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ideal candidates for apprentices, as do orphans and human followers. Falconer, Forest Runner, Greenwood Ranger, Guardian, Pathfinder, Sea Ranger, Seeker.

Individuals attracted to this character class may take it upon themselves to master the necessary skills without a formal apprenticeship. Such an individual may be motivated by curiosity (he's fascinated by nature and longs to learn what books can't teach), a compelling event (an army of orcs makes a surprise attack against his village from an unpatrolled forest; he vows to guard the forest to prevent a recurrence), or a restless urge to explore the world (he feels smothered by the secure but boring life his parents have planned for him).

A self-determined ranger often takes a circuitous route to learning his craft. He may begin by petitioning his lord or king to allow him to accompany military personnel on wilderness excursions, learning from observation how soldiers survive in the field and track their enemies. He may offer to keep house or work for a sage or hedge wizard in exchange for private lessons in botany and other natural sciences. A few years as a neophyte in a nature-oriented church may give him access to priestly magic. And a surreptitious partnership or adoption by a notorious thief may teach him the knack of hiding in shadows and moving silently.

Explorer, Forest Runner, Guardian, Justifier, Pathfinder, Sea Ranger, Seeker, Stalker.

Occasionally, a king or other official requires a ranger to explore, settle, or administer a recently annexed territory. A replacement may be needed for a ranger who has retired or died. If a suitable candidate isn't available, the most suitable young man or woman may be drafted. Generous authorities may reward the draftee's family with a monthly stipend in exchange for the cooperation of their son or daughter. More often, however, the authorities offer no remuneration, expecting some type of service from all citizens; recruitment as a ranger is generally preferable to the risky life of a soldier or dull routine of a bureaucrat.

Conscripted rangers o ten receive first-class training, perhaps at the hands of elder or retired rangers. Some countries have special units of border runners or scouts, which can provide a training ground for the potential ranger. Terms of services range from several years in most cases to a few decades in extremely militaristic societies. Though many choose to re-enlist when their service terms expire, most conscripted rangers eventually part company with the established rulers and continue their careers as free agents.

Justifier, Giant Killer, Pathfinder, Sea Ranger, Warden, Stalker.

A common way for a young character to become a ranger is though circumstances beyond his control. The following are typical. A youth who makes his way to an

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