D&D 5e: Firbolg Ranger Guide
D&D 5e: Firbolg Ranger Guide
The Firbolg are a reclusive race of giantkin who tend to remain deep in the wilderness, away from civilization. Rangers are a reclusive class who tend to remain … hm.
At first glance, Firbolg make naturally good Rangers, but does that impression hold water? Is your character idea going to be effective on the tabletop? This short guide tells you what you need to know.
How to Make a Firbolg Ranger
Building a Ranger is relatively simple. Most Rangers are going to want to max out their Dex, adding as many pointing into Con and Wis as they can.
The racial stats of the Firbolg makes this complicated. You gain a bonus to Wis, which is nice, but Str is something most Rangers aren’t going to need much of unless they’re creating something niche and funky. So talk to your GM about using variable racial ability increases.
The second choice is picking a combat style. Rangers lean towards Archery, Two-Weapon Fighting, or a One-Handed Weapon and Shield. All of these can be used with Dex, and you can flex interchangeably between them, so feel free to pack all the gear you can carry. Rangers are proficient with all weapons, as well as Light and Medium Armor, so pick whatever feels best.
Skills are also relatively simple. Perception is almost a necessity. Stealth and Survival are good and build from your stats. Add one or two knowledge or social skills to flavor.
How to Play a Firbolg Ranger
The Ranger is a surprisingly versatile combat class that can be built to take on any role, whether that’s frontline melee, supportive defense, or consistent ranged damage. Rangers even have a small splash of magical ability, which adds a ton of flexibility to what they can do.
Like most things in 5e, specialization is king. While a Ranger can do anything, when creating your character you should pick an archetype and put most of your power into that. The Ranger already gains access to a Fighting Style, which will boost your chosen combat capabilities. But it’s normally smart thinking to pick Feats and Spells along the same lines, adding a small amount of more versatile choices as you gain levels.
In terms of subclasses, the Hunter is the archetypal Ranger, adding boosts to damage in a lot of situations. The Gloom Stalker is an exceptional scout plus has a blisteringly powerful first turn.
Finally, the Drakewarden gains a powerful pet that’s the perfect supplement to any fighting style, whether that’s fighting alongside you, or acting as an archer’s big, scaly guard dog.
Outside of combat, Rangers should be true to their name. You’re going to be an exceptional scout, with the stats to have high bonuses in all of the essential skills (Perception, Stealth, and Survival are great choices.)
The Firbolg adds several useful abilities to the mix. A one-round emergency invisibility button is useful both in and out of combat. More free spellcasting, especially spells the Ranger doesn’t gain access to, is also fantastic.
Finally, the Firbolg has a race-defining social ability that just happens to intersect perfectly with the Ranger’s class abilities, as well as what you probably already want to do.
How to Roleplay as a Firbolg Ranger
The original Ranger was, of course, Aragorn, from the Lord of the Rings. Like him, you can be the heart of the party, striding into battle and non-combat encounters both, comfortable in your skills and abilities.
Rangers don’t generally have the stats necessary to act as the main party face. However, you can be great at Insight and Perception and have other bonuses to talking (more on this in a second) so taking a couple of points of CHA is never a bad choice.
Once you’ve decided to create a Firbolg Ranger, check in with your GM and make sure you can take Optional Class Features. You should think about taking most of these anyway, as they’re substantially more powerful than the Class Features they replace, but there’s a big one here that’s key to your social interactions: Primal Awareness
Primal Awareness replaces a mostly useless feature and can be done with mundane skills with extra spells. Spells that let you talk to animals. And plants. Remember, a Firbolg gains Advantage on social checks for these types of creatures. And you’re a Ranger. It’s a fantastic and flavorful ability that you should be using regularly.
However you choose to play it, the most important thing to remember for a Firbolg Ranger is to give yourself something to do in every part of the game. Your core class has combat covered. Adventuring and exploration are something the Ranger is exceptional at. You just need to pick what you’re doing on the social side of things, and this combination of race and class has so many ways to keep it interesting.