Running the D&D Ranger


I've been a Dungeon Master (DM) for a long time. In this time, I've seen several kinds of people take to the dice in the search of adventure. During character creation the choice of character class usually ends up with a fighter, a cleric, a magic-user/wizard, or a thief/rogue. These are the more common selections, the premier group. The process of stratification continues from the most to the least favored with the latter group including the ranger, the druid, and the illusionist.

Dungeons & Dragons has undergone two revisions since its publication in 1978. There are several changes in the present as compared in the original edition. The essential choice of character class has remained almost unchanged throughout the years.

I've been a Dungeon Master (DM) for a long time. In this time, I've seen several kinds of people take to the dice in the search of adventure. During character creation the choice of character class usually ends up with a fighter, a cleric, a magic-user/wizard, or a thief/rogue. These are the more common selections, the premier group. The process of stratification continues from the most to the least favored with the latter group including the ranger, the druid, and the illusionist.

What prompts this so-called process of stratification? Well, as in all choices in our lives, we tend to select a path where we could achieve our goal with the smallest amount of difficulty. Although the perception of difficulty is relative, I assume the views of the majority. In the world of Dungeons & Dragons, the fighter class shines with a promise of the most fame and the least amount of effort. His hardiness and dependability in melee are unmatched, making him a bread-and-butter choice. The ease in playing the average fighter makes him an attractive option for the D&D newcomer. Why then, has the ranger been waylaid and fallen to the lowest tier of choices?

The ranger is unique in this sense that it has certain demands from both the player and the DM. I've known a lot of players who have wanted to play this class but lacked the necessary follow-through. There are many who wished to experience the majesty of the early two-weapon attack. Sadly, one has to eschew the fighter's formidable armor advantages for this and most are unwilling. This is the crux of the ranger's player requirements. Because of the apparent lack of protective covering, the ranger appears to be handicapped in martial combat. However, he has a larger treasury of skills and corresponding skill points to draw upon. This equates to a heftier imagination and strategy prerequisite from the player. If this is the only problem, why are thieves/rogues more popular? The ranger is a paradox in itself. The thief/rogue will almost always avoid direct confrontation because his skills focus on indirect combat. The ranger, however, must use his skills to get him to an advantageous melee position.

As advertised in the Player's Handbook (PHB to most gamers), the ranger would not fare well in most circumstances. Only in the hands of a DM willing to create a living world of plants, animals, and people will the ranger class thrive. Believe me, this requires a lot of time, imagination, and paperwork on the DM's part; unless of course the burden is shifted to the player. Let's face it: whether above or below ground, the most common adventure found in the fantasy RPG setting is still the dungeon crawl. It remains attractive to most DMs because it is a low investment setting. Visibility is minimal, NPCs are scarce, and environment has a negligible effect. A player will then be forced to improvise, again necessitating expanded imagination and strategy.

So what if it requires imagination and strategy? Most experienced gamers scoff at these elements and act as if they were born with them. Alas, these elements are available only by either coincidence or experience. Besides, experience and player development are rarely equivalent. The solution then lies in either a DM screening his player ranks for talent and planting the seeds of interest or developing his players' problem-solving skills. Only then will rangers flourish to take the different roles available only to them.

Rangers have a few career paths of interest. The most obvious is the Beastmaster. This option becomes active once he gains the ability to cast Animal Friendship. The Swashbuckler follows closely in popularity, thanks to the slew of Musketeer movies. This role would be better served by multi-classing as a thief (or even starting out as one to take advantage of the skill points during character creation). The removal of alignment restrictions allows one to make a good qualifier for the Assassin prestige class upon reaching 5th level or higher. The minimum level is based on the prestige class' requirement for 4 levels of Disguise. The Favored Enemy feat certainly comes into play in this line of business. Rokugan also allows for this class to go into active play, producing more advocates of the Niten, or the two-sword fighting style espoused by the Dragon Clan. It is odd though, that these are members of the Hiruma and the Shinjo families. There are more prestige classes available in the ranger sourcebook, but the nature's guardian position doesn't appear to hold much promise for most players. Another fact we have to face is most players want to occupy the starring role in their respective games and a good number reach that level through their destructive potential.

In short, the ranger requires a great deal of ingenuity to allow it to thrive. A DM can lighten the burden somewhat by using an urban or woodland setting but I feel only the most developed players have the inventiveness to survive a dungeon crawl as a ranger. I don't really think it takes a lover of woodlands to be a ranger. If it really were essential, then all players who choose the elf would have to be forest persons themselves. At any rate, I feel the ranger class actually allows for more adventure compared to the other fighting/melee classes because of the sheer diversity I've described here.

Well you nailed it right there. The ranger is less powerfull than the fighter or the rogue.

What it lacks in raw statistical power it more than makes up for in versatility. Move silently, hide in shadows and climb allows the ranger to get into melee position while avoiding missile fire.

Spot and listen allows the ranger to avoid getting surprised, being flat foot can be such a nuisance (especially against a rogue).

Just as a bard is much less powerfull than a rogue-sorcerer, the ranger is less powerful than a rogue-fighter. Still, I find this class attractive because of the style of play it demands. I like sneaky fighters.

Also, why do you think that in most gaming worlds there are less rangers and paladins than there are fighters or barbarians? Because it is less appealing (to the power seekers).

But as far as I'm concerned my players never easily get to a dungeon crawl. (unless they fly/teleport/portal their way there.

Our last 4 gaming sessions have been about the party travelling accross the country to get to where the action will happen.

I understand that alot of GM's let the party get to the Giants' castle all too easily, even if it is in a desolate plateau at the top of an avalanche prone mountain range.
If finding and getting to the ruined monastery in the middle of the desert was so easy why would it still be lost and filled with monsters? That is where the wilderness type characters come in.

Game masters need to make travelling in the wilderness more than a series of random encounters. Untill the characters posess magic and equipment that makes them immune to weather and starvation and keeps them from becoming lost as children in a shoping mall, the ranger is as vital to the party as the fighter who makes julienne fries out of ogres or the fire slinging mage.

After all, in Lord of the Rings: Frodo and Sam would never have gotten to Mount Doom had Golum not helped them cross the Deadmen Marshes and the desolate wilderness of Mordor.

Cthulhu matata

PS: Check out Monte Cook's revised Ranger, it rocks.

This seems to be an old argument. I think too many people cry about the Ranger. When 3e first arrived, the boards were alive with the 'gipped' ranger class. Personally, I disagree whole-heartedly. The ranger gains 4-5 feats at first level (ambidexterity, two-weapon fighting, track and 1-2 more depending on race.) The they get favored enemies plus spells when they reach a certain level.

In my last campaign, the ranger was the nastiess PC class. Hands down, the ranger became the best combat-intensive class. I've never seen anyone have a problem with a ranger and I have had one in every campaign that I've run. The versatility of the class far outweighs the other fighting classes.

Rangers make perfect multi-classing oportunities as well. The rogue in my last campaign took one level of ranger just to gain the free feats mentioned above. Dual sneak attack anyone?

I think people should stop worrying about Rangers and just play. The Ranger is certainly not in a lower league than any other fighting class.


