Ranger - my first playtest


Classes


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No spoilers.

For Doomsday Dawn, second chapter (level 4 character).

Knowing it was subuoptimal, I still wanted to try a ranger with a long composite bow.

I struggled to find ANY class feats that interested me, so I wound up with Animal Companion and Favored Aim (even though it feels like a trap). I wanted an eagle AC for flavor but it looked mechanically unsound so I went with Bear. I really felt like I was forced into this option to have any chance to be combat capable.

So Bear it is. I named him Dipper. I named me Argren Algosel (don't anybody check for anagrams in my name).

I bought him barding and he wound up with an AC of 16 (which is 6 points lower than mine) and he has 36 HP (which is 12 lower than mine and I have a CON of 10 for no bonus; our monk has 64 HP).

Thoughts so far:
Lack of bow feats for Ranger. There is a crossbow feat but crossbows need to waste an action on reloading and our primary class feature (Hunt Target) also requires actions so a ranger who reloads a crossbow will NEVER, EVER, EVER use Hunt Target.

Animal Companions are weak. OK, they're supposed to be but the game mechanics and math make them unusable. More on that later.

Barding is a money-sink. Not getting it makes the Animal Companion even weaker, but getting it means spending cash on a class feature. I'm never a fan of spending cash on class features (it's unfair to these classes when other classes get ALL class features for free).

OK, so off to the adventure we go.

The first battle, I'm in Exploration Mode sneaking ahead of the group a little. My bear scents danger so I send him ahead a bit to see what's there. Three enemies attack him and mostly miss - he takes a little damage but not too bad so I command him to stay there while I move to line up a shot and put ONE arrow into an enemy. (note: didn't use Hunt Target). Next round, two of those three enemies clobber my bear. He has 6 HP left. The GM takes pity on me and has the one I shot ignore the bear and charge to me (even though the arrow did 4 points of damage and the Maul did 6).

Note. That was PITY. The GM should have had this enemy kill my bear. Three actions should have killed it. He knew it and I knew it and even my bear knew it.

The rest of the group catches up and we finish off those enemies.

My bear should have died. It only lived because of GM Pity. This means I should have spent the entire rest of the adventure without that class feature, which also means without half of my damage output.

Another note: My bear needed 3x more healing than the entire rest of the party. This makes him a drain on party healing resources.

Second encounter. Having learned from the first encounter, I am no longer scouting ahead. Forget that I'm a freaking ranger with a freaking SCOUT background. I can't afford to scout. So I am trying to be stealthy just 30 feet away from my party and my GM is pretending that the cleric in clunky metal armor only 30' away is not breaking my Stealth. I make a perception check and find the second encounter at the same time it finds me.

Now, if I were GMing, I might have considered making the encounter target my bear (we were side by side). He has this encounter focus all its attention on me because I have more HP and way more AC. I survive the initial attack and take my first round. I move my bear to be next to the target I want to hunt. Then I fire two arrows. (I did not use Hunt Target because then I would have only been able to fire one arrow). One hit and the bear gets to maul. Yay for a total of 8 damage (bad rolls). The monk runs up and attacks once for 15 damage (average roll).

Note: If my bear had died in the first encounter, I wouldn't have even done 8 damage.

In the next round, the encounter backs off for spoiler reasons so I move my bear and use Favored Aim to ignore screening. I got a hit and a maul for 10 total damage (average). The monk moved once and hit twice for about 30 damage ending the encounter.

For reasons not mentioned here (spoilers), my bear again took the most damage and required the most healing.

Final thoughts:

Two fights in, never had a chance to use Hunt Target. I may never use it. That means my one unique class feature is pretty close to worthless.
I used Favored Aim one time but, really, my damage probability might have been mathematically similar if I just fired two arrows. I still think it's a trap feat but there really wasn't anything else.
Our monk is reasonably able to triple my damage with average rolls compared to my average rolls.

Most Importantly:
The ranger has an almost mandatory class feature (Animal Companion) that costs money, drains ranger combat actions, drains daily party resources (healing) and can be removed very easily (by combat damage). I reiterate: to use this class feature, it must move into melee range but then it gets beat to death. It takes a week to replace it. While it's dead the ranger will be without this class feature and therefore doing much lower combat damage.

Sure, I could have chosen a different feat instead of Animal Companion. But there was nothing better and this is the ONLY way to have any chance to keep up with the damage output of the other characters. Not taking the Animal Companion would have gimped this class. With him, I did a total of 28 damage the whole day but would only have been 15 without the bear. (The monk did 30 damage in ONE round without a critical and with fairly average damage rolls).

My default class feature was unused (Hunt Target) and my optional but nearly mandatory class feature (Animal Companion) was more of a burden than a benefit.

Finally, I don't think any other class has a major class feature that can be removed by a lucky (or unlucky) roll of a die.


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Thanks for the post, Legolas.

The more people who point out how bad the Ranger plays, the better the upgrade...I'm hoping.

Some tips:

1) You can use Hunt Target even if you "hear'" the target. So try getting the GM to let you use Perception pre-init to hear and assign Hunt Target.

2) In any situation in which you have a potential adversary....assign Hunt Target to the most likely thing you'll fight on sight, pre-init. This can save you an action if the diplomacy rolls critically fail.

3) At low level, Work Together with the Bear is statistically better because you're getting an extra d8 for each attack versus the bear getting a d6 if you go agile claw. This is especially true once you get a magic bow. True, the bear's agile claw is only at -3 to hit (if it's a Hunt Target), but if your to-hit bonuses are more than +1 higher than the bear, you're more likely to hit...and crit...and get Deadly tossed in here.

I ran combat stats on my PFS adventures. I got like 83 points of damage over three encounters compared to the Paladin's 233. That was with me criting like three times and the Paladin forgetting to use Retributive Strike at least 3 times. I used Hunt Target, but I don't know that it allowed me to hit even once.

I have to agree that the bear is the only combat option. I think the Cat could work with a melee-sword using build, but I haven't cared enough to figure it out.


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Yeah, maybe I was not clear that I was using Work Together with little Dipper so he was "Maul"ing for a d8 with each of my hits rather than biting or clawing with his own attacks.

In our first two encounters I never even had a chance to use Hunt Target. Since it gives no benefit on my first attack, he only time it matters is if I'm going to have two remaining actions AFTER I use Hunt Target. Which means I can't shoot or command Dipper.

(Yes, that's an astronomical name for a bear.)

(Oh, I see you anagrammed one of my names even though I told you not to... :) )

So if I have a round where I get to stand still and Dipper is already in place, then I can Hunt Target and fire two arrows. Or, if the monster is big and tough I can move Dipper, use Hunt Target, fire one arrow this round and have a decent expectation to fire two or three arrows next round at it.

That didn't happen in the first two encounters. Small sample size, I know, so I'll keep hoping to use it.

