Wandering Judge (Ranger)


Round 2: Design an archetype

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka Darkjoy

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Wandering Judge (Ranger)
The wild lands of the River Kingdoms know no common law, only the Six River Freedoms.
Wandering judges are rangers that police the far stretching countryside of the various River Kingdoms. The six freedoms guide and ultimately empower their judgments and pursuits. Wandering judges track down thieves and slay slavers as they travel from one kingdom to another. Wandering judges uphold the law of the land or choose to travel further if that law does not agree with them. Their word is their bond and they are not afraid to speak their minds.

A few wandering judges serve in the Black Eagles of Lambreth, some are knights of Touvette and others protect fledgling Liberthane.

Class Skills: A wandering judge gains Sense Motive as a class skill.
Manhunter (Ex): At 1st level, a wandering judge must select humanoid (human) as his favored enemy.
Sound Judgment (Ex): At 1st level, a wandering judge gains a +2 bonus on Sense Motive checks. This ability replaces wild empathy.
Posse (Ex): At 4th level, if the wandering judge chooses to bond with his companions, he can, as a move action, grant half his favored enemy bonus against a single target of the appropriate type to all allies within 30 feet who can see or hear him. This bonus lasts for a number of rounds equal to the wandering judge’s Wisdom modifier (minimum 1). This bonus does not stack with any favored enemy bonuses possessed by his allies; they use whichever bonus is higher. At 10th level, this ability allows a wandering judge to grant half his judgment’s sacred or profane bonus to all allies within 30 feet. This ability alters the hunter's bond class feature.
Law of the Land (Su): At 5th level, a wandering judge gains the ability to pronounce judgment, as the inquisitor class feature, but his inquisitor level is considered to be his ranger level –4. This replaces the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th favored enemy abilities.
Justice (Ex): At 11th level, whenever a wandering judge uses his judgment ability, he selects two different judgments, instead of one. This only consumes one use of his judgment ability. As a swift action, a wandering judge can change one of these judgments to another type. This ability replaces the quarry ability.
Greater Justice (Ex): At 19th level, whenever a wandering judge uses his judgment ability, he selects three different judgments, instead of just two. This only consumes one use of his judgment ability. As a swift action, a wandering judge can change one of these judgments to another type. This ability replaces the improved quarry ability.

The Exchange Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

Congratulations, Maurice, on breaking into the Top 32! The Wandering Judge as a badass Ranger is an interesting archetype that makes a clean break away from the nature-boy side of Ranger heritage, and that makes it interesting. It's also another one of our somewhat Western-themed archetypes, as we also have the Lonesome Rider Gunslinger archetype. Sometimes certain themes invite comparison.

In this case, I think you come off well in the comparison. I like this archetype quite a bit as a judge archetype with inquisitor overtones, and the requirement to choose human as a favored enemy is both amusing and a good decision for a ranger in this line of work. Mostly, this is going to be compared to the Adjudicator archetype, and I think this comes across fairly well.

The multiple judgements mechanic is interesting. I was a bit skeptical on first read, but I think it works, and giving up quarry is an attack ability traded for an attack ability.

Nice work on this archetype! Your work is up to a high standard, and I'd recommend this archetype to advance.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

Manhunter: I recommended against this sort of limitation in my archetype advice thread. Limiting a player's choice to one option is generally not a fun thing for the player (or, if the player was already going to pick that, it's not a limitation).

Sound Judgement: I see where you're going with this, but a ranger already gets a Sense Motive bonus against his favored enemy, and the +2 isn't exactly something most characters are going to crave.

Posse: This is really two abilities.
1) Standard hunter's bond (companions). And if you don't choose "companions" for your 4th-level ability, this does nothing for you.
2) This modifies your inquisitor-esque judgment ability so you can lend your bonuses to allies.
Until level 10, when #2 kicks in, this works exactly like the standard ranger class ability.

Law of the Land: Swaps an inquisitor ability for additional favored enemies. Sure... but if you're going to bond with your companions, take favored enemy (human), and give up your other favored enemies for judgments, why not play an inquisitor? Why not make this an inquisitor archetype that gives up something to get favored enemy and the hunter's bond?

Archetypes that blend class abilities are useful for players who don't want to commit to multiclassing—they're functional, but not innovative. I don't see anything new and exciting in this archetype. I was hoping for more than just borrowing or slightly altering abilities from another class.

