Captain Morgan's First Impressions


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Ulula Sargasso wrote:

I think they just wanted to do it right, not just slap Urban onto Terrain list and let it work with Survival.

But really create a deeper Urban Ranger with social/investigator/vigilante theme abilities and so on.

I sort of get that idea, but as it is right now the only thing really stopping me from making an Urban Ranger bounty hunter/detective/etc. is that a bunch of stuff stops working if you're not in the wilderness. If things like Camoflauge said 'nonmagical' instead of 'natural' it'd be perfect.

Easy enough to houserule if I can friend a GM amenable to that, I guess, but still. We'll see what comes out in the future!


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I'm trying to withhold judgment until I get to play the final version of the rules, but I'm going to have to avoid champions for a while. I just came off a PF1 campaign with four paladin PCs, and so when I see that you need to use all your class feats up to level 8 just to get the stuff that PF1 paladins got automatically by level 2, it soured me to character creation a bit.

I would have preferred if they took paladin, monk, or druid, figured out all the abilities those classes got in the first couple levels, and made that the baseline that everyone else should match.


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Squiggit wrote:
Ulula Sargasso wrote:

I think they just wanted to do it right, not just slap Urban onto Terrain list and let it work with Survival.

But really create a deeper Urban Ranger with social/investigator/vigilante theme abilities and so on.

I sort of get that idea, but as it is right now the only thing really stopping me from making an Urban Ranger bounty hunter/detective/etc. is that a bunch of stuff stops working if you're not in the wilderness. If things like Camoflauge said 'nonmagical' instead of 'natural' it'd be perfect.

So... all terrain, essentially? Even at higher levels there isn't THAT much magical terrain, nor do I really see why that would make sense for a limitation on stealth. As written, that would basically let a ranger roll stealth while standing in the middle of an empty ballroom, which at minimum feels like a legendary ability rather than a 10th level feat.

Now, if you were talking Nature's Edge for just being non-magical difficult terrain I might agree with you.


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That's fair, which is part of why I'd have liked to see Urban on one of the lists somewhere. It's not the end of the world, just chops down feat selections a little bit more than I'd like.

Though in general I don't much care for the 'natural' distinction just because depending on campaign that really can be almost everywhere or almost nowhere and that's a really big power swing.


Squiggit wrote:
Though in general I don't much care for the 'natural' distinction just because depending on campaign that really can be almost everywhere or almost nowhere and that's a really big power swing.

It can be vague too: a nobles garden in the middle of a desert might be 100% man-made but it can be overflowing with plants: is it this natural?


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RangerWickett wrote:

I'm trying to withhold judgment until I get to play the final version of the rules, but I'm going to have to avoid champions for a while. I just came off a PF1 campaign with four paladin PCs, and so when I see that you need to use all your class feats up to level 8 just to get the stuff that PF1 paladins got automatically by level 2, it soured me to character creation a bit.

I would have preferred if they took paladin, monk, or druid, figured out all the abilities those classes got in the first couple levels, and made that the baseline that everyone else should match.

I agree with you there, and all the feats you have to blow too to even remotely feel like a paladin should is stupid.

I am at odds with a lot of things in 2nd edition. But some of the biggest things that strike me is how several martial classes used to have feature a, and b baked in now choose said features as a feat and can't get both, its either a or b and they are mutually exclusive to one another.

Its a mixed bag for me, some monk features for example i never used, others i used all the time, so now i can just pick and choose what i want, but at the same time i fell weaker cause it used to get it all for free.

It takes a bit for me to get used too. Its a cool concept i just have to theory craft more to really wrap my head around it all i guess. it feels very much like a weird take on 5th edition.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
Marc Radle wrote:
Hey there Captain - can you expound on what you mean by ‘the language and steps to make the game more inclusive’?
There are two full pages dedicated to being considerate of others, basically. It includes suggestions for classic devices like X cards or Lines and Veils, the Pathfinder baseline for expectations of objectionable content, talking about what limits people have ahead of time, etc. There also little touches like pronouns being included on your character sheet that I really appreciate.

The bestiary is also very gender fluid with its pronouns. and even has mobs like the succubi, which has traditionally been female only with incubi being male only, as being gender fluid and identifying as male or female. My opinion this was entirely unnecessary as this should be a no brainer but I know there are a lot of people that appreciate the nod to them and inclusiveness.


I feel Master proficiency comes on a bit late, but the game is still young, and I have not played it to 20th level, obviously.


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Captain Morgan wrote:


I find the Ranger a particularly interesting case study. First off, lots of improvements to their core chassis for combat between stronger edges and not being forced to pick a weapon group. There are a few duds in their class feats that feel like they should have been made a scaling benefit of a previous feat (Monster Warden) or are a glorified skill feat (Swift Tracker). But even these feats are appealing to certain players-- one of mine really wanted Swift Tracker for example. I gave it to her as a Ranger exclusive benefit of Experienced Tracker, but she would have been perfectly willing to pay the skill feat for it, and frankly she would have still been fine as a combatant. Meanwhile, some feats that fit these criteria in the playtest are now strong enough to warrant a class feat. Snare Specialist, for example, now lets you make free snares each day the way an alchemist makes free items. That feat alone made Snares viable, IMO.

