Ranger discussion spillover from Know Direction thread...


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Mark Seifter wrote:

Hey guys,

I feel like we've gotten a bit off track of the original topic of Jason's interview with the ranger and that talking about ranger theme and history might deserve it's own thread where those who are passionate can discuss it as the only topic. That said, since we don't have that yet (could someone interested in rangers start one up?) in terms of the question about survey results on spells and rangers, basically the results were the "Default no spells, with add an option to get spells like monk" option won by a landslide (and that'll guarantee we add that option at the soonest possible juncture we can fit it in), followed by the "Ranger never get spells" option with a sizeable chunk but nowhere near enough to challenge the leader, and in last place was the "Ranger has mandatory spells like in PF1" option.

First off, thank you for providing feedback. Second, Paizo removed spells from Rangers before you got the survey feedback, so that's where the "who, where, when" question was aimed, but I did ask what the Survey said, so thank you for providing that, though I suspect it comes as a rebuttal/justification for why PF2 went spell-less a priori.

My response to this is start with a response from another poster,

Doktor Weasel wrote:
I've always been a ranger fan, but was never really big on the spellcasting. Part of that was that Vancian, prepared spellcasting is terrible. Part was the spell selection and bad save DCs of any offensive spell. But probably the biggest issue was the action economy. In combat you could either cast a spell, or attack. And with the ranger spell list, attacking was pretty much always the best option. Moving to three actions opens up the possibility of rangers being able to use spells more effectively, especially if they're one action powers. So spellcasting rangers might actually be more popular in the new system.

I recall the Survey asking these questions, but I don't remember the Survey asking why people wanted a spell-less Ranger. The point I'm making is that the implementation of spells for the Ranger in PF1, imo, was terrible, just as the Doktor Weasel has said. So Paizo is asking if people want a spell-less Ranger without giving the players alternative spell casting options. It's like the school cafeteria serving moldy cake for dessert and then insisting kids don't like cake because nobody eats it. It's not surprising people would rather not have to take cake than be forced to contend with something that tasted horrible and hard to swallow.

Why not ask if people want an improved spell system or if players will use spells if the system were dramatically improved? The point is that I think it's really easy to misinterpret what people are unhappy with and miss an opportunity to fix something that would dramatically improve the play experience.

While I can see dumping spells as something to playtest, why wasn't improved spell access also tested. I posted, several times, a suggestion for improving spells for Ranger, but no one at Paizo seemed to have any interest in discussing any spell options for the Playtest.

That having been said, I can recognize the advantage in reducing the number of spell lists down to Occult, Arcane, Divine, and Primal. While I loved individual spell lists and the flexibility that gave the classes, there is is an argument for simplifying. I can also agree that it simply giving the Ranger access to the Primal list is not straight forward. I don't think all those spells are appropriate for the class. But something is needed. By making it default, you give the class more distinction from the other skill based martials and it will affect how the class is treated in future updates.


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gwynfrid wrote:
N N 959 wrote:

It's from the playtest blog. For me, it feels like this statement sets the class off-axis and it never gets back on.

https://paizo.com/community/blog/v5748dyo5lkw1&page=14?Ranger-Class-Pre view#694

I guess one shouldn't get overly hung up on the blog, it was just a preview of the playtest. It's superseded by the playtest book, which in turn will be superseded by the CRB, where we can expect more flavor content.

Yes and no. I read the blog as insight into what/how the people who were actually working on those classes were approaching them. So it might provide more insight as to what the designers were thinking than the CRB descriptions which are going to be written to be as inclusive as possible.

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That said, the ranger in PF1 is a hunter, I wouldn't want to say "first and foremost", but a hunter primarily:

But here's the rub, hunting isn't really a thing in Pathfinder. It's not a means to an end is more like a Profession than a heroic endeavor. Granted, it's really about the Ranger using the hunting skills as an adventurer, but as I said in the other thread, the "first and foremost" mindset feels like we are off on some tangent. What's more, the pivot for the class is Hunt Target. The entire time I played this class, i felt forced into this simple-minded approach of focusing on ONE target ALL THE TIME. It felt so incredibly limiting.

Quote:
If you look at the list of the PF1 ranger's class features, more than half directly refer to hunting or hunt-related activities: Track, Woodland Stride, Swift Tracker, Quarry, Hunter's Bond, Camouflage, and to top it off, the 20th level capstone is called Master Hunter. That's enough legacy, I should think.

There's only two abilities that are specific references to hunting, and that's Quarry and Master Hunter. Improved Quarry is still the same underlying mechanic. Far more of these feats are focused on Tracking. And while tracking is part of hunting, it is not hunting, it's tracking. Tracking conveys a different mindset.

Had the blog said, "First and foremost, the ranger is a tracker." I would have been all thumbs up and I suspect that the class would have turned out differently.

Quote:
Your more salient point is that the PF2 ranger plays in a way that feels too different from PF1. This is something I think I can agree too, although I wouldn't necessarily see it as a bad thing.

First, thank you for focusing on the salient point. Second, it is a bad thing if Paizo is telling me to come play PF2 and I can tell the "same stories" as I told in PF1, because I can't. Not having spells has already precluded that option. Paizo says they'll add them? If they aren't in Core, then who knows when you'll get them.

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But even as you have a right to think that the PF2 ranger is too much of a departure, you come across as telling us what The True Ranger is, and whether intentional or not, that just doesn't fly.

