Dual Wield Ranger Trope getting old

Hi, I'm new to the DDN playtesting and am generally liking what I see.  One thing is bugging me and that is the persistent railroading of close combat Rangers into the Dual Wield model.  

Of particular note is that we at first glance seem to be able to get back to the old days of a great weapon Ranger, axe/sword & shield Ranger, or Spear etc.  Then, when we think we'll be good to go chopping orcs with our Great Axe, we get Slayer's Hands shoved on us. 


I know Drizzt is a big hit. I'm a fan too. But I really can't stand the idea of being forced to use two weapons or lose a level benefit because I didn't fit the trope.  I can swallow the whole Ranger magic thing from 1st ed, but this pidgeon holed two weapon thing needs to go.


Nerd rant over.  Thanks for playin'   


        
Agreed.
100% agree!
Slayer's Hands isn't one of the ranger's base class abilities, it's in the Horde Breaker subclass. Would you consider the issue fixed if there was a subclass that focused on expertise in a single melee weapon? To me it seems like most classes could do with a third subclass, and many players appreciate the option of a strong dual-wield ranger build.
As is, the current ranger gets a wide range of proficiencies and the use of shields. I suspect that future favored enemy paths will focus on different fighting styles. I'd personally prefer them to downplay the fighting style with most ranger paths.
@Boudiceaborn - Actually, I'd like to just see a more open option that didn't pidgeonhole people into dual fighting.  They could create a second or third option just within Slayer's Hands that would solve the whole problem. Smile


It's like the 4E powers that would let you have a different effect based on what type of weapon you were using.  That was a great idea.
I imagine that, right now, we are testing the mechanics, not the entire game. They are hidden some features/subclasses for the game release. The wizard, for example, has 8 schools and on 3.x and lower editions, specalization on every one. The current packet show us only 3 (where is the necromancer? And, more important: the summoner. Right now we don't even have the summoning spells).

On the last monday "daily d&d" they said about the eldtrich knigth subclass (for a fighter that multiclass with wizard) and the warden for multiclass ranger. Maybe this subclasses will be presentend in the next package with the release of multiclassing. But we can imagine that, hopefully, we'll se a lot more options of subclasses on the future Player's Handbook (specailly because the subclass system is the main customize system).

I only die if I roll 1 -- lasts words of a 15th level fighter on a 3.5 table that I DMed.

I imagine that, right now, we are testing the mechanics, not the entire game. They are hidden some features/subclasses for the game release. The wizard, for example, has 8 schools and on 3.x and lower editions, specalization on every one. The current packet show us only 3 (where is the necromancer? And, more important: the summoner. Right now we don't even have the summoning spells).

On the last monday "daily d&d" they said about the eldtrich knigth subclass (for a fighter that multiclass with wizard) and the warden for multiclass ranger. Maybe this subclasses will be presentend in the next package with the release of multiclassing. But we can imagine that, hopefully, we'll se a lot more options of subclasses on the future Player's Handbook (specailly because the subclass system is the main customize system).



I would imagine we will definitely see more stuff. That's not my point. My point is the Ranger Dual Wielding trope that has crept into 4E apparently is still here in 5th.  The purpose of this process is to tell them what we like and what we don't.  So I'm telling them I don't like being pidgeonholed into a fighting style that I'm bored with.
Well, I like the direction the Ranger is going these days. Hordebreaker being the "TWF" subclass, Dragon Slayer being the "Archer vs. Giant" subclass... but we could use a "2H" subclass. 

If you have to fix it, it's broken.

I agree with the OP. And the fact that they plan on making more subclasses is why I think it's a problem.

What weapon style do all undead hunters use? What weapon style do all witch hunters use? What weapon style to all bounty hunters use? What weapon style do Assassins use?

It's samey, it's cookie cutter, it's predictable and boring. If I want to be a duel weapon user I'll take a feat for it.
I agree with the OP. And the fact that they plan on making more subclasses is why I think it's a problem. What weapon style do all undead hunters use? What weapon style do all witch hunters use? What weapon style to all bounty hunters use? What weapon style do Assassins use? It's samey, it's cookie cutter, it's predictable and boring. If I want to be a duel weapon user I'll take a feat for it.




