D&D homebrew Ranger Table Top

Ranger Danger: Fletch Lives

My previous post discussed the abilities of the existing ranger design, and outlined some changes that I think would help define the ranger, and add heaps to their playability. As I have done previously, here is the class presented in full.

Level Proficiency Bonus Features Spells Known 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
1st +2 Favored Enemy, Natural Explorer
2nd +2 Fighting Style, Spellcasting, Favored Enemy current group improvement 2 2
3rd +2 Ranger Archetype, Skirmisher 3 3
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement, Favored Enemy current group improvement 3 3
5th +3 Extra Attack 4 4 2
6th +3 Natural Explorer Improvement, Favored Enemy current group improvement 4 4 2
7th +3 Ranger Archetype feature 5 4 3
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement, Patient Hunter,Favored Enemy current group improvement 5 4 3
9th +4 6 4 3 2
10th +4 Favored Enemy and Natural Explorer improvements, Land’s Guardian 6 4 3 2
11th +4 Ranger Archetype feature, Skirmisher improvement 7 4 3 3
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement, Favored Enemy current group improvement 7 4 3 2
13th +5 8 4 3 3 1
14th +5 Stalking Predator, Favored Enemy current group improvement 8 4 3 3 1
15th +5 Ranger Archetype feature 9 4 3 3 2
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement, Favored Enemy current group improvement 9 4 3 3 2
17th +6 10 4 3 3 3 1
18th +6 Extreme Explorer, Favored Enemy current group improvement 10 4 3 3 3 1
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement 11 4 3 3 3 2
20th +6 Alpha Predator 11 4 3 3 3 2

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

Proficiencies
Armor: Light armor, medium armor, shields
Weapons: Simple weapons, martial weapons
Tools: None

Saving Throws: Strength, Dexterity
Skills: Choose three skills from Animal Handling, Athletics, Insight, Investigation, Nature, Perception, Stealth, and Survial

Equipment
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 or (c) one martial weapon
  • (a) a dungeoneer’s pack or (b) an explorer’s pack
  • A longbow and a quiver of 20 arrows

Favored Enemy
Beginning at 1st level, you have significant experience studying, tracking, hunting, and even talking to certain types of enemies.

Choose one of the following groups of enemies:
Natural – beasts, humanoids (non-pc races), humanoids (pc races), giants, and plants
Unnatural – aberrations, constructs, monstrosities, oozes, and undead
Supernatural – celestials, dragons, elementals, fey, and fiends

When you select a group, select one of the creature types within the group to be a favored enemy. You select another creature within this group at 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 8th.

You gain a 1d6 adversary die for each point of proficiency you possess. You may spend your adversary die and add it to your attack roll or your damage roll against a favored enemy, or to aid in tracking or discovering knowledge about a favored enemy. You may choose to do so before or after your roll, but before results are determined. Spent adversary die are regained after a short or long rest.

When you reach 10th level, select another group you have not chosen. Select one of the creature types within the group to be a favored enemy. You select another creature within this group at 12th, 14th, 16th, and 18th. Additionally, your adversary die increases in size to 1d8.

When you select a path, you may select two languages to learn spoken by creatures from that path, or a path you already possess.

You have advantage on Wisdom (Survival) checks to track your enemies, as well as on Intelligence checks to recall information about them.

 

Natural Explorer
You are particularly familiar with certain types of natural environment and are adept at traveling and surviving in such regions. Choose three types of favored terrain: arctic, coast, desert, forest, grasslands, mountains, swamp, the Underdark, or urban. When you make an Intelligence or Wisdom check relating to your favored terrain, your proficiency bonus is doubled if you are using a skill you are proficient in. Additionally, you have the following benefits while in your favored terrain:

  • Difficult terrain doesn’t slow your group’s travel while not engaged in combat.
  • Your group can’t become lost except for by magical means.
  • Even when you are engaged in another activity while traveling (such as foraging, navigating, or tracking) you remain alert to danger.
  • If you are traveling alone, you can move stealthily at a normal pace.
  • When you forage, you find twice as much food as you normally would.
  • While tracking other creatures, you also learn their exact number, their sizes, and how long they passed through the area.
  • While engaged in combat, moving through nonmagical difficult terrain costs you no additional movement.
  • You can pass through nonmagical plants without being slowed by them and without taking damage from them if they have thorns, spines, or a similar hazard.

