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View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Hunter Class (Ranger rework) first draft with PEACHes



Phawksin
2016-05-18, 03:30 PM
Surprise! Another different Ranger. This is an early first draft from about a dozen different homebrew things I have been working on, some of them for 3.x, so some of the wording and formatting isn't exactly up to scratch; but I wanted to throw it against the wall to see what sticks. Its a lot of content to go through as this draft has basically 2 different archetype choices. The draft I'm currently working on has removed the advanced features from the beastmaster/spellcasting choice leaving only the favored enemy choices for archetypes. That being said, I'm not convinced that having so many options in the class is a bad thing and am curious about feedback on that.

The concept behind this class is that while Fighters are the best at hitting things by rote and Barbarians are the best at hitting things hard, the Hunter should be the best at hitting things smart. Fighters and Barbarians hit everything the same, but Hunters should change the way they hit things based on their experience and the type of target they are up against. Beyond that, Hunters aren't "guardians" of nature or "Paladin's of the wild", they are apart of nature, another piece of the cosmic cycle of life. Unlike a Druid, they don't need to revere nature; and unlike a Paladin they aren't the vengeful arm of their faith. Hunters are apex predators as natural to the world as lions, bears and tarrasques; and as such they have specific prey they have evolved to devour.

Hunter 1.0 can be found here (https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2WcwY1Bp6ARdTV3bkhnbmlqTlU/view) so let me know how broken it is.

zeek0
2016-05-22, 03:09 AM
[Since you've given me good advice on my homebrew, I thought I would do the same for you.]

As always I like to see modular character options. You've put some good work in on this.

I'm also shamelessly working on a Ranger rework. While I have differing ideas in a lot of places, I agree with your change to Land's Stride to give lots of different options. I made a different choice, and I'll put it here in case it gives you inspiration (I paired my feature with Natural Explorer as it was written in the PHB, but I think that you could adjust it to fit you):
Landís Stride
Starting at 6th level, you learn how to better survive in your favored terrain and may use those skills in other areas as well. For each favored terrain you choose with the Natural Explorer feature, you also gain the corresponding benefit:

Arctic. You are adapted to cold, and become naturally adapted to cold climates. You have advantage on checks to avoid falling prone due to environmental effects, and thin ice has 50% more weight tolerance when you cross it.
In addition, you gain resistance to cold damage.
Coast. You have a swim speed of 30 feet, and gain proficiency with vehicles (water). In addition, you do not suffer disadvantage from strong wind or heavy precipitation as described in chapter 5 of the Dungeon Masterís Guide.
Desert. You are adapted to heat, and become naturally adapted to hot climates as described in chapter 5 of the Dungeon Masterís Guide. When you forage you find twice as much water as you would normally.
In addition, you gain resistance to fire damage.
Forest. Moving through nonmagical difficult terrain costs you no extra movement. You can also pass through nonmagical plants without being slowed by them and without taking damage from them if they have thorns, spines, or a similar hazard.
In addition, you have advantage on saving throws against plants that are magically created or manipulated to impede movement, such those created by the entangle spell.
Grassland. Your movement speed increases by 10 feet. In addition, while traveling on a mount or by foot your travel pace increases by 50%.
Mountain. You gain proficiency with Constitution saving throws. In addition, you are adapted to high altitudes as if you were native to those environments and suffer no ill effects from travelling at altitude, as described in chapter 5 of the Dungeon Masterís Guide.
Swamp. You have advantage on saving throws against poison and have resistance to poison damage. In addition, you gain proficiency with the poisonerís kit.
Underdark. You gain darkvision out to a range of 60 feet , or if you already have darkvision it extends an additional 60 feet.
City. Climbing costs you no extra movement. In addition, you donít take damage when you fall from 20 feet or less and are not incapacitated. You land on your feet from a fall of 30 feet or less.


I like how your Favored Enemy isn't focused on a creature type, but a creature area. It allows the features to be used on a variety of enemies, and for those skills that you use to kill one type of enemy to be transferred to another.

I think it's great that you gave a list of options for the animal companion to take. But I really think that all of it is best expressed by the phrase: "The beast obeys your commands as best it can." This way you can give any of the commands listed and any that aren't listed. The only thing that a DM wouldn't allow is the constant attacks that come from the defend option (which is probably a problem), and the dodge bit on the harry option. But I think that opening it up to an infinite variety of commands is well worth the trade.
(In my version I just moved Exceptional Training into the initial 3rd level feature - I think that this solves many of your concerns(?))

Like some others, I think that Hunter's Mark should be a feature separate from spellcasting (especially since you have a feature that interacts with it directly).

I think that the bit in True Companion about allowing them access to your features is a great idea.

I enjoy the change to Feral Senses to make it more variable.


Let me know if you have any specific questions or want to focus my attention anywhere in particular.
Cheers.

