Ranger Prestige Class

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Postby ShadowScout » Tue Oct 14, 2003 2:32 pm

KDLadage wrote:* In Monte Cook's discussions of Prestige Classes, he distinctly suggests that Class and/or Character Level not be used as a pre-requisite.
-snip-
Usually I'd agree to that... but in this very case, level Would be fitting. Remember how Sinclair first choose his rangers - people he felt "had what it takes", had the neccessary mind-set, and had enough life experience and strength of character. Following that, level as prerequisite Does make sense, as long as the ranger-candidated are presonally chosen. After Sinclair went away and in ISA times (when the rangers finally get enough prestige to attract recruits instead of having to go out and look for them) I presume the level requirements should fall (see the ranger candidates in "Learning Curve"; I can't well imagine any of them being level-5...). So I'd make it something like "either a bunch of presequisite stuff, OR level-5"...

But while we're at it... I dislike the racial requirements, since they again cover only a small time period - from 2259 to 2261. Before it was "Minbari only", after it is "ISA members only". An easy fix that...
* Advancement Restriction:
-snip-
Now That sounds very interesting! Good thought!
* A denn'bok is a quarter-staff
-snip-
Exactly. Either anyone can get spacial weapon feats for Quaterstaff, Bo, Denn'bok, etc., or noone can. The only thing where the minbari pike Does differs from the others would be a possible "fast-draw"... however, that's not enough to merit a special feat IMO, just let the GM treat it as it is - a small concealable weapon that can be broungt into battle as quickly as a combat knife...
* 5-levels:
-snip-
Agreed. Ten levels, certainly. It's not just a bit extra training, it's a whole new job, no, an whole new way of life! It'd be quite easy to strech out the abilities... As for adding stuff... well, I'm sure people here can come up with some ideas to tempt the Mongoose guys :wink: .
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Postby KDLadage » Tue Oct 14, 2003 2:45 pm

ShadowScout wrote:
KDLadage wrote:* In Monte Cook's discussions of Prestige Classes, he distinctly suggests that Class and/or Character Level not be used as a pre-requisite.
-snip-
Usually I'd agree to that... but in this very case, level Would be fitting. Remember how Sinclair first choose his rangers - people he felt "had what it takes", had the neccessary mind-set, and had enough life experience and strength of character. Following that, level as prerequisite Does make sense, as long as the ranger-candidated are presonally chosen. After Sinclair went away and in ISA times (when the rangers finally get enough prestige to attract recruits instead of having to go out and look for them) I presume the level requirements should fall (see the ranger candidates in "Learning Curve"; I can't well imagine any of them being level-5...). So I'd make it something like "either a bunch of presequisite stuff, OR level-5"...
Maybe... but what about something like this: At level 5, the highest skill level you can have is (5+3)=8 ranks. Thus, since what you are after is dedication and experience -- make the Prerequisite "four skills, one of which must be a knowledge skill, at 8+ ranks."

This way you indicate that at least 5th level must be achieved; and you indicate that they have to have dedicated themselves to something (meaning maxing out a few skills, at least one indicating a studious nature).

Also, while I am thinking of it -- at first level the character should also gain the ability to speak Minbari (if they do not have the language already). Marcus indicates that you cannot graduate until you can speak and think in Minbari.
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Postby ShadowScout » Tue Oct 14, 2003 3:16 pm

KDLadage wrote:Maybe... but what about something like this: At level 5, the highest skill level you can have is (5+3)=8 ranks. Thus, since what you are after is dedication and experience -- make the Prerequisite "four skills, one of which must be a knowledge skill, at 8+ ranks."
Hmmm... that might work for those who dedicate themselves to one track - but I always thought of rangers as "can do it all" kind of guys - so there it wouldn't be good to require them to specialize in one skill...
and certainly not studious nature - hell, Marcus was a miner (OK, mining operations supervisor... and he was in the military too, for a short time, so I presume a 1st level officer or soldier and 4th level worker would be appropiate) before he became a ranger, and his brother something of a tramp (much like franklin, going from world to world, sightseeing the universe... look it up in "To Dream in the City of Sorrows"), while Catherine Sakai was an indipendent prospector... Those are the very first standards the ranger rules must reflect... and not a bookworm among them! However, lots of "life experience".
Also, while I am thinking of it -- at first level the character should also gain the ability to speak Minbari (if they do not have the language already). Marcus indicates that you cannot graduate until you can speak and think in Minbari.
True. Good catch. Hear/Read that, any Mongoose-man? :wink: :D
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Postby August » Tue Oct 14, 2003 7:32 pm

