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[CLASSES] The Ranger

June 4, 2010

Sargonid Rangers

Uruk has produced the greatest Rangers in Sumer and Akkad, relics of that city-state’s expansionist and imperialist past, when rangers accompanied Uruk trade- and war-caravans far into the north to exploit the timber, metals and precious stone of the Cedar Mountains. Now in Uruk they form a pseudo-tribe, a society secretive and mistrusted, claiming descent from Enkidu and the prostitute Shamhat, into which rangers are adopted. Rangers also revere Dumuzi the Shepherd and their great training house in Uruk is called the E-mush, “House Which is the Precinct” in honour of the temple of Dumuzi in lost Bad-tabira. They consider themselves hunters of the wild animals and demons of the wilderness in emulation of Enkidu, more at home in the Wild than any city-dweller should be. Rangers may also found among the pastoral nomads and wandering tribes throughout ERIDU – the tent-lands of the Martu and Amurru – who often require arduous initiation rites as a part of attaining entry into the class.

Minimum Ability Scores: Strength 13, Intelligence 13, Wisdom 14, Constitution 14

Ranger vs. Bull

Race: Human only

Hit Dice: d8 (2d8 at 1st level; max 11)

Alignment: Any

Armour/Shield: Any (except reed/tower shield)

Weapons: Any

Weapon Proficiencies: 3, +1 every 3 levels

Non-Proficiency Penalty: -2

Attack/Saves: As fighter

Magic Items: As fighter

Class Abilities

Surprise opponents on a 1-3 on a d6; are surprised only on a 1 on 1d6.

Fighting Wild Opponents: Rangers add a point of damage for every level of experience attained when fighting wild and giant animals and corporeal demons.

Tracking: rangers are able to follow trails with a base 20% chance of success, increasing by 10% for every level after 1st; ground conditions, numbers of creatures being tracked, time elapsed since their passage, and other such factors, will modify this chance as the referee dictates.

Identify plants: at third level, a Ranger may identify plant types as does a druid

Identify animals: at fourth level, a Ranger is able to identify animal types

Identify pure water: at fifth level, a Ranger is able to identify potable and non-poisonous water

Locate pure water: at sixth level, a Ranger is able, through scrutiny of the surrounding landscape, to locate a source (possibly buried) of pure water within 24” should any exist.  This ability functions underground only in natural caverns.

Ranger Table 1.

ADDENDUM: In Uruk the E-mush is an e-gal, a “big house” provisioned with kitchens, beer-breweries and storehouses, and a shrine of Dumuzi, Utu-Shamash and Inanna with its attendant lustration and purification priests (classed and leveled clerics) and a lukur priestess, a cultic prostitute honouring Shamhat. The support staff are on the whole 0-level types, with a few low-level fighters and 0-level guards.  Of the Imru-Enkidu, the society itself, most are classed and leveled rangers. A few outstanding fighter-types may rarely be adopted into the clan as an honour for feats accomplished in the wilderness or services rendered to another Ranger. There are also, however, – particularly in Uruk and Ur – mentions in the accounting tablets of people called “Rangers of the Precinct” or “Rangers of the City”, who appear to be possibly hereditary prebendaries attached or associated with the E-mush. A much-loved ale-house song recounts the misadventures of a buffoonish ‘Ranger of the Precinct’ of corpulent aspect and no martial ability whatsoever and his pursuit of one of the “women of the city gate” – suggesting that the Rangers so designated are not masters of desert survival but rich landowners’ and traders’ sons somehow associated with the ribald feasting and beer-festivals of the E-mush (0-level socially powerful NPCs)…

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