Image used by permission of Yama Orce.
For those who relish the thrill of the hunt, there are only predators and prey. Be they scouts, trackers, or bounty hunters, rangers share much in common: unique mastery of specialized weapons, skill at stalking even the most elusive game, and the expertise to defeat a wide range of quarries. Knowledgeable, patient, and skilled hunters, these rangers hound man, beast, and monster alike, gaining insight into the way of the predator, skill in varied environments, and ever more lethal martial prowess. While some track man-eating creatures to protect the frontier, others pursue more cunning game—even fugitives among their own people.
Role: Ranger are deft skirmishers, either in melee or at range, capable of skillfully dancing in and out of battle. Their abilities allow them to deal significant harm to specific types of foes, but their skills are valuable against all manner of enemies.
Hit Die: d10
Starting Wealth: 5d6 × 10 gp (average 175 gp.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.
The ranger's class skills are Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (geography) (Int), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Stealth (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).
Skill Ranks per Level: 6 + Int modifier.
All of the following are class features of the ranger.
Favored Enemy (Ex)
At 1st level, a ranger selects a creature type from the ranger favored enemies table. He gains a +2 bonus on Bluff, Knowledge, Perception, Sense Motive, and Survival checks against creatures of his selected type. Likewise, he gets a +2 bonus on weapon attack and damage rolls against them. A ranger may make Knowledge skill checks untrained when attempting to identify these creatures.
At 5th level and every five levels thereafter (10th, 15th, and 20th level), the ranger may select an additional favored enemy. In addition, at each such interval, the bonus against any one favored enemy (including the one just selected, if so desired) increases by +2.
If the ranger chooses humanoids or outsiders as a favored enemy, he must also choose an associated subtype, as indicated on the table below. (Note that there are other types of humanoid to choose from—those called out specifically on the table below are merely the most common.) If a specific creature falls into more than one category of favored enemy, the ranger's bonuses do not stack; he simply uses whichever bonus is higher.
Wild Empathy (Ex)
A ranger can improve the initial attitude of an animal. This ability functions just like a Diplomacy check to improve the attitude of a person (see Using Skills). The ranger rolls 1d20 and adds his ranger level and his Charisma bonus to determine the wild empathy check result. The typical domestic animal has a starting attitude of indifferent, while wild animals are usually unfriendly.
To use wild empathy, the ranger and the animal must be within 30 feet of one another under normal visibility conditions. Generally, influencing an animal in this way takes 1 minute, but, as with influencing people, it might take more or less time.
Combat Style Feat (Ex)
At 2nd level, a ranger must select one combat style to pursue. The choices depend on if the Advanced Player's Guide is being used.
The ranger's expertise manifests in the form of bonus feats at 2nd, 6th, 10th, 14th, and 18th level. He can choose feats from his selected combat style, even if he does not have the normal prerequisites.
The benefits of the ranger's chosen style feats apply only when he wears light, medium, or no armor. He loses all benefits of his combat style feats when wearing heavy armor. Once a ranger selects a combat style, it cannot be changed.
Combat Style Options
If the ranger selects archery style, he can choose from the following list whenever he gains a combat style feat:
If the Ranger selects crossbow style, he can choose from the following list whenever he gains a combat style feat:
If the Ranger selects mounted combat style, he can choose from the following list whenever he gains a combat style feat:
If the Ranger selects natural weapon style, he can choose from the following list whenever he gains a combat style feat:
If the Ranger selects two-handed weapon style, he can choose from the following list whenever he gains a combat style feat:
If the ranger selects two-weapon combat style, he can choose from the following list whenever he gains a combat style feat:
If the Ranger selects weapon and shield style, he can choose from the following list whenever he gains a combat style feat:
A ranger gains Endurance as a bonus feat at 3rd level.
Favored Terrain (Ex)
At 3rd level, a ranger may select a type of terrain from Table: Ranger Favored Terrains. The ranger gains a +2 bonus on initiative checks and Knowledge (geography), Perception, Stealth, and Survival skill checks when he is in this terrain. A ranger traveling through his favored terrain normally leaves no trail and cannot be tracked (though he may leave a trail if he so chooses).
At 8th level and every five levels thereafter, the ranger may select an additional favored terrain. In addition, at each such interval, the skill bonus and initiative bonus in any one favored terrain (including the one just selected, if so desired), increases by +2.
If a specific terrain falls into more than one category of favored terrain, the ranger's bonuses do not stack; he simply uses whichever bonus is higher.
Hunter's Bond (Ex)
At 4th level, a ranger forms a bond with his hunting companions. This bond can take one of two forms. Once the form is chosen, it cannot be changed. The first is a bond to his companions. This bond allows him to spend a move action to grant half his favored enemy bonus against a single target of the appropriate type to all allies within 30 feet who can see or hear him. This bonus lasts for a number of rounds equal to the ranger's Wisdom modifier (minimum 1). This bonus does not stack with any favored enemy bonuses possessed by his allies; they use whichever bonus is higher.
