View Full Version : How do YOU roleplay a ranger?

2011-07-23, 09:21 PM
Ok ImperatorK had a good idea with these how do you roleplay forums so I'm going to continue to rip him off and ask how do you like to roleplay rangers?

Like Aragorn in Lord of the rings? Perhaps like robin hood playing some kind of outdoor thief who steals from the rich and gives to the needy? Or your own interpretation?

2011-07-23, 09:30 PM
As usual, it depends on the setting and system. However, there are two settings in particular, and a particular system which really embody the ranger. The first of these settings is Westeros, specifically the rangers of the Night's Watch, within the context of the Night's Watch in general. The second of these is Middle Earth, and its Dunedain Rangers. As it happens, the system Mouse Guard has a "hack" which basically turns it into a game about the Dunedain Rangers, and the way that game is made, as well as its source material really reinforces what rangers are about.

As far as Westeros goes, look at this oath: "I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers, the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night's Watch, for this night and all the nights to come."

That right there? Ranger.

2011-07-23, 09:33 PM
Like this:



2011-07-23, 09:35 PM
"Emotions!?! I'll tell you what's got a lot of emotions. A farmer who beats his wife to death with his hoe. Professions have standards. Be polite, be efficient, and have a plan to kill everyone you meet."

I'm yet to play a ranger who didn't have bloodhound levels. XD

On a more serious note however. Your average ranger is probably something like a hunter. He doesn't always hunt human meat, but he knows the way of the wild/streets and eventually something is going to want your head and it's often a good idea to make sure you can take their heads to if need be.

Lord Raziere
2011-07-23, 09:41 PM
"Hello, my name is Brizzt Bo'Urden.."

haha, no I'm just teasing with that.


crossbow-wielding dwarf ranger: "take this ye big dern beastie! I got a mouth of arrows fer you! We are going to have some Goooooood cooking tonight from you boy!"

2011-07-23, 10:27 PM
Typically, the Ranger is what I look at when I'm playing a Public Assassin. Sneaking around, gathering information, putting myself wherever I need to be and following my prey wherever they might be hiding.

Then I step out into the open, pronounce the writ of execution, and proceed to challenge the mark to a fair fight. Well, not entirely fair... Superior training and equipment sort of give an advantage.

Granted, this scene only occurs once per campaign, just to introduce how badass my character is (in case the other PCs have any doubts), the rest of the campaign proceeds as they find out that Assassins aren't always in it for the money. In fact, if they were in it for the money, a highly skilled, detail orient, swift, and sneaky guy that can read people and knows how to turn a profit, would be a Blacksmith... in fact, that's the plan after he retires. He already makes all his own weapons, why not capitalize on that?

For now, vengeance. The villain, whatever his plot is, hurt my character in a major way. And he's going to make that old wizard/black dragon/whatever he is scream... I need to justify a Favored Enemy somehow...


Heh, the game I'm working on, Rangers don't work for this concept at all... Granted he needs reworking... I've got this status effect called "Inspired" that basically currently doesn't do much, but all the Buffer classes get it... it lets characters win ties... kind of lame, maybe it should do something better... like making rolls a die easier... even then they need lots of reworking.

2011-07-23, 11:16 PM

Kinda like above, except without an animal companion, usually wielding a bastard sword, and wearing a dragonscale shirt. So maybe a meld of Ka-Zar, Aragorn and a power metal album cover. My rangers generally stand as forces of nature, usually allied with faerie forces and druids to keep the natural lands from being despoiled by dragons, giants and jerks (favored enemy: jerk usually translates to favored enemy: arcanists).

2011-07-23, 11:24 PM
Usually my rangers have a touch of 'survivalist' running through them. These are the people who are prepared for civilization to end, and for them, personally, to keep going. They've got stockpiles of gear stashed in secret locations. They've learned basic crafts so that if all goes to heck, they can maintain their own equipment or reproduce it in at least a minimalist way.

2011-07-23, 11:25 PM
Way too many ways to list. From elite task forces to assassins to guides to hunters to guards to watchmen to trackers to archers to snipers to explorers to loners to woodsmen to lumberjacks to farmers to diplomats to envoys to messengers to medieval policemen to firefighters... the list really does go on.

