April 16, 2020


Ranger Archetype
Notes from the Nails: Reinforcements? I am the reinforcements.


Originally, the Riskbreakers were knights sworn to uphold the peace, and specially trained to hunt down the most dangerous criminals in the land. Over time, however, the organization became corrupted. Now each of the Riskbreakers wanders the world alone, pursuing their own mysterious goals or merely trying to survive.

Measured Risk
Starting at 3rd level, whenever you make an attack, you can choose to sacrifice accuracy at the expense of power, or vice versa. If you choose to sacrifice accuracy, you can take a -2 penalty to your attack bonus to gain a +4 bonus to damage. Alternatively, you can subtract 4 from your damage roll to gain a +2 bonus to your attack roll. You can't reduce an attack bonus below 0 using this ability.

Analytical Eye
Also at 3rd level, you can use a bonus action on your turn to assess the defenses of any creature you can see. You learn its Armor Class and, if it is one of your favored enemies, you also learn its current hit points and any damage vulnerabilities it has (if any).

Field Maintenance
By 7th level, your experience with solo operations has taught you how to maintain your own gear. You gain proficiency with one set of artisan's tools of your choice and, if a piece of your equipment is damaged (for example by a rust monster or black pudding), you can use an action to restore it to full effectiveness.

Legacy of the Blood-Sin
By 11th level, the secret deeds of the Riskbreakers have caught up with you, offering you a fateful choice. If you choose to embrace the darkness, you gain resistance to radiant damage and the Shadow Flux ability. If you reject the darkness, you gain resistance to necrotic damage and the Heart Seer ability. Once you have made this choice, you cannot change it.
     Shadow Flux. Once per day when you finish a short rest, you can choose expended spell slots to recover. The spell slots can have a combined level that is equal to or less than half your ranger level (rounded up).
     Heart Seer. Whenever you finish a short rest in which you spend hit dice to regain hit points, you immediately regain 2 expended hit dice. Additionally, you learn the spells detect evil and good, detect thoughts and see invisibility, which are now ranger spells for you.

Break Art
When you reach 15th level, you master the Riskbreaker's most fearsome techniques: the Break Arts. When you hit a target with a weapon attack, you can use a bonus action and expend one ranger spell slot to apply a Break Art to the attack. The Break Art deals 2d12 damage to the target for each level of spell slot, up to a maximum of 10d12. You can choose any type for this damage. Furthermore, the target must make a Constitution saving throw against your ranger spell save DC or be paralyzed for up to 1 minute. The target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on a success. However, when you use a Break Art, you lose hit points equal to half of the damage it dealt.


  1. Is the note supposed to be a reference to "I'm on the brute squad." "You ARE the brute squad!" ?

    Field maintenance seems really weak for a 7th level ranger feature. Maybe crit on 19-20 due to sharpness? Or counting the weapons as magical?

    Break arts is... Hmm. A double-smiting paladin at 15th level can easily add 10d8 without taking damage himself, so I guess it's alright.

    1. Second thoughts: Attempting to paralyze almost every turn, in addition to attacking, might be just too good. The nuke-damage in this case is less of a balance risk than the paralyze.
      Sure, monks can try stunning every turn, but there's important difference between those two conditions.

    2. The note is a quote from Vagrant Story, the inspiration for this subclass.

      Field Maintenance is a bit ribbony, but it's useful when you do get attacked by something that can corrode armour, and my thought was that it goes some way towards offsetting the high level of power in the other features.

      And sure, paralysis is debilitating, but rangers don't have *that* many spell slots to spare, and there's a big chunk of recoil damage to deal with. Plus it costs a bonus action... I still feel that it's a fair trade.

    3. If you succeed on the paralysis, next turn you can attack for 16d12+normal crit damage.

      And sure, you'll take like 70 damage, but still.

  2. This capstone alone feels like it's worth a dip into the Martyr class you guys made. Add a good life cleric to support your character on top of that and it can make a high-level nova build of unprecedented effectiveness.

  3. this seems pretty interesting as a concept for sure.

    Also do you have any spellcasting subclasses that allow other characters, probably more Marshall build, to cast spells by using your spell slot/Pact Magic feature similar to how the fighter's purple dragon knight subclass has Abilities that allows other characters to temporarily game fighter-like abilities?

    I am kind of curious to see how you guys would do a subclass like that if you haven't already.

    Also thank for this content it will make my birthday a little bit better. I hope you have a great day.

    1. Hmm. The spell Role Reversal in the 'spells from songs' post I did a few weeks ago kind of does that.

    2. Good to know that. It a little sad that it wasn't a surface? But oh well.

      Say what spellcasting classes can use it, I check it out a while ago and I didn't see any description on what classes can cast it?

    3. They're all joke spells. Only bards can cast them. :P

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