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Thamilon
2012-04-08, 07:14 PM
This is a class I've designed, based on the Ranger's Apprentice novels. While I'm designing it for a game I'm running based in that universe, I think it would work well in any historical/low magic setting or for anyone who is looking for a ranger character that doesn't use magic.

The Araluen Ranger


The Ranger Corps of Araluen was founded to be the eyes and ears of The Crown throughout the realm. Fallen into disrepute a generation ago and made a home for the sons of the idle rich, it was reformed and refined into the legendary force for good that they are today under the direction of Commandant Crowley and Senior Ranger Halt.

The Rangers are a truly egalitarian organization, recruited from the ranks of the nobility and the common man alike. Your background, family and connections are unimportant - all that matters is that you have the skills worthy of a Ranger and that you are loyal to The Crown and its' laws, your fellow Rangers and the people of Araluen. Though it is rare, foreigners can be inducted into the ranks of the Rangers provided they swear an oath to The Crown.

There are only 50 Rangers of Araluen at any time - one for each fief in the kingdom. Apprentices may be recruited by any Ranger at any time, should they feel capable of handling the task of training a prospective ranger in addition to their normal duties. Potential Rangers may serve under a Senior Ranger as a technical apprentice for several years, waiting for an active Ranger to retire.

(Note: In game terms, this means that an apprentice Ranger may well pick up several levels in the Ranger class before becoming an official Ranger and going off on their own. GMs are encouraged to play this up in RP.)

The Rangers main duties are to act as peace-keepers, gathering intelligence on threats to the peace, both foreign and domestic, while protecting their assigned fief from wild animal attacks and criminals. They may also be called upon to act as spies and work on other special missions as circumstances demand. For this reason, Rangers receive intense training in a variety of skills apart from their specialized stealth and martial training.

Rangers are easily marked by their distinctive uniform - a grey-green camoflagued cloak, their specially bred horses and their signature longbows. Rangers are dead accurate with their longbows and can shoot rapidly with accuracy. In melee, Rangers utilize a unique two-knife fighting style which takes advantage of a broad-bladed saxe knife a smaller throwing knife.


Starting Age: 15+1d6 years
Starting Gold: 5d6x10 gold.
Alignment: Any.
Hit Die: d10

Class Skills

The rangerís class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (geography) (Int), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), and Use Rope (Dex).

Skill Points at 1st Level
(8 + Int modifier) ◊4.

Skill Points at Each Additional Level
8 + Int modifier.



{table=head;width=90%] Level | BAB | Fort | Ref | Will | Special

1st | +1 | +2 | +2 | +0 | Track, Favored Terrain +1

2nd | +2 | +3 | +3 | +0 | Combat Style

3rd | +3 | +3 | +3 | +1 | Endurance

4th | +4 | +4 | +4| +1 | Ranger Mount, Favored Terrain +2

5th | +5 | +4 | +4 | +1 | Improved Combat Style

6th | +6/+1 | +5 | +5 | +2 | Diehard

7th | +7/+2 | +5 | +5 | +2 | Ranger Ability, Guide

8th | +8/+3 | +6 | +6 | +2 | Favored Terrain +3

9th | +9/+4 | +6 | +6 | +3 | Swift Tracker

10th | +10/+5 | +7 | +7 | +3 | Bonus Feat

11th | +11/+6/+1 | +7 | +7 | +3 | Combat Style Mastery

12th | +12/+6/+2 | +8 | +8 | +4 | Favored Terrain +4

13th | +13/+8/+3 | +8 | +8 | +4 | Ranger Ability, Guide (Fast Movement)

14th | +14/+9?+4 | +9 | +9 | +4 | Bonus Feat

15th | +15/+10/+5 | +9 | +9 | +5 | Heroic Sacrifice

16th | +16/+11/+6/+1 | +10 | +10 | +5 | Favored Terrain +5

17th | +17/+12/+7/+2 | +10 | +10 | +5 | Bonus Feat

18th | +18/+13/+8/+3 | +11 | +11 | +6 | Swift Tracker (Full Speed)

19th | +19/+14/+9/+4 | +11 | +11 | +6 | Ranger Ability

20th | +20/+15/+10/+5 | +12 | +12 | +6 | Favored Terrain +6, Guide (Mounts)

[/table]


Class Features

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A ranger is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, and with light armor and shields (except tower shields).

