Ranger discussion spillover from Know Direction thread...


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I mean, the whole point of extreme modularity for classes is that you don't get (many) abilities you don't choose.

Paizo has definitely made customization a focus in this edition. The "I can't make my character concept" complaint seems to have resonated with them. I think it's a mistake and there is a lot of research which show more customer choice leads to less customer satisfaction, in direct contradiction to what customers think or would tell you.

I am a firm believer in a class-based system. "Extreme modularity" undermines and works contrary to strong classes, it has to, regardless what Paizo would tell us. If people are constantly having to multi-class to scratch their itch, then the core classes aren't sufficient. IMO, the ability or inability for the designers to make core classes that work and are fun to play, right out of the box will have long-lasting impact on the game. D&D was designed around classes working in a box. I would submit it's the reason why D&D was more popular than any other RPG in history. D&D is still going strong and arguably 5e is stronger than Pathfinder is now. Did 5e go to "extreme modularity?" Someone bought me the starter box and it doesn't look like it. How strong is GURPS?

Last year, I started a Pathfinder Basic game with some other adults. Just Fighter, Cleric, Rogue, Wizard. The GM let me use a Ranger. But after the first session, it was clear the Basic version did not have the rules to support the class so I switched to a Cleric. The game was fun and I don't even like the Cleric class. The basic classes are fun. I don't get caught up in trying to build "my concept" because it's fundamentally a game about decision making and using the tools at your disposal. And to the extent the focus on the game becomes about being able to build my concept, I think the game designers are going down a rabbit hole.

Paizo, imo, has gone overboard with character flexibility and it's reduced the game down to mechanics.

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A ranger having to buy spells with feats isn't fundamentally different from how a monk has to buy ki powers with feats or a druid has to buy new ways to wild shape with feats or a sorcerer has to buy bloodline powers with feats.

It is fundamentally different. Rangers, in all (i think it's all) previous versions of D&D have had spells as part of the class. They don't have to "buy" them. So your analogy isn't accurate. It's more like a Rogue having to buy Sneak Attack dice. If that choice were juxtaposed to an option that was entirely new, so Spells versus Wild Shape or Snares, then I wouldn't have problem with it. But if you're making choose between my Companion or Spells, then you're screwing me over, but telling me you're doing me a favor.

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I think every class has "something they got by default in PF1, but now have to choose to spend class feats on" in this edition.

And it's a part of PF2 that I truly dislike, on a number of different levels. I think fails to put the proper onus and pressure on Paizo to design a core class that functions solidly by default. Now all failings can be written off as a function of choice and not design.

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but those should be things every member of that class has/wants not things people are eager to trade away if it doesn't jive with their character concept***Bugaboo is nailing down "what thing defines the ranger which everybody playing one wants".

Completely disagree. And this is the real important part, the class has to be designed so that it services some semi-unique non-trivial purpose in the game. The classes have to be designed around the game play and the classes have to be given tools that coincide with the manner in which the game is to be played. That should 100% trump "I can't build my Rogue/Cleric/Paladin of Erastil/Stalker." Paizo is never going to satisfy what every "wants" in a character concept. What they can do is a build classes that are fun to play and address or solve the problems presented in nominal game play. I don't think they've done that with the PF2 Ranger.

I honestly think Paizo might be better off just ditching all the names and publishing P2 with classes that have completely new names so they avoid having to live up to past expectations.


N N 959: Knowing that half caster classes are out of PF2, What would you hope can be done with powers to give rangers the feel of having the versatility of the PF1 spell casting?

I just don't see the design space for what you are asking for. The only exception would potentially be rituals, but it seems very unlikely that rituals are going to allow to be game changing enough to match anything like rangers spread of 1st and second level spells. I just don't see them releasing rituals that can be cast in 10 minutes or less.

Personally, I don't really understand why there are spells with casting times of 10 minutes that were not made in to rituals, but that is a separate point. I am skeptical that rituals will fulfill more of a role in PF2 than they did in D&D 4e, so it seems unlikely that rangers will be busting out rituals to do the glide/speak with animals kind of stuff.

I know that you feel like the classes need to stand alone without options, but if the exact mechanic you are talking about, ranger getting minimal uses a pretty wide open spell list, but not all the way to the top level of spells, it really seems like you are just asking for the class to be rebuilt from the ground up with multi-call druid built into the class so that someone who wants something else, would have to choose otherwise. Multi-class Druid, slowed down to only get a couple levels of spells, really isn't going to stop you from having a strong animal companion or decent access to one of the ranger's combat styles.

The fundamental problem with the ranger in PF2 is that there is no clear, unique design space left for it to fill. Partial spell casting may feel like a solution to you, but with multiclassing, that already exists. That is why I recommended that you tried building it that way just to see what the character felt like, and what it was missing, instead of just making arguments related to design philosophy that are way too late to change at a fundamental level. But clearly, you still want to focus on that stuff even though that philosophy is not going to change, so instead of directing the request at you, I open it up to anyone:

Someone post a level 4, level 10 and level 15 ranger multiclassed in druid with a focus on having versatile access to the lower level of the druid spell casting list, but keeping the character focused on being as strong a combat character as other rangers.


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N N 959 wrote:
Someone made a comment that I really wanted Ranger 1.5, not 2.0.

That someone was me. And I think it's not just Ranger 1.5 you want, it's really Pathfinder 1.5. Which makes sense, since I don't think it's feasible to create Ranger 1.5 in any framework other than Pathfinder 1.5.

N N 959 wrote:
I think the vast majority of people who play PF1 wanted version 2 which kept the best things about PF1 and reduced or eliminated the bad things.

