Ranger fighting styles: Please just let it end

I can't be the only one who would be more than glad to see the concept of ranger fighting style go the way of the dodo in the new edition. A brief history follows.

In AD&D (2e at least), rangers could fight well with two weapons for some reason. Drizzt? Can't be certain.
Along comes 3rd Edition, and the ranger gets some virtual feats for two-weapon fighting. And the first choir cried out, "But wait, what if I don't want to fight with two weapons? Isn't archery a better fit for rangers?"
We get to v.3.5, where rangers have the option between two-weapon fighting and archery. And the second choir cried out, "But wait, what if I don't want to fight with two weapons OR shoot arrows with bows?"
4th Edition did not heed this call, and perhaps solidified the two fighting styles even more. But on the other side of the fence, the makers of Pathfinder went "Okay, here's all the fighting styles for all time, and if we missed some, we'll add them later." Which is cool and all, but only fixes a problem created by the very existence of the concept of "ranger fighting style."

So, to avoid both restricting rangers to one or two styles AND the clutter, why not just abandon the concept altogether? Is fighting style really an integral part of what makes a ranger a ranger?

TWS out. 

The Greendale Campaign

 

I was there at the dawn of the Third-and-a-Halfth Age of Dungeons & Dragons. I saw action during the Crisis of Infinite Foundations, stood on the ramparts of the Citadel of Mirth, delved deep into the debauchery of the Forum of the Adult, and fought alongside the Infernal Bovine on the fields of the Eberron War. I weathered the Ponystorm. I witnessed as the orcs came for the wizos, and I wept mightily. I saw the realm crack as the Fourth Age came upon us, and I witnessed the eldritch tendrils of the dread Gleemax. Now I watch as the Meta Wars ravage the land as the Fifth Age is dawning. I have walked these Boarderlands for many a long year, and bear many scars in my soul. Yet I remain the White Sorcerer, ever in your service. TWS out.

I think the Ranger is supposed to be more of a specialist.  The fighter should be the best darn all around fighter there is and have talent in all the styles.  However the ranger has always focused on getting really good at certain things.  Tracking, Hunting his Favored Enemy, ect.  Whatever method he used to kill his prey needs to be something he can really train in and get good at.  So I would still like to see Rangers showing a high level of skill with a select weapon.  I would be willing to allow for more choices.
I actually see your point and I can't say I want 15 fighting styles to choose from.  Maybe what ever bonuses they get are better tied to their favored enemy or quary.  I actually liked 4e on changing it a little.
I agree that, historically, developers have concentrated on fighting styles as a focus of the ranger.   I don't think it has been a good focus for the class.  Orzell created a good thread where the favored enemy feature would give the ranger certain advantages in and out of combat.  Unlike previous editions, the feature would not be tied to actually fighting the favored enemy creature.

For example, Kobolds have a nasty habit of making traps and ambushing opponents.  Consequently, having a kobold for a favor enemy could grant a bonus to noticing traps and/or reacting to surprise.  Tthe actual enemy would not matter from a game mechanic perspective; the training for dealing with kobolds would be applicable to other enemies.  I think it's a good system that should be implemented along side other features (like a Hunter's Quarry from 4e). 

But, I do think that WotC should depart from the fight style system used in the past to define rangers.  It's restrictive, not very imaginative and does very little to making the ranger a unique class. 
Really I just think the features of the ranger should be focused on the wilderness stuff, not fighting with specific weapons. They can still learn how to fight with two weapons just like anyone else. If any needs to include the concept of fighting styles, it's the fighter, and they have those.

Confession: I would not mind Ranger becoming a background in Next, but I know it will never happen.

The Greendale Campaign

 

I was there at the dawn of the Third-and-a-Halfth Age of Dungeons & Dragons. I saw action during the Crisis of Infinite Foundations, stood on the ramparts of the Citadel of Mirth, delved deep into the debauchery of the Forum of the Adult, and fought alongside the Infernal Bovine on the fields of the Eberron War. I weathered the Ponystorm. I witnessed as the orcs came for the wizos, and I wept mightily. I saw the realm crack as the Fourth Age came upon us, and I witnessed the eldritch tendrils of the dread Gleemax. Now I watch as the Meta Wars ravage the land as the Fifth Age is dawning. I have walked these Boarderlands for many a long year, and bear many scars in my soul. Yet I remain the White Sorcerer, ever in your service. TWS out.