The gnome illusionist in the game I DM is going to start taking ranger levels shortly (how's that for less favored classes?) mainly because illusion spells peter out above 5th or 6th level. Wizard and Ranger work fairly well together, because they're both low-armor classes so the wizard gives you the spells you need for defense, while the TWF abilities give you a nonmagical offensive option.
One of the things I've been impressed with in 3e is how balanced the classes really are. If you have reason to complain about one, you're probably not taking advantage of all your abilities. If you're trying to be a Fighter with a bard, of course you'll fail.

Funny, my group has two druids and a ranger...and they don't even come up against a lot of natural hazards.


seems you have players who chose characters based on their flavour and enjoyment value rather than their power level.

Great for your table.

Funny someone should mention rangers AND paladins because the very 1st game I ever DMed had only two PCs, and guess what they were.
To reenforce the fact that class ment little to the kind of characters they were, that paladin went on a treasure hunt to find enough magic items to arm wresel a hill giant (no joke) and not until I snaped EVERY SINGLE BOW STRING did that ranger close for melee.

Class dont make a character, players do.
(I hope that was'nt too off topic)

Mmh... Cool article. One thing though, I really think of rangers as sneaky guys and (this is it:) the best bowman around. The second thing is exactly what I missed in 3e and for a while I really detested the ranger, until I played it. It is indeed very versatile and fun to play. As a GM I now give my players the choice of playing the "Two-Weapon-Fighting-Ranger" or the "Bowmaster-Ranger" which has -Point Blank Shot- and -Far Shot- at first level instead of -Ambidexterity- and -Two-Weapon Fighting- though, and it works out really cool with the added bonus of making the ranger like I always liked it.

Mmh... Cool article. One thing though, I really think of rangers as sneaky guys and (this is it:) the best bowman around. The second thing is exactly what I missed in 3e and for a while I really detested the ranger, until I played it. It is indeed very versatile and fun to play. As a GM I now give my players the choice of playing the "Two-Weapon-Fighting-Ranger" or the "Bowmaster-Ranger" which has -Point Blank Shot- and -Far Shot- at first level instead of -Ambidexterity- and -Two-Weapon Fighting- though, and it works out really cool with the added bonus of making for the ranger I always liked.

Umm... That is cool and ironic

After reading this thread, I lover of the ranger, found it interesting that you viewed the class as less desireable.
The arguments of Skills or versatility outweight the lack of melee prowess are fair.
I think the perception of players is based on their enviroments or family areas of interest.
Example: My cousin is from a large metropolitin city, likes to play thieves...because he understands city life. Likes to play monks...because his father is a martial artist instuctor.

I, and those i play with, would fall into this type of class selection process, 'What am i good at already?" &/or "What do i know a great deal about already, that would make playing X easiest for me?"
If you have any players who were soldiers, who hunt, or go camping often will gravitate to the ranger class, all for different reasons, but because of the same thing which was pointed out alread in the previous posts - what will make it easiest for me to achieve glory.

To respond to the Lord of the Rings comments, who are the two most dangerous characters to face in combat, based on the movies alone & the way the characters are presented to us?
Legolas - because he can hear you before you get to him, and will put a bunch of arrows in you before you arrive.
Strider - because he is covered in mystery and reputation, and if your an orc...look out


comments to the "A ranger is a sneaky fighter" comments.

YES, and your point is?
That sums up the ranger.
Bruce lee, had a statement that is part of the rangers persona (IMHO) ""You must out-think your opponent"
Out-thinking is what the ranger excells at.

From a DMs perspective. I have ran many stories and looked at how the characters develope and specialize their talents based on two areas, what equipment they find (magical or otherwise) and where they see the party has a lack or skill.
These two vacuums are filled from the start of most of my games by the following pr3emise of my players:
Requirements: (generated by the players, not me the DM)
1) Up close fighter
.....(Strait Fighter, Paladin and least of all Barbarian)
2) Long range fighter
.....(85% Ranger OR 15% fighter w/ Bow focus)
3) Healing
4) Magic
.....(Mage, Sorcer or Psionocist)
5) Troubleshooting
.....(usually means Thief or Bard, but not always)

Either I have a good group of players, or the ranger mistique is not present here. (MN & WI)


Comments to d20 system modification.
The only thing this changed about the game for myself as a DM or a Player is that it simplified the rules so the game could flow much more smoothly. This enhanced role playing. Because of the enhanced role playing, i have people gravitating to the previously undesireable class specialists more now than ever before.
Current group:
.....Party leader - Ranged and Sneaky fighter
.....All round, Ranged, Melee & Healing
.....Character's mood determines ranged or Melee (I love RPers)
.....Magic support
....."locksmith", Info person & City Scout
.....Moral compass of party. Mounted and Melee Combat, Healing

Re: Kris' comments

Where do you get that a Ranger is a good Ranged Combat fighter? Not with the official rules in 3E, if one thing tha 3E ranger is Close Combat oriented (two weapons hello!).

Sneaky? Well yeah with all the skills and access to hide and move silently. Still, no sneak attacks makes you stelathy not really sneaky. By which I mean that to me sneaky means a trickster (bluff, feint, sneak attacks etc) and the Ranger isn't that. Although he/she can be quite stealthy. I guess I should have used stealthy instead of sneaky when I described how I saw the Ranger.

Party Leader? Why? The skill selection doesn't hint at that, the primary stats don't either and my personnal experience is that the party leader ends up being the character with the most diplomacy, charisma or prestige or worst, the one played by the player with the most leadership in the group. And that's assuming the leadership is unique and non-shifting which tends not to be the case in many games.

Stider being one of the most dangerous? Outside combat I'll grant it, but once combat has started I'll bet on Gimli or Boromir before Strider. What makes Aragorn powerfull though is much more the fact that he is the grandson of Isildur than that he is a Ranger.

The Ranger excells at out thinking the opponent? That is sooo dependent on the player and the skill selection. I mean I've seen Rangers be really smart tactical and stealthy characters just as I've seen them being little else than silent and stealthy brutes who could follow a trail real well and survive in the wilderness. The Ranger is versatile and there are many ways in which one can be built.

~grins sheepishly~ Alright, you caught me. I rolled up my main character as a Ranger solely because of how much ass Aragorn kicked in the movie(s). But she's become fun, even though, beyond physical nature (Half-Elven Ranger who uses a bow and a knife and has black hair and gray eyes... based off of Aragorn, Legolas, and Elrond, my three male faves from FotR) and a few personality traits (attitudinal, does not suffer fools lightly, has the Ranger Nature [read: quiet, broody, mysterious]) , she isn't really as 'fleshed out' as a certain infamous alt of mine is. Funny, that.... because she's the only one I've gotten to play.

As a Ranger lover, I agree wholeheartedly with many of the points expressed in this. All of you have also given me reason to pause and re-think how I roleplay my ranger chara.
However, Sam, I've never realy encountered any rangers (as a DM or a player) that are silent brutes. Two-weapon fighting hinges on Dex mainly, and the term brute usualy implies lots of Constitution and Strength.

Oddly enough, I've always thought of the Ranger as more of a bowman than the others too. I'm not sure why, however. Perhaps it's the fact that a lot of the Ranger skills/feats hinge on Dex, which coincidentally works as your archery skill as well? But other than that, the Ranger has no real archery-type things. No spiffy feats, no special skills. Hmmm...maybe it's just that 'range' is in the name Ranger, implying projectiles, and by extension, archery? Hmm...