Of course, if you ask players about the idea of a new edition, you're going to get a majority of answers along these lines. Problem is, there is a vast array of opinions about what bad things need to be removed or changed. Some will loudly call for non-LG paladins; some will ask for the end of Vancian casting; some will want caster-martial disparity fixed; some will want a simpler game; and there will be those who oppose any change since they're delighted with the present edition.

In the case of the PF1 ranger, my opinion (that's just me) about "bad things" is primarily about general issues with the game at large:
- Hard to play and design high level adventures for, due to what Jason called "fractional math" in the Know Direction interview.
- Overshadowed by spellcasters in many respects, after level 10 or so.
- Requires a growing magic item collection, made primarily of boring items (ie the kind of item that provides a permanent, flat bonus) to be viable past mid levels.

Then, there are a few issues specific to the ranger:
- Iconic abilities that rarely see use because they're narrowly focused to particular situations (tracking, etc).
- Favored enemy (and terrain), a key ability that is 100% situational. This problem is so annoying that the designers came up with a band-aid: Instant Enemy.
- Weak and frustrating spellcasting capability, primarily used through wands.
- Weak animal companion, which requires a feat to remain viable (Boon Companion).

It would have been possible to build a PF 1.5 to fix all the ranger-specific problems listed above. But this would not have been enough to fix the broader issues with the game. This is unfortunate, and I can see how some might say the playtest ranger is an unlucky casualty of necessary, broad reforms. Other classes, particularly rogue and fighter, got a lot more lucky. I'm hopeful that the final rules will make the necessary adjustments, but I do think the PF2 ranger will have to be fairly different from its predecessor. I fully understand this is hard to accept for fans of the old class.


Unicore wrote:
N N 959: Knowing that half caster classes are out of PF2, What would you hope can be done with powers to give rangers the feel of having the versatility of the PF1 spell casting?

Someone essentially asked this question, and I don't have a solid answer. But let me point out that the Ranger and Paladin are iconic classes that gets a boost from casting, and for me, that one of the things that sets them apart. Shouldn't P2 be able to support that?

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I just don't see the design space for what you are asking for.

From what they've showed us, I have to agree. But Paizo has done some fantastic things with spell-like classes, so it's not that they don't know how or can't solve this problem without demanding that we multi-class.

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I know that you feel like the classes need to stand alone without options

You're conflating concepts. In a class based system, the classes have to work straight up. You cannot require people to multi-class to fulfill the vision of the class. Paizo can, of course, change the vision of the class to suit what they want. But then they should change the name. I think it's bad faith to call it a Paladin and not give it Smite Evil or a Ranger and rob it of spells. Why do they need to use the name if they are going to intentionally change the feel of the class? I'm hoping that they thought they were improving the class and are willing to accept that they failed and are willing to fix those problems rather than just pushing the same agenda.

I'm not saying I'm right, I'm saying after decades of playing D&D and PF Rangers, I'm not interested in playing the PF2 Ranger and that kills my interest in PF2. Playing and GMing. As much as I'd rather support Paizo, I'm willing to spend money on D&D 5e if their version of the Ranger delivers. Nobody is forcing Paizo to do what they did to the Ranger.

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but if the exact mechanic you are talking about, ranger getting minimal uses a pretty wide open spell list, but not all the way to the top level of spells, it really seems like you are just asking for the class to be rebuilt from the ground up with multi-call druid built into the class so that someone who wants something else, would have to choose otherwise. Multi-class Druid, slowed down to only get a couple levels of spells, really isn't going to stop you from having a strong animal companion or decent access to one of the ranger's combat styles.

I'll repeat what I said before. If Paizo's answer to a failed class design (as the feedback on the Ranger indicates) is that we've got to multi-class, then this isn't a game I want to play and I think PF2 will be as big a failure as 4e.

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The fundamental problem with the ranger in PF2 is that there is no clear, unique design space left for it to fill.

There definitely is. It's the design space the class has been filling since it was introduced in 1974 and is still fulfilling in 5e. Classes are going to overlap, so it's question of how they accomplish their tasks and the context in which the excel.

Paizo simply has to make the tools given to the Ranger applicable to adventuring in nominal game play. Give the class tools that are useful and make things like Tracking useful. Nobody is using Tracking to do anything interesting.

What if, before every combat, a Ranger might have a chance at picking up tracks of a creature outside the room? What if, successfully doing so gave everyone in the party a free action? What if tracking had a high probability of the Ranger to identifying the creatures you were about to encounter? What if Trackless Step improved the Ranger's base footspeed and allowed you to ignore 5' step in difficult terrain?

There are infinite things you can do with Ranger abilities that keep them thematic, but make the Ranger useful and capable. Forcing me to focus on one target at a time, isn't one of them, imo. That isn't fun for me.

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Partial spell casting may feel like a solution to you, but with multi-classing, that already exists.

No, it doesn't. Multi-classing isn't casting as pat of a class concept,, it's multi-classing. The Ranger shouldn't have to multi-class to be a Ranger any more than a Paladin should to be a Paladin. Should a Rogue have to multi-class to get Bluff or Disable Device or Stealth?

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...related to design philosophy that are way too late to change at a fundamental level.

This isn't rocket science. Paizo can change anything they want up until the books are sent to the printer. It's not like there is some launch window that requires planetary alignment. If Paizo has the will, they can change it.


gwynfrid wrote:


That someone was me. And I think it's not just Ranger 1.5 you want, it's really Pathfinder 1.5. Which makes sense, since I don't think it's feasible to create Ranger 1.5 in any framework other than Pathfinder 1.5.

