I used various Reddit comments, the Pathfinder 1e Ranger Archetype, and the 3.5 UA Archetype as my guides for this class variant. The idea is to use the Alternate Class Features UA (maybe also in Tasha's?) to flavor the Ranger without creating a class from scratch.
The Class Archetype / Features
Choose three from Animal Handling, Athletics, Insight, Investigation, Perception, Persuasion, Stealth, and Survival (removed Nature from the stock list)
Alternate Spell List
The urban ranger's spell list is different from the standard ranger list. The following spells are eliminated from the urban ranger's spell list:1st Level
Animal Friendship, Speak with Animals2nd Level
Animal Messenger, Barkskin, Locate Animals or Plants, Spike Growth3rd Level
Conjure Animals, Plant Growth, Speak with Plants, Water Walk4th Level
Conjure Woodland Beings5th Level
Commune with Nature, Tree Stride
In exchange, the urban ranger adds the following spells to their class list:Cantrips
Friends, Message1st Level
Charm Person, Comprehend Languages2nd Level
Detect Thoughts, Hold Person, Knock, Invisibility3rd Level
Dispel Magic, Glyph of Warding,Speak with Dead, Tongues4th Level
Faithful Hound5th Level
Hold Monster, Mislead
Recommended Alternate Class Features
Because of the multiple sources, I ended up with two options to replace Land's Stride. It's entirely possible that mixing them would be enough, but I didn't want it to end up OP so I opted to give the player a choice.
- City Explorer
- Favored Enemy, Revised
- Urban Awareness
- Greater Favored Enemy, Revised
- Favored Community
- Push Through or Fleet of Foot
- Blend In
Alternate Class Features
1st-level ranger feature (Replaces Natural Explorer)
You are a master of navigating the winding streets and alleyways of cities and towns, and you react with swift and decisive action when attacked. This grants you the following benefits when inside a town or city:
- You ignore difficult terrain.
- You have advantage on initiative rolls.
- On your first turn during combat, you have advantage on attack rolls against creatures that have not yet acted.
In addition, you are skilled in urban navigation. You gain the following benefits when traveling for an hour or more:
- Difficult terrain doesn't slow your group's travel.
- Your group can't become lost except by magical means.
- Even when you are engaged in another activity while traveling (such as foraging, navigating, or tracking), you remain alert to danger.
- If you are traveling alone, you can move stealthily at a normal pace.
- When you scrounge, forage, or dumpster-dive, you find twice as much food as you normally would.
- While tracking other creatures, you also learn their exact number, their sizes, and how long ago they passed through the area.
Favored Enemy, Revised (Urban)
1st-level ranger feature (Replaces Favored Enemy)
Beginning at 1st level, you have significant experience studying, tracking, hunting, and even talking to a certain type of enemy commonly encountered in cities and towns.
Choose a type of favored enemy: aberrations, beasts, celestials, constructs, dragons, elementals, fey, fiends, giants, monstrosities, oozes, plants, or undead. Alternatively, you can select two races of humanoid (such as gnolls and orcs) as favored enemies.
Another alternative, with the DM's approval, an urban ranger may select an organization instead of a creature type as his favored enemy. For example, a character might select a particular thieves' guild, merchant house, or even the city guard. The favored enemy bonuses would apply to all members of the chosen organization, regardless of their creature type or subtype.
You gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls with weapon attacks against creatures of the chosen type. Additionally, you have advantage on Intelligence (Inivestigation) checks to track your favored enemies, as well as on Intelligence checks to recall information about them. Also, if the Alternate Ability Skills variant rule is being used, you have advantage on Charisma (Investigation) to gather information about your chosen enemy.
When you gain this feature, you also learn one language of your choice, typically one spoken by your favored enemy or creatures associated with it. However, you are free to pick any language you wish to learn.
3rd-level ranger feature (Replaces Primeval Awareness)
Beginning at 3rd level, your mastery of ranger lore allows you to establish a powerful link to beasts and to the city around you.
You have an innate ability to communicate with beasts, and they recognize you as a kindred spirit. Through sounds and gestures, you can communicate simple ideas to a beast as an action, and can read its basic mood and intent. You learn its emotional state, whether it is affected by magic of any sort, its short-term needs (such as food or safety), and actions you can take (if any) to persuade it to not attack.
You cannot use this ability against a creature that you have attacked within the past 10 minutes.
Additionally, you can attune your senses to determine if any of your favored enemies lurk nearby. By spending 1 uninterrupted minute in concentration (as if you were concentrating on a spell), you can sense whether any of your favored enemies are present within 5 miles of you, or within city limits, whichever is smaller. This feature reveals which of your favored enemies are present, their numbers, and the creatures’ general direction and distance (in miles) from you.
If there are multiple groups of your favored enemies within range, you learn this information for each group.
Greater Favored Enemy, Revised (Urban)
6th-level ranger feature (Replaces Favored Enemy improvement)
At 6th level, you are ready to hunt even deadlier game. Choose a second type of favored enemy: aberrations, beasts, celestials, constructs, dragons, elementals, fey, fiends, giants, monstrosities, oozes, plants, or undead. Alternatively, you can select two more races of humanoid (such as gnolls and orcs) as favored enemies, or an organization with the DM'S approval. You gain all the benefits against this chosen enemy that you normally gain against your favored enemy, including an additional language. Your bonus to damage rolls against all your favored enemies increases to +4.
Additionally, you have advantage on saving throws against the spells and abilities used by a greater favored enemy.
6th-level ranger reature (Replaces Natural Explorer improvement)
At 6th level, the urban ranger forms a bond with a community. This grants you the following benefits when inside this favored community:
- You gain a +2 on initiative rolls
- You have advantage on Perception, Stealth, and Survival skill checks.
An urban ranger traveling through his favored community leaves no trail and cannot be tracked (although he may leave a trail if he so desires).
For the purposes of this ability, a community is any settlement consisting of 100 or more individuals. The community may be larger than this minimum. Outlying farms, fields, and houses are not considered part of a community.
This feature may be taken again at 10th level, replacing the Natural Explorer improvement, to select another favored community.
Fleet of Foot
8th-level ranger feature (Replaces Land's Stride)
Beginning at 8th level, you can use the Dash action as a bonus action on your turn.
8th-level ranger feature (Replaces Land's Stride)
Starting at 8th level, moving through nonmagical difficult terrain costs you no extra movement. In addition, you can move through the space occupied by local citizens as if they were allies. This does not apply to creatures intent on harming you. Areas that are enchanted or magically manipulated to impede motion, however, still affect you.
In addition, you have advantage on saving throws against plants that are magically created or manipulated to impede movement, such those created by the entangle spell.
10th-level ranger feature (Replaces Natural Explorer improvement)
At 10th level, you can cast Disguise Self as a bonus action, when inside your favored community. In addition to this, when a creature uses its action to discern that you are disguised, it must succeed on an Intelligence (Investigation) against your Dexterity (Stealth) roll instead of your spell save DC.
This does not expend a spell slot, but you cannot use this feature again until you finish a short or long rest.