I never used the term "True Ranger." But the fact remains there is a game endorsed concept of what the Ranger is and the truths is a lot of players are not in tune with that, but instead view what they want the want their "Ranger" to be as the same thing as what the Ranger was intended to be. The class has had spells since Day One. The fact that someone can't imagine their Ranger character having spells doesn't change the class is designed with the concept of using spells.

gwnfrid wrote:
Quote:

N N 959 wrote:

A fact is that Ranger's have spells. That's what the class is. There's no opinion involved in that.
That one sounds really strange, considering how few spells the ranger gets to cast in PF1. Unless you spend considerable time playing at level 10+, your ranger won't ever cast more than 3 or 4 spells of level 1 or 2 in a given day. That's hardly a key characteristic of the class, in the experience of most players. You may disagree, but that is very much an opinion.

I never said it was a "key characteristic" I said the class has spells and is literally one of the things that defines the class and gives it distinction from any outdoorsy marital. Whether and to what extent any individual leverages that aspect is irrelevant, it's part of the class and a defining (in the technical sense) feature.

I'll also point out that with spell use, comes wand and scroll use. And this adds a tremendous amount of "power" (in the sense of Deadmanwalking) to the class as compared with Fighters, Rogues, and Barbarians. When Paizo removed spells, they removed a Ranger's access to all that classification of stuff. Even if the nature of those items is not going to be carried over to PF2, the Ranger has lost that axis of agency. I think Paizo underestimates the impact that has on the viability of the class. More so that Paizo gave absolutely NOTHING to compensate.


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Elfteiroh wrote:
Ranger is probably my most played class ever. I'm happy that they made the spells optional (they already mentioned they were thinking of a way to put them back as optional)

They aren't optional. There is no option for Spells. Mark says its on a list of things to look at, but it sounds like PF2 is going with a spell-less Ranger for Core because they've interpreted the Survey to mean people don't want spells. But I don't see any consideration that people wanting to opt out of spells has more do with the spell system in PF1, than not wanting Rangers to have spells.

Quote:
as they always clashed with my characters (Elfteiroh, my favorite of my characters, feels really weird with spells).

Right, so your view point is based not on what you think is appropriate for the class, but what is appropriate for your character concept, which happens to use the Ranger class.

Quote:
I understand your vision of Rangers...

It's not my "vision" of Rangers, I'm looking at the lore associated with the class from Day One and how the class was implemented in the progenitor games from whence comes the Ranger class. Spells have been there since the beginning, it has nothing to do with a "vision" of the class.

Quote:
But going as far as saying that the "community" don't know what the class is... Well... These are the kind of thing that are more "opinions" than facts, and with opinions, the community is usually more right than one individual.

That is debatable as it really depends on what one is discussing.

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I'll wait for the final rules to judge, but I'm pretty sure it will be much more flexible than now.

I'm not really that concerned with "flexibility." I'm concerned with something that makes good on what the historical concept and feel of the Ranger is. Why? Because I'm interested in playing the Ranger straight up and not concerned with how well it fits some specific character concept. My class concept is the Ranger as intended by the previous iterations of the game. PF2 is giving me something that doesn't feel like what came before. I'm not the only one who feels this way. And not that I expect a completely unchanged port of the experience, but the class isn't an improvement either.

I honestly don't know why Paizo can't just call this class a Hunter and we can all move on.


N N 959 wrote:
I honestly don't know why Paizo can't just call this class a Hunter and we can all move on.

Well because you are the only one complaining about the name... They won't change a name due to your opinion when most people seem to agree that the current ranger is a ranger.

But i do wonder if calling the main class hunter and giving a archetype named ranger would be better.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

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.


N N 959 wrote:
Elfteiroh wrote:
Ranger is probably my most played class ever. I'm happy that they made the spells optional (they already mentioned they were thinking of a way to put them back as optional)

They aren't optional. There is no option for Spells. Mark says its on a list of things to look at, but it sounds like PF2 is going with a spell-less Ranger for Core because they've interpreted the Survey to mean people don't want spells. But I don't see any consideration that people wanting to opt out of spells has more do with the spell system in PF1, than not wanting Rangers to have spells.

There is always the option to pick up spells from dedications. That seems to be a better way to go for me personally than giving them access to the primal spell list or inventing a new spell list.

I wouldn't mind seeing them get some spell powers sort of like monk or paladin, but that should be the closest the ranger got to be a spell caster in my view, at least in the CRB.

Down the line maybe if certain archetypes are introduced to replace some of the core class features rangers could get something more closely resembling spellcasting capabilities.

How would you prefer to do it, and what is the perfect goal in your mind in terms of spellcasting?


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.

Twin scimitars is likely a relic of the past with the current traits. Not that I object to that, scimitars have always been a weird duel-wielding weapon in terms of how the sword works in my mind, so forceful and sweep seems much more appropriate.


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There really was no way that the ranger was going to transition to PF2 as a full casting class, with the simplification of spell casters into full caster, i.e gets spells, or mystically imbued, i.e gets powers.

I agree that it is too bad that we didn't get a chance to see what the ranger with powers would look like in the playtest, but my guess is that there were no basic ideas that felt complete enough at the time to playtest and the inclusion of the ranger in the core rulebook was too important to leave out, if they felt like they had the mechanics down for a ranger without powers.

Personally, the Playtest ranger was wildly uninspiring and I can't imagine why I would want to play one over a fighter. Having a pet would have been much better left entirely to general feats.

I too want to see what the ranger with powers looks like, and would rather have seen the ranger left out of the core rulebook until it felt like a more thematic class than pushed in as character that feels awfully similar to the PF1 rogue.


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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.

That's Drizzt. His pet was from an item. He's a viable Ranger conception, but I don't agree that other conceptions are projecting a personal preference. Many Ranger concepts existed before Drizzt did. I can't think of any other Ranger that used two scimitars.

From my perspective, you're the one projecting personal preference. My personal preference would be for PF2 to continue to support a wider definition, as I believe all preceding rules did.

Liberty's Edge

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Chance Wyvernspur 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.

