Facebook Challenge – The Martial Ranger

January 22, 2015 - D&D 5th Edition, Rules, Facebook Challenge!
Facebook Challenge – The Martial Ranger

The Martial Ranger – Facebook Challenge #1

Facebook Challenge? “I am running a low magic game and have a player who wants to roll a ranger. Any ideas how to drop the spell casting ability without nerfing the class? I’m stuck on how to make a variant, martial ranger.”

Rangers have had spells as long as I can remember, but I can understand the desire for a more grounded version.

Yes, yes, it’s true that 5th edition supports a “ranger like” fighter (Outlander Background with Fighter Class) right out of the box; the combination seems to fall short, never quite feeling like Strider from lord of the rings, Drizzt a Ranger who never seems to cast spells beyond his drow abilities.

And while some could (come on this is the Internet, they will) argue that Strider is, in fact, a simple fighter with nature skills, I rather create something that feels truly unique from the standard fighter class.

So.. let’s get on with it!

Format Note, until there is an official SRD/OGL for 5e, any time I refer to an existing mechanic in an existing class I will simply refer to the 5th edition Players Handbook.

The Martial Ranger

version 1.5 – Final, and this time I mean it!


Class Features

As a Martial Ranger, you gain the following class features
Hit Dice: 1d10 per ranger level
Hit Points at 1st level: 10 + your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher levels: ld10 (or 6) + your Constitution modifier per ranger level after 1st

Armor: Light armor, medium armor, shields
Weapons: Simple weapons, martial weapons
Tools: Herbalist Kit
Saving Throws: Strength, Dexterity
Skills: Choose three from Animal Handling, Athletics, Insight, Investigation, Nature, Perception, Stealth, and Survival.

You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
(a) scalemail or (b) leather armor
(a) two shortswords or (b) two simple melee weapons
(a) a dungeoneer’s pack or (b) an explorer’s pack
A longbow and a quiver of 20 arrows

The Martial Ranger


Proficiency Bonus

Class Ability



Favored Enemy, Natural Explorer



Fighting Style, Herb Craft, Quarry (1d6)



Ranger Archetype, Primeval Awareness



Ability Score Improvement



Extra Attack



Favored Enemy and Natural Explorer improvements



Ranger Archetype feature



Ability Score Improvement, Land’s Stride



Natural Explorer improvement



Extra Attack, Quarry (2d6)



Ranger Archetype feature, Hide in plain Sight



Ability Score Improvement



Additional Fighting Style, Herb Craft Improvement



Favored Enemy improvement, Vanish



Ranger Archetype feature



Ability Score Improvement



Quarry (3d6)



Feral Senses



Ability Score Improvement



Foe Slayer


As you can see a majority of the class abilities stay intact, even both ranger archetypes, all items in bold are new class abilities or additional class abilities as described below.

New Class Abilities

Herb Craft
Being master foragers, Rangers acquire a variety of herbal lore, which becomes quite useful in healing common ailments and treating wounds.

Starting at 2nd level every time a ranger forges for food while traveling they may also gather their proficiency bonus in herbal wads, if a ranger does nothing but forage for useful herbs they find 1d6+ proficiency bonus. Without an herbalism kit, freshly cut herbal bushels do tend to sour going bad within 2d4 days. Rangers with a herbalism kit may use it to help preserve their harvest, making them last minimum number of days equal to double the ranger’s proficiency bonus.

Rangers may use these wads to speed up natural healing; when taking a short rest the ranger may take a moment to bandage up and treat wounds; any creature that regain hit points at the end of the short rest also gain an additional 1d6 hit points. This die increases as you go up in level, becoming d8 at 9th level, d10 at 13th, and d12 at 7th. Using this ability expends 1 wad of herbs.

At 13th level the Ranger you may also use your Herb Craft to grant a re-roll on any saving throw to either remove the poison condition or help the target fight off the effects of a disease, this ability is only effective on a single target once per long rest, but may be administered to multiple targets. This ability expends 1 wad of healing herbs per target.

Optional Rule: Crafting with Herb Craft

At the DM’s discretion the ranger may use wads of gathered herbs to craft potions, healing kits, antitoxin, or even poison.

Simply treat each wad as 5gp worth of components, thus a healing potion (cost 50g) would require 5 wads to craft. And reduce the time required by a number of days equal to the ranger’s proficiency bonus.

Thus a 10th level ranger could craft a portion of healing in 6 days using 5 wads of herbs.

Also at the DM’s deaccession these items may possess a temporary lifespan, having them sour in a number of days equal to the ranger’s proficiency bonus.

Once you reach 2nd level, you may, as a bonus action, choose one target you can clearly see as your Quarry, which remains your quarry until you ether choose a new Quarry or until you perform a number of long rests equal to your proficiency bonus.  When tracking your Quarry you gain advantage on all wisdom (survival) checks, once per turn, when attacking your Quarry you an deal an additional 1d6 damage, this damage increase to 2d6 at 10th level and finely 3d6 at 17th level. You may use this ability once per short rest.

Once you reach 10th level you may retain your Quarry indefinitely or until you select a new Quarry.

