I’m continuing on my quest to tweak pretty much all of the classes for my little homebrewed rules hack, YARC aka Yet Another RetroClone. This week it’s the Ranger. This class has a pretty long history in D&D and it’s gone through lots of various little tweaks. Like the rest of changes I’ve made to other classes, this one is based on my own preferences.
I think we can all pretty much agree that the origin of the Ranger starts with Aragorn. Let’s face it. He’s a badass. I’m not even going to try to emulate the character. I’m running with the badass theme.
Another thing about me. I’m an Army Vet. So when I hear Ranger. That brings up the whole Army Ranger thing. And if you dig deep into Army history, there’s the Alamo Scouts. While not technically “Army Rangers” Still badasses.
And let’s face it. I would be remiss if I’m talking about badass rangers with mentioning….
So let’s start making this class. There was a discussion on MeWe a while ago about Assassins in essence being played as Urban Rangers. Hmm. Good point. So let’s start there. Ranger Vs Assassin. There is some skill overlap in things like Stealth and perhaps general athletic ability. The Ranger is going to have the trickery/skullduggery type abilities. Rangers are might Fighter than Thief/Assassin. So, The Ranger should be better at fighting. So Fighter attack progression. A Ranger should be tougher than Assassins as well. But not quite as tough as Fighter. I mean the Fighter does have to have something special. For that, I’m looking at the original Ranger. SO 2HD at First Level but I’m down grading it a D6. Now what about damage? Old Rangers got a huge bonus against orcs, goblins, giants, and so on. Later editions gave Rangers “favored enemies”. Both of these gave bonuses that depended heavily on the campaign. So I’ll opt for something that’s a bit usable all the time but not too overpowered (I hope).
The original Ranger also had access to spells. This would good but didn’t kick in till much higher levels. In later editions, the Ranger had their own spell list. Which is kind of cool for those editions but not this. I’m trying to stick to old-school feel so no extra spell list. But I want something that’s a little bit less than casting spells at high level and I want it be useful.
Hit Dice: D6 (2 HD at 1st Level)
Attack Progression and Saving Throw: Per the Normal Swords & Wizardry Rules.
Hit ’em Hard: When a Ranger hits with an attack, the target attempts a Saving Throw. If the rolled failed then the Ranger does an extra d4 damage.
A Little Magic: Rangers may use cleric and magic-user spell scrolls of 2nd level and lower.
Skills: +2 in Instinct or Survival, gain +1 in the other. Also, +1 to Athletics and Stealth.
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2 thoughts on “YARC: The Ranger”
I really like what you’re doing with YARC. You’re walking a very similar path to my own ideas, but in many cases you’re several steps ahead of me 😉
Thanks. It’s very much a work in progress.