Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Ranger - a Specialist class for Partholon

Art by Kelly McLarnon
In my concept, a ranger is a stealthy character and an indirect combatant, an opportunist and a problem-solver. I'm treating the class as taking the role normally filled by the thief in classic campaigns, because I like this flavor more. This is an updated version of the class, which continues to owe more to Aspar White of Eslen than the Dunedain of Middle-earth.

The Ranger is an expert hunter and tracker, accustomed to traveling on her own through the wilderness and living off the land. Her nomadic lifestyle makes her a figure of suspicion when she ventures into settlements, but the opinions of ignorant strangers are a small matter in her eyes. Prior to her treasure-hunting career, she patrolled the wilderness, hunting monsters before they could become a threat to innocent villagers, and occasionally collecting bounties from whatever baron happened to be nearby when she needed money.

Rangers generally see one another as affiliates in a loose network or brotherhood. Most are solitary, but some work in bands, and some carry on a family legacy. Two of the most famous names among rangers are the Watchkeepers and the Stargazers.

The ranger's combat style emphasizes speed and mobility. She exploits opportunities when they appear, and creates them when she needs them. She is not trained to fight in plate or mail.

Stealth Skills 
(The referee should roll for stealth skills, so the player cannot be sure of the result. The PC will believe she is successful until confronted with evidence to the contrary.)
Hide in Shadows: Anybody can hide if they can actually get out of sight. The ranger can attempt to hide with no better concealment than the shifting shadows of torchlight.
Hide in Wilderness: The ranger is even better at hiding in the wild. With 1d3 turns of preparation, she can attempt to conceal her entire party. If she is only trying to hide herself, roll 2 Skill dice instead of just 1. 
Move Silently: When hidden, any movement will normally give away the hiding character's position. The ranger can attempt to move without giving herself away.

Professional Skills
Listen: Use the Skill Roll instead of the normal 1 in 6 chance for listening.
Tracking: Indoors & underground, make a Skill Roll with -1 TN for each turn of delay. In the wild, use the best of 2 Skill Rolls, with -1 TN for each day of delay, rain, or snow.
Wilderness Expert: A party with a ranger gets +1 to Travel rolls, including disorientation, searching, hunting & foraging. 
Free-climb: The ranger is skilled at climbing walls and rock faces without gear or assistance. She can climb 2d6x10 feet per turn, but never more than 100 ft or faster than her Explore speed. If the roll exceeds either limit, she is unable to make progress. If the roll exceeds both limits, she attempts progress but falls from the halfway point.

Combat Skills
Ambush: If the ranger is attacking from hiding or by surprise, add +4 AP and add an extra damage die. The target can be on guard or even involved in combat as long as the ranger herself is hidden.
Dual Wielding: When wielding two weapons, the ranger adds +1 to AP and damage if Dex is 13+.
Expert Archer:  When using a bow, the ranger can choose one special attack:
  • Move and Shoot: The ranger can move her combat speed and shoot a bow without penalty
  • Sharp-shooting: The ranger adds her Skill TN to her AP. If the d20 rolls a natural 10 or less, she may hold her shot. On a hit, her damage dice can explode (i.e., if the die rolls its highest value, roll another damage die and add it to the total).

The Ranger
Level XP HD AP
1 0 1 1
Skill: 2 in 6
2 1,500 2 1

3 3,000 3 2
Skill: 3 in 6
4 6,000 +1 hp 2

5 12,000 4 3
Weapon damage: 1d8
6 24,000 5 3

7 50,000 6 4
Skill: 4 in 6
8 100,000 +1 hp 4

9 200,000 7 5

10 300,000 8 5
Weapon damage: 1d10
... +100,000 +1 hp ...
Skill: 5 in 6

Saves: +2 Physical

Edit: revised the rules for Quick-shooting.

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