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ringsnake
2007-07-10, 09:36 PM
The mending lands game world that I'm creating does have a lot of magic, but careers that don't specifically concentrate on magic or magical study don't get magical powers. The only exception is the Holy Warrior, which is a sort of paladin, and even those don't get spell casting abilities.

The ranger needed a major overhaul, because the divine spells and animal companion abilities didn't gel with the military scouts concept I was working on, and I didn't much want to force people to buy additional books to use my gameworld.

This class is a replacement for the traditional ranger. Most of the powers and abilities are cribbed directly from those of the normal ranger.

Ranger/Outlander
In the Mending lands the gods cannot hand out favors as easily as they do in a traditional Dungeons and Dragons setting. Nor do people in pursuit of a particular career path acquire magical spells as a side benefit to that career. Rangers do have all the work they could possibly handle, but they cannot have magical powers. This version of the ranger replaces the one presented in the players handbook.

A Mending Lands ranger is often also called an outlander. These are individuals who can not only survive in the untamed areas of the world, but can thrive there. This is a remarkable skill given how much of the world is overrun by monsters and effectively unexplored. By their nature outlanders are adventurers, and if any group of adventurers expects to survive long in the wilderness they'll need a one along to help them survive.

The outlander ranger does not have the same set of weapons skills as the traditional ranger, the ability to fight with melee weapons is not nearly as important to the average outlander as evading trouble entirely. They also don't have the traditional ranger's maniacal dislike of particular species, instead trading in that capability to survive in various inhospitable environments.

Most outlanders are neutral in alignment. Not due to any particular philosophical bent, but because as a group they tend not to care about law, chaos, good, or evil one way or another. Those that learn their skills in various military organizations (most do learn this way) will adopt the alignments and philosophies of their patrons. Outlanders are generally not great defenders of the wild, but instead defenders of territories on behalf of some master.

Game Rule Information
Outlanders are similar to fighters and rogues, so strength and dexterity are most important to them. There are also a fair number of ranger skills based on wisdom, and as a highly skilled class intelligence can come in useful for the additional skill points it grants.
Alignment: Any
Hit Dice: d10
Class Skills
The outlanders class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Climb (STR), Craft (INT), Handle Animal (CHA), Heal (CHA), Hide (DEX), Jump (STR), Knowledge dungeoneering (INT), Knowledge geography (INT), Knowledge nature (INT), Listen (WIS), Move Silently (DEX), Profession (WIS), Ride (DEX), Search (INT), Speak Language (none), Spot (WIS), Survival (WIS), Swim (STR), and Use Rope (DEX).
Skill points at first level: (6 + INT modifier) x 4
Skill points at each additional level: 6 + INT modifier
Class Features
All of the following are class features of the outlander ranger.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: An outlander is proficient with all simple and martial weapons. An outlander is also familiar with all light and medium armor, and all shields except tower shields.

Favored Terrains (Ex): At first level, an outlander can choose a favored terrain from the terrains table. Due to extensive experience traveling and surviving in that type of terrain the outlander has a +2 bonus to the Climb, Hide, Jump, Listen, Move Silently, Spot, Survival, and Swim skills when in that type of environment. He also gains the same bonus on Knowledge (nature) checks made in association with that environment (or on Knowledge dungeoneering checks made in association with underground environments, if the ranger has selected underground as a favored environment).

The outlander also has a +1 insight bonus on hit and damage against creatures who have that terrain type listed in the Environment entry of their description. The outlander only gains the bonus if that creature has that specific environment listed.

At fifth level and every five levels thereafter the outlander may select an additional terrain from those given on the table. Each time the outlander gets a new favored terrain the skill bonus for any favored terrain will increase by two, but the insight to hit and damage bonus do not increase at all. This can be applied to a terrain that was just selected, but the DM may rule that a terrain the outlander has never visited cannot be selected.

Environment Examples
Aquatic - sea, small islands, large lakes, ocean (on or under water)
Arctic - Tundra, ice flows, glaciers
Desert, temperate or warm - badlands, sandy desert
Forest, cold or temperate - forest
Forest warm - jungle
Hills - rugged terrain up to 2,000 feet elevation
Marsh - bog, moor, swamp
Mountain - rugged terrain above 2,000 feet elevation
Plains - farmland, grassland, steppe, prairie
Underground - dungeons, caverns

Track: At first level the outlander gains track as a bonus feat.

Wild Empathy (Ex): At first level an outlander can use this ability like a Diplomacy check to alter the attitude of an animal. The ranger rolls a d20 and adds his current outlander class level and charisma bonus to determine the result. The typical domestic animal is indifferent, and most wild animals are unfriendly. This ability can also be used on magical beasts with an intelligence score of one or two, but the check will be at a -4 penalty. The outlander must be able to interact with the animal in a peaceable way from a reasonably close distance for at least a few minutes.

Bonus Feats: At second, third, sixth, eleventh, and sixteenth levels the outlander gains a bonus feat. The outlander ranger can choose Alertness, Endurance, Diehard, Dodge, Far Shot, Improved Critical, Improved Precise Shot, Manyshot, Mobility, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Reload, Rapid Shot, Run, Shot on the Run, Skill Focus, Toughness, or Weapon Focus. The outlander must still meet all prerequisites for these feats, including base attack bonus minimums and ability scores.

