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The Genius Guide to the Talented Ranger $4.99
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The Genius Guide to the Talented Ranger
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The Genius Guide to the Talented Ranger
Publisher: Rogue Genius Games
by Oury E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/15/2015 14:57:41

Great Guide. Finally, you are able to customize your Ranger exactly the way you want to. Very well done and organized. I even picked up the short expansion with more Talents/Edges. Definitely recommend it if you want to pick and choose your abilities and custom build your ranger



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Genius Guide to the Talented Ranger
Publisher: Rogue Genius Games
by Ivan J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/07/2014 14:07:33

The Genius Guide to the Talented Ranger

The latest product in the Talented line by Rogue Genius Games seems to be best so far. The work that Owen Stevens constantly puts out is of outstanding quality and it should be seriously considered by all experience gamers as the basis for Pathfinder upgrade. In a way, it would be quite difficult for potential Pathfinder 2.0 to completely assume RGG’s Talented system, but as time progresses I’ve come to look at RGG Talented line as sort of Pathfinder version of Arcana Unearthed. I seriously recommend that RGG considers putting out there a hard-cover book that combines at least all Talented martial classes, but that is neither here nor there.

I must say that the ranger is my favorite class and it remains one of the most utilized classes in my games. The reason for that is its versatility, excellent fighting ability and skill selection, as well as animal companion that can sometimes make a life and death difference for the smaller parties.

Following the usual pattern of the Talented classes, Talented Ranger keeps certain basic chassis (bab, saving throws, skills, hit dice) of the Ranger class, that can be modified by taking a series of edges and talents, divided in 3 categories. This somewhat narrows down the customization possibilities, since the edges tend to be prerequisites for taking certain talents.

Talents themselves are divided in 3 categories, basically distinguished by level. Basic talents can be taken before 10th level, major talents at 10th level and above and grand talents only as 20th level capstone ability.

I am not a fan of this kind of division, since it makes it harder to find particular talent if you are not sure if it’s basic or major. I would prefer that all talents are listed alphabetically with certain class level stated as prerequisite in the description of each talent. I am also not a fan of edges. I would very much prefer that edges are simply talents, but with some kind of prerequisites.

By the simple virtue of sheer number of edges and talents presented in this product, certain builds and talent trees can make the Talented Ranger a bit overpowered. Game Master should carefully decide which one to allow, since the Talented Ranger can easily overshadow many other classes. This especially comes into play if a character decides to bond with a weapon instead of animal, gaining the ability to improve its weapon as he progresses in levels, which could – combined with the Favorite Enemy talent tree – make the Fighter almost un-needed.

On the other hand, I am very satisfied with the number of talents that improve the animal companion, since they open a whole new range of role-playing opportunities and allow animal companion to transcend the role of simple additional muscle.

The editing is top-notch, as usual for RGG products and I can not recommend it enough.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Genius Guide to the Talented Ranger
Publisher: Rogue Genius Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/05/2014 04:31:22

An Endzeitgeist.com review

The latest in Rogue Genius Games' much beloved restructuring of base classes to become more versatile and modular, this one clocks in at 41 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 38 (!!!) pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?

So basically, the framework remains the same - full BAB-progression, good ref- and fort-saves, d10, 6+Int skills per level, proficiency with light and medium armors and shields and simple and martial weapons. Okay. let me go out on a whim here - Rangers and their spell-less brethren from Kobold Press are very popular in my group - why? Because they are melee guys with decent skills - they can be the smart investigators, urban hunters etc. Much like their other talented brethren, the talented ranger has now all its class options streamlined into edges, talents etc., allowing you full-blown customization of the class.

The Talented Ranger receives an edge at 1st -3rd level, 2 edges at 4th, and +1 at 7th, 9th, 10th, 13th and 20th level. They also start the game with 2 ranger talents and select additional talents starting 3rd level at every level with the exception of the 4th and 9th level. At 10th level, advanced talents are unlocked and the ranger receives two talents. He also receives 2 at 18th level and finally, at 20th level, the capstone Grand Talents are unlocked. If you need an explanation of edges/talents, please check one of my earlier reviews of talented classes.