I'm wishing I had a version of Retributive Strike. I'd call it Retaliatory Shot which gives me a reaction attack whenever anything beats up my companion. Maybe if I could rewrite the class. Actually, I'm usually the GM (it's write there in my forum name) so maybe I will make a house rule or two if it goes live in its current state:

1. Get rid of Hunt Target because it's pathetically weak even if I can ever use it.
2. Make Animal Companion the core class ability instead of a feat.
3. Maybe I would put Hunt Target back as an optional Ranger feat but I would probably just give it a +1 attack bonus to all attacks (which is only a tiny improvement but makes it useful on the first shot too).
4. Make Retaliatory Strike a Class feat available at a fairly low level. Maybe even make it include the benefit if Hunt Target if already designated or make it a free action to designate Hunt Target if you have both feats and a Retaliatory Strike is triggered.

Those changes would give Rangers a useful core ability (may need to modify some of the animal companions to make them more appealing) and would make Hunt Target actually useful instead of letting it be a trap option.

Just spitballing.


N N 959 wrote:

Some tips:

1) You can use Hunt Target even if you "hear'" the target. So try getting the GM to let you use Perception pre-init to hear and assign Hunt Target.

I'm not sure the rules support this, but I don't have the book or pdf available right now to check.

I was under the impression that we don't take combat actions in Exploration mode. Is there any rule you know of that contradicts that impression?

I'm sure my GM would go for it even if it's a bit of a house-rule. He agrees that the Ranger is action-starved. But we're not using any house rules for the play test.


DM_Blake wrote:
N N 959 wrote:

Some tips:

1) You can use Hunt Target even if you "hear'" the target. So try getting the GM to let you use Perception pre-init to hear and assign Hunt Target.

I'm not sure the rules support this, but I don't have the book or pdf available right now to check

The rules do not explicitly restrict when a Ranger can designate a Target. There's nothing that precludes you from walking up to any random person or creature and using Hunt Target on them. It's not an attack and doesn't require that init be rolled. So any encounter in which there is even a possibility that you might targeting something, you can declare it your Target.

Hunt Target wrote:
Requirements You can see or hear the target.

Any time the GM said we heard creatures in the next room, I asked that this be my Target. The GM obliged, the only problem was that if there were multiple creatures, he was picking my target at random.


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DM_Blake wrote:


1. Get rid of Hunt Target because it's pathetically weak even if I can ever use it.
2. Make Animal Companion the core class ability instead of a feat.
3. Maybe I would put Hunt Target back as an optional Ranger feat but I would probably just give it a +1 attack bonus to all attacks (which is only a tiny improvement but makes it useful on the first shot too).
4. Make Retaliatory Strike a Class feat available at a fairly low level. Maybe even make it include the benefit if Hunt Target if already designated or make it a free action to designate Hunt Target if you have both feats and a Retaliatory Strike is triggered.

Those changes would give Rangers a useful core ability (may need to modify some of the animal companions to make them more appealing) and would make Hunt Target actually useful instead of letting it be a trap option.

Just spitballing.

The Ranger, imo, needs an overhaul. I've been working on a write-up, but it's taking time and I'm having trouble finding the motivation to work on it without some feedback from Paizo about what they are willing to redo.

To touch on some of my thoughts:

1) Paizo needs to fix Tracking. The Ranger needs to have its thematic purpose addressed. By that, I mean Tracking. Paizo needs to fix Tracking so that it is a lot more generally useful. For example, under Tracking, the rulebook should state that "almost all creatures leave tracks around the area they inhabit, whether they travel by foot, burrow, fly, swim, or teleport." Tracking allows player to find those tracks and acquire information.

2) Tracking becomes the pivot for a Ranger. Ranger should get a Tracking feat. Tracking should be the catalyst for a host of Ranger benefits, including Init bonus, Recall Knowledge checks, number of creatures in an area, health status, etc. It should be skill that is potential useful in all environments/terrains and then allow the Ranger to get bonuses if in natural terrains.

3) Explore ditching the animal companion altogether I love the animal companion in 1e, but in 2e, it feels like nothing but a mechanic and vehicle for damage. As such, it's extremely problematic. The companions are not equally useful for combat and Paizo is trying to have them do double duty for Rangers and Druids. This creates even more fairness issues. Aside from the combat aspect, it puts a huge burden on the GM with regards to adjudication. There's way too much table variation with these things and how they operate. The Ranger needs something to replace them, not sure what that is.

4) Bring back spells The problem with spells in 1e, is how they were implemented. As such, there were probably the most underutilized aspect of the Ranger. What spells did open up was wands and scrolls. To fix spells, Rangers should get a unique mechanics: Spontaneous casting of any spell on the primal magic list. Keep the number of spells extremely limited, like ONE form levels 1-4. But allow them to cast any spell on the level list. This gives Rangers a tremendous amount of flexibility without it being overpowered or game breaking.

5) Stop making the Ranger choose between combat and theme It seems pretty obvious that Paizo is trying to make the 2e Ranger design allow players to build the Ranger or the Slayer. By pulling out a lot of the thematic abilities e.g. Wild Empathy, Swift Tracker, and putting them into class feats, Paizo thinks that they are enabling a player to go Ranger or Slayer. In essence, players can opt out of being a Ranger and go full Slayer. The problem is that this results in a class that feels neither like a Ranger or a Slayer. Worse, the thematic abilities, in no way compensate for the loss of combat effectiveness. Neither Swift Tracker nor Wild Empathy are as valuable as Full Grown Companion.

5a) Make a class that appeals to those who played Ranger in 1e.. Paizo needs to stop trying to make this class fulfill the Slayer space. Make this class the best Ranger that it can be. Put back all of the thematic abilities. This argument is similar to the posters who are talking about Paths. The Path choice for a Ranger should be how it is going to fight, not whether it will be a Ranger or a Slayer.

6) Theme based abilities need to do something useful Trackless Step is entirely pointless/worthless. Ranger Background feats like Survey Wild Life, or Forager, serve almost no purpose in the game, or, are so rare and circumstantial that spells or items trivialize them.

7) Hunt Target... From people who have actually played the class, I have seen zero support for this ability. Theory crafters show up and try to convince everyone that a +1 on a 2nd attack some kind of world beating ability. The problem is that HT has become the fabric that Paizo has wrapped the entire class into. If you look at the design, Paizo has gone whole hog into the concept that "the ranger is first and foremost a hunter." That paradigm shift for the Ranger has led to a bunch of feats that are designed to support this paradigm. So it's not just a matter of fixing Hunt Target, it's about what is Paizo doing with this class. If they are willing to back off the Hunter mindset, then we have a lot mroe options. If Paizo is determined to shove the Hunter down our throats then the best we can hope for is to make HT give us a big bonus on the first attack.


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Update.

Still with spoilers.

Finished the adventure.

I was weakly effective vs. the manticore. Our monk tried to fly up to it but got pinned. That slowed down his progress but he eventually got there and killed it fast with his magical handwraps. As for me, I finally got to use HT since all I was doing was shooting one target round after round after round. There was never a time when I hit the manticore because of the HT bonus, and my bear was a non-factor (obviously) so I was basically dishing out about 1d8+1 HP per round, on average.

