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just by observing it.

A special case occurs if an animal has been attack-trained. This is most usual in the case of dogs, horses, and hunting birds such as falcons, but might apply to other animals, such as bears or leopards. These are treated as wild animals, and receive the saving throw vs. rods to resist the ranger's empathy as described above.

Though the experiences of a ranger living in an arctic wasteland may differ dramatically from one who makes his home in a jungle, both have spent many years observing the patterns of nature, and both have arrived at similar conclusions about the relationship between living things and their environment.

All rangers, then, have an inherent understanding of natural lore, encompassing a broad set of principles involving conservation, ecology, and natural order. Though not every ranger knows specific details about particular situations, all of them understand the general concepts at work. Some examples:

  • 

    The plant and animal life in any given habitat tend to be interdependent. The butterfly pollinates the flower, the flower produces nectar to feed the butterfly.

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    Animals and plants adapt to natural changes in the environment. Grass becomes dormant in the winter and grows again in the spring. A wol 's fur thickens as the temperature drops, and thins when the weather becomes warmer.

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    To avoid ruining the land, natural resources used by man must be replenished. If trees are harvested in a forest, new trees should be planted in their place.

A ranger's knowledge of natural lore enhances his reverence for all living things. In practical terms, it allows him to recognize ecological and environmental problems, both actual and potential. In some cases, he may be able to offer suggestions for correcting them.

There are no hard and fast rules for determining the extent of a ranger's natural lore and its application. The DM must decide how much a particular ranger knows on a case by case basis, taking into account the ranger's training, background, and primary terrain. In most situations, experience is the main factor; the higher the ranger's level, the more he's likely to know.

Table 31 provides natural lore guidelines for rangers of various levels. The information is cumulative; a 7th-level ranger also knows the information available to lower-level rangers. Keep in mind that these are generalizations; a 2nd-level ranger who was raised on a farm may know as much about the ecology of growing crops as another ranger of 10th level. By way of illustration, the parenthetical comments indicate what the ranger might know if attempting to figure out why crops no longer grow in a once-fertile farmland.

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