Spirit Ranger (5e Subclass)
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Spirit Ranger archetype based on 2015 Playtest material found in "Media:Unearthed Arcana: Ranger" [] This material appears to have been abandoned by WOTC. I liked it so much, though, I wanted to finish it as an archetype for Ranger rather than a re-worked Ranger class. One of the reasons for it not being finished was that it did not offer magic spells. I added streamlined, limited magic abilities, hopefully appealing to those who find spells and spell slots ponderous. I incorporated all of the material in that playtest article.
The Spirit Ranger is an archetype for Ranger characters that may be selected at 3rd level.
Spirit Ranger Path
You attune to the spiritual element of magic more than the physical. This is more difficult and takes time to master, but you understand that all things have spiritual power. Your magic will manifest as skills. They will come in pairs. Choose one skill in the pair. Skills perform as their spell counterparts unless otherwise specified. If a skill becomes available that you already have as a spell from 2nd level, you must choose it's companion skill in that pair. If more than one pair is available at a certain level, you choose just one of the available pairs. When you reach any new level, you may swap between skills in a previously selected pair. The Spirit Ranger does not use the Ranger Spell Progression table and no verbal components or spell slots are used for their magic skills. At 3rd level, the Ranger spells you chose at 2nd level now become Spirit Ranger skills. You retain both and may use them each once between long rests. They will continue to operate as though cast with a 1st level spell slot, unless otherwise noted below.
Other than the change to how magic is handled, other standard (non-archetype specific) features of the Ranger class are gained as with other Ranger Archetypes. See the Ranger Table in the Player's Handbook.
At 3rd level, you receive a Spirit Companion as described in the 2015 Ranger class description from Unearthed Arcana. Modifications in brackets. [Spirit] Rangers gain a spirit companion and the ability to invoke its magical power. (Your spirit companion grants you one benefit you can call on in this playtest version of the revised ranger, with more benefits gained at higher levels.) You regain your ability to call on your spirit companion in this way when you finish a short or long rest. Once per day as a bonus action, you can command your spirit companion to materialize as a living creature, determined by the ranger path you choose. Your spirit companion manifests as an animal for 1 minute or until your concentration is broken (as if you are concentrating on a spell). You can also dismiss it as a bonus action. The manifested creature gains a bonus to attack rolls and saving throws equal to your Wisdom modifier. It uses the hit points in the animal’s stat block or half your hit point maximum, whichever is higher. [Alternatively, use the animal's stat block and add hit points equal the Spirit Ranger's Wisdom modifier at each each level above 3rd.] The manifested creature takes its turn on your initiative and acts immediately after you. You control its actions, even if you are unconscious or otherwise unable to act.
Your supernatural connection to nature and the wild takes you along one of three different ranger paths: the Guardian, the Seeker, or the Stalker.
By following the path of the Guardian, you protect the natural world from creatures that would despoil it, even as you engage with the common folk who rely upon nature’s bounty to survive. You patrol the pathways through the wilds, keeping them clear of bandits and rampaging monsters, even as you keep careful watch on how civilized realms interact with the wilderness. Those who take more than their fair share—clear-cutting forests or hunting for sport rather than survival—risk your wrath. When your spirit companion manifests, it takes the form of a brown bear.
Your companion spirit helps to protect you and the creatures closest to you. As a bonus action, you invoke your spirit companion and choose yourself or an ally you can see. The chosen creature gains temporary hit points equal to 2d6 + your Wisdom modifier.
By taking up the Seeker path, you are drawn into the unknown wilds far from civilization in search of lost treasures, forgotten evil, and sites of primal magic. You understand that the trackless wilderness can harbor many secrets. Some of those secrets—such as a lonely oasis providing water to a desert realm—must be protected. Others—such as an ancient idol infused with the foul magic of the demon worshippers who crafted it—must be destroyed before their evil awakens once more. When your spirit companion manifests, it takes the form of a giant eagle.
Your companion spirit lends its sharp combat senses to you and your companions. As a bonus action, you invoke your spirit companion and choose a creature you can see. Until the end of your next turn, all attacks made against the chosen creature have advantage.
As a ranger of the Stalker path, you prowl the wilderness in search of aberrations, fiends, and other monsters that must be slain before they wreak havoc on the natural world. You are the power of nature’s vengeance made manifest, and anything that poses a threat to nature is your target. When a powerful creature such as a dragon threatens a region, a ranger of the Stalker path leads the hunt that will take it down. Like others of your kind, you do not rest until your quarry is dead and the natural world is safe. When your spirit companion manifests, it takes the form of a dire wolf.
Your companion spirit lends the strength of its deadly bite to you or one of your companions. As a bonus action, you invoke your spirit companion and choose yourself or a creature you can see. The next time [within 10 minutes] the chosen creature hits with a weapon attack, the target of the attack takes extra slashing damage equal to 2d6 + your Wisdom modifier.
At 3rd level, you receive the Ambuscade benefit as described in the 2015 Ranger class description from Unearthed Arcana. Modifications in brackets. [Spirit] Rangers strike first and strike hard. When you roll initiative, you gain a special turn that takes place before other creatures can act. On this turn, you can use your action to take either the Attack or Hide action. If more than one creature in an encounter has this feature, they all act first in order of initiative, then the regular initiative order begins. If you would normally be surprised at the start of an encounter, you are not surprised but you do not gain this extra turn.
