D&D 3e (3.0/3.5) Rules
by Cam Banks
Abilities: Dexterity is important to rangers because not only are many of their skills based on Dexterity, they frequently rely on lighter armor, taking the initiative and the use of ranged attacks. Strength is important due to its part in combat, and Wisdom is also a key ability because the ranger benefits from skills based on Wisdom.
Hit Die: d10.
The ranger's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Animal Empathy (Cha, exclusive skill), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Intuit Direction (Wis), Jump (Str), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Search (Int), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Use Rope (Dex), and Wilderness Lore (Wis).
Skill Points at 1st level: (4+Int mod) X 4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier.
All of the following are class features of the ranger.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A ranger is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, light armor, medium armor, and shields.
Track: A ranger gains Track (see page 85 of Core Rulebook I) as a bonus feat.
Ranger Talents: At 1st, 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th and 20th level the ranger selects a talent from the following talent paths. Some paths have a set order that must be followed, while others provide a list to choose from. As long as the ranger qualifies, you can select from any and all talent paths. No talent may be taken more than once unless expressly indicated.
Favored Enemy Talent Path
The ranger has special knowledge of certain types of creature. This knowledge gives him an advantage when hunting and dealing with these creatures.
Favored Enemy: The ranger selects a type of creature (see Core Rulebook I, page 45) or a specific organisation (Knights of Takhisis, etc) as a favored enemy. Against these foes, the ranger gains a +1 bonus to Bluff, Listen, Sense Motive, Spot and Wilderness Lore checks, and +1 on melee attack rolls or ranged attack rolls if the target is within 30 feet. This talent may be taken more than once, in which case the enemy may be selected again (increasing the bonus by +1) or another enemy may be selected.
Improved Favored Enemy: The ranger selects a type of creature or organisation they have previously selected as a favored enemy. Against these foes, the ranger gains a dodge bonus to Armor Class equal to his Wisdom bonus, and may add his Wisdom bonus to his damage rolls to melee attacks and ranged attacks if the target is within 30 feet. This talent may be taken more than once, and each time it applies to another creature type previous selected as favored enemy. The damage bonus does not apply to creatures who are immune to critical hits, such as undead or constructs.
Advanced Favored Enemy: The ranger selects a type of creature or organisation they have previously selected as an improved favored enemy. Against these foes, the ranger adds his Wisdom bonus to his Initiative checks, and to any Attack of Opportunity attack rolls or flanking attack rolls he makes against the selected enemy. This talent may be taken more than once, and each time it applies to another creature type or organisation.
Wilds Mastery Talent Path
The ranger is the undisputed master of the wilds, and has an understanding of the wilderness that gives him an advantage when outdoors.
Woodland Stealth: The ranger gains a competence bonus to his Hide and Move Silently skill checks equal to half his ranger level when in forests and other natural environments.
Nature's Friend: The ranger gains a competence bonus to Handle Animal and Animal Empathy skill checks equal to half his ranger level, and a competence bonus equal to his Charisma bonus to saving throws against the special attacks or abilities of animals and beasts.
Herbal Competency: The ranger gains a competence bonus to Craft (herbalism) and Heal checks equal to half his ranger level when using natural remedies or preparing and handling natural poisons.
Trailblazer Talent Path
The ranger is the consummate guide and tracker. He possesses a knowledge of terrain and the hazards within it that other classes do not, and an awareness of how to lead others through it.
Trailblazer: The ranger is particularly skilled at finding the best route through unfamiliar or obstructed areas. When traveling in poor conditions or in difficult terrain, the ranger may make a Wilderness Lore check to reduce travel time. With a check result of 15 or better, the ranger reduces travel time by 25%. With a 25 or better, the time is reduced by 50%. The ranger can guide up to three individuals without penalty. Each additional group of three individuals incurs a –2 penalty on the Wilderness Lore check.
Improved Trailblazer: The ranger's ability to guide others through difficult and unfamiliar terrain improves. He adds a +2 competence bonus to his Wilderness Lore checks when guiding others with the Trailblazer talent, and in addition the number of individuals he may lead through the terrain increases by 2 (five individuals at no penalty, and –2 for every additional 5 individuals).
