This Archetype/Class is commonly found in associated settings. A setting may implement this with changes that align with the setting’s properties – including the title by which it is known. GMs and Players may customize as needed.
Primary Setting Types: Fantasy
Associated Ideas: Nature, outdoors, loner/outsider (at least initially), anima, tracking, hunting, observing
Primary Aptitude: Divine 1 (minimum)
Secondary Aptitude: Kinetic 1 (minimum)
Additional Essence: 2 (one for each oath).
Rangers, ‘those who range‘, are characters that seek their fulfillment through experiences of wild context, natural places, travel, and the activity of beasts and animals. They combine the ideas of Druids and Warriors pathways. The sacred mystical bond of a Ranger to the natural creatures and places of the world is what differentiates them from a warrior well-versed in survival and scouting outdoors. They assist in creating a safe barrier and a resource for the civilized to access in regards to the knowledge of predators and use of natural resources. They commune with the flora and fauna of the happenings which are likely to affect them, and travel far and wide to do this (unlike druids generally). They are always one the move, with their senses open, and trying to make sure both civilized folk and the natural creatures are aware of immediate things that may threaten or help them.
A Ranger can come from any gender or race, unless prohibited by setting or GM. They will, growing up, typically have spent a lot of time outdoors and felt a kinship with the beasts who have freedom of the open spaces and the community of natural locales wherein many species of plant and animal live together, and often symbiotically. They will feel a deep draw, an uncontrolled urge to connect more and have a stake in the natural world around them. Rangers will either find (or be found by) a Druid who will guide them, or lose themselves in a wild place; Either way, they will make their “Green Passage”. They will spend a great deal of time, sometimes years or more, experiencing the wild places, communing with nature and the soul/essence of the world they are on, binding themselves to it in heart and mind. They temper their bodies and minds in extreme privation of sustenance, weather, and company. Their senses will become acute in strange ways, ‘feeling’ the world around them like previously unimaginable. They learn the ways of fighting, like the predators they observe and will mimic. They will learn to see the natural order in things, keenly aware of the cycle of life.
Although their Green Passage takes them from civilization and makes them feel like outsiders and loners initially, they often acclimate over time. Learning their role as a communicator between nature and civilized folk exposes them to many cultures and diverse customs and people. Rangers range far and wide to cover everything around them, like the wind and rain. Traveling and remaining constantly vigilant for unnatural threats, disasters, calamities, and violence take their toll though. They have a hard time forming closer bonds, though collaborating with a group to achieve goals becomes easy enough. A ranger will never take up a cause that conflicts with their bonds to the world. When presented with the choice between siding between the needs of the natural environment and the constructs of civilization, nature will always win. A ranger will always feel more comfortable and safe sleeping and foraging in the outdoors over civilized means. They are rarely evil or malicious (unless righting a great wrong against Nature), eschewing codes of conduct which dictate specific values or outlooks that conflict with their primary connection of protecting the land.
Unabating Hatred of the Undead: The undead have broken the cycle of life, and are unnatural in their very existence. Every effort must be made to remove this blight, or at least to ensure it does not spread. Those willingly made this way who cannot be redeemed must be destroyed. The Ranger is the ‘natural predator’, ordained by nature itself, to discover the means to accomplish this. Animations are just obscene magic, repulsive but not an interruption of the natural cycles/passage; even the dead in nature have a purpose to aid the living – just usually as food.
Return to Nature: A Ranger must make Offerings to reinforce the enhanced benefits of their bond through the Green Passage. Offerings can be accomplished in many ways:
A Ranger’s Roles: For those living amidst the wilderness or traveling through it, they can be very valuable – providing safe exploration, safe hunting, and safe traveling. Rangers will befriend travelers, assisting with advice to stay safe and healthy, even traveling with them if need be. They carry word of disasters, wars and violence, unnatural disturbances, provide reconnaissance for and vehemently oppose (through advice and action) the over-exploitation of natural resources and pollution of natural places. Ignorance is met with education, meanness is met with sabotage and violence if need be. They are always bound to assist in communication between Druids and civilization when they can, and are a balance to the (often) narrow minded zealotry of the Druids in dealing with their perceived sleights. Ranger’s are always interested in hearing from ranchers and farmers on new ways of doing things, and spreading such knowledge (sometimes preventing it from being uttered near by the jealous or greedy) if it benefits (e.g. the knowledge of crop rotation, a local fungus being more effective at healing, easier source of water, etc.). For the natural places and creatures, they are the protectors against unnatural effects and entities seeking to assault or exploit them. They ensure the natural order is not disturbed, while recognizing that creatures, like humans, are driven by natural urges to seek to control and ‘civilize’ the areas around them.
Once the “Green Passage” is complete, the bond (a minor Green Temperament for them) with the land is secure. From that moment forward, as long as they are standing upon a natural feature/surface, they very land around them will support them and enhance their survival as long as the bond is adhered to. Some world souls are greater than others, and may grant additional capabilities. A ‘passage’ only applies to the world on which it was taken. A character can have an active bond with no more worlds than their Divine aptitude. They are not driven strictly by the precepts of law, chaos, good or evil. For the most part, they are benign and helpful, though gruff and aloof to most. Like Druids, they can seem enigmatic and inscrutable because their oaths take them away from civilized ways and outlooks. Rangers takes oaths to serve others and ask for little themselves, though often the world provides in some form or another.
While they do not take any official vow of poverty, they are travelers. They eschew wealth and property (unles as a refuge or set aside to remain wild), taking only what they need and helping others and safeguarding nature with the rest. They carry enough wealth for their dealings with the folk of the lands they range in that use such, but never enough to attract attention.
Speech of Snout and Leaf: The ability to communicate using Leafspeech – a subset of [Ut] Sylvan. A ranger will often befriend domesticated animals wherever he goes to get a consistent source of information as they travel from town to town.
Supported Footing: When making any checks to resist being knocked prone, check Initiative, move through difficult or unstable terrain
Safe Respite: The Ranger will be automatically alerted in their sleep if some natural flora or fauna is about to attack them, in anger or in self-defense. This includes flash floods or unstable ground. They will always have a chance for themselves to avoid the worst outcome, though it does not affect others or provide much time for warning.
Warm Reception: Food, rest, shelter – all these things are likely to be provided in exchange for information and the safety of their company. Rangers prefer the common folk though, as the intrigue and deceptions of politics often lead to information distorted and/or incorrect. Some rangers actually develop skills at story-telling, nothing epic like a poet or rhymist may trade in, but to amuse and couch lessons for youngsters in.
Animus Sensitivity: If the world bond is a Primal Bond. Powerful Anima Fonts, anima manifestations, etc.