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Another Revised Ranger

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Yes, that's right, another take on fixing the PHB Ranger.  But I ask you to give this one a look through.  My philosophy has always been that "less is more" and "sometimes simple is better," and to that end aimed to make as few changes to the PHB Ranger as possible to improve it. I believe the greatest strength of this revision is that it remains similar enough to the original class that the Xanathar's subclasses (or any other homebrew subclasses you would like to use which build off the PHB Ranger) will work perfectly with it.

The Ranger class presented in this document is about 70% PHB Ranger; most of the mechanics of the base class and the Hunter archetype were not touched. The Favored Enemy, Natural Explorer, and Primeval Awareness features were altered to provide a balanced best-of-both-worlds between the PHB Ranger and the UA Revised Ranger. The Beast Master is completely rebuilt so that it falls more in line with the way other classes use "pets" such as necromancer wizards, without overtuning the beast companion itself. Finally, both the Hunter and Beast Master were given an additional feature at lvl 3; both subclasses now gain additional subclass spells like the new subclasses found in Xanathar's. This helps bridge the gap between the new subclasses and the old, so that playing a PHB subclass no longer feels like you are missing out on features.

This class is also designed with The Explorer's Guide to the Wilderness, my rules on wilderness travel, in mind.  However, it will work with any game that does not use those rules, and offers alternate features to do so. 

I hope that the Athenæum's take on the Ranger is different enough to cover any gaps or concerns you may have with the original class, while staying similar enough to be easy to use, and I hope you enjoy.

This work is part of the collections of the Arcane Athenæum.  Check out our other works below.

The Artificer class

The Dragon Shaman class

The Ranger class

The Swordmage class

The Barbarian: Path of the Wild Soul subclass

The Monk: Way of the Mystic Force subclass

The Wizard: Blue Magic and Sangromancy subclasses

The Sharkfolk player race

The Treant player race

Crafting Magic Items: A Guide to Artifice

The Draconomicon for 5e

The Explorer's Guide to the Wilderness

Recent Changes:

Version 1.1 13Nov2019


  • Only change has been adding a note about the latest class feature variants UA as valid alternatives to the features that appear in this document (save for the Beast Master companion, though I suppose you could make it work if you really wanted to but I think this PDF offers more).  The Druidic Warrior fighting style is listed here while the other fighting styles in the UA aren't only because I absolutely love it and think it and its variants should be a core option for all half-casters.

Version 1.0 07Feb2019


  • Uploaded to DMsGuild

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Discussions (2)
Customer avatar
Newerton C February 18, 2019 7:31 pm UTC
The main problems of the class are: Enemy Favorite and Natural Explorer. You have kept the rules of depending on the DM in both cases.
Customer avatar
Jeff V February 20, 2019 5:42 pm UTC
I go into this a bit in the video above; I know it's unbearably long so I'll try and give a quicker rundown. I don't think there's any real way to make favored enemy not require some work from the DM to ensure it sees some use; by it's very nature, you are picking a type of creature and are better at fighting that creature. But if you don't encounter it, naturally it ends up feeling useless. But, I think this ties into a general rule that should exist for D&D, which is that you, as the player, should be creating and running a character that is appropriate to the game and its world that the DM is running. If you're going to be playing a Curse of Strahd game, for example, and you choose to make your favored enemies Orcs, Gnolls, and dragons, that is a poor decision on your part, because you aren't going to be fighting any of those at all. You didn't build a character appropriate to the game you are playing in, and it's unfair to your DM to now expect them to cater to those poor choices. Undead would be...See more
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Cull M February 09, 2019 8:23 am UTC
I like what you did to the class, but I have a few gripes with it so let me list them. 1. the U.A did the natural explorer better by letting it's features work on all forms of terrain, you could have use that but also added a list that tell you where you trained to be a ranger and have abilities that are linked to your terrain like superior darkvision from the underdark or cold resistance from the mountains. 2. the humanoids in the favored enemy feature, why not apply it to all the race? I mean I get that there all very diverse but in the end all have the same fundamental of bone structure and organ placement in there bodies, get it if you kept the phb rules there because of the difference in survival tactics across all them different race. All the nitpicks aside I loves this rendition of the ranger. I've always wanted to play the ranger but the way some of it's abilities had been setup felt restrictive, I have always imagined the ranger as the very embodiment of adaptability capable of fitting any role from...See more
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Jeff V February 11, 2019 2:09 pm UTC
I'm slightly confused by what you mean with your first concern. My Natural Explorer is very much like the UA natural explorer in that it works in all forms of terrain; the only thing that's terrain specific is the double proficiency bonus to your wisdom and intelligence rolls. That's meant to represent your character's particularly high knowledge in regards to that type of terrain; you know the forest better than anyone, or the mountains, or whatever. But I think you're also suggesting extra features on top of that based on what you pick as your favored terrain? I personally don't think that's needed for the ranger, especially since some of those ideas would step on existing subclasses (like how superior darkvision if you choose Underdark would step on the gloom stalker's improved darkvision). I don't think the favored terrain should, itself, provide any particular special bonuses, since that goes against my design philosophy that a ranger player should feel free to pick any favored terrain that makes sense...See more
Customer avatar
Cull M February 12, 2019 10:24 pm UTC
thank you for listening to my personal thoughts, your a very understanding person. I guess I missed that part of natural explorer, and I respect your decisions. If you decide to revise another class can you do warlock, maybe have have it's 20th level ability to recover spell slots at earlier levels but function like the clerics ability to ask there deity for help. It will probably help establish what kind of a relationship the warlock has with his patron, and as the character level progresses there relations become better improving the eldritch master ability to the point where your patron will always answer your please out of respect and recognition as a valuable ally to have. Probably improving how many times your can ask him for some more spell slots, anyways Love all your works.
Customer avatar
Jeff V February 20, 2019 5:44 pm UTC
Thank you! I hope you continue to enjoy them. I do intend on maybe putting out a sort of "minor tweaks" document at some point, for classes like the Sorcerer and Warlock. But that's likely to be far off.
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