Orzell created a good thread where the favored enemy feature would give the ranger certain advantages in and out of combat.  Unlike previous editions, the feature would not be tied to actually fighting the favored enemy creature.

For example, Kobolds have a nasty habit of making traps and ambushing opponents.  Consequently, having a kobold for a favor enemy could grant a bonus to noticing traps and/or reacting to surprise.  Tthe actual enemy would not matter from a game mechanic perspective; the training for dealing with kobolds would be applicable to other enemies.  I think it's a good system that should be implemented along side other features (like a Hunter's Quarry from 4e).


Ooh, me likey.

The Greendale Campaign

 

I was there at the dawn of the Third-and-a-Halfth Age of Dungeons & Dragons. I saw action during the Crisis of Infinite Foundations, stood on the ramparts of the Citadel of Mirth, delved deep into the debauchery of the Forum of the Adult, and fought alongside the Infernal Bovine on the fields of the Eberron War. I weathered the Ponystorm. I witnessed as the orcs came for the wizos, and I wept mightily. I saw the realm crack as the Fourth Age came upon us, and I witnessed the eldritch tendrils of the dread Gleemax. Now I watch as the Meta Wars ravage the land as the Fifth Age is dawning. I have walked these Boarderlands for many a long year, and bear many scars in my soul. Yet I remain the White Sorcerer, ever in your service. TWS out.

Orzell created a good thread where the favored enemy feature would give the ranger certain advantages in and out of combat.  Unlike previous editions, the feature would not be tied to actually fighting the favored enemy creature.

For example, Kobolds have a nasty habit of making traps and ambushing opponents.  Consequently, having a kobold for a favor enemy could grant a bonus to noticing traps and/or reacting to surprise.  Tthe actual enemy would not matter from a game mechanic perspective; the training for dealing with kobolds would be applicable to other enemies.  I think it's a good system that should be implemented along side other features (like a Hunter's Quarry from 4e).


Ooh, me likey.



Thank, Orzell, if he's still around.  It was his idea. 
I quite like that take on te ranger favored enemy.

I am likewise not invested in the dual wielding concept as it's core assumption.

The tracking and woodsman feel has always been the real draw of the class for me. That and the idea of a chosen enemy.

How they reflect those two aspects will be the deciding factor for me.

I do see the class being done justice through a combo of the fighter class, a woodman style background, and a favored enemy specialty.

I'm thinking Giant Slayer here since that was always a favored archetype of mine.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

My biggest problem with the Ranger is: "What is a Ranger?"

Are they wilderness warriors?  Then shouldn't they be Fighter's with the appropriate tracking and survival skills?

Are they warrior druids?  Then shouldn't they be a Druid who focuses on martial capacity more?

Are they jack-of-all-trades that lives off the land?  Then they're more the Rogue skill monkey who tracks and hunts instead of picking locks and pockets.

They just never sat well with me being their own "class".  (Mind you, I've always been an advocate of generalist classes with specialty options.)  

Favored Enemy just sorta feels like a feature of a Bounty Hunter type character.  Something just as easily applied to a Wizard as any other class.   Fighting styles are just that.  Anyone with martial training could train those.  Animal Companion?  Is that it?  Druid's have those, and I can easily see it being a feature any character could make use of.  

I'd prefer to see the Ranger be an expression of Background, Specialty and choice of class features/multiclassing. 
Stay Frosty! - Shado
In 1E, the Ranger was presented as a sub-class of the fighter. They got the benefit of the fighter's weapon specialization as well as good tracking skills and a damage bonus for "giant" sized creatures. It was in Unearthed Arcana that the drow 2-weapon ability was introduced. It was not a feature of the Ranger at all, unless that ranger happened to be a Drow.

As far as Drizzt goes, Unearthed Arcana came out in 1985. Drizzt wasn't created until 1987, so it would seem that Drizzt simply mirrored the D&D rules at the time of his creation as opposed to the rules copying Drizzt's fame.

In 2E, the ranger could only fight 2-handed (without penalties) if he was wearing studded leather or lighter armor. This made him a good striker, but also made him vulnerable to damage. A good enough swap-off, I suppose. The 2E ranger very well may have been modeled (at least in part) after Drizzt.