That being said, the class, much like its barbarian brethren, does boil down the class to its basic concepts - adaptability being the key word here. While a kind of growing-into the respective roles/concepts is maintained in the design of the talented ranger, the way in which this is done can very much be considered interesting: Spellcasting progression, and yes, druid and arcane spellcasting, alchemist extracts etc. would be possible, for example, takes its toll on edges - subsequent spell levels require investment - they do not adhere to the usual, linear progression. Another issue the pdf elegantly circumvents would be favored enemy - easily the blandest of bonuses from the base class, many archetypes exchange it and thus, in a talented context, the stacking of bonuses of favored enemy-ish abilities and those usually exchanged for it, has been prevented by instead using the "favored enemy" bonus as a smart way of circumventing the issue.

Speaking of interesting options - would you rather bond with e.g. a weapon rather than an animal? Yes, this one would be possible. Now that would btw. be not all - some of these even have a massive array of sub-options and yes, ranger traps are also part of the deal here.

The talents provide further, massive customization options - and yes, there are some "hidden" trees in here, but much less than in the installment on the cavalier, for example. Terrain Mastery et al., Urban ranger trickery and the like are possible, and planning the progression of your talented ranger properly is an interesting endeavor - also due to the inability to break combat styles - the final "trap" of this talented class would have been balancing the combat styles and maintaining the relative linearity without losing flexibility - and this the pdf also manages to achieve. Among the advanced talents and capstones, wildcard edges (as a capstone) and similar tricks are in here as well - here and there, the unique possibilities of this reboot of the ranger receive their own, unique abilities - lending a distinct identity to the class beyond the default ranger, much like how the talented barbarian can be so much more than the frothing brute.

It should be noted that 2 pages of lists of talents by type/thematic group make selection of these easier.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to Rogue Genius Games' two-column full-color standard with Jacob Blackmon's glorious cover receiving a full-page spread as well. The pdf comes with massive, nested bookmarks for just about everything and the pdf comes also hyperlinked for your convenience.

I do not envy Owen K.C. Stephens the task of creating the talented classes - doing their math, checking combinations - even to write a review for one of these beasts tends to be A LOT of work and tinkering and taking apart the more linear classes without breaking them is not easy. The Talented Ranger is a prime example in this tradition, and while, much like the barbarian, I do not think we actually needed a talented ranger, the end result is so distinct, so potentially different, that even in the campaigns of people like yours truly who do not have an issue with the base ranger, the talented ranger makes for a versatile, cool addition. It simply has a massive array of new options and combinations available - my final verdict will hence clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Genius Guide to the Talented Ranger
Publisher: Rogue Genius Games
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/28/2014 10:44:30

What images are summoned up if someone says 'ranger' to you?

Most of us think of a good hunter who is a good fighter as well, at home in the wilderness without being a barbarian... and the more perceptive (or those who've played loads of them) will understand their affinity with nature that can reach magical levels. The introduction to this work discusses the nature and role of the ranger in considerable detail, showing how a ranger not only understands his environment but can become one with it; and this leads in to the system of edges and talents developed for rangers that are the core of this book.

The necessary lists and tables are provided to generate and progress a ranger character. Class skills are modified a little to allow the ranger to choose some that are best suited to the build in mind, and a whole framework of talents and edges is introduced.

The edges are based around the concept of a ranger being drawn towards a specific area of primal force which he will be increasingly able to access as he rises in level. They can be bound in with other things, such as the 'adaptation' edge which allows him to take on some of the characteristics of whichever creature he has chosen as his favoured enemy. A range of combat and other options are also available, it is easy with this system to build a unique ranger who operates with a distinctive style.

The talents are the knacks and knowledge that the ranger has picked up during his life. They may enhance his understanding of the powers that he draws upon or they can relate to what he has learned about surviving in the wild places to which his profession takes him. If all that isn't enough, high-level rangers also have access to advanced talents and even, at 20th level, very powerful grand talents.

There are a couple of appendices. The first details a number of specialised traps that rangers can learn to make and set - you often hear about their ability to set traps but it's good to have more about the actual mechanics of the traps they can make (without having to draw on my own fieldcraft... not every player had a country upbringing!) and the second is rather amusingly called 'Save Vs Wall of Text' and is more of an index or reference, sorting all the abilities covered in the book into thematic categories, making coherent selections easier.

Rangers will never be quite the same!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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