Excellent points McNancy.  As a rules designer myself, I strive to give players as much 'buy-in' as possible.  It makes for a better game, and more loyal customer base.  The cookie cutter crap is for games that think they know what a good time is for everyone.  They'd be smart to revise this flap. 
Excellent points McNancy.  As a rules designer myself, I strive to give players as much 'buy-in' as possible.  It makes for a better game, and more loyal customer base.  The cookie cutter crap is for games that think they know what a good time is for everyone.  They'd be smart to revise this flap. 

Thanks. You should check out my new thread on Rangers: community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...


I do find trying to meld favored enemy and fighting style a bit awkward. I think the two weapon style for Rangers needs to stay, but as an option. FWIW, it's actually better now because an extra weapon finally gives you an extra attack.
Favored enemy would be easy to handle if you just gave the a Ranger a bonus, say Advantage, when fighting X monsters.  Done!  Doesn't matter what he hits them with, he just knows where hitting them hurts more. 
I never really liked that design for Favored Enemy. It becomes a guessing game with the DM: if you pick orcs and there are no orcs in the campaign, then you lose. Most rangers seem to pick humans because they're usually the most common enemy, whether or not it fits their character concept.


I would imagine we will definitely see more stuff. That's not my point. My point is the Ranger Dual Wielding trope that has crept into 4E apparently is still here in 5th.  The purpose of this process is to tell them what we like and what we don't.  So I'm telling them I don't like being pidgeonholed into a fighting style that I'm bored with.



Actually, one of the biggest changes between 3.0 and 3.5 is the dual-wield ranger changes. It's not a 4th edition thing. 

And, are you sure you don't want to be a fighter? 
I agree with OP.  Remove forced weapon usage from "favored enemy" features.
I far preferred the FE treatment we got in the previous packet.  They still had synergy with a specific sort of weapon (GB and DS were better with TWF, HB was better with GWF,) but they didn't only work with those sorts of weapons.  This iteration has too many limits and too little punch.
"When Friday comes, we'll all call rats fish." D&D Outsider
I never really liked that design for Favored Enemy. It becomes a guessing game with the DM: if you pick orcs and there are no orcs in the campaign, then you lose. Most rangers seem to pick humans because they're usually the most common enemy, whether or not it fits their character concept.



Totally agree.  I'd much prefer they dump favored enemy than weapon style.  Or just make rangers better skirmishers and then leave your exact weapon choices up to you.  Favored enemy has never been a draw of the class for me, it was such a minor background part of rangers in 2nd ed, and yet now they've made it this indisposable part of the classes identity.  Bleh.
They should just go back to 1st edition and make it Giant Class creatures.  It's a comprehensive list of critters and you don't have to worry about getting pidgeonholed either.
I far preferred the FE treatment we got in the previous packet.  They still had synergy with a specific sort of weapon (GB and DS were better with TWF, HB was better with GWF,) but they didn't only work with those sorts of weapons.  This iteration has too many limits and too little punch.


Agreed. Weapon style specialization should be left in feats, where it makes sense (as something any class can take).

I actually like the choice between TWF and Archery, provided both are strong enough. (Especially with feats as optional) FWIW, when I think "Ranger", the first thing that comes to mind is a wood elf (or human) with a bow, not Drizzit.
I actually like the choice between TWF and Archery, provided both are strong enough. (Especially with feats as optional) FWIW, when I think "Ranger", the first thing that comes to mind is a wood elf (or human) with a bow, not Drizzit.

Yes, but is that the only things that should come to mind?

Agree 100% with the OP. Pidgeonholing Rangers or any fightery class into a restricted weapon style is just plain dumb. And the answer is NOT more subclasses, more pidgeonholed options. TWF should simply be a feat you can choose or not, or a talent or background or whatever. It's made worse by the fact that the original designers of the game didn't want Rangers to be TWF class. It was an ability unique to the Drow race, of which Drizz't belonged. That's where he got his TWF, not from his class. It was the marketing dept that forced the designers to add it to Ranger class in 2E. It's been screwed up ever since. Now younger players think its SUPPOSED to be part of what a Ranger can do when that was never supposed to be the case. This is what happens when marketing has control over game design.
It has been a long time since I have read my 1st Ed books, but I'm pretty sure that the Ranger initially had a bonus to reduce the penalties for fighting with two weapons.  They weren't forced to fight with two weapons but if they did they were the best at doing so.  I would rather see something like that, a bonus to offset a penalty for two weapon fighting instead of being forced to use either the bow or two weapons.  Then make two weapon fighting a feat/background/whatever that anyone can do, but if the ranger wants to he can be the best at doing so.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/26.jpg)

It has been a long time since I have read my 1st Ed books, but I'm pretty sure that the Ranger initially had a bonus to reduce the penalties for fighting with two weapons. 



