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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground

    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Lake Superior

    Default Variant Ranger (Commando)

    Rebuild the Ranger

    What is a ranger? From a lore standpoint, rangers are rugged survivalists who specialize in keeping themselves alive in the wilderness, while using any means necessary to hunt down threats to the realm. This is fantastic, from a flavor standpoint. Unfortunately for the ranger, it is quite possible to create nearly any character that does the same thing from a lore standpoint; take “Outlander” background, take both survival and nature proficiency, and write in your backstory how you hunted the unnatural/the dangerous/etc… It could be argued that the “Outlander” background synergizes with the ranger better than any other class, but it still must be noted that the core flavor identity of the ranger can be replicated by any class. Mechanically, other classes beat out the ranger also; Fighters and Bards can use bows more effectively, Assassins and Fighters can do close quarters combat more effectively.

    With all that in mind, our party asked each other, "What is the ranger good at, then?" Finally, our DM came up with an answer. To quote him, the ranger “is the commando nobody wants in a party”. They are designed to go in alone, scout or attack, and then retreat without being seen, or unharmed if discovered. As a joke, we started brewing up the ultimate commando class. Any thoughts on balance? What would you change?


    Class Features

    As a ranger, you gain the following class features.

    Hit Points

    Hit Dice: 1d10 per ranger level
    Hit Points at 1st Level: 10 + your Constitution modifier
    Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d10 (or 6) + your Constitution modifier per ranger level after 1st

    Armor: Light armor, medium armor, shields
    Weapons: Simple weapons, martial weapons
    Tools: Thieves Tools
    Saving Throws: Strength, Dexterity
    Skills: Choose two from Athletics, Insight, Intimidation, Investigation, Nature, Perception, Sleight of Hand, Stealth, and Survival.

    You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
    (a) scale mail or (b) leather armor
    (a) two shortswords or (b) two simple melee weapons
    (a) a dungeoneer’s pack or (b) an explorer’s pack
    A longbow and a quiver of 20 arrows

    Level Proficiency Bonus Features
    1 +2 Behind Enemy Lines
    2 +2 Fighting Style, Takedown
    3 +2 Ranger Archetype, Unnatural Alertness
    4 +2 Ability Score Improvement
    5 +3 Extra Attack
    6 +3 Second Story Work
    7 +3 Ranger Archetype Feature
    8 +3 Ability Score Improvement
    9 +4 Infiltrate
    10 +4 Ranger Archetype Feature
    11 +4 Extra Attack (2)
    12 +4 Ability Score Improvement
    13 +5 Supreme Sneak
    14 +5 Feral Instinct
    15 +5 Ranger Archetype Feature
    16 +5 Ability Score Improvement
    17 +6 Brave the Odds
    18 +6 Elusive
    19 +6 Ability Score Improvement
    20 +6 One With the Shadows

    Class Abilities

    Behind Enemy Lines
    Beginning at 1st level, you have significant experience in operations deep in hostile territory, away from allies. You gain proficiency in Stealth and Survival. If you already have proficiency with those skills, you gain Expertise. In addition, you may learn up to two additional languages.

    Fighting Style
    At 2nd level, you adopt a particular style of fighting as your specialty. Choose one of the following options. You can’t take a Fighting Style option more than once, even if you later get to choose again.

    You gain a +2 bonus to attack rolls you make with ranged weapons.
    As long as you are wearing armor, you gain a +1 bonus to AC
    When you are wielding a melee weapon in one hand and no other weapons, you gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls with that weapon.
    Two-Weapon Fighting
    When you engage in two-weapon fighting, you can add your ability modifier to the damage of the second attack.
    As long as you are not wearing heavy armor or using a shield, you have a swimming speed and a climbing speed equal to your normal speed, and you gain a +1 bonus to AC.

    By the time you have reached second level, you have learned how to eliminate targets with precision. You may now cast the spell “Hunter’s Mark” as a 1st level spell without expending any spell slots up to twice per long rest. This increases to 4 times per long rest at 5th level, 6 times per long rest at 9th level, 7 times per long rest at 13th level, and 8 times per long rest at 17th level. As long as you have a target marked, you may expend a use of the spell to refresh its duration.

    Ranger Archetypes
    At 3rd level, you choose an archetype that defines how you conduct your missions. Choose either Stalker or Sniper, detailed at the end of the class description. The archetype you choose grants you features at 3rd level, and then later at 7th, 10th, and 15th level.

    Unnatural Alertness
    Beginning at 3rd level, you instinctively know when enemies are watching you. You gain +1 to both your Passive Perception and your Initiative.

    Ability Score Improvement
    When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can’t increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

    Extra Attack
    Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn. You gain an additional extra attack at 11th level.

    Second Story Work
    Starting at 6th level, when you make running jumps, you add your Dexterity modifier to the number of feet traveled. In addition, you gain advantage on climb checks.

    Starting at 9th level, you gain proficiency in Disguise Kits, and you are proficient in Perform checks related to passing yourself off as another person.

    Supreme Sneak
    Starting at 13th level, you have advantage on a Dexterity (Stealth) check if you move no more than half your speed on the same turn.

    Feral Instinct
    Starting at 14th level, you have advantage on initiative rolls. Additionally, you can act on a surprise round if you are surprised.

    Brave the Odds
    At 17th level, you have learned that you can succeed even when the odds are stacked against you. You are immune to fear effects.

    Starting at 18th level, you are so evasive that attackers rarely gain the upper hand against you. No attack roll has advantage against you unless you are incapacitated.

