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I have a player who is playing a blind PC. She is a 3rd-level Ranger and she has chosen Blind Fighting as her fighting style, so she has blindsight of 10 ft. (TCE, p.41).

From what I gather from the blinded condition, she has disadvantage on ranged attack rolls that are more than 10 feet away.

She does not wish to gain sight by other means, e.g. polymorphing into a creature with sight as she would like to role-play her character as being blind.

The way I will rule for perception at a distance for her is sound. I'm giving her Keen Hearing so she has advantage on hearing checks. I also will rule that as long as the creatures make a sound then in combat she will know the approximate location of the origin of the sound, but because of the blindness condition, any ranged attacks will be at a disadvantage.

Are there other ways to increase her chances of making successful ranged attack rolls using ranged attacks? A feat, or class feature?

She is using a Longbow as her ranged weapon.

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    \$\begingroup\$ So basicially you are asking for any way to gain bonus to ranged attack rolls and/or advantage that do not rely on sight? That seems like a long list, of the top of my head I can think of like 10+. Or do you only ask for options, that are only available to a blind character? \$\endgroup\$
    – findusl
    Jun 25, 2021 at 8:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ Notable problem in the DnD rules with blind archers: Can the Fog Cloud spell effectively increase archer range by canceling disadvantage at long range? \$\endgroup\$
    – findusl
    Jun 25, 2021 at 8:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ @findusl Yes, that's it, ways of gaining bonuses, advantage or increase the likelihood of being able to make a successful ranged attacks that do not rely on sight and enable her to target creatures that are +10 ft away more effectively. \$\endgroup\$
    – Senmurv
    Jun 25, 2021 at 9:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for pointing out the link to the fog cloud paradox. :) ...odd. I will have the house-rule of being able to "hear" a target at least to be able to know that there is a target in the first place. \$\endgroup\$
    – Senmurv
    Jun 25, 2021 at 9:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Does this ranger need to be a ranged attacker? Melee-focused rangers are also perfectly viable, if less popular. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 25, 2021 at 22:58

1 Answer 1

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Options that increase chances of successful ranged attacks for a blind Ranger with blind fighting:

I expect a long list of options so I make this a as a Community Wiki post. I tried to make some grouping of similar effects, but if it seems bad, feel free to regroup differently.

Archery fighting style PHB 72

You gain a +2 bonus to attack rolls you make with ranged weapons.

This will require you to get a second fighting style, either by multiclassing e.g. into Fighter or by taking the "Fighting Initiate" Feat from TCE 80.

Be unseen

By the rules if you are an unseen attacker, you gain advantage on attack roles. This leads to the Fog Cloud Paradox, so your DM might have a contradicting house rule, but RAW, being unseen would cancel out the disadvantage.

How to be unseen? You have multiple options:

  • Be hidden by means of a good stealth check. I believe Rangers get Pass without a Trace which can help with that. (PHB 192)
  • Be invisible e.g. with the invisibility spell or with a potion of invisibility.
  • Be in a heavily obscured area, e.g. by using the fog cloud spell. (PHB 183)

Spells that give advantage

As with the unseen section, having advantage would cancel out disadvantage. You may require an ally or spell scroll or something similar to cast these.

  • Truestrike (PHB 284), but it comes at a great opportunity cost, so probably not worth it. (not a ranger spell)
  • Zephyr Strike (XGE p171)

Once before the spell ends, you can give yourself advantage on one weapon attack roll on your turn.

  • Foresight (PHB 244), but this is a 9th level spell (not a ranger spell)
  • A familiar as by the "Find Familiar" (PHB 240) spell could use the help action to provide advantage. (not a ranger spell)

Put a condition on the enemy that gives the attacker advantage

  • The restrained condition (PHB 292) gives advantage, it could be achieved with the ranger spell entangle (PHB 238)
  • The stunned condition (PHB 292) gives advantage.
  • The paralysed condition (PHB 292) gives advantage, for example with the hold person spell (not a ranger spell).

Gain Advantage another way

Besides being unseen and with spells and conditions I can only think of one more way to gain advantage, but maybe there are more:

  • An ally uses the help action (PHB 192). As mentioned in the previous section, a familiar could use the help action. An animal companion could also use the help action; at 7th level a Beast Master ranger can trigger this using a bonus action and attack with their standard action. (This has the nice effect of rhyming with canon, as the ranger who taught Drizzt--Montolio DeBrouchee--was blind yet shot accurately with an owl companion indicating targets aurally.)

Spells that increase attack rolls

Some spells can increase your attack roll. This would increase your chance to hit. As with the previous section, you may require an ally or spell scroll or something similar to cast these.

  • Bless (PHB 219) adds 1d4 to your attack rolls. (not a ranger spell)
  • Magic Weapon (PHB 257) adds +1 to +3 bonus to attack rolls and damage rolls (ranger spell)
  • Elemental Weapon (PHB 237) adds +1 to +3 bonus to attack rolls and 1d4 to 3d4 damage (ranger spell)

Features that increase attack rolls

  • If you have an allied bard he can give bardic inspiration to increase the attack roll.

+x Weapon/Ammunition increase attack rolls

A +1 ranged weapon would increase your chance to hit by +1. Similarly a +1 piece of ammunition has the same effect. Those two effects stack. There are even spells and class features to make weapons +1 weapons, but that could be a question of its own.

Close to 10 feet

Since the character has blindsight out to 10 feet, getting within 10 feet would allow the character to normally attack the enemy. However don't get to close, ranged attacks have disadvantage if there is an enemy within 5 feet (PHB 195).

Use someone else's eyes (questionable)

You mentioned that the character does not want to gain sight "as she would like to role-play her character as being blind.". What about the character staying blind but looking through another creatures eyes, like with the ranger spell "Beast Sense" (PHB 217)? If you put that beast on your shoulder, it could possibly do the aiming. This however will need a lot of DM help as the original character still has the blinded condition and therefore still RAW has disadvantage.

Beast sense states:

you can use your action to see through the beast's eyes and hear what it hears, and continue to do so until you use your action to return to your normal senses.

So after you once spend an action to see through the familiars eyes on your turn.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Numerous ways to make hitting more likely can be found in answers to this question (I know it's a community wiki post, just don't have the time yet, leaving this comment for now) \$\endgroup\$ Jun 25, 2021 at 14:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ While it is true that a target with the paralyzed condition may be attacked with advantage, they also "may not move or speak". Given that the OP wrote "I also will rule that as long as the creatures make a sound then in combat she will know the approximate location of the origin of the sound." The paralyzed condition works as a listing in a community wiki listing things that grant advantage on an attack, but it does not solve the OP's problem itself. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Jun 25, 2021 at 23:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kirt but she would have heard the target go there when it still could move and make sound. Now that It can't move anymore she just needs to target the spot where it was before. \$\endgroup\$
    – findusl
    Jun 26, 2021 at 10:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ @findusl I guess I imagine the combat as being one in which the ranger is continuously responding to the noises made by enemies as they attack and she targets each foe in turn rather than recording where each enemy was the last time it made a noise in order to use that information in the future. But that is imposing my view on an already hypothetical situation. The point stands that paralyzation in fact would grant advantage, whether the attacker was sighted or not. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Jun 26, 2021 at 14:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ @findusl no worries--makes much more sense, now =) \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60
    Jun 26, 2021 at 15:41

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