Homebrew: New fighter subclass for 5e: Grove Knight

I really like rangers, in theory. But like many folks, I have found the published ranger designs for 5e to be a bit… off? Some say weak or unbalanced, some say ineffective or irrelevant to actual campaign styles. Whatever it is, it bugged me enough to take a swing at designing a class that might scratch that ranger itch for me. And as you’ve noticed from the title of this post, my ranger is a fighter.

The idea was pretty simple. If the “eldritch knight” is a fighter with a few wizard spells to be more effective in combat, maybe I can make a fighter with a few druid spells to be more effective in exploration. So you just take the fighter chassis, copy the eldritch knight spell progression table, and paste on the bolded features below to make… the Grove Knight:

LevelProf BonusFeatures
1+2Fighting Style, Second Wind
2+2Action Surge (one use)
3+2Cantrips – You learn two cantrips of your choice from the druid spell list. You learn an additional druid cantrip of your choice at 10th level.
Spells – You know three 1st-level druid spells of your choice, which you must choose from the transmutation and evocation spells on the druid spell list. The Spells Known column of the Grove Knight Spellcasting table shows when you learn more druid spells of 1st level or higher. Each of these spells must be a transmutation or evocation spell of your choice, and must be of a level for which you have spell slots. For instance, when you reach 7th level in this class, you can learn one new spell of 1st or 2nd level. Whenever you gain a level in this class, you can replace one of the druid spells you know with another spell of your choice from the druid spell list. The new spell must be of a level for which you have spell slots, and it must be a transmutation or evocation spell.
Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier
Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier
Natural Expertise – Choose two additional Skills from Nature, Survival, Stealth, and Animal Handling. Also, choose two of your skill Proficiencies, and your Proficiency Bonus is doubled for any ability check you make that uses either of the chosen Proficiencies.
4+2Ability Score Improvement
5+3Extra Attack
6+3Ability Score Improvement
7+3Natural Affinity – Once per day, you can cast one of the following spells without using a spell slot: Speak with Animals or Speak with Plants or Locate Animals or Plants. In addition, all Beast and Plant creatures regard you as non-hostile unless you attack them.
8+3Ability Score Improvement
9+4Indomitable (one use)
10+4Masterful Attack – Your knowledge of creature anatomy allows you to inflict additional harm to your foes. Once per round when you make a ranged or melee attack, you can force the target creature to make a Dexterity saving throw vs DC 15. If they fail, choose one of the following results: (a) the creature is knocked prone, (b) the creature drops one item of your choice, or (c) the creature cannot take attacks of opportunity until the start of their next turn.
11+4Extra Attack (2)
12+4Ability Score Improvement
13+5Indomitable (two uses)
14+5Ability Score Improvement
15+5Summon Guardian – The wilderness heeds your call. Once per long rest, you can summon a Beast or Plant creature of CR 5 or lower. For 10 minutes, this creature will obey your commands and defend you, as well as safely guide you using its knowledge of the area.
16+5Ability Score Improvement
17+6Action Surge (two uses), Indomitable (three uses)
18+6Weald Warrior – The forces of nature protect and empower you. You are immune to poison and disease. You are resistant to fire and cold, as well as non-magical bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage. Your speed increases 10 feet. You have blindsight 60 feet.
19+6Ability Score Improvement
20+6Extra Attack (3)
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