Dungeons & Dragons Classics: Every edition available again



roll the dice!
Close
New Account
 
  
 
 
You will lose your chance to get the free product of the week.
One-click unsubscribe later if you don't enjoy the newsletter.
Close
Log In
 
 Forgot password?
 
     or     Log In with your Facebook Account
Advanced Search >

PHBR11 The Complete Ranger's Handbook (2e)

ADD TO CART
ADD TO WISHLIST >
Watermarked PDF
$18.00
$9.99
Description:

Forest guardian, border runner, bounty hunter, and more - the full potential of the ranger class has never been plumbed. Until now.
 
Come learn the inner most secrets of one of the most popular AD&D character classes. Details on every part of the ranger's life, from allied forest brethren to unusual outdoor equipment. With 15 new and exciting character kits, this book is an information-packed accessory for the AD&D Game. A special appendix give the rules for the original AD&D ranger class.
 
*****
 
Product History

Gamers were becoming slightly leery of TSR supplements' wildly swinging power levels by the time The Complete Ranger's Handbook was released in 1993. The Complete books tended to be either well-balanced but dour in imagination and scope (The Complete Priest's Handbook, for instance, was the only supplement to actually reduce the power of the core class) or they were brilliantly imaginative and poorly balanced (as popular opinion holds of The Complete Bard's Handbook, a book misunderstood because it replaced core bard abilities instead of just supplementing them like other Complete books did).
 
It was with this feedback in hand that TSR produced the Ranger's Handbook, one firmly settled amid the two extremes.

Why Is There a Bear in My Bar? The first three chapters are given over to character creation, ranger abilities, and followers. Character creation is relatively straightforward, with additional details about favored terrain and handy charts showing the adjustment to key abilities from different kits. Ranger abilities include tracking (in almost a simulationist level of detail), species enemies, animal empathy, nature lore, strongholds, and detailed follower rules. (Frankly, I'd play an Underdark ranger just for the chance of getting a mimic as a loyal follower.) There are surprisingly complete rules for animal and follower training, including training techniques, tricks, and timing. The artwork of a ranger lounging in the sun while his trained ape washes the dishes perhaps does not communicate a huge amount of heroism, but it gets the message across loudly.

These three chapters cover the basics while expanding possibilities for a ranger player, exactly what you'd want from a supplement of this sort.

Beastmaster! No, not the old movie with Marc Singer (rumored trivia: back in the mid-80's, that film was re-run so many times that HBO stood for "Hey! Beastmaster's on!"), although it's based on that. There are 15 new kits for rangers, including the beastmaster. Some are highly specific - you may not want a sea ranger unless your campaign is specifically oceanic - but they tend toward the flavorful. The explorer and pathfinder are experts in outdoor traveling and adventures; the feralan (one of my favorites) are feral children who become rangers; the forest runner does a fine job of modeling Robin Hood; and the greenwood ranger actually turns the ranger into a living, walking tree. The justifier is an incredibly skilled guerilla fighter (ironically, one that could conceivably get a gorilla follower, leading to a guerilla gorilla, which is a little self-recursive), and the giant killer is focused towards one particularly flavorful sort of enemy.

It's recommended that you examine special hindrances for kits that rely heavily on animal companions, as they tend to add insult to injury. The falconer, for instance, sinks into grief for 1-4 weeks when she loses a falcon follower; such mechanics encourage the player not to put her follower(s) in danger, which runs contrary to the theme of the class. Some tweaking may be required to make these kits mesh perfectly with your campaign style.

Some ranger kits use role-playing hindrances to balance mechanical benefits, but there are no stand-out balance issues that cause concern. They are for the most part both fun and mechanically solid, with some really creative ideas interspersed throughout.

The book allows non-standard rangers to become demi-rangers, requiring the use of a kit and allowing some interesting possibilities. If you want a feral halfling and you aren't in Dark Sun, this may be your best bet. I also like that guidelines are given for hacking these kits into new kits, changing the giant killer into a dragon killer or creating a crypt ranger who is followed by non-evil undead.

Spells, Gear, and Personality. The remainder of the book is taken up with spells, proficiencies, gear, role-playing advice, and religion. While the rules chapters are solid (if a bit low-fantasy), the roleplaying chapter is particularly interesting. It talks through how people become rangers, the classic traits of rangers (such as introversion and a love of nature), the details of a ranger's duties, and different sorts of personalities you'd typically find in the class. More intriguingly, it discusses linked characteristics and the kits that might work best with that sort of a personality.

The book finishes with a discussion of religion and a description of a forgathering, a ranger conclave where many rangers gather to meet, trade, and discuss strategy, tactics, and current events. It's an interesting concept that can lead to some interesting adventure hooks.

Overall, The Complete Ranger's Handbook is a useful supplement for anyone interested in the class. It occasionally rises to creative brilliance and consistently provides good, solid game design for the class.

About the Creators. Rick Swan is the author of The Complete Guide to Role-Playing Games and wrote material for Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms, and core AD&D. He once wrote an adventure (Nightmare Keep) that takes place entirely inside the body of a massive undead lich. Not everyone can say that.

About the Product Historian

History and commentary of this product was written by Kevin Kulp, game designer and admin of the independent D&D fansite ENWorld. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to kevin.kulp@gmail.com.

 Customers who bought this title also purchased
Reviews/Ratings (2)
Discussions (0)
You must be logged in to rate this
Reviews
-
April 19th, 2008
Great book, it really helps enhance the game. I think anyone wishing to play a ranger would benifit from this book. [...]
Reviews
 Follow Your Favorites!
NotificationsLog in or create an account and you can choose to get email notices whenever your favorite publishers or topics get new items!










Product Information
Author(s)
Pages
128
Edition
1.0
ISBN
1560766344
Publisher Stock #
TSR 2136
File Size:
39.13 MB
Format
Scanned image
Scanned image
These products were created by scanning an original printed edition. Most older books are in scanned image format because original digital layout files never existed or were no longer available from the publisher.

For PDF download editions, each page has been run through Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to attempt to decipher the printed text. The result of this OCR process is placed invisibly behind the picture of each scanned page, to allow for text searching. However, any text in a given book set on a graphical background or in handwritten fonts would most likely not be picked up by the OCR software, and is therefore not searchable. Also, a few larger books may be resampled to fit into the system, and may not have this searchable text background.

For printed books, we have performed high-resolution scans of an original hardcopy of the book. We essentially digitally re-master the book. Unfortunately, the resulting quality of these books is not as high. It's the problem of making a copy of a copy. The text is fine for reading, but illustration work starts to run dark, pixellating and/or losing shades of grey. Moiré patterns may develop in photos. We mark clearly which print titles come from scanned image books so that you can make an informed purchase decision about the quality of what you will receive.
Original electronic format
These ebooks were created from the original electronic layout files, and therefore are fully text searchable. Also, their file size tends to be smaller than scanned image books. Most newer books are in the original electronic format. Both download and print editions of such books should be high quality.
File Information
Watermarked PDF
Adobe DRM-protected PDF
These eBooks are protected by Adobe's Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology. To use them, you must activate your Adobe Reader software. Click here for more details.

Watermarked PDF

These eBooks are digitally watermarked to signify that you are the owner. A small message is added to the bottom of each page of the document containing your name and the order number of your eBook purchase.

Warning: If any books bearing your information are found being distributed illegally, then your account will be suspended and legal action may be taken against you.

Here is a sample of a page from a watermarked book:

File Last Updated:
June 10, 2013
This title was added to our catalog on June 11, 2013.
Publisher Info
Wizards of the Coast
Wizards of the Coast
Publisher Average Rating