View Full Version : The Tomes Ranger (D&D 3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

2012-06-06, 12:44 PM
So, while reading Frank Trollman's Tomes, I found a lot of things I really loved. However, I found a few things missing.
Three of my favorite classes from the PHB were conspicuously absent; the Bard, Sorcerer, and Ranger were nowhere to be found!
This is the first of three classes I will be presenting, rebalanced to reflect the design philosophy I found in the Tomes: That there should be a reason to write 20 levels of a single class on your character sheet. Prestige classes should provide options, not be mandatory to survive.
To help rebalance the class, I've improved its spellcasting abilities, and the Combat Track is almost entirely superceded by Tomes' scaling feats, so the only need is to place them at second level and let the feats scale from there.
I also felt that the class needed to embrace the 'nature' role in the party. There's more in the class now that should ring true of the 'wilderness guide' that the classical rangers were. They can grant their party benefits in the Wild. I also tried to remove the class's overspecialization (Favored Enemy). This left out an iconic part of the class (being able to single out certain targets and eliminate them with brutal efficiency), so I cast my thoughts about for a replacement... Aha! I needed look no further than Fourth Edition's Hunter's Quarry class feature. Simple, elegant, and (most importantly of all) thematically appropriate.
Two homebrewed feats are included in the class, and so I will include links to those later.
So, here goes nothing.

The Ranger

"No matter where you take me, there's no greater hunter than Alaric. He could track a falcon on a cloudy day. He can find you."

The Ranger occupies a very special niche in the party. They're almost a combination of rogue, fighter, and druid, the ultimate guide through the wilderness. There is nobody better at hunting; a Ranger's quarry is as good as dead the moment his eyes fall upon it.

A Ranger wants to prioritize his Strength or Dexterity stats; his skill with weapons is directly related to them. Additionally, Wisdom is a good idea for a Ranger to have, as their spellcasting and other abilities rely on it greatly.

Alignment: Any.
Starting Age: Moderate.
Hit Die: d10
Class Skills: Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Escape Artist (Dex), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Jump (Str), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Stealth (Dex), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Use Rope (Cha).
Skill Points: 6+Int modifier.

{table=head]Level|BAB|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|1st|2nd|3rd|4th|5th|6th

1st| +1 | +2 | +2 | +0 |Track, Wild Empathy, Hunter's Mark, Hunter's Mark +1d6, Fast Movement +10', Spellcasting, Orisons|-|-|-|-|-|-

2nd| +2 | +3| +3 | +0 |Combat Style, Uncanny Dodge|0|-|-|-|-|-

3rd| +3 | +3 | +3 | +1 |Great Fortitude, Trackless Step|1|-|-|-|-|-

4th| +4 | +4 | +4 | +1 |Animal Companion, Hunter's Mark +2d6|2|0|-|-|-|-

5th| +5 | +4 | +4| +1 |Camouflage, Fast Movement +15'|3|1|-|-|-|-

6th| +6/+1 | +5 | +5 | +2 |Evasion|3|2|-|-|-|-

7th| +7/+2 | +5 | +5 | +2 |Speed of the Hunt|3|2|0|-|-|-

8th| +8/+3 | +6 | +6 | +2 |Woodland Stride, Hunter's Mark +3d6|3|3|1|-|-|-

9th| +9/+4 | +6 | +6 | +3 |Improved Uncanny Dodge|3|3|2|-|-|-

10th| +10/+5 | +7 | +7 | +3 |Improved Hunter's Mark, Fast Movement +20'|3|3|2|0|-|-

11th| +11/+6/+6 | +7 | +7 | +3 |Hide in Plain Sight|3|3|3|1|-|-

12th| +12/+7/+7 | +8 | +8 | +4 |Hunter's Mark +4d6|3|3|3|2|-|-

13th| +13/+8/+8 | +8 | +8 | +4 |Woodland Guide|3|3|3|2|0|-

14th| +14/+9/+9 | +9 | +9 | +4 ||3|3|3|3|1|-

15th| +15/+10/+10 | +9 | +9 | +5 |Fast Movement +25'|3|3|3|3|2|-

16th| +16/+11/+11/+11 | +10 | +10 | +5 |Hunter's Mark +5d6|3|3|3|3|2|0

17th| +17/+12/+12/+12 | +10 | +10 | +5 |Hunter's Alacrity|3|3|3|3|3|1

18th| +18/+13/+13/+13 | +11 | +11 | +6 |Supreme Hunter's Mark|3|3|3|3|3|2

19th| +19/+14/+14/+14 | +11 | +11 | +6 ||3|3|3|3|3|3

20th| +20/+15/+15/+15 | +12 | +12 | +6 |Lord of the Hunt, Hunter's Mark +6d6, Fast Movement 30'|3|3|3|3|3|3[/table]

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Rangers are proficient with light and medium armor, all simple weapons, and all martial weapons.

