Ranger Class Colors Guide | Color Pie System
Role playing is one of the fundamental building blocks of dungeons and dragons and what makes the game so special. Yet it can be hard to craft characters who are robust enough to almost play themselves, this is where the color pie system comes into play. Using this system we can build characters whose motivations are front and center, which will allow for moments where even you are surprised with their decisions. In this episode of the class colors series we will be discussing the Ranger class. A class who stalks the outskirts of civilization, one who is more comfortable trekking through wilderness than cobble streets. Alright with that covered, get your bowstring tightened, set your traps and follow the trail right into the core color of the Ranger
There are those out there who find their purpose off of the beaten path, ones who do not feel comfortable in the hustle and bustle of the city and yet are never lost in the deepest wilderness. This is the ranger, a class which seems to model itself after the animal kingdom, and more narrowly still its many predators. It will track its prey like that of a wolf, stalk silently like that of a large cat or strike with the deadly precision of a snake. Above all else the Ranger is resourceful, clever and dangerous. They are explorers, trappers, spell-casters, tamers and proficient warriors. Some say they aren't focused enough but I say that all of these traits are required for them to survive within the lifestyle they have chosen for themselves. With all of this in mind I believe we can now discuss the core color of the class, the color you will most often see assigned to the class. To do so I would like to pull up the class card designed by Wizards of the coast in the set adventures in the forgotten realm and then discuss whether their decision for core color works or not.
Pulling up the card we can see that they have decided on Green for the core color of the Ranger and I would have to say I agree. Like I said earlier, the Ranger is molded very much around the animal kingdom. Taking examples from its many predators. This idea of mimicking your ideology or methodology after nature is something very green. Now I want to make a very major distinction, if you remember back when we covered the druid we decided on green for its core color as well but for a different reason. What I mean, in contrast, is that it's less about nature as an abstract concept for the Ranger and more of a focus on a specific aspect of nature, the predator.
The Ranger is less interested in concepts like balance and a grander purpose and more focused on the thematic traits of natures great hunters. This means that the tie to its core color is less philosophical and more literal. Because of this the colors that you add to its core color have a very strong sway on its personality, as you will come to see. With all of this in mind the Ranger makes a lot of sense matched with this color but always remember that it's more focused or narrow. With that covered we can now flesh out three character with Green as our base to help you better understand how the color pie affects the Ranger. Make sure to stick around to the end though as we will break down each color in relation to the Ranger that way you can mix and match to create your own. Alright to start we will begin with a Green Red ranger.
Our first character has trained in the Ranger arts since they were a child by the man they simply call father. You can't remember a time before you lived in the woods nor can you recall if Father truly is what his namesake implies, but for all you care the forest is your home and Father is your blood. You were trained to sneak, track and fight. Your eyes molded to see what is hidden your hands trained to be deadly weapons, the daggers you keep at your side your fangs. Father has always taught you that the world is a dark place and there are creatures out there who do not deserve your mercy. There has always been an anger inside of him, routed in some past pain you are sure of it. This mentality has seeped into you as well. You hunt with a ferocity that matches that of your mentor. While on a hunt for a large feral wolf spotted in the region you and your mentor were attacked by a great silver Panther.
If it weren't for the extreme circumstances you would be in awe of the site of such a rare beast. Unfortunately the animal was more than you could handle, and before you could send it running with a grievous wound of its own, you found that Father had sustained one as well. In your arms he passes, that same fierce look still glimmering in his eyes, telling you exactly what you must do. After a small ritual and a burial you set off to find where the silver panther has fled too, vengeance in your heart. For this character I went with the colors Green and Red. The Green side signifying your connection to the hunt and that of your instincts. The Red side comes from a place of ferocity.
While living a life that mirrors that of a wild predator you find that your mindset will naturally drift in this direction, especially considering this character has been a wild hunter all of their life and that their mentor had instilled such values in them. They know nothing else but the expression of Red which can be quite violent when turned to such ways. Green does help keep things in check and even if there was some balance here, it is now gone. With your mentor dead you feel yourself drifting further into Red, perhaps this is where Fathers rage was routed in as well, you understand now. For our next character we will take a bit of a different tact and drop Red from the equation and add in White.
There are those who can speak to animals and understand their plait and because of that wish to aid them in any way they can. Our next character is one such being. You believe that humans should stand in solidarity with the animal kingdom and that there are lessons we can learn from it. You find that you have more in common with the animals you run alongside than the humans which threaten their way of life. Because of this you put your skills to use against those things that would threaten the animal kingdom. Abominations and poachers are your true prey.
Your closest animal companion is Kal'ren a snowy owl who has flown at your side for what seems to be an age and half. Her eyes are sharp and help you track and hunt in the snowy months of this northern land you call home. The blood on the snow the only sign that you and your companion have passed through the area. As a true beast master you want nothing but peace for the animals you call kin but are no fool and understand that a well placed arrow can be a tool for peace when the time requires it.