Killing the remaining gnolls wasn't too bad. The druid and monk got into melee so my bear, little Dipper, could get up there too and not draw aggro. My damage went up, but never got to use Hunt Target because I was using an action each round on Dipper. Easy fight.

We rested. Two fights, one hard and one easy, was our adventuring day.

We fought the water and earth elemental and it looked like a TPK. The GM kept rolling critical hits. My first round I ate 44 damage leaving me with 2 hp but luckily it pushed me out of its reach or it would have killed me with its next action. We were a bit scattered and our cleric was drowning (low Athletics plus AC penalties makes it hard to swim in the water elemental's maelstrom). We managed to kill it and nobody died, then the earth elemental wasn't hard to finish off.

On the positive side, I really got to uses Hunt Target again. One big obvious target that I got to shoot lots of times and Dipper stayed out in the hallway so I wasn't spending an action on my animal companion. I even scored one hit that would have been a miss without HT. The downside is that many of my rounds I did less than 5 total damage: 0, 2, 3, and 5. four rounds, 12 shots. Ranged damage without the animal companion is awful. A few other rounds I did better (hit twice) but averaging 5.5 damage per shot means even hitting twice amounted to 10 or 12 damage.

Then we rested. Our adventuring day was just one encounter.

We felt like we were running out of time so we decided to skip the fire room and come back if we had to. We never did.

We managed to brute force the puzzle. Yes, we assumed we could get the devices we needed if we fought elementals in the fire room but we assumed we would need to rest again afterward. Compared to losing a whole day for one fight, losing 4 or 5 hours solving the puzzle seemed joyfully fast and much less risky. And it worked.

The mummies were obvious so we shot them from the hall and fought them in a choke point. Easy fight. Dipper didn't have room to help so I was the 1d8+1 guy again and never managed to use Hunt Target, they died too fast for it to matter and it's useless when fighting multiple weak enemies.

The rest was just wrapping it up.

Overall view of the ranger:

I sucked almost all the time. The druid sucked just about as much. The monk and cleric were the stars of this show.

I only used Hunt Target in two fights and it only benefitted a single shot so it was a non-factor. My core ability, used once in the entire adventure.

My animal companion was virtually forced on me. He should have died in the first battle. The FIRST battle. It was only GM mercy that kept him alive. If he died, I would have lost a class feature. I don't think any other class is so easily at risk of losing a class feature so easily. Some fights he couldn't participate, other fights I held him back so he wouldn't die - in those fights I didn't have my class feature. When I did use him, he sometimes needed more healing than the PCs.

With Hunt Target being worthless and my Animal Companion being a fragile damage-sponge that consumes party healing resources, I felt almost like I was a common peasant with a bow.

I would not play an archery-based ranger again in this system or recommend it to any player, ever, without a huge rewrite.

Grand Lodge

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Thanks for the write-up. My favorite character to play in RPGs is an Elven Ranger w/ a longbow and I was very disappointed with the PFS2 ranger. I'm playing a 1st level ranger in the PFS playtest...and it doesn't feel like the rangers I'm used to playing. When building it, I had a hard time choosing the class feat...couldn't understand why there was a crossbow feat at first level but none for a regular bow...and then the volley penalty placed on longbows really irked me as I couldn't understand why they'd make that pretty much obsolete. Also couldn't understand why most of the good ranged feats were moved to fighters as opposed to rangers...

As written, I have no interest in playing a PFS2 ranger as currently written...and since that's my favorite PC to play, I'll have little interest in PFS2, at least in its playtest form...


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I have to agree with you. With today’s update it is clear they have no intentions to make any drastic, but needed changes to this class. As such, this edition is probably not for me. Maybe things will change as the play test goes on. Time will tell. Unfortunately I believe there are others like me that will just check in every now and then to see if there have been any changes, leaving Paizo with little more than an echo chamber for feedback.


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Did you notice that the Ranger Multi-class Archetype is even more useless than the Ranger? You get Hunt Target ONCE A DAY and it grants NO DECREASE TO MAP AT ALL.

What reason is there for anyone to get this?

The Fighter Dedication gives the same weapon and armor proficiencies and a better class feature.

The Rogue Dedication gives you matter skill proficiency options and a better class feature.

And the ANY-OTHER-THAN-THIS-ONE Dedication gives you a better class feature and better feat choices over all.

So once again, what can the ranger do that is actually better than any other class? Tracking?


Fennris wrote:
I have to agree with you. With today’s update it is clear they have no intentions to make any drastic, but needed changes to this class.

I thought the new style feats were actually a pretty good step, as they offset the action cost of Hunt Target at first and grant good benefits later on.

Animal companions and snares need lots of work, but at least you get to use your main feature now.


LordVanya wrote:
Did you notice that the Ranger Multi-class Archetype is even more useless than the Ranger? You get Hunt Target ONCE A DAY and it grants NO DECREASE TO MAP AT ALL.

What? Jaysus. "You get access to this ability, it does the following: spend 1 action and get a free Recall Knowledge (and the ability to use two feats you can't have yet)."


Draco18s wrote:
LordVanya wrote:
Did you notice that the Ranger Multi-class Archetype is even more useless than the Ranger? You get Hunt Target ONCE A DAY and it grants NO DECREASE TO MAP AT ALL.
What? Jaysus. "You get access to this ability, it does the following: spend 1 action and get a free Recall Knowledge (and the ability to use two feats you can't have yet)."

The free Knowledge is part of the Monster Hunter feat.


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Ediwir wrote:
Fennris wrote:
I have to agree with you. With today’s update it is clear they have no intentions to make any drastic, but needed changes to this class.

I thought the new style feats were actually a pretty good step, as they offset the action cost of Hunt Target at first and grant good benefits later on.

Animal companions and snares need lots of work, but at least you get to use your main feature now.

I think you're overlooking the fact that now, a Ranger is being compelled to take/use either of the two feats and then focus on the Target to the exclusion of all other targets. Now, a Ranger who does not use Hunt Target and Hunted Shot, is doing horrible damage. Now, you don't have any combat flexibility. Once a Ranger has chosen its Target, the Ranger has to stay on the target until its dead. That sound like a Ranger to you? Do you really think being straddled with such single-minded attack mechanics is going to be fun long term?

Consider the flip side, if a GM has an NPC Ranger and it targets an PC, the GM is going to focus on that PC and no one else. No one.

A Ranger should not be so completely tied to a single target in every combat. However, I fear the min/maxers will now converge on this class and Paizo will consider it a success.


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On the one hand, the new feats make Hunt Target not entirely useless. OTOH as you say, there's nothing else to take and all other Ranger features are rubbish. I suspect they have a policy of making small incremental changes that won't completely invalidate previous rules or risk breaking the game the other way, noting how tightly it's balanced.

So maybe they'll get there in the end?

But personally, I'd be happy to see Hunt Target and Snares both die in a fire.


