D&D Ranger

D&D Ranger 5e – Best Race in 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons

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On today’s video transcription post we’ve got a special guest, Kraul the Lizardfolk. He’s dropped by to give us a little help talking about the D&D ranger. Kraul has appeared on several of our video now. He seems to be a bit of a crowd favorite.

D&D Ranger 5e – Best Race in 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons Video

D&D Ranger 5e – Best Race in 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons Video Transcription

Dave: “Kraul, what are you doing hear and is that Ted’s Scoutmaster uniform?”

Lizardfolk Kraul: “Oh, I heard you wanted to talk about rangers. None do it better than my people. And well, scouts scouting rangers, it all works.”

Dave: “Tell us more. Why a while your folk make such great rangers.”

Lizardfolk Kraul: “Got natural weapons, got natural armor. You won’t find more cutting artisans.”

Dave: “Oh Wow. That’s great.”

Lizardfolk Kraul: “My people are proud hunters of lore and we derive sustenance from our prey.”

Dave: “ Yeah, but you know, you don’t get any bonuses or strength or dexterity. So it’s kind of a deal breaker for me. Sorry.”

Lizardfolk Kraul: “ Nerdarchist Kraul.”

Dave: “ Well, welcome Nerdarchist Kraul. Hey do you folks like D&D content you can drop right in your game?”

Lizardfolk Kraul: “If the answer is yes. Tthen don’t forget to crit hit that subscribe button and to attune to that notification bell.”

Dave: “ You better do what he says I don’t want him to get cranky and use that hungry jaws.”

Lizardfolk Kraul: “So today we’re going to talk about doing a the best race to play a ranger. Huh?”

Dave: “That’s the plan. Kraul those. I was kind of expecting Nerdarchist Ted but I think we can make this work. You’re kind of wildernessy , wait a minute. That made you cranky the last time we talked about that if I recall correctly. But I think you know a thing or two about rangers.”

Lizardfolk Kraul: “ I do.”

Dave: “So the thing about the rangers is they are a very stat heavy class where they can be.”

Lizardfolk Kraul: “Um, well since requires strength for athletics, Dexterity for armor class wisdom for spotting things that are out there and constitution for hit points. It’s, it can definitely get a get stat heavy.”

Dave: “Yeah. I would break it down even further and kind of say, you know, are you playing a strength based ranger Probably fighting, you know, with maybe two long swords or to battle axes or, or you know, sword and board or are you a dex based ranger where you’re either using ranged weapons or even, you know, finesse style weapons as well.”

Lizardfolk Kraul: “Absolutely.”

Lizarfolk can make the perfect minions for a black dragon. This Warriors of the Poison Dusk would be right at home in an acidic, watery lair. [Art by Christopher Burdett]
Dave: “But then the wisdom side of it is as a ranger, you’re a half caster. So primary stat is going to be wisdom for spell casting. If those stat, if those spells require a saving throw, you’re going to want to have a decent wisdom.”

Lizardfolk Kraul: “And you know, like I said, any, any, any martial class, anyone that’s going to be expecting to be willing to take damage or absorbed damage, you’re going to need that constitution score.”

Dave: “Especially because they don’t have as high an armor class as say the fighter or the paladin. And so there, that’s going to be more important. So for all those reasons we say that our ranger is a very stat heavy class.”

Lizardfolk Kraul: “I mean even if you look at the old editions of D&D you actually needed higher stats to become a ranger.”

Dave: “Yeah. The and the prereqs were higher. Now you can like through careful spell selection, you can kind of eliminate wisdom as being a super important stat. But on the other hand, you’re still a ranger. So I feel like a ranger characters tend to be more perceptive and aware of their surroundings and stealthy. So I just feel like there’s so much baggage that goes with being a ranger.”

Lizardfolk Kraul: “So if we’re going to dive in and talk about the best race to play a ranger then obviously we’re going to have to throw out and that racial disclaimer that uh, you know the other nerdarchist have, have done it, a videos passed, so that’s going to be you’re human, you’re half Elf, your warforged envoy and the simic hybrid, they make good anything that may not be as great as us lizardfolk, but you know, they can, they can be anything.”

