Rough and wild looking, a dwarf stalks alone through the shadows of trees, hunting orcs he knows are planning a raid on a nearby farm. Clutching an axe in each hand, he becomes a whirlwind of steel, cutting down one enemy after another, with his trusted boar companion at his side. While together, nothing fazes the two and their resolve only strengths in face of adversity.
After tumbling away from a cone of fresh air, an elf finds her feet and draws back her bow to loose an arrow at the white dragon. Shrugging off the wave of fear that emanates from the dragon like the cold of its breath, she sends one arrow after another to find the gaps between the dragon’s thick scales.
Holding his hand high, a half-elf whistles to the hawk that circles high above him, calling the bird back to his side. Whispering instructions in Elvish, he points to the owl bear he’s been tracking and sense the hawk to distract the creature while he readies his blade.
Far from the bustle of the cities and towns, past the hedges that shelter the most distant farms from the terrors of the while, amid the dense-packed trees of trackless forests and across wide and empty plains, rangers keep their unending watch.
Warriors of the wilderness, rangers specialize in hunting the monsters that threaten the edges of civilization – humanoid raiders, rampaging beasts, creeping monstrosities, terrible giants, and deadly dragons. They learn to track their quarry as a predator does, moving stealthily through the wilds and hiding themselves in brush and rubble. Rangers focus their combat training on techniques that are useful against any foe they may encounter in the wilderness.
Thanks to their familiarity with the wilds, rangers acquire the ability to cast spells that harness nature’s power, much as a druid does. Their spells, like their combat abilities, emphasize speed, stealth, and the hunt. A ranger’s talents and abilities are honed with deadly focus on the grim task of protecting the borderlands.
Though a ranger might make a living as a hunter, a guide, or a tracker, a ranger’s true calling is to defend the outskirts of civilization from the ravages of monsters and humanoid hordes that press in from the wild. In some places, rangers gather in secretive orders or join forces with druidic circles. Many rangers, though, are independent almost to a fault, knowing that, when a dragon or a band of orcs attacks, a ranger might be the first—and possibly last—line of defense.
This fierce independence makes rangers well suited to adventuring, since they are accustomed to life far from the comforts of a dry bed and a hot bath. Faced with city-bred adventurers whose grouse and whine about the hardships of the wild, rangers respond with some mixture of amusement, frustration, and compassion. But they quickly learn that other adventurers who can carry their own weight in a fight against civilization’s foes are worth any extra burden. Coddled city folk might not know how to feed themselves or find fresh water in the wild , but they make up for it in other ways.
|Level||Proficiency Bonus||Features||Spells Known||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||5th|
|1st||+2||Favored Enemy, Natural Explorer||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2nd||+2||Fighting Style, Spellcasting||2||2||—||—||—||—|
|3rd||+2||Primeval Awareness, Ranger Conclave||3||3||—||—||—||—|
|4th||+2||Ability Score Improvement||3||3||—||—||—||—|
|5th||+3||Ranger Conclave Feature||4||4||2||—||—||—|
|6th||+3||Greater Favored Enemy, Natural Explorer Improvements||4||4||2||—||—||—|
|7th||+3||Ranger Conclave Feature||5||4||3||—||—||—|
|8th||+3||Ability Score Improvement||5||4||3||—||—||—|
|10th||+4||Hide in Plain Sight, Natural Explorer Improvements||6||4||3||2||—||—|
|11th||+4||Ranger Conclave Feature||7||4||3||3||—||—|
|12th||+4||Ability Score Improvement||7||4||3||3||—||—|
|15th||+5||Ranger Conclave Feature||9||4||3||3||2||—|
|16th||+5||Ability Score Improvement||9||4||3||3||2||—|
|19th||+6||Ability Score Improvement||11||4||3||3||3||2|
Creating a Ranger
As you create your ranger character, consider the nature of the training that gave you your particular capabilities. Did you train with a single mentor, wandering the wilds together until you mastered the ranger’s ways? Did you leave your apprenticeship, or was your mentor slain? Or perhaps you learned your skills as a part of a band of rangers affiliated with a druidic circle, trained in mystic paths as well as wilderness lore. You might be self-taught, a recluse who learned combat skills, tracking, and even a magical connection to nature through the necessity of surviving in the wilds.
