A member of the US Army who has successfully completed Ranger School at Ft. Benning, GA. Rangers are elite soldiers trained in survival and navigation in harsh terrain, close combat, and small unit tactics. Not as scary as the Special Forces or Navy SEALs, but hardcore, well-trained soldiers nevertheless. Their mottoes are "Follow Me" and "Rangers Lead the Way".

The ranger is one of the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons character classes that probably should not be a class in the first place. It is nearly identical to the fighter class. I am only discussing the AD&D Second Edition ranger. Your ranger from another edition or game may be entirely different.

The ranger is an outdoorsman by nature. They are usually portrayed as woodsmen, but individual rangers may have a wide range of prefered territories. Some may come from the jungle (like Tarzan), while eskimo cultures may have arctic rangers, and so on.

Rangers usually wear only light armor (with studded leather armor being the most popular choice), will undoubtedly carry a wide range of survival gear. Upon reaching a certain level, a ranger will attract a band of followers (the tables in the Player's Handbook are biased towards woodland style rangers, and should be adjusted if your ranger prefers the desert or other area), that will follow him fairly loyally (these are over and above any henchmen he may have).

Rangers are adept at hiding and skulking around in their natural habitat, (represented by a couple of thief abilities). They also have the ability to fight with two weapons much better than an equivalent fighter (which was devalued by the two-weapon fighting style made available to all warriors in The Complete Fighters Handbook). Finally all rangers have one chosen type of enemy that they gain a bonus against when attacking. The ranger is allowed to make this selection once, and may never change it. (Rangers in the first edition AD&D rules did not get to choose, instead they go their bonus against a long list of humanoids and giants).

Rangers must be of good alignment, and advance slightly slower than fighters do.

If you haven't read Lord of the Rings, give up on life now

A race descended from the ancient kings of the Numenor, related to the Gondorians. Descendants of the Dunedain of the north, they survived by marriage with lesser men. Ruled by the line of Isildur, at the time of the war of the ring their leader was Aragorn son of Arathorn. Aragorn points out one time in Fellowship of the Ring that the rangers protected the Shire, Bree, and all the surrounding lands, so that the people there could remain innocent. This protection lasted for all of the third age.

Rangers are distrusted by those around them, as we see from Barliman Butterbur's reaction to Strider, AKA Aragorn. The distrust comes, at least partially, from the rangers' strange knowledge and their odd behavior. They tend to carry weapons, know how to use them, and worse, be involved with wizards and other unsavory types.

Ran"ger (?), n.


One who ranges; a rover; sometimes, one who ranges for plunder; a roving robber.


That which separates or arranges; specifically, a sieve.

[Obs.] "The tamis ranger."



A dog that beats the ground in search of game.


One of a body of mounted troops, formerly armed with short muskets, who range over the country, and often fight on foot.


The keeper of a public park or forest; formerly, a sworn officer of a forest, appointed by the king's letters patent, whose business was to walk through the forest, recover beasts that had strayed beyond its limits, watch the deer, present trespasses to the next court held for the forest, etc.

[Eng.]<-- similar function for U.S. national parksand antional monuments. -->


© Webster 1913.

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