When you complete a short rest in a terrain that is not favored, you may select one of the above abilities to apply to your travels. If you complete additional short rests, you may select additional abilities. When you complete a long rest in a terrain that is not favored, you gain all of the benefits. Your proficiency bonus for Intelligence and Wisdom skills in which you are proficient are not doubled through short or long rests.

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 more than once, even if may choose another later.

Archery
You gain a +2 bonus to attack rolls you make with ranged weapons.

Defense
While you are wearing armor, you gain a +1 bonus to AC.

Dueling
When you are wielding a melee weapon in one hand and no other weapons, you gain a +2 bonus to damage 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.

Versatile Fighting
When you are wielding a versatile weapon and no other weapons, you gain a +1 bonus to attack rolls and damage.

Spellcasting
By the time you reach 2nd level, you have learned to use the magical essence of nature to cast spells, much as a druid does. See chapter 10 of the PHB for the general rules of spellcasting and chapter 11 for the ranger spell list.

Spell Slots
The Ranger table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your spells of 1st level and higher. To cast one of these spells, you must expend a slot of the spell’s level or higher. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a long rest.

For example, if you know the 1st-level spell animal friendship and have a 1st-level and a 2nd-level spell slot available, you can cast animal friendship using either slot.

Spell Known of 1st Level and Higher
You know two 1st-level spells o f your choice from the ranger spell list. The Spells Known column o f the Ranger table shows when you learn more ranger spells o f your choice. Each
of these spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots. For instance, when you reach 5th level in this class, you can learn one new spell of 1st or 2nd level.

Additionally, when you gain a level in this class, you can choose one o f the ranger spells you know and replace it with another spell from the ranger spell list, which also must be of a level for which you have spell slots.

Spellcasting Ability
Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for your ranger spells, since your magic draws on your attunement to nature. You use your Wisdom whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your Wisdom modifier when setting the saving throw DC for
a ranger spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.
Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus +your Wisdom modifier
Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus +your Wisdom modifier

Ranger Archetype
At 3rd level, you choose an archetype that you strive to emulate: Border Warden, Royal Ranger, or Solitary Guardian both detailed at the end of the class description. Your choice grants you features at 3rd level and again at 7th, 11th, and 15th level.

Skirmisher
Upon reaching third level, you have learned to dart in and out of combat, striking at range and in melee with skill. You gain the following benefits:

  • You may sheath any melee weapons you are wielding, and draw a ranged weapon, or vice versa, in tandem with your movement.
  • Whenever you attack with a melee or ranged weapon, opportunity attacks against you are made with disadvantage until the end of your turn.
  • Whenever you attack with a melee or ranged weapon, your speed increases by 10 ft. until the end of your turn.
  • Whenever you make a melee or ranged attack, you may choose to roll a 1d4 in place of your ability modifier.
  • If you possess the Sharpshooter Feat, when swapping from a ranged attack to a melee attack in the same turn, you may take a -3 penalty to the attack roll and gain a +5 bonus to damage roll if you hit with the attack.
  • After making a ranged attack, your next melee attack deals an additional 1d8 damage.
  • After making a melee attack, your next ranged attack deals an additional 1d8 damage.

You may only apply this additional damage once per turn. The additional damage granted by this ability increases to 2d8 at 11th level.

Ability Score Improvements
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 Attacks
Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.

Patient Hunter
Starting at 8th level, you can spend 1 minute creating camouflage for yourself. You must have access to fresh mud, dirt, plants, soot, and other naturally occurring materials with which to create your camouflage.

