For those who relish the thrill of the hunt, there are only predators and prey. Be they scouts, trackers, or bounty hunters, rangers share much in common: unique mastery of specialized weapons, skill at stalking even the most elusive game, and the expertise to defeat a wide range of quarries. Knowledgeable, patient, and skilled hunters, these rangers hound man, beast, and monster alike, gaining insight into the way of the predator, skill in varied environments, and ever more lethal martial prowess. While some track man-eating creatures to protect the frontier, others pursue more cunning game—even fugitives among their own people.
The ranger is an archetype of the beastmaster class.
Archetype Main Ability Scores:
The ranger mainly focuses on STR/DEX for martial combat and WIS and CHA for their class features.
Archetype Feature Replacements:
1st – Animal Focus, Wild Empathy, Nature Sense, Animal Companion. 2nd – Empathic Link, Flanking Companion. 3rd – Beastmaster Tactics, Teamwork Feat. 4th – Beastmaster Trick, Track. 5th – Woodland Stride. 6th – Teamwork Feat. 7th – Second Animal Focus. 8th – Quarry. 9th – Improved Empathic Link, Teamwork Feat. 10th – Raise Animal Companion. 12th – Teamwork Feat. 13th – Third Animal Focus. 14th – Greater Empathic Link. 15th – Improved Quarry, Teamwork Feat. 16th – Beastmaster Trick. 17th – Master of the Pack. 18th – Teamwork Feat. 20th – Mastery of Beasts.
At 1st level, a ranger’s most well-known ability is tracking creatures: detecting them, locating them, identifying them, and observing important details about them. These abilities come with the limitation that the ranger must concentrate his attention on the target in order to do these things properly. So, the ranger learns to focus his concentration and attention on one creature: his quarry.
To make a creature his quarry, the ranger must take a moment to gather his thoughts and visualize the creature in his mind. This means the ranger must know enough about the creature to identify and describe them. Once per round as a free action, the ranger can make anyone he remembers encountering and interacting with in for at least 10 minutes in the past 24 hours his quarry. If a ranger is extremely familiar with someone, he can make them his quarry up to 1 year after encountering them. This includes anyone he has spent an extended period of time interacting with (at least 2 hours total). Even if the creature is not present, the ranger can make them his quarry.
If the ranger meets a creature, he can study it so that he makes it his quarry immediately. A ranger can make any creature his quarry if he can see them (or sense in a unique way, such as by using a form of blindsense) as a move action.
Finally, a ranger can also make a creature his quarry based on evidence of their presence, without even knowing exactly who they are. If a ranger makes a successful Survival or Perception skill check to find tracks or other signs of a creature’s passage, he may make that creature his quarry as a standard action. If the ranger fails, he may not try to quarry that creature again for 24 hours, unless he discovers tracks or other signs of passage at a different, unrelated location.
A ranger has several special abilities that relate to his quarry:
- A ranger is skilled in finding his quarry. When making Survival skill checks made to follow his quarry’s tracks, the ranger adds half his beastmaster level (minimum 1) to his check and can move at his normal speed while using following tracks without taking the normal –5 penalty. He takes only a –10 penalty (instead of the normal –20) when moving at up to twice normal speed while tracking.
- When making Perception skill checks to locate his quarry (such as if the quarry is invisible or hiding), to confirm their identity (such as if the quarry is disguised), or to determine if something belongs to the quarry or was left behind by them, the ranger adds half his beastmaster level (minimum 1) to his check.
- A ranger may attempt to use a Knowledge check to identify the creature type of his quarry based on its tracks or evidence of their passage.
- A ranger may make a Perception skill check against his quarry’s Disguise or Bluff check (whichever is higher) to gain some information about its condition at the time they were present, just by looking at the quarry’s tracks. They may learn the following: whether the creature was badly injured (has less than half of its hit points), whether it had any conditions that affect its movement (such as blindness or a missing leg), or whether it was encumbered. The ranger can also tell whether the quarry was running or walking.
A quarry lasts until the ranger chooses a different quarry. For the purpose of this ability, a troop or swarm is considered a single creature.
This ability replaces animal focus.