As I'm about to start a PF2 game, I've spent a fair amount of time working on a Ranger build. As some of you remember, I participated in the Playtest and Ranger was my only focus. Let me preface my feedback with some background. Since AD&D, the Ranger has been my favorite class...by an order of magnitude. Not until PF1 did I play any other classes seriously. The upshot is that if someone has never really liked the class, but they like it now, then it's probably because they got rid of or changed things that people who have historically liked the class enjoyed. To put it another way, Paizo can build the class to appeal to those who already enjoyed playing it, or build it so attract people who have historically not liked it.

It's also my observation that throughout versions and platforms, the Ranger class has proved problematic for designers. I took a look at 5e's core Ranger and WotC seems to have admitted they screwed it up. So much so, that they release an update to try and fix the mistakes. So the point here is that translating the Ranger to new platforms is not trivial. That doesn't mean it can't be done with a high degree of quality, but I'm not going to pretend it's simple.

Some feedback...

1. Narrative and Mechanical Nerf Comparatively (to PF1), the class is still a tremendous disappointment on a narrative level. Gone, are spells (which every single iteration of the Ranger has had since Day One) and Paizo stripped nearly all of the iconic abilities and put them into feats. Here's a list of things you have to buy back:

1 Wild Empathy
2. Combat Feat 1
3 Swift Tracker
4 Endurance
5 Track (a bonus)
5 Favored Enemy 1
7 Favored Terrain 2
8 Camouflage
9 Hide in Plain Sight
10 Masterful Hunter
11 Animal Companion (Hunter's Bond)
12 Combat Feat 2
13 Combat Feat 3
14 Combat Feat 4
15 Combat Feat 5
16 FE 2
17 FT 2
18 FE 3
19 FT 3
20 FE 4
21 FT 4
22 FE 5

These were all things that the class got automatically, but if you want their equivalent in PF2, you have to use a Ranger class feat to obtain them. But keep in mind, you only get 10 or maybe 11 feat choices.

Here are things you simply can't get.

1. Spells
2. Quary
3. Improved Quary
4. Master Hunter

Admittedly, with the exception of Spells, the other three have some type of replacement in spirit and/or aren't directly translatable. Even things that remain in concept i.e. Favored Enemy (should you waste a feat on it), have been dramatically nerfed in terms of mechanical benefit. My biggest issue is not so much the mechanical losses, but the narrative loses. Losing Wild Empathy and Swift Tracker was totally unnecessary.

2 . Juxtaposition of Theme vs Effectiveness My other major dissappiontment, one I identified in the Playtest, is that because of the monetizing of all the feats, a player has to choose between something like Wild Empathy (which is circumstantial and limited) versus feats like Quick Draw, Hunter's Aim, Relentless Stalker, etc. So a player is constantly having to choose between theme and mechanical effectiveness.

3. Too many feats for combat In PF1, everyone got a combat style, so along with the thematic flavor, you got combat choices. In PF2, you don't get that. You have to pay for all the combat choices with the same currency that you choose thematic ones: Let's look at the Sample Archer build:

"Hunted Shot (1), Quick Draw (2nd), Far Shot (4th), Skirmish Strike (6th), Deadly Aim (8th), Penetrating Shot (10th), Distracting Shot (12th), Impossible Volley (18th)"

That's eight out of a ten/eleven feat choices that you need to build a baseline archer and there is essentially nothing Rangerish about that build. Worse, that's not even all the archery relevant feats. That build doesn't have:

Hunter's Aim
Snap Shot
Greater Distracting Shot
Targeting Shot
Legendary Shot

So that's five feats for two or three open slots..at like level 14 and 16. A dedicated archer isn't getting Monster Hunter, Scout's Warning, See the Unseen, Camouflage, etc. You want an Animal Companion?? ROFL.

You can't even Retrain lower level feats out for higher level ones. So you're only getting ONE lvl 20 feat and if you want two lvl 18's, you're not getting any lvl 20.

I'll add this. My PF1 Ranger had tons of combat viability, a tremendously effective animal companion (for the price of 1 feat), boat loads of utility, and Spells (and wand/scroll use) There is no PF2 build that is going to come remotely close in terms of character agency.

4. The corruption of customization. I believe these problems stem from Paizo's decision to make customization king. If you hated Wild Empathy (because it didn't do a whole lot) and things like Favored Enemy/Terrain, etc. Then you'll probably like this approach and that goes back to my preface which suggests that some percentage of people didn't really like the Ranger class as a whole, only aspects of it. So this approach basically strips the Ranger down to something that isn't really a "Ranger" and lets people get rid of abilities that where situational at best, and at worse, never useful.

The problem for me is that the class has no purpose. I've ranted about this in the Playtest and Paizo didn't solve that.

5. Lack of Purpose. None of the above issues are totally insurmountable, but the lack of true purpose is fatal. To be fair, this problem existed in PF1. I believe it centers around the fact that Tracking...has very little nominal value in typical game play. The same can be said about all the Ranger's thematic abilities. You'll notice that "in the wild" or "natural terrain" is a condition precedent for many of the thematic abilities.