Im a Ranger also and i've started out mainly using a bow with rapid shot, precise shot, and far shot, but i've recently come across a presige class called tempest which gives hella bonuses on fighing with two weapons, i would suggest going that route.

Two-weapon fighting? Are you mad?

Why would a ranger, a stealthy forest-dwelling hunter need to be skilled with swords? Can you hunt using a sword? No. A bow is a much more sensible idea.

Imagine yourself as a ranger for a minute. You live in the wilderness. Not a great deal of McDonalds resteraunts there. To get food, one would have to hunt it down and kill it, a task made much easier if done from a distance, with a ranged weapon. Venison, or to give it it's living name, deer, are quite fast animals, and thus, it would be stupid to attempt to chase one down and cut it to ribbons with your swords, whether you have one in each hand or otherwise. But if you sneak up on it, in the underbrush, take aim with your bow and BAM! Dinner is served. This also fits in better with the Robin Hood, Legolas, Davy Crockett, William Tell archetypal ranger characters.

William tell used a crossbow, Legolas wasn't a ranger and hunting can be done with many more weapons than bow and arrows (especially when somewhere other than temperate plains and forests).

The Ranger isn't just a hunter he/she is a protector of the forest. Two weapon fighting comes in handy then.

Legolas, despite not being a ranger, as you so accurately point out, Sam, was an archer to my memory, and if the movies are anything to go by, quite a good one too. He was also a wood elf, because he was an elf and he lived (unusually) in the woods. Let nobody say J.R.R. Tolkien was unoriginal! :-)

You're quite right, he wasn't a ranger, not in the Aragorn sense anyway, but to my knowledge, there isn't as yet, a D&D class known as the 'Elf who is ridiculously good at archery, and lives in the woods, but is definatley not a ranger. Oh no.' I shall write to WoTC and suggest it, but I've a feeling they won't bite. Anybody who wishes to emulate Legolas' skills is usually ushered towards the direction of the ranger class.

Also, if hunting can be done with more weapons than a bow and arrow, name 'em.

And as for the William Tell thing, you're just being fastidious and egregious.

(Grumble, grumble) Crossbows, indeed... Any sod can use a crossbow... (Grumble, grumble) No skill involved... (Grumble, grumble) In my day...

Hunting with other weapons well there are spears and javelins (the most common), crossbows, blowguns, bolas and, for the bold, hunting knives.
Horseback hunting can also be done with light hunting lances.

And in conclusion Olly I'd add nya nya nya nya nya ; )

So, you chase your prey down, kick it in the nuts, wait till it falls over, then stab it death with a hunting knife? Sorry, I'm not buying it. Bolas, (a new weapon, blast you) could only really be used if there weren't any trees in the area in the FIRST PLACE, which means that they're not looking like a good idea to be lumping around.

Horses don't tend to be very useful in thick, heavily forested terrain, and that light hunting lance idea of yours seems a little redundant. You're galloping along at sixty miles an hour, with a horse that's not very good in this kind of environment, and the five foot long pole that you're carrying around keeps knocking into things! You'd simply lose your balance and fall off.

I'll give you the blowgun thing, that would kind of work, but they look really stupid and the only people that can carry that kind of look off are two foot high, with voodoo idols weaved into their hair and wooden plates in their bottom lips. Like my friend, Chief Usabe.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a pygmyist though. I bloody love pygmies. My best friend's a pygmy. And he's black. And he's in a wheelchair. And he wears a turbine. In fact, he's kind of minority group you can think of, and I think he's proper bo', I tell thee.

I agree with Olly and you can't disagree with anything I say because am that black, dyslexic, sikh, disabled, pygmy! And if you disagree thats racist, sexist, ageist, heightist, homophobic... ist... ist...

Alright, Chief? How's the tribe?

Oh, there both well. But little Oxyikohtl's eczema is playing up again.

Hunting is not the same as shooting. Hunting involves a wide array of skills - tracking, stalking, concealment, stealth, killing, gutting, skinning, etc. Point being, one can "hunt" with any weapon, or none at all. It's all about how you choose to portray the hunter.

As for the aforementioned list of weapons that can be used to hunt, spears were commonly used in the middle ages for boar hunting. Javelins are more suited to non-woodland settings, as are bolas, whereas blowguns are more appropriate for dense jungle-type forests.

Daggers, knives and even clubs can all come in handy when hunting small game - even military handbooks describe how to stalk prey such as beavers and squirrels, and then whack them on the head with a heavy club.

One need not be limited to bow and arrow unless one limits oneself to the stereotypical Robin Hood archer archetype.

Thank you aeon.

And Olly since you didn't know Tell used a crossbow I don't think you can ever taken seriously on any other topic on Gamegrene.

No go hide your shame and remain quiet.

I blow my nose at you, you silly english pig dog!
: )

God I gotta get that DVD

Oh and actually, light lances were commonly used during horseback hunts in light forested areas and plains.

A spear is much more useful than a bow (I'm talking middle age bows not ours that have pulleys and pack 2000 p/square inch) when hunting big game. If hunting a bear or a boar. I'd use spears, not bow and arrows.

Also, hunting can be done anywhere. In very cold or damp climes, your bow will either freeze and break or warp and loose much of its strength. So spears are quite nice to have. As are close range weapons like knife, club or even hatchet of machette. If I get pounced on by a puma or a wolf while hunting Deer or Elk, I'd wish I didn't have just a bow and some arrows.

No go back to hiding your shame Olly :)

Sorry lotsa typos in that last one.

Regarding Olly's Pygmy friend.

Isn't that turban he's wearing because I swear a turbine is something that generates electricity.

If indeed he wears a turbine, no wonder he's in a wheel chair. ; )

Firstly, how dare you blow your nose at me, and call me an English pig dog. I wave my private parts at your aunties, and call your knees-bent, running about, advancing behaviour a silly thing.

Although you do have a point with the whole spear issue when hunting big game, (notice I didn't critique THAT) I have to argue with your whole, cold and wet arctic climes, idea. The average D&D ranger is referred to as a 'stalker of the woodlands', it even says so, in some handbook or other... (Not sure which, possibly the Epic Level Handbook) not some bloke in a thermal vest and snow shoes, hunting penguins to eat. It's fine if that's the way you play it, but the handbooks seem to favour woodland dwellers.

And, if you were really such a good woodsman, you wouldn't get pounced on by some bear of puma (er... we call the mountain lions around here) as you would be able to tell it was coming, exactly how fast it was running and just where it was. Most rangers who let animals get the drop on them like that generally don't live very long.

And, Sam as for my little pygmy buddy, though you clearly have a quick wit ('If indeed he wears a turbine, no wonder he's in a wheel chair.') and I respect you for that, you are ignorant of the comedy genius of Avid Merrion's brilliant Bo' Selecta, possibly the greatest televisual treat of the 21st Century, and that is inexcusable. It's so funny you'll piss yourself like Craig David.

Also Sam, why are you calling William Tell just Tell. D'you know him or something? Is that what he prefers to be called? Is that his nickname? El Tell?

