Tuesday, November 23, 2010

This Geeks Favored Class....Ranger.

The first ever D&D game I played in, I was a freshman in High School, I played a Fighter/ Magic User named Zimbad... I know, not the best name but I figured for a half elf it was’nt half-bad. It wasnt long after we started delving deep into dungeons at the White’s dinner table that I soon discovered my favorite class, and it has remained so through various media to this day... The Ranger.

Maybe it was a early love of the tale of Robin Hood, but I’d like to think it was my first reading of “Lord Of The Rings”. Aragorn, the Ranger of North, was one of my favorite characters, but surprisingly it was Faramir and the Rangers of Ithilien that i really ended up falling in love with, clad in their green and browns, striking from their secret hideouts and fighting the evil of Mordor while the rest of the world ignored the growing evil (from my Ranger Biased point of view). From that first reading... and a Game in a friends basement the Ranger was it for me.

With Bow and Bastard sword my Rangers battled evil minions from Greyhawk to Forgotten Realms from the Old empire to Galoran. When Computer games became the fad, every game that let me, I played a Ranger ( or Hunter in some games). My friends made (and make) fun of me, when ever we start a new game or MMORPG and we are deciding on classes to play they always say “Let me guess Kendall... A Ranger” why yes, dont mind if I do.

The image I have had in my mind, since my first introduction has only been captured in the Art of Angus Mcbride. I hated the depictions of Faramir and Rangers in Peter Jackson’s LOTR’s ( yes I do like the Movies...most of them at least). The Ranger in my mind is a simply clad fellow, longbow in hand, sword at his waist, little to no metal armor. He is Swift of foot and true of aim, virtually invisible in the wild. He would carry little, as he lives off the land, maybe a belt pouch a snapsack and a blanket roll at most. His weathered stained cloak shadowing his face as he stalks his prey. Cool on two feet is how I like to think of them.

Thats one of the things I hate about most MMORPG’s the higher up you go in level the more gaudy your Ranger looks, I look at my Avatar and say “Id never look like that” but Alias the games say you would.


Anonymous said...

I think non-useless bards (not always easy to find) are my all-time favorites - but Rangers make a close second, for pretty much exactly the reasons you mentioned. It did always bother me, though, that after the Crystal Shard it was assumed that every Ranger dual-wields, and game after game changed the class to make it the case. Drizzt was cool and all, but not every Ranger needed to be him. And yes, you could just not dual wield, but then you are just gimping yourself.

Ithilien and the ambush and the secret lair - total uber-kewlness.

Dave Starks said...

When I first learned how to play D&D in the 6th grade a buddy of mine, Doug Burkert, used to always brag about how "bad" his ranger was. You see, Doug was a "power Gamer", what the kids today call a "munchkin". Doug liked ANY class that allowed him an unbalanced amount of powers and abilities. Regular old Fighters only used 8 sided dice to roll Hit points, but RANGERS used 12-sided (I think, memory is hazy)! So that was the extent of the romantic appeal for ol' Doug...that and he could be a Half-Elf and have and endless sheet of special abilities...