Thursday, January 19, 2012

B/X - Ranger

I got an email yesterday from Perdustin (of the excellent Thoul's Paradise blog) asking if I had a writeup for a B/X Ranger class.  Although I didn't have a B/X Ranger at the time, I decided it sounded like fun to write one up. 

So here is my take on the B/X Ranger.  I made them a bit more "outdoorsy" in nature, but still very capable in a dungeon.  I also completely changed their damage bonus, making it against animals instead of giant class due to their hunter nature.  Let me know what you think!  I think you'll see some things that are very similar to AD&D's ranger and other things that are unique to the GD&D ranger (that's "George D&D" for the uninitiated).

RANGER
Rangers are a subclass of fighter who are adept at outdoor survival, hunting and tracking. Rangers typically choose to live far from civilization, protecting the wild border areas.  As rangers accumulate wealth, they may opt to build fortified outposts from which to bedevil and bullyrag evil threats.  However, this is purely up to the player and is in no way proscribed.  As rangers gain very high status, they are taken under the wings of a powerful druid who will teach them to cast spells.
The prime requisites for a ranger are Wisdom and Constitution.  If a ranger has a score of 13 or greater in both Wisdom and Constitution, the character will gain a 5% bonus on earned experience points.  If both scores are 13 or higher and either one of them is 16 or higher, the character will gain a 10% bonus on earned experience points.  A character must have Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Constitution of 9 or greater to be a ranger.
When outdoors, rangers surprise opponents on a 1-3 and are only surprised on a 1.  Rangers have a 75% chance of tracking a target outdoors; 50% in a dungeon.  The DM may wish to modify this chance based upon unusual factors (passage of time more than 24 hours, precipitation, number of foes being tracked, etc).
At 7th level, rangers undergo a mystic initiation.  They are taken under the wings of a powerful druid (there is a fine B/X druid description in Barrataria Games' Companion Expansion) and schooled in the druidical arts, granting rangers the ability to cast druid spells and employ druid scrolls.
Rangers use d6 to determine their hit points, but receive two hit dice at 1st level!  They use the Dwarf experience point chart.  Rangers can use any weapon, but gain to-hit bonuses using “woodland weapons,” including the bow, spear and axe.  Rangers can wear leather armor or chain mail without penalty, but lose their tracking, surprise, and spellcasting abilities while wearing plate mail. 
Rangers also gain a damage bonus vs. all animals in combat due to their hunting mastery.  This includes giant animals such as giant lizards and spiders, but does not include magical animals such as manticores or basilisks.
Note: Rangers use the Fighter Saving Throw table.


Level
Title
XP
Hit Dice
To Hit Bonus – Woodland Weapons
Damage Bonus vs. Animals
1st Level Druid Spells
2nd Level Druid Spells
1
Woodsman
-
2d6
+1
+1
-
-
2
Scout
2,200
3d6


-
-
3
Huntsman
4,400
4d6

+2
-
-
4
Tracker
8,800
5d6


-
-
5
Strider
17,000
6d6

+3
-
-
6
Pioneer
35,000
7d6
+2

-
-
7
Pathfinder
70,000
8d6

+4
1
-
8
Ranger
140,000
9d6


2
-
9
Ranger Knight
270,000
10d6

+5
2
1
10
Ranger Lord
400,000
11d6
+3

2
2
11
Ranger Lord
530,000
11d6+2

+6
3
2
12
Ranger Lord
660,000
11d6+4


4
2

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting this!

    I like the 2d6 for starting hit points. I always thought that 2d8 was a little too powerful; 2d6 avoids this while still giving rangers an edge.

    The damage bonus vs animals makes much more sense than vs "giant class" humanoids.

    The idea of rangers casting magic user spells seemed strange to me. Rather than casting spells, I would like to think of rangers acquiring abilities that have the same effect as spells. Ideally, I would like for rangers to have a limited selection of spells, but not just magic-user spells. For instance, 1st level m-u spells 'analyze' and 'floating disc' don't seem appropriate for rangers; however, 1st level cleric spells like 'resist cold' do seem appropriate. Of course, if one is willing to use 'companion' rules, there are druidic spells.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Perdustin - no problem. I like doing this stuff! I'm glad you like the hit dice and bonus vs. animals.

    I totally agree about the druid spells instead of MU. I didn't do that before because I wasn't aware of any B/X druid descriptions. But you're correct, there is a good druid description in the Companion Expansion.

    I have now edited the post to reflect the change to druidical spells.

    ReplyDelete