I'm sorry, it's just I'm very skeptical about whether or not William Tell deserves to be such a legendary figure, considering that when you use a crossbow, the feat of shooting an apple off your son's head is considerably less impressive. Any fool can use a crossbow, that's why they phased out bows in favour of them, eventually. This lead to the invention of the firearm, yaddayaddayadda.

Gotta disagree, Olly.

In medieval warfare, bows and crossbows were used more for massed volleys of fire than for individual accuracy. And the gun certainly didn't replace the crossbow for being more accurate - not until rifled barrels, anyway.

Shooting an apple off someone's head without injuring them would be impressive with an accurate rifle. It would be impressive with a pistol, at ten paces. It would be far, far more impressive with a crossbow. Any fool can use a crossbow, yes; but not any fool can use a crossbow *well*.

An apple isn't the hardest thing in the world to hit. OK, It's pretty small, but given that the alternative was the body of his son, it's not really an area you're going to confuse, is it? Apples are green, your son is kind of a flesh tone. Unless he's a bit weird. If his son was being hung or something, and he shot the rope, severed it and cut him down, now THAT would be impressive.

And, as far as guns replacing crossbows is concerned, if you look at a crossbow, and then look at a rifle, the whole trigger area (and I know some gun nut is going to criticise me for my lack of knowledge when it comes to gun terminology) they are kind of similar. All right, so people where using crossbows and bows for a long time after guns where developed, until they refined them enough to make them as accurate, efficient and reliable as a bow. So there.

Again Olly go hide your shame!

But just to add a bit to the x-bow issue. Try shooting an apple at 30 paces with a BB gun (try it on a picket fence before trying it on someone's head). Now a BB gus is probably more accurate than an old x-bow.

Still tell me how many times you hit out of ten.

Then tell me if shooting an apple on your son's head (knowing you both die if you miss) is something hard to do.

I fart in your general direction you and all your 'kniggits'.

Say wasn't this discussion about rangers?

Yes this discussion was about rangers but suddenly degenerated into a series of William Tell arguments. And the occasional gag about pygmies, which are sadly few and far between now.

Sorry to trudge this up, but what do you mean they 'both' die if they miss. William Tell's son would be killed outright, but what about William Tell Senior? Would he die of embarassment, when his mates laughed at his actually-not-as-impressive-as-first-advertised stunt? Would he die of shame when he realised his sight was crooked? Would he die of annoyance at the inevitable cries of "Ha ha!" "You missed!" "You couldn't hit water if you fell out of a boat!" etc?

Is there something I'm missing?

William Tell was a lot like Robin Hood in that he was in legal trouble a lot of the time. The reason he was doing the apple trick was so the authorities would let him and his son go.

And by the way, I figure Legolas to be a fighter. Yeah, you heard me: a fighter. All those nifty bow feats can be taken as bonus feats by fighters. Add a few ranks in Wilderness Lore (or Survival if you wish) and Ride, and you've got Legolas. Not all fighters are humans, dwarves, or orcs.

Quote of the day: "You get into trouble when you start thinking."

Right. Thanks for that, Ashaqua. (Wasn't that the name of the djinni right at the beginning of Baldur's Gate: Shadows of Amn?) My knowledge of Grand Master Tell and his 'amazing' crossbow trick, but thanks for enlightening me.

But, let me get this straight. William Tell was known for his skill with a crossbow, right? So why in the hell would the authorities set him a challenge to do which favours someone good with a crossbow? It makes no sense. It's like saying to a mass murderer, "All right, We'll give you this machete, and if you murder this unarmed consciensous objector over here, you can go free!"

And as for Legolas being a fighter, you're quite clearly a mad fool who shouldn't be let near a computer! A fighter indeed! :-)!

I don't think someone who writes songs about the mage from the D&D should be allowed to call anybody a fool.

And the only way you can make a D&D character even remotely like Legolas is to have him be a fighter with perhaps some rogue or ranger levels. Otherwise the ranger takes too long to become THAT incredibly deadly with a bow and arrows.

What's wrong with my song about Marina? If you can think of a better one I'd like to hear it?

Perhaps you might be onto something with the fighter thing, but a fighter tends to be a hulking brute of a character, with bags of Strength and Constitution, who, if they really existed, I imagine would look a bit like Mr. Hyde from LXG! Legolas, the way I see it in the books, and in the way the movies depict him, is much more skill and finesse orientated. Like... A RANGER!

And lastly, just for you, Sam...

[Sings] Lovely Marina, have you seen her, drinking Ribena, in the cantina, I've never been keener, to show her my weiner, it's never been cleaner.

Thank you, please. I'm in the running to have it released, and perhaps get a Christmas No. 1 single out of it! I'm tellin' ya, it could be huge!

Better than Cliff Richard, any road.

[Sings] Lovely Marina, have you seen her, drinking Ribena, in the cantina...

Come on, sing along, now!

[Sings] Lovely Marina, have you seen her, drinking Ribena...

Clap your hands!

[Sings] Lovely Marina, have you seen her, drinking Ribena, in the cantina, I've never been keener, to show her my weiner...

All this, interspersed with footage from the film, (well, good footage, anyway), and me, with my shades on, with the Marina-ettes dancing in the in the background. That's a music video, that! They could bung it on the D&D Movie's DVD as a Special Feature if they wanted to...

Slowly turning off the computer now...

[Vaugely demonic voice] Mwa Ha Ha Ha Ha. The hour of my victory is at hand! Sam is buggering off, leaving me to gloat, safe in the knowledge, that with him gone, I am right, and therefore have won! And all because of my little song!

[Sings] Lovely Marina, have you seen her, drinking Ribena, in the cantina...

sam's not the only one disagreeing with you, Olly.

I'll concede that Legolas probably has a few other levels in ranger (e.g. for Track), but most of them have to fighter. And maybe, just maybe, he's an atypical fighter.

"What's that you say, Ash? All fighters aren't the same?"

Nope, some actually use feats like Weapon Finesse, Expertise, and Precise Shot. All fighters are good with weapons. Last I remember, bows are weapons, too.

(Disclaimer: What with the changes to the ranger in 3.5, I may be completely looney. I haven't really paid attention to 3.5, so I don't know.)


No. You're right.

I was just thinking today about the town festival in my campaign. There's gonna be bards. Bards who will sing. Bards who will need songs to sing. Bards who, having sung Olly's latest UBER-DITTY, will be stoned and hung for their efforts. (So sorry Sam, but I cried laughing, ignoring the puddle of urine at my foot)

Legolas was a FTR 10th and RGR 7th (uh oh. UH OH, wachoo gonna say 'bout dat?). Unless my eyes deceive me...

No Surfing!


Thank you for including my song in your campaign, Shark, that's proper bo'. Let me know how it goes, I want ALL the details!

All right, I suppose I had better eat humble pie on this one, and say that Legolas 'probably' has some kind of level in the fighter class, although it's much more likely he's a ranger. Have you ever seen him wear heavy armour? No, because Legolas is known for his agility something hard to do in big, clanky armour, the type which most fighters favour. He can track, follow orcs across the wilderness, etc. But, I'll go with you and say he's probably a multiclass fighter/ranger. At least my point was not lost.

