Saturday, June 9, 2012

New Random Ranger For D&D and D&Dish Games

So here's another variant take on a class for your more simple forms of D&D.

Like yesterday's Warrior, this guy's based on the Lamentations of the Flame Princess game's Fighter class because that particular take on D&D is free, simple and basic, but you can probably switch from any TSR-style D&D to this Ranger without too much grinding of gears.


RANGER (Variant On The Classic Class for DIY D&D games)

So, start with the hit points and saves for a 0-level Fighter in your system (if it has a Ranger, hey, even better). Write those down.

At first level, and each time you level up, you get your hit points as usual, but instead of the attack bonus and saves improving on a schedule, you roll twice on this table. Do what it says--there are also indicators of what to do if you re-roll that same result over again in places where that's hard to figure out...

1-25 +1 to hit. Hitting things is good, right?

26-45 +1 to all your saves. That's nice.

46-47 Look at you all dual-wielding. You have a second attack per round. You divide your usual attack bonus however you like between opponents/strikes. You get an extra attack per round every time you re-roll this result.

48 You're a ranger and you're ok, you work all night and sleep all day. +1 con up to racial max. Numbers in excess go to str or dex.

49 You are indeed limber. +1 dex up to racial max. Numbers in excess of the max go to str or con.

50-53 You--there! You--behind that boulder! You're very good at ambushes. Here's how it works: when you set up an ambush on an unsuspecting foe, everybody in your party (up to 8 creatures) gets an extra non-regular-attack, non-spell action in the first round. Like: somebody can pull a tripwire (not a regular attack) and hit somebody with a sword in the same round. Re-rolling this again means you get a +2 to not being detected each time.

54-56 Y'know what? You're really good at shooting arrows. Bow or crossbow, if you roll maximum damage the arrow lands wherever you want. Like exactly. In the eye, through the hand, whatever. Yes that means the smaller bows are slightly more accurate. Kinda makes sense, right? I think so. Anyway: Re-rolling this result gives you an extra arrow or quarrel shot per round if all you do that round is shoot.

Also, you can use the Called Shot Mechanic with a bonus allowing you to get the first extension of your crit range "free" (i.e. crit: 19-20, fumble: 1) and you get more "free" extensions if you re-roll this result.

57-60 The bigger they are... You're a hunter used to taking on vast beasties and know a thing or two about anatomy. Given a round to aim (if using a missile weapon), or a round of observation in melee (for these purposes, "observation" means spending a round in melee dong anything but attacking--including climbing on your opponent) you can inflict triple damage on any bigger-than human (size L) opponent with a sharp weapon on a hit. This only works once per opponent. Unless you re-roll this result, then it works twice, or three times, etc etc. It doesn't work on like Cthulhu shit with no organs or gelatinous cubes or stuff like that.

61-63 The sand people ride single file to disguise their numbers... In any wilderness environment you will know whatever organic life has been there in the last 24 hours including all typical wandering monsters, and you know about anything that's been there in the last week on a successful roll-under-wis or roll-under-level (whichever is higher) check. Re-roll this result and it extends to dungeons, then to cities, then to inorganic life. Then if you keep re-rolling you can always do the "everything in the last week" thing in the wilderness, then in dungeons...

64 THE LEGEND IS TRUE!!! You've heard a rumor in a wild and forgotten place--that thing you wanted? The sunken galleon? The Claw of Thirty Thrones? The steampunk compound bow? The little fairy that helps you find cake? It's there. 4 sessions worth of adventure away or less. Tell your GM, who then must place it.

You must have a fair shot at it--like any other treasure, but there's no guarantee you will get it. If you don't get it by the fourth session you can keep trying or let it go and roll again on this table. However if you choose to roll again and then you do get the thing somehow anyway, you lose whatever gimmick you rolled. GM think up some clever reason why.

65-66 Your rakish charm inspires awe in lesser beings. You have an exceptionally (though not supernaturally) intelligent hound or horse (your choice). This beast cannot be slain, kidnapped or otherwise traduced "offscreen" by the GM, so if he or she's in trouble and your PC is not around you get to play it out. If you re-roll this and your previous one is not dead, you get to add another hit die to your pal.

67 You're the most hardcore beastmaster. On your adventures you're gonna meet some dangerous animals. One of them is going to be your friend. Which one? Here are the restrictions: it has to be a real-life animal (prehistoric ones count at the GM's discretion) and it has to be something that either isn't hostile to you or that you or your party subdued. If it's big enough to ride--an elephant, a rhino, a sabre-toothed tiger then whatever: you can ride it no problem. Also you have to name it. Re-roll and now you have another pal to replace it or you get to add to the other pal's hit points.

68-69 Sniper. If you spend a round aiming a missile weapon you get +4 to hit (or 2 better than usual in your system). If you re-roll this it goes to +6, then +8, etc. If you keep re-rolling after +10 you start getting a second missile attack at +0 in the same round. Then +1 then +2, etc.