Ediwir wrote:
Draco18s wrote:
LordVanya wrote:
Did you notice that the Ranger Multi-class Archetype is even more useless than the Ranger? You get Hunt Target ONCE A DAY and it grants NO DECREASE TO MAP AT ALL.
What? Jaysus. "You get access to this ability, it does the following: spend 1 action and get a free Recall Knowledge (and the ability to use two feats you can't have yet)."
The free Knowledge is part of the Monster Hunter feat.

...Yes, yes it is. That's the entire point of my post. That's the only part that ranger archetypes get of Hunt Target. The other benefits are explicitly called out as not applying by the Ranger Dedication archetype feat.


N N 959 wrote:
Ediwir wrote:
Fennris wrote:
I have to agree with you. With today’s update it is clear they have no intentions to make any drastic, but needed changes to this class.

I thought the new style feats were actually a pretty good step, as they offset the action cost of Hunt Target at first and grant good benefits later on.

Animal companions and snares need lots of work, but at least you get to use your main feature now.

I think you're overlooking the fact that now, a Ranger is being compelled to take/use either of the two feats and then focus on the Target to the exclusion of all other targets. Now, a Ranger who does not use Hunt Target and Hunted Shot, is doing horrible damage. Now, you don't have any combat flexibility. Once a Ranger has chosen its Target, the Ranger has to stay on the target until its dead. That sound like a Ranger to you? Do you really think being straddled with such single-minded attack mechanics is going to be fun long term?

Consider the flip side, if a GM has an NPC Ranger and it targets an PC, the GM is going to focus on that PC and no one else. No one.

A Ranger should not be so completely tied to a single target in every combat. However, I fear the min/maxers will now converge on this class and Paizo will consider it a success.

While I agree that Ranger needs a lot of work, remember that you can change the target of your Hunt Target. Yes, it does take an action, but at least now that action spent is somewhat helped by the two new feats (ignoring the problem that not everyone would want to take those feats). Later on, you can even take same class feats to be able to apply your Hunt Target to more than one target. So in terms of having to focus on one target only, I'm not sure if it's as bleak as you think. :)


Draco18s wrote:
Ediwir wrote:
Draco18s wrote:
LordVanya wrote:
Did you notice that the Ranger Multi-class Archetype is even more useless than the Ranger? You get Hunt Target ONCE A DAY and it grants NO DECREASE TO MAP AT ALL.
What? Jaysus. "You get access to this ability, it does the following: spend 1 action and get a free Recall Knowledge (and the ability to use two feats you can't have yet)."
The free Knowledge is part of the Monster Hunter feat.
...Yes, yes it is. That's the entire point of my post. That's the only part that ranger archetypes get of Hunt Target. The other benefits are explicitly called out as not applying by the Ranger Dedication archetype feat.

No.

You do not get the feat automatically.

All you get is a 1/day use of Hunt Target, which will grant you Perception and Survival bonuses against the target and the ability to trigger future ranger feats.

(Don’t have the pdf with me, but pretty sure that’s the full list)

Also, note how the following feat allows you to use Hunt Target unlimited time, but it specifies that it is the one granted by the multiclass, not the full version.


DM_Blake wrote:

Update.

I only used Hunt Target in two fights and it only benefitted a single shot so it was a non-factor. My core ability, used once in the entire adventure.

Hunt Target persists across combat rounds. In fact, if needed it can persist until daily preparations at the start of the next day.

Which isn't long enough to be used for multiple days of tracking a fleeing enemy, but it is certainly long enough to be useful in combat.

Yeah. It costs one action - preferably as early in the fight as possible. But then the benefits last until that target is dead.


breithauptclan wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:

Update.

I only used Hunt Target in two fights and it only benefitted a single shot so it was a non-factor. My core ability, used once in the entire adventure.

Hunt Target persists across combat rounds. In fact, if needed it can persist until daily preparations at the start of the next day.

Which isn't long enough to be used for multiple days of tracking a fleeing enemy, but it is certainly long enough to be useful in combat.

Yeah. It costs one action - preferably as early in the fight as possible. But then the benefits last until that target is dead.

I haven't started Doomsday yet (going to soon) and I haven't read it because I don't want any spoilers. How many monsters have enough HP that spending the 1 action for Hunt Target would be useful? My fear was that I would spend an action for Hunt Target and that monster would be dead before my next turn. Though now, that concern is, for the most part, allayed due to the new 1.3 feats.


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I don't think the purpose of playtesting is served if you avoid using feats and mechanics.
If it doesn't work well in situations, that is important result to be reported, but if you avoided it you can't report that actual result.


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breithauptclan wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:

Update.

I only used Hunt Target in two fights and it only benefitted a single shot so it was a non-factor. My core ability, used once in the entire adventure.

Hunt Target persists across combat rounds. In fact, if needed it can persist until daily preparations at the start of the next day.

Which isn't long enough to be used for multiple days of tracking a fleeing enemy, but it is certainly long enough to be useful in combat.

Yeah. It costs one action - preferably as early in the fight as possible. But then the benefits last until that target is dead.

I don't think there is any complaint from anyone about it's duration.

The duration is fine, it's the action economy and the concept that is the problem.

It only takes one action to use Hunt Target, yes.
However, most other martials gain a direct improvement to their strikes that do not require an extra action.
Nor does it benefit your first strike in a round.
And then you also have to account for the fact that the other martials are not bogged down by feats that compete with the primary class feature for actions

Even with the new feats it is still not a worth ability for a martial class.


breithauptclan wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:

Update.

I only used Hunt Target in two fights and it only benefitted a single shot so it was a non-factor. My core ability, used once in the entire adventure.

Hunt Target persists across combat rounds. In fact, if needed it can persist until daily preparations at the start of the next day.

I don't consider "Use Hunt Target" to mean "activate the skill". I consider it to mean "Fire a second shot at a hunted target so that I actually get to use the -4 MAP instead of -5."

Most of my first rounds went:
Action 1: Move my animal companion to the biggest scariest enemy
Action 2: Shoot that enemy
Action 3: Shoot that enemy

Note that if I used Hunt Target on action 2 or 3, I would only fire one shot so my best chance to maximize my damage in round 1 is to fire two shots, not one shot.

Then most of my second rounds went:
Action 1: If that enemy is still alive and still where it was last round, then I don't need to move the AC so use Hunt Target. If that enemy is dead or if it moved, then Move my animal companion to the biggest scariest enemy
Action 2: Shoot that enemy
Action 3: Shoot that enemy - Maybe this is the first time I got to actually use Hunt Target

But, really, in most of the combats the enemies were moving or dying often enough that my second round involved moving my animal companion.

A couple of the fights saw the first enemy still alive and still next to my animal companion, so I got to use Hunt Target on the third action.

My third round was sometimes a repeat of my second round but, by now, the target in my first round was surely dead, either in round 1 or 2, so by round 3 I often had a repeat of my first round.

I think there were exactly four times I activated, three times I used it, and one time I exactly hit (meaning I would have missed without Hunt Target).

To put that in perspective, my one core class feature (not feats) that all rangers get gave me 2d8+1 damage through the entire adventure.

breithauptclan wrote:
Yeah. It costs one action - preferably as early in the fight as possible. But then the benefits last until that target is dead.

