The description of the ranger's Primeval Awareness feature says:
Beginning at 3rd level, you can use your action and expend one ranger spell slot to focus your awareness on the region around you. For 1 minute per level of the spell slot you expend, you can sense whether the following types of creatures are present within 1 mile of you (or within up to 6 miles if you are in your favored terrain): aberrations, celestials, dragons, elementals, fey, fiends, and undead. This feature doesn’t reveal the creatures’ location or number.
I feel like Primeval Awareness is so underpowered as to be almost pointless. (But maybe I have not fully understood its implications...)
Feeling as I do, I have been talking with the ranger in the party to come up with a new version of the spell to make it a bit more useful and interesting. So far we have this:
Beginning at 3rd level, you can use your action and one ranger spell slot, or 10 minutes (as a ritual) per level of spell, to focus your awareness on the region around you. For 10 minutes per level of the spell that you cast, you can sense the following types of creature within 1 mile per level of the spell that you cast (or up to 6 miles in your favoured terrain): Aberrations, Celestials, Dragons, Elementals, Fey, Fiends, Undead, Your Favoured Enemy. You can either focus on the allowed number of types for the spell level and know which are within range or focus on all to know whether the same number of randomly selected types are within range. In your favoured terrain, or focussed solely on your favoured enemy, you can also sense the direction within 180°; if both are true, you can sense the direction within 90°.
I think that this will make the spell feel more useful to the player, allow them to roleplay ritualistically burning twigs in the woods to mystically track creatures down, and not break the game for everyone else.
However, I am reluctant to make changes, as an inexperienced DM, without first checking whether they are likely to be problematic in some way that I might not have foreseen. Therefore, my concern is this:
Is my reworded version of the Primeval Awareness feature likely to be an improvement, compared to the original? Will it cause any kind of problems (either for me or the players), or maybe not work in a way to make the feature any more useful for the ranger?