70-71 Traptastic. You are good at setting snares. If you're in a verdant environment or any area with like furniture or other materials handy you can cannibalize then you can fashion a snare or trap in 10 minutes if you can describe it in at least 3/4-assed detail to the GM. Detecting your trap is d10+ (creature's int) vs. d10 + (your Int or level--whichever's higher) as is any other check associated with it. Unless your description of the trap says otherwise, if it's the kind of trap that inflicts damage it'll inflict d6. If you have a steel bear trap or the like you can set it in a single melee round. If you re-roll this, the trap becomes more effective by +2 to both damage and to any checks associated with it.

72-73 Critter whisperer. You can try to soothe hostile beasts of animal intelligence so long as nobody in your party has attacked them. Basically, roll d10 and add your charisma or level (whichever is higher) and the GM rolls d10 + the creatures's meanness, rated on a scale of 1-20 by the GM with 20 being like some mama bear that just watched you eat all her baby bear's heads and is also mind-controlled by a hostile witch doctor. If the "charisma attack" works, the creature will calm down. If the charm offensive fails, you are at effectively unarmored, flat-footed AC the next round because you are trying to be all Timothy Treadwell there and are walking right up to it. Good luck with that. Re-rolling this result raises your AC by one if the charm offensive fails.

74-75 Hark! You are totally used to tromping around in the wilderness. In any wooded environment (or whatever other one you are a ranger of) you cannot be surprised and will always notice anyone coming at least 2 rounds away. Your experience with the landscape and the way it grows allows you to search a wilderness hex at twice the ordinary speed and if you are pursuing or being pursued through the wilderness you add your level, in feet, to your relative speed for purposes of determining who catches who. If you re-roll this, the expertise extends to all outdoor environments, re-roll again and it goes for dungeons, re-roll again and cities, again and it works in like the planes, re-roll again and you should probably just re-roll on this table until you get something different.

76-77 Swallowed the Monster Manual: Your Ranger PC knows everything you, the player, do about any monsters in the game plus s/he can unerringly know the next action (including target if there is one) of any animal intelligence organic creature in combat. Re-roll this and it applies to any organic creature, period, re-roll again and it applies to everything except like inscrutable energy beings like Xay-Ye and Xeg-Yi. After that, if you keep re-rolling you start getting +2 to hit things (in the same order: animal, then anything organic, then inorganic)

78-79 Your are one of those swashbuckling rangers from the movies--you can do crazy acrobatic BS like Legolas or Robin Hood. You can do a number of these stunts equal to your dex bonus per fight. These allow you to automatically achieve feats that are on the extreme edge of what is acceptable for your the game's grit level. If you use one of these tricks to attack, you can basically add an extra movement (half normal speed) onto your turn after the attack without any chance of getting hit back. So: leap in, attack, end up out of range again OR attack, then move then move again so you are a full 60' (or whatever) from the target. (If you have no dex bonus, you just get a +1 to dex for rolling this result instead of the crazy acrobatics.) Rolling this result twice adds one to the number of stunts you can perform or to your dex.

80-81 Scout. You have invested even more heavily in green makeup than the average ranger and are a master of camouflage: In wilderness environments you are effectively invisible at night until you attack, and during the day you can move at normal speed and stay concealed. People trying to find you need to pass a check pitting their wisdom vs your dexterity or level, whichever is higher. Re-rolling this allows you to add new environments--city, then dungeon.

82-83 You've been alligator wrestling or whatever. You can now knock prone or shove (10') anything that is animal intelligence up to the size of a bear in addition to also doing the usual damage on a successful melee hit. Subsequently re-rolling this result gives you the same advantage against creatures of any intelligence, then a +2 to damage vs animal-intelligence foes, then vs people.

84-85 Kingsfoil aye it's a weed... If you are in the wild or have been in the wild in the last 4 hours, look out world: we're going to assume you've collected some leaves and know how to use them. You've got two doses of some vegatabley bandages which can cure d4 hp of damage. After 4 hours the plants aren't fresh enough to work. If you re-roll this result, we'll assume you are good enough to screw up less and have 4 doses, re-roll: then 6, etc etc

86-87 Don't mind me, just collecting berries... You can prepare two doses of minor league poison given one hour in your preferred wilderness or environment like it. The victim must save or be entertainingly screwy (as Confusion probably) for 2d4 rounds and take d6 damage per round. The poison stays potent for an hour and can be injected or ingested. Re-rolling this result increases the damage potency to the next higher die (d10, d12, d20, d30...).

88 That anthropology degree has totally paid off. You can perform this ceremony, right? And it takes half an hour and requires you to eat the heart of an animal that you and your party (of 10 or fewer people) killed ( a regular, nonmagic animal, though prehistoric animals and maybe some other weird monsters count at the GM's discretion). You yourself must have delivered the killing blow. After you do that, you gain the offensive strength of that creature for one hour (# of attacks, bonus to attack, damage) but are also kind of nuts and cannot speak except in short grunts (you can point). You can preserve the heart for as long as you want before doing this. Do this more than once per day and you will go completely crazy. Re-roll this result and the effect lasts an extra hour.

