Can a ranger pick two humanoid races as their favored enemy at level 1, and then two more humanoid races at level 6?

Can a ranger pick two humanoid races as their favored enemy at level 1, and then two more humanoid races at level 6 or level 14?

My reading of the Favored Foe feature is that any time the ranger chooses a favored enemy, be it at Level 1, 6 or 14, the ranger may alternately choose two humanoid races instead of one non-humanoid creature type. However, D&D Beyond does not allow a player to choose two more humanoid races at level 6 or 14 if they have previously chosen two humanoid races at level 1 or 6.

Is my interpretation of the Favored Foe feature incorrect, or is D&D Beyond’s implementation incorrect?

Note: My question is similar, but not a duplicate, to this one. That question is about a scenario where a ranger chooses a non-humanoid creature type as their favored enemy at level 1, and then wants to choose two humanoid races at level 6. My question is about a ranger who chooses two humanoid races at level 1, and wants to choose two more humanoid races at level 6.

How much does this Favored Foe tweak for the Ranger’s class feature from TCoE buffs the Rangers when compared to other martial classes?


I want to tweak the Favored Foe optional class feature for the Ranger from Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything

I’m fairly disappointed with the Favored Foe optional class feature for the Rangers released in TCoE, it’s essentially just a worse Hunter’s Mark. This feature allows more versatility with your Foe Slayer feature at level 20, but it also locks your concentration. Since it’s a worse Hunter’s Mark, Favored Foe will probably see less use until you get Foe Slayer (and how many games reach level 20?). The only saving grace to this feature is the improved action economy. Two weapon fighting or crossbow expert Rangers might see some use out of this.

While the UA version is definitely better in terms of damage, I’d have to agree with this Reddit post that says that the UA version incentivizes 1 level dip to the Ranger class, but doesn’t incentivize more levels in Ranger. User u/ZatherDaFox added "One of the ranger’s biggest issues has always been a lack of really cool mid and late game abilities to justify taking the class that high."

Now, I’m trying to come up with a solution after Favored Foe was officially published in Tasha’s Caudron of Everything. tl;dr, here’s the changelog:

  • Renamed it to Hunter’s Mark
  • If you take this optional class feature, it replaces your Favored Enemy class feature and removes the Hunter’s Mark spell from this Ranger’s spell list
  • The damage still scales exactly the same as TCoE’s Favored Foe, but now it applies to every attack that hits (even spell attacks)
  • Added the advantage to track and find it bit from the Hunter’s Mark spell
  • Duration is 1 hour, following the Hunter’s Mark spell
  • Number of uses equal to proficiency bonus per short or long rest
  • At level 11, it no longer requires concentration

Hunter’s Mark

1st-level ranger feature, which replaces the Favored Enemy feature and works with the Foe Slayer feature. Furthermore, Hunter’s Mark is removed from your spell list.

When you hit a creature with an attack roll, you can call on your mystical bond with nature to mark the target as your favored enemy for 1 hour or until you lose your concentration (as if you were concentrating on a spell). Until your concentration ends, you deal an extra 1d4 damage to the target whenever you hit it with an attack, and you have advantage on any Wisdom (Perception) or Wisdom (Survival) check you make to find it.
    You can use this feature to mark a favored enemy a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus, and you regain all expended uses when you finish a short or long rest. This feature’s extra damage increases when you reach certain levels in this class: to 1d6 at 6th level and to 1d8 at 14th level. Furthermore, once you have reached 11th level in this class, this feature no longer requires concentration.

What this aims to fix:

As stated before, I want people to want to play the Ranger class and experience them at higher levels, not just as one level dips. I play a Ranger in my homebrew campaign, but I use the Revised Ranger UA version because the PHB just seems very DM-/campaign-dependent and, to me at least, is poorly designed compared to the other classes. Tasha’s has introduced a lot of new optional class features for the Ranger that I’m eternally grateful for (I’ll literally never take the PHB Natural Explorer ever again). So it sucks to see that one of them just barely misses the mark (get it? Hahah).

