the ranger giving up his bonus feats?

I think the feat-wasting ranger probably does worse at low levels than the SA-wasting rogue. At high levels, though, the lost 10d6 damage starts to make a much bigger difference.

LazarX wrote:
As the person who brought up the hypothesis, the burden of proof is on you.

As was the burden of making my point clear, so I apologize. While ideally people would read the whole thread and see the clarifications, it would have been even more ideal if they could get the point from the get-go. It's all my bad.

This is not about superiority from a mechanical standpoint.

UmbralReaver wrote:
AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Ain't she a stinker.

I can't be asked to copy his name down wrote:
except in the case of Weathertop but in that situation it was worth the penalties to dual-wield with an improvised weapon.

Was it, really? That's something like a -10 penalty with both weapons. Even treating the torches as touch attacks...uh-oh, we're getting close to gunslinger territory now. NERF TORCHES PLEASE

Grey Lensman wrote:
The problem is for some people, having a combat style makes them feel like they must spend all other feats on it. However, the ranger gets as many feats from gaining levels as any other class, some of which are pretty good melee combatants themselves. The bonus style feats are only creating the illusion of restriction, not the reality of it. I have seen several rangers where the bonus feats were spent on one style and the standard feats were all spent on something else.

It's an interesting idea. I think every bonus feat counts, though, especially at the lower levels. But I can be a biiiit of an optimizer at times. ;)

Bruunwald wrote:
It's not that there's confusion. It's that you only want to discuss the merits or lack of same, of the class based on your own criteria of what makes a class good.

I'd more say I want to discuss a big failing in the original book. I like the class itself, and feel it serves fine. I just think the 'limitation' is without purpose.

Quote:
Discussing the matter with you, is therefore moot, because you just are not ever going to like what you read/hear.

And discussing it with you is identical, because you've clearly made up your mind about my reasons for making this thread and those reasons negate my validity.

Qorin wrote:

To reply to the questions posed by the OP.

That.
Because you might get hit in the head.
All my moods are unfashionable.
I'm not sure what you're trying to find out about the umbrella.

Finally, someone answers the real questions I wanted to pose!

Seriously, what's up with you guys and all this b#*+$$@# about rangers? Don't you know that was just padding?

Krodjin wrote:
To the OP: The answer is no. By Core, the Ranger is neither the worst, or most restrained class. Here's looking at you Rogue.

But the rogue is one of the most diverse classes! Flavor-wise, the only class with as much simple flexibility is the fighter. The fighter can use any weapon style, and be the best of the best at that weapon style (except unarmed strikes), while the rogue has options ranging from "skill monkey" to "sniper" to "support meleer".

Of course, the point above about rogues being "constricted" by their sneak attack does apply, I guess. Gotta max out that primary class feature.

----

Okay, the backlogging is finished.

All in all, I think those who didn't just come to dissect my "ranger hate" have made some great points. Those who did come to dissect will merely be passive aggressively derided as people who haven't made great points, for I am a just and merciful OP.

I guess I just don't see the point in the ability. Why not scrap it and give them a better animal companion, or more skill points? But, all-in-all, it's closing the gate after the slurks are loose. The APG is already out, so the entire debate never really had much point besides the discussion itself.

Cheers, everyone.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Now you're changing the argument to why have FE in the first place.

The answer to that is Legacy, of course. The ranger, and its hunter offshoot in many games, have always been stalkers and slayers of particular enemies.

In 1e and 2e, these were 'giant class' humanoids; rangers were the good-aligned 'first line of defense' against the enemies of civilization, virtually every class of humanoids this side of xvarts and kobolds.

The ability to choose any potential race or creature type as an enemy is a 3E invention.

The FR invention was to be able to further change to arcane spellcasters, divine spellcasters, or members of organizations, but the bonus became a morale bonus (presumably because you hate/despise/scorn them so much, you get a higher bonus then a master swordsman against them!)

==Aelryinth

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

The fighter's flaws are low skill points and only one good save. In short, his out of combat utility, and his defenses.

That's it. His combat utility is pretty well done in terms of versatility, although feats need to be revised so that when used by a fighter they become full class features.

Any other problems come from limitations on what all melees can do.

The fighter was designed to be a versatile soldier and weapon master. If that's what you are shooting for, he does it well.

As an adventurer? Not so much.

==Aelryinth


Aelryinth wrote:

If he knew them well it'd be knowledge skills.

Favored Enemies are things a ranger likes to hunt, track and kill. They are his preferred prey.

