Sommlending Border Ranger for Your Perusal


I realise that there is a Border Ranger due to appear in S&P some time in the not-too-distant future. However, for those of us without a subscription, here's my take:

As always, comments, criticisms, suggestions welcome.

Oh, and I should note that some of the abilities below assume that some more advanced d20 rules, such as Attacks of Opportunity, are in use; hence they will not be appropriate to the default Lone Wolf rules.

Sommlending Border Ranger

Endurance Die: d10

Skill Points per Level: 5 + Int Mod

Class Skills: Athletics (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Handle Animal (Wis), Knowledge (Nature) (Int), Knowledge (Warfare) (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Speak Language, Stealth (Dex), Survival (Wis).

Armour and Weapon Proficiencies: Light armour, shields, all one handed weapons and bows.

Born to the Saddle*: Expert horsemanship is the first thing Border Rangers are taught, and keeping their mount alive is a key facet of this. Border Rangers can replace their mount's AC with the result of a Ride check, as per Sommlending Knights of the Realm.

Follow the Trail: As part of their scouting and border patrol duties, Border Rangers must be able to track their quarry. This ability is identical to Tier I Tracking.

Outdoorsman: As a Ranger progresses, he becomes adept at performing tasks in particular environments. At third level, a Border Ranger may select a particular terrain in which he has focused his skills. Available terrains are: Woodland, Plains, Mountains, Swamp, Underground. While in this chosen terrain, the Border Ranger gains a +3 bonus to Initiative, , Survival, Stealth*, Perception, Knowledge (Nature), Athletics*, Climb*, Ride*. Each time this feature is gained, the character may select another terrain in which these bonuses apply. Additionally, the Ranger may select an Advanced Outdoorsman Ability for each previously chosen terrain. These abilties only apply while the Ranger is in the terrain for which they are selected.

Advanced Outdoorsman Abilities:
Sneak Attack*: The Border Ranger gains an additional +1d6 sneak attack in the chosen terrain. This ability stacks with the Ranger's regular sneak attack damage, if any.
Nature's Empathy* The Border Ranger is at one with his surroundings while in this terrain, and can never be surprised or caught flat-footed.
Soft Step* Using a combination of skill and a deep, quasi-mystical connection with the land, the Border Ranger can move through his chosen terrain without leaving any sign of his passing. When employing this ability, any non-magical attempt to locate or follow the character's trail will automatically fail. This ability cost 1 End per minute. At a cost of 2 End per minute, the Ranger may employ this ability while mounted.
Nimble Step* An extension of Soft Step, Nimble Step allows a Ranger to employ his full base movment while in his chosen terrain, despite any natural or magical impediments, such as dense foliage or the Brotherhood spell Net. This ability can only be chosen if the Ranger has already learnt Soft Step for this terrain. It costs 2 End per minute, or 3 End per minute if mounted.
Animal Sense At a cost of 1 Endurance, the Ranger can reach out with his keen senses and detect the presence of any natural or magcial animal within 360' of his present location. The Ranger can identify the animal's number of Endurance dice, whether it is a normal or magical animal, and whether it is carnivorous, herbivorous or omnivorous.
Voice of Command With this ability, the Ranger can command any animal within 100' to halt. The target receives a Will Save, with a DC equal to the Ranger's Class Level, plus his Cha bonus. On a failed save, the target is stunned for 2d4 rounds. This effect works on both natural and magical beasts, costs 2 End per use, and can only be selected if the Ranger already has Animal Sense in the chosen terrain.
Combat Prowess* The Border Ranger gains +1 to hit and damage while in the chosen terrain.
Defensive Manoeuvring* The character gains a +2 to AC while in the chosen terrain.
Fleet Footed* While in the chosen terrain, the character's base move increases to 40'.

Mounted Mobility*: While mounted, the Border Ranger and his mount gain a +4 to AC vs Attacks of Opportunity caused by moving through threatened squares.

Quick Draw*: At 5th level, a Border Ranger can draw a one-handed weapon as part of a move action.

Herb Lore At 6th level, Border Rangers can automatically identify the healing or harming properties of plants. Further, while in one his chosen terrains, the Border Ranger can make a healing poultice from local flora with a successful Survival Check of DC 15. The poultice heals 2d4 End, and takes 2d6 minutes to prepare. Any character can only fully benefit from one such poultice per day; any further uses will heal only 1 Endurance point of damage.