89 The art of fighting without fighting. You are one of those smug pseudo-pacifist types who beats the fuck out of people up by directing their own strength against them. On the first round of combat, if the enemy strikes first (or if you let the enemy strike first) with a mundane physical melee attack you can announce you're are "fighting without fighting". You get no attack this round, but instead do a kind of clever dodge or redirect. The net effect is that if the enemy's attack would've hit, s/he does however much damage s/he would've done to you to him, her or itself instead (regardless of the enemy's armor class). Re-rolling this result means you can keep doing it in subsequent rounds.

90-91 Mappy. You pay extra attention when mapping--if the player playing the ranger maps a wilderness area, then, the second time the ranger PC passes through that area (provided at least an hour or one pitched combat has passed--to cleanse the ranger's mind of initial impressions), the ranger PC will automatically notice any concealed or hidden features in that area, and also any changes since last time. A mappy ranger will also notice any differences between a players' map drawn by someone else and the actual landscape and can find food or fresh water in any mapped wilderness terrain within an hour. Re-rolling this means it works in cities too, then in alien terrain, then in dungeons.

92 You know exactly where to put it: +1 damage. If you roll this again it jumps to +3, then +5, +7 etc

93-94 Dodgy. +2 to jumping out of the way (reflex save, breath weapon save whatever it's called in your system). +1 thereafter if you re-roll this.

95-96 The robust outdoor life serves you well. +2 vs toxins, poisons and whatever other saves might be considered derivable from your general good health in the system you're using.

97 Shovey. On a melee hit you can do your usual damage plus knock a human-sized opponent back ten feet. If you try it twice on the same opponent they get a save or str check or something against you. If you roll this result again you get 2 free shoves before the saves kick in. After that, re-roll.

98-99 Trippy. On a melee hit you can do your usual damage plus knock a human-sized opponent prone. If you try it twice on the same opponent they get a save or str check or something against you. If you roll this result again on this table, you get 2 free knockdowns before the saves kick in, then 4, etc. After that, re-roll.

00 You have roamed, and your experiences have been rich and varied. You are now +2 to hit in 2 of the following situations: from horseback, in unarmed combat, or with a bow or crossbow. Your choice. If you eventually roll all of those and keep re-rolling this result, you start getting +2s to weird fighting situations you can make up, like fighting blind or on fire or whatever GM approval blah blah blah

The Ranger player must not become dazzled by the embarrassment of combatly options. You get 10 seconds to pick what you're doing once it's your turn, got it?

In addition to all this, Rangers love to range. Who knew? The Ranger player can keep a list of all the places his/her PC has gone in the campaign and creatures seen. Whenever one of these creatures is seen again or a new kind of creature, NPC or thing which has its origins in one of those places (and the GM is free to define "creature", "thing" or "places" however narrowly) is encountered, the Ranger will have at least one fact at his or her disposal about it. This is not necessarily a combat fact but is something true and with a decent chance of being useful in the session--I heard this person usually hides their treasure in a... these kinds of goblins tend to use the following tactic, these objects are left by the cult of... this person is a Priest from Reelac, thus.... In WOTC-D&D terms, the player automatically succeeds on a lore check or gather information check once per game session. This is by virtue of having been to the place the thing in question is from and having spent time there and/or having been able, since then, to ask around about it.

Also, you may make an intelligence check to know how to speak a sentence in any language that comes up from a place you've been. (Like you just knew it all along because you heard it somewhere.) You can learn to speak well enough to basically get along after a week somewhere and can master it in a month. .

Plus you can track people and monsters, no surprise there. Any tests related to your tracking ability are proportional to your wisdom or your level, whichever's higher. These abilities work as usual in the wild or in towns, and at -d4 in a city or dungeon.


  1. Definitely stealing all this stuff :)

  2. Looks good, except that I'm pretty sure that Rangers' 'dual-wielding' ability is a pure D&Dism. Also maybe there could be some herbalism-based ability in there.

    1. The dual-wielding result is mechanically exactly the same as yesterday's warrior's 2-attacks-per-round result, so if it bothers you to call it "dual-wielding" you can call it "2 attacks per round". As for extra herbalism--I figured I'd save some stuff for the druid but if you like herby rangers, hey--go nuts

  3. Having thought about it, maybe you could save effort by having a druid table and giving the ranger a chance to get a result on either the fighter or druid table. Similarly the paladin could use the fighter and cleric tables.

    1. i'd rather just have a few double results that appear on both--my inner subgenre cop has never liked the "ok, ranger, have some druid spells" it seems lazy. Some of those are just druid-only things, y'know? plus some things seem like much more likely for a ranger than a druid

  4. I've never had a whole lot of interest in playing a ranger until now.

  5. I kind of want to try these out sometime; plus, I think I'm going to watch some Monty Python, too.