The 3.5 Ranger Handbook

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Gah! I can't believe I didn't mention Darkstalker during my initial contributions. It's one of my top feat picks.

Quick Reconnoiter is another one I like a lot but it's one of those "cool" feats that usually gets pushed to the side for other options.

QR is very nice and I love it for my scouts, but it depends on how often the DM bothers to make spot/listen useful. In an intrigue- or sneaking-heavy game, it's worth a whole darn lot even outside of the initiative bonus.
QR is very nice and I love it for my scouts, but it depends on how often the DM bothers to make spot/listen useful. In an intrigue- or sneaking-heavy game, it's worth a whole darn lot even outside of the initiative bonus.

Agreed.

Quick Reconnoiter is as DM-dependent as say, a feat like Eschew Materials.

If your DM is super-savvy about playing the game's mechanics to the "T", QR suddenly becomes a really fantastic feat from an action-saving standpoint.
As a way to bump this thread a little, here is my opinion on the ranger spells of Champions of Ruin. Most of them share a swift action casting time, a 1-round duration, and having to be cast on a single masterwork arrow. It is very interesting how they would interact with a splitting bow - if they are doubled, as the arrows are, it would definitely improve their value. Likewise, as they are 1-round spells with mostly fixed effects, finding a way to use a wand as a swift action can be very worthwhile.

Level 1:
Woodwisp arrow: unlike most other spells here, this does not require you to fire in the same round. The arrow ignores AC bonuses of cover from wooden materials, such as some shields, doors, trees etc. Depending on the setting, it can be quite useful - particularly if you have a way of pin-pointing enemies on the other side of a wooden wall ;)
Enrage animals: even for a level 1 spell, this can be tricky to use. Its main use is in proking an animal to attack something or someone near it - say if you need to arrange an accident - but rangers have better spells for that level. Still, I can't ignore it - being able to enrage multiple animals without a saving throw (if they were not taught to attack only on command) can be useful, and few animals have a good will save anyway. Being able to make 3-4 horses attack their riders can effectively disable a mounted patrol, for example.

Level 2:
Brilliant Energy Arrow: a level 2 spell that automatically pierces non-living materials - such as most armors, and arguably shields. Situational at best.
Spellslayer arrow: an arrow that deals 1d4 extra damage per each spell currently affecting the target for the price of a lvl 2 spell.The interesting part is that the spell doesn't have to be beneficial for the target, but most rangers have better things to do with lvl 2 slots.


Level 3:
Arrowsplit: an interesting lvl 3 spell, the swift action casting time means you can use it to fire several arrows or bolts (1d4+1) as a standard action. If your DM is okay with it, it makes for a great spell for a ranger-scout or ranger/rogue. However, a recentish FAQ ruling said it should be treated as a volley attack, and thus can not get sneak attack - and possibly skirmish. The other use of this spell is for item crafting - it is the one involved in making splitting weapons/ammunition. Yes, only rangers, assassins, or justices - and archivists, possibly - have the spell required to make some of the best bows in the game. Ironic, isn't it?
Darkflame Arrow: a level 3 spell that makes sure the target of the arrow takes 2d6 fire damage that is not reduced by resistance/immunity in this round and the 2 after it. This can be useful, especially if it means a target must make concentration checks for each of these rounds in order to cast a spell.

Level 4:
Doublestrike Arrow: for a level 4 spell that only targets 1 arrow, this is not very impressive. You would need, say, a source of power attack with bows and/or a little SA to make it work. Passable for Justices, but not quite ranger material.
Bloodfreeze arrow: although it's a lvl 4 spell (again swift action, cast on a single arrow/bolt), it could be quite useful against enemies with weak fortitude saves. At the level you get it, though, nearly everyone has a tolerable fortitude save
Shadow arrow: you fire an arrow/bolt as a ranged touch attack and instead of its normal damage, it does 1d6 strength damage, no save. It could be useful, but on a level 4 spell it's a little underwhelming.
This MUST go in the magical items section.

Every ranger who has favored enemy aberrations should huntdown mindflayer until he finds one wearing halfweight mithral fullplate armor and slay him and take his clothes:

Halfweight: All halfweight armors are exceptionally crafted works of art that use psionic circuitry, exceptional materials, and unbelievable articulation engineering to reduce the weight of normal armor to half its listed weight. A halfweight armor is treated as light armor in every way, except that the protection it provides is not affected. Thus, +1 halfweight breastplate is light armor and can be used without penalty by someone who has proficiency only with light armor.
Moderate transmutation; CL 8th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor or Craft Psionic Arms and Armor, psionic creature; Price +3 bonus (+2 bonus if used on illithidwrought armor).

