This week we have a playtest version of the Falleron: Ranger. The ranger in 5th edition has gone through a number of variations between core, Unearthed Arcana, and Xanthar’s Guide to Everything and each time it seems to fall a bit short. We’ve taken a shot at our own, replacing the unfocused Ranger mechanics with something that feels both distinct from other 5e classes and true to the flavor and lore Ranger players love.
As a caster, much of the Ranger kit seems to overlap with the Druid to such an extent that it seems unclear what their goal is. Is the Ranger just a ranged attacker? If so, why does it lag behind the fighter in damage? Is it a hybrid class? Then why does it fall behind Paladins, Eldritch Knights, and even some Warlock builds in both magic and melee damage? Add to the confusion the difficult to GM and highly situational “favored enemy” mechanic and you have a class that can be very good only when fighting a few things, and only when you meet certain criteria.
For the Falleron build of the Ranger, we wanted to get back to the roots of the class flavor. Rangers like Aragorn in Lord of the Rings don’t cast magic. They mix the ability to move through the wilderness as a matter of practiced skill. Some ranger characters in fiction are known for their animal companions, while others are hunters and trappers that stumble on the hero’s party and help them through the wilderness. While these flavors exist in the current D&D setting, we felt that there was an opportunity to develop these traits in a way that wasn’t specifically oriented towards magical solutions rather than intrinsic, class abilities. There is also a different type of ranger that is currently missing in D&D 5th edition: the Indiana Jones character. Action heroes like Nathan Drake, Indiana Jones, Alan Quartermain, and other wilderness explorers have a ton of history of exploration and specific signature moves and abilities that don’t quite fall into the Monk, Fighter, Paladin, or Core Ranger enough to really allow their playstyle.
With these thoughts in mind, we have developed a playtesting-ready version of the Falleron: Ranger. The changes between the core ranger and this are substantial, but major things to look out for are:
Let us know what you think in the comments, or reach out to us directly with feedback!
As a ranger, you gain the following class features.
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
Saving Throws: Strength, Dexterity
Skills: Choose three from Animal Handling, Athletics, Insight, Investigation, Nature, Perception,
Stealth, and Survival
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
Class Table: Falleron Ranger
|Level||Proficiency Bonus||Features||Tenacity Points|
|1st||2||Hide in Plain Sight, Natural Explorer||–|
|2nd||2||Fighting Style, Skirmisher, Tenacity, Poultice, Hunter’s Mark||2|
|4th||2||Ability Score Improvement,||3|
|6th||3||Improved Hide in Plain Sight||4|
|8th||3||Ability Score Improvement, Fleet of Foot||5|
|9th||4||Fighting Style, Ranger Archetype||5|
|11th||4||Pass without Trace||6|
|12th||4||Ability Score Improvement||6|
|13th||5||Thrill of the Hunt||6|
|16th||5||Ability Score Improvement||7|
|19th||6||Ability Score Improvement,||8|
|20th||6||Master of the Hunt||9|
Hide in Plain Sight
Starting at 1st level, you can remain perfectly still for long periods of time to set up ambushes. When you take the hide action on your turn, you may hide from creatures that meet one or more of the following conditions:
If a creature does not meet one of these three criteria and you attempt the hide action, those creatures are aware of your location.
Once hidden, you can opt to not move on that turn. If you avoid moving, you gain a bonus to your stealth checks equal to 5+your ranger level until the start of your next turn. You lose this benefit if you move, stand from prone, or fall prone, either voluntarily or because of some external effect. While hidden, you may use items from your inventory on objects and characters you can reach without being detected. You are still automatically detected if any other effect or action causes you to no longer be hidden. If you are still hidden on your next turn, you can continue to remain motionless and gain this benefit until you are detected.
If you take the attack action while hidden, your first attack that round has advantage. Attacking in this fashion reveals your location.
Starting at 1st level, you are a master of navigating the natural world, and you react with swift and decisive action when attacked. This grants you the following benefits:
In addition, you are skilled at navigating the wilderness. You gain the following benefits when traveling for an hour or more:
At 2nd level, you become an expert in switching weapons based upon the needs of the hunt. You may consider a single ranged weapon and one of the following three options as equipped:
You may switch between the chosen option and your ranged weapon as a bonus action. You may switch out which of these three options you are using as an action.
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 an additional fighting style from this list at 9th level.
You gain a +2 bonus to attack rolls you make with ranged weapons.
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.
Great Weapon Fighting
When you roll a 1 or 2 on a damage die for an attack you make with a melee weapon you are wielding with two hands, you can re-roll the die and must use the new roll, even if the new roll is a 1 or a 2. The weapon must have the two-handed or versatile property for you to gain this benefit.
