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The Ranger

This document provides suggestions and insights into how to translate the ideas of the Ranger class from the source material into Pathfinder Fate Accelerated.

"For those who relish the thrill of the hunt, there are only predators and prey.

Be they scouts, trackers, or bounty hunters, rangers share much in common: unique mastery of specialized weapons, skill at stalking even the most elusive game, and the expertise to defeat a wide range of quarries. Rangers are deft skirmishers, either in melee or at range.

Knowledgeable, patient, and skilled hunters, these rangers hound man, beast, and monster alike; while some track man-eating creatures to protect the frontier, others pursue more cunning game—even fugitives among their own people."

Archetype Considerations

Four Archetypes are of potential interest to a ranger, but an individual ranger might only have bonuses in two of them. Primal covers the "wildlands survivor" facet, Combatives covers the "warrior" facet, Roguish covers the "skilled and canny" facet, and Focused covers the "alert and fit" facet.

Primal is the most essential Archetype of the four for a ranger. All rangers should have at least Primal +1. However, gaining Primal +3 or higher is something that can be deferred until some major milestones have passed, or avoided altogether for a ranger who is not a spell caster.

Combatives is the next most essential Archetype for many but not all rangers. Rangers that are top-tier warriors who also happen to have a wilderness slant to them will generally go heavy Combatives with a splash of Primal, for instance.

Roguish is also a solid Archetype to base a ranger character on, such as the Stalker set of Starting Archetypes demonstrates.

Superficially, some people might assume that Roguish is synonymous with "thief", but that is not the case. Roguish encompasses a broad range of skills, and offers a lot to a ranger that is not entirely anchored in being competent in wilderness settings.

So called "urban rangers", bounty hunters, thief-catchers, some scouts and skirmishers, and the like are all examples of roguish rangers.

Focused is a secondary Archetype for rangers. Rangers are generally defined by their skill more than their innate superiority, and going too heavy into Focused can dillute this theme, pulling a character towards other character concepts. Focused +1 is a good splash for practically any kind of ranger, but creeping up higher on a starting character will tend to make the character seem less like a ranger and more like a barbarian or some other concept altogether.

Sample Iconics

Garak, Pailey, Yuler

Starting Archetype Sets


Combative +3, Primal +1


Combative +2, Primal +2


Combative +1, Roguish +2, Primal +1


Focused +1, Primal +3


The source material offers rangers as effective melee and ranged combatants.

Rangers are often stereotyped as using bows and arrows, and in later editions of the game due to the influence of a certain popular book character dual-wielding rangers became a thing. But in actuality, a given ranger might prefer sword and board, two-handed weapons, thrown weapons, or whatever.


Rangers are skilled, particularly in wilderness settings. They excel at tracking, sneaking around, and surviving in the wilderness, and are also capable hunters.

Support / Utility

In addition to being respectable front line combatants, rangers eventually gain some nature magic spells.


Some rangers get an animal companion.

Diverging From Source Material

The source materials' conception of the ranger has changed over the years, with each new edition of the rules presenting a different take.

The underlying elements of the "ranger" concept have generally included a martially competent, skilled character heavily focused on wildnerness adventuring. Secondary ability to cast nature related spells is also usually a thing as well.

However, you shouldn't feel obligated to adhere to source material; you are free to be creative. Assign your Approach and Archetype bonuses, and define your character's Aspects and Stunts to best realize your "ranger" concept.

Most starting rangers looking to match the source material should consider the Commando set of Starting Archetypes, while starting rangers who prefer to accentuate their wilderness abilities and ramp up into spellcasting should consider the Survivalist set of Starting Archetypes. Rangers that want to be capable in both urban and wilderness settings should consider the Stalker set of Starting Archetypes.

And of course, you are free to twiddle the dials to whatever permutation you like; for instance Combative +1, Primal +3 or Combative +1, Roguish +1, Primal +2, or even Combative +1, Roguish +1, Focused +1, Primal +1 are all equally valid.