Track: A ranger grains Track as a bonus feat.

Favored Terrain (Ex): At 1st level, the ranger gains a favored terrain type from among the following: Cold, Desert, Forest, Jungle, Mountains, Plains or Swamps. At 7th level, 13th level and 19th level the ranger may choose an additional favored terrain as a Ranger Ability.

Any time a ranger is in one of their favored terrains and is wearing light armor or no armor, they gain the following benefits:

* + 1 circumstance bonus to all Hide, Knowledge (geography) Listen, Move Silently, Search, Spot and Survival checks.
* + 1 dodge bonus to Armor Class.
* + 1 bonus to Initiative rolls.

At 4th level and every four levels after, the ranger's Favored Terrain bonus increases by +1. If the ranger takes a second Favored Terrain as a Ranger Ability at 7th level, they gain a +1 bonus at levels 12 and 17. If the ranger takes a third Favored Terrain as a Ranger Ability at level 13, they gain a +1 bonus at level 19.

The ranger gains additional benefits as his Favored Terrain bonuses increase.

* If the ranger has at least a +2 bonus for the terrain they are in, they gain a +10 feet boost to their movement speed.
* If the ranger has at least a +3 bonus for the terrain they are in, they may use the Hide skill even if the immediate terrain does not provide any cover.
* If the ranger has at least s +4 bonus for the terrain they are in, they gain a +20 feet boost to their movement speed.
* If the ranger ha at least a +5 bonus for the terrain they are in, they can use the Hide skill even while being observed.

(Note: Most rangers do not leave the boundaries of Araluen during their lifetime and as such, are unlikely to chose a terrain besides Forest, Cold, Plains or Mountains as is appropriate to their fief. It is a rare Araluen Ranger who receives training in Desert or Jungle survival! GMs are encouraged to keep this in mind.)

Combat Style (Ex): At 2nd level, a ranger must select one of two combat styles to focus upon: archery or two-weapon combat. This choice affects the characterís class features but does not restrict his selection of feats or special abilities in any way.

(Note: Rangers are expected to excel at both archery and their unique two-weapon fighting style. Players are strongly encouraged to use their feats to purchase whatever fighting feats they do not earn as part of their Combat Style).

If the ranger selects archery, he is treated as having the Rapid Shot feat, even if he does not have the normal prerequisites for that feat.

If the ranger selects two-weapon combat, he is treated as having the Two-Weapon Fighting feat, even if he does not have the normal prerequisites for that feat.

The benefits of the rangerís chosen style apply only when he wears light or no armor. He loses all benefits of his combat style when wearing medium or heavy armor.

Endurance: A ranger gains Endurance as a bonus feat at 3rd level.

Ranger's Mount: At 4th level, the ranger gains the service of an unusually intelligent, strong, and loyal steed to serve them in their crusade against evil. The Ranger horses are as famouis as the Rangers themselves, being bred not for power but for speed and endurance. Their horses are unique as noted below.


{table=head;width=90%] Ranger Level | Bonus HD | Nat. Armor Adjust. | Str/Dex Adjust. | Int | Bonus Tricks | Special

4th-8th | +4 | +4 | +2 | 6| 4 |Link, Endurance

9th-12th | +6 | +6 | +3 | 7 | 5 |Improved speed, Evasion

13th-16th | +8 | +8 | +4 | 8 | 6| Multiattack

17th-20th | +10 | +10 | +5 | 9 | 7| Improved Evasion

[/table]

Rangerís Mount Basics:
Use the base statistics for a creature of the companionís kind, but make changes to take into account the attributes and characteristics summarized on the table and described below.

Bonus HD: Extra eight-sided (d8) Hit Dice, each of which gains a Constitution modifier, as normal. Extra Hit Dice improve the mountís base attack and base save bonuses. A special mountís base attack bonus is equal to that of a cleric of a level equal to the mountís HD. A mount has good Fortitude and Reflex saves (treat it as a character whose level equals the animalís HD). The mount gains additional skill points or feats for bonus HD as normal for advancing a monsterís Hit Dice.

