So, I finally had a chance to take this apart this morning. Since it would be difficult to show comments away from the text itself, I have embedded the text in white
Woodland Ranger I suggest Woodland Outlaw. “Ranger” has a particular meaning and context about it, and “outlaw” fits the spirit of what you are describing here.
Class progression, attacks, and all saves are same as Buccaneer I would recommend that you change the Endurance die to d8. I would further recommend you use the save progressions from the Kai Lord class for Fortitude and Reflex, leaving Will as is (the Kai Lord class shows the “moderate” save progression of bonuses, as contrasted with the “high” save progression of a Buccaneer Reflex and the “low” save progression of a Buccaneer Fortitude). Hardiness is going to be a much more common trait for a character of this class, for a number of different reasons.
1. Woodland Flair, Sneak Attack +1d6, 30'
2. Woodland Lore – Shelter
3. Friend of the Woods 1
4. Woodland Flair
5. Natural Treeman, Sneak Attack +2d6 50'
6. Woodland Lore – Woodland, Friends of the Woods 2”Woodland Lore – Woodland” is just confusing (‘in the dictionary under “redundancy”, it reads “See redundancy” ‘)... At least part of the problem is I think you overuse the word “Woodland” in the overall class description.
It is not clear what the number associated with the Friends of the Woods class ability corresponds to. Is it the skill bonus for all of those skills listed in the description below, is it the multiplier for the skill bonus given for the description below, or something else? Is it the somewhat odd Tier reference below (then why is the Tier 1 ability described in two different parts of the class description).
7. Woodland Flair
8. Swift as the Wind
9. The Ram’s Horn
10. Woodland Flair, Sneak Attack +3d6 70'
11. Friends of the Woods 3
12. Woodland Lore – Scout the Path
13. Woodland Flair
14. Terror from the Trees, Friend of the Woods 4
15. Deadly Edge, Sneak Attack +4d6 90'
16. Ranger Flair
17. Friend of the Woods 5
18. Dashing Attack
19 Woodland Flair
20. Scourge of the Woods, Sneak Attack +5d6 120'
Skill points init: 7+int modifier x4
Per Level: 7+int modSee below
Acrobatics (Dex), Appraise (Int), Athletics (Str), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (any, taken as separate skills) (Int), Disable Device (Int), any, taken as separate skills) (Int) Is this a cut-paste artifact?
, Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha) Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (geography), Perception (Wis), Profession (any, taken as separate skills)
(Wis), Ride (Dex), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Stealth (Dex), Survival (Wis).Drop the following from the Class Skill list: Appraise, Concentration, Disable Device (yes, I read the earlier comment; good luck with trying to find a single instance of Robin Hood picking a lock...), Forgery, Gather Information, Profession (any, taken as separate skills), and Sleight of Hand. Add Knowledge (nature) and Knowledge (warfare) to the list. Then drop the skill points per level to +5 (the current number is waaaayyyyy too excessive, particularly as levels progress and bonuses from the class features and such also kick in). What I have done here is stripped out the skills that just are not appropriate, given the environment, in terms of the actual function in the game system.
I know someone might say, “well, this skill or that skill might be useful”. Well, of course, that is true...and not at all the point (after all, the large number of skill points is provided expressly so that a person CAN be flexible with cross-class skills if they so choose). However, it is more to the point to say RPGs involve multiple characters working together (Robin Hood was no loner). Despite the fact Lone Wolf himself is a superhero in many senses of the term, the LWRPG is not really intended for single-character superheroes (which is one of the primary design flaws of the Kai Lord class).
Woodland Ranger must select Knowledge: Woodland, Perception, Sealth and Survival as initial skill which count towards total skill points.For various reasons, use Knowledge (nature) instead of Knowledge (woodland). You generally do not want to invent new skills unless there is a very distinct reason to and I think what you are thinking of as “Knowledge: Woodland” is actually a conglomeration of a couple other existing published skills, plus the woodland focus of many of the class features.
Drop the rule about what a player must select or how they need to spend their skill points at 1st level. It is not necessary, and anyone silly enough NOT to spend their skill Ranks appropriately is going to realize their mistake swiftly enough in game play. If this concerns you, one of my big comments about almost all the class features is that, for all that you call this a “skill” character, you have almost no actual skill use among those class features. If you fix that, you will also take care of problems with “miss-spending” skill points.
All of the following are class features of Woodsman.
Weapon and Armour Proficiency: A Woodsman is proficient
with the all bows, one-handed melee weapons and the quarterstaff. He is proficient with padded and leather armour but not with shields of any kind. Note that Armour Check Penalties apply to Acrobatics, Athletics, Climb, Escape Artist, Sleight of Hand and Stealth checks when using armour heavier than leather.
