Grim Ranger (3.5e Class)

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Grim Ranger
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Do you believe in karma? Karma's justice without the satisfaction. I don't believe in justice.
—The Way of the Gun


Grim Ranger[edit]

The Grim Ranger is a variant of the Ranger base class. Lost from the Ranger are ties to the wild as a friend, now nature stands to oppose him as it would any other character class. The class features of Wild Empathy, the Animal Companion, Woodland Stride and Spells have been removed. Gone with them is the Endurance feat and the ability to use Medium Armor and Shields. This makes the variant a more light footed character that leans even more on Dexterity to gain armor class.

The class now gains practice in dodging attacks, and a better chance to land a solid blow themselves. Variety now also exists in the Combat Style. No longer is the Rangers focus in the Archer/Two Weapon path. The new Ranged path adds to any style of ranged fighting, not just bows and arrows. And the Double Handed Fighting path makes for an interesting melee twist with large scale equipment.


Playing a Grim Ranger[edit]

Religion: It's uncommon to find a Ranger of this sort paying too much heed to any religion. When respect is granted to a deity, it's typically given to Fharlanghn; who accepts all alignments of this class. Many Grim Rangers curse the names of Ehlonna and Obad-Hai, for being always in their way.

Other Classes: Both formidable and skilled, a Grim Ranger adapts well with most other classes. The high number of skill points and the variety of skill choices, can be focused differently to play off other party members strengths. Another martial class compliments the Rangers skills well, and a good cleric can help the woes of an injured adventurer.

Combat: With little to no armor the Grim Ranger is a hit and move type of opponent, found weakest when cornered. Mobility and clever strikes will win the day in the end, especially against a favored enemy.

Advancement: This class would pair well with some Rogue or Scout levels, adding to the existing light footed package. The skilled/loner nature of the class would also make for an interesting Barbarian or even Sorcerer combination.


Making a Grim Ranger[edit]

Overall the variant grants a Thuggish quality to the class. The Grim Ranger hits hard and moves, dodging and attacking with deadly precision. The class appeal towards a bounty hunter vocation, or perhaps a military guerilla, or a pathfinder/guide to name a few.

Abilities: Strength would be priority for Double Handed Fighting Style, and Dexterity for the Ranged Style. Wisdom may not be needed for spellcasting, but it is important for the Track feat.

Races: Any race is open to the Ranger Class, but Elves might be a rare sight as a Grim Ranger variant.

Alignment: Any.

Starting Gold: As Ranger Class.

Starting Age: As Ranger Class.



Table: The Grim Ranger
Hit Die: d8

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Fort
Save
Ref
Save
Will
Save
Special
1st +1 +2 +2 +0 1st Favored Enemy, Track, trapfinding, Nimble Warrior
2nd +2 +3 +3 +0 Combat Style
3rd +3 +3 +3 +1 Weapon Focus
4th +4 +4 +4 +1 Precise Attack +1
5th +5 +4 +4 +1 2nd Favored Enemy, Nimble Warrior
6th +6/+1 +5 +5 +2 Improved Combat Style
7th +7/+2 +5 +5 +2
8th +8/+3 +6 +6 +2 Precise Attack +2, Swift tracker
9th +9/+4 +6 +6 +3 Evasion
10th +10/+5 +7 +7 +3 3rd Favored Enemy, Nimble Warrior
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +7 +3 Greater Combat Style
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +8 +4 Precise Attack +3
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +8 +4 Camouflage
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +9 +4
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +9 +5 4th Favored Enemy, Nimble Warrior
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +10 +5 Combat Style Mastery, Precise Attack +4
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +5 Hide in plain sight
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +11 +6
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +11 +6
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +12 +6 Precise Attack +5, 5th Favored Enemy, Nimble Warrior

Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Climb (Str), Disable Device (Int), Craft (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (geography) (Int), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Use Rope (Dex).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Grim Ranger.


Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A Grim Ranger is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, and with light armor but not shields.


Favored Enemy (Ex): At 1st level, a ranger may select a type of creature from among those given on Table: Ranger Favored Enemies. The ranger gains a +2 bonus on Bluff, Listen, Sense Motive, Spot, and Survival checks when using these skills against creatures of this type. Likewise, he gets a +2 bonus on weapon damage rolls against such creatures.

At 5th level and every five levels thereafter (10th, 15th, and 20th level), the ranger may select an additional favored enemy from those given on the table. In addition, at each such interval, the bonus against any one favored enemy (including the one just selected, if so desired) increases by 2.

If the ranger chooses humanoids or outsiders as a favored enemy, he must also choose an associated subtype, as indicated on the table. If a specific creature falls into more than one category of favored enemy, the ranger’s bonuses do not stack; he simply uses whichever bonus is higher.

Table: Ranger Favored Enemies
Type (Subtype) Type (Subtype)
Aberration Humanoid (reptilian)
Animal Magical beast
Construct Monstrous humanoid
Dragon Ooze
Elemental Outsider (air)
Fey Outsider (chaotic)
Giant Outsider (earth)
Humanoid (aquatic) Outsider (evil)
Humanoid (dwarf) Outsider (fire)
Humanoid (elf) Outsider (good)
Humanoid (goblinoid) Outsider (lawful)
Humanoid (gnoll) Outsider (native)
Humanoid (gnome) Outsider (water)
Humanoid (halfling) Plant
Humanoid (human) Undead
Humanoid (orc) Vermin


Track: A ranger gains Track as a bonus feat.


Trapfinding (Ex): A Grim Ranger can use the Search skill to locate traps with a DC higher than 20. Finding a non-magical trap has a DC of at least 20, or higher if it is well hidden. finding a magic trap has a DC of 25+ the level of spell used to create it.