I could see rangers trapping Mindflayer smiths and having them make this armor for them and selling them to rogues, swashbucklers, barbarians and every other class which can't wear heavy armor for lucrative prices :D
I'd just get a githzerai/githyanki buddy and ask him to make one for me. But yes, lightweight armors, especially lightweight full plates, are very, very useful, and not just for the ranger.
I'd just get a githzerai/githyanki buddy and ask him to make one for me. But yes, lightweight armors, especially lightweight full plates, are very, very useful, and not just for the ranger.

Oh definitely, that's how I'm rationalizing it for the upcoming epic game we are playing. My githzeri buddy made some for me after I helped them track and squash a githyanki settlement. :D
I have recently read the Pathfinder Beta and I'm quite impressed with it; so I will see if I can come up with a few ideas about pathfinder rangers. Has anyone run Pathfinder campaigns already, btw?

Class role: or why you are worth the XP and loot share.

The ranger's role has changed little; s/he is a secondary combatant and scout.You can do a fair bit of damage, though, especially against your favourite enemies. Your role outside of combat is no less important; you are the one that can make sure the party is never caught unaware and it can thrive in even the most hostile environment.

Class features: So what does the ranger do, already?

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HD: d10 . A small update that puts rangers on par with fighters and paladins, but hey, after all that toughing it out why not ;)

Skill list: Same average skill points/list, slightly expanded list of class skills as intiimidate and spellcraft (which now includes concentration) were added. The major point is the merge of spot/listen/search into perception and hide/move silently into stealth, so these two should be all but mandatory. Note that the way new way class skills work has been changed somewhat:you only get a 6+int skill points at level, but if you put ranks in a class skill you get a +3 bonus.

Weapon and armor proficiencies: nothing new there. If you are from a race which counts certain weapons as martial and not exotic, you will be proficient in them.

Favored Enemy: the iconic ranger feature has mostly been left intact. Mostly - because now the FE bonus also applies to attack rolls as well. Nice!

Track: the feat was nixed, so instead you get a bonus to survival rolls to track equal to your ranger level. This may mean you never lose a track when you start following it - or that you don't need to put all that many ranks in survival and still be effective. Both are nice, imo, but nothing to write home about. Still - freebie.

Wild Empathy: same old, really.

Combat style: unfortunately, you still need to select either TWF or archery; however, you now get bonus feats at levels 2,6, 10, 14 and 18 and you can actually choose them from a list, however small, so you can be a tad more versatile. The rest is unchanged; you can only use them in light or no armor, and you do not need to meet the feat prerequisites.

Endurance: bonus feat, as before.

Favored Terrain: remember the UA version that gave you bonuses depending on certain terrains, instead of what you were fighting? Well, now you do not have to choose; at lvl 3 and every 5 levels after, you can pick a terrain in which you get +2 to knowledge geography, perception, stealth and survival and +1 to initiative; these bonuses can increase in the same way favored enemy ones do. You can even pick dungeons, urban, and water-sailing crafts if you want something more unusual.

Hunter's Bond: you can either spend a move action to give your party mates half your FE bonus against a single enemy (for a number of rounds equal to your wis modifier) or get the standard animal companion. Frankly, I'd choose the latter, or even better, trade it for the urban companion from the Cityscape web enhancement.

Spells: ranger spellcasting has received 2 minor boosts. The first is that you have slightly more spell slots; the second and imo more important is that spellcasting progression is much more even. For example, the base spell slots for a level 17 ranger as per the PHB are 2-2-2-1, while a Pathfinder ranger would have 4-3-2-1 instead. For mid-level or multi-classing rangers, this can be handy - rangers may not have a lot of spells, but they can provide some great utility or situational advantage for a predominantly fighting class.

Woodland Stride: same as before.

Swift Tracker: same as before.

Evasion: same as before.

Quarry: at level 11 you get another FE-sque ability. As a standard action, you designate an enemy that you can track at normal speed without penalties (and take 10 while doing so), and in combat with them you geta +2 insight bonus to attack, and confirm criticals automatically. The only problem is that you can have only one at a time, and needs some time before choosing a new one. Depending on the campaign, this could be useful.

Camouflage: same as before. but at level 12 instead of 13

Improved Evasion: it comes at level 16, but is still as nice as always.

Hide in Plain Sight: the same as before. At that level, not all that impressive imo, but still handy.

Improved Quarry: at level 19, your quarry feature gets notably better: you pick it a quarry as a free action, can take 20 while tracking, the attack bonus is doubled and you need only 10 minutes to pick a new one if the old one ends. Neat.