Ride-by-Attack* A ride-by-attack is a full round action, which allows a mounted Border Ranger to make a standard attack at his primary CS versus one opponent. He may move both before and after the attack, and does not draw an attack of opportunity from his target.

Sneak Attack* At levels 9 and 18, a Border Ranger gains sneak attack dice, due to his training in stealth and ambush.

Combat Reflexes* From 10th level onwards, a Border Ranger can make as many attacks of opportunity per combat round as his Dex bonus (minimum of 1). The character is still limited to one AoO per target per round.

Trample* When attempting to overrun an opponent while mounted, the target cannot attempt to avoid the attack. Further, if the target is knocked down, the Border Ranger may make a free hoof attack.

Detoxify A Border Ranger's affinity with nature is such that he can render any natural poison within 1' benign. This costs the Ranger 3 End. Animal venoms cannot be detoxified while still in their original host. If the poison is in a plant, and has not been imbibed, ingested or otherwise affecting a target, this ability is automatically successful. If endeavouring to aid a character affected by poison, this ability will provide the victim with an addition Fort Save to resist the affects. A target can only gain one extra Save for each save that would normally be required. This ability can also be used to render rotten or otherwise tainted food or water safe for consumption. Magical or mineral based poisons are not affected by Detoxify.

Improved Critical* Fighting often alone, or deep behind enemy lines, Border Rangers need to be able to drop their foes as quickly as possible. At 14th level, a Ranger doubles the threat range of all one handed melee weapons and bows that he wields.

Spirited Charge* From 16th level, a mounted Border Ranger deals double damage in all charges, or triple damage when wielding a lance.

Natural Horseman* By 17th level, a Border Ranger is a true master horseman. He may take 10 on ride and handle animal checks relating to horses, gains +2 AC when mounted, +2 to hit and damage with his mount’s attacks, and can heal an amount of Endurance damage to horses equal to his Class Level each day. This healing is performed as a standard action, and may be split over several occasions, or applied all at once, up to the Endurance limit.

Master Outdoorsman At 20th level a Border Ranger is almost unsurpassed in his wilderness skills. He may choose four advanced outdoorsman abilities to add to his first selected terrain, three to add to his second terrain, two to add to his third terrain, and one to add to his fourth and fifth terrains.

*These abilites only function if the Border Ranger is wearing light or no armour.

1........+1......................+2.....+0......+0......Born to the Saddle
2........+2......................+3.....+0......+0......Follow the Trail
4........+4......................+4.....+1......+1......Mounted Mobility
6........+6/+1.................+5.....+2......+2......Herb Lore
9........+9/+4.................+6.....+3......+3......Sneak Attack 1d6
10.......+10/+5...............+7.....+3......+3......Combat Reflexes
14.......+14/+9/+4...........+9.....+4......+4......Improved Critical
16.......+16/+11/+6/+1...+10....+5......+5......Spirited Charge
17.......+17/+12/+7/+2...+10....+5......+5......Natural Horseman
18.......+18/+13/+8/+3...+11....+6......+6......Sneak Attack 2d6
20.......+20/+15/+10/+5..+12....+6......+6......Master Outdoorsman
Interesting, a kinda Rogue/Ranger/Planewalker excellent job, since it captures the feel of the other classes quite well.

I have to say the Outdoorsman ability does have the potential to be very powerful and potentially unbalancing, however, even though it is restricted to individual areas.

Additionally, the Ranger may select an Advanced Outdoorsman Ability for each previously chosen terrain. These abilties only apply while the Ranger is in the terrain for which they are selected.

Does this mean that the character does not get an advanced outdoorsman ability at level 3? Because at this point, they don't have a 'previously chosen terrain'...

The only other thing I'd say is perhaps a D8 hit dice instead of D10, since this is usually reserved for pure fighters with less obvious abilities.

Otherwise, a nice job!
Correct, no advanced ability at level three.

I've been pondering the idea of dropping the ED to a d8, and the more the think about it, the more it seems like the way to go.

I think the Outdoorsman abilities aren't too powerful, although the jump at level 20 is perhaps a little extreme. For comparison, look at the AC, CS and damage increases Sommlending Knights and Kai Lords can get -- the Border Ranger improvements are similar or less than those.

As an alternative for Master Outdoorsman, I'm thinking of dropping the big increases already listed. Instead, the Ranger gains one ability in every terrain, plus they gain the basic Outdoorsman bonuses in all other terrains not covered (eg, Desert, Arctic).

