My next installment of DnD Dark features the Ranger class. You’ll notice I am skipping Fighter, Monk, and Paladin. While I can think of something for all of them, they already have a lot of options, and several of them fall on the “ambiguous” side of the moral scale. Fighters have a ton of options. Monks get to be evil ninjas. The Paladin will have Oathbreaker coming out in the DMG, and Wrath is already pretty gnarly. That brings us to Ranger.
For Ranger, I originally planned on putting together something like a man-hunter (Martian or otherwise). Then I started thinking about elephant graveyards. I imagined a type of Ranger who guards these natural places of death, and seeks out those who kill these creatures in horrific and unnatural ways. The same would go for people. A Ranger would make a pretty amazing instrument of vengeance, provided they had a way to interact with the dead.
The path of the Death Watcher is walked by those who which to protect the sanctity of death and punish those that violate it. The ranger calls upon the souls and bodies of the those who have been wronged to aid her in her quest. The dead assist the ranger in attempts to avenge their deaths, and prevent wrongs from being visited upon others.
Guidance of the Dead
At 3rd level, the ranger is aided by the souls of the dead. The ranger gains the ability to use the True Strike spell as an action.
Additionally, the ranger is able to use the Speak with Dead spell as an action. This ability recovers after a short or long rest.
Call of the Dead
Starting at 7th level, the ranger is able to use the Animate Dead spell as an action. The duration of this spell is shortened to end when the ranger takes a short or long rest. The ranger must then bury the dead with the respect accorded the animated creature. This ranger must first ask the raised creature for its aid in combat. The creature is able to show agreement or disagreement as part of this ability. Should the creature disagree, the action fails and this ability is not expended. This ability recovers after a short or long rest.
Touch of the Dead
Beginning at 11th level, the ranger’s attacks are touched by the souls of the dead. These souls cry out for vengeance, and let nothing stand in their way. Attacks by the ranger, or the dead that have agreed to serve them, count as magical for the purposes of overcoming resistance and immunity to non-magical attacks.
Path of the Dead
Starting at 11th level, the ranger gains the ability to travel in the Ethereal plane. When the ranger reaches 0 hit points, or through the use of one hour of ritual preparation, the ranger may choose to enter the Ethereal plane. If the ranger chooses to enter the Ethereal plane upon reaching 0 hit points, she retains all equipment, acts as if she had a long rest, and fully recovers hit points. The ranger must then succeed on a Death save, with Advantage, for each round she remains in the Ethereal plane. A failed save forces her from the Ethereal plane at her current location, in addition to accumulating one failed Death save. The ranger may also be forced form the Ethereal plane upon reaching 0 hit points, which counts as a failed Death save.
The ritual preparation allows the ranger to remain in the Ethereal plane until she reaches 0 hit points. This does not count as a failed Death save. The ranger then exists the Ethereal plane at her current location.
While in the Ethereal plane, the ranger gains Physical resistance to non-magical weapons, and may move through walls as if they were difficult terrain. A creature on the Ethereal plane may interact with the ranger as if she was completely physical, and ignore the benefits gained from this ability.
Once expended, the ranger cannot use this ability again until taking a long rest.
Wall of the Dead
At 15th level, the ranger may beseech the souls of the wronged to hinder his foes. As an action, the ranger may create a wall comprised of the souls of the dead. This wall may be up to 60 feet long, 10 feet high, and 5 feet thick. This may instead be created as a circle with a 20-foot diameter and is up to 20 feet high and 5 feet thick.
When the wall appears, each creature within its area must make a Dexterity saving throw against the ranger’s Spell DC. On a failed save, a creature takes 4d8 radiant damage and is Grappled. A successful save halves the damage and the creature is not Grappled. Creatures that are Grappled suffer 2d8 radiant damage a round until they make a successful Dexterity saving throw.
One side of the wall, selected by you when you use this action, deals 4d8 radiant damage and applies the Grappled condition to each creature that ends its turn within 10 feet of that side or inside the wall. A creature is subject to this effect when it enters the wall for the first time on a turn or ends its turn there. The other side of the wall deals no damage.
This ability has a range of 120 feet, and a duration of Concentration, up to 1 minute. This ability recovers after a long rest.