==Aelryinth

Perhaps you missed the portion where Favored Enemy gives a bonus on Knowledge checks versus his FE targets?

Which is fine, since most people do, it seems. =)

But that is a pretty good indicator that he does know a lot about the enemy he's facing.

That second sentence of yours is still correct, but it doesn't preclude Durinor from being right too.


Atarlost wrote:
Ranger: a guy defined by his racism

o.O Racist, or specialist? While the fighter specializes in using certain weapons, the ranger specializes in fighting different enemies. Hatred is not required, and hasn't been since 2nd edition.

The ranger approaches the whole "fighting" thing from a more focused perspective. The fighter brings a more universalist kit to fight any enemy, the ranger is all about who/what and where. This is a perfectly valid archetype for a combat class.


Hmm, so let me get this straight:

Using only Core, a Ranger chooses either TWF or Archery style and this is a relative weakness for the Ranger who chooses to use a two-handed weapon who gets no such style benefit. Guess what, a Fighter, even taking appropriate fighter bonus feats, is at a relative weakness if he chooses to specialize in wielding a dagger with no off-hand, compared to a Fighter who specializes in something like Greatswords. If a Core Only Ranger gets to pick only TWF or Archery style feats, you'd do best to either TWF or do Archery. Problem solved. Favored Enemies give specialty bonuses for targets while Fighter weapon training gives specialty bonuses for weapon types; A Ranger can pick up a Longsword, an Axe, a Mace, or any other weapon and they will all get the same bonus vs his Favored Enemy. By contrast, a Warrior is far more restricted because most weapons in a particular group deal the same kind of damage so if you specialize in Heavy Blades and you come up against DR/B or DR/P, you're kind of up pooper creek without a paddle; you can switch do a backup B or P weapon, but you don't get your nice specialty bonuses to it. But when using your trained weapons, they're good against any target. It's give and take.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Rynjin wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:

If he knew them well it'd be knowledge skills.

Favored Enemies are things a ranger likes to hunt, track and kill. They are his preferred prey.

==Aelryinth

Perhaps you missed the portion where Favored Enemy gives a bonus on Knowledge checks versus his FE targets?

Which is fine, since most people do, it seems. =)

But that is a pretty good indicator that he does know a lot about the enemy he's facing.

That second sentence of yours is still correct, but it doesn't preclude Durinor from being right too.

Oh, I was quite aware of it. You missed my point that FE does not grant just knowledge checks. At its heart it gives to hit and damage modifiers.

It's a killing skill, and so broadly useful that it works against creatures that the ranger has never met, using weapons and/or natural attacks the ranger has never faced, and does it all perfectly well.

In a 'real world', FE would be location based, or super-specialized, i.e. insects and spiders fighting doesn't tell you anything about worms or rat swarms, but they're all vermin. Ditto, there's absolutely nothing similar in how you fight a basilisk vs a griffon vs a fiendish scorpion, but they are all magical beasts.

FE should just be a subset of Favored Terrain, so you can choose a broad set of monsters based on the where instead of the what, or choose creatures that share a particular type (insects, giants, dragons, abyssal natives, natives of Hell, etc).

==Aelryinth


In a 'real world' FE would not be a class feature but a function of monster knowledges printed in the skills chapter.


Aelryinth wrote:

Oh, I was quite aware of it. You missed my point that FE does not grant just knowledge checks. At its heart it gives to hit and damage modifiers.

It's a killing skill

To an unimaginative player, it is merely a killing skill. A resourceful player can use it to avoid the FE, to know its desires and motivations to bargain with it, to know ways to discourage it from attacking the nearby village, and so forth. It can be used in many useful ways other than combat.


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Atarlost wrote:
MrSin wrote:
Atarlost wrote:
Fighter: (snip) well designed
You put those words in the same sentence...
The base design of the class with high modularity leveraging the general feat mechanic and a minimum of constraining fluff is good design. All it really needs is better saves and to be able to have noncombat skills. At least that's all it needs in core. Other books raised the bar for other martials, especially barbarian, to the point that the all books fighter needs a bit more than that.

I get where you are both coming from - the fighter is a good design concept but a flawed design implementation.

The modular design for huge amounts of customization is a great design idea. The restriction on skills and Will saves is a bad design decision.

Durinor wrote:
The Ranger doesn't get bonuses against his favoured enemy because he (necessarily) hates them, but because he knows them well.
Aelryinth wrote:
Favored Enemies are things a ranger likes to hunt, track and kill. They are his preferred prey.