Paizo can do whatever it wants. 1.5 vs 2.0 is merely a label. Paizo tried a bunch fo new things. Things they've been exploring for years. Some of those things didn't work e.g. Resonance, Signature Skills, PF2 Ranger. The question is whether Paizo is willing to accept that and fix it, or insist they got it right.

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Then, there are a few issues specific to the ranger:

- Iconic abilities that rarely see use because they're narrowly focused to particular situations (tracking, etc).

Check.

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- Favored enemy (and terrain), a key ability that is 100% situational. This problem is so annoying that the designers came up with a band-aid: Instant Enemy.

It was intended to be situational...so I fail to see the problem. But certainly open to something more compelling.

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- Weak and frustrating spellcasting capability, primarily used through wands.

Check

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- Weak animal companion, which requires a feat to remain viable (Boon Companion)

Check

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It would have been possible to build a PF 1.5 to fix all the ranger-specific problems listed above. But this would not have been enough to fix the broader issues with the game.

I disagree. I think it's possible to solve those problems in the context of the new game. Based on forum feedback, it would appear Paizo improved several classes compared to PF1. But none of those classes experienced a fundamental change to their core mechanics. We didn't see Paizo try and improve the PF1 Ranger. We saw them try and reinvent it and fundamentally change it. They did the same thing to the Paladin. Is Paizo going to accept that these changes were the wrong ones or do they feel they got it right?

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but I do think the PF2 ranger will have to be fairly different from its predecessor. I fully understand this is hard to accept for fans of the old class.

I disagree. It believe it to be more about the politics of who is directing the class' design and the prioritization. Mark said they'd try to add spell options when they got a chance. So that tells you it's about priorities, not about ability or lack there of. I know Paizo has the brain power to do the class right.


I always felt the biggest ability of Rangers were 3 things: Skipping pre-reqs, An animal companion (or boosting the party), and skills/being well prepared with spells.

PF1 ranger wasn't good because of favored enemy or tracking (although they did help when used).

In fact if you notice, no class in PF1 Core is able to be a good martial character while also having a combat companion to provide flanking/extra attacks. The Druids gets wild shape but lacks the feats, Wizards get familars which dont really help in combat, Paladin mounts are just that a mount.

* What I'm trying to say is that loosing the Ranger Combat style is probably part of whats hurting the PF2 class so much.

I personally would give the ranger the ability to get extra class feats to make it resemble the old mechanic; or move some of the the more skill based feats to cost skill feats, while giving them a few extra skill feats.

I would also give rangers paths similar to other classes. Possibly having a path to give them spell, 1 for traps, and 1 for animal companions; With at least the first feat/ability free.


Uhmmm i wonder if a 'archetype' feat build into the class would be able to help with spellcasting. I mean a class feat that gave 2 cantrips and the ability commune with nature somewhat could be better than multiclass for the ranger. Even if i think multiclass already does that pretty well.


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My issue with looking to some version of integrating druid multi-classing into the ranger class design is that it sets a terrible precedent of having whole classes who's schtick is that they have one or more feats without paying for them.

The idea that the ranger's unique design space is tracking is interesting, but that largely seems like what was attempted with hunt target, as far as the 1.6 rule set. Having the focus be so exclusively on one target is not a massive issue for me, although I agree that it thematically looks silly when the ranger finds the tracks of a group of people, but they have to hyper focus on just one. I also think it would be cool for the tracking stuff to have more mystical applications, and that that could be a fairly unique space, although, a lot of that stuff just feels like hyped up survival and nature skill feats.

Right now I still think you end up with a better PF1 ranger by multi-classing fighter and druid together, although I have never been a super big fan of animal companions, so I personally don't care that the multi-class druid essentially has to choose between a companion or casting (if they want to be decent at either). Being really good with a bow and having druid spells feels more rangery to me than having a companion and the hunt target ability. Luckily, I can build that character in the playtest, so I am pretty certain I will be able to do so in PF2 as well, so I guess I agree that it would probably be better not to have the ranger class than to force it to exist for legacy sake, but have a multi-class character that doesn't even pick the base class feel more like it.


Unicore wrote:
Right now I still think you end up with a better PF1 ranger by multi-classing fighter and druid together, although I have never been a super big fan of animal companions, so I personally don't care that the multi-class druid essentially has to choose between a companion or casting (if they want to be decent at either). Being really good with a bow and having druid spells feels more rangery to me than having a companion and the hunt target ability. Luckily, I can build that character in the playtest, so I am pretty certain I will be able to do so in PF2 as well, so I guess I agree that it would probably be better not to have the ranger class than to force it to exist for legacy sake, but have a multi-class character that doesn't even pick the base class feel more like it.

Up until now I've thought the ranger/spell threads were non-issues due to archetyping. Who cares if they lost a crap spell system when you can pick up any spell list you want now with archetyping? It's not like their feats are great anyway, so you don't miss out on anything. End of argument.

But you're right. You can be a better ranger by being a fighter and having higher weapon proficiency. Then go rogue, druid, cleric, whatever. This blows the ranger class away. Traps are so ridiculously situational, you can scratch them off the play list. Animal companions are [personal bias] not why I play rpg's. I want to be the hero, not my animal.[/personal bias] That leaves Hunt Target and its limited ability to do more attacks and +1d6 dmg 1/r.

No point to the ranger class (for me) in this state.


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IDK, Hunt Target is pretty sweet for a gish. The ability to unleash two attacks AND a spell for each round after the first that your target survives is pretty nice. And the spell doesn't even have to be against your target.


N N 959 wrote:
This isn't rocket science. Paizo can change anything they want up until the books are sent to the printer. It's not like there is some launch window that requires planetary alignment. If Paizo has the will, they can change it.

