I know, I know; “no new content for months and the first new product is a class that already exists?” Well… okay you’ve got me there. And obviously the Ranger is a very common homebrew/fix, more common than Artificers if I had to guess. But that’s because the problems with the original class from the Player’s Handbook are so fundamentally obvious that everyone wants to take a crack at improving it. I’ve simply decided to throw my own hat into the ring. A bit late, maybe, but I think waiting has given me certain benefits.
This new Ranger variant is easily at least 70% PHB Ranger; not many mechanics or features were touched, and the Hunter archetype was barely altered at all. So why even put it out? Well, some things did need to be fixed, but in my philosophy, less is more, and I did not see a reason to fix things that weren’t broken. I’ve seen more than a few Ranger revisions that completely remade the class. Those are cool, but I believe that a majority of the Ranger works well as it is; the only problems are really with a few of the early class features (like Natural Explorer) and the Beast Master archetype. So, I only tried to fix those things, while keeping the skeleton of the Ranger intact. This also means that any subclasses you want to use, like those found in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything or any other homebrew subclasses you my like, should work flawlessly with this alternate take on the PHB class (just as long as they aren’t trying to build off the Unearthed Arcana Revised Ranger). Speaking of that UA, most of the changes you can find in the Athenæum’s Ranger are a mesh of the PHB Ranger’s features and the Revised Ranger’s features. By taking the best aspects of both and keeping balance in mind, I believe we end up with a Ranger that’s stronger and more effective than the PHB Ranger, while not being as overtuned as the Revised Ranger.
At least, that’s the hope.
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.
Also, something new I’m going to be doing; Behind the Homebrew is going to be my “video series” (if you want to use that term) where I discuss my products. In each video you will be able to hear my thought process behind various aspects of the game, why I designed certain features the way I did, and explanations for my intent with certain design choices or how I think some aspect of the game should work. The first one will, of course, deal with this Ranger Revision, and you can watch it below. Be warned; it is nearly an hour of my ramblings. In the future I will be trying to keep similar videos much shorter.
We hope you enjoy this latest work from the Arcane Athenæum’s collection!
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
- Was lost, and now found.