Thursday, January 8, 2015

AD&D 2e: Ranger's favored enemy ruling

From the AD&D 2e Player's Handbook (p. 29):

In their roles as protectors of good, rang-
ers tend to focus their efforts against some
particular creature, usually one that ma-
rauds their homeland. Before advancing to
2nd level, every ranger must select a species
enemy. Typical enemies include giants,
orcs, lizard men, trolls, or ghouls; your DM
has final approval on the choice. Thereafter,
whenever the ranger encounters that enemy,
he gains a +4 bonus to his attack rolls. This
enmity can be concealed only with great dif-
ficulty, so the ranger suffers a -4 penalty on
all encounter reactions with creatures of the
hated type. Furthermore, the ranger will ac-
tively seek out this enemy in combat in pref-
erence to all other foes unless someone else
presents a much greater danger.

As we've been using the 2e rules consistently for character creation and advancement, this applies to Gaertorin. Through a bit of research, though, I'm going to agree with what seems to be a large segment of DMs that restricting the favored enemy to a specific "species" is sometimes too narrow to be relevant in a given campaign. As such, for Gaertorin, the rule will apply to a broader "type" of enemy, which will allow him to appropriately favor "undead." This should be a nice benefit to the party and is very much on theme for the character.


  1. Conversely, I'm unsure I would allow [random different ranger in another campaign] the same benefit. I think it's a case by case thing. Having Gaertorin favor skeletons would likely be relevant once in a blue moon... but maybe in a separate campaign or context, a ranger favoring "orcs" or "trolls" is entirely reasonable without having to broaden the ability to "evil humanoids." (Just a little disclaimer for the future.)