Dark Ranger (3.5e Class)

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Dark Ranger[edit]

Not every being is suited to being a ranger; it requires a respect of nature and a certain degree of inherent goodness. A Dark Ranger is a whole different story.

The Dark Ranger is a wholly corrupt being who has turned his pursuits to the study of the necromantic arts. A ruffian with a degree of magical ability, he is devoted to self-preservation, and his skillset is oriented towards surviving outside the society that shunned him. While his brutish persona is less suited to the intellectual pursuits of necromancy, he makes up for it with streetsmarts, wiles, and a fair handiness with a bow and arrow.

Making a Dark Ranger[edit]

Alignment

Any evil.

Class Skills

The Dark Ranger’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Arcana) (Int), Knowledge (Dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (Geography) (Int), Knowledge (Nature) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Search (Int), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), and Use Rope (Dex).

6 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level

Because of their foul nature, Dark Rangers are reviled by society and thus cannot have more than 10 Cha.

Table: The Dark Ranger

Hit Die: d8

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Spells per Day
Fort Ref Will 0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st +1 +2 +2 +0 Lesser Black Arrow, Lesser Black Blade, Track Living, Command Undead, Undead Companion -
2nd +2 +3 +3 +0 Negative Energy Conduit, Combat Style -
3rd +3 +3 +3 +1 Endurance -
4th +4 +4 +4 +1 Undead Animal companion 0
5th +5 +4 +4 +1 Black Arrow, Black Blade 0
6th +6/+1 +5 +5 +2 Improved Combat Style 1
7th +7/+2 +5 +5 +2 Stealthy 1
8th +8/+3 +6 +6 +2 Hunt Living 1 0
9th +9/+4 +6 +6 +3 Evasion 1 0
10th +10/5 +7 +7 +3 Greater Black Arrow, Greater Black Blade 1 1
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +7 +3 Combat Style Mastery 1 1 0
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +8 +4 1 1 1
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +8 +4 Camouflage 1 1 1
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +9 +4 2 1 1 0
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +9 +5 Parasitic Black Arrow 2 1 1 1
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +10 +5 2 2 1 1
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +5 Hide in Plain Sight 2 2 2 1
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +11 +6 3 2 2 1
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +11 +6 Deathless mastery 3 3 3 2
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +12 +6 Phylactery 3 3 3 3

Class Features[edit]

Track Living

A Dark Ranger automatically has the Track feat, but only when tracking humanoids.

Lesser Black Arrow

A Dark Ranger empowers an arrow to bring an opponent back as an undead minion of the Dark Ranger if the arrow kills them or if it hits them within 1 round of death. The affected arrow gets a +1d4 to its damage. Dark Rangers Are only able to enchant one Lesser Black Arrow per class level every day, with an additional one per WIS modifier. Both the enchantment on each arrow and undead animated by it only last 24 hours.

Lesser Black Blade

A Dark Ranger empowers a sword, dagger, rapier, or scimitar to bring an opponent back as an undead minion of the Dark Ranger if they die from the blade or within a round of the hit. The affected blade gets +1d4 to its damage. Dark Rangers must spend 24 hours of meditation to augment the weapon in such a manner and cannot have more than one weapon empowered at a time. If the Dark Ranger attempts to empower a blade that is already magical, it is allowed a Will save against a DC of 10 + the Dark Ranger's caster level; if it succeeds on the check, the Dark Ranger cannot attempt to empower any weapon for a tenday. Artifact weapons cannot be empowered.

Command Undead

A Dark Ranger can command undead creatures by channeling negative energy through his body. When a necromancer controls undead he can control 2 HD/level. No check is required.

Undead Companion

A Dark Ranger may begin play with a companion selected from the following list: human warrior skeleton, skeletal wolf, zombie kobold, human commoner zombie. This undead is a loyal, intelligent companion that accompanies the necromancer on his adventures until destroyed or released. Aside from this, a 1st-level Dark Ranger’s companion is completely typical for its kind except as noted on the table below.

If the player chooses not to start with an Undead Companion or if his previous companion dies or is released, he can gain a new one by use of Black Arrow or Animate Dead. This undead is permanent (unless destroyed or released) regardless of the normal duration of the means by which it was raised. Alternatively, he can gain a new one by performing a ceremony with an appropriate dead body and 24 uninterrupted hours of meditation.

