Reskinning the Beastmaster

34 posts / 0 new
Last post
So I see a lot of fun potential with the beastmaster ranger, not just for those who want to have a furry friend, but as a mechanical framework for different concepts. With a good DM, players should be able to take this mechanic and 'reskin' its flavour to be any number of fun character ideas. A few that came to mind for me were...

1. Combat Artificer! (melee ranger) Charging into the fray alongside your latest mechanical creation, you put it through its paces on the field of battle, as often bringing your hammer and wrench down on your enemies' skulls as on the loose bolts and rivets of your prototype war machine.

2. Demonbinder! (ranged ranger) With your eldritch implement (reflavoured bow) in hand, you blast away at your foes while the unholy (or elemental, fey, etc) creature bound to your will stalks among them, delivering powerful strikes at your command.

3. Sensei! (either or) As a veteran of many battles, you've sufficient skill that you've taken on a pupil. Perhaps you keep your distance, backing your student up at range, or perhaps you leap into the fray alongside, showing step by step exactly how to strike effectively.

That's all I can think of for starters, but there's a lot of room for fun in there. Maybe you're guided/protected by an ancestral spirit, for example. What do you fine folk think, and do you have any ideas of your own?
(I employ zie/zie/zir as a gender-neutral counterpart to he/him/his. Just a heads-up.) Essentials definitely isn't for me as a player, and I feel that its design and implementation bear serious flaws which fill me with concern for the future of D&D, but I've come to the conclusion that it isn't going to destroy the game that I want to play. Indeed, I think that I could probably run a game for players using Essentials characters without it being much of a problem at all. Time will tell, I suppose.
4. I Think I'm a Clone Now (Melee Ranger) Somehow, there's two of you. Might as well work with it, right?

5. Cursed Companion (Either) Some horrible curse has befallen your friend/lover/family member, and has forced them into an unnatural form. You journey together to find a way to break that curse.

A list of CharOp Handbooks I'm currently updating:

Heart of the Dragon: A Dragonborn's Handbook

Infernal Wrath: A Tiefling's Handbook

6. Force Spirit (or, Reverse Sensei). Your ancient master has passed on, but his spirit is so strongly connected to yours that he can manifest as a weak, but physically potent, version of himself. As he assists you in battle, he keeps up a constant string of advice and criticism about your fighting style. (Bonus xp for roleplaying him as an annoying git?)
7. Terrible Parent(either) You brought your kid along for the adventure because your ex just couldn't put up their antics, and it's your weekend with the little one anyway. If you've gotta take 'em into the dungeon, might as well get some work out of them.
8.The Guardian of the Blind you were once a strong warrior, good-eyed and pretty smart, but an evil alchemist spilled corrosive acid into your eyes leaving you blinded (so you would loose the competition to the alchemist's son), youhave a pet, and in time you've grown closer to it, your pet usually make strange noises to point out your enemies so you can plant an arrowhead or the tip of your sword in their hearts.
9. OMG MAH KITTAY EATED UR FACE

Your tiny kitten fights along side you.
Resident Piggles Zombie piggy is eatin' your sigs om nom nom (>*o*)>
MTG Card
Front: PigKnight, One Line Poster (3W) Legendary Creature - Boar Knight Vigilance When this creature dies, return him to play and transform him. (2/3) >(5/3)< Back: (Black)ZombiePiggles, Eater of Tomato Sauce Legendary Creature - Boar Knight Zombie Trample, Intimidate B: Regenerate this creature. When this creature is the target of a white spell, transform this creature. (5/3)

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/15.jpg)

10. Dread Necromancer Your ghastly undead creations follow you about, while you fight in melee with the necrotic energy suffusing your body. For a more overt reskin, replace every mention of Str with Cha and Wis with Int, trade weapons for implements, and make your powers deal necrotic damage instead.
These ideas are fantastic. I would like to do so much with some of these ideas...too bad I have so many character concepts already rolling about.Good work all!
These ideas are fantastic. I would like to do so much with some of these ideas...too bad I have so many character concepts already rolling about.Good work all!

