The excitement of the good old days of 4e

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I actually found beastmaster ranger to be more fun to play than Archer ot Two Weapons Ranger...but nobody play those (thought the only great beast companion is from certain paragon path...so you are stuck with a terrible pet during the first 10 levels...)

I found the Cat familiar to be quite entertaining. The RP dimensions of it were certainly a lot of fun. I think they could have added a couple more interesting PPs though. Vidalis Griffonmaster is a good fun PP, but it is pretty niche. I'd love to have seen a more generic "Lord of the Beasts" sort of PP (imagine basically Tarzan as a PP).
That is not dead which may eternal lie
I actually found beastmaster ranger to be more fun to play than Archer ot Two Weapons Ranger...but nobody play those (thought the only great beast companion is from certain paragon path...so you are stuck with a terrible pet during the first 10 levels...)


It's only useless statistically. And if that is the only way you think to play the game then I would hate to play with you.

It got some sort of bad rap. If you actually add up the numbers the BM ranger is so trivially close to the other two options that it isn't even worth worrying about (seriously, you might be doing say 130 damage at level 20 vs 150, big wow). Plus you get an animal, which is pretty cool.

This option and its dissing by charops shows the worst of the sometimes herd mentality that can happen there. Someone right at the start peed on beast master and nobody over there ever seems to have actually gone back and realized the original analysis was flawed. It was just accepted as gospel.
That is not dead which may eternal lie

Still the whole thought of one to think of only statistics when picking a pet irritates me greatly. I feel that if a ranger Beastmaster just throws his pet away at paragon level then he shouldn't even be a beastmaster. You should roleplay you pet, and ranger to show a connection between them (bad and good).   



The thing is...some of those pets end up being weaker than me attacking with my bare fist with the ranger than using them, it's not about min/max or charop thing, it's freaking ridiculous how terrible they are, fey beast tamer theme companions are better than most of them with the exception of the griphon...and that's a theme.  There is a diference between not optimizing...and sabotaging yourself taking trap options with you knowing it's trap options, it would be disrespectful to the other players to do so...in this case, i blame the one that designed the beastmaster options, and wotc R&D not to errata fix it/buff it to atleast make the option being competent, and i don't mean competent agains the other ranger option, but against the other classes in general (and i don't mean damage output).

Outside of the gryphon...you end up better going into another class and taking fey beast tamer, reskin the theme and the beast companion and you still fit the same character concept.

Again, this is just nonsense. The BMR is NOT MECHANICALLY INFERIOR to any of the other ranger options. Just considering the archer and TBF from PHB1:

Archer vs BMR - Archer gets a free feat which is useful, but not extraordinary and rarely kicks in. His other advantage is prime shot, which is not BAD, but you usually avoid actually needing it if possible. Its prime use is a feat pre-req. The Prime * feats are VERY nice, but there are so many feats out there now that you can do 90% as well without access to those specific couple of feats. Access to Battlefield Archer is usually also sited as an advantage but the Sniper PP is at least as good as BA and available to any ranger. Pick a flying BC and you gain flexible HQ placement plus you have a nice scout that can block and do OAs in a tight spot. This easily makes up for the lost archer options.

TBF vs BMR - BMR can still fight effectively with 2 weapons, he's just got to take an off-hand weapon for his second weapon. This means a 1d6 weapon vs a 1d10 weapon (assuming feat used to get bastard sword), so you lost avg 2 points of damage when you have to use the off-hand weapon. You also lose Toughness, which is a nice feat but again not a tragic loss. In return for your loss of avg about .25 DPR and a moderately nice feat you gain a blocker that if it absorbs ONE hit for the party per day makes up for the toughness and then some, can do OAs, scout, generally be a blocker, and even allow for a beast power or two which CAN be useful to add a bit of control/defense to your ranger. Combined with things like Spiked Chain path and Beast Protector, etc. You also have fun things like Beast Rider which can be quite cool.

You're right that beasts ATTACKS are not anything special and should generally be ignored, but that's only a small part of the story for beasts. There's a reason they have weak attacks. It is because of how awesome having a beast is in EVERY other way.

Of course the "Fey Beast Tamer" argument is a decent one. The fey beast is a pretty good deal and a ranger could pick that theme AND TBF/Archer/Hunter and probably be better off. Oh well. Heck, you can have TWO beasts if you want to take both options...
That is not dead which may eternal lie

 COmpare 3.5 Rnager to the 4th ed ranger. 4th ed ranger is just damage. Of course 3.5 had its bad classes and overpowered classes but it felt more organic bad word maybe) that 4th ed. This was probably due to 3.5 multiclass rules and the way you built your character was a large part of the fun in 3.5.

 4th ed was alot more linear if that makes any sense. It was at least good at doing what it was designed to do. The kicker being what if you did not like the linear progression or tactical combat aspects of D&D. 4th ed got better in that regard as the game expanded via splats and the like but it felt clunky. Star Wars Saga would release a new talent tree of maybe half a page, 3.5 would release a feat chain, 4th ed would release a new character option like the tempest fighter or a new class.

 Didn't help the 4th ed bloat situation.