Read Tracks (Ex): At fourth level the outlander can, when tracking, acquire very specific information about the people or creatures she is tracking. Any information that could reasonably be gained from disturbances in the ground or brush will be obvious to the outlander if she makes the track roll by more than the minimum score needed to follow a trail. The more the skill check is made by the more specific information that is gained. The outlander can usually get an idea of how fast the tracked creatures are moving, if any of them are in poor health, and perhaps even physical characteristics like height, build, distinctive footware, and equipment carried.

Fast Movement (Ex): At fourth level the outlander's land speed is ten feet more than the norm for his race when wearing no armor, light armor, or medium armor and not carrying a heavy load. Apply this bonus to speed before applying any penalties for armor or loads carried.

Pathfinder (was Woodland Stride) (Ex): At seventh level the outlander can move through all forms of undergrowth and over all rough natural terrain at normal movement speeds without suffering any ill effects. The outlander gets a +4 bonus to any skill checks needed to notice or evade dangers of a natural environment. The outlander is still slowed or restricted by magical or enchanted undergrowth or terrain.

Swift Tracker (Ex): Beginning at eighth level the outlander can track at normal speed without taking the normal -5 penalty, and can track at double speed with only a -10 penalty.

Evasion (Ex): At ninth level the outlander will take no damage on a successful reflex save against an attack that would normally do half damage against a successful saving throw. This ability only functions if the outlander is wearing light armor, or no armor at all. An outlander that cannot move cannot benefit from evasion.

Camouflage (Ex): At thirteenth level the outlander can use the Hide skill in any favored terrain even if that terrain provides no cover or concealment.

Hide in Plain Sight (Ex): At seventeenth level the outlander can use the Hide skill in any favored terrain even when directly observed.

NOTE: I have the advancement table written up in Open Office, but the cut and paste into the forum didn't work out

BAB: +1 per level
FORT: Good (level / 2 + 2)
REF: Good (level /2 + 2)
WILL: Poor (level /3)

Jewish_Joke
2007-07-10, 10:03 PM
Very well thought out. I like it, as far as non-spellcasting rangers go. It's got a lot of campaign flavor, and will fit in nicely with a low magic setting (or any other setting for that matter).

The only critique I would offer is to allow the player more choices between abilities at seventh level, other than woodland stride. Depending upon the outlanders terrain (the plains and the arctic, for example) woodland stride may be completely useless. It also would take very little effort to modify it. Allowing the outlander a bonus on swim checks or even a swim speed for aquatic terrains, the ability to maintain your dex bonus while climbing for mountainous terrain, etc. would allow game balance for the player character while still maintain the classes theme.

My two pence. Great work.

ringsnake
2007-07-11, 09:06 AM
The only critique I would offer is to allow the player more choices between abilities at seventh level, other than woodland stride. Depending upon the outlanders terrain (the plains and the arctic, for example) woodland stride may be completely useless. It also would take very little effort to modify it. Allowing the outlander a bonus on swim checks or even a swim speed for aquatic terrains, the ability to maintain your dex bonus while climbing for mountainous terrain, etc. would allow game balance for the player character while still maintain the classes theme.

I'll expand the definition of "rough natural terrain". As written the ability allows a ranger to run across snow fields or bogs at a full base + 10 feet in speed with no ill effects. I'll expand the definition a bit so that aquatic experts don't suffer penalties for boating or swimming in rough water.

Zeta Kai
2007-07-11, 10:27 AM
The Outlander
{table]Level|BAB|Fort Save|Reflex Save|Will Save|Special
1st|+1|+2|+2|+0|Favored Terrains +1, Track, Wild Empathy
2nd|+2|+3|+3|+0|Bonus Feat
3rd|+3|+3|+3|+1|Bonus Feat
4th|+4|+4|+4|+1|Read Tracks, Fast Movement
5th|+5|+4|+4|+1|Favored Terrains +2
6th|+6/+1|+5|+5|+2|Bonus Feat
7th|+7/+2|+5|+5|+2|Woodland Stride
8th|+8/+3|+6|+6|+2|Swift Tracker
9th|+9/+4|+6|+6|+3|Evasion
10th|+10/+5|+7|+7|+3|Favored Terrains +3
11th|+11/+6/+1|+7|+7|+3|Bonus Feat
12th|+12/+7/+2|+8|+8|+4|
13th|+13/+8/+3|+8|+8|+4|Camouflage
14th|+14/+9/+4|+9|+9|+4|
15th|+15/+10/+5|+9|+9|+5|Favored Terrains +4
16th|+16/+11/+6/+1|+10|+10|+5|Bonus Feat
17th|+17/+12/+7/+2|+10|+10|+5|Hide in Plain Sight
18th|+18/+13/+8/+3|+11|+11|+6|
19th|+19/+14/+9/+4|+11|+11|+6|
20th|+20/+15/+10/+5|+12|+12|+6|Favored Terrains +5[/table]

ringsnake
2007-07-11, 03:10 PM
@ Zeta Kai: You rock dude! Thanks!