Track: The Ranger gains Track as a bonus feat at first level.

Wild Empathy (Ex): A ranger can improve the attitude of an animal. This ability functions just like a Diplomacy check made to improve the attitude of a person. The ranger rolls 1d20 and adds her ranger level and her Charisma modifer to determine the wild empathy check result. The typical domestic animal has a starting attitude of indi fferent, while wild animals are usually unfriendly. To use wild empathy, the ranger and the animal must be able to study each other, which means that they must be within 30 feet of one another under normal conditions. Generally, in influencing an animal in this way takes 1 minute but, as with influencing people, it might take more or less time. A ranger can also use this ability to influence a magical beast with an Intelligence score of 1 or 2, but she takes a -4 penalty on the check.

Hunter's Mark (Ex): As a swift action, the ranger may mark a creature she is aware of* within Close range. When attacking this creature, She gains one-third her ranger level (rounded up) as an insight bonus to Perception, Stealth, Knowledge, Intimidate, and Survival checks, attack rolls, and AC versus this creature. Additionally, she adds 1d6 to all damage rolls made against this creature. This bonus damage does not count as precision damage, unlike a Rogue's Sneak Attack or a Scout's Skirmish, and as such affects creatures immune to such damage normally. At every fourth Ranger level, this damage bonus increases by an additional d6.
A Hunter's Mark remains on a creature for a number of rounds equal to the ranger's wisdom modifier, if it is positive (minimum 1). A ranger may have as many Marks active as she pleases, but a new Mark supersedes an old one.
*Any creature whose location she can pinpoint.

Fast Movement (Ex): A ranger gains a +10' enhancement bonus to her movement speed.

Orisons (Ex): A ranger gains access to a number of 0th-level spells. These spells can be cast at-will, and do not have spell slots to be expended.

Combat Style: A 2nd-level ranger gains a bonus feat, chosen from among the following:

•Legendary Wrangler
•Mounted Combat
•Phalanx Fighter
•Point-Blank Shot
•Rapid Fire
•Steady Aim
•Two-Weapon Fighting
Additionally, at 11th level, the ranger gains the benefit of the Combat School feat when utilizing her Combat Style.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex): As the Barbarian Class Feature.

Great Fortitude (Ex): A third-level ranger gains Great Fortitude as a bonus feat.

Trackless Step (Ex): As the Druid class feature.

Animal Companion (Ex): As the Druid class feature.

Evasion (Ex): As the Rogue class feature.

Camouflage (Ex): While in any kind of natural terrain, the Ranger gains half his Ranger level as a competence bonus to Stealth checks.

Speed of the Hunt (Ex): A Ranger may move at double his normal speed, so long as he ends his movement closer to a target of his Hunter's Mark. This doubled movement applies to 5' steps as well, allowing the Ranger to make 10' steps.

Woodland Stride (Ex): As the Druid class feature.

Improved Hunter's Mark (Ex): The Ranger gains The Edge against any target of his Hunter's Mark. Additionally, the Ranger may place additional marks on a creature, up to a maximum of three. Bonuses granted by each Mark do not stack with one another, but rather, each additional Mark increases the bonuses granted by the first by 50%. The range of his Mark increases to Medium.

Hide in Plain Sight (Ex): A Ranger can hide in unusual locations, and may hide in areas without cover or concealment without penalty. A Ranger may even hide while being observed. This ability does not remove the -10 penalty for moving at full speed, or the -20 penalty for running or fighting.

Woodland Guide (Su): The Ranger may grant all allies within Close range the benefit of the Woodland Stride ability.

Hunter's Alacrity (Ex): The Ranger is so at home in the wilderness that he becomes highly resilient to many effects. While in a natural environment, the Ranger gains his Wisdom modifier as a dodge bonus to AC and Saving throws.

Supreme Hunter's Mark (Su): Allies within Medium range gain all benefits of the Hunter's Mark, except for the additional damage dice. Additionally, only the Ranger receives the following benefit:

•A creature with three Hunter's Marks grants special bonuses to the Ranger. Upon placing the third Mark, the duration of the Mark is increased to 24 hours, and the Ranger is aware of the target of his Mark's location at all times. Placing additional Marks refreshes the duration, but the Ranger must still be within Medium range to place additional Marks. Additionally, the Ranger treats this creature as flat-footed against his attacks.

