How To Roll Up A Ranger -By Ransom


Introduction
You know you're getting good advice when I start off with a disclaimer. There are many accomplished rangers in Elanthia. The first to come to mine are Kali, Cerul, Maruko, Trachten, Kyrion, Entrei, Dvalin, Corwin, Kenner, and of course Zepath. Most likely all of these will disagree with some of the things you are about to read, and I most likely have made a small mistake here or there. Of all of those, Tiana the bard taught me the most about being a ranger. Special thanks to Cerul for the input of his exceptional knowledge and experience.

I hesitated writing this because I wish to avoid the creation of a bunch of 'optimal' Ranger Clones. First and foremost, Gemstone is a Role Playing Game. Before you begin the process of rolling up a character, sit down and decide "Who" that character is.

What motivates him? Where does he come from? What are his fears? Ambitions? What quirks does he have? And then act and react as that character would. Do not talk about stats, yours or a critters, openly. Do not talk about your computer, sports or the chances of life on Mars. I live most of my life in the real world, I pay $3 an hour to leave it.

I would like to point out that some opinions expressed here are in contradiction to those in other ranger guides. What that means is I have a different opinion than that of the other writers. It does not mean I am right and the other wrong, it means we have different opinions. My opinions are based on bringing my first ranger to level 5 and re-rolling, another to level 7 and re-rolling, and finally settling on Ransom, who is at level 40 as of this writing. Further, these opinions are based on killing hundreds of thousands of critters over a period of three (real) years, (it might even be over a million critters...I lost track the second night I played :)

Stats:
As you roll up a new character you have two basic concerns, Training Point Totals (Physical and Mental) and your Stat Bonuses. After you assign your stats, you will have +10 added to your Constitution and Wisdom, remember this so you do not assign a 90+ to either because the max. value of any stat is 100. As you train, you will invariably run out of MTP's much sooner that PTP's. When you assign your rolls to your stats, you will need to consider your MTP's as well as your final stat bonuses that will effect your AS and DS, Dexterity, etc.. The aggregate total for a good set of stats should total around 640, (max. value being 700). I would shoot for 650. A 'perfect 650' would look like this:

85,85,85,55,55,55,45,45,45,95
Theoretical Maximum is
90,90,90,60,60,60,50,50,50,100 (You get this set and I want to hear about it!)

Rolling up a 'perfect 650' is a time consuming and incredibly boring process. If you are serious about playing Gemstone, you will spend thousands of hours with your ranger, what is an extra two or three hours in the Character Manager getting really good stats?

From these stats, you can create a character maximized for MTP's, (38 PTP's, 48 MTP's) or a character maximized for PTP's (47 PTP's, 31 MTP's). (These values include the +10 ranger bonuses to Con and Wis). Neither of these choices is very good, therefore you have to compromise and wind up with one in the middle. So, where to put the big numbers? You have to decide that. Keep in mine that the more you put in the physical, the fewer MTP's you get. The more MTP's you get the lower your 'fighting' stats.

Here is what I recommend:

Option 1                             Option 2
Constitution    55 (45+10)           Constitution    55 (45+10)
Dexterity       45                   Dexterity       45 
Discipline      55                   Discipline      85
Logic           55                   Dexterity       45 
Intelligence    55                   Intelligence    55 
Strength        85                   Strength        55 
Reflexes        85                   Reflexes        85 
Charisma        45                   Charisma        45 
Wisdom          95 (85+10)           Wisdom          95 (85+10)
Aura            95                   Aura            95 
42 PTP's and 40 MTP's at level 0.    42 PTP's and 43 MTP's at level 0.
What race you pick for yourself will determine increases and decreases in stat bonuses, which in turn affect what training options are best. The most popular are human and elven rangers. Elven rangers have high dexterity and reflexes. Human rangers are well rounded. Giantman Ranger are strong and slow. If you want to be real unique, be a halfling ranger, I cannot recall ever seeing one of these. With bows (not yet implemented), a hobbit ranger as a sniper might be a very interesting character.

