Rangers are one of the three semi class professions in GemStone IV. They draw on the spiritual sphere for magic and focus heavily on nature. A ranger is a jack-of-all-trades, having skill costs that allow a character to excel at almost any endeavor whether they be physically or magically focused, although not all at one time. They are less physical than Paladins and less magical than Bards, putting them squarely in the middle of the semi grouping.
Rangers can be compared to rogues in hunting style, but rely more on magic to set up an ambush rather than combat maneuvers. Rangers often use a hidden ambush style, using virtually any style of weapon. Archery is one of the most popular ranger styles with several variants. The ranger spell circle is by far one of the most versatile in the game, ranging from highly focused combat spells to practical utility spells, all of which foster a general roleplay idea. The pinnacle of these spells is considered to be Animal Companion, which is unique in its class, providing combat, utility, and RP functions that last for the entirety of the character's existence.
Combat Maneuvers List
Rangers have the ability to train in the following combat maneuvers. None of them are exclusive to the ranger profession.
- Combat Focus
- Combat Mastery
- Combat Movement
- Cunning Defense
- Disarm Weapon
- Shadow Mastery
- Shield Bash
- Side by Side
- Subdual Strike
- Unarmed Specialist
- The SENSE verb is one used by several professions, with differing results. Rangers are stewards and students of nature, and as such have the ability to detect more information about the world around them than do other classes. A ranger can SENSE the "nature" of their environs, providing the ranger with useful data about available Animal Companions, climate, and terrain; the latter two are mostly of interest to those attempting to FORAGE.
- Rangers can also sense non-obvious paths, or exits from a room, unless they are not supposed to be findable.
- SENSE roundtime is determined by a ranger's level. It is calculated by 10 - (Level/10), with a minimum base roundtime of 5 seconds.
- Natural Colors (601)
- A defensive spell, Natural Colors is a self-only spell until 11 ranger spell ranks are reached, at which point it can also be cast on the ranger's group using EVOKE.
- Assume Aspect's Aspect of the Yierka further reduces SENSE roundtime to a minimum base of 3 seconds.
- Only rangers who are at least level 30 and know at least Animal Companion can sense any present companion types.
- Camouflage (608)
- Designed for combat, Camouflage places the caster into hiding with no hard roundtime. It also imparts a +30 AS bonus to the caster until the ranger is revealed from hiding. While melee users only receive the bonus for the first ambush attempt, archers who are highly trained in Stalking and Hiding have the potential to remain hidden and continue reaping the benefits of the AS bonus. The maximum duration for the AS bonus is 10 minutes.
- Imbue (614)
- Imbue allows the caster to prepare foraged plant material to be imbedded with a spell via Magic Item Create. The most commonly imbued items are sticks (wands, rods), wiregrass (bracelets, anklets), and various tree barks (amulets).
- Spike Thorn (616)
- A maneuver-based attack spell, Spike Thorn was the primary identifying spell for rangers prior to the release of Animal Companion. Augmented by level, spell ranks, and Spiritual Lore, Summoning, it can provide a devastating and lethal attack against poorly prepared targets.
- Sneaking (617)
- When combined with Natural Colors or Mass Colors, Sneaking allows the silent movement type to be set. The ranger can walk from room to room without others present receiving any arrival or departure message, unless the others have enough Perception ranks to detect the ranger.
- Mobility (618)
- Not only does Mobility add DS to the caster, but it also adds phantom Dodge ranks based on the number of ranger spells known. It is highly useful versus maneuver-based attacks.
- Resist Nature (620)
- Resist Nature is the ranger's answer to wizards' Enchant Item. Using foraged and prepared ingredients, the caster can impart a temporary padding to cloth or leather armor that resists a very specific type of attack - heat, frost, steam, or nature. Only one form of resistance can be added to a piece of armor at any given time.
- Animal Companion (630)
- Regarded now as the identifying ranger circle spell, Animal Companion allows the ranger to form a permanent bond with a wild animal. Once formed, the bond cannot be broken without an Animal Companion Reset from the SimuCoin store. The companion can aid in combat, and its effectiveness is determined through an affinity process.
- Wall of Thorns (640)
- A defensive spell, Wall of Thorns is notable in that it adds an added opportunity for the spell to block prior to a physical attack engaging the caster through the EBP system. It also provides a DS bonus.
- Assume Aspect (650)
- The Assume Aspect grants the caster access to a wide variety of skill and other bonuses, each of which is based upon the traits of an animal. The drawback to its versatility is its high mana cost - and that each aspect can only be assumed for a two minute stretch before that individual aspect undergoes another two minute cool down before it can be re-assumed. One interesting feature of the spell is that it temporarily changes some of the caster's features to shape shift along with the aspect assumed.
- If anything, that rangers truly are jacks-of-all-trades is evidenced most by this spell. Its various bonuses range from defensive to offensive, depending on which skill or stat is boosted. Some aspects also further augment utility skills or further aid mechanics such as crossing icy patches, scaling cliffs, or using the SENSE or FORAGE verbs.
- Minor Spiritual Circle
- In addition to the ranger base spells, rangers have access to those in the minor spiritual circle. Comprised of many defensive and utility spells, it also enhances the diverse range of skills for rangers.
General Training Suggestions
A versatile profession, rangers can train in myriad ways, creating characters ranging from the more physical to the more magical, from a hunter with a bow to a druid with a wand. With the implementation of FixSkills and skill migration, rangers can also choose to gradually shift their training and skills in order to alter their hunting strategy.
With archery, for example, the attack strength for ranged weapons increases with perception and ambush skills, but only after forty ranks. It is not unheard of for some rangers to gradually switch their weapon of choice from a sword to a bow -- to start out training in edged weapons while wielding a drake falchion or other commonly found blade and then to later migrate to training in ranged weapons after taking up a bow and quiver.
Ranger Statistic Growth Rates
For more information see the page on statistic growth rates.
Note: The table above is the baseline statistic growth rates. These values are actually modified for every race in GemStone IV, including humans.
- A beginner's guide to playing a ranger
- Comprehensive Ranger Guide
- Aurach's Two Weapon Combat Guide: A Ranger's Perspective
- Player Guide Contest
|Ranger Profession - edit|
|Spell Circles: Ranger Base Spells | Minor Spiritual Spells|
|Professional Highlights: Animal Companions | Resist Nature | Ranged Weapons | Hiding & Ambushing|
|Profession - edit|
|Squares: Rogue | Warrior | Monk|
|Semis: Bard | Paladin | Ranger|
|Pures: Cleric | Empath | Sorcerer | Wizard|