D&D 5e: Human Ranger Guide

D&D 5e: Human Ranger Guide

It’s hard not to root for humans when you are one. being that, we understand perfectly how to roleplay them on most occasions. Regardless, as what is usually the most common race in any setting, it can be helpful to remember what makes humans so diverse in our real world and to consider the types of cultures and rangers that might come out of such diversity.

The Human race can be found in the Player’s Handbook. Click here to pick up your own copy of The Player’s Handbook!

The Ranger class can be found in the Player’s Handbook OR an updated version can be found in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything. Click here to pick up your own copy of the Player’s Handbook OR click here to pick up your own copy of Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything!

How to Make a Human Ranger

Dexterity and wisdom will be a ranger’s bread and butter, accounting for your armor class, damage, spellcasting, and class features. Swap out dexterity for strength if you want to hit harder in melee or focus on two-weapon fighting, and take the feat. 

Speaking of feats, as a human you’ll have a choice between the standard human which gets a +1 bonus to every stat, or the variant human, which allows you to add +1 to any two stats (which you should put into your primary stats), and a free feat, perfect for establishing your build. If you want to go for ranged combat prowess, consider using that for the sharpshooter feat. Alternatively, if you want a more magic-focused ranger, take the Arcane Initiate feat and you’ll have early access to a bit more useful spells. The rest of your stats are up to you but consider some constitution as a lot of ranger spells are concentration-based and you have precious few spell slots to waste re-casting spells that you had to drop.

As far as Ranger Archetypes (subclasses) are concerned, Beastmaster (with a primal companion) is perfect if you want a more tactical ranger with more options available to you, Swarmkeeper if you dig the insect theme, Gloomstalker if darkness and caves are more your style, Horizon Walker if you like teleporting, Fey Wanderer if you want to be more social, and Monster Slayer or Hunter if you like dishing out a ton of damage. Whatever choice you make, you really can’t go wrong.

How to Play a Human Ranger

Even if you’ve gone for a more spell-focused ranger, you’ll find that rangers specialize in dealing damage through more physical means, and your spells are either a utility or support your allies. While you might not be able to deal the raw damage a fighter can, a ranger is great for controlling the battlefield and your opponents. 

Spells such as Entangle could be a valuable asset, as could your primal companion if you’ve gone that route. You’re likely not as tanky as paladins and fighters either in terms of hit points or armor class, so try to use battlefield control and maneuverability to your advantage to avoid taking damage or to stay out of enemy sight.

How to Roleplay as a Human Ranger

The backstory is where most rangers tend to be a little unoriginal, often going with the “raised by wolves” or “lived in the wilds” kind of archetype. Especially as a human ranger, consider what sort of town or city you’ve come from. Do you belong to an organization of some kind? If so, which one? Speak to your DM about these, and also about your favored terrain, your reasons for being a ranger, and what it might mean for your social standing in surrounding areas. You can have a lot of fun commanding your status as a ranger.

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