Constitution: This will determine, among other things, your Starting Heath Point Level and your max. HP total. You do not need a super high number in this stat, because you can train away the effects of a low total in a few years. As a ranger you get +10 added to whatever roll you place in this stat. I would put a 45 in this one (with the added 10 its 55).

Dexterity: Determines your ability with bows (not yet implemented), your maneuver bonus with brawling type attacks and your resistance to certain magic attacks. Unless you use bows, don't worry about a super high number here. (Until you fight spiders, tree spirits and arch wights, then feel free to curse out the idiot that advised putting a low roll here).

Discipline: With Aura, this stat counts in both your PTP and MTP calculations. There is a strong argument for putting an 85 here (and the 55 in strength). This will generate 42 PTP's and 43 MTP's. You will lose some AS, but the extra MTP's will allow you to train in more skills. If you plan on playing for a long time, this is a very good option.

Intelligence: This will determine how much field experience you can hold.

Logic: How fast you absorb your field experience

Strength: This will determine how high your Attack Strength is. The higher it is, the harder you hit. You're going to need to kill lots and lots of critters, a high number here helps. (See Disipline).

Reflexes: This will determine your Defensive Strength. If you followed my advice and put a low (45'ish) value into Constitution, then you better put an 85 here. If you are tempted to put a 55 here and a 85 in strength, be prepared to spend a lot of time waiting to be rezzed.

Charisma: It is said that a high stat here will hurt your chances at hiding. Make yourself as unassuming as possible by putting your lowest stat here.

Wisdom: As a ranger, this will determine how many Mana Points you get. I recommend putting a low to medium 80 in this stat. After the +10 ranger adder, you get 90+. When you make Lord or Lady, this should be about max'ed at 100, giving you 60 Mana at 20.

Aura: Along with discipline this stat is used in both MTP and PTP calculations. This also determines the number of Spirit Points you get. If you don't put 80's in both Aura and Discipline, and only put one in the both, make sure it's this one.

Weapons and Armor basics: Weapons: The cheapest weapon for a ranger to train in is edged. Which edged to use? For a newbie, without doubt, use a drake falchion. A falchion does more damage than a broadsword and the drake will give you an occasional fire crit. Get a mein or imflass broadsword and shield as soon as you can afford them and no earlier than the 8th level. Don't waste time buying ora and mithril, save up for mein or imflass first. Do you buy a mein broadsword before the mein shield? I'd take the shield first; offense is nice, but the AS of a corpse is 0. Armor: The higher the armor sub-group, the more protection you are afforded from nasty hits. On the down side, the higher the armor sub-group the harder it is to move (higher RT's) and the more chance there is for the armor to cause a spell failure. The RT's can be trained away, but the spell failure stays. At a young age, you won't be casting many spells, but you still want low round times.

Therefore, stick with the light leather you were put into Elanthia with, add arm and leg greaves, an aventail and a helm. Buy the cheapest stuff, cause you'll throw it away when you get older. Train once per year in armor, (don't double train in it, or you'll waste valuable training points), when you get +40 skill switch to double leather, and when you get +82 skill (after 18 trains) you can wear AsG10 without RT penalty and only a 5% chance at spell failure (you can wear it before with slightly greater RT penalties).

If you wear a helmet or leg greaves (arm greaves are incorporated into AsG10) with AsG10 your spell failure increases (it acts like a cheap suit of AsG12). The spell failure for AsG12 is 8%, this may not sound like a lot, and on hues (1 mana point) who cares. What is annoying is casting 613 and getting an 8 or less. Casting 619 in a crisis when you are low on mana is more than annoying. My advice is to stick with AsG10 without helmet or leg greaves, this gives the most protection with a minimal spell failure chance. It's also fairly common. Keep on the look-out for two or three times enchanted AsG10 for sale, and buy one when you can. (When you are laying there dead from a neck or head crit, feel free to curse at the idiot who recommended AsG10). Spell Lists:
Rangers can learn from two spell lists. The Ranger Circle and the Minor Spirit Circle.