Yeah, they're terrific! I was kind of keeping away from the thread until a few more ideas came in, but even if we never see a #11, I think what we have is excellent. I'd love to play a Dread Necromancer, and I think 'Terrible Parent' wins the internet (or at least three s) for its wonderful wrongness. Way to go. :D
(I employ zie/zie/zir as a gender-neutral counterpart to he/him/his. Just a heads-up.) Essentials definitely isn't for me as a player, and I feel that its design and implementation bear serious flaws which fill me with concern for the future of D&D, but I've come to the conclusion that it isn't going to destroy the game that I want to play. Indeed, I think that I could probably run a game for players using Essentials characters without it being much of a problem at all. Time will tell, I suppose.
#11 Carrie

Psychokinetic and her kinetic eidolon :D
#12 Final Fantasy X Summoner

- Yuna summoning her big beastly companion to fight with or for her. Companion buffing exploits could be explained as swapping the primary companion for another one more useful for that moment.
1. Combat Artificer! (melee ranger)

Ranged Ranger works too. I still miss my 3.5 Artificer's that ran into combat, wands ablaze. Magic missles and scorching rays being fired across the battlefield.
13. Fangirl/fanboy. You've got a fan! A dedicated, total, eager, devoted, has-a-shrine-to-you-in-their-bedroom, celebrity-blog-posting, costume-wearing, stalker fan! Follows you everywhere, and even already has an outfit which matches yours in every minute, creepy detail. Worships the ground you walk on, and carries a sample of it around in a vial around their neck. Really, really, really, truly wants to be a big, brave, butt-kicking adventurer just like you, and is willing to do anything you say. Anything...
14. Combat Butler/Battlemaid.
A smashing bit of adventuring is just the thing for impressing the lads around the lodge, by Jove. That's why you must travel lightly, and ruggedly- and take your loyal retainer along to carry your spare clothes, and wig collection, and dispatch any ruffians that threaten your esteemed person.

For added realism, make the ranger the Butler, but deliver all dialogue through the companion/ noble. The ranger will have the personality of cardboard, but will never fail to apply the smelling salts when you succumb to injury, even when the rest of the party really wish he wouldn't bother.
14. Combat Butler/Battlemaid.
A smashing bit of adventuring is just the thing for impressing the lads around the lodge, by Jove. That's why you must travel lightly, and ruggedly- and take your loyal retainer along to carry your spare clothes, and wig collection, and dispatch any ruffians that threaten your esteemed person.

For added realism, make the ranger the Butler, but deliver all dialogue through the companion/ noble. The ranger will have the personality of cardboard, but will never fail to apply the smelling salts when you succumb to injury, even when the rest of the party really wish he wouldn't bother.

Oh dear, I think I may have just found my next character :D

...that is, for the next time I actually get to hop out of the DMs chair...

You get a

~C
Seems kind of obvious to me, but how about a Pokemon master or whatever they're called.
People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf. --George Orwell There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people. --Howard Zinn He who fights with monsters must take care lest he thereby become a monster. --Friedrich Nietzsche Devil\'s Brigade
Seems kind of obvious to me, but how about a Pokemon master or whatever they're called.

"Beastmaster Ranger." :D
(I employ zie/zie/zir as a gender-neutral counterpart to he/him/his. Just a heads-up.) Essentials definitely isn't for me as a player, and I feel that its design and implementation bear serious flaws which fill me with concern for the future of D&D, but I've come to the conclusion that it isn't going to destroy the game that I want to play. Indeed, I think that I could probably run a game for players using Essentials characters without it being much of a problem at all. Time will tell, I suppose.
15. Six-Man Party.* What? Your companion is actually just another PC you get to control, whatever class you really wanted to play (within the companion's limited ability to mimic it) but someone else picked first. Heck, make it an exact copy of their character and then have it pantomime their every action - fun for the whole party! Works especially well if you hate the current game and want it to end - via in-fighting, or the DM actually mistaking it for another PC and over-CR-TPKing your party.

*Note: Please, really, do not try this at home. I was kidding, honest.

16. Nameless One. The dude from that Planescape game has decided to tag along, trying to end his wangsty existence once and for all. Despite his constant inability to D-I-E, he's absolutely certain (from a vision, divine inspiration, or sheer stubbornness) that if he just hangs around long enough, you'll find a way to off 'im for good. Here's hoping it's soon...he's really starting to annoy you.
I like the Dread Necromancer idea and the Combat Butler/Battlemaid. I was going to make a Rogue for my next LFR character, but I think I may just have to go with that Butler concept.

Of course, that's *if* it's allowed. I'm not sure whether or not the RPGA allows reskinning of existing classes.

#17. Poison Ivy You have an innate control of plants. So much so that you can even command them to bunch up and take on a physical form which can fight on your behalf. Better how the enemies don't have any weed killer.