Master Hunter: the capstone ability of the class allows you to follow trails at full speed at no penalty and make something like a death attack against a favored enemy once per day per enemy category. I'm not quite sure how useful this is at level 20 when the DC is 20+Wis modifier, though. It may be interesting if this works versus undead, who have a fairly unimpressive fortitude save. It is mostly situational, I guess, but imagine how you would feel if that great wyrm red dragon rolled a 1 on its save ;) .


Skills: being the best at what you do.

Work in progress...

Races: Picking the right humanoid for the job.

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Note that the workings of the favored class are changed; now instead of not counting for XP penalties you can choose whether to gain +1 hit point or +1 skill point when you take a level in it. For more information on Pathfinder races, you can check Diffan's project of converting FR races to Pathfinder scale at http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=1077722

Dwarves: now they also get +2 to wisdom, +2 to touch/smell perception checks, and despite their speed penalty can make fine subterranean rangers. Their favored class is fighter or cleric (chosen at lvl 1), and both make fine multiclasses.

Elves: now they also get a +2 to intelligence, and an elven magic feature that is fairly unnecessary for rangers. However, they can also take ranger as a favored class, which would negate the con penalty or give you another skill point/level. They also treat a new two-handed weapon as a martial one, which can be useful for TWF-ing rangers who use armor spikes/unarmed strikes/etc as an off-hand attack. All in all, they make notably better rangers than in 3.5, and with a subrace that doesn't have a con penalty would be a prime choice.

Gnomes: their new bonus to charisma is largely irrelevant to rangers, and most of their other abilities are situational at best - though the bonus to saves vs illusions can help. Unless you think of multiclassing into a bard or sorcerer, give those guys a pass.

Half-elves: the former losers are back with a vengeance. With a +2 to ability of your choice, and the same keen senses bonuses that elves get (with the secret door sense), they can make fine rangers. They also get a free skill focus of their choice, and with a focus in perception or stealth half-elven rangers make great scouts.

Half-orcs: with total modifiers of +2 str, +2 wis and -2 int, half-orcs are no longer pushovers either. They can now treat the double axe as a martial weapon, and have a feature that allows them to function at 0 or less points (as long as they are not killed) for 1 round once per day. Their favored classes - barbarian or druid - work well as ranger multiclasses as well.

Halflings: they have a new bonus to charisma and +2 to several skills, but overall are no better for rangers than they were before.

Humans: now with a +2 to an ability of their choice and benefitting from the new favored class mechanic, they make fine rangers. Just as before, really ;)


Feats: the tricks of the trade

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Agile Maneuvers: given that many rangers prioritize dexterity over strength, the ability to use dex for combat maneuvers like tripping, grappling etc can mean a decent bonus, both offensively and defensively. Consider it if you have a high dexterity, but in most cases you should avoid both initiating such maneuvers and being the target.

Alertness: despite the feat being boosted, and perception becoming an 3-in-1 detection skill, I'm not impressed. If you want to be a master of perception, Skill Focus is a better option.

Blind-fight: useful, especially if you do not have darkvision. It will most likely come into play every now and then, and when it does it will go a long way to reducing the disadvantage you are in.

Combat Expertise: rangers have become more survivable with their higher HD, but a little extra may help - especially now that you get attack bonuses from your FE and quarry. If you meet the prerequisites, consider this feat, both on its own and as a prerequisite for others

Combat Reflexes: well, you will probably have a decent dexterity modifier, but you will need to find a way to actually get all those AoOs.

Craft Wand: one of the ways a ranger can augment their spellcasting potential; many ranger spells are long-duration, and thus work quite well from wands.

Craft Wondrous Item: one of the most versatile feats, it can make nearly anything - and with the ranger's fairly large amount of spells known and some imagination, it can be put to good use. Like other crafting feats, however, it requires gold, XP and downtime to make the most of.

Dazzling Display: well, intimidate is a class skill for rangers now (plus, you can do it with an attack roll if you prefer), and weakening a large group can be handy. Still, I think this would work better for other classes.

Deadly Aim: essentially, ranged power attack. While it is limited by your BAB and dexterity modifier, it can still be very useful for archers and should be part of any build.

Defensive combat training: considering that you are likely to be on the receiveing part of any grappling, tripping, disarming etc, it may be a good idea to prepare for it. If you have the feats to spare, this may be a good precaution

Die Hard: You should be able to do just fine without it - the key word being should. You meet the prerequisite at level 3, and this is one of those feats which is invaluable when you need it - and useless when you do not. I'm not a fan, and would rather take toughness instead - the Pathfinder version, that is.

Dodge: the previous joke feat is now tolerable, especially as it scales. Putting some ranks in acrobatics would be a good idea anyway. Still, just because it's not useless doesn't mean it is great, either, but at least it's not a waste if you need it as a prerequisite.