HERE is a decent blog post about this issue. The good info comes more from the comments below the blog than the blog itself. In those comments, someone makes the claim that Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser are the actual inspirations behind 2-weapon fighting in D&D. 

All this being said, the Ranger is a classic class, and not likely to be removed. I, too, would prefer to see the ranger as a fighter kit, or possibly a background, theme, or whatever they're calling them these days. More focus on the hunter/tracker/scout aspects than combat aspects. 
I think the ranger can be a distinct class with a distinct mechanics, as Orzell described in another thread.  In that regard, I don't agree with the "make him a fighter" concept.  Also, the goal of the edition, ultimately, is get players back into DnD.  Excluding the ranger (or relegating him to a background or specialty) would be counter-productive to that goal in my opinion.
Unfortunately, of the major griping points seems to be "different mechanics for different classes", so I don't know how well it would fly. I, personally, am all for it and don't understand the disdain for varying mechanics, but whatever. All shapes and sizes, I suppose.
Unfortunately, of the major griping points seems to be "different mechanics for different classes", so I don't know how well it would fly. I, personally, am all for it and don't understand the disdain for varying mechanics, but whatever. All shapes and sizes, I suppose.



I hate to say it; the wizard and fighter have different mechanics.  I don't see the point of the "no different mechanics argument".  The goal should be balancing each mechanic as much as possible... 

I work off of the principle of "Is it DnD?"  I could care less about the mechanics personally.    
Unfortunately, of the major griping points seems to be "different mechanics for different classes", so I don't know how well it would fly. I, personally, am all for it and don't understand the disdain for varying mechanics, but whatever. All shapes and sizes, I suppose.



I hate to say it; the wizard and fighter have different mechanics.  I don't see the point of the "no different mechanics argument".  The goal should be balancing each mechanic as much as possible... 

I work off of the principle of "Is it DnD?"  I could care less about the mechanics personally.    



100% agreed.
Unfortunately, of the major griping points seems to be "different mechanics for different classes", so I don't know how well it would fly. I, personally, am all for it and don't understand the disdain for varying mechanics, but whatever. All shapes and sizes, I suppose.



Lets see what can be done.
Obcession with mechanics being different makes the mechanics even more important than they ought to be. Where as saying the mechanics just need to be balanced ... says I can make the character unique and flavor is all important and that is provided by the player as inspired by the flavor text.

Note : However People are also inspired by mechanics which is why the fighter in 4e doesnt have a power allowing him to summon an ally for him to puppet as it delivers fire damage running around the battlefield.... and doesnt have one that makes an ongoing zone that slows and slides enemies in a patch of ice and so on.   He doesnt have one that makes an enemy attack there ally (but you can flavor text a cleave to work exactly that way but its based on strength so it doesnt feel like it)
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 


I work off of the principle of "Is it DnD?"  I could care less about the mechanics personally.    



100% agreed.



That could easily be used as the basis for a request that you leave those who do care to make influence the choices then? couldnt it?

I dont think you mean it.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

Well I am not a fan of weapon based fighting styles on rangers. I prefer them to have more enemy and location based fighting styles.

More reactive and broadly situational.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

I would be fine with moving away from weapon specialties and focusing on the other parts of the ranger package.

As for the Rangers place in the game I like going with the 4e version.  In combat he is the martial skirmisher.  He is moble and versitile, dipping in and out of combat and switching with ease between melee and ranged. He hunts his enemies with ruthless efficiency and always has a trick up his sleeve to get out of a tight situation.  Outside of combat he is the guide and scout.

Of course this works because the fighter isn't a ridiculously broad class that does everything to do with weapons (a concept that I hate with the burning passion of a thousand suns.)

I work off of the principle of "Is it DnD?"  I could care less about the mechanics personally.    



100% agreed.



That could easily be used as the basis for a request that you leave those who do care to make the choices then? couldnt it?

I dont think you mean it. 



I don't think you type coherent english; however, I'll humor you just this once.  Note after this, I'm not responding to the issue of same vs different game mechanics due to it being off topic for this thread. 

I'm not worried about same / differing game mechanics.  I do prefer different mechanics for different classes.  However, I have bought, played and enjoyed 4e where there were strong mechanical similarities between classes.  This should be evidenced by my continued support for DDI (it's an icon under my user name).  