Is your adventuring career a continuation of your work in protecting the borderlands? What made you join up with a band of adventurers? Do you find it challenging to teach new allies the ways of the wild, or do you welcome the relief from solitude that they offer?
You can make a ranger quickly by following these suggestions. First, make Dexterity your highest ability score, followed by Wisdom. (Some rangers who focus on two-weapon fighting make Strength higher than Dexterity.) Second, choose the outlander background.
- Hit Dice: 1d10 per ranger level
- Hit Points at 1st Level: 10 + your Constitution modifier.
- Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d10 (or 6) + your Constitution modifier per ranger level after 1st
- Armor: Light armor, medium armor, shields
- Weapons: Simple weapons, martial weapons
- Saving Throws: Strength, Dexterity
- Skills: Choose three from Animal Handling, Athletics, Insight, Investigation, Nature, Perception, Stealth, and Survival.
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
- (a) scale mail or (b) leather armor
- (a) two short swords or (b) two simple melee weapons
- (a) a dungeoneer’s pack or (b) an explorer’s pack
- A longbow and a quiver of 20 arrows
Beginning at 1st level, you have significant experience studying, tracking, hunting, and even talking to a certain type of enemy commonly encountered in the wilds. Choose a type of favored enemy: beasts, fey, humanoids, monstrosities, or undead. If you choose humanoid, you select two races of humanoids (elves and orcs). You gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls against creatures of the chosen type.
Additionally, you have advantage on Wisdom (Survival) checks to track your favored enemies, as well as on Intelligence checks to recall information about them.
When you gain this feature, you also learn one language of your choice, typically one spoken by your favored enemy or creatures associated with it. However, you are free to pick any language you wish to learn.
You are particularly familiar with one type of natural environment and are adept at traveling and surviving in such regions. Choose one type of favored terrain: arctic, coast, desert, forest, grassland, khyber, mountain, swamp, or urban You are a master of navigating the natural world, and you react with swift and decisive action when attacked. This grants you the following benefits when in your favored terrain:
- You ignore difficult terrain.
- You have advantage on initiative rolls.
- On your first turn during combat, you have advantage on attack rolls against creatures that have not yet acted.
In addition, you are skilled at navigating the wilderness. You gain the following benefits when traveling for an hour or more in your favored terrain:
- Difficult terrain doesn’t slow your group’s travel.
- Your group can’t become lost except by magical means
- Even when you are engaged in another activity while traveling (such as foraging, navigating, or tracking), you remain alert to danger.
- If you are traveling alone, you can move stealthily at a normal pace.
- When you forage, you find twice as much food as you normally would.
- While tracking other creatures, you also learn their exact numbers, sizes, and how long ago they passed through the area.
You choose additional favored terrain in types at 6th and 10th level.
At 2nd level, you adopt a particular style of fighting as your specialty. Choose one of the following options. You can’t take a Fighting Style option more than once, even if you later get to choose again.
You gain a +2 bonus on attack rolls you make with ranged weapons.
Close Quarters Shooter
You are trained in making ranged attacks at close quarters. When making a ranged attack while you are within 5 feet of a hostile creature, you do not have disadvantage on the attack roll. Your ranged attacks ignore half cover and three-quarters cover becomes half-cover against targets within 30 feet of you. Finally, you have a +1 bonus to attack rolls on ranged attacks within 30 feet.
While you are wearing armor, you gain a +1 bonus to AC.
When you are wielding a melee weapon in one hand and no other weapons, you gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls with that weapon.
As long as you are not wearing heavy armor or using a shield, you have a swimming speed and a climbing speed equal to your normal speed minus 10 feet, and you gain a +1 bonus to AC.
You excel at defending narrow passages, doorways, and other tight spaces. As a bonus action, you can enter a defensive stance that lasts until the start of your next turn. While in your defensive stance, you can make opportunity attacks without using your reaction, and you can use your reaction to make a melee attack against a creature that moves more than 5 feet while within your reach.
When you engage in two-weapon fighting, you can add your ability modifier to the damage of the second attack.