Grim Rangers can use the Disable Device skill to disarm magic traps. A magic trap generally as a DC of 25+ the level of spell used to create it. A Grim Ranger who beats a traps DC by 10 or more with a Disable Device check can study a trap, figure out how it works and bypass it (with her party) without disarming it.


Nimble Warrior (Ex): A Grim Ranger is a clever foe in combat, using wits and skill to outmaneuver his foes. At first level he gains the Dodge feat as a bonus feat; at 5th level he gains the Improved Dodge* feat as a bonus feat; at 10th level he gains the Cumbersome Dodge** feat as a bonus feat; at 15th level he gains Fast Movement (+10 ft); and at 20th level he gains Free Movement (As per the Spell, but constant).

These benefits apply only when the Grim Ranger is lightly encumbered and wearing light or no armor. They are also unavailable if the character chooses to wear medium or heavy armor, or is carrying a heavy load.

  • The Improved Dodge feat follows the same rules as the Dodge feat itself. However, it allows the Ranger to gain the +1 bonus to AC against all foes that he is aware of; not just one specific target.
    • Savage Species pg.31


Combat Style (Ex): At 2nd Level, a Grim Ranger must select one of two combat styles to pursue; Ranged, or Double Handed Fighting. If the Ranger selects Ranged, he is treated as having the Precise Shot feat, even if he does not have the normal prerequisites for that feat. If the Ranger selects Double Handed Fighting, he is treated as having the Power Attack feat, even if he does not have the normal prerequisites for that feat.

These benefits apply only when the Grim Ranger is lightly encumbered and wearing light or no armor. They are also unavailable if the character chooses to wear medium or heavy armor, or is carrying a heavy load.


Weapon Focus: At 3rd Level a Grim Ranger gains the Weapon Focus feat as a bonus feat.


Precise Attack (Ex): Every round, the Grim Ranger can add this bonus either to one attack roll or one damage roll with any weapon that is the focus of the Rangers Combat Style. You must declare where the bonus will be applied at the start of your turn. This bonus begins at +1, and increases by +1 every four class levels.


Improved Combat Style (Ex): At 6th Level, a Rangers aptitude in his chosen style improves. If the Ranger selected Ranged, he is now also treated as having the Improved Critical feat for his selected weapon, even if he does not have the normal prerequisites for that feat. If the Ranger selected Double Handed Fighting, he is now also treated as having the Great Cleve feat, even if he does not have the normal prerequisites for that feat.

These benefits apply only when the Grim Ranger is lightly encumbered and wearing light or no armor. They are also unavailable if the character chooses to wear medium or heavy armor, or is carrying a heavy load.


Swift Tracker (Ex): Beginning at 8th level, a ranger can move at his normal speed while following tracks without taking the normal –5 penalty. He takes only a –10 penalty (instead of the normal –20) when moving at up to twice normal speed while tracking.


Evasion (Ex): At 9th level, a ranger can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If he makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, he instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the ranger is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless ranger does not gain the benefit of evasion.


Greater Combat Style (Ex): At 11th Level, a Rangers aptitude improves again. If the Ranger selected Ranged, he is now also treated as having the Weapon Specialization feat for his selected weapon, even if he does not have the normal prerequisites for that feat. If the Ranger selected Double Handed Fighting, he is now also treated as having the Monkey Grip* feat, without suffering the -2 attack penalty normally associated with the feat.

These benefits apply only when the Grim Ranger is lightly encumbered and wearing light or no armor. They are also unavailable if the character chooses to wear medium or heavy armor, or is carrying a heavy load.

  • Complete Warrior pg.95


Camouflage (Ex): A ranger of 13th level or higher can use the Hide skill in any sort of natural terrain, even if the terrain doesn’t grant cover or concealment.


Combat Style Mastery (Ex): At 16th Level, a Grim Rangers style training is at its peak. Regardless of which style was selected, the Ranger is now considered to have the Power Critical* feat for weapons that are the focus of his chosen style.

These benefits apply only when the Grim Ranger is lightly encumbered and wearing light or no armor. They are also unavailable if the character chooses to wear medium or heavy armor, or is carrying a heavy load.

  • Complete Warrior pg.95


Hide in Plain Sight (Ex): While in any sort of natural terrain, a ranger of 17th level or higher can use the Hide skill even while being observed.

Epic Grim Ranger[edit]

Table: The Epic Grim Ranger

Hit Die: d8

Level Special
21st
22nd
23rd Bonus Feat
24th Precise Attack +6
25th 6th Favored Enemy, Nimble Warrior
26th Bonus Feat
27th
28th Precise Attack +7
29th Bonus Feat
30th 7th Favored Enemy, Nimble Warrior

6 + Int modifier skill points per level.

Favored Enemy (Ex): The epic grim ranger gains one additional favored enemy, and his or her bonuses against one category of favored enemies goes up by +2, every five levels higher than 20th.

Bonus Feats: The epic grim ranger gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic grim ranger feats) every three levels after 20th.

Epic Grim Ranger Bonus Feat List: Bane of Enemies, Blinding Speed, Combat Archery, Death of Enemies, Distant Shot, Epic Endurance, Epic Prowess, Epic Speed, Epic Toughness, Epic Weapon Focus, Fast Healing, Improved Combat Casting, Improved Favored Enemy, Improved Manyshot, Improved Spell Capacity, Legendary Climber, Legendary Rider, Legendary Tracker, Perfect Health, Perfect Two-Weapon Fighting, Permanent Emanation, Storm of Throws, Swarm of Arrows, Two-Weapon Rend, Uncanny Accuracy.


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