Once you are camouflaged in this way, you can tryto hide by pressing yourself up against a solid surface, such as a tree or wall, that is at least as tall and wide as you are. You gain a +10 bonus to Dexterity (Stealth) checks as long as you remain there without moving or
taking actions. Once you move or take an action or a reaction, you must camouflage yourself again to gain this benefit.

Further, when you attack a creature you can’t see, your inability to see it doesn’t
impose disadvantage on your attack rolls against it.

Land’s Guardian
At 10th level, you may attempt to detect the presence of aberrations, celestials, dragons, elementals, fey, fiends, and undead within one mile, or six miles if you are in a favored terrain, as an action. You do not know the numbers of creatures, but you know the direction of the creatures, and may check again as an action for the next five minutes without expending another use of the ability. After performing this action, you have advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks to detect the creatures and Wisdom (Survival) checks to track the creatures until you take a short of long rest. You may use this portion of the feature a number of times equal to 1+your Wisdom Modifier before needing to take a long rest to use the feature again.

Additionally, you have advantage on saving throws against plants that are magically created or manipulated to impede movement, such those created by the entangle spell.

Stalking Predator
Starting at 14th level, you can use the Hide action as a bonus action on your turn. Also, you can’t be tracked by nonmagical means, unless you choose to leave a trail.

You are also aware of the location o f any invisible creature within 30 feet of you, provided that the creature isn’t hidden from you and you aren’t blinded or deafened.

Extreme Explorer
Beginning at 18th level, you have advantage on any saving throws caused by weather or wilderness hazards,and you ignore any disadvantage caused by either.

You also have advantage on any saving throws caused by planar environments, such as the optional rules for the planes included in the DMG.

Alpha Predator
When you reach 20th level, you have become an alpha predator. Whenever you roll initiative, as a reaction you may cast hunter’s mark on a target you can see, as long as you are not surprised. This spell is cast at 1st-level, does not require the expenditure of a spell slot, and does not require concentration.

Ranger Archetypes

Rangers pass their ideals to others in their organizations. The three most common organizations are the Border Wardens, the Royal Rangers, and the Solitary Guardians.

Border Warden
The Border Wardens protect the borders between two nations, or protect the edges of a nation from the incursion of wild and fearsome foes. Border Wardens must learn how to act as part of a group facing off against hostiles, and to stand steadfast against onslaught.

Brothers in Arms
Border Wardens quickly learn to assist each other in battle to quickly bring down foes, and help their brethren in a time of need. Beginning at 3rd level, whenever an ally you can see within 30 feet is targeted with an attack, you may make an attack against the attacker as a reaction. You may swap between melee and ranged weaponry before making this attack.

If you are within 5 feet of an ally who is hit in combat, you may spend your reaction to give your ally resistance to the attack, and you take damage equal to the damage your ally receives.

Veteran of the Watch
Starting at 7th level, you have become experienced in facing the threats the Border Wardens guard against. You gain resistance to an energy type of your choosing. You also gain advantage on either poison or disease saving throws.

As part of the camaraderie fostered by your band, you have also learned to bolster others against the onslaught. As a bonus action, you may extend your resistance to an ally within 30 feet of you. This resistance lasts until the beginning of your turn. You may use this portion of the feature a number of times equal to 1+your Wisdom modifier before needing a long rest to use this portion of the feature again.

Overwhelming Odds
Upon reaching 11th level, a Border Warden is accustomed to fighting against large groups. As an action, you may choose a creature you can see and make an attack against that creature and any creature within 5 feet of the chosen creature. You may not move between the attacks, and if you are making ranged attacks each attack requires ammunition. You make a separate attack roll for each target.

Lord Warden
After reaching 15th level, you have become a leader of men and a seasoned combatant. Whenever you make an attack, you may use your bonus action to direct an ally to strike. Your ally may spend her reaction to make a weapon attack, adding your Wisdom modifier to the attack’s damage roll.

Further, you gain an additional resistance to an energy type of your choosing, and resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage. You also gain advantage on either poison or disease saving throws. These selections must be different than those gained in Veteran of the Watch.

