This section was formulated to alter the current baseline version of the Beastmaster Ranger path from the original release of the 5th ed. Player's Handbook. The primary aim of this revision is to make the Beastmaster's 'pet', an iconic tradition for Rangers in D&D, more useful and to make this particular path more on-par with the Hunter path for the class without over-complicating the kit.
- In regards to the Ranger having to forgo an actual attack just to have their pet deal inferior damage. This is not cool and certainly does a lot to make the pet useless. CHANGE: Rangers may now direct their pets to take an attack on their turn by using a Move action rather than an Attack action. This will allow the Ranger to still place their shots while benefiting from the extra damage from their pets.
- Another common complaint is that the Ranger pet is too squishy to risk with no clear sign of reward for that high risk. CHANGE: Normally the pet gets 4x your level once this number exceeds its normal maximum base hit points. For purposes of keeping with the theme of simplicity and avoiding complicated charts but still buffing the overall hit points to be more competitive at higher levels, the pet will instead always have its maximum number of hit points based AND its total number of hit dice (hit die based on the base creature template) will always equal the Ranger's total level minus 3 if this number would exceed its total base hit point maximum. ie, if you are level 15, then the pet will have 12 total hit dice.
- Further in level, the Ranger gets the ability to have their pet be able to take an action (not attack) if they do not use the pet on an attack. The Ranger uses their bonus action for this command. CHANGE: Given the general power balance of how the Hunter path scales damage, its obvious the advantage the Beastmaster path is supposed to have is utility. Therefore, instead of losing the extra damage your pet can give you which Hunter path gets and keeps throughout career, you may use your Bonus action to issue a second command to your pet to provide one of these non-combat actions if you choose. However, the pet still cannot exceed its total available movement for the turn. This should continue to provide the Beastmaster with at least and advantage in utility as their pet can then function to support the team as well as contribute modestly to damage.
- As a last, a HUGE complaint to the Beastmaster path is how limiting the CR level for available pets is. 1/4 doesn't really net you much and blocks out many of the classes iconic choices such as normal great cats or lesser bears. CHANGE: While this may be subject to further changing, it seems that simply raising the CR of available creatures to 1/2 should open up more options for would be Beastmasters.