Well, of course they can, it's clear they intend to, and I hope and trust they will succeed. By that I mean I trust they will bring a ranger definition that will be appropriately thematic and compelling to the great majority of players. But this isn't the same thing as giving you precisely what you're asking for (such as, for example, open access to a spell list). Their decisions have to remain consistent with the overall design of the classes.

By the way, let's not forget that next to nothing of the debates we're presently having will influence the final rules. Jason was very clear that the window for actionable comment closed with the playtest on Dec 31. The team is now busy writing the final rules, leveraging the playtest feedback. There is indeed a launch window, which is Gen Con'19. The game has to be ready for that exact time and the logistics of the publishing business impose a number of hard intermediate deadlines.

N N 959 wrote:
I think it's possible to solve those problems in the context of the new game. Based on forum feedback, it would appear Paizo improved several classes compared to PF1. But none of those classes experienced a fundamental change to their core mechanics.

Every single class underwent fundamental changes. Everyone got adjusted to tighter math, 3-action economy, UETML, +level, +10/-10, and class-tied feats. All spellcasters had to take sharply reduced spell power and decreased spell slots. All martials saw a big change, mostly a reduction, in their main iconic feature (except the fighter, who didn't have any to begin with): Smite Evil, Sneak Attack, Flurry of Blows, Stunning Fist, Rage, all of that changed for something less powerful. The bard and alchemist were completely overhauled. It's not like Paizo had something against the ranger in particular.

That said, it's true that the ranger got a fairly bad deal compared to other martial classes. Other classes that got a less than great deal, in my opinion, are the sorcerer and alchemist. But at this point, there's nothing left to do about it, except wait for the devs to show us a few spoilers on the upcoming fixes.


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Gorbacz wrote:
Ranger is a person with bow (or twin scimitars) and a pet. That's the Core Identity of the class. Anything beyond that is projecting your personal preferences that aren't shared by people who associate the D&D range with the above archetype.

There's nothing at all remotely "this is classic Ranger" about that. A Fighter could easily have a bow (and should) or twin scimitars, and why not a pet? "Rangers tend to be experts in ranged weaponry, graceful dual-wielding, hunting and wilderness skills, and the innate ability to bond with wild beasts" is a little more Ranger-ish, but just "two weapons/bow and pet" doesn't scream any kind of unique core identity to me.

I like the idea of Rangers gaining access to spells or just getting more Monk-like mystical abilities tied to the wilderness, personally.


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The amount of people suggesting Fighter with druid dedication to be a "stronger" ranger is actually pretty shocking to me. Yes +1 to attack is good but is it really enough make a good "ranger". Currently I don't see fighters really having any support for high dexterity which I kinda see as a must-have for most rangers (wielding light armor to move faster, stealth better etc). A bad reflex save also makes the fighters much more prone to fail against most kinds of traps.

Maybe it's just me that view one of the core niches of the ranger to be the parties scout, which I honestly don't see the fighter/ druid fulfilling. So the argument for the fighter base vs ranger seems to come down to +1 to attack from proficiency.

Fighter/druid might be better fighting with 2 non-finesse weapons and wielding a heavy armor, but is that really a "ranger" at that point?


Jesikah Morning's Dew wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Ranger is a person with bow (or twin scimitars) and a pet. That's the Core Identity of the class. Anything beyond that is projecting your personal preferences that aren't shared by people who associate the D&D range with the above archetype.
There's nothing at all remotely "this is classic Ranger" about that.

The post was in reference to (and quite possibly a joke about, considering who posted it) the popular character Drizzt Do'Urdan, who is definitely to many people a 'classic' D&D ranger, having appeared in D&D branded media and novels by R.A. Salvatore for over 20 years now.

Not that 'recreate this one guy' should be the sole focus of the Ranger, or of any particular class, but that was the source of the (quite possibly at least somewhat sarcastic) sentiment.


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Nettah wrote:

The amount of people suggesting Fighter with druid dedication to be a "stronger" ranger is actually pretty shocking to me. Yes +1 to attack is good but is it really enough make a good "ranger". Currently I don't see fighters really having any support for high dexterity which I kinda see as a must-have for most rangers (wielding light armor to move faster, stealth better etc). A bad reflex save also makes the fighters much more prone to fail against most kinds of traps.

Maybe it's just me that view one of the core niches of the ranger to be the parties scout, which I honestly don't see the fighter/ druid fulfilling. So the argument for the fighter base vs ranger seems to come down to +1 to attack from proficiency.

Fighter/druid might be better fighting with 2 non-finesse weapons and wielding a heavy armor, but is that really a "ranger" at that point?

I think that's one of the big parts of the issue, really. The Ranger (and the Rogue, to a lesser extent) need something to set them apart. Otherwise, we end up in "Why isn't this just a Fighter with a focus on two-weapon fighting and wilderness skills?" territory. Ideally, to me, the Ranger should be as different from a Fighter as is, say, a Monk. Which means lots of esoteric abilities and strengths not purely combat-aligned, but then again, I'm also of the opinion that Fighters should get access to lots of skills (and probably be called "Warrior" or something to represent a more holistic approach, like many historical warriors who were skilled combatants but possessed broad skill sets).

I think it's possible to create a separate niche for Rangers and Rogues with Fighters, but it definitely needs something strong to ground its core identity as anything different. Even just being a scout isn't much of a niche; a high-perception Monk or Rogue or even a mage of some kind with access to lots of sensory magics could easily fulfill that role. Rangers need something strong.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Nettah wrote:

The amount of people suggesting Fighter with druid dedication to be a "stronger" ranger is actually pretty shocking to me. Yes +1 to attack is good but is it really enough make a good "ranger". Currently I don't see fighters really having any support for high dexterity which I kinda see as a must-have for most rangers (wielding light armor to move faster, stealth better etc). A bad reflex save also makes the fighters much more prone to fail against most kinds of traps.

