The Ranger

by Joe Fischer


  • Must be of good alignment
  • Must have min. STR of 13
  • Must have min. INT of 13
  • Must have min. WIS of 14
  • Must have min. CON of 14
  • If STR, INT, and WIS are above 15, +10% to XP
  • Begin with two (8-sided) HD
  • A ranger, when fighting the giant class: Add level in HP damage in melee
  • Rangers surprise on a 1-3 (d6) and are surprised only on a 1 (d6)
  • Upon becoming 8th level: Gain some druid spell ability
  • Upon becoming 9th level: Gain some magic-user ability
  • Cannot use scrolls
  • Upon becoming 10th level: Gain usage of all non-written magic items
  • Changes from good alignment strips all ranger benefits
  • Cannot hire employees until 8th or higher level
  • No more than three rangers may ever work together
  • Cannot own what they cannot carry



    Rangers are a sub-class of fighter who are adept at woodcraft, tracking, scouting, and infiltration and spying.

    All rangers must be of good alignment (q.v.), although they can be lawful, chaotic, or neutral otherwise.

    A ranger must have STR of not less than 13, intel of not less than 13, wisdom of not less than 14, and a 14 or greater constitution.
    If the ranger has ability scores of greater than 15 in strength, intel and wisdom, he or she gains the benefit of adding 10% to xperience.

    1. Damage Bonus vs. Humanoids: When fighting humanoid-type creatures of the "giant class",
    listed hereafter, rangers add 1 HP for each level of
    experience they have attained to the points of damage scored
    when they hit in melee combat. Giant class creatures are:
    bugbears, ettins, giants, gnolls, goblins, hobgoblins, kobolds,
    ogres, ogre magi, orcs, and trolls.
        Example: a Tracker (R5) hits a bugbear in melee combat, <actually, a 5th level Ranger is a Courser>
        and the damage done to the opponent will be according to the ranger's weapon type,
        modified by STR,
        and +5 (for his or her experience level) because the opponent is a bugbear -
        a "giant class"humanoid.

    bugbear goblin ogre mage
    cyclopskin grimlock ogrillon
    dune stalker hobgoblin orc
    ettin kobold quaggoth
    flind meazel tasloi
    giant norker troll
    gibberling ogre xvart
    gnoll - -

    - Official Changes for Rangers, by Gary Gygax, Dragon 94.9

    <with regards to trolls, i would apply the bonus to all trolls - Prespos>

    2. Alert Against Surprise: Rangers surprise (q.v.) opponents 50% of the time (d6, score
    1 through 3) and are themselves surprised only 16 1/3% of the
    time (d6, score 1).

    3. Tracking: Tracking is possible both outdoors && underground in dungeons and like settings: <>

        a. Underground the ranger must have observed the creature to be tracked within 3 turns (30 minutes) of the commencement of tracking,
            and the ranger must begin tracking at a place where the creature was observed:

    Creature's Action Chance to Track
    going along normal passage or room 65%
    passes through normal door or uses stairs 55%
    goes through a trap door 45%
    goes up through a chimney or through concealed door 35%
    passes through a secret door 25%

        b. Outdoors there is a base 90% chance of a ranger to being able to follow a creature, modified as follows:

    -- for each creature above 1 in the party being tracked +02%
    -- for every 24 hours which have elapsed between the track 
    and tracking
    -- for each hour of precipitation -25%

    4. Spell Casting: At 8th level, rangers gain limited druidic spell ability, and
    additional spells are added through 17th level.

    5. Spell Casting: At 9th level rangers gain limited magic-user spell ability, as
    with druidic spell ability. Rangers cannot read druid or magic-user
    spells from magic scrolls in any event.

    6. Scrying Device Use: At 10th level (Ranger Lord), rangers are able to employ all
    non-written magic items which pertain to clairaudience,
    clairvoyance, ESP, and telepathy.

    7. Band of Followers: Also at 10th level, each ranger attracts a body of 2-24
    followers. Note that these henchmen <followers,> once lost, can never be
    replaced, although mercenaries can be hired, of course. These
    followers are determined by the DM who then informs the ranger.

    The following restrictions and strictures apply to rangers:

    1. Any change to non-good alignment immediately strips the
    ranger of all benefits, and the character becomes a fighter,
    with eight-sided hit dice, everafter, and can never regain
    ranger status.

