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D&D 5E The Dual Wielding Ranger: How Aragorn, Drizzt, and Dual-Wielding Led to the Ranger's Loss of Identity

Voadam

Legend
Wands helped, but in 1e they didn't recharge, and they weren't that common in the modules. For example, if you managed to get every single item in Keep (B2), which was a notoriously high-magic item module for low levels, then you got, in terms of wands by the end ... wait for it .... a wand of enemy detection with 9 charges, and a wand of paralyzation with 7 charges.
Yes, low level modules rarely had wands, and I too found most adventures had wands with few (often single digit) charges as opposed to the DMG page 132 guideline of 81+

"Unless noted to the contrary, these items will have the following number of charges; each time the item is used, there is an expenditure of 1 charge (the user will not necessarily be aware of the number of charges in an item):
rods 50 charges minus 0 to 9 (d10 − 1)
staves 25 charges minus 0 to 5 (d6 − 1)
wands 100 charges minus 0 to 19 (d20 − 1)"

However wands are a bit more common in higher level modules such as the Temple of Elemental Evil which has multiple double digit charge combat wands.

Once/if a magic user did get a normal DMG wand though it was a strong regular combat option that made wizards repeating artillery instead of the otherwise special occasion rationed artillery.

Also most wands in 1e specifically said in their descriptions they could be recharged (in the DMG all but wands of negation and wonder). :)
 

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Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Meh, we did it :) I mean, we had a cleric and a fighter/MU, and then we had about 10 hirelings.

Again, that's not doing it. An all-MU party isn't "we had a cleric, and a F/MU, and 10 hirelings to do the combat."

In addition, from your comments it appears that you were not using the spellcasting rules (time- you needed to add six segments to decide to cast a spell and use material components if the spell required it in addition to the actual casting time, as well as the combat rules). In addition, and I know it's been a while, but some of your comments don't always make sense (for example, MUs didn't have a lot of money- they had the least money, other than monks.
 

Yes, low level modules rarely had wands, and I too found most adventures had wands with few (often single digit) charges as opposed to the DMG page 132 guideline of 81+

"Unless noted to the contrary, these items will have the following number of charges; each time the item is used, there is an expenditure of 1 charge (the user will not necessarily be aware of the number of charges in an item):
rods 50 charges minus 0 to 9 (d10 − 1)
staves 25 charges minus 0 to 5 (d6 − 1)
wands 100 charges minus 0 to 19 (d20 − 1)"

However wands are a bit more common in higher level modules such as the Temple of Elemental Evil which has multiple double digit charge combat wands.

Once/if a magic user did get a normal DMG wand though it was a strong regular combat option that made wizards repeating artillery instead of the otherwise special occasion rationed artillery.

Also most wands in 1e specifically said in their descriptions they could be recharged (in the DMG all but wands of negation and wonder). :)
Right, although I don't recall any explanation of HOW recharging works. Thus it might be super difficult (IE require Enchant An Item plus impossibly difficult lists of ingredients, etc.), OR it might be as simple as casting the most appropriate spell onto the wand, or something in between (IE requiring research, special ingredients, some higher levels, etc.).

Anyway, the treasure tables in the MM and the DMG, plus wandering encounter rules which by default will invoke them, will inevitably lead to a lot of magic item treasure, and at least SOME wands, etc. By 11th level my wizard had a wand of magic missiles, a necklace of fireballs, a Staff of Power!!! and a slew of defensive items and oddball stuff (including a Portable Hole).

One thing that happens in these games is that, even if there aren't some vast number of items out there, parties accumulate them. Some characters die, but others survive and tend to collect the good items and become even harder to kill. That was certainly the deal with my character, surviving pretty much every TSR module and a lot of our own adventures, by 14th level you will be festooned with 'stuff'. Same with spell book, I'd just copy the best spells from each other wizard's book (either we'd trade, or if they got offed by some unfortunate event then they really couldn't object). After a while you tend to have pretty much everything worth having at most levels.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Also most wands in 1e specifically said in their descriptions they could be recharged (in the DMG all but wands of negation and wonder). :)

Well, recharging wasn't exactly easy. See, e.g., Charging Isn't Cheap, Dragon # 101. Most notably, after the whole involved process, you have to "enter" the charges.
 

Minigiant

Legend
I'm not sure everyone shares your interpretation though. I think it is perfectly within the archetype to consider a loner who makes a living out in the wilderness to be a 'ranger'. This is the classic 'mountain man' trope. Indeed a lot of the famous pioneers of American history fall into this bin. It was said of Daniel Boone that as soon as he could see his nearest neighbor's chimney smoke he knew it was time to move on.

So I don't hold with your idea they are 'outliers and special cases'. They are maybe not the entirety of the trope, sure. I think what I was arguing is that D&D can handle the other types, the 'lawman' or 'member of an organization' too. There is nothing about the class design, in any edition AFAIK which really points you either way.
Older editions actually had organizational rules or donation assumptions to associates and associations.

The thing is the D&D ranger is a special concept created for D&D based on various inspirations. However the random loner in the wild isn't the primary. It work but the class is built off another archetype.

