Top 10 5E D&D Homebrew Ranger Archetypes by a Factor of Three
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted have taken a shine to my posts over here looking at fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons homebrew content contributed to D&D Beyond. There’s lots of these posts whether for homebrew subclasses, magic items, spells, feats and more floating around for the curious. Since spring is in the air and I’ve been out working the garden this week I’ve got the natural world on my mind so today I’m focusing on the 5E D&D ranger. (Druids got their fair share already!) There are ranger subclasses in the Player’s Handbook, Xanathar’s Guide to Everything and Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything and outside of official sources there are countless Ranger Archetypes created by players all over the world. We put the finishing touches one of the the ones we’ve created just this past week and shared it along with a bunch of other new subclasses, spells, magic items and creatures. I’ve definitely got the 5E D&D ranger on my mind and I’ll pluck out the Top 10 homebrew Ranger Archetypes. There’s currently over 925 homebrew of them so let’s get into it.
Ranger Archetypes at D&D Beyond
Dave and Ted also put up the video above where they discuss the most thematic magic items for characters of the ranger persuasion. I’ve dabbled in related homebrew material for these sorts of videos but if I’m honest magic items are such a subjective topic particularly since there’s no mechanical hooks to latch onto for any particular 5E D&D class. (There’s attunement requirements but that’s too narrow in scope.)
Before getting started it’s important to note you can create homebrew content for private use and share your homebrew content publicly at DDB at no cost — there’s no subscription required to access these services. However if you want to add any of the homebrew Ranger Archetypes mentioned below or any other homebrew content you come across to your 5E D&D collection you must subscribe at the Hero Tier or above. There’s a lot you can do at DDB for free. Check out what you can do here.
The DDB homebrew collection uses several statistics to track entries. Views shows how many eyeballs any particular homebrew creation received, Adds shows the number of times a creation was added to someone’s collection and Rating is an upvote/downvote system. Since there are over 925 Ranger Archetypes in the collection I’m going to share the top 10 highest rated, most viewed and most added selections and to see what’s out there along with any crossover between these three lists.
Top 10 highest rating Ranger Archetypes
- Blade Dancer. Being a blade dancer is not something you chose, it is something that chooses you in the strangest of ways.
- Desert Wind Ranger. Rangers of the Desert Wind Conclave learn to harness the power of heat and wind to enhance their martial capabilities.
- Monster Masked. Monster Masked Rangers carry a bag filled with selected magical masks based off of various monster.
- Beast Master (Adapted). Some rangers develop a bond with the spirit of Nature in the form of a wild beast, then further strengthen that bond through the use of magic.
- Araluen Ranger. The Araluen Rangers are known for their uncanny skill with the longbow and seemingly appearing out of nowhere.
- Falconer. Many hunters use birds of prey to aid them in tracking their targets.
- Alchemical Archer. You have become a master of crafting ammunition using different alchemical compounds.
- Spirit Archer. Spirit Archers are rangers that have learned how to combine their bow attacks with the power of summoned animal spirits.
- Forgetten Hunter. Rangers of the Forgotten Conclave can tap into the long lost ancient energy of the world, allowing them to draw magical energy from the world around them.
- Dragoon. Dragoons are rangers who, for one reason or another, have made a pact with a dragon to gain its power.
Top 10 most viewed Ranger Archetypes
- Blade Dancer.
- Desert Wind Ranger.
- Arcane Marksman. Some Rangers aren’t satisfied with using spells simply to hinder their foes.
- Unique Assassin. After a crippling loss the enemy retreats to the woods.
- Alchemical Archer.
- Trapper. Rangers of this archetype don’t mind waiting for their enemies to come to them on their own.
- Monster Tamer. The Monster Tamer archetype embodies a desire to reign in the threat of monstrous and magical animals, while simultaneously showing that such creatures are not as mindless as they are made out to be.
Top 10 most added Ranger Archetypes
- Blade Dancer.
- Desert Wind Ranger.
- Bounty Hunter. A human stands surrounded by bandits, all exits blocked as the human smiles pulling out the two hidden pistols from his sides, the fire starts to swirl around him as he starts to spin, releasing the barrage of bullets into the mass.
- Monster Masked.
- Beast Master (Adapted).
- Spirit Archer.
- Alchemical Archer.
- Forgetten Hunter.
Ranger Archetypes rising to the top
Clearly the Blade Dancer and Desert Wind Ranger take the No. 1 and No. 2 spots across the board. As a content creator myself oddly enough I rarely look too deeply at any of the homebrew material I come across at DDB for a couple of reasons. Chief among them is I don’t want to inadvertently be influenced by what I see when we’re designing out own stuff. I did glance around a bit more than I usually do this time around, particularly at user comments. More than a few comments on these various Ranger Archetypes suggest they’re on the over powered side. This makes complete sense to me since of course players are going to generally feel enthusiastically positive about powerful character options.
5E D&D ranger resources
Remember when you read about how Nerdarchy creates our own homebrew material? The ranger class is no exception. Here’s some stuff for the 5E D&D ranger fans out there and if you’re not already perhaps something here will get you excited to play one of these awesome characters in your next game. Some of this material is found in our books and others right here at Nerdarchy the Website. As always remember when you sign up for Nerdarchy the Newsletter you’ll get several gifts including $9.99 in store credit so you can add whatever you like there to your own collection.
- Ranger Archetype — Stygian Shadow. Familiar with the terrain of the coldest of hells, you know how to tap into the power of undeath.
- Ranger Archetype — Froststrider. Trained in the harsh climates of the far north where resources are few, you have learned to harness the power of the creatures you hunt for further use.
- Ranger Archetype — Wig Walker. You might have looked into this conclave thinking you were going to be a walker in the wigs, but it turns out a walker of the wigs was needed more.
- Best in Show 5E D&D Magic Items for Rangers
- D&D Party Composition — Playing an All Ranger Party
- Expanding the Spell Lists for 5E D&D Beast Master and Hunter Rangers
- D&D Ranger Beast Master: Beast and Ranger are One. Featured in DDB’s very first blog post by James Haeck!
*Featured image — As a Wig Walker ranger, you are bonded to a beardomantic hair piece that comes when you call, fights at your side and looks incredibly stylish to boot.