Shark, the soon-to-be platinum selling mega-hit known as the Marina Song is yours to use. My follow up single is currently in progress. At least until I think of a line to rhyme with this one...

'Let's shove, shove, shove, a longsword up Ridley's arse..."

Actually Olly I see why we dissagree on Legolas it is you have a very narrow vision of what fighters are.
They're not just heavy melee fighters.
Some are swashbucklers, some are archers, some are pugilists, some fight with two weapons, others just one, some are hard hitters, others prefer to trip-disarm, others are thrown weapon specialists.
Heavy armour is all fine and dandy if you are willing to sacrifice agility and mobility. I usually am not. In fact, my fighters usually have higher dex than constitution.

Nice signature Shark, I love it.

Leave it out, Sam. Look at the picture of the archetypal fighter (Tordek) in the Player's Handbook. That's a proper fighter. Chainmail, battleaxe, helmet etc. None of this swashbuckler rubbish. That's what prestige classes are for. And as for the pugilist, that's a stupid idea, as the monk is 'THE' unarmed combatant in D&D.

(Steps in the middle of the fight)

Now, now children. Our diverse views of the fighter class are exactly what led to the Bush/Iraq war conflict. Did you know Stalin was very angry because the newly formed alliance would not agree with him on what the prototypical fighter is? Hmmmm? I mean, look what this whole discussion has done to the Canadians!


To add a few punches into the melee myself:

Has anyone seen the sequel to Desperado (A Mexican Tale, or something like that) with Johnny Depp and Mr. Antonio "too sexy" Banderas? These guys were so hot that even us dudes were blushing... But during the movie there is a battle scene where a 55-60 yr. old lady, decked out in bandoleers, fires twin pistols while bullets whiz past her head. Grandma with Guns. I love it when one archetype is stuffed into another to make a character instantly distinguished.

When you're ranger winds up, for a few years, in a large city, adding a level of something else can really make him a memorable character. Add a level of Interior Decorator or Combat Delivery Florist by use of the Expert class (or whatever your rule system uses) to make a character unique in ways that break the mold.

Did my post just sound homosexual?

I'm sorry, Shark. Having read your last couple of posts I feel like such a fool.

Perhaps, Sam, one day, in the future, us Brits and you Canadians can live in peace, accepting one another's crazy ideas about fighters and rangers, Legolas and William Tell, and exactly how hard and impressive it is to shoot an apple of your son's head with a crossbow. Together we can build a future where our children, and our children's children can play together, in golden fields, with baby pandas, whilst the Red Arrows fly over head, and maple syrup is served alongside fish and chips. Where the stately moose and the noble lion can lie down beside one another. Where soccer will be played on ice, by teams with perfect teeth. And, where we'll all be known as Britandians.

(End with a 'God Save Our Gracious Queen/O Canada!/The Marina Song medley)

Olly you are a riot.

Shark what ever your post sounded like, I have to admit that Depp is hot but I just don't see what women find in Banderas, he's Ok but not that hot. But then I'm neither gay nor woman.

The Complete Warrior is out today, in it Olly will find many different warrior types. Although I have to admit that Tordek is quite archetypical. I'm just saying that there is more than one way to build a fighter.

PS: Olly only a Brit would think of puting maple syrup on Fish and Chips, you guys are cullinary savages, but you do make great comedy, great music and excellent beer so I'll forgive you and gladly NOT let you try to shoot arrows off my future childrens' head.
Actually I would, but Marie would kill me if she thought I'd even consider it... sheesh the woman is such a worry wart ; )

I'm sorry, Sam. I thought you Canadians put maple syrup on everything over there! ;-)

Oh, and Johnny Depp is dashed handsome, as well as an excellent actor but unfortunately, he is also a forty-year-old smoker with mis-spelt tattoos. And he's 'had' Christina Ricci... At least, I wager...

And another thing, he makes kissy-face at himself when he's talking... and he practices self-harm... and he shouts obscenities at photographers... and he's 'had' Winona Ryder, as well... and he's a coward... and he's a hippie... and he lives in France... and he said he wanted to be an Oompa Loompa... and ...and... and...

...AND he's broken my favourite plate!

...Oh, and, when he's not filming, he dresses like a homeless!

...And his little girl actually thinks he 'is' a pirate... and... no, that's all I got...

olly are you an oompa loompa

No, Liam, I'm not. Bugger off.

Mmm..... Maple Syrup....

maple syrup

I also enjoy maple syrup but it's so hard to get out here in the Jungle

my real name isnt liam its high scorcerer makutata

I've never actually eaten maple syrup. Is it nice?

Hakuna Makutata.

curse you olly

It's been a while since you made on here, Chief. Have you been all right?

Yes it is I like it on Crumpets, or intrepid explorers.

I see that old repetetive fever has flared up again.

Mmmm... Intrepid Explorer on toast

Mmm... Crumpets

dave i enjoy that too especialy with barbeque sauce

It's a cook book! A cook book!

Intrepid Explorer? Isn't that some kind of new Internet Connection? Like Internet Explorer, but more adventurous?

I feel so sorry for Sam, Shark, Ass and Mo. This was once a serious discussion about what sort of weapons rangers used. Now look at it! It's degenerated into a conversation about crumpets, cannibalism and maple syrup!

anyone for an intrepid explorer barbeque

How to serve man...


has any one seen that new ranger sword

has any one seen that new ranger sword

What new ranger sword?

What new ranger sword?

Mmm... Sword...

Stop being surreal, Makutata, or I'll go upside your head. Just shut up, and eat your intrepid explorer burger.

Why is it always intrepid explorer? Why isn't it ever modest explorer, don't-really-want-to-go-on-this-trip explorer or even homesick explorer.

good point i'll eat you instead olly

The homesick ones give me indigestion

/me coughs the Cough of Stay-On-Topic +3.

I'm glad somebody did. I was about to pull out the Longbow of Consistency +5 and pop a cap up someone's ass.

*On a perilous quest to find the magic rod of 'turn-this-chatroom-back-into-a-message-board'*

OH! Hey Shark! I've discovered the location of your secret home village...and...a dark shadow shall be cast over the people... (_|_)


I don't like what the dark one is prophesising... Watch out Sharky Boy.

Thank the gods you've come, lads. I think we scared 'em off! Now we can get back to talking about 'serious' issues. Like just what sort of weapons rangers use, whether using a crossbow is a peice of piss and whether or not anyone can think of a line to rhyme with; "Let's shove, shove, shove, a longsword up Ridley's arse!"

Mmm... Crumpets


Mmm... Sky

Remember that banner that said put your add here you'll atract all the wackos...

Nuff said


I shall use my superior powers of Rice Krispies and Cobra Commander to get this message board back on track!

How, you say? How can it be done, Great White (shhh, our secret, Ass) Shark? We're way the fark off topic!

NEIN, meinen sheistkopfs. Three words I offer!

Ranger Maple Syrup.

Part 1: Training and Development
Maple Syrup can be the most lethal substance found in a ranger's arsenal. A ranger armed in such a way can overcome even the fiercest of foes. Yes, even Canadians and Pygmies. I know you might have trouble finding such a weapon in any sourcebook, yet have faith. I shall lead you to the Promised Land.

