Outwit Rangers: I don't think they actually exist


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion


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Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Has anyone ever actually played an Outwit ranger? If so, why? What was the appeal? How did you get it to work well for you?


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Ravingdork wrote:
Has anyone ever actually played an Outwit ranger? If so, why? What was the appeal? How did you get it to work well for you?

Dex>int>wis>con focused ranger with investigator to get that lay of the land/ street savvy Aragorn vibe. He knows his stuff and he's perceptive. He's good with a blade but he's not a power house. It was fun for the one shot I played it in


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Outwit rangers work fine, they won't be dps kings but they excel as scouts, in social scenarios and more. Oh and are absolutely what you want for recall knowledge rangers (which aren't bards but still have great class skill options for recall knowledge options).

Now if the group only plays kick in the door campaigns with no social engagement, scouting or stealth... or the group has a low level of system mastery and tends to forget abilities; it is probably better to not choose this.

But not being the absolute top dps you can be isn't that bad if you are making use of the tradeoffs.

An unpopular edge, but far from bad.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
The Gleeful Grognard wrote:

Outwit rangers work fine, they won't be dps kings but they excel as scouts, in social scenarios and more. Oh and are absolutely what you want for recall knowledge rangers (which aren't bards but still have great class skill options for recall knowledge options).

Now if the group only plays kick in the door campaigns with no social engagement, scouting or stealth... or the group has a low level of system mastery and tends to forget abilities; it is probably better to not choose this.

But not being the absolute top dps you can be isn't that bad if you are making use of the tradeoffs.

An unpopular edge, but far from bad.

So you've actually played one?


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+2 bonuses are significant, making Outwit Rangers one of the best for Feint & Demoralize, plus they have the skills that make that an easy investment (plus Master Monster Hunter as a major skill boost).
Put them in heavy armor via Sentinel, add that +1 to AC which is like raising a buckler for zero actions, and you've got a top-tier tank who can now afford to invest in Cha.
And a tank that retains use of both hands and all 3 actions, meaning they can wield a two-handed weapon for competitive damage, maybe go Athletics.

Yes, there's an obvious loss in damage, but w/ Demoralize you're lowering AC which increases the DPR of the whole party and often will add up to even more. This of course depends on if Frightened is already supplied by another PC or not, but if not, these guys do better than most.

And let's not forget Snare Rangers who might not be getting much use out of advantages to Strikes (via Flurry or Precision), yet would benefit from the loss of AC/Saves by their targets due to Frightened.

So yeah, while I agree with Grognard that Outwit shines more outside of door-smashing, I think there are at least two viable combat builds that hold their own w/ the other Rangers (depending a bit on party composition, but IMO that's true for most every PC). Heck, I'd put it above a melee Flurry Ranger which needs optimal conditions to flourish.


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

I haven't gotten around to playing a (post-playtest) ranger in 2E yet, but I've played with orange Outwit ranger. She died, but not because of the choice of edge.


Ravingdork wrote:
Has anyone ever actually played an Outwit ranger? If so, why? What was the appeal? How did you get it to work well for you?

Yes, I actually do. Just because I want to try and see how this would work. He's also a snare specialist (without snares because levelling to 4th level takes forever in PFS), and his stats and skills are all over the place. I also plan to never take optimizations like sentinel or something like this. Optimizer's nightmare. :)

The appeal - these bonuses to skills and AC, of course.
I haven't made it to work yet because it has been only 3 games so far and he's only 1st lvl (not all of the games PFS).


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My outwit ranger is not a DPS champion, but he does manage to contribute a lot and fit into many different party configurations in the chaos that is PFS. I actually prefer playing him to my flurry ranger.

Playing to outwit strengths by switch-hitting (AC bonus frees up hands/actions), identifying creatures with Monster Hunter(Recall Knowledge bonus), and Demoralizing foes (Intimidation bonus).

Building off that, he carries a good array of moderate alchemical bombs. Very handy for triggering weaknesses he identifies or applying conditions like flat-footed or speed penalties from long range. No penalty for attacking in the second range increment against Prey makes lobbing bombs from far off to set up the party a lot easier.

And that's just in combat. Out of combat, a +2 to Deception or Intimidate to any creature makes social skill challenges a lot easier than they are for most martial characters.

The Exchange

So only Errenor and Rex have actually played an outwit ranger?

My take away from what they say is that in actual play the outwit ranger is a passable combatant with a bit more of the social skill (which tracks with the theory crafting of the other respondents)

Unfortunately, that means it is unclear why you would use it most circumstances over another class/MCD or other ranger other than you want a ranger who is neither a bowfire turret or a companion master


I kinda wish the bonus was for ALL skill checks against your prey. It's alright though if you want to go through the monster hunter feats. That and at those higher levels, outwit rangers are the best scare to death users. Then they have a solid niche in combat as a menace that just looks at people and they keel over.


