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Rangers of Ghelspad $1.00
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Rangers of Ghelspad
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Rangers of Ghelspad
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Alain G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/31/2018 07:19:04

This presents three ranger subclasses. They all fit perfectly in the Scarred Lands settings, even though I would have preferred them to have generic names instead of being named after some of Ghelspad's rangers traditions (there is a disclaimer in the introduction stating that one doesn't need to be of one of these organization to follow these path, but still, I would have preferred it the other way around). That is a very minor detail and just a question of personal preference I guess.

These are very solid subclasses from a mechanical perspective, and most abilities seem very well balanced and fit the themes very nicely. Among some of the things I have noticed:

  • Paralytic Strike seems quite overpowered since it doesn't seem to be limited other than by the fact that it "consumes" one attack. I would probably make it so each creature can only be affected once every 24 hours.
  • The bonus/malus tradeoff in Whirling Defense seems weird, as 5E generally uses disadvantage/advantage for this type of mechanics (similar to the barbarian reckless attack feature) Also, it is useless if the player doesn't fight with two weapons, which seems somewhat limiting (especially given that the Unarmored Defense feature leaves it open for the player to choose its weapon combination)
  • Dehydrating Retaliation also seems pretty overpowered, for the same reason as Paralytic Strike (no apparent limit)

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Alain, Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a thoughtful review on Rangers of Ghelspad! I appreciate the feedback and insight. With regard to the subclasses being named after the ranger traditions of Ghelspad, I felt that it was a nice, shorthand way to evoke the setting and feel of the Scarred Lands when selecting these subclasses. In terms of mechanical concerns. Paralytic Strike consumes an action, not an attack. It cannot be used with the extra attack feature, and requires the ranger to sacrifice a significant portion of action economy in order to potentially paralyze a target. Though it is infinitely repeatable, it is also easily defeated by saves each turn to escape, which grant advantage if the target is damaged. I feel these limitations, combined with the advanced level required to activate the feature don't bring things too far out of balance, considering the sacrifice made in terms of action economy and tactical follow up to use the feature. The whirling defense mechanics are based off of the parry feature seen in creatures such as the Knight and are definitely designed to encourage two weapon fighting but the exclusion of a shield as an option for the offhand was an unintentional oversight and has been rectified in the V1.1 update. Regarding the Dehydrating Retaliation feature, this too relies on action economy and a comparatively easy to beat saving throw (for the user's level) in order to make it manageable in terms of balance. It can only be used as a reaction which means the ranger must exercise relative caution in choosing actions. This feature becomes particularly nasty if aimed at low Constitution creatures or used on targets who have not been minding their hydration, but considering the prevalence of immunity to exhaustion among titanspawn, I feel that this is a feature that looks far more potent than it is. In a fight against other humanoids it is one hell of an advantage to be sure, but most humanoids of comparable CR will be able to resist that exhaustion at least 40% of the time. As always, I am open to feedback from the field. If anyone sees these features playing out in a different way at your table, particularly if they prove to be extremely dominant choices in your players' tactics, I would love to discuss it further in the comments section on this product. I am certainly open to making further tweaks should they prove necessary. Thanks, Travis
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