In the far north of Westeros, a mighty barricade serves as the first and last line of defence against the barbarian wildlings who range across the icy wastes, the last of the giants, and even the Others of legend. Were it not for the Wall, the defence of the realm would be vastly more difficult — perhaps impossible. Wildlings would roam unchallenged throughout the north, striking into the very heart of Westeros if not for the wall of ice and stone that keeps the barbarians at bay.
Despite its admirable construction, the Wall alone could not hope to preserve the peace in the north. For that, Westeros has the Night’s Watch. Like the Wall, however, the Night’s Watch is primarily a defensive force. When the Night’s Watch wants to take the battle to the wildlings, it turns to the Rangers. While this is a dangerous calling, it can be a glorious one.
The Rangers of the Night’s Watch are a special group within the black brothers. They share the brotherhood of the Night’s Watch and are bound by the same oaths. Since the Night’s Watch is strictly egalitarian, they are not an elite corps, yet younger recruits see them as a first among equals. Since their jobs are more dangerous and more demanding than the average man of the Watch, they are accorded a certain degree of respect. It is the task of the Night’s Watch Rangers to travel beyond the Wall and prowl the frozen wastes that the wildlings call home. Their reasons for doing so are manifest, but chief amongst them is information gathering.
The training of Rangers in the Night’s Watch always includes surviving in the wilderness (be it snowy, forested, coastal, inland plains, mountainous) for weeks on end. Even the least experienced Rangers have a wariness that is unlike that of their brothers on the Wall. All Rangers have a great deal of experience in combating the wildlings and have more knowledge of their tactics than anyone else. Even solitary Rangers can wreak havoc within wildling territory. Rangers are experts at finding and tracking wildlings and analysing their camps and leavings. A single mistake can kill, and thus the Rangers are also capable of moving silently in even adverse circumstances. Because of their skills, the Night’s Watch Rangers are roundly hated and feared beyond the Wall.
Examples of Night’s Watch Rangers: Benjen Stark, Ser Jaremy Rykker, Grenn.
To become a Night's Watch Ranger, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
Night’s Watch Rangers gain 2 Hit Points + Constitution Modifier per Level
The Night’s Watch Ranger’s Class Skills (and the key Ability for each Skill) are: Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft: Fletcher (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge: Local Area (Int), Knowledge: Nature (Int), Knowledge: Warfare (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Use Rope (Dex).
At each Level, Night’s Watch Rangers get 5 + Int Modifier; humans gain +1 bonus
At each Level, Night’s Watch Rangers gain 2 + Cha Modifier.
Weapon and Armour Proficiency
Rangers are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, as well as all light and medium armour and with shields.
As a member of the Night’s Watch, the Ranger need never worry for food or shelter, and any basic equipment will be supplied by the Watch. He must abide by the oaths of the Night’s Watch, however, and give up any name, house, or other affiliation. His Wealth Rank is modified to Rank 0 (any ties are lost, and any debts erased), although the Watch provides him with his daily needs. His Social Status is modified to Rank 1, and he gains +5.
Influence Points (Night’s Watch).
A veteran of the Night’s Watch is considered to have Social Status Rank 2, and +10 Influence Points (Night’s Watch). A high officer of the Night’s Watch is considered to have Social Status Rank 3, and +15 Influence Points (Night’s Watch). Normally, a brother’s Wealth Rank does not rise, although an experienced brother may gain access to better equipment, small luxuries, or specialised tools.
NOTE: Night’s Watch Rangers will be allowed to take the In Service Defect.
From exposure to the harsh lands of the North, Rangers of the Night’s Watch become proficient at operating in such unforgiving environments. At 1st Level a Ranger may select one terrain to be his Native Terrain. This terrain must be chosen from cold forest, cold plains, or mountains.
While in his Native Terrain, the Ranger gains a +2 dodge bonus to his Defence. If, for whatever reason, the Ranger loses his Dexterity bonus to his Defence, this bonus is lost as well. The Ranger also gains a +2 to all Knowledge: Nature, Search, Spot and Survival checks relevant to his terrain. Additionally, when hunting animals native to that region the Ranger may act as though he possesses the Critical (Improved) Feat. These bonuses only apply out of doors.
A Ranger chooses a new region at both 5th and 9th Levels. Each time he does so, the Skill and Defence bonuses for the previous terrain are increased by +1. The selection should be appropriate to the character’s experiences and the campaign. Note that these bonuses do not stack with the Hunter’s or Raider’s Native Terrain Abilities; the Ranger must always choose a new region.
Due to endless conflicts with the bands of wildlings that roam north of the Wall, the Rangers have become expert at battling them. At 3rd Level the Ranger gains a +2 competence bonus to Listen, Search, and Spot checks against wildlings, as well as a +1 competence bonus to melee attack rolls, ranged attack rolls, and damage rolls, when within Short Range against wildlings. Additionally, the attack weapon is treated as though the Ranger had the Critical (Improved) Feat for that weapon.
A Ranger of the Night’s Watch gains a bonus Feat at 2nd Level. He gains an additional Feat at Levels 4, 6, and 8. A Ranger must still meet all prerequisites for a Feat.
The hard life on the Wall encourages Rangers to become extremely cautious, for one wrong move spells death. Beginning at 4th Level a Ranger gains a +2 competence bonus to all Hide, Listen, Move Silently, and Spot checks made while in a Native
The Ranger’s keen eyes and experience allow him to pick up signs of a trail without having to slow his speed. At 6th Level a Ranger gains the ability to track in a Native Terrain at normal speed without suffering the usual -5 penalty. Additionally, he gains a +2 circumstance bonus on all Survival checks made when tracking.
The dangers of the North soon condition Rangers to react quickly to any situation. At 7th Level Rangers gain a +2 bonus to Initiative rolls, or a +4 if wearing light or no armour. This bonus stacks with the bonus granted by Improved Initiative, and other
A truly experienced Ranger is able to blend seamlessly into the wild. At 8th Level the Ranger can move his full speed while making Hide and Move Silently checks in any Native Terrain.
Shield of Men
At 10th Level, a Ranger can make a tremendous sacrifice in order to accomplish an important task. The Ranger chooses not to avoid a blow; he can then apply a bonus equal to the damage he took to any task within the scene. If the blow would kill the Ranger (or reduce him to less than 0 HP), he may make one last action with this bonus — this free action is taken immediately. The Ranger may also choose to fail a Saving Throw instead of taking a hit.
For example, Hagen is guarding a rope bridge, ensuring that a band of wildings do not cross. Sensing he will falter soon, he chooses not to defend the next attack, and is hit by a wicked axe blade. 6 points of damage gets through his armour, but he can now apply a +6 bonus to any one action within the scene. It could be to an attack, damage, or defence roll. It could be to a Saving Th row, or a Climb check, or an attempt to wreck the bridge. If the 6 points of damage would kill Hagen or at least reduce him to below 0 HP, he would get one last, immediate response before falling.
This Special Ability can be used no more than once a week.