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January 4th, 2013, 00:46
Ranger v Paladin
Rangers and Paladins are pretty similar in capabilities, with Rangers pulling ahead in consistent damage against all foes and particularly against their favored enemies (a maxed out Ranger adds 14 damage, which is multiplied in crits, vs a KotC 3d6 or 10.5 avg damage vs Evil Outsiders only). This isn't counting the ED which boosts FE damage further.
Paladins of course have burst damage, somewhat like a fighter, and much higher PRR. The PRR difference is made up for by the Ranger's evasion. Both have good saves, and both have good offensive and defensive buffs and some self-healing for the well built ones.
Both are also feat-starved. Rangers need Dodge, Mobility, and Spring Attack to qualify for Tempest 1, and have a choice of feats for Tempest 3. This offsets their getting the TWF feats for free.
Paladin can go DoS and get higher hp. Otherwise the differences will be marginal at best.
Where the Ranger shines is versatility. A Tempest Ranger still has Manyshot and Improved Precise Shot. You can cut down an army with those two feats, even on a Tempest. IPS allows shots going through an enemy to reach the actual target, but also lets them do damage to any enemy caught in the fire between the ranger and her target.
Rangers also get 6 skill points per level, meaning they can take a Rogue splash for a bit of added DPS, and fill in the trapper skills as well. Since they get Spot and Search as class skills, they only need DD really, though most will invest in UMD as well.
Finally, Tempest Rangers have the advantage over Paladins in that they don't need a lot of stats spread out. DEX to 13 to qualify for Dodge, and the rest can safely go into STR and CON, with a couple points in INT if desired for a trapping build. You can get the needed WIS for the spells easily enough with an item, and Spot isn't an issue since you get Wild Instincts which boosts it. Fireflash was able to do eVoN5 traps, before the epic changes.
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