Ranger Flair: At 1st level and every third level thereafter the
Woodsman selects another ability from the Flair section below.
Sneak Attack (Ex): The woodsman is the expert on stealth, ambush and sneak attack. Bands of woodsmen often attack much larger groups and it is by being able to hit hard and quick that they achieve their success. Accordingly, if a Woodsman can catch an opponent when he is unable to defend himself effectively from his
attack, he can strike a vital spot for extra damage. As the woodsman gains experience, his ability to target weak spots at a distance increases as well.Probably not a good idea to have an ever-increasing range increment for Sneak Attacks. Aside from the hideous game balance issues that will result (particularly when matched with ever-increasing damage increments as well as due to the “realistic” basis for what a Sneak Attack really is, from a game design standpoint), there is a realism issue.
This class is designed for a forest environment. Stand in a virgin or at least relatively undisturbed forest environment and see how many lines of sight (let alone unobstructed line of sight) that you can draw that are 30 feet long. 50 feet long. 100 feet long. You probably are not going to find a lot of any of those, but typically almost none past about 15 yards. It’s not a matter of perception; there are just plain too many obstructions that will be in the way (and the best archer in the world still can’t shoot straight through a tree trunk).
Stereotypes and clichés aside, forests are not good environments for any sort of significant range weapon. A longbow, for instance, is a field army weapon, not a woodland one (try effectively firing a 6-foot longbow whilst in the branches of a tree, and you can imagine the difficulties).
Friend of the Woods. When operating in a woodland environment, the Ranger receives a +2 to Survival, Tracking, Stealth and Knowledge: Nature. In addition, if unarmed, the Ranger can find/make a quarterstaff in d4x10 minutes.Tracking is not a skill (it is a function of Survival, presuming you give this character that class feature). Knowledge: Nature is excluded from your listing of Class Skills (as commented previously).
My non-Woodland Ranger character with literally any sort of relevant Craft skill can make a quarterstaff faster than your character can with this class ability. Maybe consider that kind of time-frame to make a masterwork quarterstaff? Even then, though, it is not a good idea to “trump” needing Ranks in the requisite skill, particularly since you have further given this class so many skill ranks to work with.
Treeman (Ex):The Difficulty Class for any Acrobatics,
Climb or Escape Artist check a Buccaneer has to make in a wooded environment is reduced by 5. He may also always take 10 on these
skill checks while in the woods, despite conditions that would
normally hinder or distract the Ranger. In addition, when
a Ranger is suspended in the trees he gains a +1
bonus to his Armour Class due to his ability to use the tree as cover. He is able to use bows and still maintain this bonus.A bit too much for one class ability, particularly since the AC bonus is redundant with another class ability elsewhere. Lose the bow reference entirely, as it opens up a potential can of worms you do not want to see opened without putting more behind it besides the sentence itself.
Swift as the Wind (Ex): Battles in the woods are often won through being the first to attack. Rangers develop a keen sense of the woods over time, making it very difficult to surprise them or seize the initiative from them. Taking advantage of openings in a fight is the key to. A Ranger with the Swift as the Wind class feature adds +4 to all Initiative checks and has a 50%
chance not to lose his action during a surprise round. If this
occurs, his Initiative for the surprise round is rolled without
the benefit of this feature’s +4 bonus.
The Ram’s Horn (Ex): The woodsman announces his presence with the blowing of a Ram’s Horn. Each woodsman has a different call. All allies receive a plus one to their attack and damage rolls. If blown at the start of combat, all allies receive a plus one bonus to initiative.Range? Duration? Conditions where it might not function?
Also, I would double the bonus this ability grants, both here and in the two subsequent improvements (a 20th level ability granting a +6 bonus is reasonable; a lot moreso than one that merely grants a +3 bonus)
Eagle Eyes (Ex): Tiers 1 through 3 of Kai Lords Tracking – this is largest departure from Buccaneer. Represents woodsman being so in tune with the forest.Way, way too much, especially since it seems impossible to discern in your class description where exactly this class ability is gained. Type out the full text of those abilities, and you likely see my meaning. Further, what is gained from this ability is redundant with certain other class abilities you have going and seems to pre-empt others without indicating which might take “precedence”. As discussed in the Friends of the Woods section below, this might be a good additional track of abilities for a character with this class.
Terror on the Trees (Ex): An additional plus one bonus to everything listed in Ram's Horn.