Extra Attack
Martial Rangers get an additional attack at 10th level

Fighting Style
At 13th level the ranger may choose another fighting style.


The Martial Ranger, Multiclassing

Multiclassing Prerequisites:
13 Dexterity and 13 Wisdom.

Multiclassing Proficiencies:
Light armor, medium armor, simple weapons, martial weapons, Herbalist Kit, one skill from the class’s skill list.


So, what do you all think?  Comments down below..

To download in PDF format… download it here.


8 thoughts on “Facebook Challenge – The Martial Ranger


Looks good, however, the initial quarry ability doesn’t have a starting level, not sure when it’s first acquired. Also, it’s says until you choose a new quarry, but has a one per short rest use. Does this indicate that an escaped quarry is still affected through a rest, or can you switch quarries as an action within a given period, etc. I would look at the hex spell, as it fictions in a similar fashion. Otherwise los good


    solid points,

    all clarified…. just updated to v 1.1

Brian Bell

I believe that there are a number of problems with the Herbalism Craft section.
1. You do not specify how long that they have to forage to get “herbalism bushels”. I suggest that they can forage either 15 minutes or 1 hour to obtain useful herbs.
2. The term bushel seems far too much and too large to carry. A bushel is 8 gallons of dry product. See
3. “if a ranger does nothing but forage for useful herbs they find 1d6+ proficiency bonus” in what bushels? Uses?


    you have some good points Brian…

    1) there are two ways to find herb bushels, in the coarse of fining food (which is already defined in the players handbook under activity while traveling… cut i can always call it out in a clearer way) or by spending an hour specifically looking for herbs

    2) solid point of the term bushel, I’m looking for a new term.. I may go with wad as its more of a generalized term.

    3) you find that many bushels (or now wads)

    digging through some sources for inspiration… in 24/hr if I don’t come up with a new term, it will be changed to wad

    So, other then that, what do you think?

      Brian Bell

      You may want to consider one of the following units: pint, quart, 8 ounces (1/2 pound), pound. With one unit being needed to create a poultice, potion, or tea that adds to the healing.

      Secondary note: The herbalism kit does not provide any herbs, only the means of collecting them.

      Tierciary note: Why not just allow the ranger to collect enough to create a healing potion, healing kit, antitoxin, or poison? Then give proficiency in the healing kit also. You could state that these herb-based, nonmagical, substances loose their potency as you described?

      Anyway, just some suggestions.



        1) I think I’m going to go with wad, I don’t want it to be a formal unit but have more of a folksy feel.

        2) good point,

        3) I did give them proficiency in herbalism kit, see at the top of the class, I’ll look to assign a value in wads for healing potion, healing kit, antitoxin, or poisons.. but some GMs wanting to run a low magic campaign may not want to allow healing potions as they are.. the original challenge was meant for a low magic campaign. but overall its a good idea, I’ll see about tweaking it this week.

        As an aside, next week.. the Warlord!! a “Fighter-Subclass”

Samuel Lévesque

Wow. This is something I have stumbled upon myself in a pathfinder game. I had to put a lot of work into making something that worked out okay. This actually turns out more balanced than I thought. I was going to reproach the martial ranger its being more boorish than the fighter itself. It’s not a really versatile combatant (no entangle, no cure wounds, etc.) and the quarry ability is more or less a hunter’s mark, so it does not seem exactly tempting. But the extra fighting feat (which I would just make an extra fighting style, feat or ability scores improvement because the fighting styles are usually a bit exclusive, and so, they do not complement each other all that well depending on your style of play, like if you’re an archer or if you’re a dodger). But I would allow for creative herbal crafting as an offensive ability (like paralysis poison, say – though it comes back to the slim boundary between herbalist and poisoner kits – or something more permanent like the poison ability found in the bard’s college of medicine brewed by Farland) and certainly would go for the beastmaster archetype (to allow for a bit more versatility/melee support). You would have to think something for the Share Spells ability (15th lvl) of the beastmaster. And I think the herbal crafting will have to be taylored on a DM/advenure basis every single time or maybe find something a bit more referential to the 5e mechanisms RAW. I must seem less interested than I am, but I love rangers and will play this archetype with my next ranger for sure. Though I am even more stoked to hear about “the Warlord”.


    I fully expect to come back to this class as it gets play tested…

    I do plan to include it in a future printed product, which is why I posted it here…

    As far as the herbal crafting i based them off RAW which leave a lot up to the GM, and included them into the travel rules for “ease of use”, but due to the nature of the ability it’s always in the hands of the DM, they can simply say that the needed materials do not grow in the area.

    one thing I was thinking was adding was go costs for “preserved wads” so a ranger can buy what he needs in a market someplace.

    lastly the reason why I have another fighting style helps increase the characters flexibility, I can’t tell you how many times my fighter has been forced to use a bow!

    my current play test character for this class is a two-weapon fighter (dex based) and will pick up Archery when he can.. being damn good at both..

    two fighting styles and two feats, you becomes one hell of a well rounded combatant… 5e does not require such focused specialization when compared to 3.X/PFS


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