creatures on the tables, and the tables can be expanded at will. At the DM's discretion, a skeleton or a wight may be an appropriate species enemy for a ranger whose primary terrain is Swamp or Mountains, and an ogre may be as appropriate in the Jungle as the Forest. The DM may also override any illogical selections; a shark, for instance, is a poor choice for an Aquatic ranger who's spent his life at a freshwater lake.
A table is given for Underdark (deep subterranean) enemies, even though no ranger has the Underdark as a primary terrain.
A ranger receives the following modifiers in regard to his species enemy: Because of his special understanding of the species enemy's vulnerabilities and combat strategies, the ranger receives a +4 bonus to his attack rolls when fighting the creature. This bonus is in addition to any other bonuses the ranger normally receives.
So intense is the ranger's emotional response to the species enemy that it's nearly impossible for him to conceal it. For this reason, the ranger suffers a -4 penalty to all encounter reactions with the species enemy.
In most combat situations, the ranger will actively seek out his species enemy as the object of his attacks to the exclusion of all other potential opponents. If the party encounters three orcs and a troll, and the troll is the ranger's species enemy, the ranger will attack the troll and leave the orcs to his companions. If the ranger spots a troll in the wilderness, he may feel compelled to attack the troll unless his companions convince him otherwise or forcibly restrain him.
This compulsion doesn't automatically override the ranger's good judgment or sense of duty. If a species enemy accidentally falls into a bottomless pit, the ranger won't jump in after it. If he hears rumors that a species enemy was sighted in a distant village, he won't abandon his party to investigate, although he may argue strongly for the party to check it out. If a companion cries for help, he will abandon his fight against a species enemy to come to the companion's aid, resuming his attacks against the species enemy when the companion is safe.
The modifiers apply wherever the ranger encounters his species enemy, not just in the ranger's primary terrain. A ranger whose primary terrain is Desert and whose species enemy is the blue dragon will receive a +4 combat bonus regardless of whether he meets a blue dragon in the desert, mountains, or anywhere else.
Further, the modifiers apply only to the specific creature (or creatures) designated as the species enemy, including any leaders, nobles, shamans, etc. If the species enemy is a blue dragon, the modifiers don't apply to black dragons, red dragons, or dragons of any other color. However, the modifiers affect blue dragons of all ages, from hatchlings to great wyrms. The ogre species enemy includes ogre leaders, shamans, and chieftains, but not ogre mages or merrows. (As a rule of thumb, if a variant creature has a separate
listing in its
® entry, it's not included as a species enemy). The
DM is free to make exceptions to the lists in Tables 20-28 based on local conditions within the campaign. For instance, he may decide to include merrows as part of the ogre species enemy, or he may exclude advanced lizard men from the lizard man species enemy if campaign logic dictates.