Then you have abilities like Trackless Step which does what now? Really? Cover my tracks? Unless there's been a sea change to how encounters work in PF2, I am at a loss for how that's going to be useful. In 10 or so years of playing 3.5 and Pathfinder, I've never seen a scenario that considered whether the PCs where "covering their tracks.'

The main problem with the Ranger is that "tracking" doesn't do much and has very little mandated benefit. This problem existed in 3.5 and Paizo missed the boat with PF2. I saw James Jacob talk about PF2 was a rebuild and allowed Paizo to create the Goblin as a Paizo thing. Well...this would have been an opportunity to make tracking something that had a substantive and persistent impact.

6. Jury is still out on some things Despite my major disappointments, like most humans, I've adapted/adjusted and am interested to see how the build I have will play out. The PF1 Ranger was also a mess, and I enjoyed playing that. I'll also admit to the exercise of building the character does get me eager to play. I do feel a sense of excitement with regard to PF2 and agree that PF1 has started to feel stale.


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I always find it odd how spells are often considered a big core feature of the ranger, where the inspiration and iconic ranger from fantasy wasn't a spellcaster, and his only real 'magical' aspects came from his race and being heir to to a legendary bloodline. Pitfalls of the original design, I guess.

I've always preferred spell-less rangers, but to each their own. The 2E Ranger seems like a big improvement over the 1E version, imo.


GameDesignerDM wrote:

I always find it odd how spells are often considered a big core feature of the ranger, where the inspiration and iconic ranger from fantasy wasn't a spellcaster, and his only real 'magical' aspects came from his race and being heir to to a legendary bloodline. Pitfalls of the original design, I guess.

I've always preferred spell-less rangers, but to each their own. The 2E Ranger seems like a big improvement over the 1E version, imo.

I believe in 3.0 they had no spells at all, which was consistent with Aragorn.

The progression to nature+fighter probably came as a result of the Paladin in 3.5 and the stronger role the Druid took in 3.5 (I believe in 3.0 Druids were considered "bad" if you can believe it and were buffed as a result).


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Midnightoker wrote:
GameDesignerDM wrote:

I always find it odd how spells are often considered a big core feature of the ranger, where the inspiration and iconic ranger from fantasy wasn't a spellcaster, and his only real 'magical' aspects came from his race and being heir to to a legendary bloodline. Pitfalls of the original design, I guess.

I've always preferred spell-less rangers, but to each their own. The 2E Ranger seems like a big improvement over the 1E version, imo.

I believe in 3.0 they had no spells at all, which was consistent with Aragorn.

The 3.0 Ranger has spells, only 4th Ed made them spell-less.


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GameDesignerDM wrote:
I always find it odd how spells are often considered a big core feature of the ranger

Spells were an aspect of the class. There were never meant to be a dominant mechanic.

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where the inspiration and iconic ranger from fantasy wasn't a spellcaster, and his only real 'magical' aspects came from his race and being heir to to a legendary bloodline.

Which was translated as giving him spells. More to the point, the inspirations for Cleric in fantasy literature can't heal either. I'm not aware of Monks being immune to poison as a trope either.

Since the very first inception of the class, Spells were involved.

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I've always preferred spell-less rangers, but to each their own. The 2E Ranger seems like a big improvement over the 1E version, imo.

Well, I think that really depends on how you built and played your 1e Ranger. Objectively, the 2e is not an "improvement," because the class can actually do far less than it could in 1e. It is a fundamental change to the class which is going to appeal to some, especially those who really didn't like the 1e Ranger.


Baby Samurai wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:
GameDesignerDM wrote:

I always find it odd how spells are often considered a big core feature of the ranger, where the inspiration and iconic ranger from fantasy wasn't a spellcaster, and his only real 'magical' aspects came from his race and being heir to to a legendary bloodline. Pitfalls of the original design, I guess.

I've always preferred spell-less rangers, but to each their own. The 2E Ranger seems like a big improvement over the 1E version, imo.

I believe in 3.0 they had no spells at all, which was consistent with Aragorn.
The 3.0 Ranger has spells, only 4th Ed made them spell-less.

And 5e brought Spells back, awarding them at 2nd level instead 4th. Obviously WotC thought spells were an important part of the concept...more so than in 3.5

The real problem with spells in PF1 and 3.5 is how they are implemented. The system is objectively bad, the idea of spell use for the class, imo, is not.


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N N 959 wrote:
Well, I think that really depends on how you built and played your 1e Ranger. Objectively, the 2e is not an "improvement," because the class can actually do far less than it could in 1e. It is a fundamental change to the class which is going to appeal to some, especially those who really didn't like the 1e Ranger.

Yeah, I like rangers having some magic, sets them apart from a wilderness warrior fighter-type, magic is like a tool for them.

In 1st Ed AD&D it was fun blapping things with a magic missile.


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Baby Samurai wrote:


Yeah, I like rangers having some magic, sets them apart from a wilderness warrior fighter-type, magic is like a tool for them.

Exactly my feelings on the subject.