    2. Rangers may not hire men-at-arms, servants, aides, or
    henchmen until they attain 8th or higher level.

    3. No more than three rangers may ever operate together at any time.
    (SA: Why?)

    4. Rangers may own only those goods and treasure which they
    can carry on their person and/or place upon their mount; all
    excess must be donated to a worthy communal or institutional
    cause (but never to another PC). (cf. Paladin above.)

    Although rangers do not attract a body of mercenaries to serve them when, and if,
    rangers construct strongholds, they conform to the fighter class in other respects.

    Q: If a ranger can only own what he
    can carry, how can he build a

    A: You might also ask -- If a ranger can only
    own what he can carry, how can he own a
    mount? -- In fact, the restriction applies
    only to personal items, treasure, weapons,
    magic items, etc. The property restriction
    is not intended to turn rangers into medieval
    bag ladies. It merely reflects the
    class's nonmaterialistic outlook. A stronghold
    is not strictly for a character's personal
    use; it is a home for all the
    character's hirelings, and also serves to
    enforce the character's interests and promote
    the fundamentals of the character's
    alignment within the area that the stronghold
    controls. As such, a stronghold is not
    an item of personal property and falls
    outside the restriction.

    XP Experience 
    Hit Dice 
    Level Title THACO
    Multiple Attacks
    Saves Proficiencies SCL* D1 D2 D3 MU1 MU2 NPC 
     ---- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    0 ---- 2,250 1 2 Runner 20 d14, p15, r16, b17, s17 3/2 - - - - - - -
    2,251 ---- 4,500 2 3 Strider 19 d14, p15, r16, b17, s17 ^ - - - - - - -
    4,501 ----10,000 3 4 Scout 18 d13, p14, r15, b16, s16 ^ - - - - - - -
    10,001 ---- 20,000 4 5 Courser 17 d13, p14, r15, b16, s16 ^ - - - - - - 375 (T1)
    20,001 ---- 40,000 5 6 Tracker 16 d11, p12, r13, b13, s14 4/3 - - - - - - -
    40,001 ---- 90,000 6 7 Guide 15 d11, p12, r13, b13, s14 ^ - - - - - - -
    90,001 ---- 150,000 7 8 Pathfinder 14 d10, p11, r12, b12, s13 ^ - - - - - - -
    150,001 ---- 225,000 8: May employ followers 9 Ranger 13 (3/2) d10, p11, r12, b12, s13 ^ D1, - 1 - - - - -
    225,001 ---- 325,000 9 10 Ranger Knight 12 (3/2) d8, p9, r10, b9, s11 5/4 D2, 
    1 - - 1 - -
    325,001 ---- 650,000 10 11 Ranger Lord 11 (3/2) d8, p9, r10, b9, s11 ^ D3, 
    2 - - 1 - 5000 (T2)
    650,001 ---- 975,000 11 11+2 Ranger Lord (11th level) 10 (3/2) d7, p8, r9, b8, s10 ^ D4, 
    2 - - 2 - -
    975,001 ---- 1,300,000 12 11+4 Ranger Lord (12th level) 9 (3/2) d7, p8, r9, b8, s10 ^ D5, 
    2 1 - 2 - -
    1,300,000 ---- 1,625,000 13 11+6 Ranger Lord (13th level) 8 (3/2) d5, p6, r7, b5, s8 6/5 D6, 
    2 1 - 2 1 -
    1,625,001 ---- 1,950,000 14 11+8 Ranger Lord (14th level) 7 (3/2) d5, p6, r7, b5, s8 ^ D7, 
    2 2 - 2 1 -
    1,950,001 ---- 2,275,000 15 11+10 Ranger Lord (15th level) 6 (2/1) d4, p5, r6, b4, s7 ^ D8, 
    2 2 - 2 2 -
    2,275,001 ---- 2,600,000 16 11+12 Ranger Lord (16th level) 5 (2/1) d4, p5, r6, b4, s7 ^ D9,
    2 2 1 2 2 -
    2,600,001 ---- 2,925,000 17 11+14 Ranger Lord (17th level) 4 (2/1) d3, p4, r5, b4, s6 7/6 D10, 
    2 2 2 2 2 -
    2,925,001 ---- 3,250,000 18 11+16 Ranger Lord (18th level) 4 (2/1) d3, p4, r5, b4, s6 ^ D11, 
    2 2 2 2 2 -
    3,250,001 ---- 3,575,000 19 11+18 Ranger Lord (19th level) 4 (2/1) d3, p4, r5, b4, s6 ^ D12, 
    2 2 2 2 2 -
    3,575,001 ---- 3,900,000 20 11+20 Ranger Lord (20th level) 4 (2/1) d3, p4, r5, b4, s6 ^ D13, MU12 2 2 2 2 2 -

    325,000 XP per level for each additional level above the 12th.

