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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default Ranger Advice [3.5]

    I am currently about to start a campaign and have always wanted to play a Ranger, and this is the first time I have gotten the chance to. Then while I was looking at the class features, I began to wonder which way to go, Archery or Two Weapon Fighting.

    I am looking to do damage, but I don't need to worry about tanking monsters often.

    We are allowed to use anything from the player's handbook and player's Handbook 2, but must get DM approval for any other content.

    We're starting at about level 10, but I would like advice for any level, be it high or low, because the GM might change it up on us.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Ranger Advice [3.5]

    Definitely go for the Archery style. It's much easier to make work than TWF, and it carries a substantially reduced probability of a monster rearranging your face.

    At level 11 Archery Rangers get the Improved Precise Shot feat, which is awesome. So a level 10 start works out just fine for you.

    - Saph
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Ranger Advice [3.5]

    TWF for the ranger doesn't make a whole lot of sense, does not do much more damage than a you can do with a two hander ... which the archery based ranger can handle fine.

    The default animal companion for the ranger is simply too weak, will drop at the first sign of AoE ... so the PHB2 alternative class feature is a very good trade.

    Some of the ranger spells in Spell Compendium and Champions of Ruin are very nice ... depending on the power/cheese level of the other players you might want to ask for them.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Tempest Fennac's Avatar

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    Default Re: Ranger Advice [3.5]

    Page 100 of http://www.crystalkeep.com/d20/rules...asses-Base.pdf contains some other options which the DM may allow (The Moon Wardd Ranger which is also mentioned in that file is good as well).
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  5. - Top - End - #5
    Colossus in the Playground
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    Default Re: Ranger Advice [3.5]

    I'd go Swift Hunter (Scout/Ranger hybrid; take 3-4 levels of Scout, the Swift Hunter-feat and the rest in Ranger) either way. Really, the choice between Archery and TWF is yours. Scout is from Complete Adventurer and Swift Hunter-feat (that combines Scout and Ranger-levels for Skirmish and Favored Enemy-progression) is from Complete Scoundrel. TWF will deal more damage, but also put you at more risk. Either way, I suggest going Scout and coming up with a means to reliably move more than 10' a round to activate Skirmish (also more interesting to play a character capable of moving while fighting; else combat becomes quite stale).

    Easiest is probably a Cleric-dip picking Travel Devotion [Complete Champion] along with Undeath and burning all the Turning-attempts on extra uses of Knowledge Devotion (8 Charisma gets you 4 uses per day with Undeath for Extra Turnings; 12 gets you 5). Other options include a Tome of Battle-dip and some Ranger-spells, along with a dip in Barbarian and such. Anyways, extra damage works better for either.
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  6. - Top - End - #6
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Ranger Advice [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Saph View Post
    Definitely go for the Archery style.
    Indeed, archery will be your friend.

    Some thoughts: Since you're starting at a higher-ish level, multiclassing Scout and taking Swift Hunter to let your Scout and Ranger levels stack for Skirmish isn't a poor choice.

    On top of that, and regardless of whether you do that, I advise Greater Manyshot as an excellent feat. However, if you do take the Scout route, you'll get Skirmish on every arrow fired.
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  7. - Top - End - #7
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Ranger Advice [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    I'd go Swift Hunter (Scout/Ranger hybrid; take 3-4 levels of Scout, the Swift Hunter-feat and the rest in Ranger) either way.
    I wouldn't recommend it. I've seen Swift Hunter builds in play, and they're incredibly boring. Every action is exactly the same; move, Greater Manyshot, move, Greater Manyshot. The Skirmish requirements mean your movement is heavily restricted as well.

    Improved Precise Shot is much more fun. Shoot people through cover, past other people, in the dark, while they're grappling.

    - Saph
    I'm the author of the Alex Verus series of urban fantasy novels. Fated is the first, and Book #10 in the series, Fallen, is out as of September 2019. For updates, check my blog!

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Colossus in the Playground
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    Default Re: Ranger Advice [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Saph View Post
    I wouldn't recommend it. I've seen Swift Hunter builds in play, and they're incredibly boring. Every action is exactly the same; move, Greater Manyshot, move, Greater Manyshot. The Skirmish requirements mean your movement is heavily restricted as well.
    That's why I suggest Travel Devotion combined with 10' steps, Lion's Charge-spell and such. Greater Manyshot gets boring, but there's more to Skirmishing than that. That said, "Move - Greater Manyshot - Move - Greater Manyshot" is no more boring than "Full Attack - Full Attack - Full Attack" with the possible "Charge" in the start, and that's what all non-ToB melee does anyways.
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  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Ranger Advice [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Saph View Post
    I wouldn't recommend it. I've seen Swift Hunter builds in play, and they're incredibly boring. Every action is exactly the same; move, Greater Manyshot, move, Greater Manyshot. The Skirmish requirements mean your movement is heavily restricted as well.

    Improved Precise Shot is much more fun. Shoot people through cover, past other people, in the dark, while they're grappling.

    - Saph
    Besides, Manyshot is pointless thing as far as archery go. If you must be 30 feet from enemy, better drop a bow and prepare for melee as logic suggest. It's less than charge range even if you are a halfling/gnome/little thing. The point of ranged weapon is range

    Anyway:

    PHII has some nice ranger spells so use them.
    Alternative feature is nice, especially for archer and especially with rogue in party - a flanking (sneak attack!) for rogue from wherever you are!
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  10. - Top - End - #10
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Ranger Advice [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    That's why I suggest Travel Devotion combined with 10' steps, Lion's Charge-spell and such.
    The OP said a Ranger with PHB and PHB II, with options on others. I think listing a multiclass build that requires four other books is pushing the boundaries of the request a bit.

