Do you think rangers and fighters should've been merged?


General Discussion


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I've been thinking about the two classes, and while I have always liked the idea of wilderness warriors and animal companions (particularly the latter), it feels like almost every iteration of rangers tend to fall flat in terms of mechanics or flavor, and it seems like developers in most tabletops don't usually know which direction they want the ranger to go in if they do end up as standalone classes that would allow it to stand out without overshadowing the fighter or becoming inferior to it. If it ended up getting merged with the fighter class, it could give fighters some new options and abilities that would allow it to perform well outside of combat.


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No. Rangers just need some love. For whatever reason, they seem to be the forgotten class for the PF playtest. They were given few feats, only three paths of specialization (TWF, crossbows, and animal companion) and a trap based ability that is a trap for anyone to use.

I think if more effort was spent on them, the PF2 designers can come up with some interesting stuff.

Take snares. It seems like they wanted a non magical way to do this but ruined it by making it take very long to do, have weak effects, and cost money. But the idea of a martial area control player is interesting. Why not make snares a ranger only thing based on spell points. A limited form of magic that makes traps all over the battlefield that only takes an action or two? This could be fun, interesting, and different.


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Oh yeah, and Hunt target is weak. I think it would be better if it added a damage die (say d4) to all attacks you make against your chosen target. This would scale like sneak attack. The damage is lower as you have less restrictions that sneak attack (basically have to burn an action).


Hadn't considered this, and I doubt it'll make it in, but I'd actually be all for it. With how modular things are in 2E, you'd still be able to build just as fighter-y of a fighter, and I don't think it'd stop rangers being ranger-y. The shades of grey between are entirely reasonable to support.

It especially works now that rangers have dropped spellcasting.


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Why would you? Seriously?

Rangers have their own class lore that is sufficiently separate from Fighters and Druids to 'be their own class'.

I mean, we could probably reproduce ALL classes using just the main 4 of Fighter, Cleric, Rogue, and Wizard if we had to. There's really no reason that this needs to be done.


I like the ranger as a separate class.

I also like the class as written however I think it promotes a gamestyle that conflicts with most other classes and thus makes it not satisfying in most situations.

With the exception of crossbows being the only ranged weapon that is supported which has several reasons. First the ranger is supposed to benefit from multiple attacks, which he cannot when wielding a crossbow. Crossbows, as Abadars weapon, also are supposed to be the weapon of civilization which the ranger is opposed too in design.

Especially a ranger with snares and ranged weapons, he will often try to scout ahead and prepare the terrain so that coming encounters become easier. He will always try to hunt a target before combat starts.


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Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I got the impression that rangers got crossbows instead of bows because of the iconic's art (Harsk). So because a Dwarf was the iconic, and Dwarves look like of dumb with longbows, we get crossbow-wielding rangers.


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SuperSheep wrote:
I got the impression that rangers got crossbows instead of bows because of the iconic's art (Harsk). So because a Dwarf was the iconic, and Dwarves look like of dumb with longbows, we get crossbow-wielding rangers.

More ironic as rangers are martial classes with good training and crossbows were more or less peasants weapons that needed next to nothing to learn them.

Rangers should be exploiting bows not crossbows. Or both the same, but crossbow needs to be worse than bow as it is a simple weapon.


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I also like ranger as a separate class.

Though I understand the sentiment with it's current state; I'd like to see what else they come up with.

On a related note the Animal Companion feats could just be rolled into an Archetype so that anyone can take them. The same could be said of crossbow (Crossbowman) feats, and snare (Trapper) feats.

Choosing an class and a "base" archetype would make it easier for new players to create their characters, control future class feat bloat, and add a huge amount of options for experienced players, but I'm ranting a bit based on one of my earlier posts.


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I will never like the ranger using crossbow thing, ever. Rangers will always be composite long bow or short bow to me. the crossbow/dwarf ranger thing to me was always let's be different for the sake of being different and go against type for no good reason. the iconic ranger should have a an elf/human or half elf with a comp long or short bow. the crossbow is a soldier's weapon in my head, and the comp long or short bow is the ranger weapon.

it amuses me that even after all the iconic thing,that by far the most popular dwarf classes are cleric and fighter.


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I would like to see the spell point Ranger archetype they spoke of. The Ranger has never quite felt the same as it did in 1st Ed AD&D, I very much dislike the 2nd Ed AD&D one (all the others since have also been lacking, for me).


Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Expanding archetypes into a templating system feels very non-Pathfinder, but I'm not sure that's a bad thing.

I've always had a hate/hate relationship with class-based systems and templating is a natural way to get away from its problems. But I doubt we'll see that in this edition as it is too radical a departure.

Sadly there's just so much that we're kind of stuck with because this is an iteration on an existing system. Sadly if you want something radically improved you're probably looking at a different system.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

When I ran In Pale Mountain's Shadow, I had a party of 2 fighters, a ranger, and a cleric. The ranger not only held his own in combat in comparison to the fighters, but was probably the MVP of the group in combat (well, not counting the cleric's Heal).

Now, granted, this is 1 data point and is probably influenced by things such as luck of the dice and player tactics and so forth. Also, the ranger was the one to receive a magical weapon (a +1 short sword), so that helped his damage output somewhat (the one fighter was using a greatsword and the other was mainly using a shortbow).

In any case, while they may seem weak on paper (and I agree hunt target needs a little improvement), I do not think it is all doom-and-gloom for the ranger.

Also, please keep in mind that the devs have stated that there are a limited number feats in the playtest due to space restrictions and that there will be more for each Ancestry and Class in the final release.


