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    Default [3.5] Rangers upped to d10 hit die?

    I don't understand why rangers only have a d8 hit die size in 3.5. A little historical perspective:

    0e: d8 hit die, but 2 hit dice at 1st level and fighters were d8 as well, so rangers had the most hit points of any class

    1e: as 0E, but fighter had d10, which meant that rangers with their twin d8s at first level were front-loaded and fighters eventually caught up

    2e: d10 hit dice, same as fighter

    3e: d10 hit dice, same as fighter

    3.5e: d8 hit dice

    What would it do to game balance in 3.5 to increase rangers to a d10?

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    Default Re: [3.5] Rangers upped to d10 hit die?

    Pathfinder gives Rangers the d10.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Rangers upped to d10 hit die?

    It should be fine. Rangers aren't even the strongest melee choice, let alone one of the strongest choices in general. It makes sense that Rangers should get a bigger hit die than druids because Rangers are more martially focused and less spell casty than druids.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Rangers upped to d10 hit die?

    Quote Originally Posted by ken-do-nim View Post
    What would it do to game balance in 3.5 to increase rangers to a d10?
    Pretty much nothing.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Rangers upped to d10 hit die?

    Up Rangers to d10 and swap the Animal Companion features of Rangers and Druids (Rangers get it at 1st level, Druids have to wait until 4th) and you'll probably make your Ranger players both happy and competitive.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Rangers upped to d10 hit die?

    Quote Originally Posted by ken-do-nim View Post
    I don't understand why rangers only have a d8 hit die size in 3.5.
    If you don't understand the reasoning behind the 3.0 to 3.5 change, look at how much the other ranger abilities changed in that revision, compared to how other classes changed. WotC added a lot to the ranger class and wanted to balance that out by taking away a little bit (though 1 hp/level is just Improved Toughness).

    If you do boost the ranger to 1d10, which is not a bad idea, I think the fighter should go to 1d12. Paladin stays at 1d10 and barb stays at 1d12. In earlier editions fighters sometimes did seem to be just "paladin without the special abilities" or "ranger without the special abilities" (especially once the splatbooks gave weapon specialization to rangers and paladins IIRC). But paladin and ranger were limited by stat requirements, and fighter really *was* the class for warriors who didn't qualify for anything better. Was never really a fan of that aspect of 2E.
    Last edited by Aldizog; 2009-11-24 at 09:35 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Rangers upped to d10 hit die?

    They added more skills and what not to rangers IIRC. Or maybe they had lots of skills already. Then came weapon and hit die shrinkage.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Rangers upped to d10 hit die?

    Rangers have the best base statistics of any class. Full BAB, 2 Good Saves, and 6 Skill Points per level from a good list. No other base class is close. Of course, they also have poorly paced class abilities. And like most hybrid classes, they're a bit difficult to optimize if you don't know what you're doing. So upping them to d10 certainly won't break anything, but I certainly understand why they're at d8 by default.

    Also keep in mind that in previous editions, Rangers needed more experience to progress each level. So they paid for their better abilities (somewhat).

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    Default Re: [3.5] Rangers upped to d10 hit die?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rixx View Post
    Pathfinder gives Rangers the d10.
    That's because Pathfinder ties d10 HD to full BAB progression, d8 HD to 3/4 progression, and finally d6 to 1/2 progression. The Barbarian is the exception since they wanted it to retain its special toughness.

    OP: I don't see a problem with it. Rangers have many other problems that make them mechanically inferior to a Rogue/Swordsage build for TWF, for example.


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    Default Re: [3.5] Rangers upped to d10 hit die?

    You are giving a tier 4 class an extra hit point each level (2 at first)? Nothing game changing in the least.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Rangers upped to d10 hit die?

    Early editions weren't about balancing classes. The ranger may have had d10s, but you needed 13 str/dex and 14 con/wisdom and you could only be human (or elf or half-elf) to qualify. Using the traditional 3d6 ability rolls, if you qualified for a ranger you deserved it. Ranger was a super powerful variant with all the strength of fighters plus magic.

    3.5 get 6 skill points, have good BAB, good fort and ref saves, bunch of bonus feats, cool abilities like evasion and hide-in-plain-sight, and magic. Why should they have d10s? You might as well give fighters d12s because that class is already boring enough.
    Last edited by jmbrown; 2009-11-24 at 11:51 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Rangers upped to d10 hit die?

