Ranger

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NWN Requirements

  • None

Arelith Changes

Rangers in Arelith receive a greater array of abilities and perks. Below are the additions:

Feats and Abilities

  • At level 4, receives Defensive Dual Wielding
    • This increases their AC when dual wielding (or wielding a double-sided weapon) by 1, and increases by 1 every 8 levels afterward
  • At level 5, first Studied Enemy
  • At level 7, Woodland Stride feat.
  • At level 8, Uncanny Dodge I feat.
  • At level 9, Evasion feat.
  • At level 16, they gain Hide in Plain Sight in "natural" areas. The ranger receives a message upon entering these areas.

Other Features

  • Rangers no longer need to choose a nature deity to cast spells on Arelith.
  • Skillpoints per level increased to 6.
    • They gain the skillpoints after taking the level, so they get to actually use the extra 2 that they get the next level. This is due to a mechanical limitation of the engine.
  • Rangers count toward one of the required classes to become Arcane archers. They still need to fill the other requirements (feats and race).
  • Characters with at least 3/4 of their character levels as Ranger will convert animals dominated through the use of Animal Empathy into henchmen. This allows a Ranger to have up to three followers (2 animal-henchmen gained through Animal Empathy and 1 animal companion gained from Ranger-Class bonus). Like the class-feature animal companions, and animal-henchmen will not be released upon resting.
  • Tracks - By using the "-tracks" command, a ranger can detect enemies in the area, and assess the balance of a NPC population.
  • At class level 3, a ranger can also use tracks (footprints) near area transitions in natural areas to determine certain details about PCs who have recently traveled through. Search and Spot do not improve this.
  • Spell changes, or Organized Spell Changes.
  • Bonus Language: Animal Language
  • Animal Companion

Studied Enemies

  • Rangers may now accrue Studied Enemies, expanding on their roster of Favored Enemy races. This bonus does not stack with favored enemies.
  • Rangers receive one Studied Enemy slot for every 5 class levels.
  • To choose a race as a Studied Enemy, a ranger must first exhaustively examine the weaknesses of that race by slaying a hundred examples of it. Presently, only PvE kills are counted.
  • Once this step is complete, a Ranger can designate a race as a Studied Enemy by using the console command '-ranger study <race name>.'
  • Currently, this designation is permanent. Choose carefully.

Archer

Rangers on Arelith can choose the Archer path at character creation.

They gain:

  • Level 1: Rapid Reload
  • Level 1: Rapid Shot
  • Level 1: Point Blank Shot
  • Level 9: Called Shot
  • Craft Ammunition ability: Once per day, a ranger may create a bundle of projectiles for the weapon they have specialized in (bow, crossbow, sling, thrown weapons). The quality of the projectiles escalates with the ranger's level.
    • Level 1: Iron
    • Level 5: Steel
    • Level 10: Damask
  • Bonus Ranger damage: +2 at class level 4 and an additional +2 after every 8 class levels. (+ 2/4/6/8 at ranger levels 4/12/20/28).

They lose:

  • Dual Wield
  • Improved Two-Weapon Fighting
  • Dual-wield AC bonus

Totem Ranger

While not strictly a path, rangers have their own version of the totem-pact of the druids. Finding the same NPCs as the druids, they can take on a favored animal to bind themselves, but they will not receive any of the mechanical bonuses or penalties, nor will they be able to use the -polymorph command. The only change that they will experience is that (nearly) all their summons will take the form of their totem animal.

A ranger that later multiclasses as druid will be able to -polymorph, but will never receive any of the other bonuses or penalties. Also, the -polymorph will only use the druid levels for determining the power of the shape, ignoring the ranger levels.

The bargain is permanent. Once taken, it cannot be undone or changed.

Rangers can now select totem at the character creation menu.

Spells and Deity

While many rangers follow a nature deity, they are no longer required to do so to cast spells.

See below for a list of nature deities.

Roleplay Tips

Rangers are hunters with an affinity for the world around them. Two things should be noted to be true here: Hunters. And “Affinity for the world”.