Going a little further afield, the Feral set of Starting Archetypes offers an extreme variation on the ranger concept. A character going that route would have to rely heavily on Aspects, Approaches, and Stunt choices to anchor the character in the ranger concept instead of something more like a druid or similar nature-based full caster. Pailey is an example of such a verge character; she's somewhere between druid and ranger, but her Stunts pull the character concept closer towards ranger.

Pailey is a half-wild Half-Elf with a strong connection to all things sylvan. In addition to being fully at home in the woodlands, able to run as swiftly as the wolves and strike just as suddenly, she is also innately able to work powerul magics affecting the natural world.

Approach Considerations

A Flashy ranger is virtually unheard of.

Rangers are pretty much invariably Sneaky and usually Careful. Some are also Quick or Clever, or both.

Some rangers are Forceful, but they are a minority; rangers tend to be more subtle.

What Kind Of Ranger, Exactly?

Generally speaking, when defining a character in Pathfinder Fate Accelerated that you envision falling into the "ranger" category, you might start out by asking yourself the following questions:

Specialist's Specialist

In a broad sense, D&D rangers are a very specialized sub-type of fighter, or a fighter-druid hybrid.

However, the D&D conception of a ranger doesn't necessarily match up that closely with the concept as presented in non-D&D licensed fiction and mythology.

If your idea of a ranger is more of a hunter, or a woodsy warrior, or a forest bandit, or lightly armored infantry, and so on, you are free to express your concept.

A large design space falls within the label of "ranger"; have fun with it.

Spellcaster or Not?

If you want your ranger to be a spellcaster you need to decide how deeply you are going to invest in Primal. If you want to start as a full spell caster, you'll need Primal +3, which won't leave much room to incorporate other facets into the character.

If you want to play a character who has some wilderness tricks and perhaps a few extra-normal or minor spell-like abilities you can go with Primal +2.

Otherwise, Primal +1 is where you'll want to turn the dial.

And if you don't want your ranger to be a spellcaster it opens up possibilities for other special abilities, such as animal companions, fancy fighting styles, and favored terrain and foes.

Preferred Environment or All-Terrain?

Some rangers specialize in a specific kind of terrain, such as the mountains, or the forest, and hone their skills in their chosen environment to extreme mastery. Other rangers are comfortable in any clime and place, possibly even in cities and other bastions of civilization.

Answering this question will lead you to settle on the disposition of Primal and Roguish for your ranger. And obviously, if you are going "full wilderness" you shouldn't assign any +'s to Roguish.

If your ranger does have a favored terrain, it is also more likely that they might have an animal companion from that terrain.

Garak is a survivor in every sense of the word. An infamous bounty hounter, reknowned for his ability to track down and kill or capture criminals, highwaymen, brigands, debtors, and such like no matter where they might flee to or where they might hide. Competent, tricky, and resourceful, he's a bad Dwarf to cross and an even worse one to have on your trail.

Fighting Style or General Mayem?

Many, but not all, rangers specialize in a particular fighting style. Others are just generally capable of physical violence by whatever means necessary.

Either way, answering this question will lead you to adjust the Combatives dial on your ranger, and will also guide your choice of Stunts. It is probably also suggestive of an Aspect or even your High Concept.

A good way for a ranger with high Combatives to differentiate themselves from a fighter is in their choice of Approaches.

Fighters tend to favor Forceful with Flashy being another favorite for more swashbuckling types, while rangers tend to prefer Sneaky and Careful.

For instance, if a defining feature of your ranger is that you are a skilled archer or a dual-wielder at a minimum you'll likely want a decent Combatives bonus and at least one relevant Stunt to anchor that concept.

Alternately, if you are not taking Combatives at all but you want to be a weapon specialist of some kind you'll definitely need to allocate a Stunt slot to allowing a different Archetype to be used in place of Combatives in certain scenarios, such as "when armed appropriately".

Yuler is a skilled tracker and a deadly accurate archer. Swift and stealthy, he makes every arrow count and rarely misses. And almost nothing avoids his notice.

Favored Enemy or Equal Opportunity?