Whenever you make a throwing ranged attack with a weapon with the Thrown feature, you may throw the weapon at long range without disadvantage. You may treat all simple weapons with the Thrown feature as also having the Finesse feature.
When you engage in two-weapon fighting, you can add your ability modifier to the damage of the second attack.
Starting at 2nd level, your time in the wilderness has developed a keep instinct for how to survive. This instinct is represented by your Tenacity points. The number of Tenacity points your have is determined by your Ranger level as shown on the Ranger Table.
You can spend these points to activate Ranger Tenacity abilities. You start knowing two such features: Poultice and Hunter’s Mark. You learn more Tenacity abilities through your Ranger Archetype. When you spend a Tenacity point, it is unavailable until you finish a long rest, at the end of which your determination is replenished.
Some tenacity abilities require a save or spell attack modifier Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for these effects or saves.
Tenacity save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier
Tenacity Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier
Your time in the wild has increased your knowledge of herbology to cure wounds and relieve poisons. As an action and using a tenacity point, you can create a poultice to heal yourself or another creature within your reach. At the beginning of the creature’s next turn, that creature gains 1d4 hit points. If a poultice is used on an unconscious creature, that creature stabilizes, but does not wake unless roused by another character as an action. This effect repeats for a number of rounds equal to your proficiency bonus. The amount healed by your poultices each round increases to 2d4 at 6th level, 3d4 at 12th level, and 4d4 at 18th level.
As a bonus action you may spend a tenacity point place mark a target to be the subject of your quarry. This effect remains upon the creature for a number of hours equal to your proficiency bonus. Until the effect ends, you deal an extra 1d6 damage to the target whenever you hit it with a weapon attack, and you have advantage on any Wisdom (Perception) or Wisdom (Survival) check you make to find it. If the target drops to 0 hit points before this effect ends, you can use a bonus action on a subsequent turn of yours to mark a new creature.
At 3rd level, you specialize with your Ranger Archetype, a foundational source of how you explore the natural world. Choose from the Wild Child, the Treasure Hunter, or the Huntsman, all detailed at the end of the class description. Your choice grants you features at 3rd level and again at 5th, 7th, 9th, and 14th level.
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.
Improved Hide in Plain Sight
Starting at 6th level, you may successfully hide from creatures using Hide in Plain Sight as a bonus action. In addition, you may now hide as long as one of the following situations are met:
Fleet of Foot
Beginning at 8th level, you can use the Dash action as a bonus action on your turn.
Starting at 10th level, when you attack from a hidden position you may choose to take the ambush action instead of a regular attack.
In melee, this attack is a single attack made with advantage, with a critical range of 19-20. On a critical, the target must succeed on a Constitution saving throw (using your Tenacity Save DC) or be Stunned until the end of your next turn. Should your melee ambush reduce a target to 0 hit points or stun them, you may drag the target to a square adjacent to you and hide the creature, applying the benefits from Hide in Plain Sight to both of you. If your attack does not stun the creature or drop it to 0 health, you are automatically detected and are no longer hidden after the attack.
At range, this attack is a single ranged attack made with advantage with a critical range of 19-20. You may make this attack at long range without disadvantage. If the attack is made at long range, you may remain hidden after the attack. If the attack is made within range of your weapon, on hit your attack knocks the target backwards 5ft from the point of impact and, on critical, knocks the target prone.
Pass without Trace
At 11th level, when you lead a party through the world, you can show those around you how to move carefully and quietly, masking you and your companions from detection. You may spend a tenacity point to grant each creature you choose within 30 feet of you (including you) a +10 bonus to Dexterity (Stealth) checks for up to one hour. While under the benefits of this ability, creatures can’t be tracked except by magical means. A creature that receives this bonus leaves behind no tracks or other traces of its passage.
Thrill of the Hunt
Starting at 13th level, whenever you successfully hunt down your target you gain a boost of vigor. Whenever you strike a blow reducing a target of your Hunter’s Mark to 0 hit points you may regain a tenacity point.
At 15th level, your ability to survive has been heightened by age and experience. When you roll initiative and have less than half of your maximum tenacity points, you gain 1 tenacity point. This may not exceed your total tenacity point pool as shown in the Ranger Table.
Starting at 17th level, as a bonus action you can use a tenacity point to become invisible for a short time. For the next ten minutes, you may remain invisible so long as you maintain concentration. While invisible, you meet the requirements for Hide in Plain Sight and Ambush. Should you attack or use the Ambush ability you lose this effect unless you would meet the hiding criteria of Ambus.