Lord of the Hunt (Su): When a Ranger strikes a creature with three instances of his Hunter's Mark, that creature must make a Fortitude save (DC 10+1/2 Ranger level+Wis Mod) or die (this applies to creatures with immunity to death effects); this effect may occur only once per round. The range of his Hunter's Mark is increased to Long.

Ranger Spells
Rangers cast spells spontaneously. They automatically know every spell on their spell list, and their casting stat is Wisdom. Not much else to say.

0th level: Create Water, Cure Minor Wounds, Detect Magic, Detect Poison, Flare, Guidance, Know Direction, Light, Mending, Purify Food and Drink, Read Magic, Resistance, Virtue
1st level: Alarm, Animal Messenger, Calm Animals, Charm Animal, Cure Light Wounds, Delay Poison, Detect Animals or Plants, Detect Snares and Pits, Endure Elements, Entangle, Hide from Animals, Jump, Longstrider, Magic Fang, Magic Weapon, Pass Without Trace, Resist Energy, Speak with Animals, Summon Nature's Ally I
2nd level: Barkskin, Bear's Endurance, Bull's Strength, Cat's Grace, Cure Moderate Wounds, Hold Animal, Owl's Wisdom, Protection from Energy, Snare, Speak with Plants, Spike Growth, Summon Nature's Ally II, Wind Wall
3rd level: Command Plants, Cure Serious Wounds, Darkvision, Diminish Plants, Greater Magic Fang, Greater Magic Weapon, Neutralize Poison, Plant Growth, Reduce Animal, Remove Disease, Remove Paralysis, Repel Vermin, Summon Nature's Ally III, Tree Shape, Water Walk
4th level: Animal Growth, Commune with Nature, Cure Critical Wounds, Mass Cure Light Wounds, Freedom of Movement, Nondetection, Summon Nature's Ally IV, Tree Stride
5th level: Awaken, Mass Cure Moderate Wounds, Control Winds, Death Ward, Insect Plague, Stoneskin, Summon Nature's Ally V, Wall of Thorns
6th level: Mass Bear's Endurance, Mass Bull's Strength, Mass Cat's Grace, Mass Cure Serious Wounds, Find the Path, Heal, Mass Owl's Wisdom, Stonetell, Summon Nature's Ally VI

2012-06-06, 01:11 PM
That's some Ranger rewrite that I really like.

Attack bonus changes seem weird to me, but I guess that's the part of those Frank's Tomes?

I don't like the Animal Companion as feature in general, but that's easily fixable per personal preference.

Fast movement may be a bit excessive, as other classes generally are limited as far as movement goes to the end (unless they're casters, obviously:smalltongue:) but not by much.

Generally, really well written stuff, I would add spells like Bulls Strength, Remove Paralysis etc. (perhaps level or so "late") because there's no good reason why 'Primordial Power' guy shouldn't have them, perhaps limited to "Self Only" for fluff and balance.

2012-06-06, 01:16 PM
That's some Ranger rewrite that I really like.

Attack bonus changes seem weird to me, but I guess that's the part of those Frank's Tomes?

I don't like the Animal Companion as feature in general, but that's easily fixable per personal preference.

Fast movement may be a bit excessive, as other classes generally are limited as far as movement goes to the end (unless they're casters, obviously:smalltongue:) but not by much.

Generally, really well written stuff, I would add spells like Bulls Strength, Remove Paralysis etc. (perhaps level or so "late") because there's no good reason why 'Primordial Power' guy shouldn't have them, perhaps limited to "Self Only" for fluff and balance.

Every time I saw iterative attacks in the Tomes, Frank seemed to have done away with the cumulative -5 penalty, just giving a flat -5 penalty to all additional attacks.
The spell list comment is a legitimate one. I'll look into it.

2012-06-07, 09:57 AM
Alright, let's see. I added a few spells.
I'm not crazy about seeing dead levels up there, though.

2012-06-08, 08:17 AM
Made a very slight edit to Lord of the Hunt.

2012-06-09, 06:29 AM
Well, few points:

- I'm not sure what "gains The Edge" in Improved Mark of the Hunt is supposed to mean.

- for all this nice effects of "The Hunt" I think class could use some more 'mundane' scrying effect, so to actually be able to find and track something before entering very direct (~ 500 feet is still not that much distance, really) chase.

- The way I see Lord of the Hunt, for quite a bit trouble it needs - assuming Wisdom modifier of + 8, many ~ CR 15 opponents still need less than 10 on their roll to beat it, assuming no 'bonus' feats and stuff.

Dunno how exactly it's intended to work, but lesser opponents probably wouldn't be worth at least 3 rounds of preparation anyway.

