View Full Version : Variant Ranger

2006-01-12, 07:45 PM
I like the flavour and concept of the ranger, but I've never been to thrilled with the way it was done. Please tell me if this variant is over- or underpowered.

Base Attack, HD, Spells and Skills are as Ranger.

1: Track, Wild Empathy
2: Endurance
3: Sudden Strike 1d6
6: Fast Movement +10
7: Woodland Stride, Sudden Strike 2d6
8: Swift Tracker
9: Evasion
11: Sudden Strike 3d6
12: Fast Movement +10
13: Camouflage
15: Sudden Strike 4d6
17: Hide in Plain Sight
19: Sudden Strike 5d6

2006-01-12, 08:48 PM
Not sure about the triple bump for movement, other than that it looks good to me. I might change Sudden Strike to level 3 though - since Rangers begin getting spells at level 4, and you want to keep the levels fairly evenly scaled for playability.

2006-01-12, 08:53 PM
Lowered Sudden Strike a level. I'd like to put something in at level 20 though, any ideas?

2006-01-12, 08:53 PM
the added speed does seem to overpower it a bit, in my opinion.

It does seem to go into the uber hunter idea a lot. I agree with you that the original ranger was a lacking, but scale this one down a bit, maybe remove some of the spells and keep it focused on combat?

But I do like the "hide in plain sight" and sudden strike added on.

2006-01-12, 09:15 PM
Hm... a 20th level ability... Maybe something like speak with animals at will, or the like?

It's always confused me why the base classes don't have any capstone abilities, like most PrCs do. At the most, they just have a previous ability become slightly more effective, like Inspire Courage +5, or something.

Monk's the only one, I think (Perfect Body).

Anyway. Transport via plants 1/day? some kind of Master of the Bow ability (don't know what it would entail)

2006-01-12, 09:15 PM
I didn't add Hide in Plain Sight, that's a normal Ranger ability.
I'll drop the total speed bonus down to +20.
I was thinking a sensory ability, like blindsense or scent, for level 20.

2006-01-12, 09:59 PM
I like it a lot. I especially like the synergy between fast movement, the hiding abilities, and the Sudden Strike. It seems to me like this class is all about maneuvering into a superior ambush position and striking hard and fast before fading away.

My only comment is that it really steps on the toes of the Scout (Complete Adventurer), which was created to be a hybrid of Ranger and Rogue. I mean, think about it:

1. Both get extra, precision-based damage (Sudden Strike for your Ranger, Skirmish for the Scout)
2. Both get bonuses to speed
3. Both get camoflague and hide in plain sight
4. Both get evasion.

Admittedly, your Ranger gets better saves, spells, and a few extra feats, but they're very similar. Again, that's not a bad thing (I'm really enjoying the Scout I'm currently playing), it's just something to think about. The similarity would be even closer if you added a perception ability like blindsense (Scouts get blindsense at 10th level and blindsight at 20th).

I'd also suggest filling in some of those blanks with favored enemies (maybe at levels 4, 10, and 16). That'd bring the theme a little closer to the current, plus differentiate it a little more from the Scout. That, and I think that favored enemy is a really neat and flavorful ability. I'd hate to see it lost, but that's just me.


2006-01-12, 10:07 PM
This is more or less designed as a scout/ranger combo, so I'm not so much stepping on its toes as jumping up and down on its head.
I appreciate that you and presumably others like the favoured enemy ability, but I really dislike it. This is more or less to remove favoured enemy and the animal companion.
Also, as to your third and fourth points, rangers get those abilities anyway. All I added was sudden strike and fast movement.

2006-01-13, 12:10 AM
Changed the spells to be arcane. Can cast in light armour and uses Intelligence.

2006-01-13, 12:43 AM
Does this mean he uses the Bardic list? I wouldn't recommend it, particularly not since that gives him 6th level spells. I would instead do what the Spellthief and Arcanamach do - use the Ranger progression and Battle Caster (Light) as above - but allow him to learn and cast spells as a wizard from say: enchantment, transmutation, and illusion. It doesn't make sense for the ranger to have innate arcane powers like the bard/sorcerer, but it would make sense for him to dedicate himself to learning some arcane tools for helping with his trade. In combat, he relies on weapons and ambush, so his spells do not need to be spontaneous, so much as meticulously planned and coordinated for the coming hunt and ambush...

2006-01-13, 12:51 AM
Uses ranger list. Not sure how to do spontaneous or prepared, though. Eh, maybe have as normal. I just thought that Int based casting seemed more appropriate.
If divine, as Ranger.
If arcane, as Hexblade, but uses Ranger list.

2006-01-13, 01:04 AM
If arcane, as Hexblade, but uses Ranger list.

I thought Hexblade was Charisma based?

So it would be:

Int based casting
Ranger progression
Hexblade spell list & learning
Prepared casting

Or use Ranger list and learning?

2006-01-13, 01:11 AM
Definitely Ranger list.
Wis, Ranger progression and prepared if Divine.
Int, Hexblade progression and spontaneous if Arcane.

I'd rather have it arcane, but I don't have Complete Warrior yet to compare the spell lists. So at the moment, it's divine. When I get CW, I'll probably change to arcane.

Lord Xaedien
2006-01-13, 02:35 AM
Well, the ranger list contains a bunch of divine spells.... I don't think its a simple matter of flipping a switch from arcane to divine. I think the divine nature of the spells ties the class into nature. Being an arcane caster, IMHO, represents something of a disconnect from the natural world.

Other than that I like what you have done... although it is way to close to scout... but hey, its a variant, so who cares!

2006-01-13, 02:40 AM
Other than that I like what you have done... although it is way to close to scout... but hey, its a variant, so who cares!

Again, I say: Jumping up and down on its head.

Lord Xaedien
2006-01-13, 02:48 AM
You might try making this a varient on the scout then, since the variant ranger has been done to death... and skirmish is infinently more usefull then sudden strike IMO.... just take out enough stuff to justify a spell progression.

2006-01-13, 02:55 AM
Increasing BAB and HD, lowering skill points and giving spells is rather more than a variant.
I like the Scout, anyway. I'm doing this because I despise the Ranger as written. No point changing something I already like.

2006-01-13, 05:10 AM
you got rid of the animal companion?! Poor fluffy the cat...never will save the ranger's ass from goblins no more :'(

2006-01-13, 06:39 AM
I did! Ha hah! Die, Fluffy, die!

2006-01-13, 11:28 AM
It looks ok to me.
But I wouldn't play it, as the reason I play ranger is for an animal companion without having to go druid.

2006-01-13, 05:28 PM
Have you thought about trying the Fey Bard (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantCharacterClasses.htm#bard)varient from UA/SRD?

2006-01-13, 06:22 PM
Has nothing I want. In fact, it's almost the antithesis of what I want. I have no intention of losing the good stuff from a bard to get the bad stuff from a druid.
Thanks, but no.

2006-01-13, 07:53 PM
Heh, I was actually talking to Renloth. It would be silly to offer you something based off of an idea that you were trying to avoid in the first place!

But I guess that's what I get for not labeling the direction of my post. :)

2006-01-13, 07:57 PM
I thought there was something strange going on... thanks for the clarification.

2006-01-13, 09:17 PM
Never noticed it before, but that looks interesting.
Thanks for informing me SilverElf!