The Power of the Forest: Archetype Ranger

My love letter to rangers everywhere

I was recently invited to think of a character for Dungeons & Dragons, and I only wanted to be a ranger. I realized just then that I always pick Ranger in games. Without fail, I return to forest dwellers.

Maybe some people fantasize about being brave warriors, sneaky thieves, or valiant guardians, but I just enjoy the darkened woods, the wilderness survival, and the familiars. You can call me a hipster because everyone knows it's the year of the bow in Tomb Raider and The Last of Us, but I really have always loved rangers and I might have used them before they were cool. 

 My favorite game is Guild Wars, and my main character has always been a Ranger. In games, I love the class mostly because of their beautiful mechanics. It's fun to play a game from a distance. As a Ranger, you get high damage per second without ever being in the melee that kills the tanks. It's entertaining to manage a petting zoo of spirits, familiars, and animal companions. It's an A-type personality's dream job to micromanage all the health bars of their adds. The ranger is the only true pet class that lets you name and enjoy your menagerie of allies. Rangers are good in parties because they can handle themselves.

In movies and books, whenever the hero is lost and confused, someone elven or human ranger shows up surrounded by forest creatures and leads their companions to their goal. They are smart, wise, and brave as Legolas helping young Frodo in The Lord of The Rings or Medwyn helping Taran in The Book of Three. 

The rangers are always the most sensitive and helpful race. They often have fairly high kill rates due to their bows when compared to their tanky and wizardy companions.

Beyond the group mechanics of rangers, I also love the idea. I am a proper geek who doesn't go outside, but I grew up with a family who was into hiking and being outdoors. My parents are biologists, so I grew up being able to identify Acer saccharum and Typha latifolia. Even though I go most of the summer without a suntan, I still have an appreciation for plants and animals that allows me ranger-like mushroom identifying abilities. 

What is your favorite class and why?

Columnist

GameSkinny intern, college student, and lifelong nerd.

Published Nov. 7th 2013

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