Monday, December 5, 2011

New X-plorers Class: Space Ranger (part 1)

The Galaxy Needs Space Rangers!
Space Rangers in my Space Pioneers setting function as an arm of the CSC which is working to advance human settlements in space. The CSC (in the current timeframe) is undergoing massive recruitment to fill the shallow ranks of the Ranger Corps. In addition to the usual law enforcement role (protection of the populous and general keeping of the peace), they are having to help with the CSC's cataloging of the galaxy.

It should almost go without saying that this class has more in common with Texas Ranger or Buzz Lightyear types than the similarly named rangers in fantasy RPGs and even airborne rangers in military games. Their missions tend to require a level of administrative and technical skills that make them more akin to an auditor or investigator (a requirement sought of FBI initiates) and a park ranger, in providing knowledge and assistance to settlers who may be in over their heads--and checking up on those who may be up to no good.

Rangers are a Multi-Class Option
Space Rangers are a separate multi-class option for X-plorers, combining characteristics of the Soldier, Technician, and Scout classes, but with a few distinctive touches. Ranger PCs start at level 3 and choose an area of sub-specialization. They are skilled in hand-to-hand combat as well as marksmanship and are trained to rely on raiding tactics and instincts to optimize combat efficiency. In an upcoming post I'll outline the template which includes ideas for available skill tracks, as well as some special abilities.

What Makes them Unique
What differentiates Rangers from Soldiers? Mainly, their M.O. is to see justice prevail, they're not looking to recoup a profit or corporate interests. Many times this mandate can even put them at odds with private sector objectives. This role often requires them to be equal parts spy, detective, and with many skills obviously identical to the X-plorers Soldier. However, Rangers are much more like free-wheeling investigators and independent marshals of the law and less so a straight-up fighting force.

Rangers are a Breed Apart
Due to the varied nature of missions and sparse Ranger population for a given jurisdiction, they're used to working solo or in small groups. While they can operate in a larger force, they typically are assigned to smaller task forces (as the only Ranger) or partnered with someone who complements—rather than mirrors—their own abilities. There is a great need in the galaxy for fresh Ranger recruits to fill these vital roles for securing the galaxy—are you up to the challenge?

  • This post includes some previously unpublished notes I've long meant to post and I thought it a fitting preface before I delved into the class itself.
  • This post is part a series of Space Ranger class posts. It assumes familiarity with the X-plorers science fiction role-playing game rules, which can be found at Brave Halfling.
UPDATE: Part 2 (the nitty gritty)


  1. Nice post & very cool stuff! Very fitting stuff!

  2. I don't see how you can resist using a picture of Buzz Lightyear in this. The temptation would overwhelm me.

  3. I did a thing many years ago about the Space Rangers and their history and function, and how they were considered outmoded and unnecessary, and had been superseded by the Patrol--and how they still took the occasional odd case and saved the day, while battling funding cuts and obsolete equipment. It was intended for GURPS but much could be applied to any system. I liked the idea of a small organization of tough individualists having to make do with confiscated spacecraft and a sponsoring government that occasionally forgets they exist. Interested in seeing it?

    1. That's a cool concept. I originally wrote these guys to be operating in an era of expansion and budding resources (a space pioneer setting). The way they currently operate in my Rad Astra setting is closer to what you describe: run down, last bastion of law in the galaxy. If you've got a post up on them, feel free to link here!

      Thanks for your comments Paul!