The ranger class is built off the ranger job.
 

Older editions actually had organizational rules or donation assumptions to associates and associations.

The thing is the D&D ranger is a special concept created for D&D based on various inspirations. However the random loner in the wild isn't the primary. It work but the class is built off another archetype.

The ranger class is built off the ranger job.
why do we not have a book for that type of stuff it is interesting for dms and players.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
why do we not have a book for that type of stuff it is interesting for dms and players.

Matt Colville's newest book (Kingdoms and Warfare) is supposed to contain rules for making organizations, and for allowing "all Blank" parties with diversity. So, making a theives guild where everyone feels like a theif, but also cover various roles like magic user, scout, heavy, ect.

I don't know exactly how it will work yet (I wasn't in the playtest) but the few previews I saw looked really good
 

I cross-referenced acaeum, which didn't help, but did give me this AMAZING pre-publication cover:
uaprepub.jpg


...

4. That cover.
@Snarf Zagyg have you got a link to that cover, I have never seen that before.
 


One tough thing about the loner out there in the wilderness archetype is it is hard to imagine that loner as low level. Anyone wandering around solo in a D&D world, especially in forests full of danger, are easily level 8. So from the very beginning, the concept can be tough to swallow for some players.
 

Meh, we did it :) I mean, we had a cleric and a fighter/MU, and then we had about 10 hirelings. That was starting off on the first day. As soon as we got a few gold we all copied each other's spell books, so everyone had at least one GOOD combat type spell. I seem to remember we made short work of B2. It was all done with hit-n-run tactics, mostly. Pretty quickly the front line spear chuckers had scale armor and shields, we hired a fighter as a henchman because he could block an ogre (at least until it was put to Sleep, lol), etc.
I think play experiences like this were very heavily DM dependent. A group of magic users trying to go through B2 with our DM would have been dead during the first session, or at least half of them would have been killed. The DM never fudged dice rolls, and we played by the rules; which is we followed the book and made common sense approaches such as others might hear a loud noise or fight coming from the cave room next door.
 

Minigiant

Legend
One tough thing about the loner out there in the wilderness archetype is it is hard to imagine that loner as low level. Anyone wandering around solo in a D&D world, especially in forests full of danger, are easily level 8. So from the very beginning, the concept can be tough to swallow for some players.
That was kind of the justification of the Ranger organizations. The loner ranger is the veteran ranger, ranger knight, or captain of the rangers that can do it alone. Most rangers were in small squads or under a high level ranger mentor.

  • There's a Border
  • The Rangers are charged to defend the border
  • The Rangers are spread across that border in small squads
  • Most squads are groups of 2-4 rangers with 2-5 HD
  • Some squads are a veteran rangers and his or her apprentices
  • Then there is Greeny McGumpy who "doesn't need a partner"
  • Greeny McGrump is the Ranger-Knight and one of 2d6 Ranger-Knights and Ranger-Lords
  • Greeny McGrumpy electric blendered a whole raiding party on his own regularly
  • Random low level ranger squad reveres Greeny McGrumpy as awesome hero like Faragorn the Ranger Commander
  • Faragorn soloed a giant back in the day
  • Random low level ranger squad spots Dark Lord's army.
  • Random low level ranger squad casts animal messenger
  • "Now all of China the Kingdom knows you're here"
The Ranger arcetype more or less relies on a organization or tradition to match the higher magic high fantastic feel of D&D. When you cut that out, you lose the safety net that low level rangers need.
 

That was kind of the justification of the Ranger organizations. The loner ranger is the veteran ranger, ranger knight, or captain of the rangers that can do it alone. Most rangers were in small squads or under a high level ranger mentor.

  • There's a Border
  • The Rangers are charged to defend the border
  • The Rangers are spread across that border in small squads
  • Most squads are groups of 2-4 rangers with 2-5 HD
  • Some squads are a veteran rangers and his or her apprentices
  • Then there is Greeny McGumpy who "doesn't need a partner"
  • Greeny McGrump is the Ranger-Knight and one of 2d6 Ranger-Knights and Ranger-Lords
  • Greeny McGrumpy electric blendered a whole raiding party on his own regularly
  • Random low level ranger squad reveres Greeny McGrumpy as awesome hero like Faragorn the Ranger Commander
  • Faragorn soloed a giant back in the day
  • Random low level ranger squad spots Dark Lord's army.
  • Random low level ranger squad casts animal messenger
  • "Now all of China the Kingdom knows you're here"
The Ranger arcetype more or less relies on a organization or tradition to match the higher magic high fantastic feel of D&D. When you cut that out, you lose the safety net that low level rangers need.
Yeah, I get it. But a lot of people are not looking at it that deeply. It's like basing your character off a superhero. It falls short in the very first session - because you are not a superhero at low levels. It's hard to be build a character similar to Spiderman, and then suddenly have to wait 15 levels before you can talk sarcastically to everyone without getting your butt kicked. ;)
For many, especially young and/or new players, the ranger concept is their Spiderman.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Yeah, I get it. But a lot of people are not looking at it that deeply. It's like basing your character off a superhero. It falls short in the very first session - because you are not a superhero at low levels. It's hard to be build a character similar to Spiderman, and then suddenly have to wait 15 levels before you can talk sarcastically to everyone without getting your butt kicked. ;)
For many, especially young and/or new players, the ranger concept is their Spiderman.