Double Slice: so you get to add half your strength modifier to damage rolls only, and with your off-hand weapon? I rather doubt this would make that big of a difference, unless your character has an impressive strength. Even then... meh.

Far shot: most rangers will have high perception, and if your DM is not lazy or a railroading maniac this may mean you often spot enemies at great range. TWF-ers can also put it to great use if they wield throwable weapons. Useful.

Greater 2-Weapon Fighting: see TWF.

Improved Critical: Useful and works well with your quarry feature, but I would prefer just having a keen/impact weapon. Still, sometimes it is handy, especially in low-magic campaigns.

Improved Disarm: Now it only grants +2 to related checks instead of +4, it is less useful offensively, but still potentially handy for the right build (which mayI include Agile Maneuvers) and some imagination. The bonus to defensive disarm checks can be nice as well, but most rangers don't have the feats to spare.

Improved Familiar: if you are using the Cityscape Urban companion option, this is great.

Improved Initiative: useful as always.

Improved Precise Shot: great as always, but not not on your combat style list. Dedicated archers should still get it, though.

Improved Shield Bash: TWF rangers should seriously consider this - it allows you to make attacks with your shield and still keep its AC bonus. Unless animated shields are a dime a dozen in your campaign, this can be a great way to get extra attacks and still have a decent AC.

Improved Trip: see improved disarm

Improved Unarmed Strike: while ideally you should get this free somehow, it can be useful in the right TWF build.

Improved Vital Strike: I am a bit sceptical about this feat. Normally, the last 1-2 itirative attacks often miss, but the extra damage simply isn't that much - at higher levels, a weapon's base damage is a minor part of its total damage. Still, it can be useful in a TWF build using a two-handed weapon and some other off-hand attack such as unarmed strikes or armor spikes - especially if you are, say, magically enlarged ;) or if you are an archer.

IIntimidating Prowess: could be handy for some characters, especially half-orcs or the like. Still, rangers usually have better things to do than bluster.

Iron Will: +2 is not that much, but the will save is a ranger's worst (especially if you could not afford a decent wisdom score) and the effects are often very unpleasant. If your DM does not allow 3.5 supplements and you can't use Scorpion's Resolve from Sandstorm, it may be worth a feat.

Leadership: if your DM allows it and the game is hard enough to merit drastic measures, get it. Nothing any other feat will get you and the party compares to what Leadership does.

Manyshot: while it is only limited to 2 arroiws, it can now be used as part of a full attack. Considering that it can be taken as a bonus feat, it may be worth it.

Mobility: it is suprising that this feat was not improved the way dodge and toughness were. Don't bother, unless you need it for a prestige class. Even then, consider if you need that prestige class...

Mounted Archery: useful for mounted rangers with the archery style (or TWFers who want more options and have feats to burn), completely useless to anyone else.

Mounted Combat: a necessary feat for mounted builds. In the right campaign, a horse is one of the better choices for an animal companion.

Overhand Chop:useful for high-strength rangers at lower level (where you don't get many itirative attacks anyway) but unless you have a great strength score, .5 times your strength modifier is not that much of a deal. Pass.

Pinpoint Targeting: An interesting feat, and you can get it at level 10 with your bonus feat. Still, you would need a way to get more damage on that single shot if you want to make the best of it.

Point Blank Shot: a requirement for many archery feats, and not too bad in itself. Now that get more bonus feats it is less important, but archers should still consider it.

Power Attack: now it is limited by your BAB and your strength modifier, so it has been weakened somewhat. Still, rangers with a high strength score should consider it.

Precise shot: an obvious choice for archers, especially now you can't ignore it as a prerequisite for Improved Precise Shot. You will likely fire in melee often enough, and that -4 hurts.

Quick draw: useful for TWF throwers, mostly. Unless you are a pack rat who always has something at hand, you will not likely draw items all that often.

Rapid reload: if you are a crossbow archer, this feat is mandatory. The question is, why would you be a crossbow archer in the first place? There are imo only three acceptable answers: you have a negative strength (in which case I pity your character), you are using the PHB II Crossbow Sniper feat, and/or you like a challenge.

Rapid shot: just as mandatory for archers and many TWF throwers as before. If you are one of these, take it and don't look back.

Ride-by Attack: like most mounted combat feats, this requires the right terrain to use to its full potential, However, especially with a flying mount (Sandstorm and Races of Stone, among others, have large birds you can use as animal companions) and if you can make a full attack on a charge. Great

Run: Just how often do you spend an entire round running?

Scribe Scroll: if you can use enough extra books for ranger spells, it can be a great way to boost your spellcasting capacity when you have extra time and a few bucks.