At 1st level, when a ranger attacks his quarry, his increased focus makes him even deadlier. The ranger gains a +1 insight bonus to attack rolls against his quarry, and deals an additional 1d6 precision damage against them on all attacks. These bonuses increase by +1 and +1d6 respectively at 5th, 9th, 13th, and 17th level. This extra damage is not multiplied upon a critical hit.
This ability replaces nature sense and wild empathy.
Favored Enemy (Ex)
At 1st level, a ranger selects a creature subtype from the ranger favored enemies table. He gains a +2 bonus on Bluff, Knowledge, Perception, Sense Motive, and Survival checks against creatures of his selected type. Likewise, he gets a +2 bonus on weapon attack and damage rolls against them. A ranger may make Knowledge skill checks untrained when attempting to identify these creatures.
At 5th level and every five levels thereafter (10th, 15th, and 20th level), the ranger may select an additional favored enemy. In addition, at each such interval, the bonus against any one favored enemy (including the one just selected, if so desired) increases by +2.
If the ranger chooses humanoids or outsiders as a favored enemy, he must also choose an associated subtype, as indicated on the table below. (Note that there are other types of humanoid to choose from—those called out specifically on the table below are merely the most common.) If a specific creature falls into more than one category of favored enemy, the ranger’s bonuses do not stack; he simply uses whichever bonus is higher.
This ability replaces animal companion.
Table: Favored Enemies
At 2nd level, a ranger adds half his beastmaster level to Survival skill checks made to follow or identify tracks.
This ability replaces flanking companion.
At 2nd level, a ranger is skilled in speaking with creatures that are close to nature. He can speak with any creature with the animal or magical beast type or communicate with them as if he spoke their language if they don’t have one. In addition, he gains a bonus equal to half his beastmaster level to his Diplomacy checks against such creatures when he attempts to influence their attitude.
As a ranger grows more experienced, he learns to do this with more exotic creatures. At 5th level, he may use this ability with any creature of the monstrous humanoid or fey types, at 9th level, he may use this ability with vermin and plants, at 13th level, he may use this ability with elementals and oozes.
At 17th level, he may speak with the earth itself, communicating with rocks, rivers, and soil as if it were intelligent. For this purpose, treat each 30-foot by 30-foot section of earth as a separate intelligent creature, unless an obvious physical landmark is larger than that, with an alignment and temperament befitting that sort of terrain. The earth is aware of what has happened to it and has some understanding of events that have occurred in its presence (though it doesn’t speak common languages).
This ability replaces empathic link.
Relentless Stride (Ex)
At 3rd level, the ranger learns to move more effectively in different environments. When he succeeds on a Climb check, he may move his full speed without penalty, or he may move half his speed while continuing to use a shield. He may also move his full speed when he succeeds on a Swim check, and he may move through any sort of undergrowth (such as natural thorns, briars, overgrown areas, and similar terrain) at his normal speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment, and is not affected by tripping effects caused by slick or icy surfaces, magical or otherwise.
At 7th level, the ranger has an incredible lightness to his step. Provided he starts his turn on normal ground, he can move on any surface as if it were the ground, like walls and ceilings. He falls if his movement ends or he falls prone. As a swift action, he may make a Climb skill check to use a hand to cling to the surface he has walked on this way. He can also walk across water without sinking or taking damage but sinks normally if he stops his movement or falls prone. He cannot begin his movement on water.
This ability replaces beastmaster tactics.
Improved Quarry (Ex)
At 3rd level, as a ranger becomes more skilled at hunting, he learns to make creatures his quarry with greater efficiency.
- Charging Focus: At 3rd level, the ranger may quarry a creature as a move action and move towards that creature (or direct his mount to move towards that creature) as part of the same move action. He may quarry as part of a charge.
- Sudden Focus: At 7th level, the ranger may quarry a creature he can see as a swift action.
- Perceptive Focus: At 11th level, the ranger may make creatures his quarry even if he cannot see them, provided he knows they are present by making a Perception skill check vs the creature’s Stealth, Disguise or Bluff check (as appropriate). This is a move action and can be part of the same action used to find the creature.
- Instant Focus: At 15th level, the ranger may make any creature that attacks him his quarry as an immediate action.
- Close Focus: At 19th level, the ranger may make an adjacent creature he can see his quarry as a free action.
