Ranger Class

“What you call monsters and beasts are simply other
beings trying to survive in the wastelands. Some of them
are just as desperate, lost, and confused as you are.”
―Sudatu, elven scout
The wastes of Athas are home to fierce and cunning
creatures, from the bloodthirsty tembo to the malicious
gaj. Because of that, Athasians have long learned how to
adapt and survive even in the most inhospitable and
savage environments.
One of the most cunning and powerful creatures of
the wastes is the ranger, a skilled hunter and stalker. He
knows his lands as if they were his home (as indeed they
are); he knows his prey in deadly detail.
Making a Ranger
Rangers are capable in combat, although less so in
open melee than the fighter, gladiator, or barbarian. His
skills allow him to survive in the wilderness, to find his
prey and to avoid detection. The ranger has the ability to
gain special knowledge of certain types of creatures or
lands. Knowledge of his enemies makes him more capable
of finding and defeating those foes. Knowledge of terrain
types or of specific favored lands makes it easier for him
to live off the land, and makes it easier for him to take
advantage of less knowledgeable foes. Rangers eventually
learn to use the lesser spirits that inhabit Athas in order to
produce spell‐like effects. These lesser spirits inhabit
small features of the land – rocks, trees, cacti and the like.
These spirits are relatively powerless, and cannot
manifest themselves. Their awareness is low, and their
instincts are of the most primitive sort. The relationship
between these lesser spirits and the creatures known as
Spirits of the Land is unknown.
Races: As the race that carries the most fear and
hatred of other races, and as the people with the richest
land to protect, Halflings become rangers more commonly
than any other race except for half‐elves. Halflings are at
home in their terrain (typically Forest Ridge or the Jagged
Cliffs) and the ranger class teaches them the grace to
move without detection, often to deadly effect. Their
practice of cannibalism to emphasize their superiority
over other sentient beings puts the ranger’s tracking
abilities to deadly use. Halfling rangers tend to take
favored lands primarily, followed by favored enemy
benefits. In the Forest Ridge, halfling rangers tend to pick
pterrans and other neighboring races as favored enemies;
rangers of the Jagged Cliffs tend to focus on bvanen, and
kreen.
Elves frequently become rangers, serving as scouts
and hunters for their tribes, but elves are not as naturally
drawn to the wilderness as they are to magic. Half‐elves
are the race most compellingly drawn to the ranger class,
since their isolation and natural gift with animals gives
them a head start above rangers of other races.
Half‐Elven rangers sometimes seek to impress their
Elven cousins with their desert skills, and when they are
rejected, the wilderness often becomes the half‐elf’s only
solace. A few half‐elves turn to bitter hatred of the parent
races that rejected them, and become merciless slave–
hunters.
Although ranger skills do not come to naturally
humans, their famous adaptability wins out in the end,
and many humans make fine rangers. A few muls take up
the ranger class while surviving in the wilderness after
escaping slavery. Dwarves who become rangers find that
their focus ability combines powerfully with the abilities
of favored enemy and favored lands, but such characters
rarely become adventurers since they tend to master
wilderness skills in order to guard Dwarven communities.
Pterran rangers are common since rangers get along so
well with the druidic and psionic leaders of the pterran
villages. Aarakocra are similarly drawn to the ranger class
to protect their villages from predators and enemies.
Rangers are not unusual among the most hated humanoid
races of Athas, such as gith, belgoi, and braxat. Among
the various and dwindling communities of the wastes,
rangers are the most common character class.
Alignment: Rangers can be of any alignment,
although they tend not to be lawful, preferring nature to
civilization, silence to casual conversation, and ambush to
meeting a foe boldly on the battlefield. Good rangers
often serve as protectors of a village or of a wild area. In
this capacity, rangers try to exterminate or drive off evil
creatures that threaten the rangers’ lands. Good rangers
sometimes protect those who travel through the
wilderness, serving sometimes as paid guides, but
sometimes as unseen guardians. Neutral rangers tend to
be wanderers and mercenaries, rarely tying themselves
down to favored lands. The tracking and animal skills of
rangers are well known in the World; virtually every
trade caravan has at least one ranger scout or mekillot
handler. Sometimes they stalk the land for vengeance,
either for themselves or for an employer. Generally only
evil rangers ply their skills in the slave trade. Other evil
rangers seek to emulate nature’s most fearsome predators,
and take pride and pleasure in the terror that strangers
take in their names.