    Rangers gain 2 HP per level after the 10th.
    CON-based HP adjustments no longer apply after the 10th level. - OSRIC

    * Spell Casting Level.
    NB: Rangers do not gain bonus druid spells for having high wisdom. This ability is limited to "true" priests, i.e. clerics || druids.

    <THACO indicates per level progression>

                                    Spell Level
    Ranger Level Druidic 1st Druidic 2nd Druidic 3rd Magic-User 1st Magic-User 2nd
    8 1 - - - -
    9 1 - - 1 -
    10 2 - - 1 -
    11 2 - - 2 -
    12 2 1 - 2 -
    13 2 1 - 2 1
    14 2 2 - 2 1
    15 2 2 - 2 2
    16 2 2 1 2 2
    17* 2 2 2 2 2

    * maximum spell ability
    ** The ranger must check as to which spells he or she can learn, just as if he or she were a magic-user.

    <find original Answer #1 in Sage Advice>

    Answer #2: The third inquiry concerned a Ranger character. The writer
    claimed that his or her DM combined with a lawful good Ranger to
    insist that a wounded Wyvern was to be protected, not slain, unless it
    attacked the party. Here is a classic case of players being told that
    (lawful) good equates with stupidity. To assert that a man-killing
    monster with evil tendencies should be protected by a lawful good
    Ranger is pure insanity. How many lives does this risk immediately?
    How many victims are condemned to death later? In short, this is not
    "good" by any accepted standards! It is much the same as sparing a
    rabid dog or a rogue elephant or a man-eating tiger.

    QUESTION: Do Rangers and Paladins cast spells at their level or do they cast them as a first level?
    Would a 9th-level Ranger cast a spell as a 1st-level MU or would he cast it as a Sorcerer (MU9)?

    ANSWER: He would cast it as though he were a Sorcerer (MU9).
    I don’t agree with this, but I am informed that it is correct.
    I still think they should cast spells as a Prestidigitator (MU1).
    (Correction: Rangers and paladins CAST at 1st level when they first gain the ability to cast spells. See here.)

    Question: Do rangers automatically get a first-level spell
    book, rolling for spells as does a Prestidigitator (MU1), or
    must they research them and build from scratch?

    Answer: Rangers must research their spells. They just don’t wake
    up one morning and say, “Why, I can cast spells now!” When the
    ranger reaches the 8th level, he discovers he has the ability to learn
    druids’ spells as he does for magic-users’ spells at 9th level. Whether he
    learns them or not depends on how successful his attempts are.

    Q: How do rangers acquire magicuser

    A: A ranger learns magic-user spells from a
    magic-user, just as a 1st-level magic-user
    does. Start the ranger out with read magic,
    plus three other spells from the table in
    the DMG, page 39. The cost of the initial
    spell book is assumed to be part of the
    training cost for reaching 9th level. The
    ranger must follow all the normal rules
    for spell use (e.g., chance to know a spell
    by intelligence, casting time, material
    components, armor worn, etc.).

    Question: Do Paladins && Rangers have to have special gods to pray to in order to obtain their spells?
    Do their gods have to be patron gods of Paladins and Rangers?

    Answer: No.
    The only absolute restriction on the selection of
    a deity by a Paladin or Ranger is based on alignment -- that is,
    the character’s god obviously cannot be of an evil nature. While
    a Paladin could be expected to only pay homage to a lawful
    good deity, in general it would be possible for a Ranger (for
    example) of neutral good alignment to pray to a chaotic good
    deity. — J. Wells

    Question: How can the level of spell use be determined for a paladin or a ranger?
    Is a ranger required to carry a spell book?
    Do druids, bards, paladins, or rangers gain bonus spells for high wisdom?

