View Full Version : Ranger Variant: Beast Tammer

2007-07-09, 02:32 PM
I was reading some comments about the ranger's animal companion, and had an interesting idea for a new non-caster variant for ranger:
On 1st level, drop favored enemy, and get the ability to gain a familiar, as a wizard or sorcerer of your ranger level.
On 4th level, drop spellcasting, and get the animal companion as a druid of your ranger level, instead of as a druid of half your druid level.
On 8th level, get a special mount, as a paladin of your ranger level.

Druid, Paladins, Sorcerer and Wizard levels stacks to determine the power of each animal, as normal. For example, a Ranger 4/Druid 4 counts as a 8th level Druid, to see what powers his animal companion get. A Ranger 8/Paladin 2 counts as a 10th level Paladin to see what powers his special mount get, and a Ranger 2/Wizard 1/Sorcerer 4 counts as a Wizard 7, to see what powers his familiar get.

The idea here is to drop favored enemy (not a bad ability, but there's always a chance of it becoming useless) and spell casting, to get full progression for animal companion, and giving him a special mount. The player can have a small army for his character, as his animals rise in level.

1) As I said, favored enemy is a strong ability, but sometimes the ranger may not be able to use it at all (if you pick orcs as your first enemy, you won't be fighting them at 16th+ level, and at 1st-2nd level, there's no way that you'll fight a dragon). A familiar is not useful in battle, but it can help the ranger to scout ahead, and it grants some powers, like skill bonuses.
2) The animal companion by itself, is worth losing some of the ranger's low level spells, since it's not nearly as good as full caster's spells. Adding special mount helps balance it more, although a mount can't be used everywhere.
3) I don't know if I should keep the mount all the time with the ranger, or use the "pokeball" trick.
4) I could add some more effects for the familiar, like a bonus feat for familiars at 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th level. Maybe add feats related to mounts and animal companions to the list of possible choices.
5) Since I'm dropping favored enemy, I could add a competence bonus to tracking or when using wild empathy.

Suggestions are welcome.

2007-07-09, 02:34 PM
I'd give multiple animal companions as opposed to just one. The familiar seems weird.

2007-07-09, 02:55 PM
I don't know if giving more companions wouldn't make him umbalanced. Maybe if I combine the rules of 3.0 and 3.5 it would look better.
In 3.0, you got more animals, in 3.5, one animal gets stronger. A mix of that could work, though I want it to be stackable with druid levels.
I think that giving bonus feats to enhance it would be better.
The familiar may look weird, but he's there just as a scout, not to be part of the battles.

2007-07-09, 02:59 PM
Get rid of Favored Enemy, Spellcasting, and, in turn, gain 2 HD of animals per level! A single animal can't have more than 1/2 your ranger level in HD, though. That way, 20th level Ranger has some strog, but average for their kind, budies with him, but nothing with extreme HD.