Plus, in PF1, it allowed wand/scroll use which I truly leveraged.


N N 959 wrote:
Baby Samurai wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:
GameDesignerDM wrote:

I always find it odd how spells are often considered a big core feature of the ranger, where the inspiration and iconic ranger from fantasy wasn't a spellcaster, and his only real 'magical' aspects came from his race and being heir to to a legendary bloodline. Pitfalls of the original design, I guess.

I've always preferred spell-less rangers, but to each their own. The 2E Ranger seems like a big improvement over the 1E version, imo.

I believe in 3.0 they had no spells at all, which was consistent with Aragorn.
The 3.0 Ranger has spells, only 4th Ed made them spell-less.

1) And 5e brought Spells back, awarding them at 2nd level instead 4th. Obviously WotC thought spells were an important part of the concept...more so than in 3.5

3) The real problem with spells in PF1 and 3.5 is how they are implemented. The system is objectively bad, the idea of spell use for the class, imo, is not.

1) Yeah, and they released a spell-less ranger variant, but it gained no traction.

2) Do you mean the magic/spellcasting system, in general?


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I don't really think you can claim objectively that 1E or 2E Ranger is better, hence why I stated it was my opinion that 2E is better.

It's more about what you want from the class, so simply a 'wilderness warrior' is probably a better version for people who just want that.


Baby Samurai wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:
GameDesignerDM wrote:

I always find it odd how spells are often considered a big core feature of the ranger, where the inspiration and iconic ranger from fantasy wasn't a spellcaster, and his only real 'magical' aspects came from his race and being heir to to a legendary bloodline. Pitfalls of the original design, I guess.

I've always preferred spell-less rangers, but to each their own. The 2E Ranger seems like a big improvement over the 1E version, imo.

I believe in 3.0 they had no spells at all, which was consistent with Aragorn.
The 3.0 Ranger has spells, only 4th Ed made them spell-less.

Yeah apparently they had a spell list from 1st edition all the way through 3.5

That makes the decision to remove spells from the Ranger a bit weird, but I suppose I get it.

It's weird to me they have a nature theme still, but don't get the spells.


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Midnightoker wrote:
GameDesignerDM wrote:

I always find it odd how spells are often considered a big core feature of the ranger, where the inspiration and iconic ranger from fantasy wasn't a spellcaster, and his only real 'magical' aspects came from his race and being heir to to a legendary bloodline. Pitfalls of the original design, I guess.

I've always preferred spell-less rangers, but to each their own. The 2E Ranger seems like a big improvement over the 1E version, imo.

I believe in 3.0 they had no spells at all, which was consistent with Aragorn.

The progression to nature+fighter probably came as a result of the Paladin in 3.5 and the stronger role the Druid took in 3.5 (I believe in 3.0 Druids were considered "bad" if you can believe it and were buffed as a result).

considering that in 3.0 Harm was a no-save "enemy is left with 1d4 hp", haste allowed 2 spells per round, and etc, a whole lot of things were "bad" compared to those...


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GameDesignerDM wrote:
I don't really think you can claim objectively that 1E or 2E Ranger is better, hence why I stated it was my opinion that 2E is better.

I can if we're talking about a class' agency. Agency meaning the ways in which the class can effect the game in a substantive way. The Ranger had its default agency totally stripped, unlike the Fighter, Rogue, Cleric, etc. The fact that Wild Empathy is something I have to pay for, hurts the class' ability to do things (even if its on a slight level). The fact that most Rangers won't have any Enemy or Terrain bonuses will hurt them. The fact that they don't have spells, gives them less utility. Rangers were also backdoor nerfed with regards to skills. All the other classes got extra starting skills, the Ranger did not.

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It's more about what you want from the class, so simply a 'wilderness warrior' is probably a better version for people who just want that.

Sure, if your concept of a Ranger is a Fighter with a sleeping bag, then what Paizo has done here, allows a player to avoid the majority of the thematic "baggage."


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Yeah I'm with GameDesigner here. Not liking a class is cool. Trying to argue objective truth because you don't like something is kinda silly.


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Or if your concept is a dual-wielding warrior with an animal companion who relies on tracking and hunting down quarries better than their peers.

Rangers are not 'Fighters with a sleeping bag'.


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Squiggit wrote:
Yeah I'm with GameDesigner here. Not liking a class is cool. Trying to argue objective truth because you don't like something is kinda silly.

That's not what I'm doing.


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Boy, this discussion sure was missing from my life since the playtest.


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GameDesignerDM wrote:

Or if your concept is a dual-wielding warrior with an animal companion who relies on tracking and hunting down quarries better than their peers.

Rangers are not 'Fighters with a sleeping bag'.

The Animal Companion path for a Ranger involves seven feats. You have at most, eleven. That leaves you with four feats to :

Dual wield
Track enemies

In 1e, you got five Combat Style Feats and none of them came at the expense of your tracking or animal companion.

Oh...and if you want to heal your Animal Companion...that will cost you a General/Skill Feat.


N N 959 wrote:
GameDesignerDM wrote:

Or if your concept is a dual-wielding warrior with an animal companion who relies on tracking and hunting down quarries better than their peers.