Natural Armor Adj.: The number on the table is an improvement to the mountís existing natural armor bonus.

Str/Dex Adj.: Add this figure to the mountís Strength score.

Int: The mountís Intelligence score.

Bonus Tricks The value given in this column is the total number of "bonus" tricks that the animal knows in addition to any that the ranger might choose to teach it (see the Handle Animal skill). These bonus tricks donít require any training time or Handle Animal checks, and they donít count against the normal limit of tricks known by the animal. The ranger selects these bonus tricks, and once selected, they canít be changed.

Link (Ex): A ranger can handle their mount as a free action, or push it as a move action. The ranger gains a +4 circumstance bonus on all Handle Animal checks made regarding their mount.

Endurance: The mount gains Endurance as a bonus feat.

Improved Speed (Ex): The mountís speed increases by 10 feet.

Evasion (Ex): If an ranger's mount is subjected to an attack that normally allows a Reflex saving throw for half damage, it takes no damage if it makes a successful saving throw.

Multiattack: An ranger's mount gains Multiattack as a bonus feat if it has three or more natural attacks and does not already have that feat. If it does not have the requisite three or more natural attacks, the mount instead gains a second attack with its primary natural weapon, albeit at a -5 penalty.

Improved Evasion (Ex): When subjected to an attack that normally allows a Reflex saving throw for half damage, a mount takes no damage if it makes a successful saving throw and half damage if the saving throw fails.


Improved Combat Style (Ex): At 5th level, a rangerís aptitude in his chosen combat style (archery or two-weapon combat) improves.

If he selected archery at 2nd level, he is treated as having the Manyshot feat, even if he does not have the normal prerequisites for that feat.

If the ranger selected two-weapon combat at 2nd level, he is treated as having the Improved Two-Weapon Fighting feat, even if he does not have the normal prerequisites for that feat.

As before, the benefits of the rangerís chosen style apply only when he wears light or no armor. He loses all benefits of his combat style when wearing medium or heavy armor.

Diehard: A ranger gains Diehard as a bonus feat at 6th level.

Ranger Ability: At 7th Level, a ranger may choose a special ability from the following list or a thematically appropriate feat with GM approval. The ranger gains an additional Ranger Ability at 13th and 19th level.

Animal Companion:{/I] The ranger may take on an animal as a companion, using the same rules for a Ranger's Mount.
[I]Favored Terrain: The ranger may choose an additional Favored Terrain.


Guide (Ex): At 7th level, the ranger learns how to guide others expertly through any of the terrains they have mastered. Whenever he is leading or guiding a group of characters numbering up to one for every two ranger levels through a favored terrain, all members of the party gain a +1 circumstance bonus to Move Silently, Survival and Search checks. If the ranger takes a move action to assist them in finding an appropriate hiding place, they may also gain a +1 circumstance bonus to their Hide checks.

At 13th level, any characters being guided as above also gain a +10 foot circumstance bonus to their movement.

At 20th level, the above bonuses extend to any mounts being ridden by characters the ranger is guiding.

Swift Tracker (Ex): A ranger of 9th level may move at their base movement speed while tracking. They may also move up to twice normal speed while tracking and take only a -10 penalty rather than the usual -20.

At 19th level, the ranger may track while moving up to their full run speed without penalty.

Bonus Feat: At 10th level and every four levels after, the ranger may choose a bonus feat from the following list; Toughness, Great Fortitude, Lightning Reflexes, Dodge, Improved Initiative, Self-Sufficient, Stealthy, Quick Draw, Alertness, Run, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, Many Shot, Far Shot, Improved Precise Shot, Two Weapon Fighting, Improved Two Weapon Fighting, Two Weapon Defense, Greater Two Weapon Fighting, Reflexive Parry.

Combat Style Mastery: At 11th level, a rangerís aptitude in his chosen combat style (archery or two-weapon combat) improves again.

If he selected archery at 2nd level, he is treated as having the Improved Precise Shot feat, even if he does not have the normal prerequisites for that feat.

If the ranger selected two-weapon combat at 2nd level, he is treated as having the Greater Two-Weapon Fighting feat, even if he does not have the normal prerequisites for that feat.

As before, the benefits of the rangerís chosen style apply only when he wears light or no armor. He loses all benefits of his combat style when wearing medium or heavy armor.