That's Drizzt. His pet was from an item. He's a viable Ranger conception, but I don't agree that other conceptions are projecting a personal preference. Many Ranger concepts existed before Drizzt did. I can't think of any other Ranger that used two scimitars.

From my perspective, you're the one projecting personal preference. My personal preference would be for PF2 to continue to support a wider definition, as I believe all preceding rules did.

Chance, meet Gorbacz. He's our regular "bag of sarcasm" on the forums. I believe in this case he was trying to indicate that N N 959 was being overly narrow in his definition of ranger by being even more narrow in his reply. If he was serious, I will be very surprised.


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N N 959 wrote:
But here's the rub, hunting isn't really a thing in Pathfinder. It's not a means to an end is more like a Profession than a heroic endeavor. Granted, it's really about the Ranger using the hunting skills as an adventurer ...

Yes. "Uses hunting skills as an adventurer" is the most exact definition of the ranger class I can think of. There you have the ranger's identity in one phrase that applies to all iterations of the class since it was first invented (refer to Jason's quote in the Know Direction thread).

N N 959 wrote:
...but as I said in the other thread, the "first and foremost" mindset feels like we are off on some tangent. What's more, the pivot for the class is Hunt Target. The entire time I played this class, i felt forced into this simple-minded approach of focusing on ONE target ALL THE TIME. It felt so incredibly limiting.

Now, this is a compelling objection to the PF2 ranger. There is a risk of being a one-trick pony, indeed.

N N 959 wrote:
First, thank you for focusing on the salient point. Second, it is a bad thing if Paizo is telling me to come play PF2 and I can tell the "same stories" as I told in PF1, because I can't. Not having spells has already precluded that option. Paizo says they'll add them? If they aren't in Core, then who knows when you'll get them.

I'll continue the focus on the salient point and let go of the debate on hunting vs tracking skills (which feels like terminology for its own sake). I find it hard to believe that the PF1 ranger's pitiful spellcasting ability was ever important to any story. Sure there will be exceptions, but wouldn't they be incredibly rare? In the campaign I'm running (level 8 right now) the ranger will cast some buff spell like Gravity Bow or Aspect of the Falcon before combat, and that's it. Not a bad buff, but the story would be the exact same if she didn't have spells.

N N 959 wrote:
I never used the term "True Ranger." But the fact remains there is a game endorsed concept of what the Ranger is

Different words, same thing.

N N 959 wrote:
... and the truths is a lot of players are not in tune with that, but instead view what they want the want their "Ranger" to be as the same thing as what the Ranger was intended to be. The class has had spells since Day One. The fact that someone can't imagine their Ranger character having spells doesn't change the class is designed with the concept of using spells.

I'm afraid the surveys don't support your view.

Mark Seifter wrote:
in terms of the question about survey results on spells and rangers, basically the results were the "Default no spells, with add an option to get spells like monk" option won by a landslide (and that'll guarantee we add that option at the soonest possible juncture we can fit it in), followed by the "Ranger never get spells" option with a sizeable chunk but nowhere near enough to challenge the leader, and in last place was the "Ranger has mandatory spells like in PF1" option.

In other words: For the vast majority of people, spells are either an option, or should not be part of the class at all. This is a definitive vote against making spells a baseline class feature for the ranger.

N N 959 wrote:
I never said it was a "key characteristic" I said the class has spells and is literally one of the things that defines the class

Different words, same thing. Let's not get bogged into that sort of word play, it serves no practical purpose.

N N 959 wrote:

I'll also point out that with spell use, comes wand and scroll use. And this adds a tremendous amount of "power" (in the sense of Deadmanwalking) to the class as compared with Fighters, Rogues, and Barbarians. When Paizo removed spells, they removed a Ranger's access to all that classification of stuff. Even if the nature of those items is not going to be carried over to PF2, the Ranger has lost that axis of agency. I think Paizo underestimates the impact that has on the viability of the class. More so that Paizo gave absolutely NOTHING to compensate.

Now, I like your arguments much more when they're about concrete things. You have a point here. But I always felt that this isn't the kind of agency for the class. It is a crutch, to try and make it differentiated from other martials, with something that doesn't really belong there, and isn't implemented well at all (I think we will at least agree on that last point). Access to a long spell list is more of a frustration than anything else, when the number of spells per day is ridiculously low, and anyway you don't have time to cast them because you need to get into the enemy's face already.

Rather than access to a spell list, I think the option to bring powers, like Mark promised, and like the survey suggested, is the right path. This will allow for iconic abilities (animal speech comes to mind) and give the ranger just the right sense of the supernatural. For those who want more of this magical feel, a druid or fey sorcerer dedication will be the answer.

That said, this doesn't fix the other issues with the PF2 ranger, such as the constrained nature of Hunt Target and its related feats, or the lack of skills. On those, I agree with you.


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I guess I feel like it is hard to understand why the rogue and the ranger (as presented in the play test) need to be 2 separate classes in PF2. It feels like the crux of both classes is that they have larger access to skills than a pure fighter as a martial, but each also needed a unique combat style or else they started to feel boring. The problem for the ranger is that the efforts to make them have a unique combat style are just severely underwhelming in comparison to the fighter. I understand that the lore around rogues and rangers is very different, but mechanically, in PF2, without magic, they both really should just be the skill focused martial, with access to more skill feats than other classes. The classic ranger variant might take more skill feats related to nature, animal husbandry, tracking and survival, while the classic rogue takes ones related to stealing things, but most of the unique things about both classes feel far more like skill feats than class feats.

Perhaps a mystic ranger archetype would have allow this class to have access to the more magical powers, but even at the what special ability does each class need to excel in, it seems like both probably could go to legendary on reflex saves, perception and be at master for fortitude and Will saves and people would be comfortable with that.