Maybe it's just me that view one of the core niches of the ranger to be the parties scout, which I honestly don't see the fighter/ druid fulfilling. So the argument for the fighter base vs ranger seems to come down to +1 to attack from proficiency.

Fighter/druid might be better fighting with 2 non-finesse weapons and wielding a heavy armor, but is that really a "ranger" at that point?

Then I guess you want Rogue/Druid then.


FowlJ wrote:

The post was in reference to (and quite possibly a joke about, considering who posted it) the popular character Drizzt Do'Urdan, who is definitely to many people a 'classic' D&D ranger, having appeared in D&D branded media and novels by R.A. Salvatore for over 20 years now.

Not that 'recreate this one guy' should be the sole focus of the Ranger, or of any particular class, but that was the source of the (quite possibly at least somewhat sarcastic) sentiment.

Ah, well, you never can tell. The joke didn't come across very well in the written medium, especially in the history of many forum debates about this very thing. I'm familiar with Drizzt, but if that was a joke, well, there are a lot of people who legitimately feel that Rangers can be boiled down to just those components, and (obviously) I disagree strongly. If it was meant to be purely sarcasm, then please ignore my reply to it.


Nettah wrote:

The amount of people suggesting Fighter with druid dedication to be a "stronger" ranger is actually pretty shocking to me. Yes +1 to attack is good but is it really enough make a good "ranger". Currently I don't see fighters really having any support for high dexterity which I kinda see as a must-have for most rangers (wielding light armor to move faster, stealth better etc). A bad reflex save also makes the fighters much more prone to fail against most kinds of traps.

Maybe it's just me that view one of the core niches of the ranger to be the parties scout, which I honestly don't see the fighter/ druid fulfilling. So the argument for the fighter base vs ranger seems to come down to +1 to attack from proficiency.

Fighter/druid might be better fighting with 2 non-finesse weapons and wielding a heavy armor, but is that really a "ranger" at that point?

It makes sense to me, at least. To me, one of the most defining features of the Ranger, possibly even more so than something like the pet or favored enemy, is the combat style. Fighters may be the archetypical heroes with things like Bravery, but Rangers are weapons masters. Not only do they get bonus feats, but they get to ignore the prerequisites on those feats.

Since the 2e Fighter is meant to be a weapons master, it makes a certain amount of sense that you could use one to build a Ranger-equivalent.


Malk_Content wrote:
Nettah wrote:

The amount of people suggesting Fighter with druid dedication to be a "stronger" ranger is actually pretty shocking to me. Yes +1 to attack is good but is it really enough make a good "ranger". Currently I don't see fighters really having any support for high dexterity which I kinda see as a must-have for most rangers (wielding light armor to move faster, stealth better etc). A bad reflex save also makes the fighters much more prone to fail against most kinds of traps.

Maybe it's just me that view one of the core niches of the ranger to be the parties scout, which I honestly don't see the fighter/ druid fulfilling. So the argument for the fighter base vs ranger seems to come down to +1 to attack from proficiency.

Fighter/druid might be better fighting with 2 non-finesse weapons and wielding a heavy armor, but is that really a "ranger" at that point?

Then I guess you want Rogue/Druid then.

The insane amount of skill rogues get compared to rangers is a decent reason to go for that build instead. But other than skills I don't really see what rogue is offering that I wouldn't get better from the ranger. Hunt target/ hunters edge is vastly better than sneak attack for duel-wielding or archery, secondly I prefer to be able to use a martial weapons (though a general feat isn't the biggest cost).

So in my mind the rogue is taking the ranger too much towards skill monkey at the cost of combat options, but it's definitely an option. But having this option doesn't take anything away from the ranger in my mind.

A brute rogue seems to be one of the best "tanks" in the game in my mind in the low-levels, however I don't see that as invalidating fighters.


RazarTuk wrote:
Nettah wrote:

The amount of people suggesting Fighter with druid dedication to be a "stronger" ranger is actually pretty shocking to me. Yes +1 to attack is good but is it really enough make a good "ranger". Currently I don't see fighters really having any support for high dexterity which I kinda see as a must-have for most rangers (wielding light armor to move faster, stealth better etc). A bad reflex save also makes the fighters much more prone to fail against most kinds of traps.

Maybe it's just me that view one of the core niches of the ranger to be the parties scout, which I honestly don't see the fighter/ druid fulfilling. So the argument for the fighter base vs ranger seems to come down to +1 to attack from proficiency.

Fighter/druid might be better fighting with 2 non-finesse weapons and wielding a heavy armor, but is that really a "ranger" at that point?

It makes sense to me, at least. To me, one of the most defining features of the Ranger, possibly even more so than something like the pet or favored enemy, is the combat style. Fighters may be the archetypical heroes with things like Bravery, but Rangers are weapons masters. Not only do they get bonus feats, but they get to ignore the prerequisites on those feats.

Since the 2e Fighter is meant to be a weapons master, it makes a certain amount of sense that you could use one to build a Ranger-equivalent.

I am not sure whether we are misunderstanding each other a bit. I don't think you can't use a fighter base to make a "ranger"-ish character, like Aragorn. My point was more that several people in this thread have stated that ranger is pretty much obsolete because a fighter/druid makes a "better" ranger than a ranger or ranger/druid does, which I disagree with.