First off, you must declare that you are focusing on duel Maple Syrup by spending the necessary skill/feat points/slots. This may hamper you from developing into other areas such as credibility and viability, yet the costs are well worth the reward.

Second, you must find a source of Maple Syrup. This is done by breeding Scalops aquaticus, or the Mole. Pick several different colors, preferably ones that match your wife's curtains and throw pillows. Feed them well, your life may count on it. After several months, you may harvest their ripe asses. Hence Molasses. Close enough.

And lastly you must master your technique of Maple Syrup wielding. Select a practice opponent wisely. Perhaps you have a problem with Dodi Al Fayed. Fine, he won't put up much of a resistance I'd wager, and you can hone your skills while holding his body for ransom. Asphyxiation is where most of us first earned our "sticky fingers" badge, but next episode will chart advanced techniques of Maple Syrup combat, that you and your spouse will enjoy for years to come.


P.s. Ass, your sig. (_l_) pure cosmic genius...

Yes, I said ILENCE, not to be confused with silence. Pay attention!


'Cosmic Genius' is my handle in all off my Black Market negotiations, boy-o...

Oh yeah, I tried to use semi-colons under the butt so it would seem like I was poopin on the shark fin...but the text format wouldn't let me...


Ranger Maple Syrup

Part 2: Styles and Technique

Our next part is a bit more of a controversy in the subterfuge realm that is Maple Syrup. No two masters of the Map.Sy. Arts agree on the proper balance of *Hard* technique vs. *Soft* technique. But almost all agree that unattended ignorance of either style is a quick path to death, something that every Ranger should heed. A Ranger must learn to focus these attacks. The player may spend more points in mastering one form, but this comes at the expense of the other form.

First: Hard attacks begin with Map.Sy. thrusts and blows, and progress to Map.Sy. Cleave and Great Cleave. How does the Hard form work? When a Ranger uses his Map.Sy. attack against an opponent, he/she is effectively applying Map.Sy. everywhere! This completely incapacitates any enemy. Not a believer? Try driving away from a Denny's with a few sticky fingers from one of those syrup mini-jugs that are never clean. You have NO choice but to pull over at the next available opportunity to clean them. You have been effectively *stopped* in your tracks. Other Hard form applications run the gamut of Map.Sy. drowning, lavatory seat fiasco, and Man-your-dog-looks-messed-up maneuvers.

Second: Soft form techniques were derived from attacks that originated from hunters and warriors like *Italian Mothers* (overindulgence) and *College Roommates* (I ain’t sharing with the likes of you). It is based on the psychological element and is a powerful form once mastered. We can often find attacks such as "No, I made it all especially for you, you're getting too skinny," to the annoying "Dude, you got anything I can munch on?" It is a realm of extreme abundance and painful absence, and the clever Ranger must decide which end of the spectrum he/she feels best eradicates the current opponent.

At this point, I'm going to turn over the floor to one of our other resident *OFFTOPICKERS*. To my colleagues: I request a simple yet effective example of either Hard or Soft techniques to illustrate this Maple Syrup tutorial. We're looking for the common "Ranger vs. Illithid" to the uncommon "Ranger vs. Ex-wife." Settings can range form deep-forest glade to interminable line at Starbucks. After several prime examples are discussed (I have Faith, my bruthaz and sistaz), I shall conclude this tutorial with an in-depth analysis of how Ranger Maple Syrup has changed the face of RPG warfare. I intend to allocate a good chunk of time to my associates before releasing part three. *waves hand towards podium* Gents?

I have to say, as far as maple syrup's concerned, it kicks the stuffing out of holy water. Think about it...

Jozan the cleric turns a corner in a dungeon and comes face to face with a ravenous horde of ghouls. The ghouls stare at him, licking their lips and hissing. What does Jozan do?

Rather than reach for his holy symbol, and start to use 'Turn Undead', he grabs a bottle of maple syrup and hurls it at his bestial foes. The ghouls get totally drenched in the stuff, and the rest of the encounter goes like this...

Ghouls get wet.
Ghouls get dry.
Ghouls get sticky.
Ghouls remember.

This also works with lemonade, I believe.

Mmm... Lemonade

I would think that Maple Syrup would be more efficient than lemonade, because it tends to be sticky to begin with.

Also, one of the most insidious Soft Style uses of Maple Syrup is the Addiction. Most of the monsters that one encounters have never tasted maple syrup, especially if they do not live in deciduous forests. Thus, during the first encounter with the Syrup Master, they gain a glimpse of what they have been missing during their pathetic lives.

The Addiction technique is very versatile. In fact, it is a long-term substitute for the acclaimed _Charm Monster_ spell. I will leave it to the other OFFTOPICKERS to explore this philosophy.

Ah, but Asha (May I call you Asha? Please? It makes it sound like I'm talking to one of the So Solid Crew!), what better item is there to make those lousy, undead monsters remember your name, than, the morning after, they wake up, and they're all sticky from the lemonade you threw at them! And, they're hair's all messy from how they slept! Ha ha! You've got 'em there, haven't you! Those ghouls will speak your name only in a whisper, and it will become a byword for terror and stickiness.

Yeah! Besides ghouls are so stupid that if you were to throw a bottle of lemonade at them they probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

That's a bit harsh, Chief. I'm very fond of the slathering, lisping creatures that refer to themselves in the third person, which we lovingly call ghouls. I use 'em a lot in my campaign.

In my campaign, they're a place called the Woodland Of Weir (Poe fans will recognise that this name has been wickedly plagiarised, but I digress), where all the ghouls hang out. It's said to be the home of the Ghoul King (Not Yeenoghu, by the way, just a normal ghoul, who just happens to be king of the ghouls in that particular wood), who lords it up on a throne of skulls.

Sorry but I just don't like ghouls. Don't get me wrong, I'm not Vitalist or anything but I just don't like ghouls. I'm ok with Ghosts and Poes... Or Vampires and Werewolves... And I mean even Zombies can be alright sometimes as long as they're the Reg Shoe like kind and not the slathering, lisping, brain-eating kind. I just don't like ghouls thats all...

You must not forget the legendary ancient techniques for defeating ghouls called “Soap” and the formidable “Nair.” There is nothing a ghoul fears more than being clean and to even a greater degree…smooth.

Ghouls are ace. They eat dead bodies! How cool is that? They're like the undead equivalent of a hyena! They're just ace.

Look, I've even brought one in to show you just how nice they are, say hello, Terry.

Terry: Hello. Terry'sss very happy to be here.

Well, that's nice Terry, why don't you tell us about yourself?

Terry: Terry's not sssure what to sssay, Terry's a bit nervousss...

Well, that's all right, Terry, we all get nervous from time to time...

Terry: No, no, Terry'sss ssshy...

Well, isn't that sweet.

Terry: Ssstop patronisssing Terry, you bassstard!


Terry: Ssstop patronisssing Terry. You're ssso fucking pompousss! You haven't got any ballsss!

That's not very nice, Terry.

Terry: Ssshut up, you livie! You alwaysss talk you liviesss, and you sssay thingsss like let me tell ya sssomething, and I just wanna sssay thisss, well, Terry'sss in charge now, sssso sssshut up!

Now, look here...