Class Features
Favored Enemy (Ex): Athasian rangers may select a
type of creature from among those given in the following
table.

Table 2–4: Athasian Ranger Favored Enemies
Type (Subtype) Examples
Aberration gaj
Animal lion
Construct golem
Elemental (air) air elemental beast
Elemental (earth) crystal spider
Elemental (fire) fire incarnation
Elemental (water) rain paraelemental beast
Giant beasthead giant
Humanoid (dwarf) dwarf
Humanoid (elf) elf
Humanoid (gith) gith
Humanoid (halfling) halfling
Humanoid (human) human
Humanoid (jozhal) jozhal
Humanoid (nikaal) nikaal
Humanoid (psionic) villichi
Humanoid (pterran) pterran
Humanoid (reptilian) silt runner
Humanoid (tarek) tarek
Humanoid (tari) tari
Magical beast kirre
Monstrous humanoid Thri-kreen
Outsider silt half-elemental
Plant hunting cactus
Undead kaisharga
Vermin kank

Favored Terrain (Ex): At any time when you could
normally select a favored enemy, you may instead choose
to select a favored terrain. You receive a +2 bonus to Hide,
Knowledge (nature), Move Silently, Spot and Survival
checks made within your favored terrain. The table below
shows the allowable terrains.
Terrain Type Terrain Type
Boulder Field Rocky Badland
Forest Salt Flat
Jagged Cliffs Sandy Waste
Mountain Sea of Silt
Mud Flat Stony Barren
Obsidian Waste Swamp
Ocean Verdant Belt
This ability uses the same graduated progression that
the favored enemy ability receives.
For example, at first level Sudatu selects monstrous
humanoids as a favored enemy, receiving a +2 bonus
when combating them. At fifth level, instead of taking a
new favored enemy, he selects a Rocky Badlands as his
favored terrain, and chooses to increase his favored
enemy bonus to +4. At 10th level, Sudatu may again
choose a new Favored Enemy, and may also choose
between raising his favored enemy or favored terrain
bonus by +2.

Playing a Ranger
As a ranger, you nurture a close, almost mystical
connection to the deadly terrain of Athas. To you, the
burnt landscape is not a friend, but a well‐respected
adversary. Danger is always present, yet you understand
it and even find a certain succor in living alongside it.

Religion
Many rangers pay homage to the elements, but a
greater number honor the moons and the stars that guide
them in the night – even though these celestial bodies do
not have priests. In several city‐states, particularly Gulg,
Kurn, and Eldaarich, many rangers owe fealty to the
sorcerer‐kings – virtually the entire noble caste of Gulg is
comprised of rangers called judaga. Some rangers pay
patronage to the Spirits of the Land, although these spirits
do not bestow spells on rangers except those that multi–
class as druid.

Other Classes
Rangers are slow to make friends with anyone, but
have a particular affinity to druids, and to a lesser extent,
barbarians and psions. Rangers tend not to lean on others
for support and friendship, and often find it difficult to
tolerate others who are quite different from themselves,
such as talkative traders or controlling templars. Good
rangers might simply try to avoid sharing a watch with a
character that annoys them; neutral rangers tend to
abandon annoying companions or just let them die; while
evil rangers act friendly to the annoying companion and
then slit their throat in their sleep.
Good rangers tend to hate defilers, although many
rangers are ignorant of the distinction between preserving
and defiling and hate wizards of all stripes. Strangely,
many rangers have little objection to taking a companion
who is of a favored enemy race, so long as that they are
convinced that the companion is trustworthy and loyal.