But, you don't get the benefit in the first round so there's no point using it yet because you can do more damage without using it. You might not get it in the second round if the target moved or died so there's no point using it. You might not get it in the third round if the enemy moved or died, so there's no point using it. Etc.

It worked. I got three shots with it and one of them hit. 2d8+1. Yay?

I remain underwhelmed. Overwhelmingly underwhelmed.


Quandary wrote:

I don't think the purpose of playtesting is served if you avoid using feats and mechanics.

If it doesn't work well in situations, that is important result to be reported, but if you avoided it you can't report that actual result.

I activated Hunt Target 4 times.

The entire rest of the time I evaluated the situation and decided it would reduce my damage potential in that round so opted for the better chance of more damage.

Of those four activations, one was wasted, two missed, one hit. I even beat the odds, hitting 33% of my actual shots that applied Hunt Target which only gives a benefit of 20%. Yay for beating the odds.

This is not a case of me "avoiding" it.

In fact, I read all the ranger posts before I made the class. I knew it would be a weak option because other people reported it and my own reading of the class supported what they said.

But I made it anyway and tried to optimize and I literally considered using it in every round of every combat. I WANTED it to work.

It simply didn't.


Good news: it should work now if you're using a bow or two weapon fighting.


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Ediwir wrote:

No.

You do not get the feat automatically.

I didn't say you get the feat, I said you get to USE the feat (assuming you HAVE it, which when you take Ranger Dedication you don't) due to the requirements of the feat (it only works against your Hunt Target, so you have to use Hunt Target in order to use the feat).

Me wrote:
(and the ability to use two feats you can't have yet)
Quote:
All you get is a 1/day use of Hunt Target, which will grant you Perception and Survival bonuses against the target and the ability to trigger future ranger feats.

WOW, PERCEPTION AND SURVIVAL BONUSES. SO GOOD.

That's literally the one part of Hunt Target no one gives a s++@ about because it's literally worthless: there are no situations were you get to designate your target outside of combat and very few situations that have combat resolve with your target getting away from you and forcing you to track it down again.

Sometimes you can get a GM to let you designate your target before rolling initiative, but that's not an always-on thing.

Quote:
(Don’t have the pdf with me, but pretty sure that’s the full list)

It is.

Quote:
Also, note how the following feat allows you to use Hunt Target unlimited time, but it specifies that it is the one granted by the multiclass, not the full version.

Yes. And wasn't really relevant to the compliant.

The complaint is that the primary benefit and use of Hunt Target is to reduce the Multi-Attack Penalty, the one thing a multiclass ranger does not get, ever.

The fact that Double Slice Twin Takedown and Hunted Shot rely on Hunt Target just makes it worse.


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Pramxnim wrote:
Good news: it should work now if you're using a bow or two weapon fighting.

If that is what has to be said in advocation of a class's primary class feature, then it is deeply flawed indeed.


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Pramxnim wrote:
Good news: it should work now if you're using a bow or two weapon fighting.

What if you are using a two hander? What if you throw axes? What if you like a one-handed open style?

Paizo's trying to patch up the feats that depend on Hunt Target, rather than actually fixing the source of the problem.

Look, if you simply up the damage enough on any class the min/maxers are going to show up and say how great the class is. I could live with mediocre damage. I don't play the Ranger because I expect to do more damage than the Fighter/Barbarian/etc. I play the class because it lends itself to a tactical/cunning fighter. Single-target skills don't represent tactical or cunning, in fact they are the opposite of tactical. Paizo has made it so that you can't justify attacking anything but your target. That's an improvement?


N N 959 wrote:
But they didn't fix Hunt Target.

That. That right there is the essence of my point.


Draco18s wrote:

Yes. And wasn't really relevant to the compliant.

The complaint is that the primary benefit and use of Hunt Target is to reduce the Multi-Attack Penalty, the one thing a multiclass ranger does not get, ever.

The fact that Double Slice Twin Takedown and Hunted Shot rely on Hunt Target just makes it worse.

I have a different perspective. If you like the PF2 Ranger, the real benefit of 1.3 is not that Paizo suddenly made Hunt Target's MAP reduction useful, the benefit is that a Ranger is simply getting Rapid Shot and TWF a la PF1. HT's MAP reduction is a paltry benefit. Essentially it improves your damage by 5% on your second attack, so about 2.5% over all. But with HS/TT you're getting a free second attack so long as you used HT first. So the real benefit is that you're always getting another attack, not that you're getting a +1 to hit on it.

I know this is not going to make me popular, but if I actually liked the PF2 Ranger, I would be really happy with how they've done the Ranger Dedication. Mainly because this stops the min/maxers from poaching this class' best benefits (if you like them to begin with). One of the main things I disliked about PF1 is how easily the Ranger was poached. At least with the Ranger, Paizo has made dipping the Ranger a lot less attractive. Now, whether it remains as such, we'll see. You can still get HS/TT, so that's still a big benefit (but only once per day!). But overall, I'm thinking the Ranger Dedication is not all that great as someone who wants to play a Ranger, and that's exactly what I would want me to think if I were Paizo.

So Paizo, good job on that one.


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N N 959 wrote:
I have a different perspective. If you like the PF2 Ranger, the real benefit of 1.3 is not that Paizo suddenly made Hunt Target's MAP reduction useful, the benefit is that a Ranger is simply getting Rapid Shot and TWF a la PF1. HT's MAP reduction is a paltry benefit. Essentially it improves your damage by 5% on your second attack, so about 2.5% over all. But with HS/TT you're getting a free second attack so long as you used HT first.

As compared with Double Slice where you make 2 attacks, not subject to MAP?

Twin Takedown is horrifically worse than Double Slice, due to both the affect of MAP and due to only working against your Hunt Target. Hunted Shot is just a ranged version.

Quote:
So the real benefit is that you're always getting another attack, not that you're getting a +1 to hit on it.

Considering how garbage a 3rd attack is, I'm not sure I care.

Quote:
I know this is not going to make me popular, but if I actually liked the PF2 Ranger, I would be really happy with how they've done the Ranger Dedication. Mainly because this stops the min/maxers from poaching this class' best benefits (if you like them to begin with).

As if Hunt Target was the class's best benefit. But sure, I'll assume it is for this argument.

Quote:
One of the main things I disliked about PF1 is how easily the Ranger was poached. At least with the Ranger, Paizo has made dipping the Ranger a lot less attractive. Now, whether it remains as such, we'll see. You can still get HS/TT, so that's still a big benefit (but only once per day!). But overall, I'm thinking the Ranger Dedication is not all that great as someone who wants to play a Ranger, and that's exactly what I would want me to think if I were Paizo.

...Or you could drop Hunt Target at 100% behind a feat, like they did with the fighter's Attack of Opportunity (6th level, full usage). The feat they locked "at will" access still doesn't unlock the full benefits of Hunt Target!

Here's the other classes:

Monk and Flurry? 10th level dedication feat, unrestricted.