The Ranger Circle:
601 Colors Adds +10 to DS (nice spell but a short duration)
602 Resist Elements Adds +10 to elemental defense
603 Forage Adds to foraging ability.
604 Skinning Adds to skinning ability (a function of your first aid training)
605 Tracking Does nothing (not yet implemented)
606 Pheon's Str. Adds +10 to AS. (Great spell)
607 Sounds Subtracts 20 from target DS
608 Camouflage hides you and adds 30 to AS when you ambush
609 Sunburst Reveals hidden and invisible characters
610 Tangle Weed Fun spell, great in krol. Relative level dependent to knock critters down.
611 Mass Hues Good spell. +10 to all joined characters DS 
612 Breeze Good for those pesky clouds. 
613 Self Control Adds +25 to DS, elemental, warding. The spell to strive for early on
614 Imbue Change sticks to wands and eventually rods(with age)
615 Whispering W Fun spell. Whisper to others that are outdoors.
616 Spike Thorn Level dependent but impossible to resist as far as I've seen
617 Sneaking Great for Pennant Chase!
618 Mobility Adds to your dexterity. Great for brawling and (I think) bows. 
619 Mass Calm Tough for the critters to resist
620 Killer Weed Nice spell. Indoors like tangle weed, outdoors does good damage. 
625 Nature's Touch Does nothing (not yet implemented)

The Minor Spirit Circle List: 101 Spirit Prot. 1 +10 to Elemental and Warding 102 Spirit Barrier -50 to physical attacks coming in and -50 to those going out. 103 Spirit Defense +10 to DS (non stackable, but refreshable) (nice Spell) 104 Disease Resist Guess what? 105 Poison Resist Resist against poison? 106 Spirit Fog Adds +30 to everyone's DS (good guys and bad) makes it easier to hide 107 Spirit Prot. 2 Adds +25 to Elemental and Warding (Nice spell) 108 Stun Relief You figure it out 109 Dispel Invisibility 110 Unbalance Tips folks and critters over, hurts too 111 Fire Spirit Sends up a flare (or works as a fire ball attack when aimed) 112 Water Walking 113 Undisease Removes all disease 114 Unpoison Removes all poison 115 Spirit Burst Stuns the target 116 Locate Person 117 Spirit Strike Adds +75 to AS for one strike 118 Web Webs the target 119 Herb Production Causes a random herb to grow (outdoors only) 120 Lesser Shroud +25 to DS, warding and elemental (the spell in the statues) 125 Call Lightning Makes a little black rain cloud (with nice tines). 130 Word or Return Great for mass evacuations. 150 Wall of Force +100 to DS (What's in the Ruby Amulets)

Now which list to train in? The most popular seems to be (and my recommendation is) to train up the ranger list to Self Control (613) then train on the MnS to Lesser Shroud (120). That said, I trained to 606, then to 103, then to 613, then to 107, then to 620, and back to the Minor Spirit Circle. Rumor has it that Rangers may get 630, Call Wolf. That'd be real nice, I like wolves... I'll be an old bone by the time I get it (which gives the wolf something to chew on I suppose)

Training: What sets rangers apart from warriors and thieves are their spells. Remember this as you train and increase in level. Before you start training, decide what you want to specialize in. Are you going to use bows (not yet implemented)? Do you want to pick locks? Do you want to master magic? Do you want to master the sword? Etc. As a ranger, you have the most options available to you, but you can't do it all. Pick what you want to train in, plot out a training schedule and stick with it. NOTE: Double training is expensive. The second training costs TWICE what the first did. Double training in skills that max. out (Physical Fitness, Armor, etc.) is probably not a good idea since these points can be used to give you more diverse skills.