Heroic Sacrifice (Ex): At 15th level, the ranger gains the ability to sacrifice their own life for the benefit of their allies, allowing them to prevail against overwhelming odds at the cost of their own life. When reduced to 0 hit points, the ranger may elect to continue fighting or collapse and instantly stabilize.

If the ranger keeps fighting, their death is all but certain. Even after they are reduced to -10 hit points, they may continue to take a standard action or a move action each round until the end of a combat round in which they are not adjacent to any opponents. At that point, the ranger dies. The ranger cannot die before this point, no matter how much damage is inflicted upon them, so long as there is still one enemy within range of their ability to walk on a standard move action or attack.

Cieyrin
2012-04-09, 10:10 AM
Looks alright, though I think the skill list is lacking Disguise, Gather Information, Intimidate and Knowledge(Local), as Rangers are expected to act as spies at times and the ability to blend in with the populace, know local customs of their own fief or whatever country they are sent off to and to take advantage of the fearsome Ranger reputation to get your way are important skills in getting information to assess situations currently brewing and how best to use your assets and abilities to make better of them.

The Ranger Mount seems a bit on the powerful side, to be honest. They're highly trained and devoted animals, to be sure, but I don't think they're actually any smarter, at least not immediately. They should have the Devotion ability for their loyalty to their Ranger. Curbing back on the HD would be good, starting at 1 extra HD and then progressing 2 HD for each increment. I don't think their hides are getting any tougher, as they mostly dodge out of the way of blows from my recollections. If it's that necessary, I'd start at +1 and increase 1 at each interval as well. The number of tricks is right on, but I'd only increase their Intelligence to 3 at 9th, if not later, possibly gaining 1-2 points later on but that's the pinnacle of animal minds.

Guide's skill boosting of allies is kinda paltry for when you get it. I'd provide the bonus for the current terrain you're in, especially considering it only works in Favored Terrains anyways, so why wouldn't a Ranger whose spent all his life in the woods be better at guiding others through his domain than a novice?

Finally, Swift Tracker is never defined. I assume y'mean the core Ranger ability but saying it would probably be better.

It seems like a good start for a low-magic campaign version of the Ranger, though I think it's probably somewhat weaker than the original, as it didn't get back abilities that I think are equal to what was lost for the loss of spellcasting. Them's my 2 coppers, take as you will.

Howler Dagger
2012-04-09, 10:23 AM
Starting Age: 15+1d6 years

Will starts at 15, so this may not be the best idea.

Also, I agree with Cieyrin about the skills. It would be best to add them to best represent what rangers should be able to do.

Thamilon
2012-04-09, 11:29 PM
Looks alright, though I think the skill list is lacking Disguise, Gather Information, Intimidate and Knowledge(Local), as Rangers are expected to act as spies at times and the ability to blend in with the populace, know local customs of their own fief or whatever country they are sent off to and to take advantage of the fearsome Ranger reputation to get your way are important skills in getting information to assess situations currently brewing and how best to use your assets and abilities to make better of them.

That's a fair point. I added in Bluff and Sense Motive for that reason since Will and Halt do a fair bit of both when interrogating suspects. Didn't think about much past that as I was copying the rest of the basic Ranger skill list. But when I first started this I was still debating between 6 + INT or 8 + INT for skill points per level. Eventually I decided with the skills as is it needed to be 8 + INT and forgot about considering other skills on top of it.




The Ranger Mount seems a bit on the powerful side, to be honest. They're highly trained and devoted animals, to be sure, but I don't think they're actually any smarter, at least not immediately.

I'll disagree on that point as The Lost Tales makes it pretty clear that all of the Ranger horses are pretty damn smart, even if you don't believe the Rangers can actually talk with their mounts. :)

That being said - this was the feature I was most worried about. I was trying to mix the Paladin's Mount (whose special abilities honestly sound more like a Ranger's horse than the animal companion special abilities) with the Ranger's Animal Companion and may have gone a little overboard. I think I may start this over from scratch, starting over with the standard Paladin Mount, removing the magical abilities and then adding on feats from there.



They should have the Devotion ability for their loyalty to their Ranger.