Some rangers have one or more kinds of creature or person whom they are particularly good at tracking down and killing. Other rangers are less picky about their opponents.

If you want to incorporate the source material's "favored enemy" or "giant-killer" (reaching further back to earlier editions) theme it will generally just boil down to using one or more Stunt slots to gain a bonus against a particular kind of opponent. You might also reflect such an emnity in an Aspect to anchor the idea.


Ranger characters might find the following Stunt categories of interest: Primordial, Warrior, Archer, Durability.

The following Stunts are offered as samples that might be relevant for some rangers. However, the best Stunts are those that are tailor made to fit your concept, so don't hesitate to come up with your own or work with your GM to define something that is "just right" for your character. See the Stunt options document for ideas on how to do this.

Primal Hunter

Many rangers are masters of the natural world, supreme trackers and hunters, canny in their instincts, and feral in their ferocity.

Alertness: Because I am unusually alert and perceptive I gain +2 while Focused to notice things.

Ambusher: Because I am great at setting up ambushes, I gain +1 when I Sneakily set up an ambush or create a related advantage.

Foe Bane: Because I have a favored enemy Race, when I succesfully attack a target of that Race I inflict +2 shifts of extra stress. Additionally, if my attack results in a tie I may use the boost to inflict a single point of stress on the defender, immediately, as a free action.

Hunting Archer: Because I am a master archer and hunter, I may use Primal instead of Combative to attack with any kind of bow and arrow.

Pass Without Trace: Because of my mastery of the natural world, I gain +1 when I am Sneakily Primal while in the wildlands, I am unobstructed by undergrowth, and if I take a full move I may move three zones instead of two. Finally, tracking me in wildland areas is very difficult; those attempting it must overcome a difficulty equal to my ((Sneaky + Primal) * 2).

Pounce!: Because I excel at leaping into combat in a startling burst of aggression, I gain +4 on my first attack in a conflict if I act first and can charge, lunge at, or pounce upon an opponent.

Stalking Hunter: Because I am so good at stalking, hunting, and pouncing upon prey unnoticed, I get +2 when I am Sneakily Primal and create advantage or overcome challenges to set up and execute ambushes while in wildlands.

Strider: Because I am fleet of foot and able to move quickly, if I am in a conflict and do nothing in an exchange except move, I may move an extra zone and I am unobstructed by foot hazards of less than knee height. If I am in a contest involving me walking rapidly or running, I gain +1 to overcome while I am Quick.

Swamp Fighter: Because I am so adept at fighting within swampy areas and using my environment effectively, I may add Primal as a bonus when I am Combative in swamps and marshlands.

Swamp Stride: Because of my mastery of the natural world, I gain +1 when I am Sneakily Primal while in swamps and marshlands, I am unobstructed by undergrowth and areas of water, and if I take a full move I may move three zones instead of two. Finally, tracking me in swampy areas is very difficult; those attempting it must overcome a difficulty equal to my ((Sneaky + Primal) * 3).

Tracker: Because I am so good at tracking a quary, I get +2 when I am Carefully Primal and create advantage or overcome challenges related to tracking things down in wilderness settings.

Two Weapon Fighting (-2): Because I am so skilled at dual-wielding two weapons, I gain +1 when I am Combative and attack or defend while armed appropriately. Additionally if I make a physical attack while armed appropriately and split shifts between exactly two opponents, I inflict +1 shift of additional damage to each target.

Urban Jungle: Because I have mastered the art of fading away, blending in, and avoiding notice even in urban areas among people, I can use Primal instead of Roguish to create advantage and overcome when attempting to avoid being noticed in civilized areas (Primal is already usable for this in rural, wildland areas).

Quick Shot: Because I am skilled at rapidly shooting arrows, I gain +1 when I am Quick and attack with any kind of bow or a hand crossbow against a target in my zone or an adjacent zone. If I hit I inflict +1 shift of additional stress.

Weapon Mastery (-3): Because I have spent many years mastering a type of weapon, I gain +1 to Combatives when I attack, defend, create advantage, or overcome while using any weapon of that type.