Rangers are not 'Fighters with a sleeping bag'.

The Animal Companion path for a Ranger involves seven feats. You have at most, eleven. That leaves you with four feats to :

Dual wield
Track enemies

In 1e, you got five Combat Style Feats and none of them came at the expense of your tracking or animal companion.

Yep, that means I can do it. That's the path I want to take, so I'm doing it. And I was specifically talking about Hunt Target, which is baseline. I was basically saying my concept for my Ranger, which I did at 1st level.


I feel the ranger has become less attractive with each new edition since 1st Ed AD&D. The 2nd Ed AD&D ranger seemed to become a bit Drizzt-based (TWF, I do not like the ranger being specifically associated with a fighting style), and just lost all vibe. The 3rd Ed one was a bit underwhelming, the 4th Ed one was just a cuisinart, and apparently it's one of the least popular 5th Ed classes.
WotC has released several variants, and have been talking about alternate class features (like substitution levels).


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Spells for the Ranger (and Paladin, perhaps even bard) were meant to fulfill a narrative conceit. The idea behind the spells available was to allow rangers to use the sort natural lore abilities they were assumed to have, without falling into the complications that these options would create. So the 3-PF spell casting options were a way to shoe horn in what might otherwise be whole systems.

Since they nixed the ranger spells (confused that they also neglected to give rangers focus powers; but that's a topic for another thread) you gotta ask if they can still do the sort of things one expects a ranger to be able to do..

I think rather than the ranger as historically depicted in D&D, they've gone for more of a stalker approach. The base chasis for ranger provides expanded skill access and (most importantly in PF2) the only access to legendary perception, and the fastest path to master.

As for abilities locked behind feats; that's a problem for every class. Outside of full casters everyone has to pick a suite of powers, which yeah, cuts them off from other avenues.

As far as the ranger being unviable, I've been running through a 5e low level game that could desperately benefit from the rangers ability to track, move about unnoticed, and generally investigate. The lack of win button spells in PF2 is going to make the rangers skills and perception a commodity.

Personally I'd rather he was less woodsy focus than he currently is, but he has a definite niche if you take into account what he provides that fighter, druid and /or barbarian don't.

Dunno, I thought the ranger was a little underpowered perhaps, but overall fine.


Baby Samurai wrote:
I feel the ranger has become less attractive with each new edition since 1st Ed AD&D.

The Playtest forced me to take a long look at my understanding of the class and its concept. My take away is the concept has been heavily diluted over the years, as compared to something like the Fighter or Wizard. It also suffers from a kind of inherent challenge: it's often a core class with a theme that is very situational. So how do you create a class that is "nature-themed" but generally useful? The Druid did it by giving it high level agency in Spells and Combat (companion and shape-shifting).

The narrative dilution then makes it hard for the designers to focus in on what makes the class class concept compelling. What is it that really exemplifies a Ranger for players? Is that something that works in the course of normal game play?

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... and apparently it's one of the least popular 5th Ed classes.

I saw a posted spreadsheet that the Elven Ranger was like the 2nd or 3rd most popular class. "Popular" meaning the class that most people were creating. Now, it maybe that in actual game play, the class sucks and the reviews I've read suggest that its bad. But lots of people were at least building Elven Rangers in 5e. Of course, that was like a year ago, so I don't know if the stats have changed.

Exo-Guardians

Captain Morgan wrote:
I like that they added Jousting to lances. Still not sure how I feel about the lance not giving you reach while mounted, but I'm gonna try running it as written for now. It seems like the lance having deadly and extra damage on a charge makes it a decent trade-off for only doing a d6, compared to most d8 one handed weapons, even if it loses reach. I guess having the reach would make it the default option for mounted combat like PF1, which they probably want to avoid, and it matter less than the playtest given weapon specialization replacing some damage dice.

I can't find anything about the Lance losing Reach while mounted, where is that coming from? EDIT: Nevermind, found it! Mounted Attacks

Captain Morgan wrote:
Still trying to make heads or tails of the Horse support benefit, because it makes no sense as written, but I'm assuming it was intended to work like the playtest for now. Alternatively, it might have been intended to do quadruple the jousting charge damage, but that seems excessive.

As written, the Horse support benefit essentially lets you add the Jousting property to any melee weapon you happen to be wielding-- and if your weapon already has the Jousting property, it doubles the extra damage (i.e. you can add +2 damage per damage die, instead of +1 damage per damage die like the normal Jousting property). I didn't play the playtest much, was it different there?


N N 959 wrote:
Baby Samurai wrote:
I feel the ranger has become less attractive with each new edition since 1st Ed AD&D.

The Playtest forced me to take a long look at my understanding of the class and its concept. My take away is the concept has been heavily diluted over the years, as compared to something like the Fighter or Wizard. It also suffers from a kind of inherent challenge: it's often a core class with a theme that is very situational. So how do you create a class that is "nature-themed" but generally useful? The Druid did it by giving it high level agency in Spells and Combat (companion and shape-shifting).