Barbarian totem benefits? 4th level dedication feat, unrestricted.

Quick Alchemy? 4th level feat, semi-restricted (fully unlocked with a feat at 12, as the restriction is based on your available daily preparations, which makes sense).

Bard archetype never grants a Muse, but the mechanical effects are just "get a 1st level bard feat," so this is unrestricted. Counter Performance is a 6th level feat and Inspire Courage is 8th, neither of which have limitations.

Druids get kind of hosed with regards to picking an order (no dedication feats give them the positive aspects) but those benefits are mainly a 1st level feat (which you can just take) and a minor spell power (not worth a feat and can't be given "half way").

Paladin, no penalties to retributive strike, 6th level makes it at-will.

Sorcerer, 4th and 12th level feats for the initial and secondary bloodline powers, unrestricted (and given how crap the bloodline powers are, no one has to take these).

Wizard, arcane school is a 4th level feat, unrestricted.

Rogue is the only class with real limitations. Sneak Attack 4th level feat (that gets better at 6th). You never get a second sneak attack die. For the most part, this is probably fine. It might be nice to have it gain a 2nd die somewhere around 14th or 15th so it's "half as good" instead of "a quarter as good" as a rogue, but extra damage on attacks is pretty powerful.

Ranger though...

Back to the ranger.

The ranger archetype gets neutered access to the worst aspect of the ranger class and it never gets better.


Draco18s wrote:

As compared with Double Slice where you make 2 attacks, not subject to MAP?

Twin Takedown is horrifically worse than Double Slice, due to both the affect of MAP and due to only working against your Hunt Target. Hunted Shot is just a ranged version.

Oh, I completely agree. Dropping Double Slice and putting in a HT dependent attack totally screws over anyone who thought they'd multi-class into Ranger and min/max. It's a total double whammy for those who were eyeing Double Slice.

Gating the Ranger's best attacks behind an ability you can only use once a day is donkey punch to min/maxing, to be sure. But once you get to 6th level, you're getting a minimum of two attacks per round if you can use HT and attack. Lack of MAP reduction isn't even a factor and the lower damage is dwarfed by the benefit of an extra attack. For a Ranger, HT, at best, is increasing damage by 30% if you could attack three times and crit on all attacks. If not, then you're only getting a 15% bonus, assuming you can hit at -8.

By contrast, that extra attack from HS/TT is adding 75% damage (1 attack at -5). So yeah, at 6th level, you're doing about 15% less damage from lack of MAP reduction, but you've added 75% damage of your primary attack. Net win, you only have to wait 5 levels to fully capitalize.

Quote:
As if Hunt Target was the class's best benefit. But sure, I'll assume it is for this argument.

Right, I'm talking about it from Paizo's point of view.

Quote:
The feat they locked "at will" access still doesn't unlock the full benefits of Hunt Target!...

I'll bet that's the Tight Math Paradigm at work. I must confess. As a person who generally doesn't like multi-classing, I firmly approve of how PF2 has really made an effort to nerf the min/max benefit of multi-classing. That alone might get me to ....eh maybe not. The idea of being Hunt Target locked every combat makes my skin crawl.


N N 959 wrote:
Draco18s wrote:

As compared with Double Slice where you make 2 attacks, not subject to MAP?

Twin Takedown is horrifically worse than Double Slice, due to both the affect of MAP and due to only working against your Hunt Target. Hunted Shot is just a ranged version.

Oh, I completely agree. Dropping Double Slice and putting in a HT dependent attack totally screws over anyone who thought they'd multi-class into Ranger and min/max. It's a total double whammy for those who were eyeing Double Slice.

Those people can still multiclass into Fighter for Double Slice, so I don't really see that argument.

Quote:
Gating the Ranger's best attacks behind an ability you can only use once a day is donkey punch to min/maxing, to be sure. But once you get to 6th level, you're getting a minimum of two attacks per round if you can use HT and attack.

You can get 2 attacks a round (at the same bonuses) normally...

Quote:
By contrast, that extra attack from HS/TT is adding 75% damage (1 attack at -5). So yeah, at 6th level, you're doing about 15% less damage from lack of MAP reduction, but you've added 75% damage of your primary attack. Net win, you only have to wait 5 levels to fully capitalize.

I've done this math and you're more or less wrong.

Double Slice (with no MAP penalty) is 1.5 DPR behind attacking with a greatsword twice (that is, comparable action expenditure). HT/TT would be even further behind due to the -4 MAP.

Quote:
Quote:
As if Hunt Target was the class's best benefit. But sure, I'll assume it is for this argument.

Right, I'm talking about it from Paizo's point of view.

As a person who generally doesn't like multi-classing, I firmly approve of how PF2 has really made an effort to nerf the min/max benefit of multi-classing. That alone might get me to ....eh maybe not. The idea of being Hunt Target locked every combat makes my skin crawl.

Hey, no arguments about nerfing the effects of min-max.

My point is:

1) Hunt Target is garbage for a full Ranger
2) Hunt Target is HALF THAT, even at full power, for multiclass Ranger

If Hunt Target did something useful I might not complain that multiclassing only gives you some of the benefits, but right now HT is utter trash. It has no redeeming qualities. None. The updates with 1.3 only put some cheese into the mousetrap.


Draco18s wrote:
Those people can still multi-class into Fighter for Double Slice, so I don't really see that argument.

A fighter can't get you an Animal Companion, so if you want Double Slice you can add the extra damage from a Bear, you're ahead of the curve.

Quote:
You can get 2 attacks a round (at the same bonuses) normally...

No you can't. If you use HT and Command an Animal, you're not getting two attacks. If you have to move and Command an Animal, you're not getting two attacks. If you have to move and switch Target's, you're not getting two attacks.

On the second round, especially against big targets, you can get four attacks at 1st level. You couldn't do that before. Sure, your last two attacks are at -8, but in perfect situations, those attacks might hit and at least you get to roll dice, right?

HS/TT is an undeniable increase in combat damage, so long as you're willing to use HT.

Quote:

I've done this math and you're more or less wrong.

Double Slice (with no MAP penalty) is 1.5 DPR behind attacking with a greatsword twice (that is, comparable action expenditure). HT/TT would be even further behind due to the -4 MAP.

No, I'm not wrong, we're analyzing different things.

The comparison with agile weapons on Double Slice vs Takedown is 0/0 vs 0/-4/-8 (which is lower the first round) and then 0/0/-8 vs 0/-4/-8/-8, which is higher every round past 1.

Where HS/TT really shine is when you can only Strike once and you can't even use DS. The downside for HS/TT is that if you can't strike your Target, you're screwed. Now, I'll concede that in Combat, you don't always get to attack your Target, so in practice, I'd wager DS does more damage.

Quote:

My point is:

1) Hunt Target is garbage for a full Ranger
2) Hunt Target is HALF THAT, even at full power, for multiclass Ranger

If Hunt Target did something useful I might not complain that multiclassing only gives you some of the benefits, but right now HT is utter trash. It has no redeeming qualities. None. The updates with 1.3 only put some cheese into the mousetrap.

