View Full Version : D&D 3.x Class After feedback for a smart fighter, heavy Ranger hybrid

2015-12-04, 12:56 PM
Hi there,

So me and my current DM were spitballing character progression possibilities for my current Dwarf fighter (lvl4) and due to the flavour of my character, got a little stuck with where to take it. My fighter is based around INT as a secondary stat, and flavoured as a student of legends, mythology and history, has a background of being a mercenary for hire, but independent and spends much of his time outside of civilisation, studying the history books and working out how to get into them (not in a "I want GLORY way", more measured and low-key....it's all in his backstory).

Anyway we sort of came to the conclusion that the class skill list was a concern, and it'd be nice for me to mix things up in combat a bit. Plus (and yes I know) I was really married to the Sword and Board concept. So we mentioned a few ideas - Urban Ranger because of the independence, Dwarven Defender because, well, duh!, Cleric or Paladin - in the end we rejected everything because of OP issues, the spellcasting flavour not being right, the heavy armour (non-dex build), and wanting to make use of a high INT for a martial class. And he suggested homebrewing a class.

So what I've put together is a sort of retooling of a ranger specifically for a dwarf, and as an independent classic adventuring mercenary with high survivability and adaptability, whose favoured enemy is anyone trying to attack with a weapon (more on that in a bit). As this is my first dint at homebrewing, I wanted a little balance check with my ideas. What I've done is swapped out/ignored the various Ranger abilities to something which I hope applies....So here goes:

Skill List: Craft, Intimidate, Knowledge (Local), Knowledge (Geography), Knowledge (Dungeoneering), Knowledge (Art of War; Trained Only), Knowledge (Fighting Styles), Knowledge (Tactics; Trained Only), Listen, Ride, Sense Motive, Spot, Survival, Use Rope.

Skill Points: Maybe sticking with the Ranger 6+int, but not sure if that's stretching it from 4+int. It's an INT based classed rather than Wis so I guess it'd offset out in the long run.

HD/Armour Vs Animal Companion: Trying for d10 HD and All armour and shields to offset the HP pool of an animal companion, hopefully averaging out over the course of a fight? Rather than having a bear help you out, you're more resiliant on your own. This would then synergy with the Dwarfs natural propensity for heavy armour....

Track: Limit them to humanoids/intelligent races/armed groups (e.g. a bandit group of size x will have a camp within x hours walk, near a prominent water source, likely overlooking roads/tracks....etc etc etc)

Wild Empathy: Either ditch, or reflavour to use INT instead of CHA when using diplomacy/intimidate on mercenaries/soldiers?

Combat Style: Now here's where I thought you could really bring out that Ranger trait of being married to a way of fighting - only rather than bow or Dual-Wield....make it sword and board! Now I've read through a load of shield feats, but I'm a little unsure which ones are homebrew and thus broken, but I've seen a few that could define a sword and shield style, such as Shield Block (opposed attack roll once per round to deflect attack that would've hit as reaction), Shield Slam (stun opponent), improved Shield Bash (retain AC when bashing), magic reduction (learning to deflect spells with a shield)....stuff like that. Basically giving free feats in the same way as other combat styles, but limiting them to the Sword & Board stuff......here I'm canvassing a bit for ideas and feats that would mimic the TWF and Archery styles of a typical Ranger

Favoured enemy: This one I'm not sure if it would class as OP, but here's my reasoning. A Ranger spends his time in a certain habitat, and thus gains knowledge/hatred of a particular denizen of that environment. As this guy's habitat is a battle, the denizen of that environment would be the opponent themselves. So here's what I propose:You make a melee attack using your shield, but instead of damage you can force the opponent to make a DC save against the attack roll using their highest save. If they fail, they now becomes your Favoured Opponent (as per Ranger FE). This represents taking the time to assess an opponents strengths and weaknesses, and works similar to the 4e and 5e hunters mark. At 1st Level you can only have 1 FO active at any one time, at 5th, 10th, 15th, & 20th, you can gain additional FO points to be spread over opponents (more than 1 can be applied). If this feels OP, you could limit this to, say, intelligent creatures only that might have an actual fighting style/uses weapons, rather than something like elementals or beast which might be more a force of nature and harder to read and counter. FO points stack with multiple checks (scaling with multiple attacks and BAB increases)

1 FO point gives +2 to damage rolls
2 FO points increases Crit Range
3 FO points give +2 to attack rolls
4 FO points increases crit multiplier by x1
5 FO points Give +2 to AC
.....so instead of a Ranger learning all there is to know about 1 particular animal, this does that on an individual basis. This would support the Ranger concept of a lone wolf, surviving on their own.

Spell Casting: Obviously this gets dropped - this isn't a casting class. Now Depending on what you think of my suggestions so far, you could leave it as that. You could see spell casting as essentially increasing the Ranger versatility, and therefore the expanded skill list is an ample replacement. Or if you see it as a combat enhancement (and being INT rather than WIS based), maybe you could swap this out with something akin to the duellists Precise strike. Maybe call it Overpower. So you must be wielding a shield and attacking the FO, and can add INT modifier (scaling?) to Damage/Attack rolls to represent using the shield to force an opening. Just a thought as a replacement for spell casting

....and to finish up....

Endurance, Swift Tracker, Evasion: gained as normal

Woodland Stride, Camouflaged, Hide in plain sight: Ignored

....So there we go - I've gone through the Base Ranger abilities and tried to swap/tweak them to represent the same lone wolf style adventurer, but one where instead of being the guy that knows all about the forest and wildlife, he's the guy who knows all about fighting and surviving.

So, what do you think? Any feedback will be appreciated....