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Half-Elf Ranger 5e D&D Guide

Half-Elf Ranger 5e D&D Guide

Cloaked in forest greens and earthy browns, the Half-Elf Ranger roams the untamed wilderness, their keen eyes piercing through the shadows like a hawk on the hunt.

Armed with an elegant bow crafted from ancient woods, the Half-Elf Ranger is a true master of archery. They nock their arrows with unmatched precision, their aim guided by an otherworldly intuition.

But the Ranger’s talents extend far beyond archery alone. With their innate connection to nature, they wield spells like a whispered secret. They can command the elements to shield themselves from harm or ensnare their enemies in thorny vines.

Though their skills may seem otherworldly, the Half-Elf Ranger’s strength lies not only in their individual abilities but in their ability to adapt to any situation. They are resourceful and quick-witted, capable of thriving in both the bustling city streets and the deepest, darkest caverns.

Creating a Half-Elf Ranger


Half-Elves walk in two worlds, but ultimately they belong to neither. Blessed with the best qualities of both races, Half-Elves can specialize in merely anything.

Their Human curiosity and inventiveness, coupled with their Elvish ambitioned tempered by a love of nature, artistic tastes, and refined senses, give them potential far beyond most other races.

SkinFair smooth skin, usually pale but varying similar to the skin tones of humans
HairOften long, full heads of hair in colors of pale yellow, gray, white, brown, or black, although there are exceptions (similar to humans)

(Most Half-Elves don’t have facial hair due to their Elvish heritage)

EyesMostly emerald green, hazel, or brown
NosePetite and elegant noses, similar to those of their Elvish heritage
MouthSoft and light rose-colored lips

Note: These features can be slightly changed or modified if some variations don’t fit your character.

Half-Elf Subraces

Half-Elves have two variant subraces which are split up into a Mark category and a Heritage category.

Half-Elf Variants – There are many different variant Half-Elf subraces, have boasting experience in different fields and relate it to their respective Elven heritage.

  • Elf Weapon Training (High or Wood Elf Heritage) – Your heritage gives you proficiency in Longbows, Shortbows, Longswords, and Shortswords.
  • Cantrip (High Elf Heritage) – Your heritage gives you access to one Cantrip from the Wizard spell list (use Intelligence as your spellcasting ability).
  • Fleet of Foot (Wood Elf Heritage) – Your heritage increases your base walking speed to 35 feet.
  • Mask of the Wild (Wood Elf Heritage) – Your heritage allows you to attempt to hide whenever obscured by foliage, mist, falling snow, heavy rain, or other natural phenomena.
  • Drow Magic (Dark Elf Heritage) – Your heritage grants you the Dancing Lights Cantrip, and upon reaching level 3, you can use Faerie Fire, which recharges after your long rest.

Reaching level 5 lets you cast Darkness once, which recharges after a long rest (Charisma is your spellcasting ability for all these spells).

  • Swim Speed (Sea Elf Heritage) – Your heritage gives you a swimming speed of 30 feet.

Variant Half-Elf: Mark of Detection – Half-Elves bestowed with the Mark of Detection are masters of Divination magic. They detect unseen traps, read thoughts, and sense even the slightest poisons in the air.

Variant Half-Elf: Mark of Storm – Half-Elves blessed with the Mark of Storm wield innate magic powers linking them to storms. As they grow stronger, they gain access to more powerful incantations and become a living storm.

Ranger Class Features

Hit Points

Hit Dice1d10 per Ranger level
HP at level 110 + Constitution modifier
HP at Higher levels1d10 (or 6) + Constitution modifier per Ranger level after level 1


ArmorLight armor, Medium armor, Shields
WeaponsSimple weapons, Martial weapons
Saving ThrowsStrength, Dexterity
SkillsChoose three – Animal Handling, Athletics, Insight, Investigation, Nature, Perception, Stealth, and Survival

Ranger Conclaves

Upon reaching level 3, Rangers can choose to emulate the training and ideals of a specific conclave, granting them certain conclave-only features.

Beast Master – Becoming a Beast Master is to be the embodiment of friendship between the civilized races and the beasts throughout the world.

You’ll be united with a beast, focusing on fighting monstrous foes that threaten civilization and the wilderness as Ranger and beast.

Join the Beast Master conclave means committing yourself to this very simple ideal as you establish a partnership with an animal, becoming its companion and friend.

Fey Wanderer – Fey Wanderers are surrounded by the mystique of the fey, which could’ve come from various events such as eating a shining fruit, swimming in a magic spring, or acquiring a boon from an archfey.

How you acquired your magic doesn’t matter, all that matters is that you’re now a Fey Wanderer, a Ranger representing both the fey and the mortal realms.

You are filled with joy enough to brighten the hearts of those around you while also possessing great martial powers which strike fear in your enemies. You are the embodiment of the fey, their mirth, and their fury.

Gloom Stalker – Gloom Stalkers feel at home in the darkest places in the world, often found in primeval forests, deep under the earth, in gloomy alleyways, or anywhere else the light dims.

While most people enter these areas with trepidation, Gloom Stalkers venture bravely into the darkness, destroying threats before they can reach the outside world.

Many Gloom Stalkers can often be found in the Underdark, but they are willing to go to any place where evil hides in the shadows.

Horizon Walker – Rangers known as Horizon Walkers guard the world against threats that originate from distant planes or those who seek to destroy the mortal realm with fierce magic.

You’ll often hear of them seeking out planar portals, keeping watch over them, and even venturing into the Inner and Outer Planes to pursue their foes.

