Beastmaster ranger

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With the introduction of themes that grant characters pets, I am thinking about houseruling the beastmaster ranger build into a theme.  I see no reason why rangers should be forced to give up class features to get something they could get as part of a theme for free.  I could use the fey beast trainer theme as a model, and include the ability to use powers with the beast keyword.  Does anyone see any games mechanics problem with this that I am missing?
Well the main difference would be that a beast master ranger gets some nifty damage boosts from his powers, especially if he picks them with an eye towards his beastie. I'm a little concerned about throwing powers balanced around the assumptions of a specific class open to everyone.

I should have been clearer-the theme would have ranger as a prerequisite.
What about the essentials rangers? 

Any way why bother? I mean if you don't like beast master, just use the fey beast master theme on a ranger.

Maybe you should consider this, make a feat for fey beast master rangers, that allows the fey beast to function as a beast for the purpose of the beastmaster feats, paths, and powers. There's no rule that says you have to be a beast master ranger to take beast powers, just that they can't be used without a beast. So if you're dead set on a two blade ranger or whatever with an animal companion a snergy feat seems like the way to go.
What about the essentials rangers?



That's a good question, what about them?  Is there any problem with them having a beast companion and being able to use beast powers?  It would probably benefit the scout more than the archer ranger, but that doesn't seem like a huge problem, since what I'm proposing is a theme.  Obviously the pre-E ranger will get more out of it, but I don't see a problem with that, either.  Can you think of one?


Any way why bother? I mean if you don't like beast master, just use the fey beast master theme on a ranger.



Wait, what?  Where did I say I didn't like beastmaster rangers? what I said was that I didn't think that it made much sense that they had to give up class features to get something that people could get for free through a theme.  Even I can see that beastmaster rangers are underpowered, and that's especially evident now that we have themes that give you much of what you get by being a beastmaster for free as a theme.  Since I LIKE the concept of the beastmaster ranger, I'd like to make it a more viable choice from a mechanics standpoint.


Maybe you should consider this, make a feat for fey beast master rangers, that allows the fey beast to function as a beast for the purpose of the beastmaster feats, paths, and powers. There's no rule that says you have to be a beast master ranger to take beast powers, just that they can't be used without a beast. So if you're dead set on a two blade ranger or whatever with an animal companion a snergy feat seems like the way to go.



That's an interesting idea, but I have always been against the idea of paying feats just to be able to swap powers, which is why we ruled that power-swap feats are free to multiclass characters long ago in my games.  Part of my objective here is to make the option cost less.  Also, that's a bit constrained flavor-wise, not every ranger is going to want to be a fey beastmaster, and I'd like to be able to use the creatures in MP II.  

Ohhhhhh ok that makes a bit more sense.

The problem is now I'm gonna need to actually see the theme, and for some reason my copy's been delayed.
Rangers don't lose much by choosing the feature that gives them a pet meat shield. You lose a bonus feat and an elusive +1 to hit with ranged attacks.
Rangers don't lose much by choosing the feature that gives them a pet meat shield. You lose a bonus feat and an elusive +1 to hit with ranged attacks.

Have you seen Martial Power 2?
Hunter Style gives you +4 AC vs OA and Quick Draw for free, while Marauder Style gives a constant +1 speed bonus and Two-Weapon Defense for free.
Running Attack can replace Prime Shot, and adds a +1 to charges (on top of the +1 you get anyway).
Once again: why should rangers have to give up class features *at all* to get something you can get for free with a theme?  It makes no sense to me.

Since nobody seems to be able to offer any game balance objections, I'm going to go ahead and do it.
they shouldn't.

give it the beast keyword, as you said.  make sure its attacks, defenses, and hp scale ok.  call it a wolf, hawk, bear, etc., and roll with it. 

Cry Havoc!  And let slip the hogs of war!