Spirit Companion Armor Class
At 4th level, you are more attuned to your Spirit Companion, who now gains your Armor Class.
As described in the 2015 Ranger class description from Unearthed Arcana. Modifications in brackets. Beginning at [4th] level, you combine speed and stealth in combat to make yourself hard to pin down. You are difficult to detect even if you attack or otherwise take actions that would normally reveal your presence. At the start of your turn, pick a creature you are hidden from. You remain hidden from that creature during your turn, regardless of your actions or the actions of other creatures. As a bonus action at the end of your turn, you can make a Dexterity (Stealth) check to hide again if you fulfill the conditions needed to hide. Otherwise, creatures are aware of you at the end of your turn.
At 5th level, you gain a new Magical Skill. You may choose one of the following skill pairings, Health Skills or Hunter Skills. Once you choose a pairing, you may not change it. Within the pairing, choose one skill. You may swap between companion skills each time you achieve a higher level. (This extends to all pairs available at each level increase). Each skill operates as the Ranger spell of the same name, as if cast using a 2nd level spell slot, unless otherwise specified at higher levels.
Health Skills: Cure Wounds or Protection From Poison
Hunter Skills: Hunter's Mark or Darkvision
At 6th level, you gain another Magical Skill from the Attack Skills. These skills operate as if cast using a 1st level spell slot, unless otherwise specified at higher levels.
Attack Skills: Hail of Thorns or Ensnaring Strike
At 7th level, you gain another Magical Skill from the Nature Skills. These skills operate as if cast using a 3rd level spell slot, unless otherwise specified at higher levels.
Nature Skills: Fog Cloud or Speak With Plants
At 8th level, Health Skills may be used twice between long rests. The duration for Hunter's Mark increases to 4 hours. Darkvision may be extended to a second creature.
At 9th level, you gain another Magical Skill. You may choose one of the following skill pairings, Energy Skills or Light Skills. Each skill operates as if cast using a 3rd level spell slot, unless otherwise specified at higher levels.
Energy Skills: Lesser Restoration or Protection From Energy
Light Skills: Daylight or Lightning Arrow
At 10th level, you gain another Magical Skill. You may choose one of the following skill pairings, Water Skills or Air Skills. Each skill operates as if cast using a 3rd level spell slot, unless otherwise specified at higher levels.
Water Skills: Water Breathing or Water Walk
Air Skills: Conjure Barrage or Wind Wall
At 11th level, the duration of Nature Skills double.
At 12th level, the duration for Hunter's Mark increases to 8 hours. Darkvision may be extended to four creatures.
At 13th level, Attack Skills now operate as if cast with a 2nd level spell slot and may be used twice between long rests.
At 15th level, Energy and Light Skills may be used twice between long rests.
At 17th level, you gain another Magical Skill. You may choose one of the following skill pairings, Environment Skills or Ammunition Skills. Each skill operates as if cast using a 5th level spell slot.
Environment Skills: Tree Stride or Commune With Nature
Ammunition Skills: Conjure Volley or Swift Quiver
Attuned to Each Other
At 7th level, you may invoke the power of your Spirit Companion (Guardian's Shroud, Seeker's Eye or Stalker's Fangs) twice between short or long rests. With Guardian's Shroud, the chosen creature now gains temporary hit points equal to 2d8 + your Wisdom modifier. With Stalker's Fangs, the target of the attack now takes extra slashing damage equal to 2d8 + your Wisdom modifier.
If using the alternate hit point option, your Spirit Companion gains +2 per level
You may summon your Spirit Companion to manifest as an animal for 1 minute twice between long rests. When it hits with an attack, it adds your Wisdom modifier to its damage.
Living creatures of the same type as your Spirit Companion are friendly toward you. They will not attack you or your allies. They will only stay near you up to 1 hour and you can communicate with each other, as in the Speak With Animals spell. They are likely to render aid, if asked. You have a great affinity for this creature type. If it is injured, up to 1d10 berries you have become Goodberries,as in the Ranger spell of the same name,but only when eaten by this creature type. The berries may be fresh or dried. If you already have this skill from second level, it performs as it always has.
At 11th level, when you invoke the power of your Spirit Companion, the effect may be extended to a second creature. You may summon your Spirit Companion to manifest as an animal for 1 minute three times between long rests. If it does not have multiattack, it gains an extra attack.
You have come full circle. You perceive that when the spiritual and material are combined, true balance can be achieved.
At 15th level, you may summon your Spirit Companion as often and for as long as you wish. If you dismiss it or lose concentration, it will vanish for an hour before it can be summoned again. If your Spirit Companion falls to zero hit points, it will vanish and may not be summoned again until after your next long rest.
You may now only invoke the Spirit Companion power while your Companion creature is manifested as a physical animal. The individual benefits are now as follows:
As a bonus action, up to 4 creatures gain temporary hit points or may have hit points restored equal to 1 quarter of their maximum hit points or 2d10 + your Wisdom modifier, whichever is higher. This may be used once between short or long rests.
As a bonus action, choose up to 4 creatures you can see. Until the end of your next turn, all attacks made against the chosen creatures have advantage. This may be used once between short or long rests.
As a bonus action, choose up to 4 creatures you can see. The next time [within 10 minutes] the chosen creatures hit with a weapon attack, the target of the attack takes extra slashing damage equal to 2d10 + your Wisdom modifier. This may be used once between short or long rests.