The narrative dilution then makes it hard for the designers to focus in on what makes the class class concept compelling. What is it that really exemplifies a Ranger for players? Is that something that works in the course of normal game play?

Bingo, the Ranger seems to have developed an identity crisis. Different people seem to want it to be different (often very) things, seems hard to reconcile at this point.


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Halcyon_Janissary wrote:
Spells for the Ranger (and Paladin, perhaps even bard) were meant to fulfill a narrative conceit. The idea behind the spells available was to allow rangers to use the sort natural lore abilities they were assumed to have, without falling into the complications that these options would create. So the 3-PF spell casting options were a way to shoe horn in what might otherwise be whole systems.

I think the problem was the implementation was so crappy, players felt it was useless and then naturally wanted to get something else in exchange for spells, which is understandable. Except PF2 took away spells and I don't see what they gave the class in its place.

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Since they nixed the ranger spells (confused that they also neglected to give rangers focus powers;

Yes. When Paizo made the decision to ditch half-casters, they couldn't make an exception for the Ranger. But I too wondered why they didn't fill the gap with Focus powers. Speak w Animals as a Focus would have been cool.

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[I think rather than the ranger as historically depicted in D&D, they've gone for more of a stalker approach.

Yes, the Stalker was very popular in 1e, so I can see the need to try and lean in that direction.

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The base chasis for ranger provides expanded skill access

Not sure i follow that. In fact, the move away from Skill points per level actually nerfed the Skill advantage Rangers had. I was under the impression that other classes get the same number of skill advances as the Ranger...except for the Rogue gets more.

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As for abilities locked behind feats; that's a problem for every class. Outside of full casters everyone has to pick a suite of powers, which yeah, cuts them off from other avenues.

Fundamentally, yes. Categorically, no. The problem with feat locking is that Paizo took all the thematic/narrative/flavor stuff and commoditized it. That didn't really happen with the Sorcerer, Fighter, Cleric, Rogue. I don't have an issue with not being able to go both TWF and Archery. I have an issue with Archery and Nature/Tracker theme directly competing.

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As far as the ranger being unviable, I've been running through a 5e low level game that could desperately benefit from the rangers ability to track, move about unnoticed, and generally investigate. The lack of win button spells in PF2 is going to make the rangers skills and perception a commodity.

I never said they were "unviable." I said they lacked purpose in 1e. The playtest stuff I did, had no benefit from tracking. If Paizo is going to fix that, then it will improve the class. But as of now, my build does not include any Tracking related buffs and I expect it will have negligible impact on the party's successes.

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Personally I'd rather he was less woodsy focus than he currently is..

If you mean "outdoorsie" the class has barely any in-grained nature. Trackless Step, Nature's Edge, Wild Stride. Three feats over 20 levels.

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...but he has a definite niche if you take into account what he provides that fighter, druid and /or barbarian don't.

Not really convinced that it means anything in actual game play, but time will tell.


I'm half-tempted to just start with "gestalt" PF2.

You're not just a ranger, but a ranger/druid for the spells. Or a ranger/sorcerer. Or a ranger/fighter. You just get the better of the two classes' HP, saves, and proficiencies, and you only get ability score increases, general feats, ancestry feats, and skill feats once at any given level, but for everything else you get what both classes provide.

Ideally, this would be wholly balanced. You're getting more options, but since everybody adds their level to all their die rolls, spending your actions making melee attacks or spending your actions casting lightning bolts ought to be roughly comparable, right? And everyone ends up with more fun options beyond just their combat capabilities.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Double the number of class feats and you can multiclass much more easily and it feels a whole lot better. Just sayin'.


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N N 959, please go make another ranger thread of your own and stop cluttering up mine.

Saros Palanthios wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
I like that they added Jousting to lances. Still not sure how I feel about the lance not giving you reach while mounted, but I'm gonna try running it as written for now. It seems like the lance having deadly and extra damage on a charge makes it a decent trade-off for only doing a d6, compared to most d8 one handed weapons, even if it loses reach. I guess having the reach would make it the default option for mounted combat like PF1, which they probably want to avoid, and it matter less than the playtest given weapon specialization replacing some damage dice.

I can't find anything about the Lance losing Reach while mounted, where is that coming from? EDIT: Nevermind, found it! Mounted Attacks

Captain Morgan wrote:
Still trying to make heads or tails of the Horse support benefit, because it makes no sense as written, but I'm assuming it was intended to work like the playtest for now. Alternatively, it might have been intended to do quadruple the jousting charge damage, but that seems excessive.

As written, the Horse support benefit essentially lets you add the Jousting property to any melee weapon you happen to be wielding-- and if your weapon already has the Jousting property, it doubles the extra damage (i.e. you can add +2 damage per damage die, instead of +1 damage per damage die like the normal Jousting property). I didn't play the playtest much, was it different there?

Your read is probably what is intended and how it worked in the playtest. But this wording gives both jousting and non-jousting weapons the exact same bonus: a circumstance bonus equal to twice the number of damage dice is twice what the jousting trait normally gives.


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GameDesignerDM wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
GameDesignerDM wrote:

Or if your concept is a dual-wielding warrior with an animal companion who relies on tracking and hunting down quarries better than their peers.