    Quote Originally Posted by AslanCross View Post
    That's because Pathfinder ties d10 HD to full BAB progression, d8 HD to 3/4 progression, and finally d6 to 1/2 progression. The Barbarian is the exception since they wanted it to retain its special toughness.
    Such is true! Though, curiously, the Dragon Disciple has a medium BAB in Pathfinder, but a d12 hit die.
    Last edited by Rixx; 2009-11-24 at 11:38 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Rangers upped to d10 hit die?

    Quote Originally Posted by jmbrown View Post
    Using the traditional 3d6 ability rolls, if you qualified for a ranger you deserved it.
    Because nothing says you're worthy like a string of lucky die rolls.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Rangers upped to d10 hit die?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Mann View Post
    Because nothing says you're worthy like a string of lucky die rolls.
    I don't know if you're being sarcastic, but in AD&D that is exactly what it meant.

    Still, even in a point buy system, the requirements meant you could never optimize your character like you could a fighter who didn't have the same requirements. AD&D's system was all about trade offs like that.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Rangers upped to d10 hit die?

    Quote Originally Posted by Person_Man View Post
    Rangers have the best base statistics of any class. Full BAB, 2 Good Saves, and 6 Skill Points per level from a good list. No other base class is close. Of course, they also have poorly paced class abilities. And like most hybrid classes, they're a bit difficult to optimize if you don't know what you're doing. So upping them to d10 certainly won't break anything, but I certainly understand why they're at d8 by default.

    Also keep in mind that in previous editions, Rangers needed more experience to progress each level. So they paid for their better abilities (somewhat).
    Good points all, Person_Man. I shall leave it as it is.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Rangers upped to d10 hit die?

    I was being somewhat sarcastic, yes. You don't "deserve" anything for rolling well. You just happened to be lucky enough to get it. "Deserve" suggests you actually did something to earn it. By giving more powerful class choices for rolling better stats, you essentially tell the guy who rolled poorly that he doesn't get to have as much fun until his character dies and he rolls better. There's a reason you don't see that much anymore.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Rangers upped to d10 hit die?

    Rangers are a full BAB skill class with two good saves.

    The question is not so much whether the Ranger stacks up with the Barbarian or Fighter, they should be played very differently, but how the Ranger measures up against the Scout.

    If want to take a sober look at the situation, untainted by nostalgia, we probably do not actually need a Ranger class at all.

    Taking this onto a tangent...

    IMHO the Ranger (and the Paladin and the Monk) as a point of pride for the 3.0 design team, to show that the new systems to support every beloved sacred cow, even those of questionable value in their first incarnations. It is not a coincidence that these classes see the biggest changes from 3.0 to 3.5 and still end up being problematic anyway.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Rangers upped to d10 hit die?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Mann View Post
    I was being somewhat sarcastic, yes. You don't "deserve" anything for rolling well. You just happened to be lucky enough to get it. "Deserve" suggests you actually did something to earn it. By giving more powerful class choices for rolling better stats, you essentially tell the guy who rolled poorly that he doesn't get to have as much fun until his character dies and he rolls better. There's a reason you don't see that much anymore.
    My point is that your last statement is pretty much the method of thinking for the old systems. If you rolled that high, you got to play a special character. DMs were discouraged from giving out rerolls so players had to use whatever they got. A cleric with 9 wisdom? Completely workable. Once you got those four abilities above 13, the feeling was tremendous as you got to play the stronger classes.

    Not like it mattered. All level 1 characters were pretty much monster food, there were hard caps for AC and attacks, and the more powerful classes had ridiculous limitations (paladins and rangers can't keep any excess wealth, can't carry more than they need, and are restricted by magic items; try telling someone that now and watch them flip out). At level 1 a ranger was a clear winner over a fighter but it instantly balanced itself in the higher levels when a fighter was carrying an armory of magic items while the paladin is walking around with the 10 total he's forever restricted to.

    3E ruined it by "balancing" the classes so there's no real prerequisites. Is it a bad thing? Not at all, but it definitely killed the old play style and I can't argue against that.
    Last edited by jmbrown; 2009-11-25 at 01:22 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Rangers upped to d10 hit die?