Self-sufficient: yes, this feat has been improved, and yes, you will probably use both of these skills often enough. It's still not worth the pick, though.

Shield Master: you don't get TWF penalties on attacks with your shield and you get its AC bonus (with any enhancements, I can presume) to attack and damage with it? This feat alone would make sword-and-board a viable TWF strategy, and the prerequisite feats are also worth it (also, note how it synergizes with shield slam). Seriously recommended, this feat makes sword&board TWF one of the better ranger options now.

Shield Slam: an essentially free bull rush attack with every shield attack can be a great way to get some breathing space or exploit your environment, and I presume that you can select not to bull rush an opponent if you should want to. Interesting for shield-using TWF-ers, and possibly archers (if you can spare enough feats). It deserves a special mention for its use with AoOs.

Shot on the Run: if it allows you to move freely during the full-round action, it is the same as before, though admittedly now dodge is less of a waste. Useful in certain cases, but not exactly my favourite unless you are thinking of pulling a swift hunter.

Skill Focus: Now that several skills cover more ground and this feat has been made to scale, it is worth taking a look. In most cases, you have more pressing concerns, but a ranger's role out of combat is heavily dependent on their skills and a +3 / 6 to perception or stealth can come in handy.

Spirited charge: ok for mounted builds, especially if you can get a full attack on that charge.

Spring attack: like shot on the run, but imo with less tactical value in most cases. Most melee rangers tend to be TWF-ers, and two-weapon fighting works best when you use full attacks.

Stunning Defense: if you decide to go for intimidation mastery or just spend a feat to learn dazzling display, this can be handy. Though rendering one or several enemies flat-footed can be a great party tactic, however, you will usually have better feats to get.

Toughness: this feat now combines the benefits of Toughness and Improved Toughness, and is a great pick for nearly any class. Elven rangers in particular should seriously consider it, but it's handy for everyone who expects to get in trouble.

Trample: same as before.

Two-weapon defense: eh, nothing that great. Right now, I'd take Improved Shield Bash over it in most cases, but if you really want to show off with a double weapon or pull a Drizzt and you can spare the feat, sure.

Two-weapon fighting: same as before, and obviously necessary for any TWF build.

Two-weapon Rend: though you have a few more feats now, unless you have a very decent strength score this feat may not be that impressive. Presuming a strength score of, say, 20 this gives you an average of 13 damage. It's free, but still...

[b]Vital Strike: interesting; by that level you are already going to make quite a few attacks whether you are going for archery or TWF. Sacrificing your lowest BAB attack to give several more points of damage to every other attack can be worthwhile at times, i.e. if you are using a defending off-hand weapon or are fighting a high-AC enemy.

Weapon Finesse: generally, having a decent strength score is a good idea, but if your dexterity modifier is 2+ higher than your strength one, it is not a bad choice. Still, in this case you may be better off going for archery and deadly shot.

Weapon focus: eh, unless you need it for something else or have feats to burn, +1 on attack rolls is not that impressive.

Weapon Swap: I'm not sure it's such a great idea, unless you really have an obscenely good main weapon. It could be very interesting with Shield Mastery, though - if you use your shield as a main weapon and only attack with it, you would not suffer the TWF penalties at all, only getting the -2 from the feat instead. Still, kinda iffy imo.

Whirlwind attack: unimpressive effects, weak prerequisites that you can't get with bonus feats, and a reliance on tactics that are all but antithetical for the average ranger. This feat is just as useless to rangers now as it was before.
Bump! Any pathfinder fans?
Anyone? Come on, people, in 3.5 and pathfinder I bet quite a few people played rangers ;)
i liked the Pathfinder Beta that i saw.... but havent played any yet.... looks good, great for Rangers

:D
I found a crossbow variant in Quintessenital Ranger II that works for me with DM permission.

Crossbow Style (Specific)

Most rangers choose to use the longbow because it can
be fired rapidly in combat and because its simple design
helps protect it from the ravages of the wilderness. You,
however, prefer the crossbow for its precision accuracy and
killing power.

2nd level: You are treated as having the Rapid Reload feat.
6th level: You are treated as having the Precise Shot feat,
even if you do not meet the normal prerequisites.
11th level: You are treated as having the Sniper’s Eye feat,
even if you do not meet the normal prerequisites.

Snipers eye is basically improve point blank (+2 attack, +2 damage)
Is it only for up to 30 feet? I would put it at lvl 6 and give ye olde imp. precise shot at 11. Actually, Crossbow Sniper at 6 would be even better.
Bump?
Actually snipers eye isn't that great.

In order to gain the benefits of this feat, you must be firing at an opponent who is within point blank range (usually 30 feet) and who is flat-footed or otherwise denied his Dexerity bonus

So basically they need to be flanked before receicing the beneifts.