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WatersLethe wrote:
So you've actually played one?

Seen one played till level 11; that and I have a solid understanding of the system after running it quite a lot since release. I have seen where these granted benefits have come up, when they won't and as a GM know why a player may want those benefits and how different types of players may use them.

Wanna try again. Actually refute a statement of mine or contribute with your own... or just take another attempt at a dismissive "gotcha" stance again? r_r


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The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:
So you've actually played one?

Seen one played till level 11; that and I have a solid understanding of the system after running it quite a lot since release. I have seen where these granted benefits have come up, when they won't and as a GM know why a player may want those benefits and how different types of players may use them.

Wanna try again. Actually refute a statement of mine or contribute with your own... or just take another attempt at a dismissive "gotcha" stance again? r_r

What gatcha? The OP specifically ASKED that question so how is it a gatcha?

OP: "Has anyone ever actually played an Outwit ranger?"


The ranger in my campaign has Flurry Edge.

Liberty's Edge

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graystone wrote:
The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:
So you've actually played one?

Seen one played till level 11; that and I have a solid understanding of the system after running it quite a lot since release. I have seen where these granted benefits have come up, when they won't and as a GM know why a player may want those benefits and how different types of players may use them.

Wanna try again. Actually refute a statement of mine or contribute with your own... or just take another attempt at a dismissive "gotcha" stance again? r_r

What gatcha? The OP specifically ASKED that question so how is it a gatcha?

OP: "Has anyone ever actually played an Outwit ranger?"

I feel TGG's experience still brings value and should not be casually dismissed out of hand, as it seemed to be.

And it did answer the OP since one of TGG's players "has actually played an Outwit ranger".


Hsui wrote:


My take away from what they say is that in actual play the outwit ranger is a passable combatant with a bit more of the social skill (which tracks with the theory crafting of the other respondents)

Well, specifically I say that from 3 games and playing with him at 1st and 4th level (it just happened this way) I can't say much. I also don't have experience of playing other non-casters to compare.

But I suppose he will be at least an ok archer: Dex is there and there's a bow and even one archery feat. :) Nowhere close to the best of course: I don't have feat capacity with snares taking almost everything. But it's my problem, not outwit ranger's. I'll sort it out somehow.
To elaborate a little: I took Hunted shot and now have too many actions to use. For now I'll try to Recall knowledge, use ranged Aids and Create distractions to make Prey flat-footed against one shot. Then let's see.

The Exchange

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The Raven Black wrote:
graystone wrote:
The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:
So you've actually played one?

Seen one played till level 11; that and I have a solid understanding of the system after running it quite a lot since release. I have seen where these granted benefits have come up, when they won't and as a GM know why a player may want those benefits and how different types of players may use them.

Wanna try again. Actually refute a statement of mine or contribute with your own... or just take another attempt at a dismissive "gotcha" stance again? r_r

What gatcha? The OP specifically ASKED that question so how is it a gatcha?

OP: "Has anyone ever actually played an Outwit ranger?"

I feel TGG's experience still brings value and should not be casually dismissed out of hand, as it seemed to be.

And it did answer the OP since one of TGG's players "has actually played an Outwit ranger".

Realistically, being a GM for a game with one and actually playing one are two quite different experiences. Being a theorycrafter also brings value but is not what was asked


The Raven Black wrote:

I feel TGG's experience still brings value and should not be casually dismissed out of hand, as it seemed to be.

And it did answer the OP since one of TGG's players "has actually played an Outwit ranger".

I wasn't questioning the experience and I don't think WatersLethe was either. I don't think it's an unpardonable sin to clarify if they where relating their you own or someone elses experience. I think you're a bit quick to jump to the conclusion that either of us was being dismissive: it's up to the OP is you answered his question or not but at least now he knows where you got your experience from.

Secondly, who is talking? The original post was to Gleeful Grognard and this post is from The Raven Black who never posted ANY experiences with the ranger here


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Now I want to make an intimidation master with soul forger to get the +2 status bonus on top of the +2 circumstance. Go with orc war mask to get an item bonus and be a walking horror. Bonus points of you can manage this as LG.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I've seen two outwit rangers in play. One I played when PF2 was very new, lasted for a while and was an okay character but still felt flawed. Another a player in a campaign I'm in lasted for about a month and a half before she asked the GM to let her switch to another edge.

You generally focus on demoralize and recall knowledge, because those are the things you do well. You're almost better off not even playing it like a ranger and really going all in on that part of your kit. IMO in order to make Outwit feel good, you need to go all in on those bonuses, because that's the entire engine of your kit. Part of why the second outwit ranger failed is because she tried to be a normal ranger using the Outwit edge, but Outwit really wants you to build around it and focus on it to get good mileage out of it.

