Ranger of the North: Optimisation help

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artuard
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Ranger of the North: Optimisation help

Post by artuard » Fri Aug 12, 2016 11:22 pm

Hello All,

I'm new to the system/forums - so please forgive me if this was already discussed elsewhere on this forum. As per topic, I'm going to play a ranger character and was wondering if someone ever considered optimizing this culture? Glorelendil's Character Optimisation Guide does not seem to touch on cultures from Rivendell.

And since I'm on this subject - was there ever an errata to ranger XP spending? Seems an awful lot. ...

Thank you for any help

Art :-)

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zedturtle
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Re: Ranger of the North: Optimisation help

Post by zedturtle » Sat Aug 13, 2016 12:06 am

artuard wrote:Hello All,

I'm new to the system/forums - so please forgive me if this was already discussed elsewhere on this forum. As per topic, I'm going to play a ranger character and was wondering if someone ever considered optimizing this culture? Glorelendil's Character Optimisation Guide does not seem to touch on cultures from Rivendell.

And since I'm on this subject - was there ever an errata to ranger XP spending? Seems aweful lot ...

Thank you for any help

Art :-)
Glor's Guide might have been written before Rivendell hit, at least it's in that vicinity.

The Ranger XP costs, while greatly debated, are official... heroic cultures are harder to improve but with a corresponding increase in the effectiveness of the things that they can receive.

I would carefully pay attention to favoured skills... not because you're going to spend Hope at lot but because those will be cheaper to advance. You can't afford to be spending Hope on Common Skills, so the goal is to get those that you're going to roll all the time (Insight, Battle, Lore, Travel, Song*) up as fast as possible. Also, remember that your Traits can get you automatic success, another way to conserve Hope.

If your Loremaster agrees with the interpretation that you can invoke your Fellowship Focus in order to Protect Companion on them without spending Hope (I know that's a bit inside-baseball, let me know if you want me to expand it) then spend those bonus starting points on getting a good weapon skill, since you're going to be in Defensive Stance a lot.

Ways of the Wild is a pretty okay virtue... TOR games are strongly wilderness based and a free Combat Bonus Die is nice. Dauntless Guardians is pretty good too, but specific. Of course, if you take it, then you're telling your Loremaster "I want to fight undead" and hopefully s/he will oblige you.

Heirloom of Arnor and Númenórean Arrows are both good, the Star of the Dúnedain is highly situational.

*So why Song? Because Company Songs are awesome, that's why. You need to be singing your little Ranger heart out... Inspiration is almost as good as Hope and you're not penalised for using it like you are with Hope.

— • —

Hope that helps. Glor will be along shortly to correct me and tell you about the experience of actually playing a Ranger, especially when one is a Hope-miser to start with.

(He's actually gotten a lot better, don't tell him though... he might get spooked.)
Jacob Rodgers, occasional nitwit.

This space intentionally blank.

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artuard
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Re: Ranger of the North: Optimisation help

Post by artuard » Sat Aug 13, 2016 2:13 am

Much Obliged for your insight zedturtle!

I am fiddling with the online character tool and have picked ( at least for the time being ) ''Ways of the Wild''. Seems that you're right about the wilderness setting being pretty common! Not sure I get the 'free Combat Bonus Die', is it just an extra d6 to combat roll under those circumstances?
I was intrigued by the Heirloom of Arnor but I can't find the means to craft this item in the revised core book [ I have a pdf ].

I'm honestly at complete loss when it comes to Attributes. My current pick is :

-Attributes-
Body 8/11 Heart 6/8 Wits 3/4 ( Herald setting ) I figured this will make me a decent warrior.
But this probably indicates I will be hit a lot right?

As for skills, I went Awareness 4, long sword 3, Awe 1 <- from the starting XP.

I did pick tall and keen eyes to save some hope as per your advice.


Still work in progress so any input welcome guys :-)

Art

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zedturtle
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Re: Ranger of the North: Optimisation help

Post by zedturtle » Sat Aug 13, 2016 2:21 am

artuard wrote:Much Obliged for your insight zedturtle!

I am fiddling with the online character tool and have picked ( at least for the time being ) ''Ways of the Wild''. Seems that you're right about the wilderness setting being pretty common! Not sure I get the 'free Combat Bonus Die', is it just an extra d6 to combat roll under those circumstances?
It is an extra d6, which you can add to a roll that you make during a combat. Once you use the die, it's gone. However, you still can roll for regular Bonus Dice (see Preparatory Rolls, page 161 or therabouts), so you could have anywhere from 1-4 Bonus Dice for Combat, which is nice.
I was intrigued by the Heirloom of Arnor but I can't find the means to craft this item in the revised core book [ I have a pdf ].
The rules for Rangers appeared in Rivendell and you'll need that book to make full use of their abilities.
I'm honestly at complete loss when it comes to Attributes. My current pick is :

-Attributes-
Body 8/11 Heart 6/8 Wits 3/4 ( Herald setting ) I figured this will make me a decent warrior.
But this probably indicates I will be hit a lot right?
Right, that does put you at a low Parry score. But bear in mind my advice about pumping up your weapon skill and staying in Defensive Stance. The other thing you could do is go for a ranged character and then you really don't need to worry (too much) about getting hit.
As for skills, I went Awareness 4, long sword 3, Awe 1 <- from the starting XP.
Awareness 4 might be overkill, but it all depends on what you rather spend it on... it might be worth it, as you will never need to worry about raising Awareness again.

