The Ranger’s Response to Paladin

In response to the Paladin.

Rangers in D&D 5e are notorious for being the worst 5e class. This is attributed to their abilities largely being too specific and situational to ever be effective in a long running campaign. They also need to use their few spell slots in order to be on the same level as other classes in terms of damage output. On top of this, most of the rangers spells are underutilized and too specific to a situation to be effective as a whole. This class has often been used as a flavor-first class. Most who care for the mechanics “play fighter with a bow, it's way better.” To counter this, we have reworked the class to be a solitary glass cannon of sorts; good at doing damage from afar, and being a response to the Paladin.

The Paladin in D&D 5e is one of the most, if not the, most powerful classes to come from WotC. With spellcasting, healing, and damage output unmatched by other melee fighters, it is capable of incredible things. This class was designed to be the mirror to the Paladin. While Paladins are great Tanks and capable of helping their allies, the Ranger is now great behind the lines, and in more of a Striker role now. We think that the focus for the Ranger’s abilities should be on, well, ranged attacks. The Paladin is built with a sword and shield in mind. The Ranger has been built with a longbow at the forefront of the design. 

This class attempts to keep the nature-based roots of the class, while still being versatile enough to work in any environment. The largest changes to this class include a removal of spellcasting, a lessened focus on exploration and favored choices made at first level, and a greater emphasis on damage. Of course, a large portion of this class is the flavor of it. We hope we have maintained that while still allowing this class to be useful both in and out of combat.

We concede that this class may be on the overpowered end, we ask that you consider the powers of other classes before making a quick judgement. This class is designed with the idea that if put into varying environments against a Paladin of equal level, then the outcome would not so obviously be Paladin. 

FEEDBACK ON WORDING, POWER LEVEL, AND CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM IS WELCOME

**This class was made agnostic of most subclasses. Those that give spells to the ranger spell list will be accounted for. This is done by making those spells more like Innate Spellcasting. Though this has not been figured out yet. Any advice is helpful! This is our first class!**

Ranger [Response to Paladin]

Level

Proficiency Bonus

Features

1

+2

Nature’s Explorer, Trained Archer

2

+2

Spellcasting, Focused Shot

3

+2

Ranger Archetype

4

+2

Ability Score Improvement

5

+3

Extra Attack

6

+3

Called Shot

7

+3

Ranger Archetype Feature, Focused Shot Improvement

8

+3

Ability Score Improvement, Landstrider

9

+4

Trained Archer Improvement

10

+4

Nature’s Veil

11

+4

Ranger Archetype Feature

12

+4

Ability Score Improvement

13

+5

Focust Shot Improvement

14

+5

Feral Awareness

15

+5

Ranger Archetype Feature

16

+5

Ability Score Improvement

17

+6

Trained Archer Improvement

18

+6

Better from Afar

19

+6

Ability Score Improvement

20

+6

Master Archer

Class Features

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d8 per ranger level

Hit Points at 1st Level: 8 + your Constitution modifier

Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) + your Constitution modifier per ranger level after 1st

Proficiencies

Armor: Light armor, medium armor, shields

Weapons: Simple weapons, martial weapons

Tools: Herbalism kit

Saving Throws: Strength, Dexterity

Skills: Choose three from Animal Handling, Athletics, Insight, Investigation, Nature, Perception, Stealth, and Survival

Equipment

You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

  • (a) scale mail or (b) leather armor

  • A longbow and a quiver of 20 arrows

  • A hand crossbow and a case of 20 bolts

  • A shortsword or a simple melee weapon

  • (a) a dungeoneer’s pack or (b) an explorer’s pack

Trained Archer

You gain a +2 bonus to attack rolls you make with ranged weapons. In addition, ranged attacks made in melee range don’t impose disadvantage.

At 9th level, you no longer have disadvantage on ranged attacks against creatures that are prone. Non Magical weather conditions no longer impose disadvantage on ranged attacks.

At 17th level, the +2 bonus to attack rolls changes to a +4 bonus. You may add your Wisdom modifier to damage rolls made with ranged weapons in addition to Dexterity.

Nature’s Explorer

You are particularly familiar with travelling in natural environments, and after some time become good at navigating them. When you have spent 24 hours in a specific terrain, it becomes familiar to you. When you make an Intelligence or Wisdom check related to your familiar terrain, your proficiency bonus is doubled if you are using a skill that you’re proficient in. After gaining a familiar terrain, it cannot be changed for another 24 hours, not including the time needed to gain a separate terrain.

While traveling for an hour or more in your familiar terrain, you gain the following benefits:

  • Difficult terrain doesn’t slow your group’s travel.

  • Your group can’t become lost except 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 ago they passed through the area.

Focused Shot

At 2nd level, you are able to focus your senses to hit your target’s weak points while standing still. If you do not move this round, your ranged attacks do an extra 1d8 of the weapon’s damage type. 

This damage increases to 2d8 at 7th level and 3d8 at 13th level

Called Shot

At 6th level, you have gained insight into your opponents weaknesses. You have improved accuracy and can deal damage to specific parts of your target. Once per turn, before you make an attack roll, you may make a call on a body part to inflict extra damage as well as a status effect. When done so, the armor class for this body part is 2 + the creature’s armor class. On a hit the target takes an extra 1d8 damage of the weapon’s type as well as inflicts a status condition until the end of your next turn. You may do this a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus per short rest. If an attack would have hit the creature’s original armor class but not the improved one, damage is rolled without the Called Shot bonuses. 

  • Blinded

  • Halved movement

  • Strength save or become disarmed

  • Deafened

  • Silenced (speech)

Landstrider

Starting at 8th level, moving through difficult terrain costs you no extra movement. You can also pass through terrain without being slowed by them and without taking damage from them if they have thorns, spines, or a similar hazard.You have advantage on saving throws against plants that are magically created or manipulated to impede movement, such those created by the entangle spell.

In addition, you gain a swim and climb speed equal to your walking speed.

Nature’s Veil

At 10th level, you draw on the powers of nature to hide yourself from view briefly. As a bonus action, you can magically become invisible, along with any equipment you are wearing or carrying, until the start of your next turn.

You can use this feature a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus, and you regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.

Feral Awareness

At 14th level, you have a heightened awareness. When you attack a creature you can’t see, your inability to see it doesn’t impose disadvantage on your attack rolls against it. You are also aware of the location of any invisible creature within 30 feet of you, provided that the creature isn’t hidden from you and you aren’t blinded or deafened. In addition, you cannot be surprised. You may add your Wisdom modifier in addition to your initiative bonus.

Better From Afar

You have become adept at keeping enemies at bay. When a creature enters a 10 foot radius of you, you may use your reaction to make a ranged attack against that creature. You may then move half your movement away from that creature. This movement counts as movement for your Focused Shot ability.

Master Archer

At 20th level, you have mastered all ranged combat. 

Your Called Shot ability no longer gives the target an improved armor class. 

In addition, you may hone your perception of the battlefield. For the next minute, you may make a ranged attack roll against a creature you have seen in this fight. The arrow flies toward that creature, ricocheting around corners if necessary and ignoring three-quarters and half cover. If the target is within the weapon’s range and there is a path large enough for the projectile to travel to the target, then it is able to hit. 

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