hands in the sand, a Forest ranger might conduct a spirited dance under a tall tree, and a Plains ranger might snap an arrow in two to attract the god's attention (a smooth break may be interpreted as an omen of a favorable hunt, while jagged edges may indicate that the god discourages hunting at that particular time).
A belief system derived from intellectual concepts rather than supernatural forces or the natural world may also be the basis for a ranger's religion. The sheer intensity of the believers' devotion is sufficient to attract the magical energy necessary to cast spells.
Worshipers of philosophic faiths tend to concentrate in small sects in isolated areas of the world. For example, the Iulutiun rangers of the Great Glacier, for example, follow an
animistic philosophy called
. The teachings of
, which holds that all creatures share a life essence maintain that all creatures are morally equivalent,
and that animals and men share the same emotions and intellect, which their compels them to express in different ways. (For more about the Iulutiuns and
the FORGOTTEN REALMS® FR14
Regardless of whether a ranger worships nature, gods, or a philosophy, he is assumed to engage in various practices to affirm his faith. Some of these practices may be formally established; for instance, a particular group of disciples may be required to kneel before the setting sun every day. Other practices may be self-imposed; a ranger may decide for himself that the best way to express his devotion is to refrain from violence during nights with a full moon. Once a player establishes a practice as routine for the ranger, the player and DM can assume the character continues it "off stage" unless campaign events dictate otherwise.
It's up to the DM, in conjunction with the player, to decide what, if any practices a ranger should follow in order to remain true to his faith. Typical practices might include any of the following:
Having private moments of quiet reflection and communion is a common practice. These may take the form of the soft verbal recitation of sacred verse, spoken at the same time every day, to periods of silent meditation, performed whenever the ranger gets a chance. Observing particular phenomena, such as a shooting star, or experiencing certain events, such as acquiring a new follower, may inspire special periods of this type.
The ranger make regular offerings of food or treasure. Offerings may be given to the underprivileged, cast into the sea, or buried in the ground. Small offerings, such as a scrap of meat or a few copper pieces, usually suffice.
The ranger may declare his devotion to the world by displaying the symbol of his faith. The symbol may be a distinctive article of clothing, a brooch or pendant, a tattoo, or a tiny mark made on a tree or stone wherever the ranger spends the night. The ranger might mark his animal followers with the deity's symbol. The symbol may be engraved in a collar or bracelet, shaved into the animal's fur, or notched in the animal's horn.