So, I push for something I feel is more DnD.  That's a matter of personal opinion.  I can usually make a good case and, unlike some people's typing ability, a coherent case for my opinions.  I don't discount the other side of the argument; I think some points are very valid.  Ultimately, I don't think some of those arguments for similar mechanics are as valid.  In many cases, the primary argument boil down to differing mechanics cannot be balanced; I disagree with this.  I do think it's harder to balance differing mechanics; I don't subscribe to the belief that it is impossible.   

I don't speak for Hocus; that's just my view on it.

I work off of the principle of "Is it DnD?"  I could care less about the mechanics personally.    



100% agreed.



That could easily be used as the basis for a request that you leave those who do care to make the choices then? couldnt it?

I dont think you mean it. 



I don't think you type coherent english;  



See you didnt mean couldnt care less about the mechanics?  But you love to attack others.

  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

I've been thinking that maybe the Ranger should be a master of getting and manipulating advantage in addition to tracking.  Gaining numbers of free advantages per day and the ability to the benefits granted by it.  Maybe trading it for extra attacks, so that both rolls have the potential to strike, or giving his foe disadvantage. I'm not sure if it'd work or what options he should get, but it would be different than the fighter which seems to be the plan for the different classes.

I work off of the principle of "Is it DnD?"  I could care less about the mechanics personally.    



100% agreed.



That could easily be used as the basis for a request that you leave those who do care to make the choices then? couldnt it?

I dont think you mean it. 



I don't think you type coherent english;  



See you didnt mean couldnt care less about the mechanics?  But you love to attack others.




It wasn't wholely an attack.  I just get tired of having to figure out what you're trying to say.  It gets old after awhile.  I still don't think you understand the post.  If DDN had similar mechanics for class, I would probably play and enjoy it.  I just wouldn't play it with some of my friends to object to it. 

1d20 >>> roll a one.   That's pretty much what you did in your assessment of my "not caring about mechanics" remark.  If you don't see that, I'm not going to waste time explaining it you.  That's the end of that discussion.  I'm not posting off topic anymore in this thread.

I do apologize for going off topic; I find somethings that get posted as entertaining...  I apologize for that.    
I've been thinking that maybe the Ranger should be a master of getting and manipulating advantage in addition to tracking.  Gaining numbers of free advantages per day and the ability to the benefits granted by it.  Maybe trading it for extra attacks, so that both rolls have the potential to strike, or giving his foe disadvantage. I'm not sure if it'd work or what options he should get, but it would be different than the fighter which seems to be the plan for the different classes.



The best suggestion to date has been Orzel's in my opinion.  It incorporates a past feature in a new and innovative way.  That's not to say that different features couldn't be used to augment it.  It really depends on what you're driving at.  You just need to flesh it out some more before I could even begin to form an opinion on it...
I think I agree with the original poster over all on this one. I dont see rangers as having one fighting style. Its not like Aragorn and the D-man used the same fighting style or weaponry.

In the Lord of the Rings the Rangers/Were a race or culture that is very remeniscent of half elves.

A Half-elf Fighter, Rogue or Warlord with appropriate backgrounds and or specialties seems to cover it for me, but that pretty much isnt going to happen.

 
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

I wouldn't mind seeing something newish, like their "fighting style" mirrors either what they tend to hunt, or what they hunt with.

Boar Pets/Giant hunting and spears?  WolvesPets/Medium humannoid hunting and two weapon? Bear pet/small humanoid hunting and two-handers?  Hawk Pets/Phanatan Hunting and archery?
Is there a type of creature that requires two swords to hunt? I've always thought the two-weapon fighting disctinction on the ranger was out of place.
Well if we want to figure out how the Ranger should work we ought to start by looking at we want all Rangers to be able to do.

My thoughts:

Fight effectively, but in a way that promotes defence as Rangers often work alone.
Tracking
Determine the weaknesses of conventional creatures (granting advantage)
Navigating the wilderness

Some Divine powers?
Read messages left by other rangers (runes)?
Finding and leaving supply caches appropirate to the environment left by other rangers?
Is there a type of creature that requires two swords to hunt? I've always thought the two-weapon fighting disctinction on the ranger was out of place.