Master of the Hunt
Starting at 20th level, your experience in the hunt provides you an edge as you pursue and engage your quarry. At the beginning of your turn, you may choose to add your wisdom modifier to either your attack rolls, damage rolls, or Tenacity ability saving throw DCs. For the rest of your turn you gain this bonus.
At 3rd level, you learn to use your magic to create a powerful bond with a creature of the natural
World. With 8 hours of work and the expenditure of 50 gp worth of rare herbs and fine food, you call forth an animal from the wilderness to serve as your faithful companion. You normally select you companion from among the following animals: an ape, a black bear, a boar, a giant badger, a giant weasel, a mule, a panther, or a wolf. However, your DM might allow alternatives or pick one of these animals for you, based on the surrounding terrain and on what types of creatures would logically be present in the area. At the end of the 8 hours, your animal companion appears and gains all the benefits of your Companion’s Bond ability. You can have only one animal companion at a time.
If your animal companion is ever reduced to 0 hit points, its survival instincts cause it to stabilize and hide, fleeing the battlefield. After 8 hours and spending 25 gp worth of rare herbs and fine food, you may caux it out of hiding to rejoin you in your party.
If you use this ability to attract a former animal companion while you have a current animal companion, your current companion leaves you and is replaced by the restored companion.
Your animal companion gains a variety of benefits while it is linked to you. The animal companion loses its Multiattack action, if it has one. The companion obeys your commands as best it can. It rolls for initiative like any other creature, but you determine its actions, decisions, attitudes, and so on. If you are incapacitated or absent, your companion acts on its own.
When using your Natural Explorer feature, you and your animal companion can both move
stealthily at a normal pace. When you gain the Hide in Plain Sight, Improved Hide in Plain Sight, or ambush Ambush class features, your companion also gains these abilities. When your pet would use Ambush, you must expend a tenacity point to give it a signal to strike. Whenever your use the Vanish class ability, you may spend an extra tenacity point to apply the effects to your companion as well.
Your animal companion has abilities and game statistics determined in part by your level. Your companion uses your proficiency bonus rather than its own. In addition to the areas where it normally uses its proficiency bonus, an animal companion also adds its proficiency bonus to its AC and to its damage rolls.
Your animal companion gains expertise in the survival skill, plus one other skill of your choice. At 3rd level, your companion gains proficiency in one saving throw of your choice. It gains an additional saving throw at 6th, 9th, 12th, and 15th levels.
For each level you gain after 3rd, your animal companion gains an additional hit die and
increases its hit points accordingly. Whenever you gain the Ability Score Improvement class feature, your companion’s abilities also improve. Your companion can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or it can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, your companion can’t increase an ability score above 20 using this feature unless its description specifies otherwise.
Your companion shares your alignment, and has a personality trait and a flaw that you can roll for or select from the core Ranger animal companion tables. Your companion shares your ideal, and its bond is always, “The ranger who travels with me is a beloved companion for whom I would gladly give my life.”
Beginning at 3rd level, your mastery of ranger lore allows you to establish a powerful link to
beasts and to the land around you. You have an innate ability to communicate with beasts, and they recognize you as a kindred spirit. Through sounds and gestures, you can communicate simple ideas to a beast as an action, and can read its basic mood and intent. You learn its emotional state, whether it is affected by magic of any sort, its short-term needs (such as food or safety), and actions you can take (if any) to persuade it to not attack. You cannot use this ability against a creature that you have attacked within the past 10 minutes.
Starting at 5th level, you may spend a tenacity point to work as one with your companion, closing the gap between you to ensure you take on threats as one pack. As a bonus action on your turn, you may call your animal companion to you, allowing it to move up to its movement speed in the most safe and direct path to you as it’s reaction. This movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity. After having the same companion for over 48 hours, it may also signal you to do the same on its turn by using its bonus action and your reaction. You must spend your reaction to run to its side.
At 7th level, you and your companion learn to use your individual strengths to better increase your ability to survive. Whenever you or your companion expend a hit dice during a short rest in the same location, both you and your companion gain the amount of health healed in this fashion. Whenever you and your companion take a short or long rest in the same location, your companion’s senses will detect and wake you, warning you with a growl you whenever a creature approaches within 30ft of your location.
Beginning at 9th level, you and your animal companion form a more potent fighting team. When you use the Attack action on your turn, if your companion can see you, it can use its reaction to make a melee attack or Ambush attack action. Your companion must be under the effects of Hide in Plain Sight and spend a tenacity point to use the Ambush action.
