Yes tis’ true, a Ranger has a life of solitude at times, defending territory and ridding the area of monsters that would otherwise over-run the nearest village of helpless peasants. Not much thanks is given to these defenders of the wild, but they do what they do with a higher purpose in mind of course, and few could walk in their footsteps in the first place.

D&D Next has done a great deal to redefine and improve on a few points, making the Ranger stand out as not just yet another sub-class of Fighter but a class that can stand on its own. The Favored Enemy is more specified, but since this is a play test at this point, I can see that in the future more such enemies will be introduced.  Spell use, combat specialties, and survival skills are intact but still something is missing.  They are alone again, with no Animal Companions to spend time with.

I hope the Ranger class does regain a animal friend like previous editions routinely had as part of this class. I liked the tricks one could teach a pet, for many times it was an extension of the character, and not just a pet. Nothing like a mage’s familiar, where it was something of a magic creation, but one of the natural world, a world where a Ranger would tread. I had hoped to see the introduction of Animal Companions for the Ranger but was disappointed when the next wave of play test material had no mention contained within. Perhaps soon it would be included, as I did state my wish for this information in the survey.

I had a chance to get the latest wave of Play testing and discovered that some of the old but never forgotten playable races have been re-inserted! Gnome, Half-Elf, Half-Orc OHMY! I can not count the times during play that I did not think that something was missing from the game. I am not saying the previous amount of race was not enough or lacked anything is everything, far from it. I am saying that the attempts to recapture the games of old have thus far been successful.

Some new spells were also introduced and some tweaks here and there. The play test material is the same though, although a bit more clear and concise in some areas where it was needed. I will not go into much detail though since this is protected material. So if curious go download it yourself!  I do like the changes from the old systems, but also keep some of the old but enjoyable aspects of the game without feeling it is just another clone or just a big mashed up mess of rules hand-picked from the various editions.

Another note: I have started a new gaming group using the D&D Next playtest for a home brew world. I have so far three dedicated and skillful players, the kind of players you would kill for! They are great to associate with and I can see this game going on for a long time. Also for those that were curious, I had to get a new PC and have not until now been able to post up anything new. I will posts various highpoints from my game from time to time so please stay tuned!

D&D NEXT Campaign: Imladhal, Lands of Adventure