General Ranger Training: Armor Use (4/0/2); Train once per year, 18 times (if you plan on using AsG10), yields a skill level of +82. Train more or less for the higher or lower AsG's if that is your wish Cost: 4/0

Shield Use; Train once per year for life. Training in this skill will add to your DS (defensive strength). This is calculated as: [Shield (base is 20, magic material will add to this)] + [(skill) /100 * (shield) * (stance)] (Where stance varies from .25 for Offensive to 1.0 for Defensive). Some claim that you MUST double train in this skill every year for life. I disagree. If you double train in this skill it will cost you 168 PTP's for the second training by the time you reach Lord or Lady. Double training will add 14 to your offensive DS at level 20 where single training will add 9 to your DS (assuming a vultite shield). For this extra 5 DS you give up 168 PTP's. Since you always run out of MTP's before PTP's, that's 84 MTP's or 4 MTP's per level. Let's say you use 3 of those MTP's for Mana Sharing. By level 20 you would be 93% efficient in sharing. Channel 60 mana points to another that can share and you can get a lot more DS than 5. The other 2 PTP's will do for your swimming or climbing skill. Cost: 4/0

Combat Maneuvers: Train once per year for life. For every two trains in CM you get +1 AS for the first 50 trains, and this is parriable (so it adds to your defense at stances less than offensive). This also helps your aimed attacks as well as how you dodge area effect attacks. NEVER MISS A TRAINING IN THIS. Cost: 6/3

Edged Weapons; Train twice per year for life Cost: 9/3

Climbing: Alternate every other year with swimming (real cheap too) until you feel you have enough (10 to 20 trains is considered adequate) Cost: 2/1

Swimming: Alternate every other year with climbing (real cheap too) until you feel you have enough (5 to 10 trains is considered adequate) Cost: 2/0

Perception: Train once per year for life or until you feel you have enough (there is a wide opinion on what is adequate) Cost: 0/3

Physical Training; Train once per year until you reach your maximum health point total. NEVER EVER DOUBLE TRAIN IN THIS. Cost: 4/0

A Note from Zepath: I don't necessarily agree with the "Never Ever Double Train In This." statement. I believe the point being made here is, Physical Training is something you will top out in (meaning you will reach a point the characters career where training in Physical Training no longer does you any good what-so-ever), so there is no need to spend all those precious development points upfront on this. However, there are situations, and I have had characters that fall in this category, where the stats I had were so good in other areas, that I couldn't refuse the character, but as the character existed, I had to double train in Physical Training for the first 4 or 5 levels just to get that character to a point where he could survive. So, you don't want to double train here unless it's absolutely necessary for the survival of your character. And I mean survival, not just comfort for you.

Stalking and Hiding: At high levels, ambush is the way to hunt for a ranger. I suggest training in this once every year.Cost: 2/1

Ambush: At high levels, ambush is the way to hunt. I suggest training in this once every year. Cost: 3/2

Note from Zepath: Here, I place much more value on Ambushing. I train as much as I possibly can. You will find in time that you are killing creatures in a single strike that take others of your equal level 5, 6, and 7 stikes of normal combat. But, be warned, you do not really see the effects of Ambush kick in until you have *alot* of ranks in it.

Mana Share: Rangers are the batteries of Elanthia. A ranger/wizard make a great team if both can share mana. The Ranger gives the wizard mana to hunt with, and the wizard gives the ranger defensive and offensive spells. Train in this from level 0 to 23 (102 Skill level). Cost: 0/3

First Aid: The skinning spell is real handy. After you get sick of skinning hobs and orcs for a few coins a pelt, you will realize that you can make more money with chests and gems. Once you get older, there are some nice skins out there. Shadow Mare horseshoes sell for 660 each, fog beetle caraprices sell for 1k each, kiramon mandibles sell for 1k each and myklian scales sell for 1k to 2k each. Unless you fully train in first aid every year, you will not be able to skin these reliably. (As further encouragement, at level 30 I was walking out of shadow mares with 50k in shoes from a single long night of hunting. At level 40 I am skinning myklians and walking out with 70k from a single hunt). Cost: 2/2 Total Available (assuming a perfect '650') 42/40 Total Cost Before Spells and Scrolls 36/17.5 (averaged from climb/swim alt.)