Rangers are not 'Fighters with a sleeping bag'.

The Animal Companion path for a Ranger involves seven feats. You have at most, eleven. That leaves you with four feats to :

Dual wield
Track enemies

In 1e, you got five Combat Style Feats and none of them came at the expense of your tracking or animal companion.

Yep, that means I can do it. That's the path I want to take, so I'm doing it. And I was specifically talking about Hunt Target, which is baseline. I was basically saying my concept for my Ranger, which I did at 1st level.

Sure...but you could do that in 1e...and be better at it. IN addition, you got:

Spells
Wand/Scroll use
Camouflage/Hide in Plain Site
5 Favored Enemies/ 4 Favored Terrains
etc.

You're not getting any of that in 1e. unless you want to nerf your animal, your dual wielding, or your tracking. So objectively, you're doing far less.

Now, maybe you'll enjoy it more. Or, if you didn't get to play a (high level) Ranger, you'll simply enjoy it in 2e. So if you mean "improvement" in terms of fun for you, then only you can decide that. I was referring to the mechanics and baseline utility.


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N N 959 wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:


I find the Ranger a particularly interesting case study. First off, lots of improvements to their core chassis for combat between stronger edges and not being forced to pick a weapon group. There are a few duds in their class feats that feel like they should have been made a scaling benefit of a previous feat (Monster Warden) or are a glorified skill feat (Swift Tracker). But even these feats are appealing to certain players-- one of mine really wanted Swift Tracker for example. I gave it to her as a Ranger exclusive benefit of Experienced Tracker, but she would have been perfectly willing to pay the skill feat for it, and frankly she would have still been fine as a combatant. Meanwhile, some feats that fit these criteria in the playtest are now strong enough to warrant a class feat. Snare Specialist, for example, now lets you make free snares each day the way an alchemist makes free items. That feat alone made Snares viable, IMO.

As I'm about to start a PF2 game, I've spent a fair amount of time working on a Ranger build. As some of you remember, I participated in the Playtest and Ranger was my only focus. Let me preface my feedback with some background. Since AD&D, the Ranger has been my favorite class...by an order of magnitude. Not until PF1 did I play any other classes seriously. The upshot is that if someone has never really liked the class, but they like it now, then it's probably because they got rid of or changed things that people who have historically liked the class enjoyed. To put it another way, Paizo can build the class to appeal to those who already enjoyed playing it, or build it so attract people who have historically not liked it.

It's also my observation that throughout versions and platforms, the Ranger class has proved problematic for designers. I took a look at 5e's core Ranger and WotC seems to have admitted they screwed it up. So much so, that they release an update to try and fix the mistakes. So the point here is that translating...

Straight into my veins! Now if only HWalsh will come give his Champion review.


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Xenocrat wrote:
Now if only HWalsh will come give his Champion review.

Lets make it GOBLIN Champions and why they do or don't have an urge to smite themselves...


Captain Morgan wrote:


N N 959, please go make another ranger thread of your own and stop cluttering up mine.

Interesting.

If the mods are not too busy to move my first post in response to your own discussion along with the other players who are responding, to another thread, I would not object.


graystone wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
Now if only HWalsh will come give his Champion review.
Lets make it GOBLIN Champions and why they do or don't have an urge to smite themselves...

Funny.


RangerWickett wrote:

I'm half-tempted to just start with "gestalt" PF2.

You're not just a ranger, but a ranger/druid for the spells. Or a ranger/sorcerer. Or a ranger/fighter. You just get the better of the two classes' HP, saves, and proficiencies, and you only get ability score increases, general feats, ancestry feats, and skill feats once at any given level, but for everything else you get what both classes provide.

Ideally, this would be wholly balanced. You're getting more options, but since everybody adds their level to all their die rolls, spending your actions making melee attacks or spending your actions casting lightning bolts ought to be roughly comparable, right? And everyone ends up with more fun options beyond just their combat capabilities.

not sure this will work out...:

in general, the sustain damage of martials is way above the sustain damage of cantrips.

this is balanced because you are expected to throw a couple of spells/focus powers each combat before switching to cantrips.

so higher initial burst/buffs/debuffs but lower sustain.

if you gestalt then you can open up with caster levels of burst and follow with martial level of sustain, so there will be certainly a sudden increase in damage.

and that doesn't even take into account in having access every combat in +2/3 modifiers for you and -2/3 for opponents, in the very tight math of PF2, this alone can translate to having to face boss level encounters (level+2) just to have something that can compete with you.

the last worry is that with basically 4 casters in a 4 team party, you can open up with 4 burst aoes like fireballs and end the encounter before it begins. PF2 is not so bursty in general as PF1, you don't expect combats to end in 2 rounds.


Ranger is definitely my favorite class for the first week. Played Harsk through PFS 1-02 and it felt great. I've made two ranger concepts already and am forcing myself to branch out to other classes before going back for more.


GM OfAnything wrote:
Ranger is definitely my favorite class for the first week. Played Harsk through PFS 1-02 and it felt great. I've made two ranger concepts already and am forcing myself to branch out to other classes before going back for more.

