Saturday, June 06, 2015

The D&D Thirty Day Challenge, Day 3: Favorite PC Class

In 1st edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Players Handbook, on page 24, it is stated:

"No more than three rangers may work operate together at any time." 

If my memory serves me right, the intention of this rule by Gygax, et. al, is that since rangers are on the fringes of civilization protecting the settled lands from beasts and even worse, they tend to operate with no one to count on but themselves. There is something very adventurous and alluring to that idea. 

To all you ranger apprentices, (see what I did there?) since you are going to be out there in the wilds all by yourself with only two other possible rangers to give you a hand, you need to train hard. Cleaving bugbear skulls asunder with that bastard sword and knocking arrows repetitively as you hastily move from the cover of a hundred-or-so year old Spruce to the concealment of brambles and underbrush, all the while as you are under attack by a volley of arrows let loose by a patrol of savage gnolls, takes a certain level of fitness. Here is your workout to prepare:

The ranger is my favorite class. There is something appealing about being the shield between the wilderlands and the populated villages, towns, and cities; wandering the wilderness seeking vermin to exterminate. I like fighters, as well, but to me, the ranger stands out as a proper specialist. Aragorn is most likely one of the main ancestors for the D&D ranger, as disputed by D&D geeks across the internet. No matter. He is a good example and good inspiration for the class, at least in his appearances in "Fellowship of the Ring."  

Serving as a mcguffin since 1954 A.D./ Shire Reckoning 1418 
I think what I like the most about the ranger, and in particular the 1st edition ranger, is their surprise ability. In the absence of a Perception/Spot Hidden skill check that many modern RPGs frequently use, the "X chance in 6" is a fast and simple way to determine if an ambush is successful. "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)." In the 1st edition game, that is a significant benefit to have. 

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