Dashing Attack: When using the attack action with a melee
weapon, a Ranger can move both before and after the attack, provided that the total distance moved is not greater than his base speed. Moving in this way is so fast and agile that the Ranger gains a +2 bonus to his Armour Class until his next turn. Rangers cannot use this feature if they are wearing anything heavier than light armour. A Ranger must move at least 5 feet both before and after he makes his attack in order to utilise the benefits of Dashing Attack.
Improved Weapons: Deadly Edge: A Ranger of 15th level has long learned how to maximise the effectiveness of his Quarterstaff . The Ranger doubles its critical threat range of the Quarterstaff, axe and all bows to 18–20.Doubling the critical threat range for these weapons actually makes that 19-20. 18-20 is tripling the critical threat range.
Legend of the Forest: All bonuses for Ram's Horn are increased to plus 3.
Every three class levels the Woodsman gains one of
the special abilities listed below.
Evasion (Ex) – May Only Be Taken Twice
The reflexes of a Woodsman have been honed over
long years of living and fighting deep in the woods. If the Ranger makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, he instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if a Ranger is wearing light armour or no armour. A Ranger does not gain the benefit of Evasion.
Selecting this ability for a second time improves a Ranger's
Evasion ability so that he is never badly affected by dangers he
could possible dodge. He still takes no damage on a successful
Reflex saving throw against attacks but henceforth he takes
only half damage on a failed save. A helpless Ranger does
not gain the benefit of Improved Evasion.
Quick shot (Ex) If the ranger has two or more attacks, he may shoot his bow twice during one turn, counting as a rull round action.Not clear what you mean here. What is a "null round action"? Is one of the attacks one of those? Is the reloading? Once? Both times? How does this mesh with multiple attacks in a round being normally a full-round action?
Improved Feint (Ex) – May Only Be Taken Twice
Normally, feinting in combat is a standard action. The Ranger has become a master of bluffing and misdirecting his opponent, however, and can make a Bluff check to feint in combat as a move action. Selecting this ability for a second time allows the Ranger to inflict a barrage of unpredictable blows upon an opponent. The Ranger may now feint as part of a full attack action; if successful all of the action’s attacks benefit from the feint’s effect of denying the opponent their Dexterity bonus to Armour Class (rather than the normal rule that states only the first attack benefits from feint).So much of this class is about ambush, maneuvering for advantage, or otherwise attacking from distance/cover that I don’t think this Flair works for this class. A “barrage of blows” is much more in keeping with the spirit of the Shadaki Buccaneer
Woodsman ‘Quarterstaff Fighting’ – May Be Taken Up To
The Woodsmen generally prefer to wear light armour as heavier armour slows them in woods and interferes with thier ability to hear what surrounds them. They also eschew shields, as these are too bulky and cumbersome in thick woods and in the treetops. The Quarterstaff is thier preferred weapon as it is gift from the woods themselves. Same comment as Improved Feint. I know what is being attempted here, and down have much issue with the more effective use of the double weapon attack feature. The second level, however, is not nearly as appropriate. “Spinning and whirling” quarterstaves may look really cool in a martial arts flick, but it is not at all practical as a forest-oriented combat ability where the spinning and whirling will inevitably get fouled by the surrounding trees and vegetation. I would suggest instead that you contemplate a more unique “fighting style” for this character that focuses on the favorite environment of the class.
. First Level – Quarterstaff Fighting (Ex) When the Ranger can use the Quarterstaff as a double weapon, he only takes a -1 penalty on each attack.
. Second Level – Whipping Willow Style (Ex): The ranger may now make two extra attacks with the Quarterstaff. A Ranger with this ability is a wonder to behold, as the spinning and whirling quarterstaff is a blur to all who see it.
Both of these abilities deny the Ranger the ability to use his natural treeman ability at the same time.
Uncanny Dodge (Ex) – May Only Be Taken Twice
The Ranger retains his Dexterity bonus to Armour Class even when he is flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. This skill comes from his unique ability to sense his surroundings. Only complete immobilisation can negate this ability. Selecting this ability for a second time sharpens a Ranger's Uncanny Dodge to an incredible degree; he now reacts fully to all attackers trying to surround him for an advantage. Rangers with Improved Uncanny Dodge cannot be flanked, denying multiple attackers any flanking bonus. A Ranger with this ability can be amazing to watch in combat.
Woodland Lore – Secrets Whispered through the Leaves
Shelter - the Ranger is able to find shelter and food for d4+lvl/2 companions when in woodlands on DC 10. Character lvl + int modifier. If fails, can re roll after a full hours searching.Okay. Look carefully at the description of the Survival Skill and make certain it corresponds well with this ability (I don’t think it does). Moreover, this is going to be a function of Wisdom, not Intelligence (again, see the Survival Skill). Finally, you probably better define what is mean by shelter and food, as that is too loose a description by itself.
