PFS Core Classes Part 5. Nature’s Ally and Guardian

While cosmic energy and divine will are great sources of magic, there is also a great deal of power hidden within the depths of Mother Nature. While technically treated as Divine Casters, Druids and Rangers are two classes that gain their power from the flora and fauna around them, rather than mystical energy or supernatural beings.

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Druid

The World of Pathfinder may have the occasional sprawling metropolis, but it is mainly overrun by Nature and that Nature is where the Druid derives her power. The Druid is in tune with the whims of the wild, communing with animals and manipulating her surroundings as she defends her realm from the destructive expansion of civilization. As guardians of the wilds, Druids call upon the animals and even wear the form of beasts to protect their secrets and their homes.

Druids are Prepared Divine Casters much like Clerics. She chooses her spells during an hour long trance as she borrows power from the land. She has access to every spell that she can cast, but may only prepare a certain number of spells per day. At any time, she may choose to Summon Nature’s Ally by expending a spell slot, much like the Cleric can Cure/Inflict Wounds.

The main features of the Druid is her Bond with Nature. This Nature Bond can manifest in two forms. Either a Druid can bond with the world around her and gain access to a Cleric Domain from a short list. Or she can bond closely with an Animal Companion. This Animal Companion is a Druid’s lifelong ally and will accompany her throughout and as the Druid grows, the Animal Companion does alongside her. When you decide to anger a Druid, remember that the Wilds are behind her, and run.

 

Ranger

Living off the land and relishing in the hunt, Rangers are masters of specialized destruction. Trained in the wilds, Rangers are masterful trackers, hunters, scouts and survivalists. While many would envision a Ranger as a master archer, many rangers are incredibly proficient with Two-Weapon Fighting as well. Whichever they choose though, one thing is certain; few can evade a Ranger that is tracking them.

The Ranger is a Fighter of the Wild. Although they are not proficient with Heavy Armor, Rangers make excellent combatants as they are all trained in either Archery or Two-Weapon Fighting as they grow. Like the Druid, the Ranger can later form a strong bond with an animal companion as well as Prepare and Cast Divine Spells, but, as the Paladin is to the Cleric, her ability in both are greatly diminished in comparison.

The main feature of the Ranger is her Favored Enemy and Terrain. Rangers, while excellent combatants normally, are exceptional against one type of foe. While this type of enemy is different for each Ranger, every Ranger has had training giving her insight into the weaknesses and habits of foes of that type. Additionally, the Ranger’s lifelong commune with nature gives her an advantage when travelling in her favored terrain. As she grows, the number of Favored Enemies and Terrains she has will increase and her ability to Track enemies will become exceptional. Whether they stalk from the trees or vanish into the dunes, Rangers will latch onto their prey and finish the hunt.

 

Technically speaking, Druids and Rangers are considered Divine Casters for the purposes of mechanics in Pathfinder. The divinity comes not from a deity, but from the godliness of Nature. If we think of the Greek Pantheon, for example, Clerics would follow deities such as Zeus, while Druids would inherently follow Gaia. While Gaia may not be an actual deity anymore, she is still a powerful being in the mythology. The same can be said in Pathfinder. Another way to look at it would be to see Rangers as so in tune with nature that their tricks and manipulations seem magical to the layman. Regardless, both classes are designed for those who appreciate and stand in defense of the natural world around them

 

Grim