The ranger is really hurting from the lack of skill feats for being a skilled martial, a problem that will grow exponentially more apparent as new skill feats come out that become character defining.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Ranger historically has had a strong identity, but its strong identity doesn't play well with the large majority of games being played. In PF1E it's some kind of wilderness tracker, nature guide, guy or gal who's really good at fighting a narrow set of creatures, and a dabbler in nature magic. That's all well and good when you have a wilderness oriented campaign, but I'd say the large majority of APs in PF1E are a poor match for this skill set.

You know what we call narrowly applicable classes with specialized skills for certain types of campaigns in PF1E?

Archetypes

---

Obviously, Ranger wasn't turned into an archetype in 2E. Instead Paizo stripped away all the stuff that made their base class chassis way too narrowly focused, and added all the wilderness themed stuff as optional feats. This is good from the perspective that it allows you to make city-stalking trap-specialists rather than nature wanderers, but at the same time, so little flavor remains that the class doesn't feel meaningfully different from a Fighter.

Maybe Ranger should be an archetype in 2E? One that can give any class wilderness related abilities and/or an animal companion and/or minor magical powers?


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

N N, you have some good points that I'd love to engage with, but as long as you are saying things like this:

Quote:
It's not my "vision" of Rangers, I'm looking at the lore associated with the class from Day One and how the class was implemented in the progenitor games from whence comes the Ranger class. Spells have been there since the beginning, it has nothing to do with a "vision" of the class.

I don't really see how it's possible to have a meaningful discussion with you. You are coming across as saying that you know the One True Way that Rangers HAVE to be otherwise they aren't Rangers, and that doesn't leave any room for dialog.

Put another way, Rangers were Lawful-only on Day One and I don't see you arguing for a Lawful-only Ranger; if you are picking and choosing which parts of the original Ranger are part of "the lore associated with the class from Day One", how is that not your vision of the class?


A note on the comments about how it would have been nice to see what the Ranger would have looked like with optional Powers, here's my take on that:

There are two classes we have that we're low-tier casters in PF1, Ranger and Paladin. In converting to the new system they had two ideas to look at for adjusting these classes. Optional Powers or no magic at all. I think they may have decided to try optional Powers with one (Paladin) and no magic at all with the other (Ranger) so they could test the waters on both ideas.

At least that's my thoughts on it.

Obviously people's opinion on an optional Powers paladin doesn't clearly state what they would have thought of an optional Powers Ranger and the no magic Ranger doesn't clearly state what people would have thought of a no magic Paladin, but it DOES let them measure General reception to "low-tier caster now has no magic" vs. "low tier caster has optional Powers now", which I expect is what they really needed.

Almost like Paizo knows what they're doing or something! ;P


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Edge93 wrote:
Obviously people's opinion on an optional Powers paladin doesn't clearly state what they would have thought of an optional Powers Ranger...

Can we get an optional Power Ranger in PF2e, though? I really need more Megazords in my campaigns. :P


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Nettah wrote:
How would you prefer to do it, and what is the perfect goal in your mind in terms of spellcasting?

This is not an easy or straightforward thing to answer, especially if we are talking in the context of stuff that is viable for PF2. In order to propose something, I'd need to know what is on the table as far as options for casting? Are we stuck with the current spell lists? Is Paizo ever going to allow a class to have its own subset?

For me and in my game play, spell use for the Ranger is really about several key aspects: adaptability and specialization. Many of the spells offer a Ranger a solution, but in a very narrow situation e.g. Glide. Some are just good buffs that feel very class appropriate e.g.Longstrider.

Having spells also creates a powerful narrative for the class in comparison to other martials. It suggests and evokes the concept the Ranger is operating on intellect and cunning rather than straight skill and strength. In other words, the Ranger's mental faculties are intended to be cultivated in addition to its physical attributes. Removing spells, undercuts the adaptability of the class as well as the concept. I agree with many other posters that the PF2 Ranger feels uninspiring and more like some type of martial subtype than its own unique entity. I think that's a net loss for Paizo and PF2 especially.

Some posters talk about spells don't fit in with their character concept. I get that and I am also sensitive to the way the class has been promoted in 3.5/PF1, the spells don't really feel like an organic extension of the class. I think that can easily be solved with the presentation and mechanics. Make spells more ritual/herbal based, as has been discussed in past threads. A spell like Entangle could be described as throwing potent fertilizer on the ground. Also, get rid of the prepare spell casting. That doesn't make sense if you have few spells which are situational.

For me, the underlying value is in the Ranger being more than the sum of its combat mechanics and dry skills. Spells add a narrative dimension to the class, just by virtue of their being available, but it doesn't necessarily have to be formal spells. And it can't just be you get to cast light twice a day. The spell option should allow the Ranger to boost itself or improve itself in a wide variety of circumstances.


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Unicore wrote:
There really was no way that the ranger was going to transition to PF2 as a full casting class, with the simplification of spell casters into full caster, i.e gets spells, or mystically imbued, i.e gets powers.

I don't know anyone arguing for a full caster. Nor am I trying to say that lack so of spells is the main problem with the PF2 Ranger, but lots of little things add up. And something substantive was taken from the class and nothing was given back to it.

Quote:
I too want to see what the ranger with powers looks like, and would rather have seen the ranger left out of the core rulebook until it felt like a more thematic class than pushed in as character that feels awfully similar to the PF1 rogue.

I completely agree. I would much rather Paizo not push something out that is half-baked, just to fill the namespace. I would much rather Paizo fix the spell casting situation and put that out as the base Ranger than go to Core with Spell-less and try and add back in after the fact. This may sound like spitting hairs, but whatever comes out in Core is going to have the biggest impact on how the class is perceived.


3 things I didn't care about for the PF1 ranger:

- Spells: you don't get any until 4th level and you're still somehow a prepared caster for some reason?