    I've played in a level 11-12 party with a mix of classes, including a single-classed Archery Ranger and a Swift Hunter. The Ranger did fine. Not everything needs to be hyper-optimised.

    - Saph
    I'm the author of the Alex Verus series of urban fantasy novels. Fated is the first, and Book #10 in the series, Fallen, is out as of September 2019. For updates, check my blog!

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Colossus in the Playground
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    Default Re: Ranger Advice [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Saph View Post
    The OP said a Ranger with PHB and PHB II, with options on others. I think listing a multiclass build that requires four other books is pushing the boundaries of the request a bit.

    I've played in a level 11-12 party with a mix of classes, including a single-classed Archery Ranger and a Swift Hunter. The Ranger did fine. Not everything needs to be hyper-optimised.

    - Saph
    Which is why it's a mere suggestion. He can ask his DM if it's ok. If it's not, there're other avenues to explore. Of course the Ranger does fine, but kinda has the dullness of the "full attack - full attack" built into the character, and has notable damage issues against non-FEs, making him useful against quite a limited spectrum. What I'm suggesting would make the character potent against most creatures just being even more potent against the FEs, while still sidestepping much of the standard boredom of a character; such a game experience is worth asking the DM for. Just because it's "DM approval" doesn't mean it's unavailable. And Completes are still pretty standard sources; it's not like he's pulling obscure feats from Forgotten Realms Campaign Settings.
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  12. - Top - End - #12
    Banned
     
    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: Ranger Advice [3.5]

    See if you can prestige to a class called Order of the Bow Initiate in Complete Warrior. The class lets you deal addition d8 on damage with a bow. Not bad. This is of course if you go the archery style. Most people are going to tell that's the way to go and I agree with them. Two weapon fighting is also good, but this is your first ranger so just go archer.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Ranger Advice [3.5]

    Well, in one of the campaigns I am running on another site, one of the guys plays a Ranger/Fighter, he plays melee though, I was suprised at him taking Improved Unarmed Strike as his bonus feat.
    Now I liked where he was going with it, he was making a character who could take combat feats galore (Although he played melee ranger), so I recommend that you take a maybe 3 to 5 levels in Fighter and the other levels in Ranger, then use your Ranger levels to pick up the archery feats and then fill in any gaps using Fighter bonus feats.
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  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Ranger Advice [3.5]

    Does anyone think the Moon-Warded Ranger ability they get at level 11 which grants immunity to mind-affecting spells is too powerful? I was just wondering due to how most combat styles just grant normal feats without prequisites.
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Ranger Advice [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Berserk Monk View Post
    See if you can prestige to a class called Order of the Bow Initiate in Complete Warrior.
    No, it's a trap! (Very poor prestige class.)

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Colossus in the Playground
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    Default Re: Ranger Advice [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by PinkysBrain View Post
    No, it's a trap! (Very poor prestige class.)
    Instead, ask for the following Prestige Classes:

    Peerless Archer [Silver Marches]
    Deepwood Sniper [Masters of the Wild]
    Order of the Bow Initiate [Sword & Fist]

    Those are all 3.0. Unfortunately, none of the 3.5 Bow PrCs are good. Any 3.0 material is still ok, and none of those are broken (they actually give you something though, so they don't totally suck like the Complete Warrior-version of Order of the Bow Initiate)
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  17. - Top - End - #17
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    Default Re: Ranger Advice [3.5]

    Well, a 6 level splash in Horizion Walker nets you DimDoor once every 1d4 rds. Very handy for getting to where you're wanting to go. Before that you can get nifty abilities like Immunity to Fatigue and Darkvision.

    Other than that, straight Ranger, taking the archery route, isn't a bad way to go. The important thing is to find a way to increase damage on every hit. Make sure you get your caster buddy a 3rd level Pearl of Power to cast Greater Magic Weapon on your bow every day.

    Grab Improved Critical (Longbow) for your 9th level feat. Since it's got a X3 modifier, that brings your bow to an exceedingly obnoxious 19-20/X3. Many will tell you 'just get Keen', however bows cannot have the Keen enhancement, and enchanting arrows is horridly expensive for the returns you get.

    If you can swing it, try for the Collision enchantment. It is a +2 equivalent, but grants a flat +5 damage on every hit, which is not a bad tradeoff (better than +1d6 and crit for +2d6, and doesn't have to worry about flavor immunities). It's in the SRD, so your GM might let you get away with it.

    Otherwise, start piling on the +1d6 damage effects. If you're careful about which flavors to put on your bow, you'll likely end up with many high-end enemies immune to one of your flavors, but not all of them.
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    Colossus in the Playground
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    Default Re: Ranger Advice [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by ShneekeyTheLost View Post
    Grab Improved Critical (Longbow) for your 9th level feat. Since it's got a X3 modifier, that brings your bow to an exceedingly obnoxious 19-20/X3. Many will tell you 'just get Keen', however bows cannot have the Keen enhancement, and enchanting arrows is horridly expensive for the returns you get.
    You can just get the Keen Edges-spell, which can be used for projectiles and isn't horribly costly. 10 min/level though.
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