    Quote Originally Posted by jmbrown View Post
    My point is that your last statement is pretty much the method of thinking for the old systems. If you rolled that high, you got to play a special character. DMs were discouraged from giving out rerolls so players had to use whatever they got. A cleric with 9 wisdom? Completely workable. Once you got those four abilities above 13, the feeling was tremendous as you got to play the stronger classes.

    Not like it mattered. All level 1 characters were pretty much monster food, there were hard caps for AC and attacks, and the more powerful classes had ridiculous limitations (paladins and rangers can't keep any excess wealth, can't carry more than they need, and are restricted by magic items; try telling someone that now and watch them flip out). At level 1 a ranger was a clear winner over a fighter but it instantly balanced itself in the higher levels when a fighter was carrying an armory of magic items while the paladin is walking around with the 10 total he's forever restricted to. Certainly in the case of monk anybody who rolled the stats to qualify for that class was better off taking something else.

    3E ruined it by "balancing" the classes so there's no real prerequisites. Is it a bad thing? Not at all, but it definitely killed the old play style and I can't argue against that.
    Also let's not forget the point that the special classes like ranger and paladin were balanced by a slow xp progression anyway, so it's not like the ability score minimums were needed to ensure balance. I view them as flavor. Certainly anyone who rolled the stats to qualify for monk was better off taking something else.
    Last edited by ken-do-nim; 2009-11-25 at 06:21 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Rangers upped to d10 hit die?

    Quote Originally Posted by ken-do-nim View Post
    Also let's not forget the point that the special classes like ranger and paladin were balanced by a slow xp progression anyway, so it's not like the ability score minimums were needed to ensure balance. I view them as flavor. Certainly anyone who rolled the stats to qualify for monk was better off taking something else.
    Reading between the lines, these classes (Ranger, Paladin, Monk) were almost certainly sucker plays, on purpose. It was a special challenge for players who happened to roll up extraordinary stats. Yes, there were interesting rewards for playing these classes, but the payoffs were weak powerwise relative to the extra investment.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Rangers upped to d10 hit die?

    Quote Originally Posted by Glimbur View Post
    It should be fine. Rangers aren't even the strongest melee choice, let alone one of the strongest choices in general. It makes sense that Rangers should get a bigger hit die than druids because Rangers are more martially focused and less spell casty than druids.
    Agreed that it shouldn't impact balance. Rangers are pretty much a front loaded dip for a few builds, and not even great for that. But we're only discussing the Ranger in relation to the other melee classes, as casters could care less if your Ranger has D20s.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Mann View Post
    Because nothing says you're worthy like a string of lucky die rolls.
    Well, yeah. You're quite correct that high scores shouldn't give a player an undue advantage over another player. But jmbrown is quite correct in pointing out that this is how earlier editions rewarded luck at character generation. You even got a +10% EXP bonus just for having a high primary stat, and how bogus is this upon close examination?

    "Hey, Fred. Your Fighter gains EXP at the usual rate. But Tom? Well, since your character is so strong your Fighter not only hits better and does more damage, and is thus more effective in combat, but since you got lucky you'll also be leaving poor Fred in the dust as you'll be earning another +10% EXP over what he earns." Riiiiight. Things like this made me a array system or stat point buy convert.
    Last edited by BillyJimBoBob; 2009-11-25 at 01:17 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Rangers upped to d10 hit die?

    Quote Originally Posted by Snails View Post
    Reading between the lines, these classes (Ranger, Paladin, Monk) were almost certainly sucker plays, on purpose. It was a special challenge for players who happened to roll up extraordinary stats. Yes, there were interesting rewards for playing these classes, but the payoffs were weak powerwise relative to the extra investment.
    Nah, just monk. Ranger and paladin, despite the slow xp advancement, were well worth it, as was bard.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Rangers upped to d10 hit die?

    Quote Originally Posted by BillyJimBoBob View Post
    "Hey, Fred. Your Fighter gains EXP at the usual rate. But Tom? Well, since your character is so strong your Fighter not only hits better and does more damage, and is thus more effective in combat, but since you got lucky you'll also be leaving poor Fred in the dust as you'll be earning another +10% EXP over what he earns." Riiiiight. Things like this made me a array system or stat point buy convert.
    But before that, you didn't get the bonus to hit and damage for high Strength. You only got the XP bonus.