Woodland - through his knowledge of the woods, the ranger is able to add his level to any skill involving the woods to his roll in audition to any other modifiers.Any skill roll involving the woods?!? The barn door is left pretty wiiiiide open on this ability. You might want to tight down the wording so players do not go nuts abusing this rather low-level class ability.
Scout the Path- the Ranger is able to lead his men though the woods with only a 25% reduction. This applies to a total of 5 times his rank level in companions.A 25% reduction in what? What is a “rank level” (are you talking class level, maybe?)?
Friend of the WoodsAs a general rule, if you provide two distinct and different special abilities in each class feature, you are providing too much. It would be better to separate those abilities into two or more different “Friend of the Woods” tracks of character development, as one can see in a number of the other LWRPG classes.
Tier 1: Boon of the Woods
When operating in a woodland environment, the Ranger receives a +2 to Survival, Tracking, Stealth and Knowledge: Nature. In addition, if unarmed, the Ranger can find/make a quarterstaff in d4x10 minutes.See earlier comments and probably should not repeat class ability descriptions in two different areas of the class descriptions.
Tier 2: Beasts of the Woods
The Ranger develops a growing affinity with animals and their nature. He gains the ability to use the Handle Animal skill to calm an angry or attacking animal by opposing his Handle Animal skill check with the animal’s Will saving throw. This is a standard action and the effects will last for the Ranger’s Charisma score in rounds. He also gains a bonus to all Handle Animal checks equal to his Animal Kinship level. In addition The Ranger may attempt to give a single order to a normal animal (not a monster). This must be a simple, one word order such as ‘stop’, ‘run’ or ‘follow’. This requires a standard action and a Handle Animal check (DC 10 + the animal’s End Dice) for success. The animal will obey the command for a number of rounds equal to 3 + the Ranger’s rank level (minimum 1 round). This ability applies to creatures encountered in woodlands and ones which would normally be found within as well as all domesticated animals.Delete the “...as well as all domesticated animals.” Not only too much for this ability, but doesn’t really fit concept.
Tier 3: Shadows of the Woods
A consummate tracker and hunter at one with the woods, the Ranger then learns how to move effectively while remaining camouflaged. Within a wooded environment the Ranger receives a plus two bonus to his stealth check when moving at less than half his normal speed, and may now move at up to his base speed while hiding with no penalty to his Stealth check. He only suffers a –10 penalty to his Stealth check while moving faster than his base speed, and the penalty while charging an enemy is only –15 (see page 102 for further details of the Stealth skill). Due to the Ranger’s abilities with using all natural elements to confuse the sense of all around him, he gains an addition plus one to his bluff roll for feinting while in a wooded area and an addition plus one to his AC.The last sentence of this Tier is actually its own ability, related as much to other abilities within this class as it is this particular one. If separated out into its own ability, you would be better able to see how all these “sub-abilities” intertwine with one another.
Tier 4: Deception of the Woods.
The Ranger has become so familiar to the woodland settings, that a Ranger moving in natural surroundings does not leave any kind of tracks. This ability only works if the Ranger is not suffering any damage, is wearing light armour and is not suffering more than 25% wounds and is does not have his movement impeded. The Ranger gains an addition plus two bonus to tracking (plus one outside of wooded areas) and knowledge: nature (woodlands only) for this skill. Due to the Ranger’s abilities with using all natural elements to confuse the sense of all around him, he gains an addition plus one to his bluff roll for feinting while in a wooded area.
Tier 5: Beloved of the Woods
The game mechanics for Beloved of the Woods are fairly simple. As long as he is within a wooded area, the Ranger gains access to the Magician of Dessi’s Elementalism ability (Air Spirits only) without having to pay Willpower points for its use. The DC to resist actions performed by the Air Spirit is equal to the Rangers class level + his Charisma modifier. At 17th level, he gains the ability to use this power once per day. Each level beyond this, from 18th through to 20th, the Ranger gains an additional use per day. Calling on his beloved waves for aid in this fashion is a full-round action. Definitely drop this one and replace it with something more appropriate. This looks like a straight lift from the Shadakai Buccaneer class, and it doesn’t really work well there either.
Special – the woodsman counts as doing both slashing and bludgeoning damage when using an axe, even when thrown.I would re-think this in the same fashion as I recommend you do with quarterstaves. This seems almost to be a tack-on after-thought, but I think you could better flesh out a class-particular fighting style using an axe in similar fashion to what you could do with a quarterstaff.