Combat
Although you are a formidable warrior, you usually
prefer not to stand against the sheer might of Athas’
fighter, barbarians and gladiators. Your greatest ally is the
environment itself. While in you favored terrain, you have
a clear advantage over your adversaries. Try choosing
favored enemies that are more common in your favored
terrain.
As you advance, you are well served to invest in spells
that have an effect other than dealing damage. If you can’t
drop a foe in one or two attacks, you can use entangle,
snare, sting of the gold scorpion, or the like to make your
opponents less dangerous in a prolonged fight.

Advancement
Perhaps the most dangerous place in Athas is inside a
city‐state: an environment rife with political intrigue,
diseases, and assassination. To escape these noxious
environs, you sought refuge in the wild where even the
foulest elements of a society fear to tread. By gaining an
intimate knowledge of this hazardous realm, you buy
some breathing room and security from the urban
madness.
As your ranger abilities increase, you find the
Athasian wilderness a more and more inviting place (if a
place with such constant peril can be called inviting). You
can use your skills to establish safe havens for yourself or
to gain employment opportunities―perhaps guiding a
group of recently caught slaves through the Tyr valley or
some noble into distant dangerous, location. You can also
find that continuing to advance as a ranger or barbarian
augments your already impressive abilities in the
Athasian lands.
Continue to focus on skills such as Hive, Move
Silently, and Survival. Spend discovered treasure on
poison, magic weapons, and protective magic. The
Mobility feat is good to consider, as is Nature’s Child or
Wastelander.

Rangers on Athas
“Trust me. He might not talk a lot and smell funnier
than the rest of your men, but there is no other one I would
bring along with me around the Great Ivory Plains.”
―Waltian Inika, Gulg dune trader
The Athasian wilderness is harsh and unforgiving,
calling for skilled and capable men to master its
ways―the ranger answers that challenge, living a rugged
life through clever mastery of his surroundings. The
ranger has a potent combination of stealth, woodcraft,
magic, and fighting skill, making him the master of the
wilderness.
Daily Life
A ranger adventures to learn about Athas, to protect
nature, and to prove his superior hunting skills. Rangers
spend their days in contemplation of nature, and tending
their animal companions.
The Athasian ranger is a wanderer who hunts down a
defiler to avenge himself for having his village destroyed,
or a mercenary hunter for both monsters and humanoid
creatures, or even a loner who simply prefers the
company of animals.
Notables
Tales of halfling snipers are among the common
Athasian legends. Any traveler to the Forest Ridge should
rightfully fear the cannibals that move without a sound
and strike without being seen. Thri‐kreen are fabled for
their rangers, as they are fast‐moving relentless natural
hunters, and their unarmed combat abilities become even
more deadly when applied to subduing a quarry.
Organizations
There is no organized ranger organization; you are
most likely to be a loner―or at best the leader of a group
of raiders or renegades―than you are to gather with other
rangers.
Often merchant houses are eager to employ you as a
caravan guide through the most dangerous trade routes,
or a city‐state’s templarate might hire you to provide a
safe path to a templar patrol.
NPC Reactions
Within a city‐state or large settlement, you find that
you are either ignored or regarded with some small
amount of curiosity. It is only after a city‐dweller find
himself outside the boundaries of his city‐state that he
truly appreciates you. Indeed, he holds you in the highest
of regards, knowing that you are all that stands between
him and a horrible death in the wastes.
Ranger Lore
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (nature) can
research rangers to learn more about them. When a
character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the
following, including the information from lower DCs.
DC 10: Only those assisted by a ranger can hope to
survive in the Athasian wilderness for long.
DC 15: Rangers move with ease through the harsh
terrains that others find dangerous or impassable. They
make of this aptitude to specialize in battling specific
creatures of the wild.
DC 20: As a ranger advances in knowledge and skill,
he grows more and more connected to the land, and
eventually manages to draw spells from it.

Ranger Class

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