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Thamilon
2012-06-15, 03:48 PM
This is a class (the second version of it) 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 years
Starting Gold: 5d6x10 gold.
Alignment: Any non-evil. The basic training of The Rangers weeds out cruel and selfish people who might abuse the unique authority of the Rangers. While The Rangers are a law-abiding organization, many individual rangers will use chaotic methods to accomplish their goals in the name of a higher good Ė such as throwing an argumentative noble into his own moat.
Hit Die: d8


Class Skills

The rangerís class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (geography) (Int), Knowledge (local) (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 |+0 | +0 | +2 | +0 | Track, Ranged Precision 1d8, Ranger Mount
2nd |+1| +0 | +3 | +0 | Combat Style, Uncanny Dodge
3rd | +2 | +1 | +3 | +1 | Endurance, Trackless Step, Fast Movement +10
4th | +3 |+1 | +4| +1 | Bonus Feat
5th | +3 | +1 | +4 | +1 | Evasion, Ranged Precision 2d8
6th | +4 |+2 | +5 | +2 | Improved Combat Style
7th | +5 | +2 | +5 | +2 | Woodland Stride
8th | +6/+1 | +2 | +6 | +2 | Bonus Feat, Swift Tracker
9th | +6/+1 | +3 | +6 | +3 | Ranged Precision 3d8
10th | +7/+2 | +3 | +7 | +3 | Camouflage
11th | +8/+3 | +3 | +7 | +3 | Combat Style Mastery, Fast Movement +20
12th | +9/+4 | +4 |+8 | +4 | Bonus Feat
13th | +9/+4 | +4 | +8 | +4 | Ranged Precision 4d8
14th | +10/+5 | +4 | +9 | +4 | Hide in Plain Sight
15th | +11/+6/+1 |+5 | +9 | +5 | Extended Precision
16th | +12/+7/+2/ | +5 | +10 | +5 | Bonus Feat
17th | +12/+7/+2 | +5 | +10 | +5 | Ranged Precision 5d8
18th | +13/+8/+3 | +6 | +11 | +6| Free Movement
19th | +14/+9/+4 | +6 | +11 | +6 | Heroic Sacrifice
20th |+15/+10/+5 | +6 | +12 |+6 | Bonus Feat

[/table]


Class Features

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A ranger is proficient with all simple weapons, plus the short bow, longbow, sap, ranged sap (a.k.a. Striker) and saxe knife and with light armor.

Track: The ranger grains Track as a bonus feat at 1st level.

Ranged Precision (Ex): As a standard action, the ranger may make a single precisely aimed attack with their bow, dealing an extra 1d8 points of damage if the attack hits. When making a precision attack, the ranger must be within 30 feet of his target. Unlike a rogueís sneak attack ability, the rangerís target need not be flat-footed nor otherwise denied itsí Dexterity bonus. Treat the rangerís ranged precision attack as a sneak attack in all other ways. The rangerís bonus to damage on ranged precision attacks goes up by 1d8 every four levels to a maximum of 5d8 at level 17.


Ranger Mount (Ex): At 1st 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 famous 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. | Dex Adjust. | Bonus Tricks | Special

1stĖ2nd | +0 | +0 | +0 | 1 |Link, Endurance
3rdĖ5th | +2 | +2 | +1 | 2 | Evasion
6th -8th | +4 | +4 | +2 | 3 | Improved Speed
9th-11th | +6 | +6 | +3 | 4 | Multiattack
12th-14th | +8 | +8 | +4 | 5 |Improved Speed
15th-17th |+10 | +10 | +5 | 6 |Improved Evasion
18th-20th |+12 | +12 | +6 | 7 | Improved Speed

[/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.

Dex Adj.: Add this figure to the mountís Dexterity 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.

Evasion (Ex): If a 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.

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

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.

Combat Style (Ex): At 2nd level, a ranger must select one of three combat styles to focus upon: archery, two-weapon combat or mounted 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 and most do learn how to fight on horseback. Players are strongly encouraged to use their character feats and bonus feats to purchase whatever fighting feats they do not earn as part of their chosen 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.

