July 24, 2018

Conclave of Geomancers

Ranger Conclave
Notes from the Nails: this has absolutely nothing to do with the fact I've been replaying Final Fantasy Tactics recently.

Conclave of Geomancers

All rangers are skilled in the use of natural magic, drawing supernatural power from the world around them to support their mundane abilities. Geomancers, however, are blessed with a much stronger connection to the earth than the typical ranger. These individuals are able to unleash the magic of nature in a raw, undiluted form to strike down their foes, as well as having the ability to move through even the most extreme of environments unmolested.

When you join this conclave at 3rd level, you gain the ability to channel the power of nature to attack your enemies. As an action on your turn, you can use your geomantic magic to attack a creature you can see within 60 feet of you. The target must make a Dexterity saving throw against your ranger spell DC. On a failed save, the creature takes 1d6 damage and is subjected to a condition based on your surroundings until the start of your next turn. On a successful save, the creature takes no damage and is not subject to a condition. The damage type and condition are determined by your current surroundings, as shown in the Geomancy Terrain table.
     Conditions marked with a * are more difficult to inflict, so the target has advantage on the saving throw.
     The damage inflicted by this ability increases based on your total level (not ranger level). It deals 2d6 at 5th level, 3d6 at 11th level and 4d6 at 17th level.

Geomancy Terrain
TerrainDamage TypeCondition
Dry Lands (cold deserts, xeric shrublands, and salt flats)NecroticStunned*
Forests (jungles, rainforests, woodland, and taiga)PiercingRestrained
Grasslands (plains, steepes, savannah, fields, and meadows)SlashingCharmed
Magical Locations (demiplanes and the Outer Planes)RadiantFrightened
Manmade Environments (towns, cities, bridges, and fortifications)LightningDeafened
Rocky Lands (hills, mountains, caves, and the Underdark)BludgeoningPetrified*
Sandy Lands (hot deserts and beaches)FireBlinded
Snowy Environments (tundra, glaciers, and anywhere after snow)ColdParalyzed*
Water (lakes, rivers, seas and oceans)AcidIncapacitated
Wetlands (swamps, marshes, bayous, salt marshes, bogs, and fens)PoisonPoisoned

Also at 3rd level, you are unaffected by naturally occurring adverse weather conditions such as wind, rain, snow and fog, though you are still subject to the perils of extreme heat and extreme cold.

Empowered Geomancy
Starting at 5th level, your geomancy becomes more powerful. Instead of targeting one creature, you can now target a point within 60 feet. Each creature within 10 feet of that point must make a saving throw against your geomancy.

Natural Defense
At 7th level, you gain resistance to the damage type and immunity to the condition associated with the terrain type you are currently in.

Command Wildlife
By 11th level, you can use magic to bring wildlife under your control, as long as they are native to the environment you are in. As an action, you can choose one non-humanoid creature that you can see within 60 feet of you. If the creature customarily inhabits the terrain type that surrounds you (such as a black dragon in a swamp or a fiend in a Lower Plane), it must make a Charisma saving throw against your ranger spell save DC. On a failure, it becomes friendly to you and obeys your commands until you use this feature again. On a success, it is immune to this feature for 24 hours.
     More powerful creatures are harder to control in this way. If the target has a CR of 2 or higher, it has advantage on the saving throw. If it fails the saving throw and has a CR of 5 or higher, it can repeat the saving throw at the end of every hour until it succeeds and breaks free.

Geomantic Barrier
Starting at 15th level, your geomantic magic protects you from harmful arcana. You can add your proficiency bonus to all saving throws you make against spells and other magical effects.

Changelog: 07/24/2018: Command Wildlife changed from Int to CR.
07/27/2018: Command Wildlife doesn't work on humanoids.


  1. Huh! I like the shifting abilities based on terrain. It's a nice way to have the terrain matter without locking a character into one terrain.

  2. That's a really cool ranger! The focus on terrain types is really great and flavorful.

    "the use of natural magic, drawing supernatural power" is a weird phrasing. Also, isn't geomancy more related to controlling earth? Or would that be lithomancy?

    Anyway, the abilities are cool, and kinda remind me of a better version of the horizon walker. Radiant seems a less obvious choice than force for magical locations, but whatever.

    Command wildlife works "until you use this feature again". That means you can control a Goristro forever, for example. Or a purple worm, and become Muad'dib. Which is cool, but might be too good.

    1. On the fluff wording: that's kind of a quirk of the language, I think. 'Supernatural' does not imply 'unnatural'. And yes, 'geomancy' is 'earth magic' but, as far as I'm concerned, terrain is part of the earth (plus the name is taken from Final Fantasy anyway). 'Litho-' would refer more specifically to rocks or stones, so that's not much good here.

      I pretty much copy-pasted the Command Wildlife mechanic from the School of Necromancy's Command Undead feature, as it goes. Maybe it needs to be toned down though, to account for the fact it can work on any creature type...