#18. Adventurous Honeymoon Your wife/husband wanted to do something different for their honeymoon. Well, the Jones' weekend in Waterdeep will be nothing compared to your weeklong trek into the Undermountain!
5. Cursed Companion (Either) Some horrible curse has befallen your friend/lover/family member, and has forced them into an unnatural form. You journey together to find a way to break that curse.

The Ladyhawke Variation: By day, you're Rutger Hauer with a raptor companion; by night, you're Michelle Pfeiffer with a wolf companion. Bonus points if a teammate plays Leo McKern!
This one's mechanically very similar to TildeSee's 'Carrie', but with a very specific setting-related flavour.

20. Of Two Minds. As a Kalashtar, you've spent every moment of your existence as a being of two minds in one body. Through intensive study and meditation, however, you've learned a psionic technique which allows you to alter your very nature. By maintaining your psionic focus you can manifest your inner Quori spirit as a projection of solid ectoplasm, allowing you to turn your unique psychology into a numerical advantage.


This one's very similar to 'Sensei' and 'I Think I'm A Clone Now', but the particulars are slightly unique, and have some really fun roleplay potential (provided your DM doesn't throw something sharp at you for bringing The Most Dangerous Plot Element Imaginable into zir game...). Props to Red Dwarf and Night Watch.

21. Ouroboros. However it happened, be it a teleportation ritual gone awry, the cruel prank of a trickster deity, or a side-effect of being in Cyre on the Day of Mourning, you've been sent back into what is, to you, the past. While here, you've run into your younger self, and suddenly realized the identity of that mysterious old friend who was always saving you from peril. Yep, it's you, and you better hop to, because that idiot is trying to slay a dragon. Remember how well that went? Yikes, he snuffed it? Better rez him quick! You want to continue existing, don't you? Oh, now he thinks it'd be a good idea to pick a bar fight with four very large bugbears. Gods, why were you so stupid?!


Finally, this one is because the Spot was always my favourite Spider-Man villain, and because I played a certain game* waaaay too many times.

22. This Was a Triumph... Before becoming a warrior, you had a dream of being the greatest Nomad (or teleportation conjurer) who ever lived. You'd cross continents, worlds, planes in the blink of an eye. You worked hard, applied yourself, did nothing but study the principles of psychoportation... and were absolutely horrible at it. The most you could ever manage to do was create short-range portals too small for you to get more than a couple of limbs through, much less an entire body. Now, however, you use your limited gift to be as near as anyone can to two places at once on the battlefield. You strike at your foe's left flank, then plunge your weapon through a shimmering vortex to slash at their right flank. Your dual offensive will only hold up as long as the spacial anomaly you've manifested remains intact, so it's a good thing you can invest your own life force to maintain it despite the disruption of your enemies' attacks. All in all, it's hard to overstate your satisfaction...

__
* The cake is a lie. The cake is a lie. The cake is a lie. The cake is a lie. The cake is a lie. The cake is a lie. The cake is a lie.
(I employ zie/zie/zir as a gender-neutral counterpart to he/him/his. Just a heads-up.) Essentials definitely isn't for me as a player, and I feel that its design and implementation bear serious flaws which fill me with concern for the future of D&D, but I've come to the conclusion that it isn't going to destroy the game that I want to play. Indeed, I think that I could probably run a game for players using Essentials characters without it being much of a problem at all. Time will tell, I suppose.
23. Was It All a Dream? It really *is* all you! During one play session, *you* are the ranger and you have a companion who happens to also be a Ranger. Next play session, you are the companion (who happens to be a Ranger) to a Ranger. Hilarity ensues when you try to convince your DM that you got confused because you thought you were the companion this time.

24. Do Not Taunt Happy Fun Ball! Your companion is a yellow bouncy ball of uncortrollable energy. You can keep it in check ... barely. http://snltranscripts.jt.org/90/90mhappyfunball.phtml
25: The Sorcerer's Apprentice

You've since left the obnoxious wizard, but you can't ditch the broom, even when you try to kill it. (Accidentally animated household objects. Like a hose that is now a snake).

26: I Call Him, "Mini-me"

No, it's not a halfling.

27: Frankenstein's Monster

It only lets you near it with a weapon if you're using it to attack something else.

28: Buddy Cops

Make one PC into a self-contained overdone comedy plot within the greater campaign.

29: Pirate Captain


Gotta have a parrot and use scimitars. Arrghh!

30: Last Chancer

You are a commando who's job is to take military criminals (bears) on suicide missions. Make sure to treat the criminals as expendable, and keep track of how long each lives.
30: Last Chancer

You are a commando who's job is to take military criminals (bears) on suicide missions. Make sure to treat the criminals as expendable, and keep track of how long each lives.

