Ranger questions and playstyle

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I have a player starting a new character in my group.  Our DM's busy at work as of late so I’m trying to help him out with things like this.

He's made an elf ranger and is very adamant about the longbow. 

The range on it is 20/40 and I want to make sure I explain all the rules right to him.  So he can shoot anything within 20 squares with no penalty and after 20 and up to 40 he can shoot with a -2 penalty

Partial cover on a monster would = a -2 additional penalty
Full cover would = -5 to hit

or am I confusing these with concealment?

He also is very adamant about staying away from the thick of combat at all times and being hidden.  I figured this was a wise move anyway because I believe he gets combat advantage from this. 

If anyone has the time to give me a basic run down of all the + and - of range combat in some sort of bullet point format I’d be very grateful so I can just stick it on a little cheat sheet for him to reference for his first few fights.

You've got it pretty much right, but make sure he knows EXACTLY how the Hidden status works in 4e.
And to help with that, try this link:  community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...

Bargle wrote:
This is CharOp. We not only assume block-of-tofu monsters, but also block-of-tofu DMs.
 

Zelink wrote:
You're already refluffing, why not refluff to something that doesn't suck?
So, quick summary:

Prime Shot (for rangers): +1
Combat Advantage: +2

Long Range: -2
Cover/Concealment: -2
Total Cover/Concealment: -5
Target is prone: -2

I think that is it for targeting bonuses and penalties. Of course, things like Restrained and the like alter it, but those are really very situational. 
Note that cover and concealment stack.  So, for instance, if the target is behind a low wall (cover) and in fog (concealment), the penalty would be -4.

Also worth noting that being that far back, is often really, really dumb.  You're basically not contributing to your party's use of resources (particularly surges and distributing monster attacks evenly), and if you do get attacked (a skirmisher gets away, or an artillery or controller hits you at range), you're well out of range for your party to respond (either by healing you, or by sending the defender over to help).  Being permahidden at long range is really not that helpful.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
Archer Ranger's really want to be up close to exploit Prime Shot, particularly in Paragon. Check out Shoot to Thrill, first or second page of CharOp, to see what an optmized Archer Ranger looks like. Standing "way in the back" is just plain bad.

It makes slightly more sense for a Rogue, particularly post 16, except since SA no longer works with Superior Crossbow ranged Rogue builds aren't really quite as impressive...
He should rock a greatbow (or superior crossbow) and get right in peoples' faces. Then shoot them in it. AC won't be terrible with a post racial 20 and hide armor. And as Alcestis said, lots of the ranger's damage and accuracy comes from prime shot.

Called Shot: +5 damage to prime shotted enemies.

Cry Havoc!  And let slip the hogs of war!

He should rock a greatbow (or superior crossbow) and get right in peoples' faces. Then shoot them in it. AC won't be terrible with a post racial 20 and hide armor. And as Alcestis said, lots of the ranger's damage and accuracy comes from prime shot. Called Shot: +5 damage to prime shotted enemies.



It gets better if you have a good defender.  Flanking works with ranged weapons, so you can flank with (say) your fighter, shoot the guy, and if he takes a swing at you, the fighter gets to take a swing at him.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
He should rock a greatbow (or superior crossbow) and get right in peoples' faces. Then shoot them in it. AC won't be terrible with a post racial 20 and hide armor. And as Alcestis said, lots of the ranger's damage and accuracy comes from prime shot. Called Shot: +5 damage to prime shotted enemies.



It gets better if you have a good defender.  Flanking works with ranged weapons, so you can flank with (say) your fighter, shoot the guy, and if he takes a swing at you, the fighter gets to take a swing at him.



I'm suddenly kicking myself for not flanking with the Battlemind so I can trigger his Mind Spike! D'oh!

Archer Ranger's really want to be up close to exploit Prime Shot, particularly in Paragon. Check out Shoot to Thrill, first or second page of CharOp, to see what an optimized Archer Ranger looks like. Standing "way in the back" is just plain bad.