I'm not trying to be mean, but that's simply incorrect. TWF in AD&D was born in Unearthed Arcana. It was a Drow racial ability. That is the reason, the ONLY reason Drizz't had it. After the success of Drizz't, every 13 year old boy wanted to play dual wielding rangers, but at the time Drow were generally considered to be an evil-only race so few people played them, making the TWF Ranger hard to do as written (which is exactly why Salvatore said he decided to do it). To accomodate this desire to play TWF Rangers, the TSR marketing dept forced the designers, against their wishes to add TWF to the Ranger class in the 2E core rules. That is where TWF Rangers who were not Drow made their debut and we've been dealing with it ever since. I've read interviews of the designers and of RA Salvatore that this is in fact what happened. TWF non-Drow Rangers exist for marketing purposes only.

The whole ranger is poorly designed, including the favored enemy subclasses, lack of a build without spells, and the fighting styles tied back in.
I actually like the choice between TWF and Archery, provided both are strong enough. (Especially with feats as optional) FWIW, when I think "Ranger", the first thing that comes to mind is a wood elf (or human) with a bow, not Drizzit.

Yes, but is that the only things that should come to mind?




No. That's just how I'd prefer to play the class. The melee style needs to be viable as well.

Somebody mentioned a 2H fighting Ranger, but frankly I think at that point you're probably better off playing a Barbarian. 
At this point Fighting Style has been a part of the class long enough that appeals to tradition are fairly valid. I don't like trying to meld Favored Enemy and Fighting Style though. They just feel like separate features to me.

You know what? Let Favored Enemy be corner case. Just don't weigh it much. In fact it should almost be a freebie. It could be a simple +2 (or maybe even advantage) to attack, damage and skill rolls vs a specific monster type. That opens up a possibility I really like- a Bounty Hunter path that gets Favored Enemy for all humanoids. Now that would be strong enough to not be a freebie. He'd also have more in-town utility, things like Streetwise. That might not leave room for much else in that path, but I do like the feel and power level of it.

There should be a path without spells for people who insist on that, but one path only. I can't think of what could really fill that hole, but we'd have to bear in mind that the Ranger's spell list is mostly utility.

There should also be a beastmaster path for the animal companion. 
Combat Style, Favored Enemy. 2 seperate abilities in previous editions and should stay that way. If the designers want to give them a weapon bonus either make it a specific class feature beyond FE or just give them an extra ability boost (which would likely mean a combat feat). I liked the previous version of FE that didn't care what weapons you used and just offered bonuses and abilities taht would be useful against your FE without being useful only against your FE. Getting just advantage against dragons is a waste of a class feature if you only fight 5 dragons in your entire 20 level campaign. The only way I see that kind of FE being useful is if you can change the creature type after a long rest (and sucessful Lore check) or a week of prep time.
There should be a path without spells for people who insist on that, but one path only. I can't think of what could really fill that hole, but we'd have to bear in mind that the Ranger's spell list is mostly utility.



Why one path only? If anything, the spell Ranger should be one path only as there is only a single Ranger archetype that has spells: the nature or nature god servant. Maybe there could be a second if you create a new archetype that uses witch-type spells instead of druid spells.

There should be a path without spells for people who insist on that, but one path only. I can't think of what could really fill that hole, but we'd have to bear in mind that the Ranger's spell list is mostly utility.



Why one path only? If anything, the spell Ranger should be one path only as there is only a single Ranger archetype that has spells: the nature or nature god servant. Maybe there could a second if you create a new archetype that uses witch-type spells instead of druid spells.




Because then they'd have to keep coming up with distinct new mechanics to fill the hole left by spells. That's much easier said than done. Spells offer tremendous utility open ended for expansion, and you'd be replacing them with something more closed, with far fewer options. (If not, what's the point? Just so you can say "Look no magic!"?)

