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Ranger, RevisedClick to magnify

Ranger, Revised

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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 things that were changed help to make the Ranger a more interesting and effective class with a stronger theme around being the ultimate predator. 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.

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 Sorcerer (Revised) class

The Swordmage class

The Barbarian: Path of the Wild Soul subclass

The Druid: New Druidic subclasses

The Monk: Way of the Mystic Force subclass

The Paladin: Oath of Freedom subclass

The Savage and the Striker: Dual Wielding subclasses

The Sorcerer: Frozen Heart and Phoenix Sorcery subclasses

The Warlock: Great Wyrm 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 2.2 15Nov2021


  • Roving feature was missing some text, as well as fixing some word choice to clear up the Extra Attack and Fade Away features, and an erroneous reference to the Swordmage that somehow snuck itself in there.

Version 2.1 05Nov2021


  • Added support for the Drakewarden in Fizban's Treasury of Dragons in the form of archetype spells to match the other subclasses.
  • Removed a few spells from the spell list that are not official Ranger spells. This was done both to give the drakewarden some unique spells that other rangers can't get, and also just because I think I went too hard trying to incorporate abilities that don't necessarily fit the theme of a ranger.

Version 2.0 19Apr2021


  • The class has been re-designed following the release of Tasha's Cauldron of Everything.  It incorporates a few of the concepts and optional features released in Tasha's, while improving on certain base aspects of the class.
  • Marked Enemy - Similar to the Favored Foe feature, this is meant to be the class's main form of extra damage.  Essentially just removes the concentration, since that aspect of the feature completely misses part of the point that the ranger has too many concentration abilities and therefore can't play with any fun spells.
  • Favored Prey - Name is meant to invoke the idea that the Ranger is, at it's core, a hunter and predator of specific creatures.  Much like the PHB Favored Enemy, you pick certain kinds of creatures to be particularly good at fighting.  These can be swapped out whenever you level, allowing you to make changes over the course of a campaign to focus on new types of threats as they become more prominent.  Works with Marked Enemy by allowing you to apply the marked damage to every attack you hit your favored prey with, not just once per turn.
  • Seasoned Explorer - Basically Tasha's Deft Explorer, but with a few bonus abilities (and the extra languages removed, since you are getting languages from Favored Prey).
  • Primeval Tracking - Primeval Awareness, but with a range that changes as you use higher-level spell slots and gives you more reasonable information (like not just how far away or how many of your Favored Prey are around, but also a general idea of the size.  Also lets you start tracking one of the "groups" of enemies that you sense (group here is meant to be a general term; the idea is that if you sense, say, 1 big dragon to the north and 4 small dragons together to the south, you could start trackinig the big dragon or the 4 small dragons).
  • Fade Away - Basically the PHB Hide in Plain Sight combined with Tasha's Nature's Veil feature; you can Hide as a bonus action, turn invisible until the end of your next turn, and you can Hide as a free action on the same turn that you turn invisible.]
  • Primal Resilience - Gives the ranger some much-needed defenive support against various abilities.
  • Apex Predator - The PHB Capstone of Foe Slayer isn't very good (max of +5 extra damage a turn?  Whooooo) and also pretty boring.  Apex Predator isn't mechanically complicated, but the ability to crit more often can bring out a lot of damage in a way that makes sense for a legendary hunter, and you are even *more* likely to crit your Favored Prey since you, theoretically, know exactly where to hit them to make them hurt.  With the extra dice from Marked Enemy and spells like Hunter's Mark or Flame Arrows, this feature can make the Ranger feel like the powerful killing that it should be at 20th level.
  • After some consideration, I swapped out a few of the spells that the Hunter and Beast Master get, to be a bit more flavorful and tie better to the intended playstyle for both.  Also it should be noted for the Beast Master, Catnap has even more of a use now since this newest revision gains a few abilities that recharge on a short rest.

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 (4)
Customer avatar
Craig E November 15, 2021 4:54 pm UTC
You need to fix Roving, on page 3 (it's incomplete, trailing off mid-sentence). Also, Extra Attack on page 4 may need specificity as to how many attacks can be made with each weapon. As it stands, the two-weapon bonus attack portion of the description specifies one attack with *EACH* weapon, which might be confusing in certain circumstances, as 1 main/3 off, 3 main/1 off, and 2/2 are all valid interpretations... to say nothing of what a thri-kreen or other ranger with 3+ arms could make of this! You also need to clear up what portions of using Fade Away are limited to 1 use per rest (just hiding, or going invisible). Finally, on page 5, why does the ranger get an optional ability to replace its fighting style with one available to swordmages, instead of rangers?
Customer avatar
Jeff V November 15, 2021 5:12 pm UTC
Thanks for catching these! Need to get myself an editor, clearly. lol

Roving issue seems to have been a mistake when moving some things around. And the swordmage issue is similarly just a copy/paste issue when borrowing some language from the swordmage class we have.

Everything else I've attempted to clear up with better language.
Customer avatar
Craig E November 15, 2021 5:21 pm UTC
What're you talking about? I'M your editor, lol!
Customer avatar
Liron A August 06, 2020 1:01 pm UTC
Im not sure if you can still respond to comment but i'm curious to ask, if I where to replace Favored Enemy with Favored Foe from UA's Class Variant Features what could/should I do for the other features in this revised class?
Customer avatar
Jeff V August 24, 2020 3:20 pm UTC
Hey sorry for the late reply; things have been... well 2020.

There is no issue with replacing my revised Favored enemy with Favored Foe if your DM allows it. The v1.1 PDF has a note specifically about that on page 3 you'll want to look through, in case you are playing a Beast Master.
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
Customer avatar
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
Customer avatar
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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This title was added to our catalog on February 07, 2019.