Advanced Trailblazer: The ranger becomes exceptionally skilled at leading others through the wilderness. He gains an additional +2 bonus to his Wilderness Lore checks when guiding others, which stacks with that of Improved Trailblazer (total bonus of +4). In addition, the number of individuals he may lead through terrain increases by 2 (total of 7 individuals at no penalty, and –2 for every additional 7 individuals).
Bonus feat: The ranger gains a bonus feat at 3rd level, 7th level, 11th level, 15th level and 19th level. This feat must be selected from the following list, and the ranger must meet all prerequisites, including minimum ability scores or other feats.
Alertness, Ambidexterity, Blind-Fight, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Endurance, Exotic Weapon Proficiency, Far Shot, Great Fortitude, Improved Critical, Improved Initiative, Improved Two-Weapon Fighting, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Mobility, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Quick Draw, Rapid Shot, Run, Shot on the Run, Spring Attack, Toughness, Two-Weapon Fighting, Weapon Focus.
Half-Elven Ranger Starting Package
Armor: Studded leather +3 AC, speed 30 ft., armor check penalty –1, 20 lb.
Feat: Point Blank Shot, Track (bonus).
Alternative Ranger Starting Package
As half-elven ranger except:
Alternative Ranger Starting Package
As half-elven ranger except:
Designer's Notes: This ranger revision owes much to the ranger given in the EverQuest Roleplaying Game and the talent trees mechanic used in d20 Modern, as well as using the Woodsman from the Wheel of Time Roleplaying game as a base to work on. The intent was to provide a flexible, options-heavy class which allows players to pick and choose their way through various ranger paths, while still being able to go toe-to-toe with the other warrior classes. The bonus feats allow a player to take feats to represent the two-weapon fighting skills of core D&D rangers, or perhaps to go the route of skilled archer or tough and hardy wilderness warrior. Of the three talent paths listed, the Favored Enemy path is the most like the current ranger, but its effects are somewhat altered to avoid the problems inherent in dealing with creatures that are immune to critical hits (damage bonus was replaced by attack bonus) until Improved Favored Enemy, when this problem arises but has lessened impact.
Readers will also note that this ranger was intentionally designed without spellcasting. This was done to encourage those who seek the druidical powers of the core D&D ranger to multiclass with the druid class, which in itself provides substantial complimentary abilities to those given here. To offset this somewhat, the ranger talents occur more frequently than the core D&D ranger favored enemy "slots", bonus feats were given, and the ranger's saving throws were improved. Another option for those who wish to gain the animal friendship spell, and other magical benefits of the core D&D ranger, is given below.
Option: Ranger Spellcasting Talent Path
The ranger draws upon the power of nature to cast a limited amount of divine spells. The ranger chooses spells from the ranger spell list in Core Rulebook I. These spells are subject to the rules for additional spells based on Wisdom bonus, but only when the appropriate spell level is acquired. The ranger's spellcaster level is one half his ranger level (minimum 1).
Ranger Spellcasting: The ranger is able to cast a single 1st-level ranger spell per day, prepared ahead of time from the ranger spell list. He is treated as a divine spellcaster. Depending on how the campaign handles druids, this talent may require a patron nature deity. This talent may be taken multiple times, each time adding one to the number of spells cast per day.
Improved Ranger Spellcasting: The ranger is able to cast a single 2nd-level ranger spell per day, prepared ahead of time from the ranger spell list, in addition to those he may cast with the Ranger Spellcasting talent. This talent may be taken multiple times, each time adding to the number of spells cast per day. The ranger may not select this talent more times than he has selected the Ranger Spellcasting talent.
Advanced Ranger Spellcasting: The ranger is able to cast a single 3rd-level ranger spell per day, prepared ahead of time from the ranger spell list, in addition to those he may cast with the Ranger Spellcasting and Improved Ranger Spellcasting talents. This talent may be taken multiple times, each time adding to the number of spells cast per day. The ranger may not select this talent more times than he has selected the Improved Ranger Spellcasting talent.
Author: Cam Banks.
Reference: Dungeons and Dragons Player's Handbook (Wizards of the Coast), EverQuest Roleplaying Game Player's Handbook (Sword & Sorcery Studio), Wheel of Time Roleplaying Game (Wizards of the Coast), Star Wars Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook (Wizards of the Coast), Masters of the Wild (Wizards of the Coast), excerpt from d20 Modern Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook (Wizards of the Coast) given in Game Trade Magazine October 2002 (Alliance Distribution).
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