Ranger Magic

Carrying on from Brian’s post on the RMu ranger it seemed fairly accepted that the way to make the Ranger stand out was through magic. I firmly agree with this. I played in a game a few years back where I had a thief character with a pretty hefty In stat bonus. I tossed 12DP into an open channeling spell list and just let it ride each level until I managed to get the list with just the one rank. The GM let us add stat bonuses to the spell gain roll so it was almost inevitable that eventually, I would get the list. Once I did get the list I put 12DP into a second list. During our adventures I had picked up a x2 Channeling multiplier which no one else could use. Being limited to 1st – 5th level spells plus quite good natural PPs/level (2 I think it was) and x2 from the item it didn’t take long for me to have so many power points that I effectively never ran out. Being a thief by profession my main emphasis was not a spell caster but being able to heal concussion hits was useful as was light’s ways.

The GM did individual experience and the more active you were in the session the more EXP you got. This lead to the mage and I being two levels higher than the rest of the party when they reached 10th and I was 23rd level before the fighter reached 20th. By that time I had 5 spell lists.

Almost everyone in the party thought I was a ranger. I played the character as a scout rather than an actual thief and that made me quite outdoorsy and then with magic on top the natural conclusion was that I was a ranger.

In my last four or five levels I actually learned transcend armour and plate AT17 and started masquerading as a Paladin using much the same technique. Platemail fighter type that lays on hands, a bit of an Aura spell here and there, but that is another story.

The point is that the thing that made the character stand out amongst his peers, and made people think he was a Ranger was the magic.

Image via Wizards of the Coast Magic: The Gathering

It was suggested that the Ranger could be an Essence semi, or a Mentalism semi profession. Part of the problem is that we each have very different ideas of what a Ranger actually is. Is it Aragorn, Robin Hood or Lawrence of Arabia? Primarily an archer or are they a commando built for stealth and up close hand to hand fighting?

If we start to make wood/forest/tree type spells for the profession do we cripple it for desert or nautical settings?

Does swapping the realm take away as much as it solves?

I was flicking through Companion One looking for some inspiration and I lighted upon the Arcane lists. Just using the small selection of arcane lists in RoCoI they would make a great ranger. The only one that is potentially borderline is Mana Fires but even then I can see a ranger being the one that instinctively saves people by using fire to drive away wild beasts.

Could the fact that the Ranger seems to be a natural fit for every realm not point to the solution that they are naturally every realm?

I would be very inclined to allow a Ranger to swap out one or even two of the RAW Ranger base lists with one or two of the RoCoI Arcane lists and treat them as if they were Channeling lists for casting restrictions. The enforced choice also means that we would get some very different Ranger builds.

Take a look and see what you think of an Arcane-ish Ranger. Would you want to play it?

6 thoughts on “Ranger Magic”

  1. I thought I submitted a comment, but don’t see it now, so I am retyping it:

    I think it was my post on the Ranger you are referring to at the beginning of this post (though I am glad to have Brian back!). But that does bring up something: sometime last year, this Blog stopped displaying the author’s name on the front page beside/below the article title. This means I can’t tell who wrote the article until I click on it. Is there a way to change that back? Or have I done something on my end?

    Anyhoo, you make a good point about the Ranger fitting into any of the three realms. It fits in Channeling due to the history of the class, but I’ve never seen the Ranger as essentially tied to worshipping any God, much less an anthropomorphic one. I like to see him more as a hippie, nature-lover. He could fit into Essence if you see Essence magic as kind of like Force powers from Star Wars: manipulating the fabric of creation that is all around us. But I actually like the idea of a Mentalism Ranger who relies on his own skill, wits, and mental powers. As for an Arcane Ranger, you could call him a Guardian (e.g. of a magical place), and I think that would be cool.

    1. It was your post, I am terribly sorry!
      Good post though.
      When the creator of the forum theme removed the author tag I had to edit the files to put it back on. Every time they release an update to the theme the author tag disappears again. In the end I just stopped fighting it. It is nothing you did at your end.

  2. For me Rangers are archetypical Celtic Elves and Humans who wannabe Elves, a bit of Robin Hood (but the more weird warder of the land interpretations), so Channelling’s fine: self-buffing, wilderness warriors, maybe needs an illusion and mind-control list to go full mythic Elf, but directed spells are unlike them.

    The arcane archer thing is a little weird to me, but it’s popular from some fiction; Summer becomes a magic archer in Rick & Morty S4E4, Claw & Hoarder, and the new She-Ra apparently. D&D always gave both Magic-User & Cleric spells to Rangers, which seemed like double-dipping.

    To make an Arcane Archer profession, that could just take Monk lists, plus some mediocre elemental list like Warrior Mage’s Elemental Ways from RoCo2 and say they all have to be cast with a bow & arrow ready.

    The Arcane lists relating to Earthnodes might be reasonable for either kind of Ranger/Arcane Archer, but I’d be wary of letting them have them cheap or any of the non-Earthnode lists. Maybe Rangers are like amateur Navigators, but they’re not the real thing…

      1. I saw that last post, but it’s pretty far from how I’ve always used RM; dungeon crawls and melees are a suicidally dangerous thing you do in desperation, to fight a “final boss”/mastermind/demonic incursion or whatever, not where you live.

        Out in the woods or in urban environments, archery is a killer; picking off enemies before they can reach your shield wall (mostly mercenaries or summons; few PCs want to risk their lives up there until they’re very heroic-level), rooftop or treetop ambushes, and the like. A lot of problems go away when you pincushion them with a couple arrows a round. And as Referee, I apply that same principle: Anything that can use missiles should do that first.

        Vog Mur’s a good classic example, the islands are mostly open terrain; there’s 1 dungeon and the fortress, which a direct assault is death. Some sniper action can thin that garrison down to a reasonable number, though they can shoot back. Stealth will get you thru to the actual dungeon and treasure without fighting everyone.

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