November 25, 2009

Martial Controller Duex

After posting my pronouncement last week, that I would be working up a controller build for the Ranger class, I went and looked over the class and immediately realized I had made a huge mistake. Unlike the Rogue, the Ranger has very few powers that impose conditions or force movement. Most of the Ranger's powers are simply more damage. So while I can't simply trade out the striker damage dice, I set about trying to figure a way to put my money where my mouth is. I think I've got it, finally, so let me know what you think!

New Class Feature
When you make your ranger, and you choose the Archer Fighting Style, you may choose this power instead of Hunter's Quarry.

Scattershot Ranger Feature
You have sacrificed the lethal focus of your ranger brethren in order to unleash a hail of arrows with every draw of your bow.
At-Will * Martial
Free Action
Effect: When you use a ranged martial attack power, you reduce the damage die of your weapon by one size (e.g. d10 becomes d8) and the attack becomes area burst 1. Any conditions or forced movement caused by the power are applied to all targets hit by the power.

Scattershot Ranger

You are a master of the multi-shot, the archer of many arrows. You scorn the idea of focusing upon one foe to the exclusion of all others, and instead direct your skills toward the thinning of herds, and controlling your enemies. Your allies know that when your bow is in hand, no swarm of savage fiends is too large, no host too great. The hum of your bowstring sings a song of evened odds and approaching victory.
Take Dexterity as your highest ability score since it dictates attack and damage for your ranged attacks. Make Wisdom your second highest since many of the extra effects of your powers will rely upon it. Strength can be tertiary in case you are forced into melee combat. Make sure you use a ranged weapon since Scattershot requires it, and focus on ranger attack powers that have the ranged weapon requirement. Whenever possible, choose powers that also impose a condition or forced movement, since your damage is lower than a normal ranger.
Suggested Feat: Far Shot (Human: Improved Initiative)
Suggested Skills: Acrobatics, Dungeoneering, Nature, Perception, Stealth
Suggested At-Will Powers: Careful Attack, Nimble Strike
Suggested Encounter Power: Evasive Strike
Suggested Daily Power: Hunter's Bear Trap

So there it is. Not thrilled with it, but I think it's workable, otherwise I wouldn't put it out there. Pouring over the Ranger powers reminded me of another pet peeve of mine. There are only four classes so far that have to choose between two primary abilities for their character and that choice will dictate power choices for the rest of the game. Most classes have a uniform primary ability, such as Wisdom for Avengers and Invokers, or Intelligence for Wizards. Ranger, Warlock, Cleric, and Paladin were split between two abilities. I'm not sure why this is, and I think next week, I'm going to spend a little time dissecting that design choice to see if I can find a reason for it, and if not, see if there is a reason the obvious fix is a bad idea. Tune in next week, same Bat time, same Bat channel!

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