Sounds like the hero is coming together, so yay!
Jacob Rodgers, occasional nitwit.

This space intentionally blank.

Glorelendil
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Re: Ranger of the North: Optimisation help

Post by Glorelendil » Sat Aug 13, 2016 3:19 am

Honestly I don't love the Ranger's choices for Virtues and Rewards.

Virtues:
Dauntless Guardians: if you know your LM is going to throw undead at you this is actually amazing. But if rarely/never see undead it's useless.

Endurance of the Ranger: this is my favorite virtue, as long as your gear choices are in line with the 14 Fatigue maximum. It really begins to shine at 4+ Travel skill. There's a Mastery that gives you the same +3 bonus to Endurance, but this one also lets you help your friends pass their Fatigue tests. And non-Weary friends will help you stay alive in the future. On a trip through Mirkwood with lots of fatigue tests you'll get LOTS of Tengwars. Make friends with a Beorning.

Royalty Revealed: man, this one is so tempting...the benefit is very potent, but the penalty is brutal. Take high Wits and use a shield if you go this route. If you take it late in your career with high Awe and 4+ Sword skill you could combine Intimidate Foe with a Called Shot; disarm your opponent ~50% of the time to mitigate the Hatred (Dunedain).

Rumour of the Earth: the daily Hunting check is hard to quantify, although the extra chance for an AP is nice. The second part you will hardly ever use because it requires spending Hope, the one thing you can't waste. If you're ever really truly screwed (being chased through the wilderness by Nazgul or something) and you'll be making a bunch of rolls is where it will shine.

Ways of the Wild: This one is fine, but in general I don't love bonus dice. Since they (technically) have to be spent before the roll you can't optimize them. If you hit approximately 50% of the time it means you will waste your bonus die 50% of the time (because you would have hit anyway), and some fraction of the remainder you will still miss. However, the relatively reliability of this Virtue (as long as you're in the wild) let's you treat it as a bonus die for Protection tests, letting you get away with lighter armour, so it has synergy with Endurance of the Ranger.

Rewards:

Heirloom of Lost Arnor: I love this one. The +2 bonus to a skill of your choice is nice, but it's the Magical Effects which is a ton of fun:
A hero using a Wondrous Artefact may spend 1 point of Hope to turn a successful die roll made using the affected skill into a Magical result.
So, here's the total munchkin powergamer thing to do: take the Heirloom in Song or Inspire, and in combat when your Fellowship Focus is below full Endurance use Rally Companions. On a success spend the Hope to turn it into a Magical Effect, and then get the point of Hope refunded because you directly benefited your Fellowship Focus.

Dirty, huh? Effectiveness depends on what your LM will allow for "Magical Results".

Star of the Dunedain: Great color, weak mechanics.

Numenorean Arrows: Can be amazing, but really depends on high Bow score (you don't want to miss) and of course scales with Valour. So I wouldn't necessarily make this a choice for starting characters. Take it when you up your Valour to 3 and your Bow to 4. Also has good synergy with Ways of the Wild: use your bonus die when using one of your arrows (and if you're an archer you're less likely to need Protection tests). Also, you can spend Hope when shooting a target that's attacking your Fellowship Focus because if you hit the target misses, which directly benefits your Focus.
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artuard
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Re: Ranger of the North: Optimisation help

Post by artuard » Sat Aug 13, 2016 4:29 am

Glorelendil wrote:Honestly I don't love the Ranger's choices for Virtues and Rewards.

Virtues:
Dauntless Guardians: if you know your LM is going to throw undead at you this is actually amazing. But if rarely/never see undead it's useless.

Endurance of the Ranger: this is my favorite virtue, as long as your gear choices are in line with the 14 Fatigue maximum. It really begins to shine at 4+ Travel skill. There's a Mastery that gives you the same +3 bonus to Endurance, but this one also lets you help your friends pass their Fatigue tests. And non-Weary friends will help you stay alive in the future. On a trip through Mirkwood with lots of fatigue tests you'll get LOTS of Tengwars. Make friends with a Beorning.

Royalty Revealed: man, this one is so tempting...the benefit is very potent, but the penalty is brutal. Take high Wits and use a shield if you go this route. If you take it late in your career with high Awe and 4+ Sword skill you could combine Intimidate Foe with a Called Shot; disarm your opponent ~50% of the time to mitigate the Hatred (Dunedain).