- Favored Enemy: Asks player to predict what they're going to fight most and potentially forces a player to mutate their backstory in order to justify it.

- Favored terrain: As above.

As long as those things are gone and what we end up with is pretty good, I'm happy. If anything the Ranger should be the person who knows about Abberations, Animals, Constructs, Dragons, Fey, Humanoids, Magical Beasts, Oozes, Outsiders, Plants, and Vermin... not just a subset of them.


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MaxAstro wrote:

N N, you have some good points that I'd love to engage with, but as long as you are saying things like this:

Quote:
It's not my "vision" of Rangers, I'm looking at the lore associated with the class from Day One and how the class was implemented in the progenitor games from whence comes the Ranger class. Spells have been there since the beginning, it has nothing to do with a "vision" of the class.
I don't really see how it's possible to have a meaningful discussion with you. You are coming across as saying that you know the One True Way that Rangers HAVE to be otherwise they aren't Rangers, and that doesn't leave any room for dialog.

You and several others are getting hung up on the idea that the Ranger has a core concept. Guess what...every class has a core concept. Every class in every game comes from some core concept. The fact that some classes can support or facilitate a greater deviations from that core concept e.g. the Ranger, don't change the fact that the class originates from central ideas.

It is 100% valid for someone to look at the source material and talk about whether concept A or concept B is consistent with previous iterations of the class. You may not agree with my assessment, so bet it. But that doesn't change the fact that the core concept exists and some person's idea of what is or meant to be may be skewed. That's not a value judgment on a concept, that's an observation based on comparison.

When posters tell me spells casting is not part of the concept, and yet since The Strategic Review 1 Volume 2 the class has had spell casting, and has had spell casting in every D&D iteration, then I'm sorry, you're not in tune with the history of the class. When every single iteration of the Ranger has mentioned "tracking" but not hunting, then sorry, I'm 100% correct in saying the Ranger is not "first and foremost" a hunter. Now, if Paizo wants to change that Ranger moving forward, so be it. But Paizo is clearly asking us if this lets us tell the same stories and my response is no.

Quote:
Put another way, Rangers were Lawful-only on Day One and I don't see you arguing for a Lawful-only Ranger; if you are picking and choosing which parts of the original Ranger are part of "the lore associated with the class from Day One", how is that not your vision of the class?

Rangers were introduced in a publication. Original D&D didn't have a published Ranger. Original D&D had three alignments, Law, Neutrality, and Chaos. So Law = Good. And yeah, for many iterations, Rangers were restricted to Good alignment and if I recall, couldn't even be Lawful Good in one iteration. But opening up other alignment options doesn't impact my ability to tell the same story. Restricting and removing them absolutely would. Removing spells from a class that has had them since Day One, isn't even categorically similar to allowing more alignment options.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Every class does have a core concept, I agree. What I disagree with is your apparent assertion that you are the arbitrator of what that core concept is, especially in the face of the fact that it seems that the vast majority of Paizo's fans don't share your opinion.

For me, the core concept of the Ranger is "wilderness expert specialized in tracking and hunting"; that's how I've played Rangers and seen them played since 3.5. Spells have never been part of what I've seen as the "core concept" of the Ranger. They were a tool that helped the Ranger achieve his core concept, but not a core part of the identity and to me at least it's obviously possible to achieve the same identity without spells.

Telling me you have a different concept of the Ranger and you'd prefer to see Paizo move in the direction of your concept instead of mine is fine, I'd love to have that discussion.

Telling me that my concept of the Ranger is objectively wrong and yours is objectively right is just rude and leaves no room for mature discussion.


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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I always felt like the concept of "rituals" would fit the Ranger much more than spells. And it would be much more useful too. I worked for a long time on a ritual system for Rangers, until they announced the playtest, so I put it on hold, and now Rituals are a base system. TBH, I'm very content with that development.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
MaxAstro wrote:

Every class does have a core concept, I agree. What I disagree with is your apparent assertion that you are the arbitrator of what that core concept is, especially in the face of the fact that it seems that the vast majority of Paizo's fans don't share your opinion.

For me, the core concept of the Ranger is "wilderness expert specialized in tracking and hunting"; that's how I've played Rangers and seen them played since 3.5. Spells have never been part of what I've seen as the "core concept" of the Ranger. They were a tool that helped the Ranger achieve his core concept, but not a core part of the identity and to me at least it's obviously possible to achieve the same identity without spells.

Telling me you have a different concept of the Ranger and you'd prefer to see Paizo move in the direction of your concept instead of mine is fine, I'd love to have that discussion.

Telling me that my concept of the Ranger is objectively wrong and yours is objectively right is just rude and leaves no room for mature discussion.

. My concept of Ranger (or one of them) was Nature’s champion, the Druidic Paladin (suitably altered by the major differences in how that concept would operate) the guy who stabbed the enemies of nature, whether the good hunter of monsters, or the evil vision of eradication of civilisation to that end the deities of nature who approach those same goals bless the ranger with spells, and in later editions a companion and guardian animal. That is gone now, you can’t be that guy, you cannot be a spell casting ranger, (Rangers even suck at their new ‘fighter with a stalkerish obsession’ identity most combat feats they have are worse versions of fighter feats, which again brings up the class feat straight jacket...but thta has damaged every class, not just Rangers.


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Wasn't the "Druid's Paladin" class *supposed* to be the Shifter, per last edition's lore? If they planned on keeping that, there's no way they would stick the ranger in that niche.

But I feel like it's weird to give rangers a specific philosophical or religious bent just like it's weird to do the same to Fighters, Alchemists, Wizards, Bards, Rogues, etc.