Improved Coordinated Attack
Beginning at 14th level, whenever your companion makes an ambush or melee attack on its turn, you may spend a tenacity point to use your reaction and make either a melee, ranged, or Ambush attack action. You must be under the effects of Hide in Plain Sight in order to use the Ambush Action.
Starting at 3rd level, you have begun to keep copious notes and research on the places, stories, myths, and people you come across in your travels. These notes are kept in a leather-bound adventure journal that you carry on your person. While it is in your possession, you gain a variety of benefits:
At 3rd level, your hands and legs have been extremely strong as you climb, fight, and hold onto dangerous surfaces over your adventures. You gain a climb speed equal to your walking speed. In addition, whenever you make a save of check to prevent falling (from a climbing location or standing) falling, you have advantage as you reach out for a new handhold.
Beginning at 5th level, you can Attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.
Expert Treasure Hunter
At 7th level, your search for rare antiquities allows you to master their use. You can now attune to up to four, rather than three, magic items at a time at 7th level and increased to five magic items at 14th level. In addition, if you would make a save while opening a chest, a door, or attuning to a cursed item you may make that save with advantage.
Collector of Rare Antiquities
Starting at 9th level, your search for rare antiquities allows you impressive skills in their collection and identification. When touch a magical item, door, or chest have your Adventure Journal, you may cast the identify spell as a bonus action.
Seen This Before
At 14th level, your Adventure Journal has been filled with copious amounts of notes, so many that it can be difficult to remember everything you have logged away for a future date. Over an hour, you may spend a tenacity point to thoroughly search through your notes and gain the effects of the Divination spell from clues and hints you have logged away from stories, legends, and observations.
Starting at 3rd level, you gain the ability to place traps to capture your prey. As a bonus action, you may spend a tenacity point to place a trap. When you activate this ability, select one of the following traps to place:
One placed, your traps remain on the field. You may have a number of traps deployed equal to your proficiency bonus. Should you place a trap beyond this, you must choose one of your traps to be destroyed. Unless destroyed, you may spend an action to retrieve a placed or activated trap within reach. Should you do so, you recover the tenacity point used to place it.
Creature notice your traps unless they are 60ft or more away, not within line of sight, blinded, or otherwise prevented from noticing your action. You may place traps freely while under the effects of Hide in Plain Sight without revealing your location.
While under the effects Hide in Plain Sight, when you make an attack or ambush against a creature caught in your Bear or Snare traps or knocked prone by your Wire trap, you gain a bonus to attack and damage rolls against the creature this turn equal to your wisdom modifier. In addition, you may choose to move towards the creature a distance equal to your total movement as part of the attack without losing the effects of Hide in Plain Sight. If you do, take no other movement this turn.
Starting at 3rd level, once per day on a short or long rest in the wilderness, you can forage from the surrounding area for food and water. You can forage up to 12 pounds of food and 6 gallons of water from the surrounding countryside, enough to sustain up to six humanoids for 24 hours. The food is relevant to the environment you are currently in and is nourishing, though may not be particularly palettable in some climates. This food spoils if uneaten after 24 hours. The water is clean and doesn’t go bad. In addition, you may instead choose to seek out healing herbs from the surrounding area, granting you the ability to cure one poison or disease affecting a number of creatures equal to your proficiency bonus.
Beginning at 5th level, you can Attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.
At 7th level, your ability to track your targets becomes uncanny. As an ritual taking 10 minutes to complete, you can spend a tenacity point to seek evidence of passing creatures in your area. If you do, you gain the effects of the Locate Creature spell.
At 9th level you become proficient in baiting your traps to attract targets to them. Whenever you place a trap, you may choose to spend a second tenacity point. If you do, choose a single creature type. You place a bait attractive to creatures of that type (meat for a beast or monstrosity, gold for a human or dragon, etc.) at a location of your choosing of no more than 10ft from the trap. You may work with your GM to determine a relevant bait for the creature in question. Once the trap is placed, creatures of the chosen type within 30ft of the bait must make a wisdom save against your Tenacity DC at the beginning of their turn or be forced to move their full movement towards the bait. Once they reach the bait, the bait is consumed or lost. At any time before a bait is consumed, you may spend a bonus action to recover the bait, regaining a tenacity point. Creature notice you placing bait unless they are 60ft or more away, not within line of sight, blinded, or otherwise prevented from noticing your action. You may place bait freely while under the effects of Hide in Plain Sight without revealing your location.
At 14th level, you gain the ability to set traps with a speed and foresight that borders on precognition. Whenever you roll initiative, you may spend a tenacity point to place one of your traps on the battlefield at double the trap’s normal range. You may choose to spend a second tenacity point to also place bait in this fashion.