Phawksin
2016-05-23, 02:22 PM
I think it's great that you gave a list of options for the animal companion to take. But I really think that all of it is best expressed by the phrase: "The beast obeys your commands as best it can." This way you can give any of the commands listed and any that aren't listed. The only thing that a DM wouldn't allow is the constant attacks that come from the defend option (which is probably a problem), and the dodge bit on the harry option. But I think that opening it up to an infinite variety of commands is well worth the trade.
(In my version I just moved Exceptional Training into the initial 3rd level feature - I think that this solves many of your concerns(?))

Like some others, I think that Hunter's Mark should be a feature separate from spellcasting (especially since you have a feature that interacts with it directly).


Hey, thanks for the response! I had assume this impressively long document went the way of the dodo, so thanks throwing me a bone.

Like you said, we have some different ideas on parts of the ranger, and I don't know if I really consider this a "Ranger" in classic terms (hence the changed name). Regardless, lets talk about the Beast Master: I really hate the Exceptional Training feature because it can hamstring two-weapon-fighting. My intent with the unique pet actions was to provide some actual opportunity by providing interesting options that PC's can't normally do, without overpowering anything. It should be interesting to have an animal companion, and I think its the most lackluster build in the game. Besides that the Defend action should only allow them to make an attack against the first creature that attacks and the Harry's BA to dodge should only work against the creature it is harrying (I'll make that more clear in draft 2). Personally, I do really like the idea of having a much looser interpretation like "obeys commands as best it can", but I have some pretty major rules lawyers at my table and I think the limitations help prevent abuse and allow players to have a better idea of what to expect when they read it. I think I'll add some text about the versatility of the pet outside of combat.

As for Hunter's Mark, I think it should be a key feature of the Ranger in the PHB, but by separating spellcasting and the pet it actually gave me a great opportunity to balance them against each other. In theory for this build, access to spellcasting should provide the same average utility and DPR as the active pet.

Now when I get off work I'll have to go through your rework again with a fine toothed comb!

Rerem115
2016-05-23, 03:02 PM
Is there a limit on the Expert Combatant feature for the Bounty Hunter favored enemy tree? As written, you can re-roll every missed attack, with advantage, all the time. Also, you can force every attack against you to have disadvantage, all the time. This is crazy powerful, even for a 17th level feature. There should be a limit on times per round for re-rolling attacks, and a limit on times per long rest for both re-rolling attacks and forcing disadvantage.

On the other hand, I think that Uncanny Dodge for the Behemoth Hunter shouldn't have a Wisdom modifier limit; the Rogue doesn't, and they get it 4 levels earlier.

Claw Strike seems only situationally useful, but when it does come into play, your opponent doesn't get a turn. To use a scenario from a campaign I was in, the party was fighting a master swordsman. If there had been a ranger with Claw Strike, he would have just sat next to him, disarming him every turn, turning the fight into a joke. However, while this shuts down any weapon wielder, it doesn't do much of anything against, say, a dragon; you ready an action, dragon breathes fire, you attack the dragon, fire breath takes out half your party, rinse and repeat. I would suggest modifying this ability so that it isn't either an instant win or useless.

Waffle_Iron
2016-05-23, 09:53 PM
One thing I really like is that you've included a number of levels where the ranger needs to make a choice between abilities. It's something I liked from the PHB hunter sub-class.

I won't comment on the power balance as that's been covered with pretty much the same thoughts I had, but I do want to commend you on the flavor of the class. It captures "ranger", to me.

Phawksin
2016-05-24, 12:32 AM
Is there a limit on the Expert Combatant feature for the Bounty Hunter favored enemy tree?

<snip>

Claw Strike seems only situationally useful, but when it does come into play, your opponent doesn't get a turn.

Both aspects of that take a reaction, and as you only get one a round there is opportunity cost for the improved offense and defense. In my next draft I have split those two features (by giving the subclasses 4 features over 3)

Thats a really good point about Claw Strike, I actually intended it to be less powerful against weapon wielders, because themes. I'll have to rework that pretty significantly.



I won't comment on the power balance as that's been covered with pretty much the same thoughts I had, but I do want to commend you on the flavor of the class. It captures "ranger", to me.


Thank you! I actually find that surprising, but I think from the fact that we have so many homebrew rangers and that the PHB version is kind of unfocused, it seems like there isn't a real consensus on what makes a character a "Ranger".

Phawksin
2016-05-24, 01:11 PM
Let me know if you have any specific questions or want to focus my attention anywhere in particular.


Well actually, I think I'm most concerned about the Witch Hunter's Mana Burn ability: the only real analog to it is the arcane trickster's Spell Thief, and thats a 17th level feature. I really like the concept of "burning away" a caster's magic, but it feels pretty broken. I'm thinking of moving it into an 11th level offense slot and maybe having it only work against spellcasting and not other limited resource features (because themes). What do you think?



On the other hand, I think that Uncanny Dodge for the Behemoth Hunter shouldn't have a Wisdom modifier limit; the Rogue doesn't, and they get it 4 levels earlier.


Yeah, thats a really good point. I hadn't realized I had done that, I guess I was concerned because its in the level 15 slot of the PHB ranger, but so is evasion. I forget you make a hilariously more efficient ranger by being a multiclass rogue. But I guess thats why so many of us are rebuilding it.

Bharaeth
2016-05-30, 07:13 AM
Hey, I took a look at your archetype, too. Does great work with what the Ranger should be. A couple of comments:

With Stand Against the Tide, it's a really fun and clever idea, but it seems a little off to me that the creature has to make a Str save to not target their ally. I feel like either a Dex save to pull their attack at the last minute, or a Wis save to recognise what is being done and think quickly - either of these would probably be better suited.

Similarly, with the Wing Clip feature of the Dragon hunter, rather than being a Str save, perhaps it should be a Con save - reflecting either that they are so tough that your attack just didn't reach the vital area, or so they are so disciplined and focused that they just power through the pain

zeek0
2016-05-31, 12:56 AM
I'm most concerned about the Witch Hunter's Mana Burn ability

The abilities in the MM are not labeled 'spell-like ability' or not. It is unclear whether a dragon uses innate magic to breathe fire or has combustible sacs of chemicals in her gut which, combined, create a flamethrower-like effect.

I think that it should continue to affect other things like flame breath - otherwise you have a feature that is useless against the majority of enemies you face.

You should be able to use this ability with a touch attack as well. I can imagine a witch hunter using this on their prisoner on the journey back to the inquisition/authorities.

At the moment this ability only works about 2-3 times a day, and never more than once per combat. The problem with this is that in a combat against a spellcaster with many option, this is unlikely to do much. A high level caster thinks nothing of losing a 1st level spell slot as long as they can keep slinging fireballs.


Additionally, when you hit a creature with a weapon attack you can choose to force it to make a saving throw using their spellcasting modifier (if they don't have a spellcasting modifier they use their highest saving throw instead)

Perhaps I'm missing it, but what do they make their save against? What number do they need to hit?

My suggestion:
Mana Burn is an ability that takes a full action to complete. You make a single attack against a target. If the attack hits, make a Wisdom ability check. The DC equals the 10+the target's spellcasting ability modifier or if the target does not have a spellcasting ability modifer, 10+the highest of Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma modifiers. If you succeed, the target must lose a limited resource, such as a dragon's breath or a spell slot. The creature chooses what feature it loses.


Now, notice that you can use this all the time. But also notice that a) you get one attack / round, and b) to succeed on this ability you need to overcome both their AC and their DC.

The idea is that over the course of a combat you can choose to have limited attacks in exchange for slowly limiting their spellcasting options.

Alternatively, you can keep the short rest limitation. If you do, I would let the hunter choose what the creature loses. That way, the archmage loses a cast of time stop instead of identify.

Phawksin
2016-05-31, 11:52 AM
With Stand Against the Tide, it's a really fun and clever idea, but it seems a little off to me that the creature has to make a Str save to not target their ally. I feel like either a Dex save to pull their attack at the last minute, or a Wis save to recognise what is being done and think quickly - either of these would probably be better suited.

Similarly, with the Wing Clip feature of the Dragon hunter, rather than being a Str save, perhaps it should be a Con save

After looking back through it I decided to change Stand Against the Tide back closer to the PHB version to have no save and only work against misses. As for Wing Clip I think a Con save is interesting. I decided on Strength because most of the Str saves have to do with movement (knock prone, paralyzed, knocked back, ect). I'm not opposed to the Con save and I agree it also fits (maybe better), but it is a more common save and may not fit with spells and abilities that offer a similar effect.



I think that it should continue to affect other things like flame breath - otherwise you have a feature that is useless against the majority of enemies you face.

You are right, not a overwhelming majority of monsters use spellcasting. Think it still fits the theme to have it affect resources like that? Also, is the wording for "limited resource features" clear or should it be cleaned up some?




Perhaps I'm missing it, but what do they make their save against? What number do they need to hit?

My suggestion:
Mana Burn is an ability that takes a full action to complete. You make a single attack against a target. If the attack hits, make a Wisdom ability check. The DC equals the 10+the target's spellcasting ability modifier or if the target does not have a spellcasting ability modifer, 10+the highest of Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma modifiers. If you succeed, the target must lose a limited resource, such as a dragon's breath or a spell slot. The creature chooses what feature it loses.

The saving throw is listed way up at the top in the other class features when you choose your favored enemy. I'll move that entry down to the top of the favored enemy selections.

I actually like that a lot, I'm not sure why I didn't consider making it an action to choose rather than an after-effect of an attack. I think that alone puts a strong limitation on it. So the big question here is should the feature work on an ability check (like counterspell), or should it be a saving throw to resist? I do like making the PC be responsible for both rolls, and it would mean proper utilization of spells/features that give advantage on ability checks would be a great boon. On the flipside, giving both rolls to the PC means the monster has less control on the outcome and couldn't technically use things like Legendary Resistance to mitigate the effect. Also, following the suggestion (and for counterspell) puts the DC substantially lower than it would on a save. I'm happy with either and extremely curious about what method people might think fits better.