Like "I protect the wilderness", "I am a bounty hunter who's just in it for cash", "I live in the woods because that is where I am most comfortable", "I was the last survivor of my village so I live rough and seek to avenge my people", etc. are all valid ranger concepts.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
PossibleCabbage wrote:

Wasn't the "Druid's Paladin" class *supposed* to be the Shifter, per last edition's lore? If they planned on keeping that, there's no way they would stick the ranger in that niche.

But I feel like it's weird to give rangers a specific philosophical or religious bent just like it's weird to do the same to Fighters, Alchemists, Wizards, Bards, Rogues, etc.

Like "I protect the wilderness", "I am a bounty hunter who's just in it for cash", "I live in the woods because that is where I am most comfortable", "I was the last survivor of my village so I live rough and seek to avenge my people", etc. are all valid ranger concepts.

. They are, not going to argue, I was pointing to a concept I used more than once and showing how it was impossible now (and no, powers do not fix it, if we get them) not claiming it was the one true path or anything, just that it was my favourite and is not possible now.


Wouldn't a Ranger multiclassed with the Druid work for that sort of thing though?


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PF1 Ranger to me was a metagaming-not-optional class based around killing a creature type humans or undead and skipping feat taxes. And eventually they got some spells Gravity Bow and Instant Enemy. You could distinguish them by their choice of pet.

Getting rid of Favored Enemy was enough for me to consider the class improved for me. No more backstories centered around “Why I Hate X”, no more needing a themed campaign, and no more needing players’ guides for campaigns to spell out what creature types you’ll face.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Wouldn't a Ranger multiclassed with the Druid work for that sort of thing though?

. Nope. The multiclass system is horrendous, and an attempt to patch a broken feat system, not a decent mechanic, and certainly never to be used to build a concept


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Rob Godfrey wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Wouldn't a Ranger multiclassed with the Druid work for that sort of thing though?
. Nope. The multiclass system is horrendous, and an attempt to patch a broken feat system, not a decent mechanic, and certainly never to be used to build a concept

I disagree with you on this (as Rogue with Bard spellsgets me a concept I want), but I understand that Ranger will also be getting spell powers in a similar fashion to Paladin (hopefully with a similar inexpensive-and-strong bent). I’ll be pretty happy with some sort of nature healing to address poison/hp, echoing Aragorn a bit.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Rob Godfrey wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Wouldn't a Ranger multiclassed with the Druid work for that sort of thing though?
. Nope. The multiclass system is horrendous, and an attempt to patch a broken feat system, not a decent mechanic, and certainly never to be used to build a concept

*Looks at my two players who used multiclassing to build their concepts that worked both narratively AND mechanically with 0 issues.*

Guys apparently that didn't work!


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gwynfrid wrote:
Yes. "Uses hunting skills as an adventurer" is the most exact definition of the ranger class I can think of. There you have the ranger's identity in one phrase that applies to all iterations of the class since it was first invented (refer to Jason's quote in the Know Direction thread).

No, it doesn't the Ranger Jason posted in the thread doesn't mention hunting...at all. It does specifically talk about tracking and provides a table for making tracking roles

The Strategic Review Vo1. 1, No. 2 wrote:

+They have the ability to track the path of most creatures when out- doors, and even in dungeons they are often able to follow

***
The ranger so tracking must have observed the monster no more than six turns previously when in dungeon situations. On the outdoor he has a basic 90% chance of following a trail, with a 10% reduction for every day old the signs are.
Because of their ability to track Rangers also are difficult to surprise, requiring a roll of 1 instead of 1 or 2.
Quote:
I'll continue the focus on the salient point and let go of the debate on hunting vs tracking skills (which feels like terminology for its own sake).

It's not the same thing or my simply being pedantic. Hunting is not tracking and tracking is not hunting. Neither one requires the other. The salient question here is to what extent Paizo's focus on hunting has influenced the game design. I think when you start out with the idea that the ranger is a hunter, "first and foremost" you're going to end up in a different spot than if you are not trying to effectuate this narrow concept. Yes, Rangers can be thought of as hunting their Favored Enemies or the Giant class monsters, but in 3.5/PF1, Favored Enemy/Terrain provided benefits that went beyond simply hunting something.

A design focus on hunting is going to restrict the class and that will most likely result in the class having less "power" (a la DMW) than it should. Surprise, surprise, this is exactly how I felt playing the class. Lots of people have made the same observation. So I think it's reasonable for me to believe the problem with the class may be a result of the focus from the get-go.

Now, I'm not saying some people aren't enjoying the PF2 Ranger. But is Paizo happy with its overall reception? If not, then they need to start asking themselves what mistakes were made, where did they get off track.

Quote:
I find it hard to believe that the PF1 ranger's pitiful spellcasting ability was ever important to any story.

well, let me give you a concrete example. One of my rangers was invited to a wedding on an island.. Magic was restricted and we had to surrender our wands, only we had a mission on the island and we needed them. So I used Wild Empathy and [i]Speak with Animals[i] to convince a pelican to carry our wands over to the island.

In another mission, we had to infiltrate a compound. I convinced sewer rat to scout the sewers and it found an entrance which we used.

I've also used Gravity Bow, Lead Blades, Resist Energy, Shield Companion, Feather Step, and Longstrider, to tremendous effect and benefit. That's excluding the ability to use CLW wands which comes directly from having a spell list. So spells have had a substantive and demonstrative effect on my ranger's story telling. In fact, spells are a bigger factor in my game play than Tracking is by an order of magnitude. And on paper you'd think Tracking was far more important to the concept.

Quote:
N N 959 wrote:
I never used the term "True Ranger." But the fact remains there is a game endorsed concept of
Different words, same thing.

No, it's not. Not in the way you mean True Ranger. There is no "True Ranger." There is class concept which supports different play-styles and there are attributes/abilities given to the class that are designed to support that concept, as is true with every class in every RPG. The fact that some people aren't aware of them or don't recognize them doesn't mean they aren't there.