The second option is to form a close bond with an animal companion. A ranger who selects an animal companion can choose from the following list: badger, bird, camel, cat (small), dire rat, dog, horse, pony, snake (viper or constrictor), or wolf. If the campaign takes place wholly or partly in an aquatic environment, the ranger may choose a shark instead. This animal is a loyal companion that accompanies the ranger on his adventures as appropriate for its kind. A ranger's animal companion shares his favored enemy and favored terrain bonuses.
FYI There are feats intended for animals. Here are a few:
Beginning at 4th level, a ranger gains the ability to cast a small number of divine spells, which are drawn from the ranger spell list. A ranger must choose and prepare his spells in advance.
To prepare or cast a spell, a ranger must have a Wisdom score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a ranger's spell is 10 + the spell level + the ranger's Wisdom modifier.
Like other spellcasters, a ranger can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on Table: Ranger. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Wisdom score (see Table: Ability Modifiers and Bonus Spells). When Table: Ranger indicates that the ranger gets 0 spells per day of a given spell level, he gains only the bonus spells he would be entitled to based on his Wisdom score for that spell level.
A ranger must spend 1 hour per day in quiet meditation to regain his daily allotment of spells. A ranger may prepare and cast any spell on the ranger spell list, provided that he can cast spells of that level, but he must choose which spells to prepare during his daily meditation.
Woodland Stride (Ex)
Starting at 7th level, a ranger may move through any sort of undergrowth (such as natural thorns, briars, overgrown areas, and similar terrain) at his normal speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment.
Thorns, briars, and overgrown areas that are enchanted or magically manipulated to impede motion, however, still affect him.
Swift Tracker (Ex)
Beginning at 8th level, a ranger can move at his normal speed while using Survival to follow tracks without taking the normal –5 penalty. He takes only a –10 penalty (instead of the normal –20) when moving at up to twice normal speed while tracking.
When he reaches 9th level, a ranger can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If he makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, he instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the ranger is wearing light armor, medium armor, or no armor. A helpless ranger does not gain the benefit of evasion.
At 11th level, a ranger can, as a standard action, denote one target within his line of sight as his quarry. Whenever he is following the tracks of his quarry, a ranger can take 10 on his Survival skill checks while moving at normal speed, without penalty. In addition, he receives a +2 insight bonus on attack rolls made against his quarry, and all critical threats are automatically confirmed. A ranger can have no more than one quarry at a time and the creature's type must correspond to one of his favored enemy types. He can dismiss this effect at any time as a free action, but he cannot select a new quarry for 24 hours. If the ranger sees proof that his quarry is dead, he can select a new quarry after waiting 1 hour.
Improved Evasion (Ex)
At 16th level, a ranger's evasion improves. This ability works like evasion, except that while the ranger still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks, he henceforth takes only half damage on a failed save. A helpless ranger does not gain the benefit of improved evasion.
Hide in Plain Sight (Ex)
While in any of his favored terrains, a ranger of 17th level or higher can use the Stealth skill even while being observed.
Improved Quarry (Ex)
At 19th level, the ranger's ability to hunt his quarry improves. He can now select a quarry as a free action, and can now take 20 while using Survival to track his quarry, while moving at normal speed without penalty. His insight bonus to attack his quarry increases to +4. If his quarry is killed or dismissed, he can select a new one after 10 minutes have passed.
Master Hunter (Ex)
A ranger of 20th level becomes a master hunter. He can always move at full speed while using Survival to follow tracks without penalty. He can, as a standard action, make a single attack against a favored enemy at his full attack bonus. If the attack hits, the target takes damage normally and must make a Fortitude save or die. The DC of this save is equal to 10 + 1/2 the ranger's level + the ranger's Wisdom modifier. A ranger can choose instead to deal an amount of nonlethal damage equal to the creature's current hit points. A successful save negates this damage. A ranger can use this ability once per day against each favored enemy type he possesses, but not against the same creature more than once in a 24-hour period.
Instead of receiving an additional skill rank or hit point whenever they gain a level in a Favored Class, some races have the option of choosing from a number of other bonuses, depending upon their Favored Classes. The following options are available to the listed race who have rangers as their Favored Class, and unless otherwise stated, the bonus applies each time you select the listed Favored Class reward.
When a character selects a class, he must choose to use the standard class features found or those listed in one of the archetypes presented here. Each alternate class feature replaces a specific class feature from its parent class. For example, the elemental fist class feature of the monk of the four winds replaces the stunning fist class feature of the monk. When an archetype includes multiple class features, a character must take all of them—often blocking the character from ever gaining certain familiar class features, but replacing them with equally powerful options. All of the other class features found in the core class and not mentioned among the alternate class features remain unchanged and are acquired normally when the character reaches the appropriate level (unless noted otherwise). A character who takes an alternate class feature does not count as having the class feature that was replaced when meeting any requirements or prerequisites.
A character can take more than one archetype and garner additional alternate class features, but none of the alternate class features can replace or alter the same class feature from the core class as another alternate class feature. For example, a paladin could not be both a hospitaler and an undead scourge since they both modify the smite evil class feature and both replace the aura of justice class feature. A paladin could, however, be both an undead scourge and a warrior of the holy light, since none of their new class features replace the same core class feature.
Archetypes are a quick and easy way to specialize characters of a given class, adding fun and flavorful new abilities to already established adventurers. Characters may take more than one archetype if they meet the requirements.