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Temperans wrote:
* What I'm trying to say is that loosing the Ranger Combat style is probably part of whats hurting the PF2 class so much.

I thought about this early on in the Playtest. For me, the combat styles were just vehicle for:

1. Letting the player decide how they wanted to approach combat;

2. Giving the Ranger a combat edge in some specific manner that complimented/emphasized the decision in #1.

PF2 can easily duplicate this. Hunted Shot is essentially Rapid Shot...but only against your Target. That restriction is what kills it for me. The Ranger is being reduced in adaptability and tactical flexibility. Sure, single target focus is technically a unique for PF2, but for me, that design space is far more restrictive than choosing to go archery or two-hander.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
N N 959 wrote:
Quote:
A ranger having to buy spells with feats isn't fundamentally different from how a monk has to buy ki powers with feats or a druid has to buy new ways to wild shape with feats or a sorcerer has to buy bloodline powers with feats.
It is fundamentally different. Rangers, in all (i think it's all) previous versions of D&D have had spells as part of the class. They don't have to "buy" them. So your analogy isn't accurate. It's more like a Rogue having to buy Sneak Attack dice.

I'm not understanding how it is different - if I am not mistaken, Monks have had something resembling Ki powers in every previous incarnation. And druids have had automatic wild shape progression in every previous incarnation I am aware of.

"Some things that used to be intrinsic to the class are now options" seems to be a running theme of PF2e. Ranger spellcasting seems to be in that same paradigm. As I've said before, I imagine Mark's "as soon as possible" comment means we will see Ranger focus spells in the core book.


gwynfrid wrote:
But this isn't the same thing as giving you precisely what you're asking for (such as, for example, open access to a spell list). Their decisions have to remain consistent with the overall design of the classes.

Continued attempts to turn this into "my vision" are in bad faith. Everyone gives feedback on things that have meaning to their play style. More to the point, I'm not alone in finding fault with PF2 Ranger. This is not some me-specific problem.

Open access to reduced spell list was an example of something that could have been tried to address dissatisfaction with Ranger spells. There are other approaches, none of which was explored in the Playtest. It is no less consistent with PF2 than Hunt Target. Taking spells away from the Ranger is far less consistent with the games history. Resonance is about as far away from anything anyone wanted that I can imagine, and still Paizo pushed that mechanic on us. So those assertions mean little and are simply excuses to justify not doing something because you don't' believe in it, not because there some sacred design that it violates.

Quote:
By the way, let's not forget that next to nothing of the debates we're presently having will influence the final rules.

We don't know that. And even if it were true, it might influence the next reprint or some errata. Even if Paizo modified one thing taken from any of this discussion then that's a positive for someone and I'll take it. More to the point, this is the only means by which I can try to fix the problems as I see them. If you, or anyone else, thinks this is a waste of time, I encourage you to stop reading and spend your time elsewhere.

Quote:
Every single class underwent fundamental changes.

I didn't say other classes didn't experience changes, I said to their "core mechanics." Every class didn't experience fundamental change to the way it operates. We don't have posters saying the Cleric doesn't feel anything like a Cleric from PF1. Paizo wants to reinvent and fundamentally change the Ranger, that's their prerogative. What they got doesn't work for me and I'm not the only one saying this, so the only thing I can do is try and identify why.


MaxAstro wrote:


I'm not understanding how it is different - if I am not mistaken, Monks have had something resembling Ki powers in every previous incarnation. And druids have had automatic wild shape progression in every previous incarnation I am aware of.

You seem to be confusing the idea that because other classes experienced similar changes that somehow invalidates any complaints about the change. The difference is the Druid was way overpowered. Level 9 spells, a combat proxy, and ability to Wild Shape on top of all that as well. Level 9 spells alone put the Druid at the top of the mountain. The Ranger was not at the top or anywhere close to it..

There was tremendous hue and cry about the changes to Wild Shape for Druids. Many posters said the class was unplayable for them.

Quote:
"Some things that used to be intrinsic to the class are now options" seems to be a running theme of PF2e. Ranger spellcasting seems to be in that same paradigm.

I agree. I don't agree with that change in paradigm in this case. Others might.


N N 959 wrote:
gwynfrid wrote:

Then, there are a few issues specific to the ranger:

- Iconic abilities that rarely see use because they're narrowly focused to particular situations (tracking, etc).

Check.

Quote:
- Favored enemy (and terrain), a key ability that is 100% situational. This problem is so annoying that the designers came up with a band-aid: Instant Enemy.

It was intended to be situational...so I fail to see the problem. But certainly open to something more compelling.

Quote:
- Weak and frustrating spellcasting capability, primarily used through wands.

Check

Quote:
- Weak animal companion, which requires a feat to remain viable (Boon Companion)
Check

So we agree on some of the things that were problematic in PF1, How many of those things did Paizo fix in PF2?


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N N 959 wrote:
Quote:
"Some things that used to be intrinsic to the class are now options" seems to be a running theme of PF2e. Ranger spellcasting seems to be in that same paradigm.
I agree. I don't agree with that change in paradigm in this case. Others might.

I mean, in PF1 I would play monks who had no need for mystic mumbo jumbo (before the brawler was released), Paladins that had no spells, Rogues that didn't have sneak attack, Druids without an animal companion who never wild-shaped, etc.

In each of these cases I needed an archetype to trade away "a feature I did not want" for something else. I don't see why building "skip the stuff you don't want" into the system from the ground floor is anything but an improvement.


