D&D 5e: Half-Elf Ranger Guide
Half-elves and their variants can make for a fantastic versatile race to build into any character idea you might have. Descendents of elven and human union, half-elves inherit the long lifespan and mental magic resistance of elves, and the curiosity and inventiveness of humans. While their natural charisma increase doesn’t help with ranger builds, this is a problem easily solved by the custom origin rules from Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, the elven side is usually in touch with nature, and this is something we will build on for the creation of our ranger.
How to Make a Half-Elf Ranger
Expect dexterity to be your primary stat as a ranger, with wisdom following close behind as both your casting stat and need for perception. In other cases, if you plan to focus on strength-based melee, prioritize strength as well, but I would not encourage this given that a good few ranger spells focus on arrows or bolts (using bows/crossbows). The other stats are a matter of preference for you. Because we have a natural charisma bonus you can next grab some constitution or intelligence.
Rangers have been beaten in the past for their archetypes (subclasses), with many claiming that the Player’s Handbook rangers are the weakest class. As a DM with years of experience and a player with a Player’s Handbook ranger in a 2 year-long campaign, I can attest that this is simply not true. Each ranger archetype is fairly unique and rather powerful, and the alternate class options in Tasha’s Cauldron give you the versatility to play the ranger you want to. Whether that’s a monster-slaying Hunter, a Beast Master with a companion, or the portal seeking Horizon Walker.
How to Play a Half-Elf Ranger
Rangers are just as versatile in play as they are in creation. You could be on the frontlines, striking quickly with one or two weapons, or you can be on the backline dishing out considerable damage at range. Remember that you have very few spell slots as a ranger, so make them count. Spells like Hunter’s Mark which can be used on multiple targets are a good choice if you’re trying to get the most out of your spellcasting.
How to Roleplay as a Half-Elf Ranger
Some people confuse any light/medium armor archer as a ranger, but a ranger is so much more. Aragorn in Lord of the Rings is a ranger, as is Walker Texas Ranger. What do these two have in common? They know the land, they know the beasts that live there, they know how to survive and they can take care of themselves. Whatever they don’t know, they know how to find out fast. You could say the Mandalorian is a ranger, though others would argue his armor and oath make him more of a paladin. When you play a ranger, ask your DM what you might know of the land the game is set in and how best to handle the creatures that live there, and bring that knowledge into your roleplay.