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I have recently made a homebrew ranger subclass called the tracker, and I was wondering if it is balanced.

Tracker

First Strike

When you choose this subclass, you can quickly get the jump on your enemies. On your first turn in combat, your weapons deal an extra 1D8 damage.

Defensive Tactics

At 7th level, you gain a +2 bonus to AC against your favored enemies.

Favored Enemy Bonus

At 11th level, you gain an additional favored enemy, learning an associated language as normal. You also gain a +1 bonus to damage rolls against your favored enemies.

Master of thy Enemy

At 15th level, you have a +2 bonus to attack and damage rolls against your favored enemies.

It was made for a group of rangers who focus on removing threats from their forest. It is made specifically for that group of rangers, and to expand on the favored enemy feature.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ More information about this homebrew will help us to answer the question better. Why was it made at all / what role(s) does it fill that were not previously filled? What are your goals for this homebrew / what is it supposed to accomplish? How did you arrive at these features, what thoughts have you already put into their design? Are there any parts of it that worry you in particular? Also balanced compared to what (presumably other Ranger subclasses?) For more information see the following: "How can I ask a good homebrew review question?" \$\endgroup\$ Mar 10 at 1:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ thanks for the tip @Medix2 \$\endgroup\$
    – fedadsafd
    Mar 10 at 1:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ I worry that in its current, relatively bare-bones state, this question may end up being closed, though know that through edits adding details like those I requested above, it can always be reopened (by the way, you do not have to signal your edits, as an edit history is preserved). Ah, but where are my manners? Hello and welcome to RPG.SE! Feel free to take the tour if you haven't already done so or to visit the help center or leave comments asking question for any further guidance. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 10 at 1:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ Please don't update this question. If you haven't read the link by Medix2 in the first comment, now is absolutely the time. As a tl;dr, please wait at least 72 hours before submitting your next version - but please also try and include your own assessments to help guide us in ours. \$\endgroup\$
    – NautArch
    Mar 10 at 18:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ Ok, I will do that. thanks @NautArch \$\endgroup\$
    – fedadsafd
    Mar 10 at 18:36
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Balanced?

Not really. It's kind of weak.

  • First Strike is okay, but only applies to one attack during the first round of combat. +4.5 damage is not unbalancing, especially after level 7. You may want to have this bonus directly increase at level 11 or 15.
  • Defensive Tactics is strong, but the limitation pulls it back down. Being entirely passive (triggers in the presence of certain foes chosen by the DM, increases a static character trait), it will be easy for players (and dungeon masters) to forget about it. It would be more interesting if it gave favored enemies Disadvantage on attacks against the Ranger.
  • Favored Enemy Bonus is +1 damage against some foes and an additional Favored Enemy. That's not great, and at level 11 that's just terrible. I would recommend moving Master of thy Enemy here.
  • Master of thy Enemy is boring. The power is okay - it competes with Foe Slayer but Foe Slayer is a terrible capstone ability. Maybe slot Uncanny Dodge in at this level instead.

Overall, kind of weak and very bland.
Conceptually, this does nothing that the core Hunter doesn't already address (hunting the monsters trespassing in your terrain). However it comes with the restriction of binding all but one ability to Favored Enemy - something the player has zero control over.

If you want to give this another try then you should probably take a long look at the PHB Hunter conclave and the Gloom Stalker conclave in Xanathar's Guide to Everything.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for your input. I will edit it based on your suggestions \$\endgroup\$
    – fedadsafd
    Mar 10 at 18:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @fedadsafd Glad it helped. If you want input on an iteration of this idea then you should ask it as a separate question. Again, good luck! \$\endgroup\$
    – ValhallaGH
    Mar 10 at 18:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ also @ValhallaGH, the first strike feature would do it for ALL of the attacks in the first round, so that could be 3D8 extra with dual shortswords and extra attack \$\endgroup\$
    – fedadsafd
    Mar 10 at 22:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @fedadsafd Maybe I misread it, maybe you mis-wrote it. +9 damage at level 3 is pretty potent, and +13.5 at level 5 is strong, but neither scale up. So while it is stronger than my answer describes, it is still the only "good" feature on this Conclave. If you have a new version you would like to be evaluated then open a new question. \$\endgroup\$
    – ValhallaGH
    Mar 11 at 15:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ok. Thank you for the tips \$\endgroup\$
    – fedadsafd
    Mar 11 at 16:57

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