Sunday, December 27, 2020

GLOG Class: Ranger

I've been watching Lord of the Rings again.

GLOG Class: the Ranger

A: Whisperer, Parts Unknown, Wild Ways
B: Be Silent That You May Hear, Old Bones
C: Uncanny Instinct, Walk Unseen
D: Folk Unknown, Voices Forgotten

Starting skills [d3]: 1 = child of a woods-witch, 2 = (in)famous outlaw, 3 = latent elf or fae blood

Starting equipment: a hooded cloak in a subtle color & style, well-worn boots, a brace of knives, a sturdy backpack, and a weapon of your choice. 

(A) Whisperer
Animals always react better to you: you know how to soothe them, how to guide them, and how to frighten them. You can tell what an animal wants by examining it for a few moments, and what it very much doesn't want by studying it for a few moments more. You're also preternaturally good at picking out the tracks, markings, and remains of animals, and can always tell when you've entered one's territory.

You can also talk to certain animals. Roll 2d6 and pick one:
  1. Cats (and a few other felines)
  2. Crows (and most other corvids)
  3. Horses (and most other equines)
  4. Moths (and a few other lepidopterans)
  5. Mice (and a few other rodents)
  6. Snakes (and no other reptiles)
You can speak to these animals and be spoken to in turn. Animals don't speak like humans, they're less grammatical and structured, but you can understand them nonetheless. (Bear in mind, however, that most animals, even ones that can talk, don't usually want much to do with humans.)

Every time you finish an adventure/arc/chapter, roll another 2d6 and pick another animal.

(A) Parts Unknown
You know the path to all the major locations in the world: huge cities, mighty rivers, vast deserts, mountain ranges—all of the large and important and exciting places. You may or may not have been there before, but you know the way there regardless.

You know the path to about half the medium-sized locations in the world: forests, lakes, towns, ruins, bogs—places that are important to the regions around them, but perhaps less known on a worldly scale.

You know the path to 2d4 minor locations: individual hills, clearings, ponds, trails, villages, caves—all of the oddball random locations that make up an actual tract of land. Every template, you learn the way to another 2d4 minor locations—maybe ones you've visited as part of the campaign, maybe not.

Once you've been to a place in-session, you know the path back (unless, perhaps, it's a location that magically moves, like a flying castle or lake-that-crawls). 

If you know the path to a location, there's a [templates]-in-6 chance that you know of a secret entrance, hidden pathway, or other means of ingress, egress, or traversal through the location. Sewers, goat-trails, trapdoors, tunnels, and so on. 

For medium locations, I'd just assign a 50% chance to any given location the Ranger actively wants to go to. For minor locations, I'd make the Ranger choose the first handful with the GM's help at chargen, and then let the rest be retroactively declared as needed. The GM basically always has veto power over this if it really comes down to it, but be generous.

(A) Wild Ways
Every template, roll 1d12 and gain that associated way. If you roll a repeat, take your choice of the one above or below it.

(B) Be Silent That You May Hear
If you stand silent and still for a moment, you can hear everything within a hundred feet of you, down to noises as quiet as a whisper. If you stand silent and still for an entire minute, you can hear the difference between a dark room that is silent and a dark room where someone is not making a sound

If you press your ear to the earth for a minute or two without speaking, you can hear anything the earth feels within [templates] miles of you. The earth feels things like the hammer of footfalls, the dance of a stream, the gnawing of roots, the creak of a glacier, or the rattle of bones coming alive; it usually doesn't feel the drone of voices. 

(B) Old Bones
Once per day, if you rub shoulders and stamp your feet while ruefully gazing at the sky, you can ask the GM what the weather will be for the next [templates] days; the GM will answer you truthfully.

Alternatively, you can ask when the next occurrence of a given weather pattern (rain, fog, snow, a cloudless hot day, etc.) will occur; the GM will answer you truthfully. 

Alternatively alternatively, you can ask what the weather is at any point in the world right this instant; the GM will answer you truthfully. 

(C) Uncanny Instinct
You know wizards, witches, spirits, faeries, and shapeshifters (like werewolves) on sight, no matter what form they take.

If you stop and smell the air, you can pick out the distinct scents of: curses, blessings, illusions, death, madness, and gold. How far away this works from is based on the intensity and the wind, as with any other smell.

If you taste the blood of a creature, you can tell its broad type (say, an undead from a dragon, but not a zombie from a revenant). You can also tell how long the blood has been there, and whether it was spilled by accident or in earnest.

(C) Walk Unseen
If you draw up the hood of your cloak, you can move without being spotted. Choose [templates] of the following that are true:
  • You won't be seen
  • You won't be heard
  • You won't leave tracks, scent, or trail
  • You can move at a full pace
  • You can do it with your weapons out and ready
  • Your comrades can still see and hear you
Whichever ones you don't choose aren't true, so you will leave a trail or you can be seen or you have to stow your weapons, or whatever. 