If the ranger selects mounted combat, he is treated as having the Mounted Combat 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.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex): Starting at 2nd level, a ranger cannot be caught flat-footed and reacts to danger before his senses would normally allow him to do so. He retains his dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if he is caught flat-footed or is struck from behind.

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

Trackless Step (Ex): Beginning at 3rd level, a ranger cannot be tracked in natural surroundings unless he wishes to leave a trail.

Fast Movement (Ex): Starting at 3rd level, a ranger gains a +10 foot enhancement bonus to his base land speed. At 11th level, this bonus increases to +20 feet.

Bonus Feats: At 4th level and every 4 levels after, the ranger gains a bonus feat, which must be selected from the following list: Acrobatic, Agile, Alertness, Athletic, Blind-Fight, Brachiation, Combat Expertise, Danger Sense, Dodge, Far Shot, Great Fortitude, Great Fortitude, Greater Two Weapon Fighting, Hear The Unseen, Improved Initiative, Improved Precise Shot, Improved Swimming, Improved Two Weapon Fighting, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Many Shot, Mobility, Mounted Archery, Mounted Combat, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Quick Draw, Quick Reconnoiter, Rapid Reload, Rapid Shot, Reflexive Parry, Ride-By Attack, Run, Self Sufficient, Shot On The Run, Skill Focus, Spring Attack, Stealthy, Toughness, Two Weapon Defense or Two Weapon Fighting. He must have all the prerequisites for the feat in order to take it.

Evasion (Ex): Beginning at 5th level, a ranger can avoid damage from certain attacks. The ranger takes no damage on attacks that would normally cause half-damage on a successful Reflex save. This ability can only be used when the ranger is in light or no armor.

Improved Combat Style (Ex): At 6th level, a rangerís aptitude in his chosen combat style 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.

If the ranger selected mounted combat at 2nd level, he is treated as having the Mounted Archery 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.

Woodland Stride (Ex): Starting at 7th level, a ranger can move through any sort of undergrowth at his normal speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment.

Swift Tracker (Ex): A ranger of 8th 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.

Camouflage (Ex): A ranger of 10th level or higher can use the Hide skill in any kind of natural terrain, even if the terrain does not grant concealment or cover.

Combat Style Mastery (Ex): At 11th level, a rangerís aptitude in his chosen combat style 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.

If the ranger selected mounted combat at 2nd level, he is treated as having the Ride-By Attack 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.

Hide In Plain Sight (Ex): At 14th level, the ranger can use the Hide skill in any kind of natural terrain, even while being observed.

Extended Precision (Su): At 15th level, a rangerís senses are now so fine that they may ďfeelĒ a shot across a greater distance. The ranger may now make Precision Shots up to a distance of 60 feet.

Free Movement (Ex):At 18th level, the ranger can slip out of bonds and grapples easily. This ability duplicates the effects of a freedom of movement spell, except it is always active. (Note that this is meant to simulate the elusive nature of the rangers and is not truly a magical ability.)

Heroic Sacrifice (Ex): At 19th 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.

Kaje
2012-06-15, 04:22 PM
My first thought is that longbows can't be used while mounted. You may want to address that, either by changing it to shortbows or specifying that these guys are able to do it.

Thamilon
2012-06-18, 03:59 PM
My first thought is that longbows can't be used while mounted. You may want to address that, either by changing it to shortbows or specifying that these guys are able to do it.

They actually do say longbows in the books, IIRC but it's quite rare for them to attempt archery on horseback and I believe they have recurves in the few instances when they do. I can add in a note stating that the longbow feats don't apply while mounted.

Thamilon
2012-06-18, 04:34 PM
After some suggestions from a friend IRL, I have modified the class yet again. I removed the bonus feats aimed specifically at longbows, reduced the BAB progression to being equivalent to that of a scout and I reduced the number of good saves from 2 to 1. I also rewrote some language to make it clear that while the longbow is their prefered weapon, Rangers are proficent with all bows.

Thank you.