Nettah wrote:
RazarTuk wrote:
Nettah wrote:

The amount of people suggesting Fighter with druid dedication to be a "stronger" ranger is actually pretty shocking to me. Yes +1 to attack is good but is it really enough make a good "ranger". Currently I don't see fighters really having any support for high dexterity which I kinda see as a must-have for most rangers (wielding light armor to move faster, stealth better etc). A bad reflex save also makes the fighters much more prone to fail against most kinds of traps.

Maybe it's just me that view one of the core niches of the ranger to be the parties scout, which I honestly don't see the fighter/ druid fulfilling. So the argument for the fighter base vs ranger seems to come down to +1 to attack from proficiency.

Fighter/druid might be better fighting with 2 non-finesse weapons and wielding a heavy armor, but is that really a "ranger" at that point?

It makes sense to me, at least. To me, one of the most defining features of the Ranger, possibly even more so than something like the pet or favored enemy, is the combat style. Fighters may be the archetypical heroes with things like Bravery, but Rangers are weapons masters. Not only do they get bonus feats, but they get to ignore the prerequisites on those feats.

Since the 2e Fighter is meant to be a weapons master, it makes a certain amount of sense that you could use one to build a Ranger-equivalent.

I am not sure whether we are misunderstanding each other a bit. I don't think you can't use a fighter base to make a "ranger"-ish character, like Aragorn. My point was more that several people in this thread have stated that ranger is pretty much obsolete because a fighter/druid makes a "better" ranger than a ranger or ranger/druid does, which I disagree with.

Well yeah. If you view the Ranger's main thing as being the expert at a particular combat style, it is obsolete. Everything left is just being good at monster lore and having a pet, which can be accomplished through multiclassing into Druid. The 2e Ranger still fills a unique spot with single-target damage, but that was more the Slayer's thing than the Ranger. The Ranger, meanwhile, who was originally a variant Fighter, has become a Fighter again.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The thing is, N N, you keep conflating "lots of people think the playtest Ranger had problems" with "lots of people agree with you".

Lots of people do think the playtest Ranger had problems - again, I'm one of them. Very few people seem to think that "lack of spells as a core class feature" was among those problems. See: Paizo's survey results.

Just because a bunch of people agree the class has problems doesn't mean they agree with you what those problems are. No one in this thread, as far as I have seen, thinks the playtest Ranger was in a good place. But I don't see many people agreeing with you that the Ranger must have spellcasting otherwise it's disingenuous to call it a Ranger.

And I think your bias shows, when I point out that Druid and Monk went through the same things and you say "that's fine for Druid, it was overpowered anyway" and don't even mention Monk.

I do appreciate you conceding that disliking the change is your personal opinion, though. Previously you were coming across as making objective statements. And I can understand wanting to see something changed and feeling like you have to do everything you can to change it. I respect that.

Just please try to keep it in the realm of "this is what I want to see" rather than putting words in other's mouths or trying to sound like you know for a fact what Ranger has to be.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
In each of these cases I needed an archetype to trade away "a feature I did not want" for something else. I don't see why building "skip the stuff you don't want" into the system from the ground floor is anything but an improvement.

I much rather have "Here's your abilities, trade them out if you want" rather than "here's the barebones, build it yourself".

Because I'm not weighing each ability against each other, I'm just weighing them against what I'm trading for. As an example, Poison Resistance on Alchemist is something I tend to trade out in PF1. It's not that common a threat and I can pick up things that might be more useful or interesting. As such I tend to weigh Poison Res vs what an Archtype gives me.

PF2, I don't have to judge what Poison Res gives me. I can skip it. But now I'm judging what all the Class Feats give me instead. I believe Choice Paralyzes is the term but I much perfer to judge smaller amounts(Say 2-3 archetypes that trade out Poison Res) than judge which of 5 class feats might be good based on what I have and what I might pick up. Seriously with some of them, if you aren't taking the upgrade feats later why'd you pick it up?


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So here's a thought about the ranger-

One archetype for the ranger which excited me more than anything else was the "Stormwalker" from Ultimate Wilderness. In exchange for Hunter's Bond and being locked into archery, you got lightning powers- you can imbue your weapons with shock, you can ignore wind, and you can flash step. None of these things were spells (though you did eventually get "Control Weather" as an SLA) but they were very thematic, useful, and made your character feel magical.

In consideration with how the Barbarian went from a largely mundane class in PF1 to one where totem powers let you change size, grow horns, or breathe fire, what if we did something similar with the ranger? Where you choose a path that is tied to an element or some aspect of nature, and you get a combat style and some thematic special abilities tied to it? I am much more inclined to want to play an "underground" themed ranger who gets special powers because of their ties to and inspiration from the subterranean realm than an "underground" ranger who only gets bonuses when underground. So just like how a stormwalker can flash step and shoot electric arrows on a clear day, let an underground ranger be supernaturally sneaky even on the 3rd floor of someone's mansion or the elemental plane of air.

So instead of "be good at fighting who or where you have focused on" instead re-contextualize the class by making it "be inspired/empowered by what you have focused on in a way that makes you good at fighting."


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Ooh, that's actually a really cool idea.


MerlinCross wrote:
I much rather have "Here's your abilities, trade them out if you want" rather than "here's the barebones, build it yourself".

Definitely agree with this approach. Partly for the reasons you identify, but mainly because if Paizo is forced to build the default class, I think they'll have a better chance to build a class that works. It's too easy to rationalize a character that underperforms by attributing it to build choices of the player. Ah, you didn't do well in combat? Guess you should have ditched the spells and gone more combat feats. Ah, you didn't add much on the wilderness adventure, guess you should have gone less Companion and more Nature.

A class should work by default and part of that is the abilities working in a cohesive manner. That's harder to figure out if there is no default build.


