Long Winter Campaign – Paladins, Rangers & Druids

The Pathfinder Beginner Box includes only the four iconic classes of D&D: cleric, fighter, rogue and wizard.  To keep the game ‘in the box,’ so to speak, I’ll only use these four iconic classes, and if someone wants to try a more exotic class, I’ll recommend they multi-class appropriately and roleplay the difference.

However, I still have a use for paladins, rangers and druids…as independent organizations operating within and along the borders of civilization.

The Paladins

A company of Paladins on patrol.

A company of Paladins on patrol.

An independent paramilitary organization dedicated to defending civilization from bandits and the ravaging hordes of Chaos alike.  The Order of Knights Paladin, Most Illustrious, is comprised of 50-60 fighters and clerics of Lawful alignment who have sworn an oath to serve the Lord Paladin, and the Imperial Prefect (more on him in a later post).

They maintain a heavily defended karg (Dwarven for a stone fortification, typically located in a mountainous region), which they call the Citadel, though others commonly refer to it as the War Karg (or the Krieg Karg).  About half the paladins defend this karg, except in times of dire crisis.  The rest of the paladins typically patrol the Riverlands in groups of 5 to 10, deterring monstrous raids and discouraging banditry.

In times of crisis, the Order will gather as may paladins as possible and march under the banner of the Prefect, leaving behind a skeleton force to defend the Citadel.  Paladins typically don’t get along well with Rangers, viewing the latter as mavericks and loose canons, but the two orders can work together to combat a greater threat.

The Rangers

Rangers are a disparate lot.

Rangers are a disparate lot.

A loosely organized law-enforcement and reconnaissance organization (think Texas Rangers with bows), comprised of approximately 80-90 clerics, fighters, rogues and wizards of Chaotic alignment (commonly Chaotic Good, some Chaotic Neutral and a handful of Chaotic Evil).  Though nominally under the command of the Captain, rangers tend to value their independence.

The Rangers maintain a wooden palisade fort in a wooded region along the old Imperial Road, garrisoned with about 40 rangers under normal conditions.  The remaining rangers patrol wilderness areas along the borders of civilization, either singly or in small groups, on the lookout for war bands, raiding parties and bandit gangs.

In times of crisis, rangers will gather as many as they can to form effective scouting parties, skirmishers or even guerrilla bands operating behind an enemy’s axis of advance.  On rare occasions, groups of rangers may come together to undertake a dangerous long-range mission (usually called ‘treks’), disappearing into the wilderness for a year or two at a time (obviously finding somewhere to winter in the process).

Rangers tend to view paladins as pompous and stubborn, sticklers for rules and regulations where unorthodox approaches may work better.

The Druids

Druids: enigmatic and untrustworthy.

Druids: enigmatic and untrustworthy.

A cabal of true Neutral clerics and wizards, numbering but a score, dedicated to maintaining a harmonious balance between civilization and barbarism, Law and Chaos.  Given the grim circumstances of the Long Winters, the Druids currently assist the forces of civilization.  However, should the tables turn, the Druids would abandon the civilized folk in an instant, and possibly start assisting Chaos, if they felt it necessary to maintain a balance.  All the rulers and leaders of the Riverlands are quite aware of this, and thus the Druids are never completely trusted by anyone.

The Druids maintain an ancient karg hidden deep inside the forests on the periphery of the Riverlands.  Only but a few actual druids garrison the fort, though they are heavily reinforced by a bevy of exotic guardians (such as elementals, for example).  Druids are typically aloof and arrogant, which bolsters no one’s trust of them.


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