Nature can be more impersonal and general than that. Maybe he's just really in tune with nature and has tapped into the power of the land, if not as much as the Druid. Maybe he's just learned some tricks that are represented mechanically by spells, and the DM would let you reflavor them depending on which ones you took.
There should be a path without spells for people who insist on that, but one path only. I can't think of what could really fill that hole, but we'd have to bear in mind that the Ranger's spell list is mostly utility.



Why one path only? If anything, the spell Ranger should be one path only as there is only a single Ranger archetype that has spells: the nature or nature god servant. Maybe there could a second if you create a new archetype that uses witch-type spells instead of druid spells.




Because then they'd have to keep coming up with distinct new mechanics to fill the hole left by spells. That's much easier said than done. Spells offer tremendous utility open ended for expansion, and you'd be replacing them with something more closed, with far fewer options. (If not, what's the point? Just so you can say "Look no magic!"?)

Nature can be more impersonal and general than that. Maybe he's just really in tune with nature and has tapped into the power of the land, if not as much as the Druid. Maybe he's just learned some tricks that are represented mechanically by spells, and the DM would let you reflavor them depending on which ones you took.



They design a lot of other classes without spells. It isn't exactly a hard concept to design for. It would be absolutely no harder because what replaces spells are a bunch of general Ranger abilities. The rest of the unique abilities will already exist in the form of subclasses, only this time one subclass would have spells instead of a lot of unique abilities.
Yes, but it's hard to make class features truly equal to spells, as 5E reminds us. Look at the power gap between Wizard and Rogue.
Let's stay on target with TWF and leave Ranger's spells to a different thread shall we?


I just ebayed to Grenadier Rangers from their D&D line that are armed with leather armor, shields, and a battle axe for one and a weird punching dagger/sword for the other. 


Growing up with 1st edition and watching and playing everything through 3rd edition, I must say that the Ranger class has moved away from its roots as a Figher subclass.  More emphasis should be placed on the Monster Hunter and tracker features of Rangers than on what they must use in combat.  Back in my day, Fighters carried close AND ranged combat weapons to thin the herd before the monsters crashed into the party line in melee.


The current write up in the play test pack gives you two pidgeonholes to crawl through: Archer or TWFigher.  Blah. They are a Fighter sub-class and should have access to ANY weapon they deem fit for their role as a wilderness warrior. IMO. Laughing        
I actually like the choice between TWF and Archery, provided both are strong enough. (Especially with feats as optional) FWIW, when I think "Ranger", the first thing that comes to mind is a wood elf (or human) with a bow, not Drizzit.

Yes, but is that the only things that should come to mind?




No. That's just how I'd prefer to play the class. The melee style needs to be viable as well.

Somebody mentioned a 2H fighting Ranger, but frankly I think at that point you're probably better off playing a Barbarian. 



I agree that all of the fighting styles need to be made viable, but let's be honest: if you want to deal damage with a weapon, playing a ranger isn't the way to do it regardless of what fighting style you want to use.  Fighters and barbarians are better at GWF.  Fighters are better at archery.  Fighters and rogues are better at TWF (although as a fighter, you'd be doing better damage as GWF).

The fighting styles being built into FE selection is only part of the problem.  The rest of the problem is rangers just sucking as a class right now.  
"When Friday comes, we'll all call rats fish." D&D Outsider
Let's stay on target with TWF and leave Ranger's spells to a different thread shall we?


I just ebayed to Grenadier Rangers from their D&D line that are armed with leather armor, shields, and a battle axe for one and a weird punching dagger/sword for the other. 


Growing up with 1st edition and watching and playing everything through 3rd edition, I must say that the Ranger class has moved away from its roots as a Figher subclass.  More emphasis should be placed on the Monster Hunter and tracker features of Rangers than on what they must use in combat.  Back in my day, Fighters carried close AND ranged combat weapons to thin the herd before the monsters crashed into the party line in melee.


The current write up in the play test pack gives you two pidgeonholes to crawl through: Archer or TWFigher.  Blah. They are a Fighter sub-class and should have access to ANY weapon they deem fit for their role as a wilderness warrior. IMO. Laughing        


I agree with all of this. I'm so tired of the Ranger being either TWF or Archer, two pidgeonholes.