Ranger definitely improved from the playtest and I can see playing one when I get the chance: If I can get my hands on an alchemy crossbow, A multiclass ranger[Precision]/alchemist with Crossbow Ace looks really fun.


shroudb wrote:
the last worry is that with basically 4 casters in a 4 team party, you can open up with 4 burst aoes like fireballs and end the encounter before it begins. PF2 is not so bursty in general as PF1, you don't expect combats to end in 2 rounds.

Oh, for sure it's not something I think is a great idea, but it's tempting.

I think I like the other idea of just giving twice as many class feats to make multiclassing easier.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Heck, my gripe isn't that Rangers lost spellcasting (I've run more Skirmishers in PF1 than any other type of ranger- having them cast spells always felt stupid, and I started in the earliest days of AD&D's second edition), it's that by making Bards full casters, I will now never, ever get the non-spellcasting version I spent all of 1st edition pining for...

Exo-Guardians

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Captain Morgan wrote:


Your read is probably what is intended and how it worked in the playtest. But this wording gives both jousting and non-jousting weapons the exact same bonus: a circumstance bonus equal to twice the number of damage dice is twice what the jousting trait normally gives.

looking back at the Horse support benefit, i see i was reading it wrong-- it's actually much more powerful i initially thought!

the ordinary Jousting weapon trait says "add a circumstance bonus to damage for that attack equal to the number of damage dice for the weapon"-- in other words, +1 damage per die. however the Horse support benefit says "add a circumstance bonus to damage to that attack equal to twice the number of damage dice"-- in other words, +2 damage per die... OR if your weapon has the Jousting trait, "increase the trait’s damage bonus by 2 per die instead"-- in other words, +3 damage per die (because the Jousting trait's damage bonus is +1 per die, and the support benefit increases that by 2, to a total of +3 damage per die).

so to sum up:
Jousting weapon alone = +1 damage per die
Horse support alone = +2 damage per die
Jousting weapon + Horse support = +3 damage per die

the wording is a bit confusing, but i think they did it this way so there wouldn't be two circumstance bonuses that didn't stack.


Saros Palanthios wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:


Your read is probably what is intended and how it worked in the playtest. But this wording gives both jousting and non-jousting weapons the exact same bonus: a circumstance bonus equal to twice the number of damage dice is twice what the jousting trait normally gives.

looking back at the Horse support benefit, i see i was reading it wrong-- it's actually much more powerful i initially thought!

the ordinary Jousting weapon trait says "add a circumstance bonus to damage for that attack equal to the number of damage dice for the weapon"-- in other words, +1 damage per die. however the Horse support benefit says "add a circumstance bonus to damage to that attack equal to twice the number of damage dice"-- in other words, +2 damage per die... OR if your weapon has the Jousting trait, "increase the trait’s damage bonus by 2 per die instead"-- in other words, +3 damage per die (because the Jousting trait's damage bonus is +1 per die, and the support benefit increases that by 2, to a total of +3 damage per die).

so to sum up:
Jousting weapon alone = +1 damage per die
Horse support alone = +2 damage per die
Jousting weapon + Horse support = +3 damage per die

the wording is a bit confusing, but i think they did it this way so there wouldn't be two circumstance bonuses that didn't stack.

By golly, I think you're right!

I read it as ”the damage increase from the trait increases by two per die {instead of it's normal bonus}."

But what it probably means is that you get 2 damage per dice on top of the existing bonus. Sweet!


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This part piqued my interest.

N N 959 wrote:
I'm not aware of Monks being immune to poison as a trope either.

Said trope is actually common in most mid(and higher)-tier wuxia characters. Usually it's automatically gained as you train your body with qi/chi/ki (or whatever pronounciation depending on the country writing the story) required martial arts.

Actually, I was quite astonished that WotC managed to research very well (for a presumably non-East Asian staff) on the kinds of common wuxia superpowers when making the Monk class' static benefits (tongues of the sun and moon, timeless body, perfect self, etc.), and managed to mess those up blasphemously in a heartbreaking manner...


Lucas Yew wrote:

This part piqued my interest.

N N 959 wrote:
I'm not aware of Monks being immune to poison as a trope either.
Said trope is actually common in most mid(and higher)-tier wuxia characters. Usually it's automatically gained as you train your body with qi/chi/ki ....

As a kid, I watched years of Kung-Fu theater and I never saw poison immunity come up. As I recall the greatest martial artist in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon dies after being poisoned by a single needle and that guy was clearly meant to be a Grandmaster of the Flowers or whatever.

My point was a counter to the often repeated notion that since Aragon didn't have spells, the class shouldn't have spells. Classes do all kinds of things that are not part of popular/fantasy tropes. But I can imagine some renditions of monks have poison immunity, so it doesn't seem that much of a stretch to put it in.

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Actually, I was quite astonished that WotC managed to research very well (for a presumably non-East Asian staff) on the kinds of common wuxia superpowers when making the Monk class' static benefits (tongues of the sun and moon, timeless body, perfect self, etc.), and managed to mess those up blasphemously in a heartbreaking manner...

I feel your pain.

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