Rangers are versatile members of any party. They can lead a group through dangerous wilderness without getting lost, track a wild beast or missing person in diverse environments, and are capable of wielding a multitude of weapons. They’re hired by travelers as guides and make excellent bounty hunters and monster slayers when the time calls for it. They’re also quite passionate and considerate of nature and the flora and fauna that live among it.
If you’re playing or writing a ranger, we’ve got some tips on how to get in their head. Dorian has played a ranger for six years and understands them quite well. Having done so for such a long time, or course, not all rangers are the same. So, for those looking to play or create a ranger, here’s what you need to know.
Roleplaying a Ranger
Playing a ranger comes down to a few key factors. No matter if you’re using the most popular TTRPG in the world, Pathfinder, Forbidden Lands, or Lord of the Rings, rangers have several things in common. Focus on the following traits when you create a ranger to improve your roleplay and writing.
- Rangers are fierce protectors of nature. They work to safeguard all that is natural in the world.
- Rangers know their plants. They can tell the party if a plant is deadly, poisonous, edible, or has healing properties. If they don’t know, they work to do so.
- Rangers are kind to animals. As protectors of nature, they work to understand creatures of the world, even the dangerous ones. If it comes down to a fight with a beast, they may instead choose to scare away the creature instead of killing it. Rangers are also known to have animal companions.
- Rangers always seek to understand. Rangers tend to stick to the wilds or live away from cities. This can make them curious about the world. Going to a large urban area can seem outlandish to them but with every place they visit, they seek knowledge first. Knowing more about a place, person, or creature is highly beneficial.
- Rangers can be difficult at first. Like nature, rangers tend to be guarded and may appear off-putting at first. Once they get to know a person, they warm up easily to them and let their guards drop.
- Rangers are masters of weapons. There is a reason rangers are known as masters of the hunt. Not for their hunting skills, but their ability to wield and master just about every weapon created.
As writers, we find inspiration in nearly everything we come across. So, we thought to help with your roleplay, we should introduce you to a few popular rangers from movies and video games.
- Geralt of Rivia. Geralt is a Witcher, which is a fancy way of saying ranger. He hunts monsters, uses herbs to make potions and poisons, and is proficient in knowing creatures, tracking, and fighting. He’s gruff and blunt but has a kind heart and is always willing to help those in need.
- Aragorn. Aragorn from Lord of the Rings is one of the best examples of a ranger we can think of. While known as a Ranger of the North, the title referred to a wandering people who protected the land but sought to remain a secret from others. This gave them a reputation for being distrustful, harsh, and dangerous. While Aragorn can appear quite harsh, he’s kind to everyone he meets once he learns more about them. He also has several animal companions during his journey. Brego is with him in The Two Towers and The Return of the King. While Bill the pony accompanies him in The Fellowship of the Ring.
- Ruuda Drybarrel. Self-plug. Ruuda’s backstory in our fantasy book series Thread of Souls focuses on her interaction with a group or rangers. She was trained by Deep Stalker ranger Nier Shadowsnare but was not blessed to be a Deep Stalker herself. The Deep Staker rangers are protectors of the Deep Hollows and work to ensure safe passage for travelers on the roads, protect creatures, and are hired out when needed for specific jobs. Ruuda’s history with the rangers could play a larger part in her story, but you’ll have to read and find out.