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-07-23, 11:36 PM
I can't speak for myself, but I can tell you about my brother's character: Errol. A dwarf ranger who HATES trolls. He HATES trolls so much he will fight tooth-and-nail to kill any troll he comes across. They killed his wife and kids, y'see. When the party recently encountered him (my brother stopped playing to take up DMing duties, changing Errol to becoming the resident expospeak guy and a sort of unofficial guide, pointing the party in the right direction), he was fighting a pair of trolls all by himself, hanging on to the back of one of them for dear life and jamming his dagger into the troll's back again and again and again as we were fighting it. Then when our witch cast a spell to set the troll on fire, my brother made a few rolls for Errol. Errol got about a 17 on his Acrobatics check, making a graceful backflip off the troll. Then, in the middle of the backflip, he chucks his dagger at the troll and rolls a crit. It didn't kill the troll, but it jammed the dagger into the troll's freakin' jugular, before my own character decapitated it and ended the battle.

So, yeah, when I think of rangers now, I think of Errol: the troll-hating dwarf Spetsnaz!

2011-07-24, 07:01 AM
Is he ramming his fist into the throat and head of the T-rex?! :smalleek:

Oh, and I'm fond of a Richard Rahl crossed with Aragorn mix in my rangers.

2011-07-24, 07:29 AM
If I wanted to play an Aragorn-type man-of-the-wilds ranger I would roll up a Fighter/Wilderness Rogue. Why? Because characters like that aren't naturalists, they don't cast spells, they don't specialize in either two-weapon fighting or in archery (okay, some of them focus on the latter), and not many have Animal Companions.

Usually, if I'm playing the actual ranger class, I'm either using it as a dip to grab some front-loaded ACFs, or I'm playing the Wildshape variant. As written, the PHB ranger class is pretty much custom-tailored for playing either Drizzt or Legolas. And I hate that.

2011-07-24, 07:33 AM
Like a talented hunter who also fights people and later learns a little nature magic.

Tech Boy
2011-07-24, 07:49 AM
"Hello, my name is Brizzt Bo'Urden.."

haha, no I'm just teasing with that.


crossbow-wielding dwarf ranger: "take this ye big dern beastie! I got a mouth of BOLTS fer you! We are going to have some Goooooood cooking tonight from you boy!"

There we go. :smallbiggrin:

2011-07-24, 08:44 AM
It depends on the character, what her motivation is, what she likes and dislikes, if she's using the alignment system, her personality, her family, how she grew up, backstory galore...

I had a ranger who spent her childhood protecting her sister. They were abandoned by their own parents, and the village they came across thought that her younger sister was sweet and innocent and that the older one was a little too outspoken and not very ladylike. She learned how to fight so that she could defend herself (and her sister). She became a ranger because of all the time she spent outdoors, but she didn't necessarily hide in the woods and stay alone for her life. Her class wasn't her profession, but it was how she dealt with combat, animals, etc. In roleplay, she could have been any class except for her love of animals and the wild. She's currently running a trading company.

Then I had a ranger who was a royal from a southern country, so he went north and joined the ranks of the rangers who protected the towns out in the tundras. His motivation was to stay the hell away from his family and his rank, so he spent copious amounts of time out in the wilds and only went into town when he had free time. In that case, his class was his profession and was a large part of his life.

And there was another one I roleplayed who was basically your cookie-cutter ranger: solitary, one animal companion, spends her days in the woods shooting arrows at trespassers and protecting the forest.

With me, it's all about the character, not the class... Since we are talking about roleplay, not rollplay. I give characters a class after I've decided how I'm going to play them.

Urban ranger sounds like something I want to try...

The Dark Fiddler
2011-07-24, 08:44 AM
I roleplay it as whatever the character is, since I usually just take one or two levels for an extra BAB with some skill points, and maybe the style feat. As someone once said, though "ranger is the most versatile core class," and I have to say, they weren't far off there, because ranger can really go almost anywhere (especially with ACFs).

2011-07-24, 09:14 AM
Is he ramming his fist into the throat and head of the T-rex?! :smalleek:

When confronted by dinosaurs, your only option is to activate your loincloth of giant size and punch their anachronistic lights out! Dr. McNinja agrees. (http://drmcninja.com/archives/comic/21p57/)

2011-07-24, 09:20 AM
I play them like the bastard love-child of Ray Mears, Steve Irwin & Bear Grylls (don't ask: what happens in the wilds stays in the wilds :smallwink:). The ultimate survivalist sort of person.

Or if not then they end up like the Medjai from The Mummy; guardians/protectors of whatever landscape they hail from.

Cheesy & cliche: sure, but it works for me.