The other potential problem I can see is with the Improved Critical applying to all weapons -- I'd like to know if anyone thinks this is too powerful. I went with the general improvement over a more focused one because there are no other aspects of specific weapon specialisation in the class.
If you want an ability that fits the core Lone Wolf rules to replace combat reflexes, you could let the ranger make ranged attacks while mounted at no penalty. I think I remember a feat in DnD doing that... of course I don't remember if Lone Wolf has penalties for firing while mounted.
Mounted Archery is the obvious fit -- it's the only standard Mounted Combat related feat I haven't already included. I'm just not sure whether there's any cause to include an archery ability in the class at all, beyond basic proficiency. It's worth thinking about, though, I guess.
It's worth noting that Mounted Mobility, Trample and Combat Reflexes are all abilities that rely on full d20 rules, and that Ride-by Attack is also less powerful where AoO are not in use.

Oh, and I just noticed that my Quick Draw description is wrong -- it should allow a weapon to be drawn as a free action.
Hey Sable,

Would you mind if I took the extra classes you have created and pdf-ised them and then put them up on my site for download like your Flight from the dark module?

Im thinking of registering something like or something and trying to colate all of this sort of thing.

if you have any questions please contact me at

elSpike out.
I was actually planning to put the KotWM in Fire on the Water and the Border Ranger in the Chasm of Doom, when I get around to doing them. I have no idea when they will be ready, however, and you're more than welcome to put the classes up individually.

I'll try and finalise both classes in the near future, so that I'm happy with the finished product (the Knight needs a couple tweaks, and the Border Ranger is obviously still in the "gather feedback" stage).
Cool. Sounds like a plan.

I have started on a similar document to your Fire on the water for Shadow on the Sand (my favourite book) though it is far from complete. I plan to release it to the hords once done.

elSpike out.
Nice work!

Just one observation. In the Chasm Of Doom the illustrations showed the Border Rangers wearing full chainmail armour, full sleaved shirt and leggings. I don't think that this was supported in the text but the image of the rangers wearing full chain under their green cloaks and surcoats has stuck with me so I guess I will allow them to wear medium armour.

Good work though. :)
Good point, Winter Wolf, and easily fixed.

I'll add medium armour proficiency, drop the Defensive Manoeuvring ability and reduce the Natural Horseman AC bonus to +1. Additionally, limits on using abilities will now be based on wearing light, medium or no armour.
elSpike said:
Cool. Sounds like a plan.

I have started on a similar document to your Fire on the water for Shadow on the Sand (my favourite book) though it is far from complete. I plan to release it to the hords once done.

elSpike out.

My favourite as well (and the first I played). Don't suppose you have book 20? I don't, so I'm going to need someone else's conversion when the group is up to that point in the campaign.
Actually, given that Medium Armour only allows a base AC increase of +1, the Natural Horseman bonus could probably stay at +2.
I like how it's coming together. Seeing as how you're giving them a lot of abilities that seem to have to do with agility (like combat reflexes), perhaps they deserve a better reflex save? You could go witht the kai lord's 'average', and if that would unbalance bring fort down to average as well.
Actually, I initially had them with a good Ref save, but it seemed like they were getting a bit too tough overall. Now that I've dropped their End dice back to a d8, though, it might be reasonable to put Ref back up.

I don't like the idea of going for mid-range saves in both Fort and Ref ... every class should have at least one good save, IMO (Kai Lords can get away with all mid-range thanks to their Disciplines).

Good Ref and mid-range Fort perhaps? The end result has been a bit more sneaky-rangery and less fightery than I had first planned, so Ref being better than Fort could be appropriate.
I like it that way, yes.

About Mounted Archer, it seems that would be an extremely useful ability for a ranger. When they're being pursued (as the often were in book 1) they can still fire back at their enemies.
Ok, you've convinced me. However, I don't really want to get rid of Combat Reflexes. As such, I've dropped Quickdraw, moving Combat Reflexes down to Level 5 and adding Mounted Archery in at level 10.

Oh, and I've gone with good Ref, mid-range Fort.
I've put together some level titles for the Rangers -- thought that, as a military organisation, they deserve some official rank.

Master Scout
Lance Scout
Sergeant at Arms
Lance Commander
Ranger Sergeant
Ranger Lieutenant
Ranger Captain
Master Ranger
Warden of Sommerlund
Guardian of Sommerlund
Lord Ranger
Lord Sentinel
Lord Warden
Lord Guardian
Lord General
Looks good! I like titles, because you can insist the other players refer to you as something like "Master Ranger", lol.