This ability replaces teamwork feats.
Ranger’s Bond (Ex)
At 4th level, a ranger forms a bond with his hunting companions. This bond can take one of two forms. Once the form is chosen, it cannot be changed. The first is a bond to his companions. This bond allows him to spend a move action to grant half his favored enemy bonus against a single target of the appropriate type to all allies within 30 feet who can see or hear him. This bonus lasts for a number of rounds equal to the ranger’s Wisdom modifier (minimum 1). This bonus does not stack with any favored enemy bonuses possessed by his allies; they use whichever bonus is higher.
The second option is to form a close bond with an animal companion. A ranger who selects an animal companion can choose from the following list: badger, bird, camel, cat (small), dire rat, dog, horse, pony, snake (viper or constrictor), or wolf. If the campaign takes place wholly or partly in an aquatic environment, the ranger may choose a shark instead. This animal is a loyal companion that accompanies the ranger on his adventures as appropriate for its kind. A ranger’s animal companion shares his favored enemy and favored terrain bonuses.
This ability functions like the beastmaster’s animal companion ability, except that the ranger’s effective beastmaster level is equal to his level –3.
A ranger can select an antelope, baboon, bustard, capybara, elk, falcon, kangaroo, lizard (giant gecko), marsupial devil, ram, reindeer, snake (reef snake or spitting cobra), stag, trumpeter swan, thylacine, wolfdog, yak, or zebra as an animal companion. If the campaign takes place in an aquatic environment, the ranger can choose an armorfish, stingray, or reef snake. A falconer ranger can select a falcon companion instead of a bird companion.
The ambusher, bully, daredevil, feytouched companion, precocious companion, totem guide, tracker, verdant companion, and wrecker archetypes are all particularly appropriate for a ranger’s animal companion.
This ability replaces a beastmaster trick gained at 4th level and greater empathic link.
Beginning at 4th level, a ranger gains the ability to cast a small number of druidic spells, which are drawn from the druid spell list. A ranger begins play with 1 1st level druid spell of his choice. Each time a character attains a new beastmaster level, he gains one spell of his choice to add to his list of spells. The free spell must be of spell levels he can cast. Like most spellcasters, a ranger can find or purchase scrolls with spells to add to his repertoire. Unlike other spellcasters, a ranger wearing armor does not affect his spellcasting ability.
To learn or cast a spell, the ranger must have a Wisdom score equal to at least 10 + the spell level (Wis 11 for 1st-level spells, Wis 12 for 2nd-level spells, and so forth). The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a ranger’s spell is 10 + the spell level + his Wisdom modifier. In addition, a ranger gains additional MP for having a high attribute (Wisdom).
Table: 1/2 MP Chart
Through 3rd level, a ranger has no caster level. At 4th level and higher, his caster level is equal to his beastmaster level – 3.
In addition, if the ranger chooses an animal companion with nature’s bond. the ranger’s animal companion loses Shared Saves and gains Shared Spells: The ranger may cast a spell with a target of “You” on his animal companion (as a touch spell) instead of on himself.
This ability replaces track and improved empathic link.
Favored Terrain (Ex)
At 5th level, a ranger may select a type of terrain from Table: Ranger Favored Terrains. The ranger gains a +2 bonus on initiative checks and Knowledge (geography), Perception, Stealth, and Survival skill checks when he is in this terrain. A ranger traveling through his favored terrain normally leaves no trail and cannot be tracked (though he may leave a trail if he so chooses).
At 10th level and every five levels thereafter, the ranger may select an additional favored terrain. In addition, at each such interval, the skill bonus and initiative bonus in any one favored terrain (including the one just selected, if so desired), increases by +2.
If a specific terrain falls into more than one category of favored terrain, the ranger’s bonuses do not stack; he simply uses whichever bonus is higher.
This ability replaces woodland stride and master of the pack.
Table: Favored Terrains
|Cold (ice, glaciers, snow, and tundra)|
|Desert (sand and wastelands)|
|Forest (coniferous and deciduous)|
|Mountain (including hills)|
|Planes (pick one, other than Material Plane)|
|Underground (caves and dungeons)|
|Urban (buildings, streets, and sewers)|
|Water (above and below the surface)|
A ranger of 7th level or higher can use the Stealth skill to hide in any of his favored terrains, even if the terrain doesn’t grant cover or concealment.