    One with the Shadows
    At 20th level, you gain the ability to step from one shadow into another. When you are in dim light or darkness, as a bonus action or using your move action you can teleport up to 80 feet to an unoccupied space you can see that is also in dim light or darkness. This effect does not break stealth. You then have advantage on the first attack you make before the end of the turn.

    Ranger Archetypes
    Different rangers are better at different approaches to conducting missions in hostile territory. The archetype you choose helps emulate your approach.

    The archetypical sniper focuses on picking off foes before they can get close enough to retaliate. Those who follow this archetype are skilled with long range attacks.

    Make it Count
    For a sniper, it is not the quantity of attacks that are important, but rather the quality. Starting at 3rd level, instead of attacking normally, you may use your Attack action to make one carefully aimed attack with a ranged weapon. If that attack hits, roll 2 times as many dice as that weapon would normally deal. This increases to 4 times as many dice at 5th level, and 6 times as many dice at 11th level.

    Unseen Shooter
    Starting at 7th level, you have become an expert at not breaking cover while attacking at range. After attacking a target with a ranged attack, you may roll stealth in an attempt to remain hidden if the target was unaware of your location.

    Strategic Shot
    Starting at 10th level, when you use your Make it Count ability, on a hit you may choose to have the target make a Constitution saving throw (DC 8+Proficiency+Wisdom modifier). On a failure, you may inflict the target with one of the following effects:

    The target’s leg is pinned. Its move speed is halved.
    The target is severely wounded. It takes an additional 1d4 damage on the start of each of its turns.
    The target’s arm is gravely injured. The target deals only half damage on strength-based attacks.

    The target must have the appropriate body part in order to inflict the effect. The target may repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns. A successful save ends the effect. You may use this ability up to your Wisdom modifier times per short rest (minimum 1).

    Starting at 15th level, you have learned how assassinate targets. You gain advantage on creatures that haven’t acted yet, and your first attack automatically critically strikes surprised enemies.

    The archetypical stalker focuses on tracking and disabling enemies. Those who follow this archetype are skilled with tracking and close-quarters combat.

    Hunt Them Down
    Starting at 3rd level, you have experience in taking out targets in their hideouts. You gain darkvision 20’, or increase it by 20’ if you already had it. In addition, you gain limited access to the feature “Sneak Attack”. This limited access restricts sneak attack to melee attacks. At 3rd level, you deal 1d6 sneak attack damage. This increases to 2d6 at 7th level, 3d6 at 10th level, and 4d6 at 15th level.

    Push Through the Pain
    Starting at 7th level, you have learned how to take blows. You may use your reaction to reduce damage dealt to by an enemy attack to one half of its original amount. This only applies on attacks and spells with an attack roll; spells that allow saves cannot have their damage reduced by this ability.

    CQC Training
    Starting at 10th level, when a creature hits you with an attack, you get +4 AC against all subsequent attacks by that creature until your next turn.

    Starting at 15th level, when you roll initiative, you gain a special turn that takes place before other creatures can act. On this turn, you can use your action to take the Attack or Hide action. If more than one creature in an encounter has a feature that allows them to take a bonus turn when they roll initiative, they all act first in order of initiative, then the regular initiative order begins.
    Last edited by Rerem115; 2016-05-04 at 10:27 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Barbarian in the Playground

    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Lake Superior

    Default Re: Variant Ranger (Commando)

    A couple of my friends have told me that the capstone for this class doesn't seem to match the theme. Do any of you have any good suggestions for a capstone?

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Pixie in the Playground

    Join Date
    Apr 2016

    Default Re: Variant Ranger (Commando)

    I like the flavor of this. Some cool stuff being done. I like including the mariner fighting style. Very Navy Seal. I do have a couple points.

    I agree that the capstone is a little outside the flavor of the class. I'll put my mind to work on what could take its place.

    I would clean up the language concerning Make it Count. It seems like its meant to work with only ranged attacks, but it doesn't specify one way or another. Additionally it doesn't specify any limitation on use. Is it once per Attack action, once per turn, a number of uses per short or long rest?

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Barbarian in the Playground

    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Lake Superior

    Default Re: Variant Ranger (Commando)

    Thanks for pointing out where I goofed my grammar. :P I cleaned up Make it Count so that it is limited to ranged weapons, once per attack action.

    I guess for the capstone I could just use something based on the standard ranger capstone, but that feels boring.
    Last edited by Rerem115; 2016-05-04 at 10:22 AM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Pixie in the Playground

    Join Date
    Apr 2016

    Default Re: Variant Ranger (Commando)

    I agree. With the changes in this ranger, I don't think a variation of the vanilla capstone is appropriate or sufficiently evocative. I hesitate to suggest it since you have already drawn several features from the Rogue, but perhaps something akin to Stroke of Luck? Or perhaps something like the Barbarian's Primal Champion, but granting a boost to Dexterity instead of Strength and Constitution.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Barbarian in the Playground

    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Lake Superior

    Default Re: Variant Ranger (Commando)

    I was running through possibilities for a capstone, and this came to me. It's probably really dumb, but I was chuckling to myself the whole time I was writing it.

    Call for Backup
    Through your travels, you have learned that it always pays to have an ace in the hole. Once you have reached 20th level, you can spend 10,000? gp and one week crafting an item called a “Beacon of Nestor”. This item resembles a large box worn in a sling over the shoulder, with a wire sticking out over the top and a horn attached to the body by a cord. When attuned by a 20th level Ranger, Fighter, or Rogue, a Beacon of Nestor can be used to cast Teleport, Heal, or Meteor Swarm (Dexterity save DC of 19) once per long rest.

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