Eclipse Pathfinder – the Ranger

   Like the Paladin and the Monk, the Ranger has had enough changes and upgrades in Pathfinder that it’s easier to rebuild them then it is to note all the tweaks to the standard build.

   As usual, the following breakdown is for level twenty. That way you can easily buy things as you please, rather than adhering to a preset level-by-level build. If you’re going to be using Eclipse, you might as well take advantage of it.

   For that matter, you’re also free to vary your hit dice, your save progressions, how much BAB you want, how many skills you want, and what you want to discard or add – but if you’re going to go that far, you’re probably only interested in this breakdown as a guide to giving your character whatever powers from the basic Pathfinder Ranger you actually like anyway.

   Go ahead, it works perfectly well for that as well.

  • Hit Dice: 20d10 (120 CP).
  • Saves: +30 (90 CP).
  • BAB (Warcraft): +20 (120 CP).
  • Skills: 120 SP (40 CP after Fast Learner and Adept).
  • Proficiencies: All Simple and Martial Weapons (9 CP), Light and Medium Armor (9 CP), and Shields (Corrupted, not with Tower Shields, 2 CP).
  • Magic Levels: 17 Base Caster Levels, Specialized and Corrupted/only for Ranger Spellcasting, not usable while wearing heavy armor (34 CP). 18 levels of the Ranger Spellcasting Progression (trivial variant: drop the four level zero spells in favor of an additional second level spell), Specialized/provides a very limited selection of spells, few of them combative (18 CP).

   Special Abilities

  • Fast Learner, Specialized in Skills for +2 SP/Level (6 CP).
  • Adept, may select four skills which may be purchased for half cost (6 CP).
  • Favored Foe, Corrupted for Increased Effect (the user must stick with the somewhat irrational set of choices presented); the user may add his or her Favored Foe bonuses to seven things (attacks, damage, and five skills) rather than merely five (6 CP).
    • I, personally, still cannot figure out an in-game reason why myriads of weird entities hailing from entirely different dimensions – say a clockwork entity, a mass of coiling seaweed, and a friendly flying mountain with tentacles – can all fall under “lawful outsider” and be covered by the same set of tricks, while Humans and Halflings are too different to fall into a single category. “Game Balance” is NOT an in-game reason; it’s a poor excuse for badly-written rules. Most worlds are supposed to make sense on their own. Pathfinder gets a pass here though, since this is a legacy item left over from 3.5.
  • Professional/Survival, Specialized in Tracking (3 CP).
    • Pathfinder does not require a special tracking ability to follow tracks. Neither – since it leaves skill descriptions to the settings – does Eclipse; The Eclipse “Track” ability allows a character to trace a creatures passage in a new way, such as by traces of their magic (to track them through gates or teleportation), by checking with informers (to follow old trails in the city), by aura, or whatever.
  • Lore/Animals and Magical Beasts (Specialized/only covers how to get along with them, and only in person, and thus Charisma-based rather than Intelligence-based, 3 CP).
  • Five Bonus Feats (Combat Style Feats), corrupted/only when he wears light, medium, or no armor. These are normally used to purchase abilities related to archery or fighting with two weapons (20 CP).
  • Immunity/Natural Environmental Hazards (Common, Minor, Trivial, 2).
  • Favored Foe, Terrain Types variant (6 CP). In Pathfinder, the bonuses are applied to Initiative, Knowledge (geography), Perception, Stealth, and Survival skill checks while in the relevant terrain type. Eclipse, of course, doesn’t specify.
  • Traceless (Travel), Specialized/only in favored terrain types (3 CP).
  • Hunter’s Bond offers the ranger a choice:
    • A Druid-style Animal Companion (a base of 28 CP as per a Pathfinder Druid, with an additional +6 CP to bestow the ranger’s favored foe and terrain bonuses on it, Specialized/reduces the user’s effective level by three when calculating the companion bonuses and only offers a limited choice of animals, 17 CP).
      • or
    • The ability to share some of the Ranger’s bonuses with his or her companions. That’s Blessing with Group (to affect multiple targets), Radius II (to make that a 30′ radius), and Allies Only, for a base of 30 CP and special GM permission (for Blessing). This is, however, Specialized/it only works with the user’s Favored Foe bonuses and is only 50% effective (15 CP). Pathfinder calls for the user to take a Move action to maintain this every little bit – but since there’s no usage limitation this doesn’t matter all that much.
      • The bonus-sharing is a special-permission item – and one I’d normally be rather dubious about approving. Allowing characters to share their abilities with multiple companions without losing them themselves can easily get totally out of control. Fortunately, this version is fairly tightly restricted. That specialization on the animal companion is a bit thin too, but it works well enough for the purpose. I’ll take the average and call the cost 16 CP either way for the final total.
  • Travel (Forest) (3 CP).
  • Occult Sense/Unnatural Tracking, Specialized/only eliminates movement penalties for tracking (3 CP).
  • Improved Fortune (Reflex Variant). The user takes no damage on a successful reflex save and still takes only half damage if it fails. Corrupted/not while wearing heavy armor or otherwise restrained (8 CP).
  • Mastery, Specialized in Survival for Double Effect, Corrupted/only for Tracking. The user may “Take 20” on Survival checks for tracking without taking extra time and while under pressure. (4 CP).
  • +4 BAB, Specialized and Corrupted/treated as an insight bonus, does not add to iterative attacks, Specialized/only works on the user’s favored enemy types and only on a single target in any one ten minute interval – although the choice is a free action (8 CP).
  • Immunity/the need to confirm criticals (Very Common, Major, Major), Specialized and Corrupted/only works on the user’s favored enemy types and only on a single target in any one ten minute interval – although the choice is a free action (5 CP).
  • Immunity/the need to have cover or concealment to use the Stealth skill (Common, Minor, Minor, Specialized/only in favored terrains, 2),
  • Immunity/the inability to use Stealth to hide while under direct observation (Common, Minor, Minor, Specialized/only in favored terrains, 2).
  • Trick/Deadly Strike. Usable once per day on each of the user’s favored enemy types, albeit never more than once a day on any one creature even if it fits into more than one favored enemy category. The user may make a single attack as a standard action and, on a hit, opt to either inflict normal damage and cause the victim to either save or die or to inflict stun damage equal to the target’s current hit points. A successful Fortitude save at a DC of (10 + Level/2 + Wis Mod) negates the death effect (but not the basic damage) or all the stunning damage (6 CP).