Improved precise shot looks good though, which it could be used to hit invisible things
OK so I'm a noob on here and I wanted to wade right on in. I've got my 1st character, we're starting a mid to high campaign, we all start at 10th level. Anyhow I am a dwarf ranger(flat, no multi-classing). Here's what I have tinkered with(subject to my DM's approval). I've taken the crossbow style from Quintessential Ranger II and here's my feat list.

1-Weapon Focus(heavy crossbow)
2*-Rapid Reload
3-Point Blank Shot
6-Natural Bond
6*-Precise Shot
9-Penetrating Shot

I was torn about taking Point Blank Shot, but it is often a pre-req for all the others. And I had to take Natural Bond, because I wanted a "warbeast" black bear. So any suggestions, any criticisms. I take all, please be kind. MY inspiration for this character came from the Pathfinder Chronicles Campaign book, it has a picture on the ranger page of a dwarven ranger with a heavy crossbow and a dwarven waraxe.
Checking the Crystalkeep database, you can't take penetrating shot at lvl 9; it requires BAB of 10+ . Actually, I'd suggest taking a light crossbow and rapid reload in order to make more than 1 attack/round.

Also, what is your dex? If it is decent enough crossbow sniper from PHB II can be okay (afb, iirc it gave 1/2 dex mod to damage and you can do precision attacks at 60 feat instead of 30), possibly instead of penetrating shot. One more thing: see if you can find a way to improve your bear, say by having ranger levels count for druid levels-3 instead of druid levels/2 (it's a common houserule) . Otherwise, even with natural bond your pet won't be that good later on.
I agree with The_Shaman, consider going crossbow sniper at 9th and then take pentrating shot at 12th.
I forgot about that with penetrating shot. Thats what I was going to take @ 12th. So OK, my DEX is 13(+1), is Sniper really worth it? It only gives me half on DEX, or should I get myself some magic items to up my DEX score and then take it. Also on my animal companion, DM said OK with the -3 druid levels and so I ditched natural bond. So here's my revised list.

1-Weapon focus(heavy crossbow)
*2-Rapid Reload
3-Point Blank Shot
*6-Steadfast Determination
9-Rapid Shot

Now I use the heavy crossbow for flavor and I wanted to deal out a fair amount of damage in one blow(ranged that is). My CON is 18(highest score) and I have Endurance, so I figured I'd shore up my Will saves. As for Rapid Shot, I think I understand that with a heavy crossbow if I took a full attack action, I'd get 2 attacks per round with this. If not, then I'll drop it for Crossbow Sniper and just get something to stack my DEX. Thanx everybody for your help!
As for Rapid Shot, I think I understand that with a heavy crossbow if I took a full attack action, I'd get 2 attacks per round with this. If not, then I'll drop it for Crossbow Sniper and just get something to stack my DEX. Thanx everybody for your help!

Not gonna work, unfortunately. Even with rapid reload, you will need a move action to reload a heavy crossbow, so you can't get a 2nd attack/round unless it's a repeating crossbow - which is an exotic (another feat, although it reduces the need for rapid reload) and more expensive, weapon. I mean, it's bad enough that you provoke an AoO while reloading and shooting. Besides, a light crossbow has only 1 point of damage less on average - 1d8 averages 4.5, 1d10 averages 5.5.
Those who like spellcasting Rangers should take a look at the specialist Ranger from Dragon 336 -- "The Mystic Ranger".

They lose shield prof, lose martial melee weapons, and lose animal companion, but gain spellcraft as a skill.

The combat styles all come one level later along with most other features, and the favored enemy progression is slowed a bit, ending at 4 favored enemies.

Their spell progression starts at first level though with added access to 0th level spells, and ends at 5th level spells (small list... but still); at fourth level when you normally are just starting out with zero 1st level spells, you have three 0th level spells, two 1st and one 2nd; and at 20th you are at 5 - 5 - 5 - 4 - 4 - 4, which is substantially better than the PHB Ranger's spell casting.

I think it's nice variation. A lot of times I sub out the spells for a feat as per the Complete Champion because I don't plan on taking the Ranger high enough for spellcasting to matter, but this would definitely make me reconsider.

One more thing: see if you can find a way to improve your bear, say by having ranger levels count for druid levels-3 instead of druid levels/2 (it's a common houserule) . Otherwise, even with natural bond your pet won't be that good later on.

Hell, I'd houserule it to full druid levels. Never agreed with them gimping the ranger on their pet like that.