Dave: “But we actually came up with 27 Dex options, 23 strength options. Now there’s definitely probably going to be some crossover in there because we do know some of the races actually get bonuses, to both, and it is a kind of ignoring a wisdom as well.”

Lizardfolk Kraul: “In some of the other videos that you’ve seen on the new Nerdarchy channel, where we go, go through and talk about a different races, we list them all and, and say, you know what’s going to be good It was going to be not, this list was way too long for us to read everything. So we’re going to give you the short and sweet version of what we found doing this research.”

Dave: “All right. Player’s handbook, you get five options for strength, five options for dex and you also have half Elf and human where you’re, you can have bonuses both to, you know, whether you’re going strength or or a Dex as your primary and addition you could get that wisdom bonus as well.”

Lizardfolk Kraul: “So wood elf and forest gnome, these are going to stand out amongst the dex based options.”

Dave: “Uh, sh for strength. I mean you can’t go wrong with the half orc. I think that’s a really strong contender because that is going to give you strength and con, uh, you just might take a little bit hit on your, your wisdom score.”

Lizardfolk Kraul: “Next we go to the Player’s Guide to Elemental Evil and for your dex based options we have the aarakocra and the Air Genasi. Don’t recommend eating aarakocra. They’re in bit stringy.”

Dave: “In that same book, you have to build options for strength and that is going to be an earth Genasi or the Goliath.”

Lizardfolk Kraul: “Goliath is a, you know, similar to the half orc offers some definite strong points in strength.”

Dave: “Next we go to Volo’s Guide to Monsters. Now Volo’s Guide to Monsters just like our Players Handbooks gives us five options for dex, five options for strength.”

Lizardfolk Kraul: “Bugbears is going to be one of those crossovers that you were talking about that offers both a strength and a dex based. And because they, you know, offer some other things, they make pretty good rangers.”

Dave: “Now Both, you know that book is full of more of the monstrous races. So there’s a lot of great options for playing a ranger in there. A kenku stands out for your dex space because they get the benefits to both decks and wisdom.”

Lizardfolk Kraul: “Triton. It’s more of an aquatic ranger, but I think they, they stand out amongst the, the strengths options.”

Dave: “Uh, and not to mention firbolg to wisdom and strength and also they are kind of fey creatures. Uh, next on our list is Sword Coast Adventures.”

Lizardfolk Kraul: “So here we’re offered three options for dex and one for strength.”

Dave: “Yes. I mean it’s easier to call out the one for strength anything that’s a dwarf and is going to be duergar”

Lizardfolk Kraul: “Duergar Is uh, uh, quite a solid race. And you know, if you’re looking to play a more underdarky kind of a ranger, they’re definitely gonna work out for you.”

Dave: “And then our standout as far as stats go is going to be a halfling . Ghostwise halfling. They get wisdom, they get dex and you’re a halfling with lucky. So we can’t go wrong there.”

Lizardfolk Kraul: “Always, is a always a solid, a solid go. So next we move on to the tortle package and well, let’s face it, there’s only one thing at a tortle package. So it need, we say more?”

Dave: “And the tortle and get strength. It gets wisdom. Possibly one of your cousins.”

Lizardfolk Kraul: “I wouldn’t say cousins Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes offers another four options for dex and two for strength.”

Dave: “Yeah. Most of these options are going to be teiflings. So whether you’re talking about strength or dex for the ranger, you can get a teifling option for either.”

Lizardfolk Kraul: “Uh, we go also in dex. There’s also some new shadar-kai. There’s also some new elves, whether you go sea elf or shadar-kai.”

Dave: ”And then going back to strength, we actually have the githyanki , which would be kind of like don’t make probably a really good horizon walker ranger kind of the planar a ranger.”

Lizardfolk Kraul: “Absolutely.”

Dave: “Finally, we’re going to jump to the Wayfinders Guide to Eberron.”

Lizardfolk Kraul: “This offers a staggering seven options for dexterity and four options for strength.”

Dave: ”The reason there are so many options for dexterity is because shifters, primary stat adjustment is to dexterity. And then you have the subclasses for shifter as well. Uh, which the wild hunt being the most optimal as far as if you want to bonus the dex and wisdom.”

Lizardfolk Kraul: “Changeling it’s another, another fun one. kalashtar . If you go into strength, uh, you also can get into the war forged and we’re, warforged can add an interesting twist to the typical ranger.”