Quote:
I'm afraid the surveys don't support your view.

You're totally misinterpreting the survey. The survey says nothing about Rangers on a historical or design perspective. The survey asked what people preferred. And even in that I think the nature of how the question was asked is going go lead Paizo down the wrong path. People disliked how spells were implemented in PF1. People do not want to impose spells on every one who wants to play a Ranger. I am in that same boat. I have no problem with there being an opt out option and I do not like the PF1 spell mechanics. As Ninja said in the other thread, that doesn't mean I don't think spells are important to the class and should be available as a default. The Survey did not give me an option to express that in the multiple choice answers.

I also think that people were saying that wanted spell-less under the impression that they'd be given something equally as good. Did Paizo do that? No. Did they give anything even in the ballpark of what spells offered? No. Do you think if the Survey had said:"

A - "You get NO spells and nothing else to compensate"

B - "We're going to fix spells for the Ranger and make it default but with an opt-out"

The majority would be taking A as Paizo seems to suggest?

Quote:
It is a crutch, to try and make it differentiated from other martials, with something that doesn't really belong there, and isn't implemented well at all (I think we will at least agree on that last point). Access to a long spell list is more of a frustration than anything else, when the number of spells per day is ridiculously low, and anyway you don't have time to cast them because you need to get into the enemy's face already.

Spell have been a part of the class since Day One. But I 100% agree with everything else. The implementation in 3.5 / PF1 is horrible. I am not surprised that many would rather jettison spells than be saddled with it if they thought this would force Paizo to give them something else

As I said in another post, spell use is but one facet of the class. But these little things add up and a series of small poor decision can be just as devastating as one big one.


QuidEst wrote:
And eventually they got some spells Gravity Bow and Instant Enemy.

As I understand it the most common approach to ranger spellcasting in PF1 was "hooray now I can use wands and scrolls of things that are on my spell list". However, since the Ranger has a bunch of skills and both "wisdom" and "nature" are on brand, can't we largely replicate this with rituals and the "trick magic item" skill feat? Add back in powers for those two things you want to use over and over again and we're basically back where we started.

Rob Godfrey wrote:
. Nope. The multiclass system is horrendous, and an attempt to patch a broken feat system, not a decent mechanic, and certainly never to be used to build a concept

I mean, I greatly prefer PF2's basic scheme of multiclassing to PF1's (where I would give up on all progress in a class because I was moonlighting and have to make a whole new leveling up chart). We had several effective multiclass characters in our playtest games (my recurring character was a monk/rogue). Problem with a bunch of things in the playtest, however, was just the bottleneck of "everything depends on class feats, which are far and away how a character improves he most" which is something the devs are aware of and plan to address.


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Aragorn didn’t have spells, just a bit of fancy healing with a plant. The new Ranger will let you select limited powers, so you build Aragorn by selecting a nature healing spell if they have one.

I feel like “look at Tolkien” is about as valid as “look at 1974 D&D”.

The new Ranger can have spells, handled about the same as Paladin. Paladin had other supernatural abilities, so they start out with a spell, while Ranger didn’t, so they’ll need to select it.


oholoko wrote:
The game evolve, it isn't old dnd showing the roots of the old ranger won't work.

The PF1 Ranger has many problems. The lack of tracking being generally useable. The manor in which spells work, the animal companion rules are mess and the animal companion without Boon Companion is not combat viable at higher levels, etc.

I was hoping PF2 was going to address these issues and others. But for me, and others, the classing PF2 feels like a Hunter and that's not what I want to play. I'm trying to give Paizo constructive feedback on how to fix that. It's up to Paizo what they want to do with that.


oholoko wrote:
At least i am saying the class evolved and many of its concepts are now gone...

Uh...in the current version of Pathfinder Rangers have spells. So "gone" is not exactly accurate.

Quote:
Ranger become more of a hunter, ranger has no spells.

Uh...no. The Ranger has spells, the Hunter Slayer does not. Paizo hasn't released Version 2 yet. So the Ranger still has spells.

Quote:
but saying well that does not fit the ranger concepts from before don't seem to work here...

Yeah...not quite. Let's look again at what Mark posted,

Mark Seifert wrote:
...basically the results were the "Default no spells, with add an option to get spells like monk" option won by a landslide

So the "landslide" of votes wants some spell like powers for the class. Suggesting that now everyone wants the Hunter Slayer and don't want spells is not accurate, as I see it. But the survey wasn't nuanced. The other choices are "mandatory" spells and "no spells."

Quote:
Because this is the ranger now
No, that was the Playtest Ranger. Paizo hasn't finalized it and I'm lobbying for them them to not give us the HunterSlayer.
Quote:
give reasons why rangers now need to be less focused on hunting, what do they gain and i would be less likely to negate your points by saying

I've done that. I've talked at length about how a hunting focus has limited the class and how spell-like abilities help the class and how they could be presented and what they should do.

Lots of people don't like the Playtest, spell-less Ranger. So Paizo got some things wrong. Obviously we all have different opinions on what those things are and I'm not claiming to have any superior insight compared to anyone else, but I am going to provide my opinion to try and help fix it.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Okay, if I mentally prefix "in my opinion" to everything you say, then your comments become reasonable again. So I guess I'll just do that.

It's a little late for "try and help fix it", though, since Paizo has already closed feedback and is working on the final version as we speak.

In my opinion, lots of people didn't like the playtest Ranger (I was one of them) but the lack of spells was not a big reason why (it certainly wasn't for me).


Wait, what? What do you mean Hunter doesn’t have spells? Hunter is a 6/9 caster, which is more than Ranger.