Sssshut up! You think you're ssso powerful, but Terry will eat your liver! Yesss, gobble it up, like candy!


(Sounds of thrashing about, and muffled swearing)

Now, more than ever, is the time for Ranger Map.Sy. attack. Had our intrepid yet obnoxious colleague, Mr. Olly "fin" Friend of the Ghouls been equipped with the latest in Map.Sy. technology, this unfortunate incident would never have taken place. For, you see, the mere threat of Map.Sy. is enough to keep even the deadliest of undead under command. It is THE basic ingredient of absolute control and mastery.

Now watch as we've secretly replaced Olly's regular gourmet weapon with rich, decaffeinated Maple Syrup, the Ranger tool of choice.

What the hell? Someone secretly replaced my secret replacement with lemonade!

[sternly taps foot] You know... I'm TRYING to run a serious discussion here about Ranger Maple Syrup. If you guys want to screw around, be my guest. I'm not the one that has to appease the great Morbus Iff. I'm not the one who has to pass the finals. And I'm certainly not the one who's gonna take this shit! You kids are blowing it, and you don't even know how bad you're ruining your own future. You're hurting yourselves, not me! If you want to play these little games, you can get the hell out. But if you're serious about your future, pull your head out of your collective arses...

I'm gonna go get some coffee. When I return, I better find my Map.Sy. back in it's spot and you guys with your earwax cleaned out. Comprende?

Aaaaargh! Aaaaargh! God! Let go! Let go! Aaaaaargh! The power of Maple Syrup compels you, the power of Maple Syrup compels you...

Terry: Aaaaargh! No! Not the maple sssyrup!

Ha ha ha! Yes! The power of Maple Syrup compels you!

Terry: No! No! Terry didn't mean it. Terry just got over-excited...

Ha ha ha! Not so big now, are you? Ha ha! I've got you now, you arrogant little bastard!

Terry: Pleassse don't hurt Terry, master. Terry wasss jussst playing.

Well, Terry's in big trouble, now!

Terry: Terry didn't mean it. It wasss just a ssslip of the tongue.

A slip of the tongue? You've taken a huge chunk out of my arm!

Terry: Just a ssslip of the tongue... And the jawsss... And the teeth...

Terry, you go to your room and think about what you've done! Bad ghoul! Bad!

Terry: Ssssorry, Terry'sss sssory!

No, I'm not buying it! You are grounded, Mister, and I am not kidding!

Terry: I'm sssorry...

Go to your room!

Terry: [grumbling] Lousssy old man, doesssn't even let me take a chunk out of hisss arm, other dad'sss let their sssonsss take bitesss out of their armsss... Bloody maple sssyrup...

And so you see, gentlemen, that ghouls, much like young children, can be trained to behave through authority, kindness and compassion. And a little help from maple syrup...

Right... where's that Smith & Wesson of mine, that'll teach that little shit humility...

That's much Better! YES! Thank you! You're my top student, you know that. Gonna graduate at the top of your class...

[Enters, dragging the corpse of a ghoul behind him] Thank you, sir. I try my best.

Sorry Desky,

I haven't bought 3E so I can't comment.

I have heard however, that Olly prefers dead people to
live ones. Especially when hes feeling amorous. which is pretty much all the time.

Hey, I'm just looking for an easy date is all!

There's nothing wrong with being sexually tilted in favour of sleeping with the dead. The dead have feelings too. Well, some of them. And besides, if they're undead that doesn't necessarily mean that they're dead. They're kind of in limbo between death and undeath...

As the old saying goes: UNDEAD, YES, UNPERSON, NO.

Speaking of which, did any of the UK residents on this website remember a channel called Play UK, which was forced out of business by UK Gold. I remember, they were premiering some comedy series set in a funeral home, where one of the undertakers was a necrophiliac. If anyone can, what was it called? I remember in an advert for it, a guy came into his room, and he was there, involving in some 'lichloving' and he looked around, and said, panicked, "She's my girlfriend, OK?"

Actually, now that I think of it, it's no wonder Play UK went out of business...

Play UK was great, though. Music videos in the morning, comedy in the afternoon.

So... Rangers then...

Undead lovers?


Sounds a bit cold and clammy to me.

Look! I was just cleaning my boots... in the nude... and I... slipped over... and fell on this zombie!

I started out, first DnD game I picked up, one of the computer games, first character I made for my party was a ranger. Later, once I picked up Neverwinter nights, I made a ranger. I play in 2 DnD groups that meet about once a week. Rangers in both. 3.5 edition, though, and that allows a choice of two-weapon fighting or ranged attacks. My ranger kills more enemies in an encounter than the Monk and Psionist Half-Dragon combined at Level 5.

"The rogue in my last campaign took one level of ranger just to gain the free feats mentioned above. Dual sneak attack anyone?"

This is why we haven't converted to 3e yet. To us, the new rules-set is too hack-n-slash oriented. Why not just have one set of rules/rolls for everything, and forgo the whole idea of character classes, levels, races and everything else that makes playing a character unique to other characters, since each character can pretty much do anything. True, it is more "realistic" to imagine that there are no boundaries on a character's ability to learn a skill, but to be "real" the character should probably spend a good bit of non-adventuring down-time finding a tutor and actually learning the new skill (a facet I don't often see in many games. How often does a 15yr old human fighter/mage show up with more skills than any teen-ager I have ever known?) I know, this is a topic for another posting, but I just wanted to chime in now since it was made here.

Ranger (1ed/2ed) is my favorite class, and not just for the two-fisted fighting. Most of my rangers have been archers. I guess it's lucky for me that the DMs I've had have been able to set the stage for fun ranger-play (working as a spy, tracking baddies in the wilderness, etc...). Yeah, a lot of playing a ranger is quite dependent upon the DM actually preparing things for that class, whereas a rogue or standard fighter can pretty much fit in just about anywhere in any scenario and still be fun to play.

well, Whoopie!

- have mercy on the newbie -

3.5 fixed that problem, OldTimer; you can't gain Ranger combat styles by taking only one level of the class. Check out 3.5: borrow someone else's copies if you don't want to spend money for your own. If you are a fan of D&D, and you obviously are, I think it really is worth your time.

I have it on the shelf. Just haven't put enough emphasis into yet, since our group isn't committed to moving up. However, we have decided that at the end of the current campaign/storyline, we will all start 3.5e from scratch and see what happens.

What a long, strange trip that'll be.

Thanks for the information, though. My point was only that certain "class" combinations was one (of many initial) reason we shied away from the new version.

Oh, and being a fan is an understatement. =)

i have to agree that rangers generally are more range savy, although i do have to say that they make very fine fighters in a pinch, but the "resriction" of light armor tends to make dex higher which tends to make the bow or ranged weapons more appealing, and if i'm not mistaken you can pick your combat style at third level and choose ranged which gives you all kinds of groovy feats as you proceed to level including, what is it, hail of arrows? which by the way is a bad ass feat, so put that in your pipe and smoke it you rangers are melee people

A couple of common sense type questions always bothered me about Rangers. Like, why would a woodsman carry a sword? A sword only has one purpose. If you tend to carry everything that you own (or close to it) on your back, then why would you hamper yourself down with something as useless in the woods as a sword? (Unless you're in the jungle, but even then a jungle woodsman probably would be able to pass through the foilage without a machete).
Why do thieves, mages, and priests get weapon restrictions but not rangers? Whenever I run or GM a ranger, I only allow weapons that could typically be used by woodsmen; Bows, knives, axes, hand-axes, quarter-staves (used for walking), blow-darts, slings, etc.