I would not say that HT is utter trash. From design perspective, I actually think it's clever. I think it definitely facilitates a single-target focus and class feats that support that. I do think it probably becomes potent at the highest levels if you can get your MAPs down to almost nothing.

My issue is that it kills the essence of the Ranger from an enjoyment perspective. Having already used it in several playtest sessions, I found that having to be consumed with always targeting the same target was not fun. It feels like a restraint around the neck of the character. I did not feel empowered as a tactical fighter, but a single-minded robot. Paizo's not going to get that from the math.

My main issue with Hunt Target, is that it is not what the Ranger represents conceptually. Yes, Rangers can hunt, but that should not be the pivot for the class. Tracking, Guiding, Nature Wisdom, are all better choices, imo.


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N N 959 wrote:
Quote:
You can get 2 attacks a round (at the same bonuses) normally...
No you can't. If you use HT and Command an Animal, you're not getting two attacks. If you have to move and Command an Animal, you're not getting two attacks. If you have to move and switch Target's, you're not getting two attacks.

This is one of the reasons HT is garbage. Doubly so if you're expecting to use it every round.

Quote:
On the second round, especially against big targets, you can get four attacks at 1st level. You couldn't do that before. Sure, your last two attacks are at -8, but in perfect situations, those attacks might hit and at least you get to roll dice, right?

Monks can do this out of the box.

Quote:
HS/TT is an undeniable increase in combat damage, so long as you're willing to use HT.

No one is, because its garbage. TT gives you the ability to make 2 attacks at regular MAP, which normally costs 2 actions. If you're using HT then there's where your second action went, your gain? Nothing.

Quote:
Quote:

I've done this math and you're more or less wrong.

Double Slice (with no MAP penalty) is 1.5 DPR behind attacking with a greatsword twice (that is, comparable action expenditure). HT/TT would be even further behind due to the -4 MAP.

No, I'm not wrong, we're analyzing different things.

The comparison with agile weapons on Double Slice vs Takedown is 0/0 vs 0/-4/-8 (which is lower the first round) and then 0/0/-8 vs 0/-4/-8/-8, which is higher every round past 1.

If you're going to compare HT/TT as 0/-4/-8, then be honest and compare it with Double Slice + Strike (same number of actions), which is 0/0/-8 (a clear winner on the first round).

But sure, lets do the math on the 0/0/-8 second round vs. 0/-4/-8/-8 using long sword for the first attack and hatches (agile) for the rest.

Using formulas I've already computed and T-Roll I get:

DS+S: 21.1 DPR
TT+S+S: 21.3 DPR (multiclass)
TT+S+S: 24.05 DPR (full ranger)

A whopping 0.2 average DPR more (for the multiclasser). This is 7.5 times less significant than wielding a greatsword and swinging it three times. Full ranger pulls ahead by about 3 DPR (and is 1.5 DPR ahead of the greatsword: so the thing fighters can just Do a ranger has to waste an action to be).

However if we consider 2 rounds (the first round using HT) we get:

DS+S: 21.1 DPR
TT+S+S: 19.75 DPR (multiclass)
TT+S+S: 21.95 DPR (full ranger)

Even the full ranger gets a mere 0.85 DPR better and the multiclass ranger falls behind. Considering a 3 round average is not worth doing, I've yet to see a fight go that long unless it was physically out of reach (half of DD ch2's fights). But the TT ranger will be as SOL as a fighter and DS ranger anyway. As soon as things are able to be hit in melee by a good selection of a party, nothing survives very long. But here they are anyway:

DS+S: 21.1
TT+S+S: 20.27 (multiclass)
TT+S+S: 22.65 (full)

Quote:
Where HS/TT really shine is when you can only Strike once and you can't even use DS.

If you haven't yet used HT, you do 0 damage. If you have you get a slight boost over just having to make a strike (but that -4 still bites: lets put it this way, it is far better to have an Agile weapon with a smaller die using Double Slice than to take the -2).

Quote:
I would not say that HT is utter trash. From design perspective, I actually think it's clever. I think it definitely facilitates a single-target focus and class feats that support that. I do think it probably becomes potent at the highest levels if you can get your MAPs down to almost nothing.

On a class that is meant for flexibility and ambush attacks. Hunt Target (mechanically) is on the wrong class. (Mechanically) it should be a rage power.

Quote:
My main issue with Hunt Target, is that it is not what the Ranger represents conceptually. Yes, Rangers can hunt, but that should not be the pivot for the class. Tracking, Guiding, Nature Wisdom, are all better choices, imo.

I never said I disagreed.


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Draco18s wrote:

This is one of the reasons HT is garbage. Doubly so if you're expecting to use it every round. ***

Monks can do this out of the box. ***

Quote:
[quoteHS/TT is an undeniable increase in combat damage, so long as you're willing to use HT.
No one is, because its garbage. TT gives you the ability to make 2 attacks at regular MAP, which normally costs 2 actions. If you're using HT then there's where your second action went, your gain? Nothing.]

Right, but from the get go, Mark has been preaching to us that HT "pays off" in later rounds. Of course this is predicated on the assumption that you can keep attacking the Target with no additional penalties or limitations. Mark is all about the math and the math doesn't do context very well. So it's easier for the designers to now insist that the new feats fulfill the promise of HT.

I brought up complaints about Hunt Target and frequently identified the broken concept of it requiring 2nd and 3rd attacks. But the real issue with the ability is how it dominates the Ranger's combat approach and the class' approach and I was hoping that by pointing out the failed mechanics of Hunt Target, Paizo would be more willing to start over. I have to laugh and give credit to Paizo for singling out that applicability complaint and mostly solving it.

Given that fact, I think it's better to acknowledge what the changes do, but point out that this isn't fixing the underlying problem. However, if posters insist that the math isn't fixed, then Paizo is more likely to dismiss the complaints as unsupported. In short, yes, HS/TT now make Hunt Target convey a benefit (albeit a 5% damage increase) more consistently, but it was never about getting that +1/+2.

Quote:
On a class that is meant for flexibility and ambush attacks. Hunt Target (mechanically) is on the wrong class.

I completely agree. There's a world of difference between being able to get a bonus on a single target if needed, and having the class' combat design focused on that mechanic. As others have said, I wouldn't mind Hunt Target as a feat we could take, but having 13 class feats require that we attack the Target is choking the life out of the class.


N N 959 wrote:
Right, but from the get go, Mark has been preaching to us that HT "pays off" in later rounds.

And everyone's said "fights never last 3 rounds." Not unless there's some circumstance preventing the majority of the party from dealing damage (flying creatures, damage immune creatures, other terrain considerations). Things that:

1) the ranger is not uniquely set up to deal with by default
2) hunt target doesn't help with

Quote:
Of course this is predicated on the assumption that you can keep attacking the Target with no additional penalties or limitations. Mark is all about the math and the math doesn't do context very well. So it's easier for the designers to now insist that the new feats fulfill the promise of HT.

Sure, math doesn't do context well. I'll agree with you.