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NemisCassander wrote:


I mean, we could probably reproduce ALL classes using just the main 4 of Fighter, Cleric, Rogue, and Wizard if we had to. There's really no reason that this needs to be done.

Actually, that might be kind of neat. Shrink it down by one even. You have a combat class base, a spellcasting class base, and a skills class base. Then all of the playable classes are archetypes of one of those three.

A fighter would be a combat base with an archetype that provides a bunch of combat feats.

A wizard would be a spellcasting base with an archetype that provides arcane spell list and prepared casting slots.

A ranger would be a combat base with an archetype for wilderness survival or animal companion or even an archetype that provides spellcasting from the primal list.

You could even re-create a magus class by taking a combat base and applying the archetype for arcane spell list and prepared casting slots that were used for the wizard.

A completely modular system for character creation.

Sounds cool in theory at least. Not so sure how well it would work in practice.


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If I were to merge ranger with anything, it would be rogue.


@OP - no.


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Honestly so far this incarnation of the ranger has done a lot to make me hate this playtest more, if possible:

- removed all iconic abilities of the class favoured enemy and terrain
- removed all magic support from one of the martial casters of the game
- animal companion is disappointing due to "balancing" and action economy
- removal of bow feats and style in favor of crossbows...
- new iconic ability locks the class solely in twin weapon figthing or archery (not supported)
- for further insult and injury longbows got tagged with the barrage b++*&*!@.. has anyone in the development staff EVER taken archery lesson before writing this idiocy? volley is used only for massed formations of archers shooting en masse in the enemy formation, not for a single archer sniping the enemies at much shorter ranges
- optional signature class ability is trapmaking... one of the most mediocre and usually narratively inappropriate choices, with traps being consumables, costing gold in a silver economy and being utterly mediocre

Essentially everything I liked from PF1 of the class has been utterly dismantled to be replaced with all the most mediocre alternatives awailable in the archetipes... not the class I want...
but after all the other lemons we got compared to the hipe of the previews there's nothing to be surprised


No one complained about rangers in the PF1 forums, so paizo assumed that on one cared about them. And even though fighters are the kings of martials, they still complain about not being good enough. Thus, they'll get even stronger and ranger's will be the "special needs" class of the martials. At least they can get a companion animal.

But seriously, my players and myself are all very disappointed with the current state of rangers.


WhiteMagus2000 wrote:
No one complained about rangers in the PF1 forums, so paizo assumed that on one cared about them. And even though fighters are the kings of martials, they still complain about not being good enough. Thus, they'll get even stronger and ranger's will be the "special needs" class of the martials.

Yeah, something similar seems to have happened with the 5th Ed Ranger.


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BluLion wrote:
I've been thinking about the two classes ...

The Ranger in PF1 is one of my favourite classes - and I want him back. Not as a Fighter in green cloak, but as himself.

Rangers Unite!
:-)

But, I get what you mean, though it's not for me.


Vic Ferrari wrote:
WhiteMagus2000 wrote:
No one complained about rangers in the PF1 forums, so paizo assumed that on one cared about them. And even though fighters are the kings of martials, they still complain about not being good enough. Thus, they'll get even stronger and ranger's will be the "special needs" class of the martials.
Yeah, something similar seems to have happened with the 5th Ed Ranger.

Well, it did get (un)offcial rewrite in UA.

Guess the ranger is so complex class that in every edition it need 2 or 3 prints to get out right.


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Igor Horvat wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
WhiteMagus2000 wrote:
No one complained about rangers in the PF1 forums, so paizo assumed that on one cared about them. And even though fighters are the kings of martials, they still complain about not being good enough. Thus, they'll get even stronger and ranger's will be the "special needs" class of the martials.
Yeah, something similar seems to have happened with the 5th Ed Ranger.

Well, it did get (un)offcial rewrite in UA.

Guess the ranger is so complex class that in every edition it need 2 or 3 prints to get out right.

Granted, it seems not a lot of groups or dms like managing exploration or do it well, so often times it tends to get glossed over, which sucks since that's generally one of the ranger's main strengths. It's either the exploration abilities are too situational and glossed over, or (in the case of the UA version of natural explorer in 5e) it is basically an auto win in exploration, which causes exploration to be handwaved in a different way.

That, and a lot of the iconic ranger abilities tend to be situational compared to other classes.

Favored enemy: Either a guessing game, you make the DM either spoil parts of his campaign, or the dm has to accommodate the situational nature of that ability. Or you just pick the typically most commonly faced enemies, such as people.

Favored terrain: Same with favored enemy, except depending on where the campaign is going, it can either change in usefulness more than enemies, or change less so.

Even the new hunt target is situational in that it's only worth it against tanky enemies that can survive numerous rounds of attacks.

I feel like they should've just allowed rangers to prepare favored enemies or terrain each night or let them swap them out fairly easily to better play into the whole wilderness warrior and hunter aspects.


I'd rather merge Fighters and Rogues, as they're the only ones traditionally barred from any spellcasting core-rulebook-wise. The one and only "No Extra Subsystem Class" to be exact.


I think they should be merged, but only if level 1 archetypes are made a thing. They aren't much more than a nature themed fighter character, and I'd prefer that theme be available to a druid rogue or fighter type rather than stuck on a class that always seems like its built from leftovers.

Ranger got replaced with slayer and hunter for me in PF1. Pushing a little further one way or the other really helped the class style and I think PF2's structure leaves that path open to archetypes. But nobody should be stuck playing an incomplete character at 1st level, so 1st level archetypes need to come back for this to work at all.

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