Negative Energy Conduit

At 2nd level, a Dark Ranger becomes a living conduit to the Negative Energy Plane. He is healed by negative energy and harmed by positive energy as if he is an undead creature. In addition, by touching an undead creature, he can channel negative energy to heal it for 1d8 damage. Only one undead may be healed per round in this manner. This ability may also be used to heal the Dark Ranger for 1d4 hitpoints per level. Using Negative Energy Conduit in this manner depletes it for the day and prevents you from healing any further undead.

At 10th level, the Dark Ranger may use Negative Energy Conduit as an Energy Drain attack an amount of times per day equal to his Wis modifier for 1d4 negative levels. The Dark Ranger no longer needs to eat, drink, or breathe at this level, but must use Energy Drain at least once every tenday to sustain himself.

Combat Style

At 2nd level, a Dark Ranger must select one of two combat styles to follow: archery or two-weapon combat. This choice affects the character’s class features but does not restrict his selection of feats or special abilities in any way.

If the Dark Ranger selects archery, he gains the Rapid Shot feat, even if he does not have the normal prerequisites for that feat.

If the Dark Ranger selects two-weapon combat, he gains the Two-Weapon Fighting feat, even if he does not have the normal prerequisites for that feat.

The benefits of the Dark Ranger’s chosen style apply only when he wears light or no armor. He loses all benefits of his combat style whenever his is wearing medium or heavy armor.

Endurance

A Dark Ranger gains Endurance as a bonus feat at 3rd level.

Undead Animal Companion

At 4th level, a Dark Ranger gains an Undead animal companion selected from the following list: badger, camel, dire rat, dog, riding dog, eagle, hawk, horse (light or heavy), owl, pony, snake (Small or Medium viper), or wolf. If the campaign takes place wholly or partly in an aquatic environment, the following creatures are also available: crocodile, porpoise, medium shark, and squid. This animal is a loyal companion that accompanies the Dark Ranger on his adventures. These animals are considered undead and gain all benefits of the undead; aside from that, they retain the normal characteristics of their respective kind.

Black Arrow

At 5th level, the Dark Ranger can create a more powerful variant of Black Arrow. Along with the benefits of Lesser Black Arrow, any opponent below 25% base hitpoints must roll a Fortitude save of 12 + the Dark Ranger's WIS score to not die immediately. Black Arrows also do an additional 1d6 extra damage. You can only make one Black Arrow for every three class levels per day, with an additional one per WIS modifier.

Black Blade

At 5th level, the Dark Ranger's Black Blade is upgraded to a more powerful variant. Along with its normal benefits, any opponent that the Dark Ranger hits with the Black Blade who is below 25% hitpoints must roll a Fortitude save of 12 + the Dark Ranger's WIS score to not die immediately. The bonus damage of the blade's enchantment is now 1d6.

Improved Combat Style

At 6th level, a Dark Ranger’s aptitude in his chosen combat style (archery or two-weapon combat) improves.

If he selected archery at 2nd level, he gains the Manyshot feat, even if he does not have the normal prerequisites for that feat.

If the Dark Ranger selected two-weapon combat at 2nd level, he gains the Improved Two-Weapon Fighting feat, even if he does not have the normal prerequisites for that feat.

As before, the benefits of the Dark Ranger’s chosen style apply only when he wears light or no armor. He loses all benefits of his combat style whenever he is wearing medium or heavy armor.

Stealthy

At 7th level, a Dark Ranger gains the Stealthy feat.

Hunt Living

Beginning at 8th level, a Dark Ranger can move at his normal speed while following humanoid 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

At 9th level, a Dark 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 Dark Ranger is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless Dark Ranger does not gain the benefit of evasion.

Greater Black Arrow

At 10th level, the Dark Ranger can create a further improved Black Arrow. In addition to the effects of Lesser Black Arrow, any struck opponent who is below 40% base hitpoints must roll a Fortitude save of 15 + the Dark Ranger's WIS modifier to not die immediately. They also take 1d12 extra damage. You can only make one Greater Black Arrow for every 10 class levels per day, with an additional one per WIS modifier.

Greater Black Blade

At 10th level, the Dark Ranger's Black Blade is improved further. In addition to the benefits of Lesser Black Arrow, any struck opponent who is below 40% base hitpoints must roll a Fortitude save of 15+ the Dark Ranger's WIS modifier to not die immediately. The bonus damage of the blade is now 2d4.

Combat Style Mastery

At 11th level, a Dark Ranger’s aptitude in his chosen combat style (archery or two-weapon combat) improves again.