Keeping this short and sweet:

Monte Cook is a nice guy, and I like his suggestions. Having said that, I do not intend to change the level requirement. The fact is, anything can be an effective prerequisite for a prestige class, including (though rarely) statistics. If a person restates the level requirement as skill ranks or a given feat or anythign else, it is STILL a level requirement hidden by semantics. Forgive me if I put my intentions out in the open and do not hide them under game mechanics. I am not a Shadow, after all. :)

The Minbari is a GOOD catch and I am still kicking myself for missing it. It was fixed within a day of posting the initial class, so rest assured that it is in the final work.

Ranger is a 5 level class because it is a way of life, yes, but five levels is a LOT of leveling for a Babylon 5 character. At the height of the Shadow War, Sheridan (arguably the most powerful officer in the galaxy) is only 12-13th level. Thus, a ranger with full levels in the PrC is 11th to 12th level if he takes it as soon as he can.

In addition, the training for a Ranger is intense, true, but the proof of the Ranger is in the doing, so to speak. Thus, I felt the class only needed five levels to frame what it directly teaches, and life experience (other classes) can help define each individual ranger.

On to the Denn'bok, I am really of two minds on this. The Denn'bok is NOT a quarter staff. They share many similarities, true, but they are not weighted the same and the combat style used with them is highly specialized. I have little doubt that a quartstaff master could use one effectively, but not to the same extent as a trained Denn'bok fighter. However, it is a deceptively simple weapon and while I still think an exotic weapon proficiency is called for (after all, Bastard sword needs one, and given that it is only to use the thing in one hand, I think the level of similarity between the call for it as a feat is pretty similar), I may bend a little on this one. I'll let you know.

I wrote the requirements the way I did because I knew a lot of people were looking forward to playing Rangers but had already started their campaigns. As such, the requirements effectively only call for a level of dedication to whatever path in life a character has chosen and a willingness to 'stand on the bridge and let none pass'. Specific requirements would have barred some devoted characters from qualifying for the class and thus, I bent Cook's rules. I think the Great Maker will forgive me. :)

As for the repeated Games Master's discretion comments, those are staying in the text and I'll tell you why. Far too many Games Masters don't realize that they have the right to decide anything in how the mechanics of a game are applied. For the Rangers, I wanted to spell out thier need to be involved with every step of a Ranger's progression. I will not define specific steps to make each new level of ranger, nor will I attach an (admittedly well suggested) rule like one level in another class if the 'code' is not adhered to because honestly, a Ranger not adhering to the code is not likely to EVER be given more training. Look at the poor sot in LotRangers; he was almost kicked out permanently just for surviving a battle.

The PrC has already been changed a little thanks to the great feedback you all are providing. Thank you, and keep it coming.

-August
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Postby Guest » Tue Oct 14, 2003 8:14 pm

MongooseAugust wrote:Monte Cook is a nice guy, and I like his suggestions. Having said that, I do not intend to change the level requirement. The fact is, anything can be an effective prerequisite for a prestige class, including (though rarely) statistics. If a person restates the level requirement as skill ranks or a given feat or anythign else, it is STILL a level requirement hidden by semantics. Forgive me if I put my intentions out in the open and do not hide them under game mechanics. I am not a Shadow, after all.
Your call.

However, keep in mind that with the requirement as it is, I can become a Ranger after 5 levels of Worker, with 1 rank in a variety of skills, all of which would show little or no dedication to anything. I was simply trying to avoid some odd rangers being created...
MongooseAugust wrote:Ranger is a 5 level class because it is a way of life, yes, but five levels is a LOT of leveling for a Babylon 5 character.
Again, your call.

However, I would then ask the obvious question: why are _any_ B5 Prestige classes 10-level paths, then?
MongooseAugust wrote:Specific requirements would have barred some devoted characters from qualifying for the class and thus, I bent Cook's rules. I think the Great Maker will forgive me.
No doubt. I just see bending such things as something that should be done with purpose and well-thought reason. I may be missing something here, but so far I simply disagree with your reasoning. Not the first time, certainly not the last time. But no harm, no foul, eh?

