FoE: The Ranger

Previously: The Marauder

The Ranger is the pure Dexterity class of Path of Exile; they excel at ranged combat and emphasize getting out of the way of danger, rather than simply soaking it up or blocking it with a mystical shield. In terms of lore, Rangers are poachers, thieves who steal from the nobility, and have little care for the proper way of civilized society. Exiled to Wraeclast when captured by those offended by having their excess trimmed for the survival of others, a ranger is well-suited to the dangerous wilderness to be found here.

Crafting a Ranger in Fate Core is simple, on the surface of things. Stealth, speed, and guile are fundamental to their nature; a familiarity with the wilderness and skill with traps is always helpful, as is a certain ruthlessness that softer hearts might find troubling. While the Karui Marauders are furious and loud, a Ranger is silent and often patient, well aware that many battles are won by controlling the field rather than by raw force. Atlhetics and Acrobatics are both central skills for any Ranger, as is Shooting. Beyond this, ranger diverge on their personal sense of how to do things.

Where Marauders simply fail to feel fear, secure in the knowledge that Death walks with them and that their ancestors shield them, Rangers are creatures of the wild; fear is part of what makes them who they are, and what guides their actions. Even the Rangers who carve out a place in Wraeclast are cautious and wary, more than willing to give up ground to a foe when it means they can leave traps behind them that make the next encounter lean in their favor. Rangers know Death, and regard him as the most cunning of foes, to be fought and tricked at every turn. Every day survived is a day where the Ranger has beaten Death at its game.

Stalker-style Rangers will benefit from skills like Stealth and Notice, with lesser slots perhaps going to things like Provoke, Physique, and Will. They’ll also likely rely on Shoot and Stealth for their stunts, with trick shots and ambushes to ensure that they control the field of battle even as they bring the fight to their enemies. Less aggressive rangers may benefit from Notice and Crafts over other skills, with a lesser emphasis toward Stealth and other complementary skills. Crafts-based stunts to produce traps on the fly to ensure they remain in control when others are surprised by the horrors that lurk in Wraeclast’s corners. Last, there may be some who, by use of the Virtue Gems, become a kind of arcane archer, using their Physique and Will to ensure their survival while their Virtue stunts allow them to do otherwise impossible tricks, like firing a single arrow into the sky and having a zone-wide rain of arrows fall to the earth.

Aspects for Rangers will tend to reflect the way that Rangers are wary survivalists at heart. High Aspects might be things such as Canny Hunter Of The Wilds, Trapsmith of the Webbed Woods, or Unseen Archer-Mage. Troubles will tend to reflect the paranoid and withdrawn behavior Rangers tend to have, with things like Words Can’t Be Trusted, Think Thrice Before Acting, or Wild Magic In A Wild Spirit.

Other Aspects will round out the nature of the specific Ranger; the aggressive hunter might have I Can Smell You Coming, Ally Is Just A Nice Word For Bait, and My Law Is The Law Of The Wild. A trapsmith might round out with Ruler Of My Domain, I Live Behind The Shadows, and As Patient As The Trees. The arcane archer might use Aspects like My Will Is A Piercing Arrow, I Hear The Words Of The Wind, and I Can Track The Spirits.

Aggressive Rangers will want to favor Stunts that make the most of their Shoot and Stealth skills, letting them get the drop on others, slink between areas without being observed, and make the most of each shot they get. A trapsmith might favor Crafts stunts that permit them to sow the area with traps they fashion on the fly, forcing those who face them to advance through zones altered to the Ranger’s advantage to get near or delaying them while the Ranger escapes to fight another day. An arcane archer will tend to favor Virtue stunts that grant them uncanny skills with their bows, making it rain arrows, making single shots split into multiple shots, or causing shots to be wrapped in lightning or fire.

Ultimately, the Ranger is a class that can be used as a model for anyone who wants to play a world-wise hunter, cautious and careful as they traverse the cursed lands of Wraeclast. They let others take the lead to play the hero while ensuring that their tracks are covered and anything foolish enough to hunt the hunter will find nasty surprises that leave them too hurt to be a threat. Rangers know fear quite well, but they aren’t ruled by it – it’s just one more tool in their fight to keep Death hungry for another day.

Next conversion post: The Witch, the pure-Intelligence class that commands the dead, the elements, and holds dominion over terrible curses.

FoE: The Ranger

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