The problem is many people forget that many superheroes went through training years.

The Xmen is a story about elder superheroes teaching younger superpowered kids to use their powers in a world that would destroy them if they don't learn and display that growth and aid.

The problem isn't Ranger, its too many new or experienced players wanting to play independent vets at level 1. You can't be Aragorn at level 1 the same reason you can't be Gimli at level 1. Wanna be level 1 Batman? Level 1 Batman is teenage Bruce in Japan learning karate. You can be level1 Robin and fight Gotham crime, but level 10+ Bruce Wayne is covering your butt. Maybe at level 3, you can join the Teen Titans.

That's why 4e and 5e stating the concept of tiers was important. For a ranger, tiers more or less displayed your range and solidified to place in the world. Even older editions displayed when your character was really considered an independent person worthy of the name of their class. Too many ignored it and this is how aspects for more niche classes got muddy.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
The problem is many people forget that many superheroes went through training years.

The Xmen is a story about elder superheroes teaching younger superpowered kids to use their powers in a world that would destroy them if they don't learn and display that growth and aid.

The problem isn't Ranger, its too many new or experienced players wanting to play independent vets at level 1. You can't be Aragorn at level 1 the same reason you can't be Gimli at level 1. Wanna be level 1 Batman? Level 1 Batman is teenage Bruce in Japan learning karate. You can be level1 Robin and fight Gotham crime, but level 10+ Bruce Wayne is covering your butt. Maybe at level 3, you can join the Teen Titans.

That's why 4e and 5e stating the concept of tiers was important. For a ranger, tiers more or less displayed your range and solidified to place in the world. Even older editions displayed when your character was really considered an independent person worthy of the name of their class. Too many ignored it and this is how aspects for more niche classes got muddy.

And I think the reverse problem is also true. Aargorn is level 8 max, and so what does a true level 17 ranger look like? We don't have that conceptual space filled.

That's why I want to focus more on defending the borders of the world. The high level rangers are the ones hunting the border of the Etheral plane for the eldritch monstrosities that would tear apart cities. I think we can work with that conceptually far easier than "be aargorn, survive in the woods."
 

Minigiant

Legend
And I think the reverse problem is also true. Aargorn is level 8 max, and so what does a true level 17 ranger look like? We don't have that conceptual space filled.

That's why I want to focus more on defending the borders of the world. The high level rangers are the ones hunting the border of the Etheral plane for the eldritch monstrosities that would tear apart cities. I think we can work with that conceptually far easier than "be aargorn, survive in the woods."
LOTR isn't D&D. LOTR is a low level world.

Most nonAnime nonVideo game fantasy is low level. If you want to see rangers slaying invading demons, ghosts,and horrors, you need to look at media with invading fiends, undead, and abominations. And even there, rangers or their border guard equivalent usually has ranks.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
LOTR isn't D&D. LOTR is a low level world.

Most nonAnime nonVideo game fantasy is low level. If you want to see rangers slaying invading demons, ghosts,and horrors, you need to look at media with invading fiends, undead, and abominations. And even there, rangers or their border guard equivalent usually has ranks.

Sure, but even in Anime or Video Game Fantasy, you don't usually see something that is more "Ranger defending borders" compared to Paladins or Fighters or Gishes. There are a few, but it isn't the most common, which makes it really hard to talk about that space, since a lot of people don't have experience with it.
 

The problem isn't Ranger, its too many new or experienced players wanting to play independent vets at level 1. You can't be Aragorn at level 1 the same reason you can't be Gimli at level 1. Wanna be level 1 Batman? Level 1 Batman is teenage Bruce in Japan learning karate. You can be level1 Robin and fight Gotham crime, but level 10+ Bruce Wayne is covering your butt. Maybe at level 3, you can join the Teen Titans.
Well said.
 

And I think the reverse problem is also true. Aargorn is level 8 max, and so what does a true level 17 ranger look like? We don't have that conceptual space filled.
I see it differently. Aragorn fought in wars for years and years. He has hung out with elves, spent time with dwarves, and fought alongside men. He fought off a group of Nazgul! And he is of different blood - literally, born different from others, being a Dunedain. In my view, LotR is a low level world, and he is at the top. Whether that means 17 out of 20, or 8 out of 10.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Sure, but even in Anime or Video Game Fantasy, you don't usually see something that is more "Ranger defending borders" compared to Paladins or Fighters or Gishes. There are a few, but it isn't the most common, which makes it really hard to talk about that space, since a lot of people don't have experience with it.
Well D&D is an anomaly. So you only see "Ranger defending borders" in MMOs.

So you are looking are looking at Rexxar Champion of the Horde and Alleria Windrunner.

One is an Orc/ogre hybrid hero of a faction who TWF axes in melee and ranged with a zoo of animal companions.
The other is special snowflake elf former ranger-captian who shoots magic arrows and has a alternate form to guard the world.
 

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