If he selected archery at 2nd level, he gains the Improved Precise Shot feat, even if he does not have the normal prerequisites for that feat.

If the Dark Ranger selected two-weapon combat at 2nd level, he gains the Greater Two-Weapon Fighting feat, even if he does not have the normal prerequisites for that feat.

As before, the benefits of the Dark Ranger’s chosen style apply only when he wears light or no armor. He loses all benefits of his combat style whenever he is wearing medium or heavy armor.

Camouflage

A Dark 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.

Parasitic Black Arrow

At 15th level, the Dark Ranger may enchant an arrow with a life-draining effect. In addition to its normal damage, the arrow funnels 1d8 hitpoints per round from the enemy to the Dark Ranger. For every round that the arrow remains stuck in the enemy, a cumulative 1d8 of draining is added, up to a maximum of 10d8. The enemy is allowed a DC check of 15 to notice the draining effect; this check is reduced by 1 every subsequent round until the target notices it. At that point, a strength check is required to remove it, the DC depending on the type of arrow used. If the enemy dies from the damage or drain of this arrow, they are turned into an undead minion as per Lesser Black Arrow. This ability may only be used once per day, with additional casts per day at 17th and 19th level.

Hide in Plain Sight

While in any sort of natural terrain, a Dark Ranger of 17th level or higher can use the Hide skill even while being observed.

Deathless Mastery

At 19th level a Dark Ranger's body becomes so akin with the undead that he becomes immune to all death effects and automatically succeeds on any Fortitude save.

Phylactery

At 20th level a Dark Ranger can trap part of his soul in a Phylactery (see Lich’s Phylactery). Dark Ranger does not need the Craft Wondrous Item feat to craft the Phylactery. However, he still needs to pay the XP and gold cost associated with crafting it. When the Dark Ranger is killed, his soul flees to the phylactery; 1d10 days after death, it will start roaming the vicinity of the Phylactery in search of a suitable dead body. Once found, he can inhabit the body, returning to his full power.


Weapon and Armor Proficiency:

A Dark Ranger is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, and with all light armor and shields (except tower shields).

Spell List[edit]

A Dark Ranger gains and uses spells as a ranger.

1st Level — Bane, Bestow Wound, Cause Fear, Charm Person, Comprehend Languages, Curse Water, Deathwatch, Detect Undead, Doom, Gentle Repose, Hide from Undead, Hypnotism, Identify, Inflict Light Wounds, Parching Touch, Ray of Enfeeblement, Sleep

2nd Level — Blindness/Deafness, Command Undead, Darkness, Darkvision, Death Knell, Desecrate, Detect Thoughts, False Life, Fear, Ghoul Touch, Inflict Moderate Wounds, Locate Object, Scare, See Invisibility, Spectral Hand, Summon Swarm, Touch of Idiocy

3rd Level — Animate Dead, Arcane Sight, Awaken Undead, Bestow Curse, Black Sand, Clairaudience/Clairvoyance, Contagion, Deeper Darkness, Dispel Magic, Halt Undead, Inflict Serious Wounds, Ray of Exhaustion, Speak with Dead, Suggestion, Tongues, Vampiric Touch

4th Level — Arcane Eye, Blight, Charm Monster, Confusion, Crushing Despair, Death Ward, Dimension Door, Enervation, Fear, Inflict Critical Wounds, Locate Creature, Phantasmal Killer, Poison, Scrying

Ex-Dark Rangers[edit]

If a Dark Ranger takes any action that causes an alignment shift from Evil, he will lose all of his magic. He will still be able to keep all acquired feats and companion pets.

Epic Dark Ranger[edit]

Table: The Epic Dark Ranger

Hit Die: d8

Level Special
21st
22nd
23rd Bonus Feat
24th
25th
26th Bonus Feat
27th
28th
29th Bonus Feat
30th

6 + Int modifier skill points per level.

Dark Ranger Starting Package[edit]

Weapons: .

Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 4 + Int modifier.

Skill Ranks Ability Armor
Check
Penalty

Feat: .

Bonus Feats: .

Gear: .

Gold: .

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Dark Ranger[edit]

Religion: .

Other Classes: .

Combat: .

Advancement: .

Dark Rangers in the World[edit]

—,


Daily Life: .

Notables: .

Organizations: .

NPC Reactions: .

Dark Ranger Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in can research to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

DC Result
5 .
10 .
15 .
20 .

Dark Rangers in the Game[edit]

Adaptation: .

Sample Encounter: .

EL : .


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