Dave: “Guild master’s Guide to Ravnica is actually has the one of the smaller offerings, we’re going to get one for dex and we’re going to get three for strength.”

Lizardfolk Kraul: “Ravnica does not seem to be very dextrous.”

Dave: “Not at all. But we do get the center option which gives you both strength and wisdom. So if you went to make a strength based, uh, centaur ranger, that’s the way to go for sure. So for features we decided to look at is racial features that offer more of the exploration pillar to dungeons and dragons.”

Lizardfolk Kraul: “The Wood Elf offers, you know, that uh, those, those, those racial features that increases speed, the ability to disappear into the background, the foliage, if you will. That very much speaks to the typical, you know, wooded ranger.”

Dave: “You also have the aarakocra which can fly. So that’s going to overcome a lot of obstacles when it comes to exploring the terrain.”

Lizardfolk Kraul: “Even if it does create its own problems. The forest gnome and the deep gnome, uh, these, these bespeak to, uh, you know, getting out into the wilderness, the gnomes, whether, whether you go forest, whether you go deep there, there are more, there are races that are more inclined to go out and explore to to search. And that really is indicative of what that ranger is forest gnomes have the ability to, you know, speak to animals. Uh, you know, and that’s, that’s a very ranger type thing.”

Dave: “Deep gnomes have natural camouflage when it comes to stone in their own environments. They’re very much fit in easily. Next up we have the human you go variant. You have tons of options for exploration. If that’s what we’re saying is one of the features is going to make you a better ranger.”

Lizardfolk Kraul: “You know, firbolgs they seem very, uh, very at home in the, uh, in the forest. They have the ability to, you know, cast invisibility so that they begin to disappear in whatever the surrounding is. That’s, that’s ranger.”

Dave: “Uh, the Goliath is actually has, you know, altitude acclimation have, you know, literally features that help them survive in the wild. So you can’t get any more ranger than that.”

Lizardfolk Kraul: “If you’re going to the mountains.”

Dave: “If you’re going to the mountains.”

Lizardfolk Kraul: “The triton and brings its own aquaticness to the ranger field. So if you’re going to play any kind of a game where water could be a potential hazard going with a triton, their ability to swim, their ability to be an amphibious is going to be a great step up in the right direction. And that’s to, you know, on top of them also getting spells.”

Dave: “Yeah Anything with a swim speed. One is going to make an excellent ranger in aquatic environments and coastal environments. Uh, another one you might want to look at, uh, probably a favorite to you. It would be the lizardfolk.”

Lizardfolk Kraul: “Well. I’m a quite fond of the lizardfolk as you probably can tell now. They’ve got a natural weapon. They have got a built in Armor class. Uh, they’ve got quite the skill skill set that, that you can choose from as well as the ability to build things out of, you know, their, their fallen prey features wise. Everything that lizardfolk gets is built for a ranger.”

Dave: “Yeah. Anything with the swim speed. Just remember if you were involved in aquatic combat, most of the, the downsides to that you totally ignore because you have a swim speeds. So that’s also really important to keep in mind. Uh, lastly I would like to mention the, the shifter and the tortle. Both of them are very naturally, they’ve, they, they had skills and abilities that make them excel at the exploration pillar.”

Lizardfolk Kraul: “You know warforged scouts let’s face it does, they’re literally built for a ranging.”

Dave: “For our themes. We are basically looking at anything that seems to have a natural bent to it or the kind of surrounded by like a mythology and rangers.”

Lizardfolk Kraul: “Elves are of course, you know, the, the people of the woods, the stories even have their cities built, you know, huge natural surroundings. They are far more bent towards liking nature, including even having things built within the trees themselves rather than, no, let’s tear everything down and build in a nice wide open plain.”

Dave: “ Humans can be pretty much anything. And one of the reasons why I put human on the list is because the most popular ranger that they, I think anyone can ever think of a Strider Aragorn. So for that alone, the mythology of it, they belong on this list.”

Lizardfolk Kraul: “If you’ve got human, you’ve got Elf why not half elf, they crossed the boundaries between the two. You’ve got, you know, it’s from a Dragon Lance, you’ve got Tanis half elven, you know, and he was a, you know, a very popular ranger amongst those novels.”