I do NOT recommend this archetype for advancement.

Founder, Legendary Games & Publisher, Necromancer Games, RPG Superstar Judge

Initial impression: Another judicial theme! I love the idea of this archetype. I think, as Wolf says, adding some inquisitor to the hippy nature boy image of the Ranger is a great idea. I guess I get why Wolfgang says "western" theme but I don't really see it the same. I think this is 100% badass. I guarantee if Paizo got freelancers to routinely turn in content this good and polished they would be dancing all day long.

This is a very good, very polished entry for Round 2 of Superstar, in my view. The weakest part is the name, in my view. You could have found something more evocative than wandering judge. But that's a nit pick.

Strongly Recommended.

Dedicated Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9

Congrats! I must say this was nothing like I expected from the name and I'm not very familiar with judgments so I can't comment on that part of your archetype. Good luck.


I like the idea but it has some flaws:

Posse, as Sean mentioned works like regular ranger bond until 10th level. However, because the archetype has only one favored enemy it is less useful than in case of regular ranger.

I think that the archetype would work better if you do go with replacing favored enemy with judgement from the first level and worked with this.

I am on the fence with that. Gets a dot instead of outright reject.

Quote:
Sound Judgement: I see where you're going with this, but a ranger already gets a Sense Motive bonus against his favored enemy, and the +2 isn't exactly something most characters are going to crave.

Actually I'd took an extra +2 to Sense Motive over Wild Empathy some 3/4th of time or more, unless I'd play character specifically good with animals/ Even then I would often gladly replace wild empathy with something else.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Locke1520

First of all I can't help but want to say "I am the law," but that might be because I work in a video store and Dredd just came out...I digress.

I'm on the fence on this one I feel like choices have been needless taken out of the Player's hands...do elves, dwarves, halflings, and other races not need to be punished for their transgressions? I would have prefered a line about recommended favored enemies. And Sean's observations about the posse ability also worries me on this front.

As for the archetype feeling wild west? I don't think it's too problematic...less so than the gunslinger class. I'll definitely need to check back in with this entry once I've read more archetypes.

Congratulations on making the Top 32 and good luck this round.

Star Voter Season 6

Drejk wrote:
However, because the archetype has only one favored enemy it is less useful than in case of regular ranger.

I would comment to the contrary that it's usefulness is enhanced, and thus that flaw offset, by the enemy being set to a rare type: humanoid (human) - a common foe in Pathfinder adventures and the River Kingdoms.

Definite Dogs In The Vineyard vibe going on, rather than a generic wild west.

Your mechanics are decent and names thematic, but overall I'm only convinced this is 'alright'.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 8 aka nate lange

well written, good use of template; obvious knowledge of the setting.

i think you put together a pretty balanced template. you probably could have limited favored enemy to "any humanoid" instead of just humans without any unbalancing, but as a GM i wouldn't be worried about anything here if this was published as is. that said, i do agree with Sean that combining features from two classes isn't very exciting.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

I'm not sure I feel the mojo here... giving inquisitor abilities and doing some slight tweaking left me waiting for a more exciting finish, but it never came. I feel as though I missed the punchline that tells me what makes this archetype more special than just a ranger who swaps out a few things for inquisitor abilities.

Anyway, good luck in round 2, Maurice!

Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Clouds Without Water

My plan is to comment on all 32 archetypes. We'll see if I make it!

I will give general impressions, but with 3 areas of particular focus that suit my personal interests. Archetype and feat names: do they show flare? How closely tied to the River Kingdom is the archetype? And last but certainly not least, do I want to play this archetype?

Archetype and feat names: Above average. The names all evoke the intent of the archetype, though I do agree a sexier name than Wandering Judge would have been ideal.

River Kingdom tie: Above average. Not a completely RK only archetype, but one that arises from the features of the region.

Desire to play: Fairly strong. This archetype is well-considered and carefully written. Not completely thrilled about limiting favored enemies, but as a tradeoff for judgments it seems reasonable. I think the reason this isn't an Inquisitor-with-Ranger-abilities is because the native Ranger abilities suit the pursuit of this idea better *in the RK* than native Inquisitor abilities. There could be some fun here in pursuing the lawbreakers across the countryside.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Champion Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka GM_Solspiral

Good: Class mash-ups usually make me smile and mechanically what you did here was extremely smart. Template is well written.
Bad: Name is awful
Ugly: I'm probably not alone in my utter dislike of the inquisitor, adding the flavor of my least favorite class to one of my favorites isn't going to vote.
Overall: Not likely to vote on this.