(D) Folk Unknown
You know the path to people in the same way you know the way to locations. If you set out to find someone whose path you know, you'll always find them eventually. 

That said, the major-to-minor ratio of people you know the path to is reversed: that is, you know the way to every minor individual, about half of the medium-importance people, and 2d4 major people.

Every time you finish an adventure/arc/chapter, add another 2d4 major people you know the path to.

As with locations, if you know someone's path, there's a 4-in-6 chance that you know a secret about them—but people and locations have different secrets.

As with locations, knowing the way to someone doesn't mean you always know where they are, or that you could draw a map to their location—just that if you set out to find them, you will. If you need some secrets for people to have, use the Middleman's list.

(D) Voices Forgotten
You can talk to non-animal things as if they were animals. Roll 2d6 and pick one:
  1. Stones (and most other minerals)
  2. Trees (and a few other plants)
  3. Rivers (and most other flowing bodies of water)
  4. The wind (and a few other weather patterns)
  5. Roads (and most other established pathways)
  6. Fire (and no other chemical processes)
You can speak to these things and be spoken to in turn. The secret language of things is even stranger and less human than the words of animals, but you can still understand their voices.

Every time you finish an adventure/arc/chapter, roll another 2d6 and pick another thing.

A quick note on speaking with animals and things: pay attention to how exactly that speaking process works, and consult with your GM. Maybe you mimic the call of crows and the whistling of the wind; maybe the elves taught the world to speak, and so you speak elvish; maybe when you speak it takes the form of prayers, and the G_ds bless you that you might be understood. Whatever it is, speaking to non-human things is important, and you should put some thought into how you do so.

Wild Ways
Rangers know things about the world, things that other folk simply don't. Maybe it's smoke and mirrors, maybe it's genuine magic, maybe it's just being lightning quick.

Every level, roll 1d12 and gain the associated way. If you roll a repeat, take your choice of the one above or below it. 
  1. Walks-Upon-Winter
    You don't sink in snow, regardless of your weight; you simply walk across the top of it as if it was solid earth.
  2. Skin-As-a-Snake
    In a minute, you can change your appearance to be as dirty or as clean as you please. Mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, and other such pests will never bother you, unless you want them to.
  3. Friend-to-Fair-Folk
    Faeries and spirits take a liking to you; this means they're flirty and charming and happy to please you, but also take insults and offense far more seriously.
  4. Breathes-Without-Air
    You can hold your breath for [templates] × 3 minutes. If you need to, you can take a breath only once per minute and still act normally.
  5. Slumbers-On-Foot
    For [templates] hours per day, you can walk while you sleep. You still won't hear or see anything, and someone will need to hold your hand to get around corners, but you can sleep while walking.
  6. Speaks-Many-Tongues
    You know a dozen words in a dozen languages; if you try your hardest to be understood in foreign lands but still can't, folk tend to take pity on you.
  7. Remains-Always-Ready
    If you take a minute to hide a knife on your person, it cannot be found by anyone you don't want it to be.
  8. Sees-No-Sunlight
    If you draw your hood up, you can hide your face from unfriendly eyes: they still see you, it's not as if you are actively hiding your face, but they can't get any clear details or distinctive features.
  9. Drinks-As-a-Camel
    You can go three times as long without water as a regular person, but have to drink three times as much water beforehand and afterwards. 
  10. Keeps-Many-Secrets
    If you encounter tracks or remains (fur, feathers, scales, etc.) from one of the animals you can Whisper to, you can ask those tracks a single question as you were speaking to the animal directly.
  11. Heeds-Not-the-Bounds
    You can swim and climb as quickly and easily as you run. If underwater or hanging vertically (from, say, a tree or cliffside) any abilities that take a minute or more only take half as long.
  12. Bears-the-Wilds
    When you walk into town while visibly wearing your cloak and bearing arms, folk will give you a free meal, a mug of beer, a corner to sleep in, and take care to be genial and courteous or to leave you alone entirely (your choice).

"Aragorn-the-class," basically, to go with the Sage as Gandalf-the-class. Things that this class doesn't do but I kind of wish it did, but it's already long as hell:
  • Heal people in witch-y natural ways (the hands of a healer are the hands of a king, etc., etc.)
  • Fight good
  • The thing where Aragorn does CSI: Middle-Earth outside of Fangorn
  • Probably some other cool ranger stuff I'm forgetting
Anyway, yeah. There's like a billion ranger classes out there anyway, and I couldn't think of a good name for this one other than "ranger."

Oh yeah, and the empty room/room that is silent is ripped straight out of deus' Zouave. It's just too good to pass up.

Let me know if you get a chance to test it out.

1 comment:

  1. This is a really strong addition to the Ranger pantheon, great stuff!