deganawida Posted February 26, 2005 Share Posted February 26, 2005 Part One Alright, I'm not satisfied with the 3.x ranger. Why? Multiple reasons: 1. It's the only full-BAB class that receives less than a d10 for HD. Even the hexblade gets a d10. Why is this important? First, it is a matter of design. 3 separate hit die values for classes is ridiculous IMO. Second, the purpose of all full-BAB classes is to fill the role of combat specialist in the traditional 4-member party. With a d8/level and being limited to light armor, the ranger can't fulfill this role. The 3.5 PHB even describes the 3.5 ranger's role as "secondary combatant and opportunity attacker". If this is what they want, go whole-hog and reduce the ranger's BAB to 3/4 to match his HD. They couldn't do this, though, as they knew that the ranger had to be good at combat. Oh, and I don't buy the whole, "It's a throwback to 1st Edition" argument, as the differences in HP in 1E between a ranger and a fighter were significantly less than in 3.5E. 2. The ranger is a hack job of a class, design-wise. Virtually all of its abilities come from other classes, of which the druid and rogue have the most influence. The ranger feels and plays like some kind of warrior (not fighter, but the NPC class)/druid/rogue hybrid, and not like a class that has a distinctive role to play in a party. Oh, sure, it gets Track, but anyone can get Track and some, like the barbarian, can do it better, and it recieves limited bonuses to tracking that don't make the ability shine. 3. The ranger's signature ability, Favored Enemy, sucks. There's no other way to put it, really. I love the concept behind it, and on paper it looks like the coolest, most useful ability ever, but in practice it is atrocious. Why is it atrocious? Simple: its utility is entire dependent upon DM fiat. Sure, the player makes a choice as to what his FEs are, but the occurance of FEs in an adventure is up to the DM. The DM shouldn't be forced to include FEs in every adventure just so that the ranger can feel useful, if doing so goes against the DMs story or makes other players feel left out. No other class, by the way, has its signature ability totally dependent upon the DM. 4. Virtual feats are a cheap attempt at balancing. I don't like them. Either give free full feats (preferrably with choice), or give special abilities that one cannot mimic with feats. A good example of both approaches is the monk. The monk essentially receives Improved Unarmed Strike at first level, but his unarmed attack is significantly better than anyone else's strike, as evidenced by the fact that his damage starts at more than 1d3 and ends up being 2d10 (for medium monks). The monk also receives 2 feats, chosen from 4 choices (bad sentence structure, but, hey, it works), that he doesn't have to meet the prereqs for and doesn't have any restrictions on. The ranger's, on the other hand, artificially limit him to light armor, and, in the case of the melee combat style, force him into a role which the PHB admits he is not qualified for. 5. Animal Companions are, IMO, a wasted ability. At half Effective Caster Level, all the AC is good for is scout, and if you get bonuses to Spot and Listen, why do you need the AC to do it for you? They're ineffective in combat, and most likely will get killed shortly after entering combat. None of the famous rangers in D&D novels, or otherwise, save Elbryan, have Animal Companions. True, Drizzt has Guenhyvvar, and the Justicar has Cinders, but Guen is a figurine of wondrous power and Cinders is a sentient hellhound pelt (and didn't become Jus's traveling companion until he'd been skinned). Ren o' the Blade didn't have one, Tanis didn't, Riverwind didn't, Strider didn't, and so on and so forth. It's a bit of a shame that it's such a useless ability for the ranger, as it was originally a ranger-only ability (in 2e). 6. Hide in Plain Sight breaks the rule that no class should be able to sneak better than the rogue. This ability also has the net effect of turning the ranger into some kind of assassin, rather than the warrior that he is. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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