July 3, 2019

Alpine Conclave

Ranger Conclave
Notes from the Nails: did you know that it's been over half a year since we've posted a ranger?

Alpine Conclave

Of all the natural environments that rangers have explored, conquered, and defended, few are more perilous than the great stony peaks of mountains. Danger is never far away in the frigid extremes of the Death Zone, and the rangers who spend their lives in and around such regions are characterized by their fortitude, bravery and athleticism.

Rock Climber
When you join this conclave at 3rd level, you gain a climbing speed equal to your base movement speed, which you can use even if you do not have any climbing tools or equipment. You can add twice your proficiency bonus to any checks related to climbing or abseiling, and if you have suitable equipment, you can extend these advantages to up to 5 willing allies as long as they all remain within 60 feet of you.

Death from Above
Also at 3rd level, you are skilled at using high ground to your advantage. Once per turn, when you make a ranged weapon attack against a target that is more than 5 feet below you, the attack deals an additional 1d8 damage. Additionally, if you make a melee weapon attack against a hostile creature while falling, you take no damage from falling as long as your attack hits and you fell a from a height shorter than your movement.

Avalanche Attack
At 5th level, you can make a series of rapid strikes, burying your foes in an avalanche of attacks. Whenever you take the Attack action on your turn, you can attack three times instead of once (or twice if you are attacking with a firearm). However, you cannot add your ability modifier to the damage of these attacks.
     At 11th level, you can make four attacks instead of three, or three instead of two with a firearm.

When you reach 7th level, you can set up a temporary camp in any natural environment, even if you do not have any equipment (tents, bedrolls, etc.). This takes 1 minute of work, and protects up to 12 Medium or smaller creatures from all natural hazards and adverse weather, providing sufficient shelter to take a short or long rest.
     Additionally, you are immune to altitude sickness and you have resistance to cold damage.

Granite Defense
At 11th level, you become one with the mountain, with powers of stamina and endurance alike unto stone. You gain proficiency in Constitution saving throws.

Mountain Master
By 15th level, you have fully mastered the mountain environment. If you are on a mountain, you know exactly what weather conditions and natural hazards will occur on the mountain for the next hour, and you can use your Primeval Awareness to sense the presence of your favored enemies as an action. You are permanently under the influence of a spider climb spell, which cannot be dispelled by any means, and you have resistance to falling damage.
     Furthermore, you learn the spell stone shape, which is a ranger spell for you, and you can cast it once per day without expending a spell slot. Stone shape does not count against the total number of spells you can learn.

Changelog: 07/04/2019: Avalanche Attack reduced by one attack, firearm exception added.


  1. Minor typo: "you take no damage from falling IF your attack hits and you fell a from a height shorter than your movement."

    Keep up the good work!

  2. Avalanche Attack seems very powerful even without the modifier. If you got a Hunter Mark up, it's almost guaranteed to be much stronger than two attack. Even more so if you have the dueling fighting style. This is not even mentioning strong feats like Sharpshooter, GWM or magical items, like a flametongue.

    Is this intended?

    1. The intent with Avalanche Attack is that it's weaker than Extra Attack by default, but you can potentially make it stronger with things like hunter's mark. I guess it needs a bit of a nerf to achieve that.

      Flametongues would be very strong, but they're strong in pretty much anyone's hands.

  3. The concept is really good (I've always liked specialists), but...

    Death from Above is very thematic, but requires much more specific conditions than other similar ranger features (colossus slayer or the horizon walker one), for the same reward.
    And it does not interact in with Avalanche Attack, which is extremely prone to abuse (as tempuser mentioned) in many, many, many ways.

    Death form Above feels like it should give some greater reward- perhaps also knocking the target prone or pushing it, which is perfect for killing on the mountains?
    The falling thing is cute, but is mostly for theme and has few balance implications, if any.

    Avalanche Attack will make this class instantly banned by any DM, which ruins the point of having homebrew, so I think it should be redesigned.

    1. Yeah, I've cut Avalanche Attack down. My bad.

      I don't really think 'being 5 feet above your opponent' is a particularly stringent condition. It's literally one grid square. I'm more worried that it's too *easy* to proc compared to similar features.

    2. At higher levels it becomes very easy with flying, but in all other cases it depends entirely on the environment. Some areas would make it easy (unless you're fighting giants or flyers), while in others (tundra, grasslands, rooms with no climbable objects) it's virtually impossible without magical aid.

      A hunter's slayerthingy requires a damaged enemy. On a class with extra attack.

      I'm not saying it's underpowered, just that it's got more potential to unlock- even just allowing to push 5ft instead of extra damage would make this guy way more dangerous in mountains.

    3. It doesn't even really need to be on higher levels: all you need is a few hundred gold pieces to buy a pair of winged boots and be able to use it at any time.

  4. Typo in the 11th level ability in Avalanche Attack. It should read "At 11th level, you can make four attacks instead of 𝐭𝐡𝐫𝐞𝐞, or three with a firearm.

  5. I think it would be flavorful if Death from Above transfered (maybe only half) of the fall damage to the enemy, even if you take some yourself. However, I can see that being somewhat abused so it would probably need a cap and it's wordy as is already.

  6. notes is wrong, a ranger archetype was posted back in December. Freerunner

    1. Oh yeah... I meant to say "half a year". Oops.

  7. Granite Defense seems a little weak, even for a ribbon feature. Maybe also grant expertise in Survival?

    1. What? Proficiency is one of the big 3 saves is definitely NOT a ribbon. Gloom Stalker gets prof in wis saves as a single feature in 7th lvl.

      Also keep in mind Avalanche Attack gets significantly stronger at that level, as is the norm for rangers (and others, like fighter 2nd xtra attack, paladin improved smite, mages getting 6th lvl damage spells, etc.)

      So at 11th you get strong defensive+offensive features. An exploration one doesn't seem necessary (especially considering how many rangers, and specifically this subclass, get).

  8. Hm... one day somebody might write something vogue about the ranger class. Seriously, I am certain of it. ;-)