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I feel like "packages of tradeoffs΅ add complexity for very little value since I've spent way too much time trying to figure out "do these archetypes stack" (this is of particular interest to the PF1 monk). It's a headache that to replace sneak attack on a rogue I have to get rid of trapfinding, or to get rid of spells or when I can't smash together two archetypes which make thematic sense together because they both alter the same class feature.

A system where you can trade off one thing for one other thing a la carte is simply easier to use, but it's also exactly the same thing as "you have a slot to fill here, and you can make these choices."


Okay so dont make packages of stuff that must all be replace. Isn't that what the new archetypes do? But wait, you can't have too many archetypes because they all take feats.

So the best solution still remains to give Ranger paths just like bards, Druids, Barbarians, Sorcerers, Alchemists, Paladins, Wizards (kinda), etc.

Seriously why is one of the first classes, the others being Sorcerer and wizard (kinda), to have paths in PF be one of the few to not get them in the playtest?


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
MaxAstro wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
Quote:
A ranger having to buy spells with feats isn't fundamentally different from how a monk has to buy ki powers with feats or a druid has to buy new ways to wild shape with feats or a sorcerer has to buy bloodline powers with feats.
It is fundamentally different. Rangers, in all (i think it's all) previous versions of D&D have had spells as part of the class. They don't have to "buy" them. So your analogy isn't accurate. It's more like a Rogue having to buy Sneak Attack dice.

I'm not understanding how it is different - if I am not mistaken, Monks have had something resembling Ki powers in every previous incarnation. And druids have had automatic wild shape progression in every previous incarnation I am aware of.

"Some things that used to be intrinsic to the class are now options" seems to be a running theme of PF2e. Ranger spellcasting seems to be in that same paradigm. As I've said before, I imagine Mark's "as soon as possible" comment means we will see Ranger focus spells in the core book.

focus spells don't cut it, they are an unchangeable, fixed 'spell' rather than the tool box of a spell list, this also hurt paladins l, but not as badly as replacing Smite with being a trap did.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
A system where you can trade off one thing for one other thing a la carte is simply easier to use, but it's also exactly the same thing as "you have a slot to fill here, and you can make these choices."

A system where half the kit is build it yourself strikes me as hard to balance.

How do you judge how strong or weak a class is if at any time you can have half your class be completely different? I mean when more APs come out are they going to have suggested feat picks? Or are we just going to see "Don't take class feat, just take X Dedication" in guides and characters? Is taking Sorcerer Dedication strong or is the base class that weak that you need spells? The idea of taking Druid for Ranger has already been floated in the topic but that still sounds more like a band aid than an actual fix.

That is, however, a far more in depth and detailed topic that probably deserves it's own thread. But I think that every class should be able to stand on it's own under default settings or build. And with a la carte system, that seems rather hard to perceive. At least on my end.

@Mathmuse: I mean I like the idea of some sort of Herbal ability for Ranger but maybe need some more polish to it. I've done deep dives in the gear for PF1 and liked the idea of Herbal/plant use when I saw them.

Still, part of me goes "Why not just Dedication Alchemist instead?"


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oholoko wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:


If everyone could take it as a skill feat, then it would not be a feature of rangers. (Thematically, barbarians and druids ought to be as good at Survival as rangers.) Perhaps it could be a skill feat, but rangers roll against DC 15 and non-rangers roll against DC 20.
Yeah that or rangers get a feat to get all of them at the right levels? Or something like rangers could choose a number of herbs equal to wis to grow every day? I loved the herbalist idea, even if i wanted the snare idea to work xD

I am in favor of rangers gaining additional skill feats. For example, suppose that the ranger gained a skill feat at every level, but the extra skill feats at odd levels had to relate to their Ranger's Edge (called Hunter's Edge in Rules Update 1.6, but it need more flexibility). The current Edges are Flurry, Precision, and Stalker. We could add a Snare edge for being able to make snares without an 8-bulk snare kit and an Gatherer edge for foraging in the wilderness. Flurry edge grants extra Athletics feats, Precision edge adds extra Thievery feats, Stalker edge adds extra Stealth feats, Snare edge adds extra Crating feats, and Gatherer edge adds extra Survival feats.

MerlinCross wrote:
@Mathmuse: I mean I like the idea of some sort of Herbal ability for Ranger but maybe need some more polish to it. I've done deep dives in the gear for PF1 and liked the idea of Herbal/plant use when I saw them.

For my Jade Regent campaign during the 3rd module The Hungry Storm I added rules for finding resources for crafting magic items so that the players could craft magic items on the multimonth caravan journey far from any towns. (Technically, the PF1 rules said to spend gold with no requirement of spending it in a town, but spending gold in the middle of nowhere feels like transmuting gold into magic items rather than buying magical reagents.) For my Iron Gods campaign, at the end of the 2nd module Lords of Rust I added similar rules for scavenging technological parts to repair technological items. I reduced the treasure by the wealth they scavenged, so this was no monetary benefit to the party.

My players loved those houserules. My wife said that living off the land by one's own gathering felt much more like the character doing things than buying reagents or parts at a shop. The martial characters gathered the magical reagents for the spellcasting characters who made magic items, so they felt more involved in magic item creation. I plan on adding such houserules to PF2. The gathering abilities for rangers came from that line of thought.

MerlinCross wrote:
Still, part of me goes "Why not just Dedication Alchemist instead?

Alchemist Dedication gives alchemical bombs. The ranger Herbalist feat is more like Quick Alchemy, which is granted by the Quick Alchemy alchemist dedication feat 4. And it is similar, but not identical. The ranger's plants ought to mimic primal magic while the alchemical items mimic arcane magic.

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