Shush.  I'm hunting Drow...
Ranger shouldn't have weapon and armor fighting styles, they should have enemy and environment based fighting style. To me the fighter and ranger are opposite in source of theme. The fighter is internal whereas the ranger is external

The fighter is defined by his weapons and armor and how he or she uses them.
The ranger is defined by his favored enemy and environment and how he or she applies the experience or information on them.

While the fighter is picking her heavy weapon move and archery technique, the ranger chooses to use his desert training in light armor for +1 AC and dealing with goblins and bugbears to apply disadvantage when attacked by hidden or invisible creatures and negate the disadvantage when attacking them.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

Ranger shouldn't have weapon and armor fighting styles, they should have enemy and environment based fighting style. To me the fighter and ranger are opposite in source of theme. The fighter is internal whereas the ranger is external

The fighter is defined by his weapons and armor and how he or she uses them.
The ranger is defined by his favored enemy and environment and how he or she applies the experience or information on them.

While the fighter is picking her heavy weapon move and archery technique, the ranger chooses to use his desert training in light armor for +1 AC and dealing with goblins and bugbears to apply disadvantage when attacked by hidden or invisible creatures and negate the disadvantage when attacking them.



Might be a good idea to post a link to your old thread on it.  Just a thought.
Is there a type of creature that requires two swords to hunt? I've always thought the two-weapon fighting disctinction on the ranger was out of place.



Shush.  I'm hunting Drow...



Now that's funny.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

I personally think that a lot of the 'window dressing' of the ranger could be subsumed pretty well by the inclusion of Backgrounds and speciality (there's your archer and dual wielding ranger right there, as well as a little bit of your spell-casting 1e ranger with Magic User...).

Then, I think the ranger as a class could focus more on abilities which made it distinct from a fighter (or paladin) and a rogue. Conceptually, I'd like to see the ranger occupy a space between fighter and rogue (like I'd like to see the paladin occupy a space between fighter and cleric).

My own personal "off the top of my head" stuff would be attack bonuses advancing largely like fighters, but with weapon and armor proficiencies excluding heavy armor, shields, and heavy weapons. I'd put them with d8 hit dice rather than the d10 of fighters as well. 

Instead of the Sneak Attack damage, I'd put boosted damage against favored enemies. Given that damage is less conditional (in some ways) I'd give it less 'oomph' than sneak attack damage. I wouldn't make it hard to pick up more favored enemies, though. I don't have a specific idea for that, but I'm sure it wouldn't be too hard to generate.

Other than that, I'd create an "outdoorsman" background that included Animal Handling, Natural Lore, and Survival.  The background trait would be being able to live off the land without requiring survival rolls (so, the Knight can get you lodging in some areas, and the Outdoorsman can take care of you in others).  Like Rogues, rangers would get this background automatically, and could pick another (this would let you create the bounty hunting ranger, as distinct from a scouting ranger with spy, or a more militaristic ranger with Soldier. 

I'd also like to see the natural companion, either as a class thing, or as another speciality (but beefier companions than the familiar of the Magic User speciality). Doing this well would also enable the Paladin with Warhorse and the Druid with Animal companion build, without requiring writing up rules for 3 classes. 


This is all part of my own personal feeling that Cleric, Fighter, Rogue, and Wizard are the 'big four' and you only need to create other classes that are a combination of those:

Bard=rogue/wizard
Ranger=Rogue/fighter
Paladin=cleric/fighter
 etc. 
The necromancer gets a beefier companion, maybe something like that?

I don't think the ranger's bonus damage (if it goes that way) should come from static bonuses vs. specific creature types, I support the Orzell idea for Ranger favored enemy and terrain. If extra damage is a must a quarry type power or maybe just the companion creature, would be more than adequate. 
My first reaction to this tittle was "What?? You can't get rid of the ranger's fighting styles! They are key to the class!". After that, I read the suggestion of focusing on enviroment and favored enemy and I totally changed my mind. That makes much more sense.

I would make it so that having a favored enemy granted you different benefits that each applied to a medium sized amount of cases (not so big as "in combat" not so small as "when fighting a kobold sorcerer that cast magic missile") and which should probably have a small overlap. In that overlap would be "fighting your favored enemy" so that against them all your benefits are on. Same thing with dealing with an enviroment.

