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ranger. He may simply show up, tag along, obey orders, then abruptly disappear a few weeks later. His initial appearance may be equally cryptic; a ranger who believes he's acquired a lizard or raccoon follower may be shocked to discover that the animal is, in fact, a shapechanged druid.

Likewise, a low-level ranger may become a follower of a druid. Though many druids are reluctant to take on such strong-willed characters, open-minded druids are often receptive to rangers with a thirst for nature lore and a commitment to conservation.

Most of the time, however, rangers and druids operate independently. On occasion, they may find themselves competing for dominance of the same territory. A novice ranger who wishes to move into a region occupied by a druid may be wise to petition for permission, even though such permission is rarely required by law. Failure to do so may result in lasting resentment at best, open hostility at worst. Should the ranger act courteously and respectfully, permission is usually granted.

Conversely, an initiate assigned to a ranger's territory would do well to request an audience with the ranger before settling in. Most rangers will appreciate the gesture, which minimizes the likelihood of misunderstandings or conflicts. A ranger probably won't attempt to drive away a druid who doesn't bother to make contact--assuming that the druid otherwise behaves himself--but relations between them may remain strained inde initely.

Because their outlooks are so similar, rangers and druids can usually share the same territory without any trouble, though their paths may seldom cross. Druids tend to keep to themselves even more than rangers. They are less likely than rangers to involve themselves in the affairs of men. Since they're of neutral alignment, druids aren't particularly interested in promoting the ranger's conception of justice. Rangers tend to work more openly, druids more deviously.

Rangers and druids may informally agree to divide the responsibilities of their territory. The ranger may agree to deal with human and demihuman travelers, while the druid handles the problems of the native animals. They may join forces to contend with a natural disaster, only to part company when the danger has passed.

Low-level clerics may become followers of rangers for many of the same reasons as druids. Not all clerics make suitable followers. The cleric must be of good alignment and should be several experience levels lower than the ranger. Since most rangers are human or half-elven, clerics of these races are the most likely to sign on, though a ranger will rarely reject a follower solely on account of race. Gender considerations usually aren't important, but a cleric with a strict upbringing may hesitate to follow a ranger of the opposite sex.

The faith of a clerical follower should be compatible with that of the ranger. This doesn't mean that the faiths must be identical--an inquisitive cleric might want to follow a ranger solely to study the nuances of an unusual religion--but the goals of the faiths can't be diametrically opposed. For instance, if the cleric believes that anyone who prays to inanimate objects is a heathen, he won't follow a ranger who worships mountains.

A cleric serves the ranger in the same way as other followers--assisting him in combat, performing routine chores, and offering advice. In turn, the ranger benefits from

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