Royal Ranger
The Royal Rangers are groups of hunters sanctioned by a ruling authority to partake in woodcraft, scouting, and irregular warfare. They often perform such duties as raids and infiltration. While they work as a unit, each member is often left to perform assigned actions without additional aid.

Opportunity Knocks
At 3rd level, you have been trained to make the most of opportunities. Once per turn, when you have advantage against the target, or an enemy of the target is within 5 feet of the target and is not incapacitated, you may deal an extra 1d8 damage against the target. This increases to 2d8 at 7th level, 3d8 at 11th level, and 4d8 at 15th level. If you also possess Sneak Attack die, your attack is made with an number of Sneak Attack die equal to the number of die provided by this feature.

Further, you gain proficiency with thieves tools and poisoner’s kit.

Environmental Awareness
Beginning at 7th level, you have learned to make the most of the environment. Whenever you are hit by an attack, or take damage from a spell allowing a Dexterity saving throw, and are within 5 feet of an object that would grant at least half cover, you can dive behind the object to half the damage you receive as a reaction.

Saving throws against traps you set, including magical traps such as cordon of arrows, are made with disadvantage. You also have advantage to disarm any traps discovered by you from casting find traps.

You have advantage when attempting to climb, jump, or swim.

Natural Causes
Starting at 11th level, you have learned to make the most of poisons. You may apply poisons as a bonus action, and creating a poison now costs half as much time and money. You also have advantage on any Wisdom(Nature) checks to attempt to harvest poison components, such as serpent’s venom. When you roll a die to create a poison, you may choose to reroll the die before the result is determined. You may do this one time for each poison you attempt to create.

Fog of War
Upon reaching 15th level, you have learned to magically enhance your spells and devastating hits. Whenever you critically hit an enemy, or  an enemy takes damage from one of your spells, you envelop the area around the creature in a thick fog. The fog heavily obscures the space the creature occupies, a 5 ft. square for medium creatures, 10 ft. square for large, and so on.  If multiple creatures are damaged by a spell, choose one of the creatures to center the fog. If multiple creatures are critically hit by your attacks, you create multiple areas of fog. This fog lasts until the beginning of your next round.

When you create this fog, you and allies within 30 feet of you are able to see clearly into the fog.

Solitary Guardian
Some rangers eschew the company of others and prefer to roam the wild as a lone sentinel against the forces arrayed against nature. Solitary Guardians learn their craft from a mentor who passes on the traditions and practices that were previously handed down to her. Once the student has attained sufficient mastery and knowledge, the master retires and no longer fills the role of wandering protector of the natural world.

Isolationist
When you reach 3rd level, you have learned how to live alone. You gain proficiency with one artisan tool of your choice, and with herbalism kits.

When you are not within 5 feet of another creature,  if you are hit by an attack, you may spend your reaction to force the attack to be rerolled.

When an enemy is not within 5 feet of another creature, or is only within 5 feet of you, begins to move, you may spend your reaction to make an attack against the target. If the attack hits, the target takes additional damage equal to your Wisdom modifier if it continues to move.

This additional damage increases by 1d6 damage at 7th level, and again at 11th and 15th level.

Prepper
Upon reaching 7th level, the Solitary Guardian is prepared for any eventuality. You gain resistance to poison damage, and advantage on saving throws against poison and disease. Whenever you spend hit die to heal, or heal someone, including yourself, with a cure wounds spell, you may reroll a 1 or 2 and take the second result.

When crafting an object with your herbalism kit, it costs you half as much time and money to create the object.

Additionally, whenever you complete a short or long rest, the next saving throw you make is made with advantage. If you already have advantage on the saving throw, this is not expended and remains until you make a saving throw without advantage.

One against Many
At 11th level, you have learned to succeed in desperate situations. When you would deal damage to a creature, but before you roll damage, you may expend a spell slot to give the creature vulnerability to the type of damage being dealt. If multiple creatures are being damaged, spell slots above 1st-level give an additional creature vulnerability for each level beyond 1st.