    Answer: An 8th-level ranger or a 9th-level paladin begins using spells
    as a caster of the 1st experience level in the appropriate class.
    When a ranger reaches 9th level, he or she will operate for
    spell-casting purposes as a 1st-level magic-user or a 2nd-level
    druid, depending on which category of magic is employed. The
    “level of casting” for paladins and rangers increases by one
    each time the character gains a new experience level, so that a
    20th-level paladin would cast spells as a 12th-level cleric and a
    17th-level ranger would have the spell-casting ability of a 10th-
    level druid and a 9th-level magic-user.
        Is this fair? Sure —a whole lot more fair than the other
    obvious alternative, which would be to let a 9th-level paladin
    (for example) cast spells as a 9th-level cleric, by equating actu-
    al level with spell-casting level. This just doesn’t make sense, in
    terms of game balance or for so-called realistic reasons. The
    Players Handbook describes the spell ability of both rangers
    and paladins as “limited,” and the charts on pages 24 and 25
    illustrate many of the ways in which that ability is so limited.
        One restriction not specifically mentioned is the one suggested
    above, “limiting” the effective level of a spell-casting paladin or
    ranger to the number of “spell-casting levels” the character has
    attained. This certainly follows the intent of the rules, and is
    logical and playable.
        Yes, a ranger needs a spell book to cast magic-user spells,
    and mistletoe to make effective use of his or her druid spell
    ability. And a paladin won’t get far as a caster of cleric spells
    without a holy symbol. The rules and regulations on how (and
    whether) spells are acquired and CAST must be met for the
    spelt-caster, regardless of class, to make the magic work.
    The druid class should be allowed bonus spells for high
    wisdom, because it is a sub-class of cleric and thereby entitled
    to the bonus, the same way that the ranger and paladin can
    have exceptional strength since they are fighter sub-classes.
    But, bards should not be allowed bonus spells for high wisdom,
    first and foremost they are never truly members of that class.
    Second, nothing in the PH indicates that a bard
    was intended to get this bonus. Any bard needs a wisdom score
    of at least 15, so if the wisdom bonus were meant to be taken
    into account, every bard would start off with three druid spells
    — more than some 1st-level druids are capable of having.
    Because they’re not actually druids or clerics, rangers and
    paladins don’t get bonus spells for high wisdom. As with the
    bard, their wisdom requirements are so high that any paladin or
    ranger would automatically get bonus spells upon acquiring
    spell ability, making those characters much more magically
    powerful than they deserve to be. Paladins, rangers, and bards
    should be allowed to cast their spells with a 0% chance of
    failure, just as a cleric or druid of equally high wisdom would
    — but that should be the only way in which wisdom affects
    spell-casting for those three classes.
    The ranger’s intelligence does, however, have an effect on
    how many magic-user spells he or she can learn. High intelli-
    gence doesn’t give any direct benefit in the number of spells a
    character can use at one time; that ability, even for magic-users
    and illusionists, is tied to level of experience and not intelli-
    gence. Instead, intelligence is a measure of the character’s
    capacity to learn a certain spell and store a certain number of
    such spells for future reference.
    The rules state that a ranger “must check as to which spells
    he or she can learn, just as if he or she were a magic-user” (PH,
    page 25), and it follows that rangers would also abide by the
    minimums and maximums regarding how many spells can be
    learned. A 9th-level ranger with minimal (13) intelligence will
    have a 55% chance to know any particular 1st-level magic-user
    spell, and will be able to compile a repertoire of no fewer than
    six and no more than nine 1st-level spells — but the character
    can still only memorize (and later employ) one spell at a time.

    Q: At what level do rangers cast their

    A: The character's spell-casting level is
    based upon the first level at which he can
    cast spells. An 8th-level ranger, for example,
    casts his druidic spell at 1st level. A
    9th-level ranger casts his magic-user spell
    at 1st level, but he casts his druid spell at
    2nd-level; at 10th level, a ranger casts his
    druid spells at third level and his magicuser
    spell at second level, and so on.

    Q: Do rangers receive bonus druidic
    spells for high wisdom?

    A: No, only clerics and druids get them.

    QUESTION: Is there an anti-Ranger and an anti-Paladin in AD&D?

    ANSWER: It depends. I say no, but others say yes.
    It doesn’t say that there is an anti-anything in any of the AD&D books.
    If you play straight BtB, there is no anti-Paladin or anti-Ranger.

    Questions: Why are elves unable to become rangers?
    Why do half-elves have limited ranger abilities?
    Shouldn’t sylvan elves have ranger-like talents?
    How are certain of the elven deities able to have ranger fighting abilities if their subjects do not?