The changes don’t really alter the playstyle of the Ranger prior to level 11, I think. I set the uses at PB per short or long rest since this Hunter’s Mark can’t jump between targets when you reduce one to 0 hit points. And every Rangers still need to contemplate the usual "do I drop my Hunter’s Mark now and try something different, or should I stick with it?" This has always been a problem with me in my campaign, and in its current state I do plan on multiclassing into Rogue very soon, since I don’t think I can utilize many spells because my Wisdom is not that high. I know that sounds more like a me thing but Wisdom is not generally the Ranger’s main ability score either, so it’s usually lower than their Dexterity, de-incentivizing creative uses of spells with a saving throw or a to-hit.

This changes in level 11, though. This Ranger’s Hunter’s Mark now no longer requires concentration. I read somewhere (can’t find it anymore) that advised people who wants to homebrew stuff to stay away from altering the concentration mechanic in D&D 5e, among other things (action economy was also mentioned). I removed the concentration at level 11 because it’s entering a new tier of play, so I think it’s a fitting jump in terms of prowess for this class. Also, since it no longer requires concentration at this level, Rangers can now try more experiments with their spells! It removes one decision point in combat for the Ranger, which I think is a good thing.

The Ranger’s current level 11 class feature is tied to their subclass, so this adds another oomph to those as well. But, I am also deathly afraid that messing with concentration like this is going to overpower the Ranger when compared to the other martial classes. My biggest argument is that the Paladin gets Improved Divine Smite also at 11th level, which is very similar to this Hunter’s Mark since it a straight damage buff.

tl;dr, the question: do these changes for Favored Foe, now renamed Hunter’s Mark, significantly buffs the Rangers, to the point of overpowered when compared to the other martial classes?

Can Favored Foe from Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything target more than one creature at the same time?

The new Ranger ability, Favored Foe, says:

When you hit a creature with an attack roll, you can call on your mystical bond with nature to mark the target as your favored enemy for 1 minute or until you lose your concentration (as if you were concentrating on a spell).

The first time on each of your turns that you hit the favored enemy and deal damage to it, including when you mark it, you can increase that damage by 1d4.

You can use this feature to mark a favored enemy a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus, and you regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.

Since the ability says that you mark the creature when you hit it and that you can use this feature a number of times equal to your proficiency modifier. I am wondering if you could target two creatures in the same turn, since you have Extra Attack at 5th level, to maximize the damage you can deal in a turn.

The scenario I imagine is the following, you attack creature A and mark it, then with your extra attack you attack creature B and mark it. On your next turn, you again attack creature A & B so you can use the "The first time on each of your turns that you hit the favoured enemy" clause of Favoured Foe ability to deal the extra damage since both creatures got hit only once on its turn.

Would this work?

Do parties with rangers dispense with navigation checks while in their favored terrain in Tomb of Annihilation?

In Tomb of Annihilation the prospect of getting lost/turned around in the jungle is written explicitly into the rules: “The Land of Chult” and its “Navigation” section have the party navigator making a check every day, and they may become lost if the check goes awry.

But my party has a ranger, favored terrain of forest. Whose group, due to Natural Explorer, “can’t become lost except by magical means.”

Nothing suggests that difficulty finding one’s way in the lion’s Tyrannosaurus’ share of Chultan jungles is magical. It’s just mundane bushwhacking-sometimes-goes-awry.

So do groups playing Tomb of Annihilation who include a (forest) ranger simply dispose of the whole “Navigation” section while in the jungle?

(We’ve ruled that forest==jungle for Natural Explorer’s purposes. As does Jeremy Crawford. If you disagree hold your ire and imagine we were talking about coast, or swamp, or mountain; all of these are Natural Explorer candidates and might be where navigation checks would be indicated in ToA.)