Guarded Mind
When reaching 15th level, you have become used to being alone with your thoughts. You gain resistance to psychic damage, become proficient in Wisdom saving throws, and have advantage on saving throws against being charmed or frightened.

Additionally, when you make a saving throw against a spell that would take control of your actions, such as command or confusion you may choose to reroll the die, taking the second result. You may do this a number of times equal to 1+your Wisdom modifier before need to take a long rest in order to use this portion of the feature again.

 

 

 

13 comments

  1. This is a really great take on the ranger! The class core is strong and doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel, and your archetypes are flavorful and mechanically solid.

    I am a big fan of Alpha Predator. I’d even say it could be available earlier.

    1. Wow, thanks!

      When looking at other class capstones, so many of them are resource regeneration or resource conservation. I tried to consider what would be great for a ranger, and I really feel like hunter’s mark is burgeoning on iconic at this juncture. I think it fits really well against other capstones. The ranger will already be doing considerably more damage with the favored enemy expansion, so I didn’t want to overload it.

      1. I think we can thank 4th Edition for that due to the Hunter’s Quarry feature. For whatever other problems 4E might have had, that one particular feature made rangers feel pretty great. The whole “you are my prey now” thing really stuck.

        I am presently running a game in which one of the players is going with a hunter archetype ranger from the PHB. She feels pretty strong so far at 9th, but I won’t deny some of the class’s features are not up to snuff compared to, say, the Light-domain cleric or the freaky paladin/storm sorcerer multiclass character. Still, those gaps may become wider as the party crosses into double digit levels; this new take feels like it would prevent it entirely.

      1. Yeah, that’s the only reason she’s remaining on par, then. Ranger does ok at low-level, but lacks any decent decision making. It’s fire and forget. From 5th onward, you’ll do pretty well with your second attack and sharpshooter. However, when classes hit 11, there’s no catching up I’d bet. Swift quiver comes way too late, and you only get it twice a day.

  2. I’ll be using this for one of my players in a Planeshift: Zendikar game I’m starting soon, however I’m making the following amendment to the Skirmisher ability:
    “You may sheath any melee weapons you are wielding and draw a ranged weapon, or vice versa, in addition to your first attack during a turn.
    Whenever you attack with a melee or ranged weapon, opportunity attacks against you made by creatures you have hit with an attack this turn are made with disadvantage until the end of your turn.
    Whenever you attack with a melee or ranged weapon, you may make a 5 ft. movement in a direction without provoking attacks of opportunity.
    Whenever you make a melee or ranged attack roll, you may choose to roll 1d4 in place of your ability modifier.”

    I just personally feel like the additional d8 when swapping weapons is too much at third level. I have other reasons for the other changes, so feel free to ask me if you’re interested. I may also make a couple of tweaks to the way Favored Enemies are gained, but the rest looks great.

    Let it not be said that I’m unappreciative of your work, though, I’m just making amends to fit the power level of some other things in my campaign, which contains quite a lot of custom content. I feel like a lot of this give the Ranger a direction it has sorely needed. So, thank you!

    1. Thank you very much for the compliments, and you are certainly welcome to change whatever you want. You can let me know what works out for you.

      I disagree that an extra 1d8 coupled with risk and reward is too much at 3rd level. Rogue sneak attack has progressed to 2d6 (1d8+5+2d6=16.5) at that point, monks have two attacks(1d8+5+1d4+5=17), and people wielding a 2d6 weapon are doing almost as much damage without any need for moving (great weapon fighting average of 7.8+5=12.8, 2d8+5=14, slightly higher, but the 12.8 carries additional risk beyond melee, as would the ranger’s by default). It seems like a lot, but really, almost every other melee was already doing that much.

      1. Ah, you’re right. The math checks out, so I suppose I’ll add it back in, then. I appreciate the breakdown, I should have done that the first time! I appreciate the reply, as well.

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