    Answer: These questions are all interrelated to some degree, and are
    some of the most-asked questions about elves in general. The
    answer to all of them lies in the nature of the ranger class.
    Rangers developed among humanity as a response to the
    presence of the giant-class humanoids as direct competitors
    for food, living space, and power within the worlds governed by
    the laws of the AD&D™ game. The deities of humanity saw fit to
    encourage certain persons to take up roles of guardianship, in
    essence entrusted with the safety and security of the human
    race. Rangers are intended to be self-reliant, strong, hardy, and
    possessed of the wisdom and intelligence to fully appreciate
    their roles as guardians. They operate in outdoor environments
    by and large, thus being familiar with normal woodcrafts like
    tracking, hunting, and camping. Rangers develop skills related
    to stealthy movement, spying, and so forth, so they may better
    serve as scouts, keeping tabs on local humanoid groups in the
    wilderness and in so doing, keeping their home communities
    and allied settlements informed of all happenings.
        Tracking, however, does not a ranger make. One of the facts
    of life about being a ranger is that rangers are going to be on the
    hot spot, in the middle of some very savage fighting, on a fairly
    frequent basis. Humanoids don’t like having humans around
    them, much less having humans spy on them; furthermore,
    rangers, in their roles as scouts, are somewhat more vulnerable
    since they prefer travelling in smaller groups.
    (Update: Elves are able to be rangers, as per UA).

    It is forbidden for more than three rangers to travel together, because when this
    happens rangers interpret this as meaning that they are leaving
    some other place undefended, and they will immediately try to
    spread out and cover the widest AREA possible. 
    Q: In the Players Handbook it states that rangers will not congregate
    in groups larger than three, but in The Lord of the Rings by
    J. R. R. Tolkien this restriction does not appear.

    A: The rangers in the AD&D game are not the rangers in Tolkien's books; 
    granted, the two are related -- but in the final
    analysis, AD&D rangers are different. The AD&D game, more
    broadly, should not be interpreted too literally in the light of
    books and materials not developed by TSR, Inc.; though individual
    DMs and players may do so if they wish, they should note
    that, for example, Tolkien's elves are immortal and AD&D elves
    are just long-lived. The AD&D system is not LOTR.

    On top of this,
    rangers have (from their upbringing and studies) an intense
    dislike (to put it mildly) of all evil humanoids. Rangers are not
    just taught how to live off the land; they are taught to kill, and kill
    efficiently and quickly. They learn the vulnerable spots giant-
    class humanoids have, the ways in which they fight and wear
    their armor, and the best way to do battle with them so that the
    ranger, and not the humanoid, is still standing afterwards.
        No bones are made about this; some rangers are fond of
    describing their jobs as “going to exotic places, meeting inter-
    esting creatures, and killing them.” However, it is understood
    that the purpose of combat is not to make oneself rich, famous,
    or fearsome. Combat is fought only if it cannot be avoided;
    humanoids, though, offer all sorts of opportunities for combat
    with their distinctly aggressive and often sadistic policies to-
    ward humanity. Rangers are therefore “on call” at all times in
    the defense of their homes, communities, and nations.
        Elves, regardless of how they feel about humanoids, do not
    make good rangers because their empathy for life and living
    things runs counter to many of the teachings that rangers must
    absorb and learn to use. Elves put a lot of emphasis in combat
    on style, and cannot rid themselves of their distaste for killing
    any creature, even evil ones and even when it’s necessary for
    one’s own protection (though they are still perfectly capable of
    fighting and killing, too). Rangers, whether lawful good, neutral
    good, or chaotic good, all share a high degree of dedication to
    their cause (from their loyalty to humanity as a whole, if lawful
    good, or from their personal standards, if chaotic good); elves
    see such intense commitment as grievous to a carefree and
    cheerful spirit. But elves appreciate rangers, because rangers
    regard them as allies and will usually try to help elves just as
    they help humanity.
    Half-elves may become rangers since they usually inherit at
    least part of their human parent’s viewpoint on life, watering
    down their elven attitudes considerably. They don’t gain the
    high levels humans do as rangers because they are slightly
    smaller and less effective in hand-to-hand fighting, and be-
    cause they still have some of their innate elven distaste for
    bloodshed in them.
    There doesn’t seem to be any particular reason why elves,
    especially sylvan elves, shouldn’t have a knowledge of how to
    track wild game. Human or elven player characters with sec-
    ondary skills of Forester, Hunter, and possibly Trapper might
    reasonably be allowed a limited skill in tracking animals or
    persons, around 20-50% in accuracy, in outdoor (and maybe
    indoor) environments. But the other skills rangers have would
    not necessarily apply.
        Finally, some elven deities have ranger talents because their
    ageless experience and spheres of interest make this possible.
    Gods do not operate by mortal rules; they make themselves
    proficient with whatever talents they deem necessary for them
    to best operate according to their respective viewpoints. For
    this same reason, gods may have high levels of experience in
    numerous character classes, though mortals are quite limited
    in the number and levels of proficiency they may achieve in
    their own classes. One cannot measure a god’s power with a
    mortal’s yardstick.
    (Update: All elves may be rangers).