By the time you reach 2nd level, you have learned to use the magical essence of nature to cast spells, much as a druid does. See chapter 10 for the general rules of spellcasting and chapter 11 for the ranger spell list.
The Ranger table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your spells of 1st level and higher. To cast one of these spells, you must expend a slot of the spell’s level or higher. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a long rest.
For example, if you know the 1st-level spell animal friendship and have a 1st-level and a 2nd level spell slot available, you can cast animal friendship using either slot.
Spells Known of 1st Level and Higher
You know two 1st-level spells of your choice from the ranger spell list.
The Spells Known column of the Ranger table shows when you learn more ranger spells of your choice. Each of these spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots. For instance, when you reach 5th level in this class, you can learn one new spell of 1st or 2nd level.
Additionally, when you gain a level in this class, you can choose one of the ranger spells you know and replace it with another spell from the ranger spell list, which also must be of a level for which you have spell slots
Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for your ranger spells, since your magic draws on your attunement to nature. You use your Wisdom whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your Wisdom modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a ranger spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.
Spellsave DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier
Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier
Beginning at 3rd level, your mastery of ranger lore allows you to establish a powerful link to beasts and to the land around you.
You have an innate ability to communicate with beasts, and they recognize you as a kindred spirit. Through sounds and gestures, you can communicate simple ideas to a beast as an action, and can read its basic mood and intent. You learn its emotional state, whether it is affected by magic of any sort, its short-term needs (such as food or safety), and actions you can take (if any) to persuade it to not attack.
You cannot use this ability against a creature that you have attacked within the past 10 minutes.
Additionally, you can attune your senses to determine if any of your favored enemies lurk nearby. By spending 1 uninterrupted minute in concentration (as if you were concentrating on a spell) and one ranger spell slot, you can sense whether any of your favored enemies are present within 5 miles of you. This feature reveals which of your favored enemies are present, their numbers, and the creatures’ general direction and distance (in miles) from you.
If there are multiple groups of your favored enemies within range, you learn this information for each group.
At 3rd level, you choose to emulate the ideals and training of a ranger conclave: the Beast Conclave, the Hunter Conclave, or the Stalker Conclave, all detailed at the end of the class description. Your choice grants you features at 3rd level and again at 5th, 7th, 11th, and 15th level.
Ability Score Improvement
When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can’t increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.
Greater Favored Enemy
At 6th level, you are ready to hunt even deadlier game. Choose a type of greater favored enemy: aberrations, celestials, constructs, dragons, elementals, fiends, or giants. You gain all the benefits against this chosen enemy that you normally gain against your favored enemy, including an additional language. Your bonus to damage rolls against all your favored enemies increases to +4.
Additionally, you have advantage on saving throws against the spells and abilities used by a greater favored enemy.
Fleet of Foot
Beginning at 8th level, you can use the Dash action as a bonus action on your turn.
Hide in Plain Sight
Starting at 10th level, you can remain perfectly still for long periods of time to set up ambushes.
When you attempt to hide on your turn, you can opt to not move on that turn. If you avoid moving, creatures that attempt to detect you take a −10 penalty to their Wisdom (Perception) checks until the start of your next turn. You lose this benefit if you move or fall prone, either voluntarily or because of some external effect. You are still automatically detected if any effect or action causes you to no longer be hidden.
If you are still hidden on your next turn, you can continue to remain motionless and gain this benefit until you are detected.
Starting at 14th level, you can use the Hide action as a bonus action on your turn. Also, you can’t be tracked by nonmagical means, unless you choose to leave a trail.
At 18th level, you gain preternatural senses that help you fight creatures you can’t see. When you attack a creature you can’t see, your inability to see it doesn’t impose disadvantage on your attack rolls against it.
You are also aware of the location of any invisible creature within 30 feet of you, provided that the creature isn’t hidden from you and you aren’t blinded or deafened.
At 20th level, you become an unparalleled hunter. Once on each of your turns, you can add your Wisdom modifier to the attack roll or the damage roll of an attack you make. You can choose to use this feature before or after the roll, but before any effects of the roll are applied.
Class: Ranger, Revised
This originally appeared in the Wizards Unearthed Arcana: Ranger, Revised with some still balance modifications that I have made.