    And in BECMI, while Strength did make one a better fighter in practice, Dexterity didn't increase thief abilities, and Wisdom and Intelligence didn't make one a better cleric or wizard aside from the XP bonus. The XP bonus was meant to prove a slight encouragement for PCs to choose the class where their stats best fit the archetype TSR had in mind.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Rangers upped to d10 hit die?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aldizog View Post
    But before that, you didn't get the bonus to hit and damage for high Strength. You only got the XP bonus.

    And in BECMI, while Strength did make one a better fighter in practice, Dexterity didn't increase thief abilities, and Wisdom and Intelligence didn't make one a better cleric or wizard aside from the XP bonus. The XP bonus was meant to prove a slight encouragement for PCs to choose the class where their stats best fit the archetype TSR had in mind.
    Exactly. In my current RC campaign (BECMI combined into one book and re-edited), I went the opposite route, making dexterity and intelligence increase thief skills, wisdom help clerics, intelligence help wizards, and did away with the xp bonus.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Rangers upped to d10 hit die?

    Quote Originally Posted by ken-do-nim View Post
    Exactly. In my current RC campaign (BECMI combined into one book and re-edited), I went the opposite route, making dexterity and intelligence increase thief skills, wisdom help clerics, intelligence help wizards, and did away with the xp bonus.
    We're a bit off-topic now, but even eliminating the EXP bonus while retaining the boosts to class abilities is rewarding the luck a player had during the 30 minutes it took to generate the character in every adventure over the course of the campaign.

    I'm not suggesting that high stats shouldn't contribute to success. That mechanic makes sense. I'm further supporting my recognition of array or point buy systems as being the most fair.
    Last edited by BillyJimBoBob; 2009-11-25 at 02:57 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Rangers upped to d10 hit die?

    Quote Originally Posted by BillyJimBoBob View Post
    We're a bit off-topic now, but even eliminating the EXP bonus while retaining the boosts to class abilities is rewarding the luck a player had during the 30 minutes it took to generate the character in every adventure over the course of the campaign.

    I'm not suggesting that high stats shouldn't contribute to success. That mechanic makes sense. I'm further supporting my recognition of array or point buy systems as being the most fair.
    I don't mind being off-topic if you don't mind it :)

    I was sold on point buy systems for a time as well, but then I stepped back and realized how much FUN it is to roll for ability scores. Really, it sucks the life out of the game if you don't do it. Now granted it works better in TSR D&D where player skill is much more important than character abilities anyway.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Rangers upped to d10 hit die?

    I've given Rangers a d10 for so long I literally was unaware that it wasn't core. So yeah, let them have a d10.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Rangers upped to d10 hit die?

    Quote Originally Posted by ken-do-nim View Post
    I was sold on point buy systems for a time as well, but then I stepped back and realized how much FUN it is to roll for ability scores. Really, it sucks the life out of the game if you don't do it. Now granted it works better in TSR D&D where player skill is much more important than character abilities anyway.
    QFT. I prefer rolling for stats myself.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Rangers upped to d10 hit die?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rixx View Post
    Pathfinder gives Rangers the d10.
    Imagine that.

    Having said that, changing the HD would not effect the balance. It just increases the average roll from 4.5 to 5.5 and, counting in the maximised roll of level 1, gives a twenty odd extra hitpoints.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Rangers upped to d10 hit die?

    Quote Originally Posted by ken-do-nim View Post
    I stepped back and realized how much FUN it is to roll for ability scores. Really, it sucks the life out of the game if you don't do it.
    I can't comment on TSR D&D since I've never played any edition other than 3.5, but frankly, I massively disagree. I want to play the character I want to play, I do not want to let random chance dictate what I can and cannot play. That sucks the life out of the game more than anything else, I think. I've gotten very frustrated in games where I've not rolled well for the character I wanted to play, and the DM made me keep them. I try to make it work because I don't want to be a sore loser about rolling badly, but it really makes it much less fun for me.

    What I love most about the game is all of the options. I like options to be meaningful choices (so trade-offs are awesome), but I don't like random arbitrary restrictions. Rolled abilities plus ability requirements are exactly that.

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