    Rangers are specialized types of fighters and warriors, suited to a wilderness existence while still retaining more of the trappings and station of society.
    Individuals who become rangers are normally from the civilized agricultural areas of the Realms, as opposed to its wilderness areas.

    The Rangers are a phenomenon primarily confined to the North, in particular that region north and west of the Sea of Fallen Stars.
    There are occasionally individuals of this type from Amn or Calimshan, but a ranger further south is as rare as pity in a beholder. <>
    This may be due to the fact that the Rangers function best in those regions which are still being developed and explored by civilized man, and as such have little to do in those regions that have been settled and ruled (at least in name) for centuries.

    Due to their low numbers, regional restrictions, and tendency to perform along the same lines of "good" morals, Rangers are both very individualistic and clannish.
    A ranger can often be found on his own, or in a company of druids or adventurers, where his wilderness skills are useful.
    At the same time, when Rangers meet, there is often an exchanging of names and gossip on the latest doings of others of their type.
    While not a political or social force, Rangers are a finely wrought network of information, and it is this network that makes them a natural part of the group known as the Harpers (q.v.).
    Not all Rangers are members of this group, but many are, and the Harpers recruit further from these ranks only on the recommendations of those Rangers within its group.

    The Rangers of the Forgotten Realms are as presented in the PH, with further expansions for tracking ability in UA. <>
    <>OC rangers are not limited to being specifically from "the North", but it should be noted in social situations that a Calishite Ranger will attract much a comment within the community (and that finely-wrought layer of communications) of Rangers.

    Mielikki (Patron of Rangers)


    DMPrata wrote:
    Gary, here's a quick one that came up in one of the other forums. (I must admit, in 23 years this hasn't occurred to me. :o )
    Since rangers can't read spell scrolls, how do they learn magic-user spells at higher levels?


    They learn them and record them in a spell book.

    Scrolls are soneone else's version os any given spell. A trained clEric, mage, etc. can read it by understanding the underlying princip0les it contains.

    How's that for rationalization? Better than saying "It's magis," or else, "The game is fantasy, and that's the rule."


    As for rangers, they are not goody-two-shoes sorts, and they do not lose ranger status for occasional slips of conduct that might be deemed evil as long as they repent and do not make a habit of such behavior.
    The DM is charged with noting the latter and taking appropriate measures.


    Greg Ellis wrote:
    Yeah, good question Prata.

    I've got a Ranger in my party, and the surprise thing is getting a bit silly.

    Example - The party is preparing to open a new door, but the Ranger is in the back (not the front) and someone else (say a thief) is opening the door.

    We roll the surprise dice and they come up 3 for the monsters and 3 for the party.

    So the party is not surprised, but the monsters are, because there's a Ranger in the party, and Rangers surprise on 3/6?

    Maybe I'm just not getting the idea behind the rule...

    I'm not having trouble with the opposite - i.e. scenarios where the rest of the party is surprised but the Ranger is not - that makes sense to me.

    Forget any special surprise in a mixed party. the ranger would have to be alone, or with only others that are stealthy, to get the special bonus.


    Hi Gary!

    I have two questions for you, First and foremost I would like to add my name to the long list of people who have thanked you for all the fun times and creative outlet your game has given us  Happy Birthday belated as well.

    Now for the questions:

    1.) When you run AD&D how do you handle things that would fall under the concept of "skill checks" (for lack of a better term)? For example say my ranger is trying to find a rare herb in the wilds, or whether I would know the correct one to pluck in the first place that cures toxins, and you as the DM need to determine success or failure? Or maybe I'm trying to swim an underground stream? My gaming group is migrating back to AD&D and this is something we're struggling with on how to handle- especially in the areas of perception-spot checks.

    2.) In the PHB rangers were strictly limited to humans and half-elves. In UA the class is opened up to elves. I've always viewed the profession of ranger (and druid) as something of a human phenomonan, existing because of the human relationship with the wilds/woodlands. Whereas elves never needed a "ranger" sort in their society or culture, they had a different relationship with the woodlands, they were part of the woodlands/wilds, or more in harmony with it, etc.

