A while back, I had the chance to use a Ranger in a DW game.

A while back, I had the chance to use a Ranger in a DW game.

A while back, I had the chance to use a Ranger in a DW game. Although I had a lot of fun shooting dudes along side my faithful pet Falcon, Captain, the class did not quite fill the role I had been hoping for- that of a dedicated archer, with a focus on trick shots and crazy Hawkeye/Green Arrow-style effect arrows. I lamented about this for a bit, then decided, what the heck: I’ve got a bit of experience under my belt now, I’ll try to make my own. This is what I’ve come up with, taking advice from the helpful Goons at SA as I went. I think the overall class is actually looking pretty solid now mechanically, but I feel like I could tighten up the wording in several places- especially the social moves. Anyone have any advice on it?

If you can catch any errors or problems, I’d love to hear about it so I can mark XP (and fix it). Thanks!

13 thoughts on “A while back, I had the chance to use a Ranger in a DW game.”

  1. I like the idea, but why not make it a compendium class, something a ranger is uniquely suited for? Then you could still have the ranger’s abilities and animal companion, and also have a quiver of special arrows.

  2. Volley says: “When you take aim and shoot at an enemy at range”. Therefore, Rope Shot can be only used against enemies, which doesn’t make any sense. New “Improved Volley” move to hit objects maybe?

  3. A Ranger compendium was my original thought, but I realized The Marksman is distinct from the existing classes in both combat (non-magic ranged attacks) and social (sharp-tongued quips) moves. The Ranger is a very different beast, with lots of animal companion and hunter-tracker moves, but only three archery-based moves (and a pair of two-weapon fighting moves as an alternative). Isn’t that enough to justify a full class instead of a compendium? If another class wants a specific feature from The Marksman, why not just let them grab the relevant move(s) with Multiclassing?

    The names aren’t just male-heavy, they’re also very human-heavy. I was familiar with plenty of male humans who fit The Marksman’s role, but I quickly ran out of names for other genders and races. Katniss is a great start. Any other suggestions would be very welcome!

    I hadn’t considered that Fire A Volley requires the target to be an enemy. That definitely wasn’t intended. I’ll reword Trick Shot to work in non-combat situations.

    I just realized the +WIS rolls would make more sense as +CHA rolls. I’ll make that switch as well.

  4. The name list is still putting me off – it feels more like an Apocalypse World list than a DW one.  It might seem silly to nitpick the name list, but it’s actually a big part of how we impart setting.  It should say things not just about the Marksman in general, but about what kind of folk become marksmen and how they fit into their race and the world in general.  References are good and fun and tend to help “center” players in their understanding of what kind of character they’re playing, but heavy references tend to fit better on player facing stuff like Move names.

    For example: Robin Hood might not make an appropriate name, but Merry Men would be a good name for a move that shows the character is good at assembling a collection of like-minded bandits.

    But then again, if you’re designing it for your game and for your group, go nuts!  This is just my personal preference, tone-wise.

  5. Adam Koebel I was actually under the impression that the referential names thing had been copied over from AW, and that I was just really bad at catching most of them. Just pulling a bunch of relevant-sounding human and elf names off a Random NPC Name Generator tool will be easier for me anyway!

    I do want to ask my GM if I can switch over to a Marksman, but I’m not making this and then putting it up purely for my own benefit. If other people want to use it, or take and tweak moves to create their own compendium class or Marksman variant, all the better.

  6. Heya!

    I got some comments on what I think is not a perfect fit and can be improved, as it is an opinion use it if you want, but don’t feel bashed, the execution is pretty good and I got the vibe you put into it from reading the class.

    Here goes!

    Alignment: Doesn’t seem to fit the idea of what an alignment means, there is no moral compass in the actions presented, this fores a particular personality instead of a particular moral stance.

    Rebounding Shot: I like the entire idea, my main concern is not the ability itself but the idea that it is not doable by others because it is a class ability. and what would happen when there is no more than 2 targets. Perhaps rephrase it to Gm will say what else happens (without adding another target right there).

    Covering Fire: Improving success is a pretty big bonus, the ability can end up being a +1 or up to a +3 to a single action. Perhaps turn it into: “When you have a target lined up with Draw a Bead On’em, you may spend 1 Quiver to grant +1 forward to anyone acting against the target, including you.”

    Hit the Weak Point: Sounds like you should just straight ask the GM the question and be granted the bonus, there is no need to tie it into Discern Realities in there, perhaps just say “when you spend time studying the attack and defense of a target…”

    Arrowhead: depends on you not wanting every marksmen wielding arrows as melee weapons like Legolas in the cinema. I am in favor of them doing it from scratch, the only difference in that case is the precise tag.

    Break the Ice: as the alignment, it forces a personality trait, which is not something I feel go well with a class.

    Put a Socket on It: Seems pretty limited.

    I like the idea, seems a true marksman to me. =D

  7. Trevor Bart the name lists provide a general flavour, and a few are referential, but it’s very much about creating a general setting vs. making direct and obvious references.  For the most part, anyway.  For example, if I made a “Dark Priest” class, the elven names would all sound more harsh and less lyrical than the ones on the other classes – to reflect that in elven society, that class is only taken by outcasts and the hateful servants of dark gods, etc.

    As Raoni Monteiro said, it looks like there are some good places to start, here, but I still think the class could use some foundational work.  It feels like a compendium of missile-flavoured Fighter or Ranger moves, not a whole class unto itself, just yet.

    Look at the Marksman as a concept.  How is he or she different than a Fighter with a bow?  How are they different from a Thief, a Ranger, a Paladin or a Wizard.  What about them is so unique.  Not just mechanically, but thematically (from a design perspective) and narratively (from a world perspective).  What niche do they fill in the world that is impossible for any other class to fill.

    For example, when we made the Barbarian, we differentiated him from the Fighter because while they both are effective in combat, and that’s a big part of their class, they are effective in different ways (the moves) and for different reasons. The Barbarian is driven by hunger – by need to do or have.  The Fighter is driven by their alignment, but otherwise is free to exert their combat skill to whatever cause they like.  

    What drives the Marksman?  What makes them a meaningful part of both your setting and your DW rule set that a compendium class or handful of new moves just couldn’t do?

    Without knowing the class, could you look at the behaviour, actions and accolades the Marksman earned and say, without a doubt that they are in some way different than a Fighter with a bow and the skill to wield it?

  8. Just to be clear, too, I don’t think you’ve entirely missed the mark, either (hurr hurr).  There are elements of this class that definitely hold uniqueness, to me.  If I squint and imagine the class in a more polished light, I could see a risk-taking, wisecracking, fun-loving character who is more about showing off and being cool than about battle for blood and glory.  There is definitely room somewhere in the intersection of the Fighter, the Bar and the Thief for someone like that.  A light-hearted big-spirited character with flashy skills and a dashing attitude.

    I’d focus on that!

  9. If I recall correctly, Lumpley commented on names that the people of Apocalypse World had heard of a Mother Superior but had no referent for it and therefore though it was a suitable thing to call a baby.

  10. Some very excellent help here. Thanks to all of you! I’m going to try some retooling and refocusing to hone in on the glory-hunting and fame-loving aspects as a theme. I’ll post a new version soon.

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