This may be the last of the archetypes that focuses just on core powers. There are plenty, but each of them is some sort of combination or variation of the previous ones, so most of the discussion would be a retread, except for crafting. I’m still bobbling some ideas there, so I've largely avoided that subject.
Today we’re looking at the Ranger. Back in the early days of gaming, this was always my favorite class: Robin Hood and William Tell, one part rogue and one part warrior. In setting lore, a Ranger is a frontier warrior. She’s usually the one tracking bandits and poachers be it alone, as part of a group of Rangers, or as an advanced scout for others. The urban corollary to the Ranger is the Runner.
Elective Traits: perceptive (attentive), robust (hardy)
Skills: Athletics (Endurance, Mobility) 2, Intuition (Urban, Wilderness) 1, Melee (Weighted) 1, Projectile (Mechanical) 2, Ranging (Wilderness) 2, Stealth (Wilderness) 2
Powers: addling strike, familiar domain, fortitude, scouting, skirmishing
Equipment: Light Axe, Medium Bow, Ranging Kit, 20 Arrows
Perceptive gives an extra expertise to either Intuition or Ranging. Here it gave it to Intuition (Urban), but depending on where you are you’d want to change that. If from the island nation of Miraedon or the Sunken Lands, then Ranging (Underwater) may be a better choice. Similarly, a Ranger with the T’Shan Ma’Therie may snag Ranging (Underground) instead.
Robust gives the extra Athletics expertise, which will tie back into various powers.
Skills… OK, we've talked about all of these, except Ranging really. This is your ability to move through and interact with your environment. Navigation? Check. Tracking? Check. What will the weather be like? Sure. Making friends with animals? With powers. Finding fresh water? Definitely. You get the idea. It’s easy to pigeon this as an outdoors skill, but it’s better to think of it as an environment skill as you can focus on urban, wilderness, underwater, underground, and even space. There are three environment skills: Stealth for hiding in your environment, Intuition for perceiving your environment, and Ranging for interacting with it. It’s also this skill that the Ranger focuses on the most.
Addling strike boosts a Melee or Projectile attack so that it dazes your target in addition to damage. This inflicts a -2 penalty to their offensive actions.
Familiar domain is a defensive extension of Ranging. When in your focused environment(s), it boosts your initiative, and helps prevent people from getting the drop on you.
Fortitude? See previous posts. It gives Health =)
Scouting is more of an offensive extension of Ranging. When in your focused environment(s), it extends the volume of areas you’re scrounging in, helps you spot hazards, and makes it easier to surprise someone.
Skirmishing boosts any standard action to give you extra movement. Climbing? Move extra far. Attacking? Stick and move. Going full defensive? Put some distance between you and them.
The Ranger starts with a solid assortment of skills. She’s most at home in the wilderness where she can live off the land and surprise foes while avoiding being surprised. She can guide people through lands plagued with natural disasters or bandits. When she engages in combat it’s with a bow. Addling Strike keeps her prey from effectively fighting back, and Skirmishing helps her keep her distance.
Options to consider moving forward include Danger Sense (this person will almost never be surprised…), Infiltrator (see Burglar, for those times when she needs to swipe something from an enemy camp), Animal Bond (sweet talk a pig into being your boon companion), Alertness (get a free counter), Displacing Step (reduce movement environment penalties), Diver (enhanced swimming), Far Shot (increase range of Projectile), Quick Draw (draw and load weapons faster), Sprawling Strike (knock target down), Unobtrusive (hide better), and Weapon Training (use a better weapon).
At the greater tier, she can consider Beast Master (better with and against animals), Explorer (re-roll Ranging tests), Extract Venom (see Cutter, it’s great for those arrows), Third Eye (cope with concealment),Vanishing Strike (attack but stay hidden), and Speck on the Horizon (harder to see at range).
Skill wise, the Ranger is set up for the Emerald Hail stance, which is a Projectile based stance for relatively close quarters. It gives a point blank range, at which you get a bonus. At the greater tier, Emerald Shower enhances it with another attack. In forest environments, you don’t have the luxury of range. Trees get in the way. In more open environments, with training in the Reflection skill the Ranger could pick up Citrine Perch instead, which is for snipers. A different path would be Ivory Feather, a new stance that is based about riding animals. If you do that, then you want to grab both Driving and, eventually, Aggressive Piloting.
All of the above powers helps the Ranger move through, hide in, and be aware of the environment. The combat side is about hit and run tactics, staying hidden or on the move. You can pick up an animal companion that can keep foes tied up at short range or serve as a steed.
If you’re looking to make some money, consider Harvest Lesser Materials and Harvest Greater Materials. They can help you find ingredients to sell to crafters. If you pick up Crafting, you can use them yourself of course, but you’d need to pick up some other powers to make the most of them.