For our Green White Ranger the colors make up an interesting combination. When Green and White come together it is a combination that's accepting and harmonious. You put yours skills to use by talking with the animals and listening to their needs. You feel for them as they have no true way to deal with such antagonists to their way of life. In that way you put yourself in their place, you feel for their struggle and fight to protect them. You keep order in the lands you tread and put your blade and arrow to those that would disrupt it for their own gain.
If you could you would run with the wolves and forage with the bears until you waning years but you are no fool, the world is a harsh place and there must be protectors out there for those that cannot protect themselves. A Ranger who is an extension of the terrain, a purpose outside of yourself. With that character covered let's move onto our final concept by removing White and adding in Black and Blue.
GREEN BLUE BLACK
Trained at a young age in a loose Ranger order you learned everything required to hunt monsters and survive on your own. This order took you in alongside other stray young boys and girls to focus on nothing else but your training. Started long ago by a man no one remembers this order was conceived to turn children into fierce hunters of any terrain, with the goal of bringing those that stalk the wilderness with ill intent to their knees. Once you were of an age and skill level to be sent off on your own, the order would find an area in the region that was undeserved, or had recently lost on of its rangers and send you to task.
There the fresh blood would cut their teeth and become one with the land they roam. You now find yourself sent off on your mission, but the years spent training and perfecting your craft leave you confident with the life set before you. You do not feel anything outside of your purpose. This harsh life with little room for anything else outside of training has resulted in the hardening of your soul and the sharpening of your instincts. You are brutal and efficient, one with the region you now call home. You spend your time roaming and looking for those abominations which cause humanity harm.
For this character I went with the colors Green Blue and Black. The Green representing the characters close relationship with the land and its desire for a singular purpose. You see as I have said Green wishes to find that place where it fits and fulfill that role. This is what you were meant to do, more still what you were born to do. This all pairs well with all of the traits we have previously discussed regarding Green Rangers and their thematic ties to the color. Next is Blue. This color reflects the characters perfectionism and their cold demeanor when it comes to their outlook on life.
They have a task which they aim to do with the utmost skill and have poured everything into being the best they can at it. Black on the other hand showcases some of the brutal aspect of the color. This character is harsh and ruthless. They can turn off any aspect of their humanity that is required. They do not do what they do because they feel empathy for others but rather to complete a job. With all of these traits combined this character would have a lot of trouble fitting in with your party and they may not always help those that are outside of their mission, none the less they complete any task with deadly efficiency.
As you can see the Ranger can have a range of motivations and while we only touched on three you can mix and match colors to create a Ranger who fits perfectly into the type of character you want to play. To help with that its best we talk about each color on its own and how it relates to the Ranger, that way you can come out of this video with your own creation, or better define one you have already created. Let's start with White. A Ranger who has white as one of their colors is one that leans into a broader desire to help others and at time this may be a focus on the animals it surrounds itself with, as the Ranger spends very little time around other people. We won't be bringing in Whites desire for order as that isn't relevant to a Ranger, its rather a need for peace in the region they have come to love.
Next there is Blue, a color of perfectionism and learning. These traits pair perfectly with the Ranger in some cases. As an example this would be a great color for a Ranger who works at its craft every day. They don't simply learn to lay traps or track because they need to to survive, no its more bread from a desire to create the perfect trap, to have a second sense when it comes to tracking. Blue reflects the desire to really hone in on something and do it for the sake of learning the best way to do it, and this side of Blue can fit nicely with a Ranger.
Next we have Black a color often associated with ideas like ambition and greed and these sides of Black do not have any place within a ranger. Instead the Black aligned ranger takes on blacks traits of ruthlessness and amorality. They don't question what is right or wrong just what must be done.
Then there is Red, a color I was very close to placing as an additional core color for the class, as when Green and Red combine something interesting happens. Red for one is the impulses at the heart of everything we do and what's more it's the desire for the freedom to follow those impulses. The Ranger is special in that it's not tied down to societal rules, it roams as it pleases and relies on their innate impulses, paired with the instincts of Green, to really be what it is. You see when Green and Red are combined you have a perfect marriage of impulse and instinct, humanities true underlying motivations and something about that just feels right for some versions of the ranger but not all and that's why I just stuck with Green for the core.
So what about Green then, well we talked about it at length but I want to you to keep something in mind. Here we have the rare case of a color lending more thematic and narrow ideals to a Ranger, of course you could take the philosophical aspects of Green and apply it to the Ranger but in most cases it's as if the Ranger uses Green as an example of how to live, not so much mirroring its more esoteric views. Of course you can apply aspects of greens more abstract side, things like purpose and harmony but I believe the thematic ties will be more prevalent. With all of that covered I am confident that you will be able to build a more robust and interesting Ranger in the process.
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