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I have a ranger in the group I GM for that seems overpowered. He's a level 2 human with DEX 19 (Base 17, with the +2 Human Bonus), which gives a base +4 to hit. Factoring in his base attack bonus of +2, he gets a +6 to hit.

This seems a bit high for just a level 2 character. With rapid shot, he will get a −2, but that's still a +4 to hit (twice), and then 1d8+1 damage per hit. It seems like creatures will just fall dead quickly, especially if the cleric in the group casts bless to grant that an additional +1 to attack.

On top of that, at ranges within 30 feet he gets an additional +1 from Point Blank Shot (so +7 to hit, +8 with bless).

Does this seem correct, or am I missing something here? If so, then I can adjust the challenge rating a bit to support his massive attack bonus.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Ah, the low levels when mundane (non-caster) characters actually matter. Let him have his glory now, and maybe it won't be so bad when that cleric completely eclipses him in a few levels. \$\endgroup\$ – Red_Shadow Dec 4 '14 at 20:31
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A barbarian could trivially have a higher attack bonus. A fighter could too, but probably won't because there are better things he can do with his feats. And both will do more damage when they do hit.

This is a perfectly average character, taking the feats that are expected of him. He's somewhat better, at this level, then some other classes might be, but 2nd level is probably his best.

In reality, any serious spellcaster could, with a little care, wipe the floor with him if that's what they wanted to do. Or, more importantly, could solve all the problems you can't solve by shooting it with a bow.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Excellent answer. I think the obvious choice here is to throw in some spell caster nonsense and get the ranger to prove he is really worth his stuff. Thanks! \$\endgroup\$ – RollPlayLikeBeaker Dec 4 '14 at 20:34
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You could out-damage that with a class that has full Bab, greatsword proficiency and no abilities or feats at all.

Ranger has bless, point blank and rapid shot, so they have 2+4+1+1-2 = 6 to hit.

Alternative class has 2+4=6 to hit.

Ranger hits twice for (1d8+1)*2 = 11.

Alternative class hits once for 2d6+6 = 13.

As for 6 to hit (5 when bless runs out) being high? It really isn't. A goblin, CR 1/3rd, has AC 16. So he would need to roll 11 (12 without bless) to hit, and if he did hit, on average the thing would be left alive anyway and require a 2nd shot.

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In my game recently I had a Str 20 Two-Handed weapon fighter with a Strength Domain cleric who cast enlarge person on him.

At level 2 he was hitting with 10' to 20' reach +8 attack, damage 3d6+7.

(Actually the attack and damage were higher than that as I've not included his Archtype bonuses, Power Attack feat, all the enlarge person bonuses, etc).

He also had Cleave by this point or soon after so he was attacking two targets in a round (assuming he killed them) and once he get Cleaving Finish was attacking three times per round.

So no, your ranger sounds reasonably strong but not overpowered.

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Even if you aren't missing something and your reasoning is accurate , that does seem a tad excessive (though, some of the other answers think that this is his time to shine -- which, I'm not disagreeing with), so I would agree with bumping up the challenge rating to account for his skills... or, making it such that the monsters in question are immune/less effected by arrows forcing the party to use different approaches to the problem.

In the end, it's up to the GM...do you let him shine now and be the man (which is good if you want to) or do you subtly change the encounters to give other characters more opportunities. -- I'm not saying have the encounters totally nerf the ranger's abilities, but, have them less effective.

My thought process would be like the party happens upon a set of children's skeletons wandering (make the number and HD manageable) -- now, skeletons are less effected by bows and sharp objects...so, now the Priest has an opportunity to shine a bit...(I'd caveat him an opportunity to turn such weak undead, if he can't already do so)

Or, the party is tasked to kill some weak oozes/jellos -- also, less affected by arrows...but, designed to be a reasonable challenge.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for the detailed answer. You gave some great ideas for the skeletons, and oozes. Thanks again! \$\endgroup\$ – RollPlayLikeBeaker Dec 4 '14 at 21:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ @GreenChili: Be very careful with this. The player designed that character because he thought he'd enjoy playing a Ranger that's shooting arrows at enemies, and is looking forward to that. Having him face only enemies that a bow fares poorly against might severely disenchant the player. Balance is crucial. \$\endgroup\$ – DevSolar Dec 5 '14 at 10:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ I suggested this to allow other players an opportunity to shine a bit more and not just have it be -- ranger: I'm going to shoot arrows at it after the priest spells me up...oh, I shot it, it's dead...next target... Now, at least, other characters have to contribute. Plus, not every monster has to be immune -- and, it doesn't preclude having archerish opportunities pop up like shooting a barrel full of oil to light the skeletons on fire \$\endgroup\$ – David Fass Dec 5 '14 at 10:33

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