Durable Survivor

Many rangers are unusually resilient survivors, capable of living through incredible trauma and harsh conditions.

Immune To Mind-Affecting: Because I am immune to mind-affecting abilities, I am unaffected by any malign effect that relies on mental coersion or disorientation.

Immune To Poison: Because I am immune to poison, I am unaffected by any malign effect that relies on poison.

Living Off The Land: Because I am adept at surviving off of what nature offers me, I am always able to find enough food and water to keep myself and a couple of other people or animals healthy while in wildlands and rural areas (i.e. above ground and not near a city or town). Additionally if I've had at least half a day to become familiar with the terrain in a specific area of wilderness I gain +1 on all actions while being Primal. How large the area of wilderness might be is left to the GM's discretion, but it should be at least five square miles.

Primal Reduction: Because I am significantly more rugged, robust, and survivable due to my deep connection with primal forces, I reduce by one (1) all physical stress inflicted on me, and I reduce by two (2) all environmental stress inflicted on me.

Resilience: Because of my impressive resilience, once per session if I would take a Consequence I may instead spend a Fate point.

Rogue's Reflexes: Because I have great reflexes and am able to evade harm better than most people, I may use Roguish to defend against any kind of indirect or surprise attack and to avoid harm by getting out of the way of it. Narratively this can take many forms, such as rolling out of the way, ducking behind cover, 'seeing it coming' and somehow interupting the attack, or by some other means justified by the narrative.

This Stunt requires Roguish +2 to use.

NOTE: Roguish +3 and higher already allows a character to do this. This Stunt is for characters who have Roguish +2 and are willing to allocate a Stunt to gain this ability.

Warrior's Mettle: Because I have trained extensively and am made of sterner stuff than most people, I may use Combatives to defend against ranged attacks and targeted magic by deflecting such attacks with a precise flick or parry of my weapon, or with my armor or a shield, or by some other means justified by the narrative.

This Stunt requires Combative +2 to use.

NOTE: Combative +3 and higher already allows a character to do this. This Stunt is for characters who have Combative +2 and are willing to allocate a Stunt to gain this ability.

Uncanny Animystic

Some rangers are deeply in touch with the natural world, and have uncanny abilities that are more than mundane.

Amphibious Swimmer: Because I am amphibious, I may add my Primal capability bonus when I am Focused while swimming. Additionally, while swimming underwater I can hold my breath for an entire scene before having to come up for air.

Danger Sense: Because I am unusually alert and perceptive I gain +3 while Quickly Focused to notice things that are dangerous, fast moving, or pose an imminent threat to my safety.

Natural Weapons: Because I have natural weapons and am skilled in their use, I may use Focused instead of Combative when my natural weapons are relevant. In situations where it matters I can choose to be treated as attacking barehanded or attacking with a weapon, whichever benefits me more in the situation. Finally, though I can be inconvenienced and my natural weapons can be fouled or restrained, being disarmed is generally off the table for me.

Pass Without Trace: Because of my mastery of the natural world, I gain +1 when I am Sneakily Primal while in the wildlands, I am unobstructed by undergrowth, and if I take a full move I may move three zones instead of two. Finally, tracking me in wildland areas is very difficult; those attempting it must overcome a difficulty equal to my ((Sneaky + Primal) * 2).


Rangers often have animal companions; see the Stunt options document for details on how to incorporate companions into your character using Stunts.

Animal Companion (-3): Because [describe the reason you have an animal companion], I have attracted a powerful animal companion that chooses to aid me.

Two (2) Aspects

Good At: Spread +4 around one to four skill-like abilities

Bad At: Spread -4 around one to four skill-like abilities

Stress [1][2][3]

Mild (2)

Moderate (4)

The ability to share the senses of an animal companion can be useful.

Companion's Senses: Because I share a mystical bond with my animal companion, I may spend a Fate point to share their senses for a scene at a range of a few dozen miles. This allows me to witness events through the senses of my companion as if I were present. This can be detected by others with appropriate senses as a Quick + Primal overcome action vs a Fantastic (+6) difficulty.