Okay, lets examine the special ranger features

Favored Enemy:  Pretty much just damage, although bloats a few skill rolls
Wild Empathy:  All rangers are great at communicating with animals!
Woodland Stride, Swift Tracker, Camouflage, Hide in Plain Sight - Rolled into the Stealth/Survival skills

So pretty much if you want to play any other type of ranger than a wilderness exploring "in tune with animals" characture you're doomed.  Why is Drizzt a Ranger?  No idea.  He was raised in Drow society, I have no idea how he learned how to track, or be in touch with nature, or hide in the woods - he was born and raised underground!  

4E rolled it all into more abstracted skills.  Did it lose some flavor?  Perhaps.  But it allowed a LOT more self-generated flavor rather than book-generated flavor.  

A 4E ranger can be good at whatever the player wants him to be, rather than being "wilderness guy."  With a favored enemy for whatever reason.



 One of the 1st Humans Drizzt met on the surface was a Ranger and trained Drizzt. In 2nd ed he basically retrained his fighter levels out and took Ranger ones although he kept weapon specialisation. In 3.5 He was something like a level 11 Fighter/Barbarian1/Ranger 5 and in 4th ed he was something like a level 21 Solo IIRC. 3.5 handled his build the best in terms of his back ground but it was terrible from an optimisation standpoint.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

to be fair, two-blade ranger in fourth edition fits him to a T - so while he officially might be a monster or whatever, he would likely be best designed in 4th (although i might be wrong here, but i think the two blade ranegr was heavily inspired by him in the first place)

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/8.jpg)

to be fair, two-blade ranger in fourth edition fits him to a T - so while he officially might be a monster or whatever, he would likely be best designed in 4th (although i might be wrong here, but i think the two blade ranegr was heavily inspired by him in the first place)

Yeah, I'd imagine a Drow TBF ranger would pretty much exactly cover it. You might perhaps need a theme somewhere in there or a PP/ED of whatever sorts to add in something or other but honestly I don't think I've ever read the novels... lol.

I have to say though, 4e's monster stat blocks definitely let you cover a lot of stuff quite well if it isn't a PC. PERSONALLY I do all NPCs that way.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
to be fair, two-blade ranger in fourth edition fits him to a T - so while he officially might be a monster or whatever, he would likely be best designed in 4th (although i might be wrong here, but i think the two blade ranegr was heavily inspired by him in the first place)



 Other way around. IIRC rangers wer ethe onl class in 1st ed who could dual wield as a core mechanic. 2nd ed at least had it as an exlcusive rnager ability. 3.0 was the first edition where other classes apart form the ranger could dual wield in thecore rules. 2nd ed splats let fighters and other classes dual wield generally at the cost of weapon proficency slots.

3.0 gave us the best Drizzt in relation to his back ground, 4th ed gave us the best mechanical implementation of Drizzt. If Drizzt was constructed as a PC in 4th ed rules he would have been a tempest fighter multiclassed into ranger with some multiclass feats and skill training feats. It wouldn't have been a perfect adaption but it would have been the best Drizzt adaption mechanically, back ground not so much. Drizzt has cast the odd ranger spell in the books. Drizzt would also need some way to use his dex to hit as with 14 strength he would suck as a tempest fighter (he sucked mechanically in 3rd ed form a min/max POV).

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

to be fair, two-blade ranger in fourth edition fits him to a T - so while he officially might be a monster or whatever, he would likely be best designed in 4th (although i might be wrong here, but i think the two blade ranegr was heavily inspired by him in the first place)



 Other way around. IIRC rangers wer ethe onl class in 1st ed who could dual wield as a core mechanic. 2nd ed at least had it as an exlcusive rnager ability. 3.0 was the first edition where other classes apart form the ranger could dual wield in thecore rules. 2nd ed splats let fighters and other classes dual wield generally at the cost of weapon proficency slots.

3.0 gave us the best Drizzt in relation to his back ground, 4th ed gave us the best mechanical implementation of Drizzt. If Drizzt was constructed as a PC in 4th ed rules he would have been a tempest fighter multiclassed into ranger with some multiclass feats and skill training feats. It wouldn't have been a perfect adaption but it would have been the best Drizzt adaption mechanically, back ground not so much. Drizzt has cast the odd ranger spell in the books. Drizzt would also need some way to use his dex to hit as with 14 strength he would suck as a tempest fighter (he sucked mechanically in 3rd ed form a min/max POV).

There are no rules in 1e WRT rangers and dual wielding. In 1e any PC can dual wield but only a dagger or a hand axe can be used as the secondary weapon.

UA introduced weapon specialization rules and IIRC some form of more advanced dual wielding rules. It wasn't until 2e that special rules were applied to rangers (they can use most one-handed weapons together and can even use 2 equal sized weapons). The general rules for specialization then really leverage this to make it a nice option. I'd note though that fighters and even paladins can do it quite effectively, just not quite as well as a ranger.

In any case, 4e certainly carries it to an extreme where you practically cannot play a non-dual-wielding ranger effectively.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
I have to say, I do like the idea of how HP in DDN works. I want Arcane Power 2, Divine Power 2, and Primal Power 2 though for 4e....