This ability replaces second animal focus.
Hunter’s Edge (Ex)
At 7th level, a ranger has mastered a single skill beyond that skill’s normal boundaries, gaining a level of ability few can match. He may choose a skill from the ranger’s list of class skills. He gains the skill unlock powers for that skill as appropriate for his number of ranks in that skill. At 10th, 15th, and 20th level, he chooses an additional skill from the ranger’s list of class skills and gains skill unlock powers for that skill as well.
This ability replaces bonus tricks.
Convert Nature (Ex)
A ranger of 8th level or higher can use the Stealth skill even while being observed and without needing cover or concealment. The ranger normally leaves no trail and cannot be tracked (though he may leave a trail if he so chooses). At 11th level, the ranger learns to apply common materials to his clothing to remove odors while remaining downwind of enemies. He can apply his Stealth skill to avoid being detected by scent (though he still can be tracked by it). He also learns special techniques to disguise himself from blindsight and blindsense, as well as any other senses, so that he may always make a Stealth skill to avoid being detected. He cannot do this while talking or using spells with verbal components.
This ability replaces scent.
At 8th level, a ranger can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If he makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, he instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the ranger is not wearing heavy armor. A helpless ranger does not gain the benefit of evasion. At 15th level, the ranger gains improved evasion and takes half damage even if he fails his Reflex saving throw.
This ability replaces quarry.
At 10th level, a ranger becomes skilled in noticing tiny vibrations, shifts in air currents (or water currents, if underwater), and tiny movements across surfaces from changes in pressure. This works as a form of blindsight with a range of 30 feet that only detects creatures and objects that have moved (such as by attacking, changing location, casting a spell with somatic components, or making a skill check using Strength or Dexterity) within the past round. A creature that stops moving does not instantly become invisible to this sense; they are still noticeable until the air around them has stopped moving, which doesn’t happen until the end of their next turn. Creatures that are completely intangible are naturally invisible to this sense. This ability is not impeded if the ranger is deafened in any way but does stop functioning if there is no air. Winds greater than 30mph can create blind spots downwind of the ranger. This sense works continuously, and the ranger may spend his move action to concentrate on the ability, doubling the range until the beginning of his next turn. This draws attacks of opportunity from adjacent enemies. At 19th level, the range on this sense doubles to 60 feet.
This ability replaces raise animal companion.
Perfect Survivor (Ex)
At 13th level, a ranger becomes able to survive almost anywhere. The ranger becomes immune to nonlethal damage as well as all forms of poison and disease. In addition, he may spend a swift action to focus his force of will, granting himself 20 temporary hit points. The temporary hit points last for 24 hours. These temporary hit points do not stack with themselves or other temporary hit points.
This ability replaces third animal focus.
Hide in Plain Sight (Ex)
While in any of his favored terrains, a ranger of 15th level or higher can use the Stealth skill even while being observed.
This ability replaces improved quarry.
Seen It Before (Ex)
At 16th level, the ranger is wise to all the tricks of his prey. The ranger adds his favored enemy bonus as an insight bonus on saves against spells and abilities used by his favored enemies.
This ability replaces a beastmaster trick gained at 16th level.
Apex Predator (Ex)
A ranger of 17th level reaches the top of the food chain. Whenever he attacks his quarry and misses with a roll that is not a natural 1, he hits his quarry, but the damage is halved.
This ability replaces master of the pack.
Master Ranger (Ex)
A ranger of 20th level becomes a master hunter. He can always move at full speed while using Survival to follow tracks without penalty. He can, as a standard action, make a single attack against a favored enemy at his full attack bonus. If the attack hits, the target takes damage normally and must make a Fortitude save or die. The DC of this save is equal to 10 + half of the beastmaster’s level + his Wisdom modifier. A ranger can choose instead to deal an amount of nonlethal damage equal to the creature’s current hit points. A successful save negates this damage. A ranger can use this ability once per day against each favored enemy type he possesses, but not against the same creature more than once in a 24-hour period.
This ability replaces mastery of beasts.