I forgot about that with penetrating shot. Thats what I was going to take @ 12th. So OK, my DEX is 13(+1), is Sniper really worth it? It only gives me half on DEX, or should I get myself some magic items to up my DEX score and then take it. Also on my animal companion, DM said OK with the -3 druid levels and so I ditched natural bond. So here's my revised list.

1-Weapon focus(heavy crossbow)
*2-Rapid Reload
3-Point Blank Shot
*6-Steadfast Determination
9-Rapid Shot

Now I use the heavy crossbow for flavor and I wanted to deal out a fair amount of damage in one blow(ranged that is). My CON is 18(highest score) and I have Endurance, so I figured I'd shore up my Will saves. As for Rapid Shot, I think I understand that with a heavy crossbow if I took a full attack action, I'd get 2 attacks per round with this. If not, then I'll drop it for Crossbow Sniper and just get something to stack my DEX. Thanx everybody for your help!

As a ranger going for a ranged combat style I think your dex should be higher than your con. Seriously try to get a higher dex and consider the Dead Eye (from dragon compendium) feat somewhere along your path. I think the prereqs are bab +3, dex 17, and weapon focus -- it adds the full dex mod to damage with your focused ranged weapon, but is counted as precision damage so it won't apply to things immune to crits like oozes, elementals, plants, constructs and undead.
Wait, do they lose ALL martial weapon proficiencies? This may be one of the darn few reasons to play an elven ranger in 3.5 ;)
Actually snipers eye isn't that great.



So basically they need to be flanked before receicing the beneifts.

Improved precise shot looks good though, which it could be used to hit invisible things

Can't flank with ranged weapons if I'm not mistaken. Flank doesn't deny them dexterity to AC either; it gives you a +2 to hit, and let's the rogue use her sneak attack.
Wait, do they lose ALL martial weapon proficiencies? This may be one of the darn few reasons to play an elven ranger in 3.5 ;)

They lose all melee martial weapons (as well as shields), but keep access to ranged martial weapons-- so weapons that are both are presumably still fair game like throwing axe, trident, light hammer, etc.

Track, wild empathy, swift tracker, woodland stride, evasion, camo, and hide in plain sight come at the usual levels.

Endurance and Combat styles come one level later. First favored enemy comes 1 level later. Second and third come 3 levels later. Fourth comes at 20th. There is no fifth.

No animal companion.

So, I suppose you are sacrificing some combat and "hunting" potential for much earlier and more access to spell casting.

Spells progress from 0th to 5th as follows:

01) 2
02) 2 1
03) 2 2
04) 3 2 1
05) 3 2 2
06) 3 3 2 1
07) 3 3 2 2
08) 4 3 3 2 1
09) 4 4 3 2 2
10) 4 4 3 3 2 1
11) 4 4 4 3 2 2
12) 4 4 4 3 3 2
13) 5 4 4 4 3 3
14) 5 4 4 4 4 3
15) 5 5 4 4 4 3
16) 5 5 5 4 4 3
17) 5 5 5 4 4 4 (stops here)

0th level: create water, cure minor wounds, guidance, flare, know direction, light, mending, purify food and drink, resistance, virtue

5th level: awaken, baleful polymorph, control winds, cure critical wounds, summon nature's ally V, wall of thorns.

Yeah, the elven longsword proficiency fills it out nicely :D
Well, I had been thinking about a spear-using ranger, and no shield proficiency is meaningless if your shield does not have an armor check penalty ;) .
Well, I had been thinking about a spear-using ranger, and no shield proficiency is meaningless if your shield does not have an armor check penalty ;) .

Yeah, wow I thought it was a static penalty like with weapons, but apparently you're right. Nice!

I think I'm going to retrain my swift hunter / thrower to it, if allowed. I've got shields and martial weapons from my warblade levels.
Is Antarx still around?

I think his appraisal of Improved Rapid Shot is flawed: for a thrower it is spending two feats in order to get a +2 to hit, one of which is completely useless. I think this is bad considering throwing is a tight feat build, and many items can easily get you a + to hit. For an archer it may be an OK choice, since many shot is useful, but for a thrower it's not so good.
Well, yeah. If you're not an archer manyshot isn't any good. It would have been better if it could be coupled with that Palm throw ability of the master thrower that allows you to throw several small weapons at once, but I guess they are too different.

Seriously, though, throwers are in a bit of a pinch if Bo9S is not used. Then again, they are still way ahead anyone who tries to use a crossbow or a sling. However, IMO a thrown ranger may benefit more from the TWF tree in order to get some really serious number of attacks/round. With weapons that can also be used for melee, the feats also help if you want to melee.
how about adding flay foe / pulverize foe / skewer foe (champions of ruin) to the two weapon fighting feats. Can be useful to get more damage output which isn't precision based. Adds a d6 for each hit after the first with selected type of weapon: bludgeon, pierce, or slash.