2012-06-09, 09:25 AM
Personally, I think the hunt is fine given that if you keep making something roll saves, it WILL fail one eventually.

I would however do the following.

Add in Scent, Low-light Vision, Darkvison (Not for magical darkness until high levels though.), and a Tremor sense that goes out at a scaling distance. The ranger is the master of using all his senses and being aware at all times of every aspect of his terrain, he should act like it.

I'd also look at adding Intimidate and Bluff to the class skill list. Makes it easier to get info about his quarry and to keep them off balance.

As a 4th lvl spell, I'd add splitting. It was one of the better spells on his basic list, particularly for archers. And archers need love. I'd also think about giving him Find the Gap as a spell.

Also, the fast movement, it should be an untyped bonus or a Inherit Bonus or something like that. Something that will stack with things like haste spells so that it actually means something.

But a good rewrite over all, cudos too you sir!

2012-06-10, 11:28 PM
- I'm not sure what "gains The Edge" in Improved Mark of the Hunt is supposed to mean.

It's a Tome thing, just like the alternate iterative attack progressions. It's a condition that applies sometimes and grants you bonuses on special attack tricks, like disarm, pin, and the like. Here's the rules for it, hosted at the DnD wiki I prefer (and help run, so bias and whatnot) - linky (www.dnd-wiki.org/wiki/Races_of_War_(3.5e_Sourcebook)/Advanced_Combat).

Now, on to class commentary!

Level 1 gives a lot of stuff. More than most of the other Tome classes. The abilities are somewhat niche, so it's probably not a big deal, it just stands out. The exception is the Fast Movement ability, which is straight up better than the Tome Barbarian. Dropping to start at 5' and boosting progression to every 3 or 4 levels would probably be fine, and might clear up some of the dead levels later on.

Let's talk Hunter's Mark. The idea of multi-marking is cool, but it could be simplified. Rather than additional marks adding 50% bonuses, you could pretty easily say the second mark adds another level/3 to skill bonuses and doubles the damage bonuses. And then the third mark could add another level/3 to skill bonuses and the on-hit death effect.

On the roll bonus side, you can stack skill bonuses to whatever you want in the default skill system, minor Tome tweaks or not, and I would be hard pressed to care. So those look good. But the attack roll and AC bonuses should probably not stack at all with additional markings. One stacking of attack bonuses with everything else on a full BAB class is sufficient, and multiple AC bonuses just strikes me as odd in a Tome setup. This sets you up to get a Book of Gears style scaling magic item (weapon, armor, and skill boosters) against anyone who you mark three times, and is fine.

The damage thing is similar. It wouldn't be a big deal to just let then get double damage and skill bonuses with two rounds of marking. They're still not dealing as much over those 2 rounds (or even 3 really) as a TWF touch attacking rogue would be (which is an assumed tactic for F&K rogues), so it's probably not stepping on toes. If they could triple their damage with a 3rd mark, that would be dealing more damage than the other classes over 3 rounds. But it's also investing 3 rounds into marking 1 dude who hasn't fallen over from your bonus damage yet. At a 3 round investment point at any level over 15, and at-will (no more than 1/rnd) death effect is totally fine. And while the save is a bit low against some of the more bloaty high CR creatures, it's the Tome standard and changing it is probably not a good call.

And the Flat-Footed thing could probably go. I don't think it does anything but provide another minor +2 for the Ranger, and that's pretty minor at that point.

Those changes would sort of leave Lord of the Hunt with nothing to do, and that's no good. You could do an improved senses and divination/divination enhancement line with that theme though. The ability to know where someone is for a day is cool, but it comes on really late. Adding in a scent ability, tremor/blindsense ability, or the ability to double or quadruple divination ranges , and so on but only for the purposes of finding the targetcould be a really useful boost to the tracking line for the class. I would consider separating it from the Hunter's Mark stuff though, since otherwise you can't really use your combat stuff without losing the scent.

2012-06-11, 07:11 PM
This is the Tome Ranger my group has used in the past. (http://dnd-wiki.org/wiki/Ranger,_Tome_(3.5e_Class))

I like your use of the Hunters Mark, but I think the capstone is really weak. This is a tome class, at 20th level he should be able to shoot arrows through mountains and ride bears on bears. If not outright "winning the game" as so many of Frank's classes end with.

Additionally, im not feeling like this has everything it needs to be a real tome class. :smallfrown: The lack of crazy awesome original class features that emphasize the uniqueness of the niche is saddening. I want to see what kind of awesomeness you think the ranger deserves! :smallbiggrin:

Im not trying to be overly negative, simply give honest feedback. If you don't wish for my suggestions, kindly tell me so and I will stop posting them. :smallsmile: