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The ranger is a character class in Dungeons & Dragons.


Notable rangers[]

For a complete list, see Category:Rangers.

Publication history[]

Original D&D[]

The ranger was introduced in The Strategic Review Vol. 1, No. 2 (Summer 1975) as a fighting-man sub-class, in an article by Joe Fischer.[1]

AD&D 1st edition[]

Rangers appear as a fighter sub-class in the Players Handbook (1e) (1978).

AD&D 2nd edition[]

The ranger appears in the AD&D 2nd edition Player's Handbook (2e) (1989).

The PHBR11 The Complete Ranger's Handbook (1993) added new class options for the ranger, including the beastmaster and warden.

D&D 3rd edition[]

Rangers are one of 11 character classes introduced in the Player's Handbook (3.0) (2000), and returning in the Player's Handbook (3.5) (2003).

Unearthed Arcana (3e) (2004) presented two ranger variants: the planar ranger and the urban ranger. Complete Warrior (2003) provided a variant ranger without spellcasting abilities.

D&D 4th edition[]

The ranger appears in the Player's Handbook (4e) (2008).

They returned in Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms (2010) with the hunter and scout builds.

D&D 5th edition[]

The ranger is one of 12 classes appearing in the Player's Handbook (5e) (2014).

At level 3, rangers select an archetype which customizes the class further. The archetypes detailed in the Player's Handbook are the Hunter and the Beast Master. Xanathar's Guide to Everything (2017) adds three more archetypes: the Gloom Stalker, the Horizon Walker, and the Monster Slayer.

Creative origins[]

The ranger was inspired by characters such as Aragorn from the Lord of the Rings novels.


  1. The Strategic Review Vol. 1, No. 2 (Summer 1975).