Rumour of the Earth: the daily Hunting check is hard to quantify, although the extra chance for an AP is nice. The second part you will hardly ever use because it requires spending Hope, the one thing you can't waste. If you're ever really truly screwed (being chased through the wilderness by Nazgul or something) and you'll be making a bunch of rolls is where it will shine.

Ways of the Wild: This one is fine, but in general I don't love bonus dice. Since they (technically) have to be spent before the roll you can't optimize them. If you hit approximately 50% of the time it means you will waste your bonus die 50% of the time (because you would have hit anyway), and some fraction of the remainder you will still miss. However, the relatively reliability of this Virtue (as long as you're in the wild) let's you treat it as a bonus die for Protection tests, letting you get away with lighter armour, so it has synergy with Endurance of the Ranger.

Rewards:

Heirloom of Lost Arnor: I love this one. The +2 bonus to a skill of your choice is nice, but it's the Magical Effects which is a ton of fun:
A hero using a Wondrous Artefact may spend 1 point of Hope to turn a successful die roll made using the affected skill into a Magical result.
So, here's the total munchkin powergamer thing to do: take the Heirloom in Song or Inspire, and in combat when your Fellowship Focus is below full Endurance use Rally Companions. On a success spend the Hope to turn it into a Magical Effect, and then get the point of Hope refunded because you directly benefited your Fellowship Focus.

Dirty, huh? Effectiveness depends on what your LM will allow for "Magical Results".

Star of the Dunedain: Great color, weak mechanics.

Numenorean Arrows: Can be amazing, but really depends on high Bow score (you don't want to miss) and of course scales with Valour. So I wouldn't necessarily make this a choice for starting characters. Take it when you up your Valour to 3 and your Bow to 4. Also has good synergy with Ways of the Wild: use your bonus die when using one of your arrows (and if you're an archer you're less likely to need Protection tests). Also, you can spend Hope when shooting a target that's attacking your Fellowship Focus because if you hit the target misses, which directly benefits your Focus.

Damn, this is pretty spot on man - all I ever wanted and more :shock:
Is the Heirloom of Lost Arnor random or do I get to pick the skills? It seems to be giving a flat bonus of wisdom ( starting ranger with a heirloom has 1 wis ) so thats a + 1 to the roll correct?

Your powergaming combo of said item freaked me out haha

Awesome, cheers!

Art

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Re: Ranger of the North: Optimisation help

Post by Scrollreader » Sat Aug 13, 2016 6:13 am

Sadly, the rules do not allow that 'powergaming combo'. You only recover hope spent 'to invoke an attribute bonus' not hope spent on things like protect companion, virtue activation (Staunching Song), or magical successes from a wondrous Artefact (pg 134). Some LMs do house rule this, but trying to break the game like this will probably quickly lead to a (perfectly rules legal) banning of this tactic.

I highly recommend playing something less inherently limited than a Dunedain if you're not familiar with how long term shadow and hope management work. If you insist, I would buy your primary weapon skill to at least 3, both because of your hope scarcity and because of increased XP costs. None of the Ranger virtues interact with favored attribute bonuses specifically, so the general advice in the guide should steer you well. The usefulness of both Endurance of the Ranger and Ways of the Wild are (partially) fellowship dependent as well, and it is difficult to make a recommendation on them without knowing your companions.

Tactically, choosing an archer as your fellowship focus is probably wise, given that so much of your hope economy depends on them. If you have multiple (or no) ranged choices, look for someone with a good protection score, and a reasonably high hope total. A hobbit bowman in lucky armor would be ideal.

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Re: Ranger of the North: Optimisation help

Post by Glorelendil » Sat Aug 13, 2016 12:34 pm

Oh, yeah, he's right. It has to be to invoke an attribute bonus. Silly me.

And, yes, you get to pick which skill it benefits. It's +Wisdom, so +1 if you take this at character creation.
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artuard
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Re: Ranger of the North: Optimisation help

Post by artuard » Sat Aug 13, 2016 8:49 pm

Gotcha, this is all I need for now guys - really appreciate your answers. Will update you how it goes with our game :geek:

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Re: Ranger of the North: Optimisation help

Post by Farath » Sat Mar 18, 2017 4:34 pm

I got a question concerning the virtue "Rumour of the Earth". The Rivendell book describes it like this:
"Additionally, if the Hunting roll was successful, you may spend 1 point of Hope: every roll you make until sundown or sunrise using a movement, perception or survival skill benefits from a free Attribute bonus."

Does that mean: every roll of any skill in the groups movement, perception AND survival (in sum 9 skills) get a free attribute bonus for a whole day! Or does the ranger has to choose after the Hunting Roll which group movement, perception OR survival to get the bonus (in sum 3 skills)?

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