    I always wondered why the ranger and druid class were opened up to elves in UA? It gave a change of "feel" for elves because elven society now posessed rangers and druids. Nothing earth-shattering, but a definite change of feel I was interested in hearing your reason/opinion behind this.

    Thanks Gary.

    Howdy Beregond,

    My thanks for your kind words and good wishes:)

    As AD&D is a class-based game, there is little recourse to skills.
    A ranger, for example is assumed to know a lot about survival in the wilderness, that including what plants are poisonous or beneficial.
    I use something like 5% chance per level, plus Intelligence for chance of success when the demand is difficult, otherwise just allowing the find or whatever to happen on a die roll of 1-3, 4, or 5 on d6 depending on how likely it is the object sought for wiull be there.

    As for broading the ranger and druid classes to include elves, it is logical that the memebrs of the demi-human race in question would assume such roles because of their association with humans.
    Of course that assumes a human-dominated world--which is the case in the vast majority of campaign worlds I know of.

    the addition also makes the elves a tougher bunch to mess with 


    Oh, and, uh, what kind of wine do rangers like? 

    As rude woodsmen, rangers will favor sweet wines, even those made of fruit other than grapes (shudder!) 

    rabindranath72 wrote:
    Dear Gary (I address you so, following your comment above)
    how did the idea of a spellcasting ranger was born? Was Aragorn from The Lord of the Rings the main inspiration?
    I do not like the idea of a spellcasting ranger, how would you suggest modifying it? For example, in terms of XP reduction (to leave it as-is, but without spells), or giving it some other skills to replace spellcasting.


    Hi Antonio,

    Joe Fischer designed the original Ranger Class character, and it was published with such credit in an early number of The Strategic Review.
    I merely fleshed ot out so as to be more cmpatable with the AD&D game.

    As I have no problem with Rangers having minor spell use, I have never thought about how to remove that capacity from the class.
    IMO it makes the Ranger a sort of fighting Druid.
    Anyway, as I play the LA game ost of the time these days, and for the last nine years, it would take a lot of time and effort for me to properly advise you on as proper midification of the class.


    I had a couple of questions on 1e, what would you do in the situation.

    Rangers, when they reach the point that they can cast Magic User spells, do you make them get a spellbook?

    Not druidical spells, no.
    Only magic-userr spells demand spell books.

    Also pertaining to Rangers, if they cast a spell like Animal Friendship, and they are say 12th level, is the Hit Die that the Ranger can get based on his Ranger levels, or only the levels he was able to start casting druid spells?


    Spells are case as 1st level when they are initially included in the capacity of a class.
    Thus, the levels of non-spell-casting sort are ot counted.



    Age never was an impediment to me when looking at something creative.
    Joe Fischer was around the same age as you were when he submitted the Ranger material for the zine...and I had to do some text editing there as well 

    I have located the file of the book of chess variants.
    Email me at ggygax@genevaonline as to where to send it.


    Originally posted by MerricB
    G'day, Gary!

    More questions!

    In OAD&D, rangers gain a damage bonus vs. "giant-class" creatures. What exactly did "giant-class" mean? Or is it just the list of monsters that the ranger did additional damage to, as listed in the PH and expanded in UA?

    Do you ever use adventure modules created by other people, or are your games completely the result of your own imagination (as modified by your players, of course! )

    G'Day Mate...

    ...and at this time of year I wish I were Down Under where spring is in progress rather than being here where autum is all too soon introducing winter's gloom

    You have it. The list in the PHB, expanded in UA, is that of the "Giant Class" against which rangers were so effective. It seemed a good corellary to clerics and undead. (I am generous to a fault with PCs, of course...)

    On many occassions I have my players adventure in other authors' modules--in the past using AD&D, and even currently using the LA game system. This is a good change of pace for all concerned, I think, and it allows me, as the GM, to have a bit of R&R from the creative frontline.

    The same is true for getting onto the other side of the screen, if you will, playing a character. It is an excellent thing from my standpoint, getting to play, work against the GM's plottings, and in all stimulating--entertaining and creatively invigorating.

    Now if only I could get someone here to run some LA game sessions for me, because I need to get a better player's perspective there


    After reading all the post in both threads I was finally able to come up with a question. I really enjoy the Ranger class and always wondered about the ruling that no more then 3 rangers could ever work together at one time. I am curious as to the reasoning for that rule. I always thought of the ranger class a fantasy version of Army Rangers, warriors who specialized in fast raids, hit and move tactics and used minimal equipment.

    Thanks again for giving us a great game.