These positions are not mutually exclusive. A ranger DOES study his favoured enemy, that is made clear. Whether he is motivated by hatred, curiosity, desire to defend his loved ones, or some other reason, is entirely up to the individual player to flesh out.

"I kill orcs because they butchered my family."
"I learned how to fight orcs because their marauding tribes are the nearest threat to my home."
"I'm fascinated by orcs, they are interesting creatures, regrettably they are less than reasonable subjects of study and frequently attack me, so I've had to learn how to kill them before they kill me."

These are all reasonable justifications for having favoured enemy (orcs), and only one implies actual hatred, and only one implies academic study.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dabbler wrote:

"I'm fascinated by orcs, they are interesting creatures, regrettably they are less than reasonable subjects of study and frequently attack me, so I've had to learn how to kill them before they kill me."

This is the sort of ranger you can see in any number of westerns - the hardened scout and Indian fighter who nonetheless has a great respect for his enemy, often more than he does for his own, more 'civilised' side.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Durinor wrote:

Here's the issue I have with the concept of a switch hitter - it depends on dropping your bow on the ground when an enemy closes to melee.

Is this something anyone would do in an actual game? I sounds to me like a very easy way to lose an expensive composite bow.

I've dropped my bows all the time. No one's running away with it, if they're dead. It's either that or invest in quickdraw.


What is so dumb about it? It certainly isn't the weakest. In core if you want to play a Ranger instead of a Fighter you trade a few feats that the fighter gets and some other abilities for...

4 more skill points per level

Substantially better skill list

+2 to +6 to your Reflex save and eventually Evasion and Improved Evasion

Animal Companion

A few spells per day that have got to be worth a feat. Compare just casting 3 Cure Spells to something like Toughness.

Access to healing spells for you to use healing magical items like wands.

Non-combat feats but feats nonetheless and some other abilities for out of combat utility and flavor:
Track, Swift Tracker, Endurance, Wild Empathy, Woodland Stride, Camo, Hide in Plain Sight and 4 Favored Terrains.

Feats without pre-reqs for "switch hitting."

Favored Enemy, Quarry/Improved Quarry and Master Hunter. Later built upon in other books and sources to be I REALLY FAVOR FIGHTING YOU U R DED LAWLZ.

At least it has a concept and then effectively does it in Core a lot better than anybody else. Unlike a Monk or Rogue.


And a huge perk of not having to meet prerequisites for your bonus feats.

That is huge -- and is very hard (if impossible) to overstate.


I think a Ranger with the quickdraw feat and the archery style and a wolf companion is a really worthy frontline warrior and even an excellent second line warrior if the party can only go in a single file through a dungeon or corridor.
Indeed the great amount of skills (compared to a standard warrior) available to a ranger makes him much more helpfull outside combat as well.
The favourite terrains give the ranger an edge while operating within those terrains, as well as the favourite enemies give an advantage against them.
And indeed rangers are survivalists and when my ranger got stranded on an island in the serpent skull campaign, he was able to feed the entire party with survival by taking 10 on his skill. We just needed another survivalist to keep the NPC's alive as well. So 2 providers for a party and NPC's totaling 10 people without spending rations is pretty badass in my book.
The only thing I find lacking is that the ranger always keeps his 1/2 movement penalty while foraging. I'd like to see an option of being able to travel at full speed, while foraging by having to beat a higher DC on the skill roll like track has.
And I wonder if you are able to travel while foraging on horseback?


1. As a mobile scout type you wouldn't carry a heavy and noisy shield despite its real advantage in any real combat so you may as well have 2 weapons! Also climbing/sneaking/casting often you want one hand free.. again best not to learn a 2H weapon.

2. Its based on tolkien.

3. Rangers are (originally) a worldwide tradition and your all schooled in the same style - like many professions its part of the cost of the learning. Try being a sniper and refusing to learn rifles, try being in infantry and refusing to learn machine guns, try being a judoka and kicking your opponents .. pretty sure you will be kicked out and never become a ... ranger. Basically tradition has its ups.. and its downs, but is sooooo worth it!

It makes no sense now that all classes are a grab bag to whimsy. It ignores the world, traditions and the notion you learnt your skills by apprenticeship or organized tradition (as opposed to educating yourself because you know the ENTIRE rules of the universe and can teach yourself). Its a contemporary view that doesn't fit in the world logic of dnd fantasy or even the logic of any world your not omniscient about.

Also if this world is any indication compare countries/people who follow strict educational paths and guidelines vs those that dont... its pretty much the difference between producing rangers or instead producing commoners with an inflated self worth and a BELIEF they have the skills of others. The hunters.. and the hunted !

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