Why Burrow’s Wheeler Matching (FM-Index) is favored for DNA read matching

I noticed that FM-indexing is a preferred way to match strings in large data sets, and in particular DNA sequencing wiki-article. I know that with this method, it can eliminate space dependencies thanks to compression methods. However, alternatives like Knuth-Morris-Pratt Algorithm or Rabin-karp are highly effective in terms of extra space complexity with $ O(|Pattern| + 1)$ and $ O(1)$ respectively. These, are the complexity that would take if I were to code them so there might be better ways.

Overall, Burrows-Wheeler transform doesn’t do all that much both in terms of time and space. So why is it favored? My current assumption is that it can be modified to do approximate pattern matching. Does that imply Rabin-karp or KMP cannot be modified to efficiently calculate approximate matches?

Do the Favored Soul and Cleric differ greatly in their options for prestige classes?

As noted here, there is limited information on the optimisation options for the Favored Soul. In addition, it has received less support than the Cleric due to being a non-core class, being solely a spontaneous caster, and lacking direct access to Domains or Turn Undead. This leads me to my question, is there a great different in the options that the Cleric and Favored Soul have for prestige classes? In particular, does this have any implications for how the Cleric generally compares to the Favored Soul? Finally, does the result of this analysis change if we use Unearthed Arcana’s Spontaneous Divine Casters rules to make the Cleric similar to the Favored Soul?

To be clear, I’m more interested in analysis and comparison than I am in a simple list of what both classes can qualify for. By all means, feel free to disregard any options that are unique to one class but silly for it to take. My real interest in asking this question is to see if the common wisdom of “Favored Souls are nerfed Clerics” is always true. This question may be a useful reference.

Does a Favored Soul really gains turn attempts if he chose the Glory domain from the dracolyte prestige class?

I think I figured a way to give more power to the Favored Soul class (Complete Divine, p. 6-10) that people shun so much and is weak compared to Clerics, not only do you gain a Domain this Way but I think you also gain Turn attempts, wich really boost that poor class.

With the Prestige Class Dracolyte (Draconomicon, p. 122-123) and choosing the Glory Domain (Good gets it, but Neutral characters must choose between Glory and Domination):

The Granted Power States (SRD):

Turn Undead with a +2 bonus on the turning check and +1d6 to the turning damage roll.

In the Draconomicon p.107 it states:

Granted Power: You can turn undead with a +2 bonus on the turning check and +1d6 on the turning damage roll.

In the SRD the wording suggests that it gives you turn undead, while the Draconomicon suggest that you can do it wich could seem ambiguous, note that the Glory domain is only tied to this class, and it is mentionned in the Prestige Domain section that you can indeed join this without having other domains (wich mean non clerics, and the prerequisites permits it too) so I guess it really gives you Turn attempts.

Nothing states you need to already have Turn attempts, it straightly gives you a more powerful version of it.

This might be because Favored souls were not introduced yet, but as Favored Soul is a weak class compared to Cleric, nothing from RAW says it does not work, yet it is reasonable to allow it I believe, what would you guys say about this? Even just a 1 level dip would make way more powerful but at the cost of two weak feats, so might as well continue the prestige class…

Sidenotes:

  • I’m using the new ability from Dead Levels II:

    Knowledge Specialty (Ex): At 1st level, a favored soul can choose whether to make Knowledge (arcana) or Knowledge (religion) a class skill. Once this choice is made, it cannot be reversed

    I chose Knowledge (religion) instead so I’m ok for Dracolyte.

  • The only restrictions is having 2nd-level divine spells,2 general feats and some skills… other classes such as druid or paladin could get into this prestige class as well if they meet the prerequisites.

Can Favored Souls choose feats that require cleric levels, such as Initiate of Astilabor?

The Initiate of Astilabor feat (Dragon Magic, p. 20) has the following prequisites:

Prerequisite: Cleric level 3rd, dragonblood subtype, deity Astilabor.

As a Dracolyte silverbrow human having an innate connection with the Deity Astilabor, I would find it absurd that I could not take such a feat. I guess giving new spells to Favored Soul might be the reason why I can’t, but if Knowstones are allowed, why not this?

Is there any RAW info on this, FAQ, or Errata? (Pathfinder or other editions are welcome if that’s the only info available.)