The stealth, deception, and AC bonuses are a bit deceptive, because they only apply to your prey and become problematic in scenarios where multiple enemies exist (which is very frequent, from my experience). Useful against bosses, even if the bosses have allies, but also a little less amazing than they look on paper.

Another odd quirk we ran into is that Outwit is the only Edge that gives a typed bonus, which occasionally created some issues of confliction where Outwit was undermined by other sources of bonuses. Depending on your GM and party, this may never be relevant, but it's worth mentioning because it was a problem for us.


Outwit rangers have a good chance to almost always attack versus flat-footed AC between their Stealth to Hide and Deception to Feint.


I played one from Level 9 to 20. Elf Outwit Ranger with LG Paladin Dedication. Dual Wielded a Trident and Dagger. I used Outwit for the purpose of being able to share it with party members. We had a Dwarf DW Pick Fighter and a Swashbuckler who loved to Feint so I shared with them mostly. It was actually fun to play. Didnt top DPR charts but it was no slouch.


When I played an Outwit ranger, I ran with a bastard sword and high Str. The only reason it wasn't a greatsword was because I valued the ability to use combat maneuvers sometimes over the ability to do piercing damage. Overall, I think it worked out fine, except for the fact that my horrible dice luck invariably caused me to roll low on everything.

Effectively always having a buckler raised was a nice way to give a bit more defense while still having that d12 damage.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I ran a game with one. 5th player, joined an established game flush with big strong himbos. She was a huge deal in Age of Ashes book 2. It is nice that outwit can get a higher bonus to skill checks than pretty much anyone else. But you want ability boosts and skill increases in everything, which is hard to accommodate. Having to wait for Master Monster Hunter at level 10 stings. Also, a lot of their value can be tied to Recall Knowledge and I feel obligated to point out how much table variation determines how useful that is.


Yes I did, on a mini campaign from lvl 8 to 11.

I build it as a tank/support with heavy armor, picked the polearm that have trip and focused on STR and Charisma with Wisdom as the 3rd stat, I focused mainly in the AC increase of Outwit and also had that feat that let you share that bonus to an ally making them have an AC bonus as well, and even some had the skills that the edge gives to make them more reliable.

Sovereign Court

Cyouni wrote:

When I played an Outwit ranger, I ran with a bastard sword and high Str. The only reason it wasn't a greatsword was because I valued the ability to use combat maneuvers sometimes over the ability to do piercing damage. Overall, I think it worked out fine, except for the fact that my horrible dice luck invariably caused me to roll low on everything.

Effectively always having a buckler raised was a nice way to give a bit more defense while still having that d12 damage.

Outwit as a way to maintain some AC while using a 2H weapon? You might be on to something here. "Witty" isn't the first word people think of with a greatsword but it could work. You'd be oddly defensive about who you declare prey though, since it powers your defense while for the other styles it powers the offense.

---

As for sightings in the wild, I haven't seen anyone stick with it for more than a few sessions either. But I think that's because they tended to go into it with the idea that they'd be the RK person. But that's not like a full-time party role, it's something you do on the side or divide across the party based on who has Wis and Int. So it feels kinda sour compared to more tangible combat benefits from Flurry/Precision.

But a greatsword with AC and Feint bonus, that sounds playable. Maybe not top-tier, but good enough to function and not something you see all the time.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I only got to play one in one session. Had one with an animal companion. It was fun and the extra bonus to the animal companion ac was nice as well.


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Ascalaphus wrote:
Outwit as a way to maintain some AC while using a 2H weapon?

There's a synergy between Hunted Shot/Twin Takedown and Flurry/Precision: all these abilities needs you to Hunt Prey on the creature you attack. But this synergy doesn't exist with Outwit as Outwit is best used on the creature you defend against. And as Outwit bonus doesn't stack with a Shield, the obvious route for an Outwit Ranger is a 2-handed Weapon.

The main issue I see with the Outwit Ranger is the lack of consistency. The bonus to Recall Knowledge is not incredible as you're not much of a RK character until you get to level 10 and then it becomes stellar. The bonus to Intimidation is nice at low level, but once at level 4 it becomes a +1 compared to Intimidating Prowess, and even +0 once at level 10. And then, at level 16 you grab Scare to Death and it's awesome and at level 17 it's completely out of bounds.
The AC bonus is quite weak during your whole career and then at level 19 it becomes interesting.


I've made two on paper, one level 1-20 as my Witcher expy (with Alchemist and Wizard Free Archetype) who carries around 2 swords (I think wakazashi?) and on paper he's super strong... The other is a DMPC opponent for a tournament the party is in, that they haven't happened upon yet, because one of my player's is a teacher and finals have kicked his butt... BUT THEY'LL COME ACROSS HER EVENTUALLY! I'll let you know how it plays out afterwards..

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