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A return of a classic ranger

The Daily Life of a Ranger

“Within the city walls, Kergan was uncomfortable, the fmailiar sounds and smells of his forest home subverted by the raucous noise of the bustling marketplace and the stench of the open sewers. His visits to the city well infrequent and fortunately brief, he was here to collect the bounty and find some new allies to help protect the frontier…”

While no two rangers are identical, most share a common love of the wilderness. It is a defining trait, without which their ability to survive along in the wild, foraging and hunting would be meaningless. But it is not the only characteristic of their daily life…

Most rangers are of a welcoming and good heart, with a definite idea about what constitutes right and wrong. They behave with an honest integrity normally reserved for paladins, but rather than live their life in the service of a deity dispenses judgment on evil doers, they champion the powerless flora and fauna of the wilderness.

Most rangers feel smothered and trapped within the confines of an urban setting, and refuse to make their home there. Indeed, most would willingly choose to camp outside the walls rather than stay witin the comfort of an inn. While some heroes would spend there money on gold and jewels, or amassing their wealth to build a grand castle, most rangers trade it away for goods that they cannot otherwise make or forage for with their bushcrafting skills, and such trades are often beneficial for the merchants, with the rangers paying over the odds in an effort to flee the projected conflict of town and city life to return to the tranquility of nature.

The life of a ranger is a soliatory one, with companionship found with a animal such as a wolf or falcon, rather than other people. Such a soliatory life leads the ranger to be highly independant and self sufficient… they are capable of surviving for days one a single ration pack, supplementing the hard dried block of food with berries and wild salad leaves. Of course, such a perchant for solititude can have a negative impact, and a ranger who has spent months alone in the wilderness without contact with other intelligent humanoids can intially come across as remote and detached, bordering on anti-social.

When a ranger is not adventuring with the few companions he has managed to form a bond with, he feels bound by a duty of care to the forest in which he calls home. Most of the time these jobs are routine and not noteworthy, but occasionally, the ranger may stumble upon a scout of an advancing army, or befriend a visitor from the feywild. Much of their time is spent patrolling the woodland or area they call home. Some follow the same route daily, the act of patrolling almost an act of worship of nature, with frequent stops to commune with the native species. Other rangers are more random, traversing their home via overgrown tracks, cutting back the rapidly expanding bracken to forms new trails for deer and wolves to use. Whaever route they take, the ranger is on the look out for the signs that nature is in trouble… eroded pathways, parched fields, withered plants, massacred corpses of animals.

Favoured Enemy

“Ever since Lord Blasdon had passed his sweeping edict before his death, it had been considered taoo to kill bears within the realm, but here Kergan was, crouched over the steaming corpse of a black bear, its skull smashed to pieces, and its belly cut open, and feasted upon. He scanned the area, and cursed… Their droppings were un-mistakable… Ettercaps…”

While all rangers loath the creatures that attack and hurt the flora and fauna of the area they call home, some rangers are so abhored by these invaders that they take it upon themselves to eradicate the threat the species pose. Even rangers that would otherwise be cosnidered pacifists can be driven to acts of incredible violence in the presence of their chosen prey.

Whatever the cause, whether the species was responsible for a tragedy in the rangers childhood, or were responsible for significant damage to the rangers home area, or whether the ranger was hired to kill the creature, they consider the species to be anathema, and learn all they can about the speices in order to gain the upperhand against them.

Feat: Favoured Enemy
Pre-Req: Ranger, Dexterity 13+, Wisdom 13+ Level 2+
When confronted by the foe you hate the most, you are driven onwards, striking them faster and harder to ensure they cannot hurt your homeland again.
Benefit: Choose one species of creature that you have fought before taking this feat, that species is now considered to be your favoured enemy. You gain a +1 bonus to attack rolls, and a +2 bonus to damage against creatures that are the same species as your favoured enemy.
Special: Once, when you reach paragon tier, and epic tier, you can change your favoured enemy species.

2 comments

  1. Richard Green

    Very old school! I shouldn’t be wondering this, but what makes ettercap droppings unmistakeable?

  2. Jason P. Franklin

    In 1st Edition AD&D the Ranger was a slightly different beast. Patterned more after Aragorn of LotR fame, rather than protecting and defending nature (really the realm of the Druid), Rangers spent their time on the frontier, defending civilization from the marauding hordes. While preferring nature, they were equally at home in and among the civilization they protected. In 2nd ed. we saw the shift toward the class taking upon themselves the mantle of natures defenders. While I really like some of the kits in the 2E Complete Rangers Handbook, I never really felt the class in 3.x or 4E fit me. I tried playing it with a 1E mentality but it just didn’t click. Eh, personal taste…

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