    The stricture was placed in the rules to discourage parties of one sort of character, or an over-balance of one--Rangers.
    We found that a problem in the large groups we were DMing at the time.

    The Ranger was envisaged as more of a lone scout sort than a trained military man who operated in units.


    Originally posted by JRRNeiklot
    Hey, Gary, with all the flak the ranger class has been given in 3e, and indeed, in the upcoming 3.5e rules, why do you thinkis no one (myself included) has been really happy with the class? I loved the 1e and AU ranger class, but I have yet to see a version in 3e that really inspires me to play a ranger, though hackmaster comes close.

    The answer is easy OAD&D got it right in regards to the Ranger class.
    As HackMaster is pretty close to AD&D, their version is pretty close to being "right."


    The Ranger class was originally devised by Joe Fischer, then a regular in my D&D game group.
    I published his initial treatment of the class in The Strategic Review, thereafter revised it and included it in the core game rules.
    Of course it is apparent that Joe based the class on JRRT's work and Aragorn.
    Likely a forester of some sort would have been created at some point, but it would have been quite different from the Ranger as it appeared.

    Originally Posted by Steverooo
    In 1e, Gary, did you ever find the Ranger's +1 HP/level damage bonus to "Giant-class Creatures" to be a problem, at higher levels?
    (Sir Robilar, for example, was a Ranger, for a while, as was Ararat.)
    Did this cause problems, at higher levels?
    Would you change it, now?

    Howdy Steveeroo!

    First, I must say that Robilar was never anything other than a fighter.

    The ranger's bonus of +1 damage per level was very annoying to me as the DM, but that encouraged the logical addition of damage for the big old giant class members,
    so that a couple of solid hits from a member of same could flatten the cheeky little ranger attacking him.

    What the heck, though: clerics beat up on undead, rangers on giant class critters, and it's all in a day's adventuring.
    As should any DM, some of the kicked around thus will have special defenses and offenses devised to make life difficult for the bully PC


    Gary Gygax on rangers whose ability scores have fallen below class minimums, and how this affects advancement +

    Ecology Fund

    Reduce - Reuse - Recycle


    1. SUBCLASS = fighter
    3. ABILITY SCORE MINIMUMS (humans & half-elves always begin at mature: +1 Str && +1 Con)
        STRENGTH = 13:16 (7d6)
        INTELLIGENCE = 13:16 (6d6)
        WISDOM = 14:16 (8d6)
        DEXTERITY = 6 (5d6)
        CONSTITUTION = 14 (9d6)
        CHARISMA = 6 (4d6)
        COMELINESS =  3 (3d6)
    4. POSSIBLE RACES & MAX. LEVEL ATTAINABLE = dark elf (max), gray elf (max), high elf (max), valley elf (max), wood elf (max), half-elf (max), human (U)
    6. HIT DIE TYPE = d8 (2d8 at level 1)
    8. SPELL ABILITY = yes
    9. ARMOR PERMITTED = any
        Q: Can a ranger wear plate mail or plate armor?
        A: Yes. A ranger may wear any armor.
    10. SHIELD PERMITTED = any
    12. OIL PERMITTED = yes
    13. POISON PERMITTED = DM's option
    14. ALIGNMENT = any good
    15. STARTING MONEY = 50-200 gp
    16. WEAPON PROFICIENCIES = 3, 1/3 levels (1st: 3*, 4th: 4**, 7th: 5, 10th: 6, 13th: 7)
    18. NON-WEAPON PROFICIENCIES = 2, 1/3 levels (1st: 2***, 4th: 3, 7th: 4, 10th: 5, 13th: 6)
    19. STARTING AGE = human (20 + d4: mature), elf (130 + 5d6), half-elf (22 + 3d4: mature)
    20. COMBAT = fighter
    21. SAVING THROWS = fighter
    22. MAGIC ITEMS = as fighter (note that they cannot use either druid or MU scrolls).
        At 10th level, rangers are able to use non-written magic items pertaining to clairaudience, clairvoyance, ESP, or telepathy
        Q: Can high-level rangers use wands
        or other magic-user items?
        A: The ranger's ability to cast spells does
        not empower the class with the ability to
        use magic-user or druidical magic items,
        unless such may be used by all classes.

    * one must be either a bow || light crossbow
    ** by the time the ranger gains a 4th WP at 4th level, the character's weapon list must incl.:
            either a bow or a light crossbow,
            a dagger or a knife,
            a spear or an axe, and
            a sword (of any type).
    *** remember to incl. tracking at 1st level