The Ranger really should be the best archer. Thing is, with feats optional Fighters and Rogues don't really specialize in weapons, so a Dex Fighter or Rogue could be as good an archer or better, without having to specialize. That's a problem. Either the Ranger should be significantly better (my preference) or he should be equally good and not have to specialize either.
The Ranger really should be the best archer. Thing is, with feats optional Fighters and Rogues don't really specialize in weapons, so a Dex Fighter or Rogue could be as good an archer or better, without having to specialize. That's a problem. Either the Ranger should be significantly better (my preference) or he should be equally good and not have to specialize either.


As far as "being the best archer" goes, I'd be happy first and formost if the Ranger simply wasn't pigeonholed into TWF or Archer at all, but that if one decided they wanted it, a Ranger build could be equivalent to the best Fighter archers in normal circumstances but superior under special circumstances that favored the Ranger class. For example. Both Ranger and Fighter Archers might have a bonus to hit that is equal. But the Ranger might be able to ignore cover in the wilderness. Or perhaps the Ranger would do extra damage to its quarry or favored enemy or whatever. Simply put the Ranger would outstrip other archers but only under certain circumstances that the Ranger player could choose and build upon to make the character they envision. But, that ultimately, they may choose not to be an Archer or TWF at all, since that should not be the soul of the Ranger class IMO.

The Ranger really should be the best archer. Thing is, with feats optional Fighters and Rogues don't really specialize in weapons, so a Dex Fighter or Rogue could be as good an archer or better, without having to specialize. That's a problem. Either the Ranger should be significantly better (my preference) or he should be equally good and not have to specialize either.


strider is a ranger' he shows survival in nature tracks and is ranger like.
legolas is a fighter he is good with a Bow and and thats it
strider should be the best archer???? 

Sheriff of Nottingham is a ranger, he has favoured enemy bandits and tradown them down
robin hood is a rogue, he hides in the bushes and sneak attack ambushes the rich
sheriff should be the better archer????

Just because rangers can use a bow, does not mean they should be the best archers. And there is presidence in other editions as well 3.5 fighter was by far the superior choice for archer as he could get the feats faster and as a bothat on that have an easier time getting in to archer prcs.
I don't know how ranger worked in 2e, but 4e had rangers and rogues be equal damage dealers with ranged weapons, and wasn't there an archer controller class?
Rangers are wilderness survivalists trackers, not nesceserriliy archers. 
Really I'm just trying to give them something in combat, and that's what 4E did. Frankly, 4th was the only edition where the Ranger really got a chance to shine. I realize the classes work much differently in 5E, but if they're not careful the Fighter will be better at everything, except that the Ranger will have a few more options for utility and skills (and 5E doesn't handle skills terribly well anyway) Still, at that rate if you want Cure Wounds and Entangle, you're much better off playing a Druid. The Ranger should of course be the best tracker, but that's not nearly enough. Unless the party is a group of bounty hunters (a cool but very limited concept) tracking just won't come up often enough.

Fighting Style has been a part of the Ranger for quite awhile. For me, that's just what the Ranger does, but I can see how some players might be tired of it. Admittedly, I haven't played or run for a ton of Rangers. I'm inclined to think that it's enough to offer more than the same two options every time. I'd hate to see it removed entirely for all players. While it's hard to see a Ranger being as good at it as a Barbarian, maybe a 2H Style could work. Sword & Board might actually end up as being more effective- if they're so gung ho on subclasses, that might even work as a replacement for the Warden.

Yes, Fighting Style could be relegated entirely to feats but feats are optional and very precious.

I can see how you might find it problematic that the Ranger is in a way one of a very few classes who have to specialize in a particular class of weaponry, while the others don't, but that's not entirely the case. In another way, the Barbarian is "pigeonholed" into big 2H weapons, with the Greatsword being arguably the best, as are most Fighters. The Knight must use a shield and a 1H (usually a longsword) and the Rogue will want two short swords or maybe daggers (that is if they fix him and get him away from the halberd...) and the Monk never has any choice or possibility of weapon upgrade at all.

Still, I have to remind myself that it's entirely possible (and understandable) that other players could be just as worried about the Ranger as I am about the Warlock. At this rate, the Ranger will be the worse off of the two- in terms of power curve.
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