Left over for Spells and Scrolls 6/22.5 Converting the 6 PTP's to 3 MTP's equals 25.5 MTP's. Over 21 Trains is 535.5 MTP for spells. 17 spells cost (17*32) is 544. Since your stats will grow some over time, this should supply the extra 9 MTP's you need to get the 17th spell. If you need to scrounge some extra MTP's, skip a year of two of training in perception, since you will eventually max. this skill anyway.

Spells: A spell a level with the exception of Level 0! Wrong. It is not going to happen. As soon as you complete your mana sharing (24 trains total) you can get a spell a level. But if you want a spell a level you are going to give up skills or a lifetime when you can have that spell next level. A well trained ranger will have about 17 spells at age 20. That means four training seasons without learning a spell.

To put this in perspective, if you give up all training in mana share, you will get 19 spells by age 20, then you would have to give up 5 or 6 trains in CM to get that 20th spell by 20. To get 40 spells by age 40, you'll still be untrained in mana share, and you'll miss another 3 or 4 trains in CM. As a comparison, Ransom has 37 spells at level 40 and is fully singled in mana share and CM. Sure would be nice to have the extra 3 spells right? Well, with mana share and some friendly wizards, I channel 120 mana or so and get Wiz. Shield (+50) Guard 3 (+25) and Blurs (+10). I can wait another three years for those spells : ) Cost: 0/32

Scrolls: Scroll skill is handy to have, but not real useful until you are older. Why? Because the good spells scrolls are hard to find and the casting duration and/or effect is level dependent. So collect them, find out what they are, save the good ones in your locker for when you are old enough to use them. Try to have a few ranks of scrolls by level 20 (but don't give up any of your regular training. As you gain in Stats, and reach your maximums in the other skills (armor, climbing, swiming, perception), that will free up MTP's to train in this skill. Try to be an effective scroll reader by level 30 or 35. Cost: 0/5

Magic Item Use: Ranger's can imbue sticks (614) into wands, and eventually Rods (a rod will hold more mana). You can then get a Wizard/Bard/Sorcerer with 420 to imbed G1, G2, G3, Blur, etc. into this wand or rod. Training in this skill will allow you to use that wand/rod. Better than scroll skill but more expensive to learn, it is also easier to use in that you do not need both hands free (which makes scrolls real dangerous to use in unsafe area). Not a bad option. Highly recommended. It will be tough to get both scrolls AND Magic Item Use though. So pick one and stick with it. Cost: 0/6

Other Skills and Alternative Ranger Lifestyles: Locks and Traps: Real expensive and not a popular variant. I started training in this at level 40. If you see me picking a chest, run!

Trading: Ask Lady Krakii about trading....for a dwarf, she gets real good deals. I started training in this at level 35

Spell Aim: Leave this to the furry footed wizards and the pointy eared sorcerers

Multi-Opponents: This will deal with the new Engagement System. Costly and of no value yet. I don't recommend training in it.

Bleeding: Ransom triple trains in this.

Picking Pockets: You what to be a ranger or a thief?

Two weapon combat: Neat skill, but too expensive for a ranger. Not recommended.

Brawling: Neat skill. If you are going to train in this, train in it every year from the beginning. You will have to give up something (some spells, ambush, perception, or something else).

In conclusion, I would like to say that there is no race to the top, although some seem to think so. If you rush through the levels and jet off to Teras as soon as you are able, you will be missing much of what GemStone has to offer. On your way to becoming a legend ranger, take some time to stop and forage the roses. -Ransom-

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