This is very creative and cool, in a thread I'd thought for a moment had exhausted all the "good ones". Kudos Drill!

(Though I think "Terrible Parent" still wins the thread! :P)
7. Terrible Parent(either) You brought your kid along for the adventure because your ex just couldn't put up their antics, and it's your weekend with the little one anyway. If you've gotta take 'em into the dungeon, might as well get some work out of them.

While funny as hell, this could actually be a pretty cool concept to use in a serious game. There are plenty of reasons why a grizzled old adventurer may be forced to have his child along with him. The classic example, of course, being that you can't very well leave the kid behind, or your enemies will go after him to try to get to you.

I actually really like the idea. I think I'll use it when I get a chance to play a new 4e game...
31: anyone read jojos bizarre adventure

its your stand!
It's your stand!

Or, if it's that dog, the ranger is the stand.

(Jojo is old school!)
7. Terrible Parent(either) You brought your kid along for the adventure because your ex just couldn't put up their antics, and it's your weekend with the little one anyway. If you've gotta take 'em into the dungeon, might as well get some work out of them.

Or more seriously as Lone Wolf and Cub.
32. For the Ladies

Your companion is a flock of mystical faerie folk who you have befriended on the course of your journeys. They love to play pranks on your other companions and defend you to the bitter end from any harm or danger that might befall you.


For this one I suggest the Raptor beast companion and potentially multiclassing (or using the Half-elf race) to pick up some Fey-pact warlock powers. Also, the title is a joke so don't be offended ladies. I just imagined it as kind of a "fairy princess" type character. I currently play a [male] gnome warlock that fights using a pack of magical green squirrels and butterflies. Clearly any class and or sex could benefit from a flock of tiny creatures.

Actually...

32. SQUIRRELS!!!

Your companion is a pack of squirrels. Their "nutty" antics confuse and mystify your opponents.

This one probably works best using the Cat stat block.
33: The Stray
Your animal isn't so much a companion as a mangy mutt that won't leave you alone, constantly begging food and getting underfoot. The only upside is that its misplaced loyalty also places it under your enemies' feet.

34: Dennis
You are a great and noble knight, cursed with a clumsy, cowardly and incompetent squire. Hilarity ensues, particularly when he inadvertently saves you.

35: sinneD
You are a skilled and competent squire, cursed with a clumsy, half-deaf, mostly blind and generally incompetent knight. He spends most of his time sleeping or wondering what's going on while you do all the hard work. Of course he gets all the honor.
36. Dennis the Menace He means well ... really. But having your neighbors 7 year old brat underfoot all the time makes things kind of complicated. Coupled with the fact that he is usually getting into more trouble than you would like and the fact that he is dangerous to *anyone* he is around, you would be better off with a just a dog.

37. Clifford, the big red dog Holy crap! He's larger than *you* are! But he wouldn't hurt a fly (well, he *would* since licking a fly would drown it in drool.) He'll lick the enemy long before biting them. In fact, the enemy would probably run away just from his sheer size ... don't let him near them because when they see his true nature, they'll laugh at you.

38. Fellowship Your "companion" is more like a member of your fraternal order or some other fellowship. They have an obligation to stand by your side, whether they agree with you or not. They have a mind of their own and aren't afraid to express it. Sometimes, what they want will *not* have your best interests at heart.

39. Bounty Hunter's Bounty You captured your bounty; now, you need to make sure they get delivered. You don't care if they die, so much as that they are alive when you deliver them for your reward. They do what you say because they know that you could easily just kill them and drop the "or alive" part of the bounty.....
40.) Druid Buddy: You guys have been best friends for a while. To help you in combat, your Druid buddy wildshapes at the beginning of combat into animal form to help you be more effective.

A list of CharOp Handbooks I'm currently updating:

Heart of the Dragon: A Dragonborn's Handbook

Infernal Wrath: A Tiefling's Handbook

41: The Hero's Chronicler
Every great hero needs someone to shape his deeds into poetry. Naturally he has to witness your great adventures himself so he can give an accurate report of your heroic heroicness. Can be played straight (with some difficulty), for laughs, or reversed, with the hero dictating or perhaps writing himself while the chronicler (the Ranger) performs the actual deeds.
42. You haven't got an animal companion, you're the animal kingdom's companion. Wherever you are in trouble, some genereic critter runs out to help you. You can't really explain it, but it's a nice perk.
Resident Shakespeare