Here's another one: why are rangers ambidextrous? What does that have to do with woodscraft? Wouldn't a fighter or thief be more likely to train with their off-hand in case of injury or duplicity? It doesn't make sense.

Or the rangers' hated race. One race that the rangers hate and want to kill above all others. Aren't rangers supposed to be Neutral (good)? What does Neutral have to do with hate? Can't rangers just violently dislike everyone and anything that poses a danger to their forests? Who cares if the people involved are human, orces, or new age elves?

"If the Boot fits, kick somebody."

How can you possibly say that Legolas wasn't a ranger? He is the premier archer, fights with paired swords, hunts and tracks like no one's buisiness, and spends all his time in the forest. He has better senses than Aragorn and we all KNOW that Aragorn is a ranger, and not a sorry one either.

Hunting requires missile weapons for most creatures, especially large fast prey like elk and deer. Spears are used for large heavy animals like bear and boar. Otherwise you use traps and snares.

There is no reason for a Ranger to have or use a sword (useless in the wild) unless it stems from their background. The best example of this would be R. A. Salvatore's character Drizzt. This character uses dual scimitars, very effectively I might add. But there is an entire book which details why and how he became proficient with these weapons. If you have a character from the city, where such a thing might be common, then you have to figure out how that character moved out into the wilderness and why they stayed there. Otherwise you would have to figure out how a ranger got a sword, where and how they got training on how to use it, and why they carry around this bulky, heavy thing around all the time when they rarely use it in the course of their day to day existance.
The machete excuse doesn't cut it BTW. Unless the campaign is in the jungle, cutting through brush on a regular basis won't be an issue.

I think that if I had someone play a ranger in my game I would ban them from weapons that only have one purpose like a sword does. Living in the wilderness teaches one to get the most use out of everything.
In Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series, the Aiel, a race of people who will not use a sword, are VERY effective with spears, bows, knives, hand axes, and other weapons. They are pretty much a whole RACE of rangers.

sorry to but in here but id like to say that in respects to legolas and the "elf who is ridiculously good at archery and lives in the woods but is definitely not a ranger" thing if i remember correctly 3rd edition elves get proficiency in the bow or longsword right? so concordantly we can assume that as far as LOTR in the D&D sense legolas would have been automatically proficient in bow use.. and on the topic of whether a ranger would use swords or not i would like to say that it would depend on where he was trained and by who? a ranger cant allways use a bow to kill some one or hunt.. if we are talking about a heavily roleplayed ranger what about traps? or nets? there are other ways to catch animals than shooting them

well yes any fool can use a crossbow but looking at medeival crossbows back then they werent very easy to aim with... no scopes just iron sights and any one who has fired a gun can tell you that even with all the advances in technology today it is still difficult to shoot an apple of anyones head with anything lol

i wouldnt agree that fighters are usually hulking brutes barbarians... yes i would say fit that description but think of this Elminster the mage as a few levels in fighter i think that he picked up when he lost his magic and he wasnt very hulking or brutish but as far as legolas is concerned it is possible to make a fighter that is more finess than fight i mean think about the arcane archer.. clearly if your a fighter and you want to be an arcane archer you would need to be more nimble in your fighting right? i mean there is a reason why the fighter is the fighter.. its because he is the best at fighting i mean a fighter can use a bow like a ranger a two handed weapon like a barb and yeah if he wanted to he could be a very stealthy assassinlike combatant as well so i think its possible to say that all of the members of the fellowship excluding the hobbits take a few levels of fighter seeing as how the fighter class is really the only D&D class that truly fits in LOTR

Aragorn is most likely an urban ranger, legolas is definately a 2 wep ranger, with maybe a couple fighter lvls for weapon finecse and weapon specialization, maple syrup is awesome, and lemonade takes at least a day to get sticky

Aragorn never really struck me as an urban fellow. And I've never see him cast a single he's not very high level if that's the case. And Legolas is only a two weapon fighter if you watch the movie instead of reading the books. I'm surprised that Orlando Bloom didn't have a panther and black face paint on.

There is a non-spellcasting variant of the Ranger in 'Complete Warrior', I believe.

That's actually the only version of the Ranger I use. I could never wrap my head around spell casting woodsmen. I was being obtuse for the sake of being obtuse. How ya been LG? It's been ages since I've been around here.

I don't mean to sound like a troll or hijack the topic, so I 've started a new thread (Rangers are the Symptom, to put my response to this thread in. In summary, I think the Ranger class discussions here and elsewhere indicate an underlying problem.

P.S. Scott Free: Found you! It's Eric, from Edmonton. We still have some DVDs of yours. Witches of Eastwick, The Pledge, and...and...and...The Brotherhood of the Wolf! You moved before we remembered we had them and had to give them back to you! It's been a while, but how have things been?

I've seen a lot of bitching about the 3e ranger, and I was especially disgusted by the misnomer that a ranger is someone who lives in the forest and has to hunt to survive. Rangers are expert trackers who have specialized in fighting certain types of beasts, and only add more of these beasts to their repetoir as they gain in strength.

My favorite build for a ranger is the Dwarven Tunnel-warden. In 3e Dwarves get two "favored enemies" to start with. Goblin-kin are SOL when fighting dwarves, and Giants are stuck swatting at flies. You take Giants as your first favored enemy and all of a sudden your Dwarf Ranger is a Giant killing machine. Felling massive brutes with a Dwarven war-axe (d10) in one hand and a throwing axe, or a hand axe in the other, as if they were some sissy-elf's favorite sapling.

You've got Darkvision. That's basically infra-red, and you can use that to track creatures on hard ground using the residual heat as a trail. (assuming its dark enough).

Darkvision is not heat vision in 3e.

And "builds" are for mechanics. What you describe is only useful if there's giants and goblins in the campaign. Making a good character, rather a good set of math, is useful in *any* campaign.

As for misnomers...what you describe is exactly what you claim is a misnomer; someone from the woods who hunts. Six of one, half a dozen of the other.

if the DM allows conversion from 2nd edition...... look into "faiths and avatars".... there's a nature diety "Meilikki" that also accepts rangers as her clergy. the way it reads is that the ranger doesn't need to multi-class, but will be accepted to the clergy, with full access to priest spells, and a few clerical spells specific to the church.
so, if a "defender of the woodlands" is what you're playing..... a nature diety that promotes nature, hates undead ( like most adventuring parties i've played with ) is right up the alley for this kind of character. notwithstanding the ranger's ability to identify plants to use for healing purposes (herbalism)...... together with the weapon flexability of a fighter, the healing ability of a cleric, and the ability to reach places almost like a rouge, it does make it a good character class.......
i do have to say that i havn't looked at 3rd - 4th editions...... but in 1st edition, rangers had access to druid spells and mage spells. in 2nd edition it turned to only cleric spells (limited of course), but with full access to healing at the start.... i think it makes a very good character.