Dave: “Obviously the known, we talked about them earlier. David, the GNOME is a very popular, uh, far as, in my opinion, they very much look like, you know, garden gnomes to me and they, and they just belong in, you know, the forest where they build their homes right into the environment.”

Lizardfolk Kraul: “Yeah. I’m going to throw two of them together. You know, they’re practically cousins anyway. You’ve got the goblin, the Goblin, you’ve got the bugbear. They, for the most part, live in natural surroundings. They don’t really care for civilization, you know, they can, they can wander if they can, they can hunt. So for the most part, you know, these things are steeped in mythological, uh, culture and are definitely things that are definitely races that speak to a more rangey bent.”

Dave: “Again, most of the races that are kind of primitive fall into this, you said Goblin a bugbear, but you, you know, orc easily fits in here. Sure. Shifts are easily fits in here. Firbolgs live in nature itself are are fey creatures. So really they’re all good candidates, but now it’s kind of like boil it down and come up with what we consider the best race to play a ranger.”

Lizardfolk Kraul: “All right. Typically, you know, we give you a, you know, a third place to second place in the first place, you know, for the best. But because of the way rangers can be built, we had to go in a different direction. So we decided we were going to give the best overall in strength and the best overall  in dex and then a supreme best of, you know, what makes the best ranger. So look, let’s boil it down.”

Dave: “ Best Strength Ranger hands down in my opinion because they get a bonus strength because they get a bonus to wisdom, uh, because they don’t have to worry about where armor class nearly as much as other races because they kind of third natural born travelers and wanderers. They carry their home with them on their back. Some might even say, I got to give it to the tortle.”

Lizardfolk Kraul: “I think centaur was, uh, was, was a front runner. But yeah, I gotta I gotta give it to the tortle.”

Dave: “Next up for dex Where do we want to go?”

Lizardfolk Kraul: “There are lots of lots of options for dex that are out there. And because of that we had to go with the options and we’re looking at shifter.”

Dave: “There’s a lot of different ways to build your shift or they have a lot of the abilities that are going to help you in both combat and exploration. So yeah, I feel like they, they fit. There is a lot of other good builds that we could have gone with that would work. Work as well too aarakocra being a chief among them.”

Lizardfolk Kraul: “I know what you’re thinking because I’m sitting here because, you know, Kraul the guest of honor. The best overall has to be lizardfolk, right?”

Dave: “It was really hard not to put lizardfolk on the list of the top three. It’s probably number four in my opinion. Even though they only have wisdom, they don’t have strength or Dex, but they do have constitution. It’s supremely important for an adventurer, but they get so many abilities that are so useful. But at the end of the day, it didn’t check all the boxes for us. So we had to go with the other White Meat Elf. That’s right.”

Lizardfolk Kraul: “We had to go with Wood Elf. The superior mobility, the national camouflage that they get and forest surroundings, uh, really speaks to exactly what the ranger has to, has to do. And you couple that with their mechanical pluses to dexterity and to wisdom that they, they were the complete and utter front runner for ranger.”

Dave: “ Yeah. Not only that, they get fey ancestry, they get trance. So for us, they are the overall best ranger. So the question is, what do you think the best race is to play a ranger Did we get it right Did we get it wrong We’ve place that. We can discuss it down in the comments, but before you go there, I would ask you to check out our patron. We want to thank our patrons from making these videos possible. We’re doing over Patreon is we’re adding extra content for for the fans. We are creating products or fifth edition, Dungeons and dragons every month. Patrons get it early, they get it for less before it goes up on our store. We have other benefits over there on your way to the comments. Check out the description where you can find the Patreon link.”

Lizardfolk Kraul: “So while you’re down there don’t , forget to like share and subscribe.”

Dave: “Until next time.”

Both: “Stay nerdy!”

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My name is Dave Friant I've been gaming off and on for over 27 years. But here is the thing it's always been a part of my life I've kept secret and hidden away. I've always been ashamed of the stigma that gaming and my other nerdy and geeky pursuits summon forth. Recently I decided screw it! This is who I am the world be damned. From now on I'm gonna be a geek, nerd, or however folks want to judge me and just enjoy life. Currently one of my greatest joys is introducing my 13 yr old son to table top RPG's.

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