As for the DM comments... I would say that the same concept and care is true for any and all PRCs. But, again, your call.
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Postby KDLadage » Tue Oct 14, 2003 8:15 pm

Damnit! That last post was mine...

(posting from a public computer while on a break... sorry)
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Postby ShadowScout » Tue Oct 14, 2003 8:56 pm

Mongoose August wrote:On to the Denn'bok, I am really of two minds on this. The Denn'bok is NOT a quarter staff. They share many similarities, true, but they are not weighted the same...
Actually I'd say they are - it just makes sense from a weapon-makers PoV.

You usually strike with the end part, so it does not make much sense to have the weight concentrated in the middle, as thus you'd give away striking power - And the fact that you strike with the ends means there will be more force applied to the weapon when it impacts, so it needs stronger construction then the middle - combined with the "folding" that requires smaller diameter you get something close to same net weight.

It also makes little sense to have the weight concentrated entirely on the ends, as then you'd have to make the "thicker" middle parts "thinner", thus damaging the weapons structureal integrity while also making the thing harder to handle (weighted on their ends weapons work well for things that make one slow but very damaging attack - axes, maces, halberds, etc.; but for things that are supposed to move like Marcus & Neroon demonstrated a balanced design is more likely)
...and the combat style used with them is highly specialized. I have little doubt that a quartstaff master could use one effectively, but not to the same extent as a trained Denn'bok fighter.
Well... I wouldn't say that... though I have no idea what a "Quaterstaff master" can do. However, a Bo master should be able to use a denn'bok just like a trained minbari master... as I know Bo fights look similar to what Marcus and Neroon did... (I may be no expert, but I have freidns who are).

And I just remembered that Sinclair did impress the F'hursna Sech (= denn'bok grand master) Durhan with at least basic familiarity when they threw a pike in his hands, to the annoyance of the warrior caste who were hoping he'd enbaress himself in the masters eyes - and all because he had trained a bit with a Bo in earthforce - heh! ("To Dream in the City of Sorrows", p.128 and 138-142)
Follows to reaosn a Bo master would be able to handle a denn'bok quite well (though with a slight unfamiliarity penalty, as it isn't quite a bo staff after all - but similar enough to use it well, if not as well as he'd be able to use a familiar Bo)
However, it is a deceptively simple weapon and while I still think an exotic weapon proficiency is called for (after all, Bastard sword needs one, and given that it is only to use the thing in one hand, I think the level of similarity between the call for it as a feat is pretty similar), I may bend a little on this one. I'll let you know.
Hmmm... well, that's new info... if something as simple as a bastard sword requires "exotic weapon", then the denn'bok could also make a plausible claim to it...
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5 Levels or 10

Postby El Cid » Tue Oct 14, 2003 9:23 pm

I would strongly recommend 10 levels for thr Ranger prestige class for the following reasons:

1) It is a career and way of life,

2) non-prestige classes have 20 levels,

3) I don't see the players wanting to limit their PCs to 12 or 13 levels total, and

4) I see my campaign lasting for a lot longer than 2263 which is where I see the Rangers being the cops of the ISA.

In fact, I'd like to see the Ranger Prestige class be a non-prestige class with 20 levels.

I could see the sons and daughters of the B5 era Ranger PCs starting out as Rangers.

Sidney
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Postby DrNate » Tue Oct 14, 2003 9:42 pm

Mongoose August wrote:Keeping this short and sweet:

The Minbari is a GOOD catch and I am still kicking myself for missing it. It was fixed within a day of posting the initial class, so rest assured that it is in the final work.

The PrC has already been changed a little thanks to the great feedback you all are providing. Thank you, and keep it coming.

-August
What book are we looking forward to seeing the revisions? Minbari book? Point of No Return?

Also, which Minbari language do y'all recommend? I have one player who wanted to take Ranger from the start, and he has "DarK" but the religous caste language might be better, no?

Take Care,
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Postby August » Tue Oct 14, 2003 10:19 pm

The language in the updated Ranger class (which should see print in the Point of No Return Season 3 book) grants Adrenato (the religious 'grey' language) as the Minbari tongue of choice.

And no, KD, I don't see us agreeing on much any time in the future, but then, where would be the fun in thinking alike? One of the joys of a roleplaying game is being able to envision things differently from others. Thus, no set of rules could be (or should be) exactly what someone is going to want to use. I am comfortable with that, which is why I take your critiques with the consideration and lack of confrontationalism that I assume they were posted with.

As for Ranger, the pre-ISA Ranger is and will stay a 5 level prestige class for the reasons I have already stated. The Worker with 1 rank in dozens of skills is a VERY extreme suggestion, as I am sure KD will admit, and I doubt it would be a problem as the Minbari would likely see such a character as a blessed 'Seeker' of some meaning in his life and reward him for progressing so far on such an ecclectic path with membership into the Rangers.

That said, the ISA Ranger will be a very different path indeed and just might end up being its own base class rather than a Prestige Class at all. Wait and see, but thanks for the suggestion!

Take care, all, and keep the ideas coming. We really do listen.
-August
Last edited by August on Thu Oct 16, 2003 4:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby B5 Aide » Tue Oct 14, 2003 11:17 pm

I have to ask then...

Why is this game so low level? Most d20 games top out at 15 levels or so, and many go beyond. I have discussed it with my players and I can't see a reason why things would be that way and was wondering what the thoughts are behind it. After all, things like the officer class have huge gaps where the player gets nothing in the line of abilities... Could you explain that one too please?


Thanks
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Postby KDLadage » Wed Oct 15, 2003 12:42 am

Mongoose August wrote:And no, KD, I don;t see us agreeing on much any time in the future, but then, where would be the fun in thinking alike? One of the joys of a roleplaying game is being able to envision things differently from others. Thus, no set of rules could be (or should be) exactly what someone is going to want to use. I am comfortable with that, which is why I take your critiques with the consideration and lack of confrontationalism that I assume they were posted with.
That is exactly how it was intended. I have been working hard to ensure that my language is not quite so sharp (something I have trouble with in verbal communications sometimes as well). If I start to falter, please let me know.
Mongoose August wrote:The Worker with 1 rank in dozens of skills is a VERY extreme suggestion, as I am sure KD will admit, and I doubt it would be a problem as the Minbari would likely see such a character as a blessed 'Seeker' of some meaning in his life and reward him for progressing so far on such an ecclectic path with membership into the Rangers.
Admitted. It was an extreme example, but (I feel) a valid one, given the way the prerequisites are lisited now. Still, I will concede the point (and modify it in my own campaigns when all is said and done... ;) )
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Postby jadrax » Wed Oct 15, 2003 4:23 pm

ShadowScout wrote:Hmmm... well, that's new info... if something as simple as a bastard sword requires "exotic weapon", then the denn'bok could also make a plausible claim to it...
You only need the Feat for bastard sword if you want to weild it one-handed. And a bastard sword is a dice better than a longsword. D10 over d8.

A denn'bok however is mechanically the same as a quarterstaff. Also based on the fights with it in the show its used the exact same way as a quarterstaff. I really don't see a good argument for it being an exotic weapon.

As for the levels, i really think that almost all Prestige classes should be 5 levels anyway.
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Postby mrnickdotcom » Wed Oct 15, 2003 5:17 pm

jadrax wrote:You only need the Feat for bastard sword if you want to weild it one-handed. And a bastard sword is a dice better than a longsword. D10 over d8.

A denn'bok however is mechanically the same as a quarterstaff. Also based on the fights with it in the show its used the exact same way as a quarterstaff. I really don't see a good argument for it being an exotic weapon.