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MaxAstro wrote:

Okay, if I mentally prefix "in my opinion" to everything you say, then your comments become reasonable again. So I guess I'll just do that.

It's a little late for "try and help fix it", though, since Paizo has already closed feedback and is working on the final version as we speak.

In my opinion, lots of people didn't like the playtest Ranger (I was one of them) but the lack of spells was not a big reason why (it certainly wasn't for me).

Well for me it wasn't the fact that the pet is bad and requires too many feats(I loved the pet my player had a cool bear), it also wasn't the lack of spells. And i really liked the flavor of the class... To me it was just the rest of the class was... Well not well aimed... I mean crossbows just were annoying, snares that were the main draw for me of the ranger on the playtest flopped hard... Being able to treat enemies as flatfooted on a very narrow set of circumstances and having to focus on multiples attacks when your whole class has no way to do so well.

The two first level feats and ranger archetypes were such a good step into the right direction for me xD


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I mean, that the playtest ranger was unpopular probably had relatively little to do with spells (since someone wanting to cast spells had other options.) It probably had to do with the ranger not having much else that uniquely comes together to make the class interesting and fun.

Like I could look at the various options for feats and come up with fighters, monks, barbarians, and rogues I wanted to play. But the ranger didn't have much that appealed to me and "adding spells" would not have fixed that.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Malk_Content wrote:
Rob Godfrey wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Wouldn't a Ranger multiclassed with the Druid work for that sort of thing though?
. Nope. The multiclass system is horrendous, and an attempt to patch a broken feat system, not a decent mechanic, and certainly never to be used to build a concept

*Looks at my two players who used multiclassing to build their concepts that worked both narratively AND mechanically with 0 issues.*

Guys apparently that didn't work!

. If you enjoyed it, fair enough, I wont tell you badworngfun, but personally I loathe it for straight jacketing classes, feats used to be (imperfect) ways to customise a character to a concept, now they are this...thing that lumps core class features and combat feats into a single poll and slaps a class roadblock on them, then imposes a tax, and a further ‘must buy more feats’ chain on what should be a simple choice: do I want to use two weapons.? If yes get TWF, off the feat list, not ‘pay a feat to multiclass fighter, then another feat for the only decent twf feat’ multiclass should be more fundemental than that, it should be a real edge case build, (for instance the old Sword Lord builds that used fighter and monk to make the ultimate duelling build) or flow from in game events, not be the gate keeper on what were core class concepts.


QuidEst wrote:
Wait, what? What do you mean Hunter doesn’t have spells? Hunter is a 6/9 caster, which is more than Ranger.

Sorry, I'm thinking of the Slayer. The PF2 Ranger feels more like a Slayer.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

3 things I didn't care about for the PF1 ranger:

- Spells: you don't get any until 4th level and you're still somehow a prepared caster for some reason?

- Favored Enemy: Asks player to predict what they're going to fight most and potentially forces a player to mutate their backstory in order to justify it.

- Favored terrain: As above.

As long as those things are gone and what we end up with is pretty good, I'm happy. If anything the Ranger should be the person who knows about Abberations, Animals, Constructs, Dragons, Fey, Humanoids, Magical Beasts, Oozes, Outsiders, Plants, and Vermin... not just a subset of them.

I agree largely with these points, but the ability of Rangers to utilize a vast array of magic items, really went a long way in defining the class for me. I agree that rituals could be the magic fix the ranger needs, but the way rituals were presented in the playtest were wildly underwhelming and focused on an occultism/cult group casting that really moves in the wrong direction for me personally. If they fix that, and make the ranger the martial character that is the best non-caster ritualist, that might create enough of a unique identity to make them interesting. It would make a lot more sense to me for that to be one of the three directions a ranger could focus class abilities and feats into.

But the game needs to decide what role animal companions are going to play overall and whether that fits more into a general feat thing, or if it is going to be core enough to character identity to occupy a class focus and then pick one class to be the master of that. If that is the ranger, then I guess I am probably done playing rangers, but then the ranger should stop pretending like there are other decent builds for it, because the classes combat styles are just, by necessity, always going to be worse than the fighter and hunt target is just not worthy of being a class defining ability when it is so situational and seems to deliberately not supportive of using a bow. I understand that the reason for that is because the bow was already so boosted by the play test that it would get overpowered (too close to what the archer fighter is supposed to be) to give the ranger feats that focused exclusively on rate of fire and damage with the bow, but there need to be more ranger feats that are at least usable by a character that is mostly going to be standing still and shooting arrows from a bow, possibly related to defense, taking cover, etc. Otherwise you end up feeling like there are a lot of dead levels for a pretty iconic ranger archetype.


Rob Godfrey wrote:
If you enjoyed it, fair enough, I wont tell you badworngfun, but personally I loathe it for straight jacketing classes, feats used to be (imperfect) ways to customise a character to a concept, now they are this...thing that lumps core class features and combat feats into a single poll and slaps a class roadblock on them, then imposes a tax, and a further ‘must buy more feats’ chain on what should be a simple choice: do I want to use two weapons.? If yes get TWF, off the feat list, not ‘pay a feat to multiclass fighter, then another feat for the only decent twf feat’ multiclass should be more fundemental than that, it should be a real edge case build, (for instance the old Sword Lord builds that used fighter and monk to make the ultimate duelling build) or flow from in game events, not be the gate keeper on what were core class concepts.

Can agree multiclass is weird and new... I hated it when i first saw it now i love it, still don't know how to feel about having combat feats into classes but can see why they do it even if i don't feel like it's a great way to go.

But yeah i think those are already baked into the system with no way to go away, i am hoping for some bow archetypes, sword and board archetypes... But with the way paizo talked about it... They won't be here for a while, or even might not be here at all. And multiclass as before... Well it won't be back ever from what they said.

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