Thursday, December 8, 2016

Non-magic Ranger for 5e

Who decided rangers would be magical? Probably it's Gary's fault somehow but whatever...

This is for my hacked version of 5e--like the paladin I made (Knight of Tittivila) it's a non spell-casting ranger and is a bit less powerful overall than the 5e default--but also more straightforward and with less mechanical fiddly bits.

Hit die: d10
Saves: Strength, Dexterity
Skills: Pick 3--Athletics, Insight, Investigation, Nature, Perception, Stealth, Survival(/Tracking)

Level 1
-Favored Enemy: Learn their language (Int check if it's a strange dialect), Advantage on checks, +2 to hit and damage. Categories: Local creatures (incl animals and folkloric creatures), aberrations & elementals, reptiles, fey, giants, plants, undead, any 2 races of humanoids
-Favored terrain: Advantage on info and tracking checks. Pick: Arctic, coast, desert, forest, underdark, mountain, swamp
-Prof bonus +2
-Pick one fighting style:
   +2 to hit with bows (archery)
   +1 to AC
    Add ability mod to damage on second hit while using 2 weapons
-Animal companion: You get to pick one animal of 2 HD local to where you are when you level up or to your native environment, it behaves as if Charmed and gains d4 hp per level and is your friend. If it dies you may replace it but you can only have one at a time.
-Prof bonus +2
-Advantage to tracking rolls made in any environment
-Automatically succeed on any history, nature, lore etc check about any specific species or place previously observed (once per creature/place). Keep track.
-Prof bonus +2
-Add 2 ability score points anywhere
-Any environment you've spent 4 consecutive game sessions in counts as a Favored Terrain
-Prof bonus +2

-If the player playing the ranger maps a wilderness area, then, the second time the ranger PC passes through that area (provided at least an hour or one pitched combat has passed--to cleanse the ranger's mind of initial impressions), the ranger PC will automatically notice any concealed or hidden features in that area, and also any changes since last time. A mappy ranger will also notice any differences between a players' map drawn by someone else and the actual landscape and can find food or fresh water in any mapped wilderness terrain within an hour.
-If a ranger spends 15 minutes preparing camouflage, s/he can be unseen in any wilderness environment if not moving and gains advantage to stealth while moving.
-Prof bonus +3

-Extra atk per round.
-Choose a second favored terrain.
-Prof bonus +3

-Know a single sentence in any language from the area you come from on a successful Int check
-Given an hour and a successful Nature check you can locate berries, fungus, spider glands etc capable of restoring d4 hp to an injured creature. This stuff has to be fresh and goes bad after PC's level # of hours.
-Prof bonus +3
-Add two ability score points anywhere
-Given an hour and a successful Nature check you can locate lichens, molds, scorpion sacs etc capable of causing Confusion to a creature that ingests it (ie can't be stabbed in)--it doesn't take effect until the target fails a save (DC is ranger's nature check) and lasts until the target makes another save. The stuff has to be fresh and can't be used after PC's level # of hours.
-Prof bonus +3

-You may calm any animal or animal-minded creature with a successful Animal Handling check.
-Outdoor difficult terrain (unless magical) does not slow you.
-When outdoors, your passive and active perception allows you to notice features that would usually only be findable on a careful search.
-Prof bonus +4

-On a successful Survival check you can leave no trail and go undetected without magic.
-Growl can cause save vs Fear ( DC: 8+prof mod+Wis mod.) in animals of 5hd or less.
-Prof bonus +4

-You cannot be surprised in your preferred terrain.
-Choose a second favored enemy from any form of creature you have met in the campaign.
-Prof bonus +4

-If you spend at least 3 rounds setting up an ambush, everyone in your party gets an extra non-attack, non-spell action during the surprise round.
-Prof bonus +4

-After a round of study where you take no action, you can trip or disarm any foe on your next successful attack.
-If you roll maximum damage with any weapon, the blow lands exactly where you want.
-Prof bonus +5

-Add 2 more ability score points anywhere
-Prof bonus +5

-You may make any animal-intelligence creature you encounter of your level HD or less your companion (as level 2 otherwise). Mutant lion, dinosaur, whatever. You can only have one companion at a time, though.
-Prof bonus +5

-You cannot be surprised outdoors.
-You cannot be tracked outdoors.
-Prof bonus +5

-Add 2 ability score points
-Prof bonus +6

-You speak the language of any animal on a successful Nature check.
-Prof bonus +6

-Add 2 ability score points anywhere.
-Prof bonus +6

-Double damage against your favored enemies.
-Prof bonus +6


  1. I like how no-frills this is. This is going in my 5e PHB.

  2. Nicely done!

    I've always wondered where the "two weapon fighting" came from with the D&D Ranger. The only literary source I can think of is Fafhrd, who fought with sword and hand-axe...

    1. i believe it's non-literary: legolas with 2 knives in Jackson Lotr

    2. That's true, hadn't considered that... and yet Aragorn sticks with a single sword. :)

    3. Drizzt was swinging two swords long before Legolas stole his schtick. If i had to venture a guess, it would say it harkens back to the influence of rapier + main-gauche fighting styles imbedded in the popular culture by Errol Flynn movies.

    4. Aren't dual-wielding rangers an AD&D (or failing that, 2e) thing? Even if not, they're definitely in 3e which also predates Jackson LoTR, though not by a decade.

      Also, Drizzt is more likely to be influenced by the game, than the rules being by a tie-in product.

    5. The question is not the origin of dual-wielding, but dual-wielding as specific to rangers.

  3. It's probably still Drizzt the Drow Ranger as the origin of dual wield. Which is all of 30 years ago.

  4. Joe Fischer wrote the original ranger class, which appeared in the second issue of The Strategic Review (summer 1975). It, alas, has spell ability.

  5. Ugh, I had no intention of detracting from Zak's excellent write-up with a sidebar on two weapon fighting. Sorry!

    To answer my own question and also end the discussion: per Zeb Cook, two weapon fighting pre-dates Drizzt and was added as a cool feature to make the class more unique in 2nd edition. (Link: