November 19, 2015


Ranger Archetype
Comments from the Finger: Nailing down the Ranger for a magitech setting was tough, and went through many iterations before we had the concept that we wanted. Ultimately, the pursuer became Blade Runner using magic items to hunt rogue constructs. 


Magitech is powerful, unwieldy, and dangerous. When a Heart of the Machine goes rampant, or a construct goes rogue, the ordinary town guard is often ill-equipped to handle the ensuing disaster. It's for these reasons that a Pursuer is called. You are no mere hunter, however. The tools of your trade include special magitech weapons, and you often must use exceptional investigation skills to track your quarry.

Magitech Scanner
Starting when you select this archetype at 3rd level, you gain a handheld scanner which can detect the aura of magitech devices. As an action, you can detect the unique aura of each magitech device or construct within 30 feet, and you can determine whether or not a unique construct or device has been present in the area within the last hour.
     The device can penetrate most barriers, but it is blocked by 1 foot of stone, 1 inch of common metal, a thin sheet of lead, or 3 feet of wood or dirt.

Laser Pistol 
At 3rd level, you gain a special rechargeable laser pistol. You have proficiency with this weapon. This laser pistol does not have the reload property, but instead has 5 charges, 1 of which is expended when you fire it. The pistol regains 1d4+1 expended charges daily at dawn. Due to overheating, you many only fire your laser pistol once when you take the Attack action on your turn.
     If your laser pistol is ever lost or destroyed, you can build a new one by expending 100 gp worth of materials over 24 hours of work.
     At 7th level, you expand the battery, which increases the pistol's charges to 10, recovering 1d10 charges daily. At 11th level, you solve the overheating problem, allowing you to fire your laser pistol more than once each turn.

Dodge Roll
Beginning at 7th level, you can expend 20 feet of your movement to move 10 feet without provoking Opportunity Attacks.

Power Conversion
At 11th level, as a bonus action, you can expend a number of spell slots to regain 1 charge for every 2 spell levels of the spells expended of a magic item you are holding. You may not restore the charges of a legendary magic item or an artifact using this feature.

Energetic Body Armor 
By 15th level, you wear an advanced shielding system which protects you from harm. Your shield grants you resistance to one of the following damage types of your choice: cold, fire, lightning, necrotic, or radiant. You can change this selection as a bonus action.

Futuristic Weapon: Laser Pistol 
The laser pistol, as described in the Firearms section of the Dungeon Master’s Guide, has the following statistics:
WeaponCost  Damage  Weight  Properties
Laser Pistol  -3d6 radiant  2 lb.Ammunition (range 40/l20)

Changelog: 11/19/15: Fixed error in laser pistol: It's the same laser pistol included in the DMG firearms section; no stats are different here. Added an html table for the laser pistol.
Energetic Body Armor now grants resistance to 1 damage type, switchable as a bonus action.
Laser Pistol: expanded battery kicks in at 7th, and at 11th level you can fire it more than one, rather than picking between them. Also, includes replacement rules for destroyed pistols.


  1. Hi, I looked at this one and I must admit it looks a bit dodgy. Why and How does he get access to the Laser Pistol on 3rd? Shouldn't he be granted access on 1st but it only does 1st lvl 1d6/per day and 3rd lvl 1d6/1 turn x5 per day? And why is it slashing damage and not piercing?

    1. Wow, huge editing error on my part. I copied the weapon Stat Block from Thri kreen, and at some point, I must have undone the changes to it.

      I'll change this asap; it's a 3d6 radiant damage weapon.

  2. The laser pistol is took weak to have class features built around it. Picking up a bow and using it gets the job done better because better damage and no rescharge. What laser pistol should be is some giant gun, like the thing you use on the big bad robot who got doctor octopus arms and a giant metal shredder mouth
    Dodge roll doesn't seem awful and the body armor 15th level thing seems like the best reason to take this option. Unlimited resistance to piercing, bludgeoning, and slashing is great.

    1. You're right about the laser pistol; I placed the wrong stat block in the PDF; its corrected now (same laser pistol as in the DMG -- it deals 3d6 radiant damage.)

      Read Energetic Body Armor more closely: it grants resistance to all damage /except/ bludgeoning, piercing, poison, and slashing damage. (Otherwise, this would be too powerful in my opinion.)

    2. While 3d6 at low levels is decent, at level five and beyond it doesn't really compete with a paladin/fighter/paladin with a great sword/greataxe. On top of that, the limited charges makes it awkward to use because after you use it, you gotta worry about getting another weapon out to smack someone with. At higher levels the two laser pistol attacks looks nice but you only get two rounds of it.
      The Energetic armor isn't terrible still.
      Power conversion could be completely useless or extremely fantastic depending on the campaign and how the DM deals out magic stuff.
      Magitech sensors fits really well with the magitech setting and doesn't suck. Dodge roll is really good for ranged rangers.

    3. Power conversion can swing in power based upon campaign, but you can always use it to recharge the laser pistol, giving it some baseline.

      There's a lot I can do to modulate the power of the laser pistol, but it's tough keeping it from being too powerful. After all, attacking twice with it (6d6+2*Dex) blows away anything a fighter can do in two attacks, and it can deal this damage from range. Therefore, I've been pretty cautious.

      One possible change is to give the expended number of charges at 7th and give two attacks at 11th, rather than a choice. Thoughts?

    4. I think you should make the laser pistol the rough equivalent of a cantrip, and have the Ranger construct it himself with the ability to make a new one of he ever loses the old one.

      For damage and function, model it after Eldritch Blast since that cantrip gives extra attacks as you go up in level as its way of increasing damage.

      I also think you should make the damage type variable, requiring either an action or bonus action to switch or 'modulate'. That allows this archetype to adjust to different opponents weaknesses. If you go this route, pare the damage down to a d8 per blast.

      Likewise, change the shield so instead of granting blanket resistance to multiple damage types, give it one damage type at a time with the ability to switch it. If it's just energy types, you can have it switch with an action or bonus action. Or it can be changed afterba short or long rest of you can use different module plugins to calibrate against and damage type. Again, the better to prepare against different targets.

    5. Oh... I nearly forgot... Some options to burn spell slots for special effects, either overall or dependent on damage type of the pistol or shield would be much better than recharging random magic items.

    6. Oh... I nearly forgot... Some options to burn spell slots for special effects, either overall or dependent on damage type of the pistol or shield would be much better than recharging random magic items.

    7. Getting both two shots and expanded battery would be good.

    8. I really like your idea for the Body Armor, but I have mixed opinions on your approach to the Laser Pistol.

      On one hand, changing damage types might be effective but modeling it off of a cantrip gets into tricky territory. Is it still a weapon, or just a spell effect? It the former (as I'd like this feature to be), a character adds his Dex modifier to attacks and damage rolls, and multiple d10 attacks will quickly deal large amounts of damage from Dex bonus alone. Also, would the Archery fighting style work with this in the case of cantrip-modeling?

      Again, switching damage types is really interesting, but it necessitates that I change the base damage type to fire, so that there's an incentive to switch (because, as far as I know, there are no monsters with a resistance to radiant damage.) That makes the following damage types available: fire, lightning, and cold (maybe poison, at a stretch.) Necrotic, radiant, psychic, and force represent a different class of energy types which have far fewer resistances, and seem to be too desirable to mix with the others, unless you're using them to specifically target a creature's damage vulnerabilities.

      Last but not least, Power Conversion is broad so as to allow for this archetype to excel with using all magic items, not just his laser pistol. I think that's important to the identity of the subclass (the guy who is good with magic items.) Changing the way the pistol works from a magic items to more of a cantrip gets in the way of this theme as well.