Origins of Rangers

Rangers are possibly one of the newest classes to appear in the Realms. This may be counter-intuitive, as it would seem that characters with an affinity for their environment would be something that could be produced in any circumstance, but this is not so. Rangers fulfill a very specific function in their world, one that frequently had to be filled by a particularly canny rogue, fighter or druid in the past. Rangers, therein, evolved to fill this particularly empty role, adopting traits of all those classes and creating their own unique skillset. The single most important aspect of someone becoming a ranger is living in and adapting to a particular environment. Stereotypically this is a forest or other natural area: mountains, swamps, open plains. Anything you’d tap for mana. But it can also be a particular city, system of caves or something completely unexpected, like a stretch of the planes. A ranger must, simply must, have lived in the area they most associate themselves with. One cannot study their way into the ranger’s discipline. Read all the books on tracking you want: you’re still going to have no idea how to do it properly. After living in this area enough, they will begin to be what a ranger is.

Being a Ranger

A ranger is the ultimate local. One must remember that like all adventurers, rangers are not common. A given tract of land is not entitled to have a ranger watching over it, but may consider itself blessed if it does. If that tract of land does manage to produce a ranger, though, functionally every living thing on the land will be aware of, or completely ignorant of the ranger’s existence, at that ranger’s discretion. A ranger knows their land, in a way that only a ranger can. They know when things get sick and die, as well as when they flourish. They know the natives, speak their languages, know where they sleep, eat and sometimes more about their mannerisms than the natives do themselves. If need be, the Ranger knows how to track, corner, intimidate, coerce, bribe, lure, trick and avoid the natives as well. the ranger’s base of power is in their home. To creatures in that environment, he is a nigh-omniscient force. And nobody in their right mind would attempt to confront a ranger in their home territory. The Ranger knows where the pitfalls are, how to lose someone, how to catch someone, and how to lure someone. The actual application of this skill set is entirely up to the morality of the ranger, but there is one particular goal that they share almost universally.

Rangers want to preserve their home. This could be considered several different ways. For a Good ranger it would be preservation of the life worth preserving in that home. For an Evil ranger it may be simply ensuring their dominance over that section of the world. Once their home is changed, trees burned, houses burned, mountains leveled or stripped of life: all that Ranger’s life work goes with it. Their skills become useless in the alien place they find themselves. A ranger will not let this happen. How this happens is again, up to the ranger’s morality.


Rangers are Hunters?

This is just as fair to say as “rogues are assassins”. Sure, they may not all actively use those skills they have, but they’re there, always lingering on the edges of their consciousness. Like the “Sneak Attack” feat, the “Favored Enemy” feat is a horrifying concept in the reality of the Realms. That means that a single individual out in the world has put more thought than any other member of his species into the death of your species, or even any other species. They know perhaps more than you do about how you move and think, and how to best kill you. Just look at the bonuses given:

Bluff: The Ranger knows how to lie to you.
Listen: He may hear you when you are trying to be quiet.
Sense Motive: He knows when you lie.
Spot: You cannot hide from him.
Survival: You cannot flee from him without being tracked.
Damage Bonus: He knows how to kill you.

Certainly, it may not be your race the ranger knows how to slay, but the sheer realization that these people devote some quantity of their lives to an obsession with what is functionally the inevitable death of another race makes them terrifying combatants. One must also recognize that rangers are natural combatants nearly on par with the Fighter. Perhaps not with the fighter’s versatility and brutal efficiency, but coupled with their class abilities and plethora of skills, rangers are more than a match, provided not in a straight fight.