For example, favoring dragons as enemies you could get:
-Bonus to archery against flying creatures
-Ranger-esque tricks to resist elemental attacks, such as preparing your armor to resist acid using a combination of herbs
-Facility to track down the movement of magic items (dragons love their hoards) and general advantages in the commerce area
Each of this would only help in particular situations, but when hunting a dragon, they would probably all be useful.
Is there a type of creature that requires two swords to hunt? I've always thought the two-weapon fighting disctinction on the ranger was out of place.



Requires?  Not really, but you could rationalize that it gives you an advantage against certain foes or befits animal fighting styles.

"Like a wolf pack wearing down its foes with nips to the heal before they bring down their prey, the two-weapon fighting ranger tires a foe with a barage of attacks from all points before delievering a final two-fanged strike" 

"Not wanting to match the Orcs blow for blow with a two-handed weapon, or have a shield ripped away by their axes, the ranger employs two weapons to keep his foe off balance till he can deliver a fatal strike".

Granted, you can do that with just about anything.

"Drawing back his bow and taking aim, the ranger lets lose an arrow to bring down his foe...because hitting someone from a distance before they can hit you is a really good plan."

I, personally, have don't mind the Ranger's fighting style, But I can absolutely see why people would want it out and I honestly wouldn't miss it.

I agree that the Ranger, to me, is more of a predator. Sort of the gap between Fighter and Rogue. They track and hunt as efficiently as possible. They're not in the swordplay business, they're in the killing business. What I'd like out of the Ranger class is continuations of the Favored Enemy and Environment features and features based on improving Accuracy and Critical Range at the sacrifice of a High AC. They're strikers.

Rest assured though that this is very likely to all happen. After all, Archery and Two-Weapon Fighting are specialties now which means it's very likely they won't be needed as class features. If you want to play the archer or two weapon ranger, pick the specialty.

On a different note, I wouldn't mind a link to Orzel's post.
I think the Ranger's combat style should be focused on a skirmish style fighting, which often means two-weapon fighting or a bow from a sniping standpoint. The idea, possibly, came from the fact that Rangers were woodland defenders and because of that terrain, it's extreamly difficult to fit into the sorts of spots they're accustomed to with a big Shield or a Polearm. Tight, confining spaces leaves little room for BIG weapons and a Bow can be unstrung enough not to hinder movement as are two weapons belted to your sides. Additionally, Rangers are supposed to be fast, quick hit ambushers and thus, striking twice has a better chance of bringing down your target than playing the out-last your opponent style more Sword/Board guys are prone to do.

Would I be terribly upset if they got rid of these mechanics fully? No, probably not because the Ranger class isn't really something I hunger to play, but I do see why these mechanics were incorporated into the base class, at least from a concept POV. Additionally, 4E rangers had three other styles besides TWF an Archery to focus on, the Beast Master (used an animal companin to help fight), Marauder (used off-hand throwing weapon to hamper opponents), and Hunter (a combo of Ranged and Melee attacks = versatility).
I want to see the Ranger as more of a Druid/Rogue than a Fighter/Rogue. I know the Ranger has always been a warrior, though, so I suppose that won't happen.

But I don't want to see the Ranger be left without their druidic spells another edition.

For the OP, though, I too would love to see their combat styles go away. The paladin doesn't need "bonus feats" like the fighter to be a good warrior; similarly, the ranger doesn't need them either. If they want to focus on a fighting style, take the specialty. 
I want to see the Ranger as more of a Druid/Rogue than a Fighter/Rogue. I know the Ranger has always been a warrior, though, so I suppose that won't happen.

But I don't want to see the Ranger be left without their druidic spells another edition.  



Like in 1st edition... pew pew ... magic missile.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 



Give the Ranger an Animal Companion, make him a versatile warrior that can swap between melee and range with ease, give him nature-based skills (tracking, surviving, hunting, etc.) and give him a way to become experienced at fighting particular enemies or tactics.

I very much agree with Orzel's suggestion, it has great Ranger flavour. The problem is, in DDN, each class has something that makes them interesting in combat. Fighters have expertise dice, rogues have sneak attacks and such, clerics and wizards and sorcers and warlocks all have magical abilities. The question is, what makes a ranger fun to play in combat in DDN?

The way I see it, the three main features of the ranger is his favoured enemy, his animal companion, and his limited selection of nature spells.
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