    9. The description doesn't really feel like "The guy who is good with magic items". The description you provide more invokes the sense of "The Pursuer is a guy who is good at using magitech against those who would abuse it or monstrosities resulting from its abuse".

      If the former is your goal, then I feel like the Ranger isn't the right choice for that statement. If the latter is your goal, then the class should bring home the feel that this guy fights fire with fire, or in this case, magitech with magitech. He can be good at using magitech, but that shouldn't be his defining statement or characteristic.

      With regards to the laser pistol - letting him add his dex modifier to every blast isn't any more powerful than allowing charisma mod to be added to Eldritch Blast, which you can get with the Agonizing Blast invocation.

      That said, I think the ability to modulate the damage type is worth a reduction to d8 instead of d10. I'd recommend a rename if you do that to divorce it from the idea of 'laser pistol' and instead make it a "Modulating Energy Blaster" or something of the sort. Fire, Cold, Lightning, Thunder seem reasonable.

      Also, you could have spell slots burned for:
      - Extra damage die (Overcharge)
      - Other energy types (Frequency Modulation)
      - Added effects like blinded, deafened, etc (Enhanced Frequencies)

      I understand modeling it after a cantrip makes it weird, but the pistol feels like this guy's signature ability, and giving him more than two attacks per round with it helps enhance that feeling. I'd leave it a weapon attack, but provide a way for the Pursuer to get more attacks at higher levels.

    10. I had a few principle design ideas I really wanted to use in this class: the class should have at least moderate use of the futuristic firearms section of the DMG, to give these weapons a window into a magitech setting, but also to balance the power of firearms in a way that the gunslinger subclass didn't. Moreover, I wanted this class to utilize some of the core class features to augment magic item use in a very general way (which isn't something any core class focuses on, but should get more attention in a magitech setting where magic items are more likely to be common.) Finally, the Pursuer isn't going to use the magitech upgrade subsystem, to avoid this being overplayed.

      I think the main point of contention in our views on whether or not it should be a cantrip-scaling system, or a magic item weapon. In order to fit the design goals above, I'm probably going to leave it as a magic item.

      (Interestingly, your suggestion for 1d10 damage ability with features that trade the d10s for d8s of different damage types is something the Thumb and I are already using almost exactly in the upcoming alchemist class. It's the core 'bomb' ability, in fact. It's funny that we both ripped off eldritch blast in the same way.)

      Why does it seem like he should be able to get more than two attacks a turn with his laser pistol? It's not like the ranger casually gets to attack 4 creatures a turn at range.

    11. The cantrip model is basically just an alternative way of Doing More Damage. The damage either scales directly by increasing the number of die, or it increases indirectly by increasing the number of attacks.

      Lower base damage with more attacks is generally something I like, because it feels like there's more action happening to me. It gives more opportunities to hit, even if it's not for a lot, and covers those poor rolls a bit more than fewer attacks and more damage would.

      In this specific instance, the laser pistol is flashy and has lots of glam factor, so I'd want that trigger getting pulled as often as possible.

      I also really like the idea of modulating energy types. Action economy switching feels appropriate for a lower base damage weapon, or burning spell slots as part of the attack if you're sticking with the 3d6 radiant.

  3. The lazer pistol should increase to much larger damage a hit so that when u shoot it once it is still worth it or you can only do it once a turn

    1. Take a look at the damage now: I've fixed the incorrect stat block (it's the same laser pistol as is in the DMG)

  4. Personally, I'd like some flavour thrown in to justify the class only having one laser pistol at a time. It seems arbitrary and game-y to only let you make one when you lose your current one, but at the same time there would be considerable imbalance if they could be mass-produced.
    Magical gene-locking perhaps?
    Potentially require some of the wielder's essence to be trapped in the pistol and released if it is destroyed?

    1. That's a good note, but imbing some of your essence into the pistol seems a little bit handwavy to me (and a little too mystical for what the class is going for.) I'll think this over and see what I come up with