I cut Devotion since its' only benefit is providing a bonus to Will saves against Enchantments and similar effects. Since this is a no-magic setting...



Curbing back on the HD would be good, starting at 1 extra HD and then progressing 2 HD for each increment. I don't think their hides are getting any tougher, as they mostly dodge out of the way of blows from my recollections. If it's that necessary, I'd start at +1 and increase 1 at each interval as well.


Good advice.




The number of tricks is right on, but I'd only increase their Intelligence to 3 at 9th, if not later, possibly gaining 1-2 points later on but that's the pinnacle of animal minds.


Again, this is one of the things I pretty much copied over directly from the Animal Companion rules. In hindsight, I don't think Mounts have much need for an INT bonus, so I'll consider removing it when I rework the class.



Guide's skill boosting of allies is kinda paltry for when you get it. I'd provide the bonus for the current terrain you're in, especially considering it only works in Favored Terrains anyways, so why wouldn't a Ranger whose spent all his life in the woods be better at guiding others through his domain than a novice?


I thought it was rather realistic given that as the Ranger levels up, they become better able to hide and move larger groups of people. There's only so much you can do to aid a person with an action without doing most of the work for them but you can slowly get better at managing several people at once.



Finally, Swift Tracker is never defined. I assume y'mean the core Ranger ability but saying it would probably be better.


I do define it, actually. It's just after Guide and before Bonus Feat.




It seems like a good start for a low-magic campaign version of the Ranger, though I think it's probably somewhat weaker than the original, as it didn't get back abilities that I think are equal to what was lost for the loss of spellcasting. Them's my 2 coppers, take as you will.

I did contemplate giving them additional bonus feats when they would have gained spell-casting levels that could be applied to the other Fighting Style feats. Rangers ARE supposed to be master archers AND masters of two weapon fighting, after all...

Still, lots of good notes here. Thanks for the help. :)

Thamilon
2012-04-09, 11:31 PM
Will starts at 15, so this may not be the best idea.

Agreed. I just copied the standard age from the PHB. But given the setting, 1d4 might be better.



Also, I agree with Cieyrin about the skills. It would be best to add them to best represent what rangers should be able to do.

Agreed. Thanks for the comments.

Person_Man
2012-04-10, 09:01 AM
My 2cp:

Yeah fluff!
Heroic Sacrifice is a cool ability, similar to Loyal Beyond Death (Knight). But it seems more appropriate as a 20th level capstone ability.
In all of 3.0, 3.5, and Pathfinder, only the Rogue and Scout have 8 Skill Points per level. The Factotum, Ninja, Ranger, and Swordsage all of have 6 points per level. Was it your intent to break from previously established Skill balance for some reason?
Similarly, every class with 6 or more Skill Points per level has d8 or d6 hit die, not d10.
If you proscribe bonus Feats (Track, Endurance, Die Hard, etc) you may wish to include language stating "If you already have this Feat, you may choose another Feat that you qualify for in it's place." That way I don't get screwed if I want to take Endurance->Die Hard at 1st level, or if I pick them up as bonus Feats from a prestige class.


The above are all just nitpicks, which you should feel free to ignore. My overall advice is that you shouldn't let how things are filled in on the "Special" column of your chart and a desire to give 1-ish thing per level dictate how you write your class (a common problem for many low Tier classes). How you write your class should be defined by what you want it to be able to do at each level, what's fun to do, and how it compares to other classes/builds at similar levels. If you want your class to be stronger in certain types of terrain, you can just write "While in your Favored Terrain, you gain a bonus equal to 1 + 1/4 your Araluen Ranger class level to all all X, Y, and Z checks." You don't need to rewrite it over and over again every time it increases by +1. Similarly, you don't need to slowly parse out a bunch of minor Bonus Feats (for example, Die Hard is pretty useless by 6th level). Just give them at the levels you feel are appropriate. If there are other cool things you want your Araluen Ranger to be able to do (borrowing/modifying abilities from the Scout, Druid, Spirit Shamen, spells, or creating new abilities) then do it. You clearly have some creative juices going - run with it.

young_genuis
2012-05-08, 09:34 PM
You Stole my thunder I have been working on a rangers apprentice guy forever and having fellow players edit it live and tell me face to face.