View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Revised Ranger Base Class and Three Archetypes - Hunter, Beastmaster & Spirit Invoker

2016-03-19, 11:20 PM
Edited 3/22/16

In my opinion, the ranger base class should represent a person who can thrive in wild by understanding the terrain and the creatures that inhabit it through experience (i.e. no spells). So, this is my attempt at creating that base class. Below are the major changes from the PHB version

Skills – I gave the option to take athletics or acrobatics. I don’t understand why that wasn’t there to begin with when you are kind of pushed into a dex build.

Favored Enemy(F.A.) now has some combat abilities. I didn’t build the class to be solely dependent on F.A, but just add that little extra to show you are familiar with that creature. The improvements to F.A. are scaled to prevent dipping.

6th level - F.A. have disadvantages on detecting and tracking you

13th level – Foe Hunter (moved from lv 20 and merged with F.A.)

15th level – Archetype improvement

Fighting Style – I moved this to 1st level and moved Natural Terrain to 2nd. It is really boring playing a 1st level Ranger with just F.A. and Nat. Explorer. Those abilities don’t do anything at 1st level even with my improvements. That is why I moved the fighting style to 1st level.

Hunter’s Instincts – 2nd level is just Rogue’s Expertise but only for Ranger Class skills.

Natural Explorer– I call it Favored Terrain. I merged the vanish ability into favored terrain and add an additional pick.

**Ranger Archetypes** – With a spell less ranger, new archetypes are necessary. I have 3 rough archetypes: Hunter, Beastmaster, and Spirit Invoker. You gain features at 3rd, 7th, 11th, 15th, and 18th.

The hunter archetype is supposed to represent the Strider ranger type. The basic mechanic for this class is Focus Points similar to ki, superior dice, or Grit (Matt Mercer’s Gunslinger).

The beastmaster archetype is very similar to the current version but with some major improvements: bonus action to command beast, ability to gain varying CR beast, Training/improving your beast. This may be a bit complicated especially “improving” the beast, but I think this is better than the proficiency bonus to show the effects of different training.

The spirit invoker archetype is the magical archetype which has gained a deeper understanding of nature and formed a link with a spirit. With this archetype, you get a spirit companion. The spirit companion is used to sort a replace the conjuring animals and woodland creatures. I also changed the spellcasting to be prepare instead of knowing and add cantrips. I also modified/add spells so the ranger doesn’t have to use range weapons.

Evasion - add at 9th level

Hide in Plain Sight – modified to work until you took damage, move or attacked. If you took damage, you need to reapply it taking 1 min. If you moved or attacked, you needed to take an action to fix it.

Removed Primeval Awareness

Ability score Improvement, Extra Attack, Land’s Stride, Feral Senses – Stayed the same

Capstone ability – I originally had Free Movement, but I like my adaptability better for Theme anyways. I am still working on the ability, but basically it would allow the Ranger to study a creature or terrain and temporarily add them to its Favored list.

Well that is about the gist of what I have changed. I would appreciate any input on balance, theme, mechanics, wording, etc.

If you are using Chrome you can view it here: http://www.naturalcrit.com/homebrew/share/Vk6VWGvng

Otherwise here is a pdf: https://goo.gl/y01uhU

Change Log

Ranger Revised - V6 - 3/23/16

- Changed how beast is controlled to: As an bonus action, you can verbally command your beast to use the Attack action. It continues to attack that target on its own in subsequent turns without any additional action. Once the target is dead, you may design another target to your beast as a bonus action.

- Beast companions are proficient in one saving throw. CR<=4 +2 P.B. or CR>=5 +3 P.B. (MM pg 8)

- Add saving throw and skill traits to exceptional training

- Added the additional effect to BeastMaster's Mind Sync: you and your beast have advantage on saving throws against being charmed and frightened.

2016-06-12, 04:40 PM
We are looking at this for our campaign. You have a very good start here. FA feels meaningful but not overpowered.

Beastmaster would be interesting to play test. Very powerful companions can break a game, so I'd be curious whether this has been playtested to higher levels.

The Hunter archetype needs some clarification around focus. I THINK I know how this works, but the wording isn't clear. Let me run it by you.

> At the end of each Short or Long rest, a Ranger gains a number of Focus points equal to their Wisdom Modifier (minimum 1). The number of Focus points increases by 1 at 7th, 11th, 15th and 18th level.

Okay. I think this means the Ranger has that exact number of focus points after the rest, and this is also the maximum number of focus points. Maximum number is referenced later but never explicitly defined.

Regaining focus points: Regardless of how often a Ranger crits or hits a FA, his focus points can't go above the max gained right after the rest. Am I reading this right?

Maintaining focus. This is where it gets a little uncertain but again I think I know how it works.

> Maintain Focus - a few Exploits are activated as a bonus action and require spending 1 Focus point and temporarily reduce the Maximum number of Focus points by 1.

Okay. So if I went in with 4, now I have 3 but also my max is 3.

> These Exploits last until dismissed as a bonus action or you fall unconscious. Once, the Exploit is dismissed your maximum number of Focus is increased by 1.

Interesting that dismissing is bonus action. With concentration, you can stop to concentrate as no action. What was the reasoning?
Mechanically, if I now dismiss focus, as with the above example, I'd still only have 3 points, but my max would be back up to 4.
This point was not clear to my ranger friend. If that's how it's intended, I recommend being explicit that the max number goes up but the expended focus point is not regained.

> You can pick 3 Exploits at 3rd. You learn one additional Exploit at 7th, 11th, 15th and 18th level.

Should be "at 3rd level", and I'd move this up a bit earlier in the text so it's not overlooked.

>Colossus Slayer
>Ranger must maintain focus to use this Exploit

I think that means the Ranger has to spend 1 focus point to activate this. I'd be explicit about that. Same with other exploits that require focus, where you don't explicitly call out that the ranger spends a focus point.

> Favored Enemy: You gain an additional favored enemy.(Always active)

This confused my ranger friend. I think what's meant here is that you gain the FA when you pick the exploit. He thought he would spend a focus point, but not need to maintain focus, and then he'd have an additional FA. I'd reword this to be very clear:
"Favored Enemy: When you first choose this exploit, you gain an additional favored enemy. You can choose this exploit more than once."

That might need to be wordsmithed further to be very clear. In a nutshell, this is not something that uses focus points.

In light of that, this also can use clarification:

> Rangers use Focus points to perform Exploits. Some Exploits are instant bonuses or attacks, while others are permanent. A few Exploits last as long as the Ranger maintains focus.

Favored Enemy and Favored Terrain aren't performed and no focus points are expended, if I read this right. So the above can benefit from being reworded to include those kind of exploits.

Overall: You put a lot of effort into this rework and we love it. I think our ranger might just become your Hunter version.