Scarab Sages Dedicated Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7

I am really happy to see that I need to chose and re-chose this year to bring my list of 'ooohhh - looking good' entries down to those eight I can actually vote for, so I want to say: thanks to all competitors for providing a good chunk of fun looking archetypes.

Since I am a bit short on time this month, I will only comment on the Items I voted for.

On the plus side: The entry is well written and very flavorful. I see why some could see a western flavor, Idon't (blame it on me being European). The ablities fit the theme and seem to be well balanced-

On the bad side: It takes the ranger pretty close to the Inquisitor and it doesn't see that a 'pure' inquisitor would fit the job description any less.

Overall, I liked it enough to vote for it.

Good luck with the rest of the contest.


It's not my favorite but I like seeing an archetype for the ranger that is more party friendly. Overall solid so I'm liking it.

Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

I am the Gatekeeper, are you the Trapmaster?

It's Darkjoy. His terrible machinations have been killing PCs since 2010 over at the Kobold Warren!

You know what I like? This doesn't go all angry loner on the class, like the ranger and inquisitor so often do. It encourages the party to work together, and although it's very facesmash oriented, I think it's got style. :) You've got me in until they throw you back in the Warren, sir!

-Ben.

Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 9

Unfortunately, I don't like this archetype. It's got good flavor, but the problem is that it's inquisitor flavor, not ranger flavor. This is really an archetype that allows you to play a 75% inquisitor, 25% ranger - something I could even guess from the name, as I kept thinking this should be the name of an inquisitor archetype.

Ultimately, I think it's alright rules-wise, but this probably could have been done a lot better as an inquisitor gaining a few ranger abilities (after all, you already restrict the ranger here) and maybe one new and interesting one. I think it doesn't quite live up right to what it is.

Good luck this round, and future rounds, if you make it!

Scarab Sages Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

I like the idea of a posse...however...traditionally a posse was temporary...so it would have been cool to have that grant temporary Leadership feat...with boon companion affecting them.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka theheadkase

An inquisitor ranger. Kudos for trying to swing away!

I'm not really wowed. Why wouldn't I just play an Inquisitor? I just don't see this theme fitting a Ranger...which is what you are going for. You are trying to shoehorn the Inquisitor into a Ranger, which in this case just doesn't work for me. I kept thinking to myself...Inquisitor...Inquisitor...nothing here really screams ranger. It just doesn't click with me. I'm not seeing the badassery, especially when compared to the Water Snake ranger.

I do NOT recommend.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka JoelF847

I have to agree with Sean on this 100%. This just is a multiclass substitute, and doesn't really innovate in any way. Some of the powers just were limitations, which aren't really that limiting playing this type of character, or a non adjustment to hunter's bond until 6 levels later.

I really liked the intro paragraph, tying a ranger to the river freedoms (which was what I would have submitted this round if I'd made it), but then you only loosely keep that theme, none of the powers really tie to the river freedoms at all.


Maurice de Mare wrote:

Wandering Judge (Ranger)

The wild lands of the River Kingdoms know no common law, only the Six River Freedoms.
Wandering judges are rangers that police the far stretching countryside of the various River Kingdoms. The six freedoms guide and ultimately empower their judgments and pursuits. Wandering judges track down thieves and slay slavers as they travel from one kingdom to another. Wandering judges uphold the law of the land or choose to travel further if that law does not agree with them. Their word is their bond and they are not afraid to speak their minds.

A few wandering judges serve in the Black Eagles of Lambreth, some are knights of Touvette and others protect fledgling Liberthane...

Disclaimer:

In case you missed it in the first round, Ask A RPGSupersuccubus is posting from the [obviously Abyssal] perspective of a CE aligned succubus:
Spoiler:
Fairness is something about skin-tone; balance is probably to do with properly managing one’s hair; and logic is one of those things which you could swear is there when you rattle the piggybank, but when the shoemaker needs paying the contents turn out to be three dead moths and a fortnight old shopping list. (Oh well, that’s what paladins are there for – paying for the soles of damsels in distress.)
;)

Would you want this person sitting next to you as a guest at a formal evening dress dinner party?
Umm, speaking as a succubus, that depends on what their stance on law actually is. If they're an up-tight 'I will enforce the law to the strict letter' type of person, then the evening is unlikely to end happily for at least one party involved. If they're more of a 'the law just happens to be a convenient justification for me to do approximately what I want' type of person, then they're likely to be more interesting and tolerable a dinner-party companion.