   All of that comes out to 554 CP – even after the benefits of Fast Learner and Adept. Of course, the Ranger does get the “very limited spell list” bonus (worth 10 CP), which leaves them with only 40 CP to come up with.

   In this case, I’m going to have to presume something that isn’t in the original build – that Rangers (like many Eclipse characters) normally have Duties of some sort. They may be the guardians at the edge of civilization, be responsible for tracking down monsters that break past those borders, belong to mystical orders, or be trained by the elves to be liaisons with other races – but they have some obligations to keep up with.

   Many Eclipse characters take that sort of thing anyway. It provides easy plot hooks for the game master and two bonus character points per level for the character – a nice neat forty (and exactly what we need to make the Ranger balance) at level twenty.

   The Pathfinder Ranger was the most difficult Pathfinder build to accommodate so far: it’s been upgraded in quite a number of ways over the 3.5 Ranger – and several of those upgrades are fairly expensive ones too. If you opt to build this sort of character in Eclipse you’re not going to have many points left over for additional customization unless you discard a few things to make room.

   Eclipse: The Codex Persona is available in a Shareware PDF Version, in Print, and in a Paid PDF Version that includes Eclipse II (245 pages of Eclipse races, character and power builds, items, relics, martial arts, and other material) and the web expansion. It will be updated with Eclipse III when that’s done as well.

   Oh yes, here’s the OGL on the Pathfinder SRD site I referenced.


One Response

  1. […] the class breakdowns for the  Alchemist, Barbarian, Bard, Cleric, Druid, Fighter, Monk, Paladin, Ranger, Rogue, Sorcerer and Summoner. The sample characters are pretty much all compatible with […]

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