Oops, nevermind. Wrong thread. Thought this was the swift hunter thread!
I noticed in the pathfinder setting they have an option for rangers called Enhanced Companion. Basically if you keep the same companion you treat your druid level as ranger -2 instead of ranger 1/2
I noticed in the pathfinder setting they have an option for rangers called Enhanced Companion. Basically if you keep the same companion you treat your druid level as ranger -2 instead of ranger 1/2

Nice. I think that would be fair. And it should be the same for spellcasting actually.

I gotta look into this pathfinder setting -- sounds like there's some decent stuff in it.
I noticed in the pathfinder setting they have an option for rangers called Enhanced Companion. Basically if you keep the same companion you treat your druid level as ranger -2 instead of ranger 1/2

This is kinda confusing... there's a pathfinder setting, pathfinder rules, pathfinder something else... There should be a compilation of everything Pathfinder at some point.

Anyway, do you trade anything for this Enhanced Companion?
The book is the Pathfinder Cronicles Campaign setting. So I guess its more just for the rise of the runelords etc setting and not the pathfinder rpg (D&D 3.75).

Ahhh missed the reference. You lose the wild empathy ability.
The book is the Pathfinder Cronicles Campaign setting. So I guess its more just for the rise of the runelords etc setting and not the pathfinder rpg (D&D 3.75).

Ahhh missed the reference. You lose the wild empathy ability.

Such a crushing loss, innit? ;)

Anyone one know where I can find the 2nd level spell Raptor Sight?
Races of the Wild. And its a 1st level ranger spell.

Oh my current ranger is playing in the rise of the runelords campaign, though we have started doing the Crown of the Kobold King module as our DM adapted it to have an item that could bring back one of our PC's who died at the end of Burnt offerings.

I'm still considering having this guy go into the wolf master prc from Quintessential Ranger II, but still got to run that past my DM first hehe. I would prefer this over animal (wolf) lord as it is more ranger specific. Basically looking to make a D&D twf version of wolverine, except my char looks like Ronan of Stargate Atlantis.
Races of the Wild. And its a 1st level ranger spell.

That's hawkeye, not raptor sight. They are both similar, but they are separate spells. I've seen raptor sight in a book before but I can't remember which.
Actually it is Raptors Sight. +5 bonus on spot checks.

What does the spell do that you are referring to (even a vauge idea), might help sorting out what it actually is.
It's similar to hawkeye, that's all I know. I remember reading it and thinking it was cool.

I'll scan the books and see if I can find it.
Races of The Wild pg 175

Raptor Sight [Transmutation]

Level: Rgr 1, Sky 1
Casting Time: 1 stnd
Components: V S DF
Range: personal
Dur: 1hr / lvl
+5 competance bonus to spot checks; if you have 5 or more ranks in spot you only take half the normal range increment penalties (-1 instead of -2)

It's good for throwers.

Extensive index of ranger spells:
http://forums.gleemax.com/showpost.php?p=4919913#post4919913
It's decent if you are using shuriken or another short-increment weapon. However, it can be very good for bows if your DM actually bothers to have you be able to spot an orc ambush from 350 feet away.

Edit: it's strange that rangers, with all their ties to animals, don't get polymorph as a 4th level spell. It is even stranger for Mystic rangers - they can turn you into a squirrel, but not themselves? AFAIK they have at least two polymorph-like spell available - Aspect of the Earth Hunter (bullette form) and Wild Runner (Centaur), but at least a limited animal shape spell should be available for higher-level rangers. After all, a character of level 10+ is supposed to be a very rare and gifted person with talents not just exceeding the norm, but practically redefining it.
It's decent if you are using shuriken or another short-increment weapon. However, it can be very good for bows if your DM actually bothers to have you be able to spot an orc ambush from 350 feet away.

Edit: it's strange that rangers, with all their ties to animals, don't get polymorph as a 4th level spell. It is even stranger for Mystic rangers - they can turn you into a squirrel, but not themselves? AFAIK they have at least two polymorph-like spell available - Aspect of the Earth Hunter (bullette form) and Wild Runner (Centaur), but at least a limited animal shape spell should be available for higher-level rangers. After all, a character of level 10+ is supposed to be a very rare and gifted person with talents not just exceeding the norm, but practically redefining it.

There is a wolf form one as well, I believe. It's quites strange, but then again there's other strange stuff about rangers too. Their animal companion sucks compared to the druids, and their caster level sucks without practiced spellcaster, and they don't get evasion HiPS and Camo early enough.

The mystic ranger's 5th level spells are lackluster, but throw in sword of the arcane order and you've got some nice stuff to play around with.