It makes slightly more sense for a Rogue, particularly post 16, except since SA no longer works with Superior Crossbow ranged Rogue builds aren't really quite as impressive...




Sadly this is the guy who was playing a rogue (that got killed mind you)  Who was always going off on his own and doing everything by himself.  I think we've managed to beat it into his thick skull that watching him try to do things for an hour at the table isn't fun for the rest of us.  I sort of think that’s why he got himself killed.  The ranger is supposed to be more party oriented but he has it in his head to RP it like the movies in the sense.  Elf hides in shadows / tree shoots things in the head.   I know it might not be a great way to play a ranger but I'm in a group that’s very new to 4th and several are very new to tabletop RPG games.  Him being one of them.  If he sticks with the group I'll nitpick his combat play style later and I cant totally fault a person making choices based on wanting to role play that way vs what works better in combat.

I've read everything posted and this was all a great help.  Thank you to the first few who posted that link to hidden club heh.

My only other question really comes with maybe a hint of confusion.  What exactly grants combat advantage at range for the shooter vs the monster.  Is it just partial cover or do you have to be in total hidden mode for that to happen?
Completely hidden, although if you take the Hidden Sniper feat you get CA just from having concealment.
Completely hidden, although if you take the Hidden Sniper feat you get CA just from having concealment.

Well, Total Concealment/Cover also gives you CA. But...

Archer Ranger's really want to be up close to exploit Prime Shot, particularly in Paragon. Check out Shoot to Thrill, first or second page of CharOp, to see what an optimized Archer Ranger looks like. Standing "way in the back" is just plain bad.

It makes slightly more sense for a Rogue, particularly post 16, except since SA no longer works with Superior Crossbow ranged Rogue builds aren't really quite as impressive...




Sadly this is the guy who was playing a rogue (that got killed mind you)  Who was always going off on his own and doing everything by himself.  I think we've managed to beat it into his thick skull that watching him try to do things for an hour at the table isn't fun for the rest of us.  I sort of think that’s why he got himself killed.  The ranger is supposed to be more party oriented but he has it in his head to RP it like the movies in the sense.  Elf hides in shadows / tree shoots things in the head.   I know it might not be a great way to play a ranger but I'm in a group that’s very new to 4th and several are very new to tabletop RPG games.  Him being one of them.  If he sticks with the group I'll nitpick his combat play style later and I cant totally fault a person making choices based on wanting to role play that way vs what works better in combat.

I've read everything posted and this was all a great help.  Thank you to the first few who posted that link to hidden club heh.

My only other question really comes with maybe a hint of confusion.  What exactly grants combat advantage at range for the shooter vs the monster.  Is it just partial cover or do you have to be in total hidden mode for that to happen?



Show him Shoot to Thrill and explain how Prime Shot works, and how he can be more effective a little closer to the party.  The L2 utility Invigorating Stride can help him be a little tougher and self-sufficient.  Distant Advantage is a feat that grants CA to a flanked enemy.  Vicious Advantage grants CA to slowed/immobilized enemies. 

Cry Havoc!  And let slip the hogs of war!

Like other have said, it's probably best to play the classic archer ranger by having him weave in and out of melee, especially in heroic tier.  If he's dead-set on standing in the back, I'd have him go beastmaster to help with tactical advantage on the battlefield.
If he really wants to stand in the back an eagle shaman would help your party a lot if someone else is still looking for a PC. 

Prime shot works with whichever enemy is closest to the shamans spirit companion, which he can keep anywhere within 20 squares of the shaman.  Never mind.  That is for applying hunter''s quarry, not prime shot.  Still useful though
Like other have said, it's probably best to play the classic archer ranger by having him weave in and out of melee, especially in heroic tier.  If he's dead-set on standing in the back, I'd have him go beastmaster to help with tactical advantage on the battlefield.




whats the beastmaster thing?  That a theme with a bonus like animal handler?

as for the rest I'll see what I can do he's just introducing himself in the game tonight so I'll let him get a combat or two under his belt before I make suggestions.  It will be easier to pount out things if he has trouble, rather then just comming up to him and say this way is better.
Like other have said, it's probably best to play the classic archer ranger by having him weave in and out of melee, especially in heroic tier.  If he's dead-set on standing in the back, I'd have him go beastmaster to help with tactical advantage on the battlefield.




whats the beastmaster thing?  That a theme with a bonus like animal handler?

as for the rest I'll see what I can do he's just introducing himself in the game tonight so I'll let him get a combat or two under his belt before I make suggestions.  It will be easier to pount out things if he has trouble, rather then just comming up to him and say this way is better.