Horizon Walkers are great allies to many forces found in the multiverse – especially benevolent dragons, elementals, and fey – that work together to preserve life and the order of each plane.

Hunter – Hunters seek to master weapons in order to protect civilization from terrors that live in the wilderness.

These Rangers are taught specialized fighting techniques to use against these threats, ranging from terrifying dragons, hordes of orcs, towering giants, and rampaging ogres.

Monster Slayer – Monsters Slayer Rangers have dedicated themselves to hunting down wielders of grim magic and creatures of the night. They’ll often seek out dragons, evil fey, fiends, vampires, and other magical threats to vanquish.

Monster Slayers were trained in supernatural techniques for the sole reason of destroying and overcoming the powers of these monsters, becoming experts at defeating and unearthing mighty, mystical foes.

Swarmkeeper – Swarmkeepers are Rangers who feel a deep connection to the environment around them, reaching out through the magical connection they have to the world and bonding with swarms of nature spirits.

Many Swarmkeepers are hermits or outcasts, keeping mostly to themselves and attending to their swarms rather than taking on the burdens and discomforts of others.

Other Swarmkeepers enjoy building bustling communities they see as mutually beneficial to all those who form a part of their swarm.

Drakewarden – Drakewardens have their link to the natural world embodied by a draconic spirit, with the physical form of a drake.

As your power grows, so does your drake, turning from a meager four-legged companion to a majestic winged creature, strong and large enough to be ridden. The Drakewarden will also gain powerful draconic powers.

Combining Ranger With Half-Elf

Determining Your Ranger Subclass

Choosing your ideal subclass is subjective, but if your objective is optimization, try understanding what your character wants to do and what stats fit best with their subclass.

Beast MasterDefender/Striker
Fey WandererDefender/Scout/Striker
Gloom StalkerDefender/Scout/Striker
Horizon WalkerDefender/Striker/Utility Caster
Monster SlayerDefender/Striker

Optimal Half-Elf Subrace

Half-Elves have 2 full subrace variants and 6 heritage variants that give special features or bonuses.

Rangers mainly need Dexterity to function, followed by Wisdom for their spellcasting modifier and Constitution for some much-needed HP.

Therefore, the best choice would be the Mark of Detection Half-Elf variant, which gives a Wisdom (2) bonus and allows you to increase one other ability score by 1.

Along with the decent ability scores, you’ll also be getting some free spells like Detect Magic, Find Traps, and Arcane Eye, which are great tools for infiltration or observation.

Your Half-Elf Ranger Background

Your Half-Elf Ranger needs a unique background that will affect its choices, as well as the way it sees the world and what it wants to achieve.

Start by asking yourself some basic questions: Where were they born, and where did they come from? Do they have any goals, bonds, or ideals, and what are their flaws? Where do they belong in social circles and society as a whole? What inspires them?

Place of Birth

Think of the environment a Half-Elf Ranger grew up in and how it affected them physically and emotionally and eventually shaped their view of the world.

Try to make their place of birth and upbringing correspond with their personality traits, ideals, bonds, and flaws – this will truly bring their character alive.

Note: The birthplaces of races are usually mentioned in the Player’s Handbook or some of its expansion books.

Characteristics and Personality Traits

Half-Elf Rangers use their nimble Elvish heritage and inventive Human nature to become feared marksmen, duelists, and protectors of nature. 

Often shielding those who stay close to dangerous forests or eliminating theirs before they get out of hand.

Half-Elf Ranger Examples:

  • I always watch over my friends as if they were all a litter of newborn pups.
  • I have a lesson for each situation drawn from observing nature.

Ideals, Bonds, and Flaws

Ideal – Express one ideal that is a driving force in a Half-Elf Ranger’s life – their conviction, ethical principle, and moral standing (probably something about nature).

I see no good in pretending to be something I’m not.

Bonds – Think of a single bond that your Half-Elf Ranger has to an event, person, or place. Bonds will tie them to their background and can inspire bravery or stimulate memories driving them against their ideals.

I worked the land, I love the land, and I will protect the land.

Flaws – Choose a single flaw for a Half-Elf Ranger – their unhealthy compulsion, greatest fear/weakness, or most vile vice.

I have a ‘tell’ that reveals when I’m lying.


Inspiration is used by the DM to reward you for playing according to your bond, personality traits, ideals, and flaw.

Preying on the weak and destroying nature is a sin too grave not to be met with severe punishment or death by my hands.

Note: If you’re struggling to create your background or just don’t want to think, the Player’s Handbook has well-thought-through backgrounds that you can use for your character or use as a mold.

Supplies and Gear For Half-Elf Ranger

Rangers start with the following equipment, together with the equipment from their background. Choosing equipment based on your situation and your character’s proficiencies is the easiest way to go about things.

  • (a) Scale mail or (b) Leather armor
  • (a) Two shortswords or (b) Two simple melee weapons
  • (a) Dungeoneer’s pack or (b) Explorer’s pack
  • Longbow and quiver of 20 arrows

You can decide how your character came about these goods – whether they stole, inherited, or purchased them some time back – adding to your character’s background.

Note: By using your starting wealth, you can buy your own equipment (5d4 x 10 GP for Rangers).

Final Thoughts

Half-Elf Rangers are some of the most common Half-Elves due to their Elvish heritage being closely tied to nature and its magic.

These Rangers usually take up the roles of Scout or Striker as they swiftly navigate through the brush and eliminate anyone who stands in their way with a single arrow.

If your party needs a marksman of great skill, look no further than the Half-Elf Ranger!

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