Morality

We should discuss briefly, the ranger’s morality. They are often typecast as selflessly leading native forces or standing alone against the threat of an invading or unnatural force. I’m actually not going to argue that rangers don’t do that. I’d say that any ranger would do that regardless of their alignment, but their reasons behind it could be infinite. As they stand in that pass, hide in that pass or lie behind a bush with a thin wire in their mouth, prepared to trigger a rockslide, one must give consideration to whether killing the onrushing orcs is a selfless act. In combat, rangers are often completely indistinguishable from one another. How they actually live their day to day lives in their territory is often the greatest indication of a ranger’s morality. The one that speaks with the natives, helps them with their problems, overtly or subtly, and in general tries to protect and preserve sentient species passing through their realm is most likely a ‘good’ ranger. An evil ranger can be a thousand things, just as the good ranger can differ greatly in personality. They could be an absolute ruler of their territory, someone to whom the natives pay tithes and taxes in exchange for protection. The ranger may be changing the place they live in to better suit themselves, or some idea of an ideal home. They may have given themselves over to the cause of another, whom they believe has a better idea of what the land requires.

Wanderlust

It stands to reason that actively adventuring rangers are not always in their home territory. The ranger skill set works in almost any environment that they have exposure to and practice in, so some rangers take to travel. Abandoning the benefits of complete affinity with a given locale, these rangers instead are the ultimate adaptors, capable of taking their universal understanding of the world and applying it to any unexpected situation. These individuals often spend great amounts of time observing locals, often the best source of information, or attempting to explore their environment through experimentation. They are difficult to catch off guard, and eternally wary of things they have no experience with, leading to the ranger’s well-deserved stereotype as a ‘loner’. They often have difficulty relating to people whom they don’t know well, out of this trepidation. Alternatively, a ranger may be over-energetic around new people, having so little social experience that they come off as overwhelming or too friendly, speaking to gather new experience with a culture, to adapt it into their ‘domain’, as it were.

Animal Companions

Rangers’ animal companions are completely normal animals. These are animals that the ranger has managed to, through a variety of perfectly normal animal-training methods, gain some measure of control over. Whether the animal is always present, capable or even loyal is entirely up to the animal. The beast most commonly believes itself to be ‘using’ the ranger for food, or has been intimidated into a semblance of loyalty. It should be stressed that unlike the druid’s animal companion, the ranger’s animal companion has no way of being ‘awakened’ and becoming sentient. They do not contemplate their actions, they have minimal intelligence and absolutely no introspective logical thought. The ranger may appreciate, abuse, shelter, ignore or aid their companion based on their relationship with it. Though the average Ranger may go through a dozen companions in a single campaign, due to Neverwinter Nights mechanics, your companion will seem to inexplicably ‘reappear’ at several points. We’ve made the executive decision to chalk that up to ‘playing dead’, or ‘retreating’ on the part of the companion.

It should be a given, from this, that rangers have a great range, as all classes do, in their personalities and interests. The only way one can possibly go wrong with a ranger is to have one that comes off as completely ignorant of their environment, and incompetent in a new situation.

Complete Nature Deity List

Aerdrie Faenya (Elven pantheon), Angharradh (Elven pantheon), Anhur (Mulhorandi pantheon), Auril, Baervan Wildwanderer (Gnome pantheon), Chauntea, Deep Sashelas (Elven pantheon), Eldath, Fenmarel Mestarine (Elven pantheon), Gwaeron Windstrom (patron of rangers of the North; serves to Mielikki), Hiatea (monster deity), Isis (Mulhorandi pantheon), Lurue, Malar, Mielikki, Nobanion, Osiris (Mulhorandi pantheon), Rillifane Rallathil (Elven pantheon), Sebek (Mulhorandi pantheon), Segojan Earthcaller (Gnome pantheon), Sekolah (monster deity), Sheela Peryroyl (Halfling pantheon), Shiallia (serves to Mielikki), Silvanus, Solonor Thelandira (Elven pantheon), Stronmaus (monster deity), Talona, Talos, Thard Harr (Dwarven pantheon; wild dwarves), Ubtao, Ulutiu, Umberlee

(Page 90 of FR Faiths and Pantheons)

However, not all of those deities are considered nature deities in Arelith's deity system. Here is a list of the Deities that are considered Nature deities in Arelith. Confirmed Nature Deity List

External Links

Animal companions on NWNWiki
Favored enemy on NWNWiki
Information about default NWN class is available on NWNWiki.