As for the levels, i really think that almost all Prestige classes should be 5 levels anyway.
How about a compromise between the two (exotic vs non-exotic) ? The bastard sword can be a two-handed martial weapon or a one-handed exotic weapon. What if the denn'bok could be used as a quarter-staff as a martial weapon and then have some ability added to it when used as an exotic weapon. For example: higher damage dice, ability to sneak attack with more efficiency (x3 instead of x2 dmg) or something else.
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Postby ShadowScout » Wed Oct 15, 2003 7:03 pm

jadrax wrote:You only need the Feat for bastard sword if you want to weild it one-handed. And a bastard sword is a dice better than a longsword. D10 over d8.
Whut?? That's stupid! One handed a Bastard sword handles JUST like a big broadsword; you only need a lot more strength because it isn't quite balanced for one-handed use. It's when you use it two-handed that it becomes it's own style, similar to a two-hander, but far quicker and better suitable for parrying (a true two-hander it too unwieldy to parry any fast attack)... see Conan, That's how a bastard sword handled two-handed looks like - quite different from the traditional european "sword and shield" style.
And so, why the hell does it need an exotic feat for the easier "just hack with it and block with the shield in your left hand" handling???
(A minimum strength I'd understand - I did try my hand at wielding a bastard sword one-handed once, and let me tell you, I would need to spend a lot of time in a gym before I could do that with enough speed and control, not to mention sustain such movements for the duration of a true battle... it gets exhausting quite quickly if you're not blessed with a barbarian's physique... two-handed it was no problem however, even for an overweight, unfit and untrained modern-day civilized guy like me...)

Oh, well, just a reminder why I don't like D20.
A denn'bok however is mechanically the same as a quarterstaff. Also based on the fights with it in the show its used the exact same way as a quarterstaff. I really don't see a good argument for it being an exotic weapon.
Same here. In fact, I'd be very, very careful with requiring an "exotic weapon feat" at all - most such strange weapons can be used quite quickly if you have someone who knows what he's doing instructing you. I am not sure that little investment of time to familiarize oneself with most such weapons would be enough to count as such... oh, well the details of game mechanics. I think I'll go and look for some background info discussion again :wink: :) :D
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Postby Judge Walker » Wed Oct 15, 2003 9:34 pm

mrnickdotcom wrote: How about a compromise between the two (exotic vs non-exotic) ? The bastard sword can be a two-handed martial weapon or a one-handed exotic weapon. .
Uhm, no. Unless things have changed radically between 3rd ed and 3.5. From 3rd ed:

Exotic Weapon Feat
Benefit: You may make attack rolls with the weapon normally.
Normal: A character that uses a weapon without being proficient with it suffers a -4 penalty on attack rolls.

Also, the Bastard sword is listed only under the Exotic weapons section.

Sorry for the OT. :wink:
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Postby mrnickdotcom » Wed Oct 15, 2003 9:47 pm

Judge Walker wrote:
mrnickdotcom wrote: How about a compromise between the two (exotic vs non-exotic) ? The bastard sword can be a two-handed martial weapon or a one-handed exotic weapon. .
Uhm, no. Unless things have changed radically between 3rd ed and 3.5. From 3rd ed:

Exotic Weapon Feat
Benefit: You may make attack rolls with the weapon normally.
Normal: A character that uses a weapon without being proficient with it suffers a -4 penalty on attack rolls.

Also, the Bastard sword is listed only under the Exotic weapons section.

Sorry for the OT. :wink:
You might try actually reading the PHB. The 3.0 and 3.5 PHB basically say the same thing. If you are using the 3.0 PHB it is pg. 103 right hand column, top of the page. If its 3.5 PHB then pg. 121 right hand column second entry.

"A character can use a bastard sword as a two-handed martial weapon"

You only need the exotic weapon feat if you want to use the bastard sword in one hand without a penalty. Any character with the martial weapon feat or character class ability can use the bastard sword in two hands with no penalty. A bastard sword is smaller than a great sword so it also makes logical sense why it is this way. I know mixing logic and D20 is usually a bad thing, but in this situation it works.
Last edited by mrnickdotcom on Wed Oct 15, 2003 9:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby jadrax » Wed Oct 15, 2003 9:50 pm

Judge Walker wrote:
mrnickdotcom wrote:Also, the Bastard sword is listed only under the Exotic weapons section.
That may be, however under the discription of the weapon it clarifies that its only exotic when used one handed, when used Two-Handed it's a martial weapon. In both 3 and 3.5

The Dwarvern Waraxe works the same way too.
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Postby Judge Walker » Thu Oct 16, 2003 3:28 am

Once again, it all comes down to how you read the rules I guess. ::shrug::
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Postby ronbogard » Sun Oct 19, 2003 3:35 am

what about if a character was a Latent Telepath. Would the PC still be able to join the anla'shok or have to try and keep it a secret?

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