    2. I highly recommend changing the tresholds from Intelligence ratings to CR. When it comes to undead Intelligence is almost always indicative to overall power, starting from rock bottom with your average zombie and eventually hitting supragenius levels with the likes of liches. Command Undead is pretty much guaranteed to give you more difficulty with more powerful undead while Command Wildlife would easily allow the players to perma-hijack something dumb but otherwise outlandishly powerful.

    3. If this is based on the Final Fantasy job then it seems strange to make it a ranger archetype. Geomancers are casters who use bells to cast. They've even been called Elementalists and Taoists so I think Druid or Cleric would have made more sense.

    4. To be specific, it's based on the geomancer job from Final Fantasy Tactics. They fight with swords and are just as dangerous in a melee as any of the martial jobs; their magic is very low power and mostly just useful for inflicting status effects with no charge time or MP cost.

      And I think I will have to change Command Wildlife to CR rather than Int.

  3. Command Wildlife seems a bit off, and rather potent.
    - There isn't a limit on how many uses you get. This is okay, but I'd suggest a limit to either a single creature up to a certain CR, or some number totalling a CR limit.
    - There isn't an explicit limit on what you can use the ability on. Some stuff is obviously off limits because a demon, for example, isn't native to any terrain. Other stuff, like undead that are native to a swamp, seems counter intuitive. I think a short list of creature types wouldn't be a bad idea here.
    - Does it work anywhere except the material plane? There are forests in Arborea, for example. Can you command celestials there? Or devils in the hells?

    1. It's already limited to one creature, per the clause "until you use this feature again".

      Demons are not off limits; I specifically call out "fiend in a Lower Plane" as a valid target in the text of the ability. As a general guideline, I would expect people to use the tables in the back of the DMG; the 'short list' you ask for would just be a reprint of that.

      Yes, you can command celestials in Arborea (plus potentially some fey, beasts and plants as well). 'Course, most celestials have impressive Cha saves and high CRs, so they aren't going to be easy targets.

  4. Question: For the geomancy trait, does it check the terrain you're on, or the terrain that the target is on?

    I only see this being an issue with the water terrain. So if the ranger on the rocky shore of a river targets an opponent in the river, which terrain effect is triggered?

  5. I've played through FFT more than three times, and this gets as close to the Geomancer as I can imagine without messing with balance. As usual, I have little in the way of misgivings.

    As for the inquiry of the good Mikelinsdey, in FFT all the abilities were based on what terrain the caster was standing upon. It seems likely that that'd be the case here given that its based off the class from FFT.

    1. Agreed. If there's ambiguity, go by the ranger's surroundings. The wording "the damage type and condition are determined by *your* current surroundings" should be taken to support that.

  6. Is this based of the phb or the ua revised ranger?

    1. Revised ranger, hence the use of 'conclave' and inclusion of a 5th level feature. To be honest, this whole concept only works on the revised ranger chassis; I wouldn't bother trying to play it on the PHB ranger.

      As a general rule, I only write revised rangers (and it feels like I'm the main ranger-writer for MHP at the moment). As far as I'm concerned, they're a vast improvement over PHB rangers, even if WotC apparently don't agree.

  7. IMO FF Tactics is one of the best games ever and Geomancers are the best job ever especially as secondary skill, next to Cid (but he's way op)and Red Chocos. Choco Meteor FTW! Favorite combo is Samurai primary, Geo secondary, reaction is geomancy counter, support = dual wield, move = find item

    Phb Ranger Ideas:
    1. Geomancy only usable in chosen favored terrian(s) and can spend time attuning current enviornment during short/long rest to treat as favred terrain for x duration.
    2. Replace Command Wildlife w/ Call Nat. Allies from spell-less ranger in mod classes ua.

    1. Now i wanna play FFT again but misplaced my PS2

    2. Red chocobos are stupidly OP. Man I hate those things.

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    4. If i ever see them in an encounter, i kill them first regardless of objective or have mediator attempt to tame. I tend to have more trouble w/ the "not" mindflayers, freakin mindblast inflicts confuse and beserk always seems to hit or black chocos, Choco ball doesn't deal as much damage as choco meteor but they can fly in combo w/ the amazing choco move range.

  8. With Command Wildlife would Humans and other humanoids be viable targets if the ranger were in a town/city? This seems exploitable and not the intent of the ability.

    1. Good point. Humanoids probably shouldn't count as 'wildlife'.

  9. Love this! Are Magical Locations intended as a catch-all for anything extraplanar, or would one of the other locations that happens to be on another plane still apply?

    On a similar note, was it intentional to leave out locations in the Inner Planes? I can't imagine a player would be happy to get fire resistance in the desert, but then only radiant resistance on the Plane of Fire.

    1. I'd expect DMs to use common sense. 'Magical locations' is something of a catch-all, but if something would obviously fit a natural terrain type (such as mountains on the Plane of Earth), by all means rule it that way.