The problem is that the math needs to be really good in the situation that the feat grants benefits to, and presently, it does not. Especially for a multiclass ranger.

Quote:
Given that fact, I think it's better to acknowledge what the changes do, but point out that this isn't fixing the underlying problem.

Agreed.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I've lost track. Are you two saying the HT/TT is terrible for single-classed rangers or for other classes who take Ranger Dedication?


Shisumo wrote:
I've lost track. Are you two saying the HT/TT is terrible for single-classed rangers or for other classes who take Ranger Dedication?

From my perspective, the answer is not simple.

The problem with the Ranger, imo, and apparently shared by others, is the single-target mentality of the Ranger. I believe 13 of the 40 Ranger class feats required that you take action against the Target. For me, in play, this feels really limiting. Anytime you have two or more combatants, the battlefield can change and being pot-committed to attacking the same target round after round feels burdensome. It makes me feel like my character's hands are tied. I choose a Target, and I am now penalized if I don't bird-dog and hound that target until I kill it. If you want to switch Targets, because you know, you realize someone across the room is a caster or a new creature has entered combat, you've got to change your Target and recognize that you can no longer use Hunt Target on the previous target (which makes no logical sense, but is obviously there for game balance). If you don't assign Hunt Target, your damage is abysmal and nearly a third of your class feats shut down.

Logistically, Hunt Target was a failure for the class because HT's benefit is only realized on 2nd and 3rd attacks. If you have a companion, you're never getting a 3rd attack. If you are forced to take any action not an attack, you don't get a 3rd attack. In addition, because HT uses an action, it's really easy to not get a 2nd attack in any given round. Move and Command and Animal, you don't get a second attack.

Paizo acknowledged this. So there solution, which is kind of clever, was to change the base combat feats to automatically give you a 2nd attack if you are attacking your Target. That means you've upped Ranger damage by making Hunt Target a requirement for that improvement. Before, you might be better served (and do more damage) by not using Hunt Target. That's no longer true. Now, a player is compelled to use HT first so that every round, the get two attacks for the price of one. Think of it like getting Rapid Shot, but only against your Target.

Is this an improvement for the straight up Ranger? Depends on why you're playing the Ranger. If it's simply for straight DPS, then HS/TT are going to raise that, in most cases. It's hard to come up with a scenario given the current Ranger abilities i.e. no Double Slice, where you can do more damage by not using HT and HS/TT. So if you love the Single-Target Focused Ranger, then HS/TT are an improvement. If you do not like it, then HS/TT makes the class worse.

For Multi-class Ranger, it's probably more of a wash. the MC Ranger doesn't get the MAP reduction of HT. But at 6th level, when you can use HT an unlimited number of times, then you're getting the 2 for 1 from HS/TT. This means in the 2nd round on out, youcould be attacking at 0/-5/10/-10. vs 0/-5/-10. While an extra attack at -10 is not worth much, the more bonuses you can tack on e.g. magic weapon, bard song, weapon mastery, flanking, etc. The more valuable those 3rd and 4th attacks are. But once again, you're required to only attack your Target.

My point is that I'm willing to acknowledge that HS/TT make Hunt Target more useful and give the Ranger more damage, but usefulness of HT is not what determines whether I like the class or not. It's not about how much damage I do, but how I am allowed to do it.


Shisumo wrote:
I've lost track. Are you two saying the HT/TT is terrible for single-classed rangers or for other classes who take Ranger Dedication?

With Targeted Takedown the effectiveness of HT isn't awful, and it is probably...if not balanced, than within reasonable distance thereof, given some of the other options available.

It's definitely a DPR drop for multiclass rangers due to the missing attack bonus.

In terms of mechanics, its weak for most situations.

In terms of theme, it's off.


well thanks to the Op and the other poster, I've clearly got the message that PF2 made the ranger in utter and boring crap and that the recent update did nothing at all to change this... nice.
So now that my favorite class is down the drain for good, as i don't see any incentive in submitting myself in this new form of selfabuse, that all halfcasters have been removed from the game and that full casters range between utter mediocrity and absolutely necessary (cleric)...
is there anything actually new and interesting left or I can return back to PF1 + unchained?


Ikusias wrote:
is there anything actually new and interesting left or I can return back to PF1 + unchained?

Well, the monk and cleric in our group had a great time. The druid had a moderately good time.

The ranger is bad, though it seems it got less bad with the 1.3 changes which Paizo released 3 days after we finished that adventure and permanently retired my ranger, so I never tried them.

Note: Looking at the changes, I would have definitely used HT and Hunted Shot more often if those had existed when I was playing the adventure.

I'm not sure, obviously, how good that would have been because I didn't try them.

I wouldn't say the system as a whole is bad. Ranger is pretty bad, other classes are a mixed bag but maybe only ranger is awful, though sorcerer seems to have a lot of negative feedback too.

Definitely some tweaking.

If you like testing (I am a test engineer so I test stuff for a living - that's why I rolled a ranger despite the existing negative feedback) then have fun with the playtest.

But if you simply want to game with friends and play a fun campaign with classes and mechanics that work, then play FP1.


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And don't forget that this is still basically all WIP.
The fact that the update mentioned the classes themselves could still get overhauled means that there are still big changes on the table behind the scenes.

For me, I sincerely hope they give up on trying to make the ranger into a hunter that is ultimately turning out to be a weak single target fighter with all other options nerf'd into near uselessness.


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Ikusias wrote:
is there anything actually new and interesting left or I can return back to PF1 + unchained?

The problem with answering this question is that we are dealing with the playtest, not a finished product. Paizo has intentionally omitted stuff in order to test concepts and work out kinks. For example, I figured they were always going to add bow feats for the class, but first they wanted to see if they could make a TWF and Crossbow Ranger that people wanted to play. I am truly hoping that Paizo is willing to rethink the whole Hunt Target approach and if the survey questions are any indication, it's possible Paizo might overhaul it. But I don't think it's likely at this point. The class feats show a heavy investment in single-target focus and unless everyone who fills out the survey says that the Ranger abilities should work on all targets, Paizo is going to resist changing the Hunt Target approach.

That having been said, I do like the three action system I think it lends itself to a more flexible/tactical game. I also like the near elimination of the attack of opportunity. That opens the game up and makings it more flowing (which is a double whammy on the Ranger's combat approach).

However, I think there are a host of categorical problems that hamper the fit and finish. Personally, I could live with all of the other issues if there was one class that improved upon the PF1 Ranger. I don't even care if was called something else. Make Tracking a thing for the class, give it all the thematic wilderness abilities and spells, and I'll happily deal with Resonance, whack-a-mole, and whatever funky item bonuses exist. What matters for me is my character, because that is my interface for the rest of the game world. If do not enjoy the character, then the rest of the game is irrelevant for me.


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I'm one of the ones that asked for Hunt Target to die in the survey.
I reiterated a lot of what has been discussed on the forums. And until Hunt Target itself is improved or replaced, I'll keep mentioning it to whoever will listen, ad nauseam.

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