Tracking their prey silently through the lush forest, notch an arrow, pull the string back, hold your breath, release. The arrow travels through the air quick as lighting downing the target.
Rangers are the arrow slingers of the D&D world. Using their ability to kill with their bow and arrows from afar, they are a formidable foe for any monster!
Rangers have two key class features that separate them from other classes. Those features are Favored Enemy and Natural Explorer.
When creating a ranger character, you choose your favored enemy, essentially a type of monster that your character specializes in hunting. Once chosen, your ranger has specific information about that type of monster such as the ability to speak and understand that creature’s language and heighten ability to track that specific type of creature.
Natural Explorer is similar to Favored Enemy but rather than choosing a type of creature your ranger specializes in, you chose what terrian your ranger is most comfortable in such as a rainforest or desert. When your ranger is in his/her favored terrain for an amount of time they receive several benefits such as being more alert and stealthy as well as being able to track enemies much more efficiently.
When building a ranger, dexterity has to be your top priority when assigning skill points. Since shoot ranged weapons and moving stealthily are based on the character's dexterity scores it is highly recommended to drop your highest score in Dex. Your second highest score can go into strength or wisdom based on what type of ranger you want to become. For this article we will just focus on races that have high dexterity scores that can make great rangers.
You’ve seen Lord of the RIngs right? You remember Orlando Bloom playing the bad ass elf archer Legolas? Yeah, that translates to D&D perfectly. Elves have a +2 to their dexterity. Go be Legolas, no one will say anything.
Halfling’s are D&D’s version of Hobbits. Small and jolly, a halfling has a +2 to their dexterity score which will be beneficial for shooting small crossbows or shortbows from afar. Halflings also have a nifty race feature where they can reroll a natural one once per long rest.
The best race by far, Aarakocra are eagle people and if you’ve read any of my other How To Build articles, you will see that I LOVE this race. If they are wearing only medium armor they can fly up to 50 ft per turn, they have a +2 to dexterity and +1 to wisdom, and they are the best choice for any class but especially rangers.
As always, the biggest piece of advice I can give you is to have fun and roll with the dice!
*Dungeons and Dragons and their content is the property of Wizards of the Coast. Norse Foundry makes no claim to ownership to any of the things discussed in this article, this article is a helpful opinion guide on to how to play the game.