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instinct. Even a well-trained bird cannot be trusted so close to the face.

Owls can be flown as hunting birds. They are much harder to train than hawks or falcons (comparable to the independent feline versus the eager-to-please canine). Unlike other birds, owls can be flown in the dark; however, their instinct is to strike stationary targets. They will not attack while a target is moving, but only when it pauses, stops, or hunkers down. Owls will kill hawks and falcons; the two types of birds cannot be flown together.

Although they share similar abilities and philosophies, no two rangers are quite alike.

But how do you make one different from another? This chapter offers a convenient solution in the form of

. Character kits

are structured collections of proficiencies, traits, benefits, and limitations that help define different rangers as unique individuals. A kit can serve as a basis for a ranger's personality, background, and role in a campaign.

Character kits are entirely optional--ranger characters can get along without them just fine. But they're a lot of fun, adding color and depth to a campaign, as well as making rangers more interesting to play. We'll take a look at a number of kits in detail, and explain how to use them. We'll also give some tips on designing new kits from scratch.

Players choose character kits for their rangers as part of the character creation process. Only one kit can be chosen for a particular ranger.

When creating a new ranger, begin by determining his ability scores (

, Chapter 1), race (

, Chapter 2) and alignment (

, Chapter 4). At this

point, select a character kit, recording the pertinent information on the character sheet (the record sheets at the end of this book are designed for character kits; permission is granted to copy these pages for personal use). In accordance with the kit information,

lesh out the character by determining other relevant details, such as character

proficiencies (

, Chapter 5; and Chapter 5 of this book) and equipment (

, Chapter 6;

and Chapter 7 of this book).

A player chooses a character kit at the outset of his ranger's career. It's possible, however, to incorporate the character kit rules into an existing campaign, providing the DM agrees that the kit is appropriate. A kit must be compatible with a ranger's personal history, his background, and his established personality traits. For example, the Mountain Man kit doesn't make sense for a ranger who's never been to the mountains. On the other hand, the Sea Ranger kit is a logical choice for a ranger who's spent most of his life at sea.

Before players create their characters, the DM should examine each of the kits and

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