You take beastmaster style instead of archery style.  You give up Prime Shot (which you won't ever use if you're always 5 squares back) and Defensive Mobility (ditto) and get a pet, which makes using your Quarry a *lot* easier and helps set up flanking with melee characters, so I'm assuming this character has Distant Advantage (eqv.).  Take the Raptor (bird) pet and don't take any pet-based power, at least for the heroic tier.  Paragon paths become dicier--you won't qualify for Battlefield Archer and Sharpshooter got nerfed--but for heroic tier, I actually like this build more than the standard Prime Shot archer.

Like other have said, it's probably best to play the classic archer ranger by having him weave in and out of melee, especially in heroic tier.  If he's dead-set on standing in the back, I'd have him go beastmaster to help with tactical advantage on the battlefield.




whats the beastmaster thing?  That a theme with a bonus like animal handler?

as for the rest I'll see what I can do he's just introducing himself in the game tonight so I'll let him get a combat or two under his belt before I make suggestions.  It will be easier to pount out things if he has trouble, rather then just comming up to him and say this way is better.



You take beastmaster style instead of archery style.  You give up Prime Shot (which you won't ever use if you're always 5 squares back) and Defensive Mobility (ditto) and get a pet, which makes using your Quarry a *lot* easier and helps set up flanking with melee characters, so I'm assuming this character has Distant Advantage (eqv.).  Take the Raptor (bird) pet and don't take any pet-based power, at least for the heroic tier.  Paragon paths become dicier--you won't qualify for Battlefield Archer and Sharpshooter got nerfed--but for heroic tier, I actually like this build more than the standard Prime Shot archer.




If you want a pet, take Fey Beast Tamer and call the owlbear whatever you want. 

Cry Havoc!  And let slip the hogs of war!

Also, if you need to sell him on the RPness of the weaving in and out style, show him 30 mins of Legolas at Helm's Deep and in front of Minas Tirith.


If you want a pet, take Fey Beast Tamer and call the owlbear whatever you want. 



Just note that your owlbear will not be able to activate your Hunter's Quarry, which might be a greater dps loss than the player is willing to accept.


If you want a pet, take Fey Beast Tamer and call the owlbear whatever you want. 



Just note that your owlbear will not be able to activate your Hunter's Quarry, which might be a greater dps loss than the player is willing to accept.


You make that up with Called Shot, Snap Shot, and the Battlefield Archer path.

Cry Havoc!  And let slip the hogs of war!

Also note that as you go up in level your beastmaster pet will become more and more useless.  As will you.  Shoot to Thrill or a close variant is the only ranged ranger I would play.  At paragon melee rangers can get pretty brutal, especially if you hybrid cleric for decent AC.
Don't get me wrong, I absolutely agree that Shoot to Thrill outclasses any Beastmaster build (I skip the rogue MC, but that's a separate issue) in terms of damage output, especially once you hit paragon and that the idea of a ranger who is consistently 10+ squares back is a recipe for disaster in the long term, but if the player is determined to play it that way, Beastmaster + raptor gets rid of a lot of dead weight.  If I was absolutely confidant the campaign would never reach paragon, I'd give it a shot.  But there's no way I'm not taking BFA at 11.

heh after last night’s play im not to worried right now.  He kind of got the idea really quickly standing 15 squares back wasn't working out he was creeping up closer and closer to the thick of things as the first fight went on.  I think the problem is going to fix itself in a few more sessions without me having to say a word.

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