How effective a flower-picker does this person seem likely to be?
Quite effective - and what's more they're likely operating on a daily basis in an environment where flowers are (relatively) abundant.

Could you hire one person like this to do a better job than one other trained mercenary and/or to do the jobs of two (or more) other trained mercenaries?
On the basis of what's said here, I'm inclined to suspect not. Then again, I do happen to be an Abyssal lady (with connections) and it's conceivable that others lacking the fortune to be quite so well placed might find a 'wandering judge' handy for getting rid of annoying humans.

Other comments?
I'm slightly surprised that persons described as 'going after thieves and slavers', once one goes examining the nitty gritty of their operations as described here, don't apparently go specifically after thieves and slavers at all - but just happen to be geared up to be potentially prejudiced against humans generally. Whilst, as a succubus, I can certainly empathise with having some days where one wants to kill absolutely any human (absent 'protected' trades such as decent hairdressers, shoemakers, dressmakers and attractive paladins) there are certainly plenty of slavers of dwarven, elven, halfling, orc, and other non-human races around in need of a thorough killing (after taking any steps necessary to make sure that their souls aren't going to feed the armies of Hell, of course).
I'm a bit ambivalent about 'wandering judges' on the basis of what's presented here, and as a succubus, I'd go for giving them three out of five when it comes to rating desirability.

Further Disclaimer:
Ask A RPGSupersuccubus would like to clarify that mortal voters should probably rely on more than just her own (impeccable) assessments in making up their minds on how to vote. Whilst ‘A RPGSupersuccubus made me vote for it’ is flattering to said (very advanced) succubus, it’s a bit of a wriggle-out from free-will. Thank You.

Note: Oh, yes, and read the disclaimers if you didn’t already do so.

Further Note: Reviews this year are being very tightly rationed due to shortage of scribe time. Blatant favouritism (or whatever the reverse is) will thus be shown in selecting submissions for review.

Grand Lodge Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8

There seem to be a couple of instances of this idea, but a lack of support from the established setting that puzzles me. Posse seems to lack consideration of the animal companion option.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka Darkjoy

Hi,

First, I’d like to thank you all for the comments. I might not agree with them all (laughs), but they are appreciated!

Second, if you voted for me, you have my thanks and I hope to reward that trust in round 3.


What you really could have done with was a way to have 'favoured enemy: slaver or thief', only I suspect there would have been a problem with hitting the word count with that with any clearly defined rule... ;)

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8 aka DeathQuaker

I liked this one, and seeing the combo of Inquisitor and Ranger into one makes sense the way it's done.

I thought "Manhunter" could be expanded to any choice of humanoid.

I feel like Posse should just disallow taking an animal companion.

Good luck.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka Darkjoy

Wow, I made top 16!

Once again, thanks if you voted for me.

It’s somewhat difficult to explain my surprise at this moment, I actually expected that the wandering judge wouldn’t get me to the top 16; it was my first archetype ever and the competition is very strong.

So, wow again.

Thank you

Dark Archive RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 9

Maurice de Mare wrote:

Wow, I made top 16!

Once again, thanks if you voted for me.

It’s somewhat difficult to explain my surprise at this moment, I actually expected that the wandering judge wouldn’t get me to the top 16; it was my first archetype ever and the competition is very strong.

So, wow again.

Thank you

De Mare has de Right Stuff!

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 7

This is like the Inquisitor I tried to stat up for this round but couldn't get anywhere with. I'm glad someone was able to do it and do it well. I actually had the idea from a snippet of dialog that popped into my head when I was brainstorming.

My rough draft wrote:
"There are six freedoms of the River Kingdoms. Only six. That's not too hard to remember, is it? But in your quest for power, you managed to forget four of them. Maybe now you can ponder which one it was that actually brought me after you. I'd list them all for you now, but you'll have the rest of your life to think about it on the way down to the riverbed."

Campy, maybe, but it got me typing for a while. I thought about using that quote for flavor text, but I think that might have taken it a bit too far, since my due diligence showed me that not a single other archetype in publication had a quote block.

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