Tag: Class

D&D Classing it Up: Sorcerer

D&D Classing it Up: Sorcerer

We’re getting down to it — three more classes to play in a classy way. The first is that of a Sorcerer, and the other two are magical as well. Sorcerer is one of my favorite classes, though I’ve never played one. What I like […]

D&D Classing It Up: Rogue

D&D Classing It Up: Rogue

Back to the drawing board with Rogues — today we’re talking about how to play a rogue and be a classy one in Dungeons & Dragons. Most of the time, people play one of two types of Rogues — first is the assassin rogue. You’re […]

D&D Classing it Up: Ranger

D&D Classing it Up: Ranger

The Ranger class is an interesting one to look at. Mechanically and thematically speaking, so many people see a ranger as someone who is out in the middle of nowhere leading Hobbits (…I mean, halflings) around and making sure that they don’t get killed. However, in terms of actually playing a game of D&D, having a character like that who is a bit of a loner and is focused on exploring or travel isn’t all that interesting. The most interesting parts of the game are the interactions and combat, and while there are versions of the Ranger class that are better at that now, there still is a lot of focus on exploration within the base skills of the class.

Image Source: Wizards

Now, as a Dungeon Master (DM), you can focus more on survival, tracking, and exploring if you have a Ranger in your party. And as a player, you can play a ranger who is interested in or focused on either combat or social interactions; it’s just a bit trickier to do than with some other classes that also have the capacity for adding survival skills. The team at Wizards of the Coast updated the ranger class so that this character type is a bit more effective, and have created a new version of the class that’s available online, as the version of the ranger class offered in the Player’s Hand Book (PHB) is weaker than basically any other class. Where you can really get some strength out of the ranger is when you are in a campaign in which you have a specific type of creature/villain that you fight a lot. For example, if you’re facing off against Goblins, you can become a ranger who is an expert at tracking, finding, and killing them.

Image Source: Geek & Sundry

My piece of caution for the ranger class is to not play the Lone Ranger. As a player, you have the responsibility to give your character a reason to be with the party. And as a DM, it’s my responsibility to keep that reason there — or, if it is removed in some way (say you needed help killing the Goblin King and that’s been accomplished), then as DM and player, we need to work together to create a new or re-worked reason for you to stay around. On the other hand, there’s always the option to retire the character once their purpose or arc is fulfilled — if the time comes, the DM can determine that it would be best to allow the player to retire their character and roll up a new one. Some people might find a character switch to be a lot of fun, which is what we’re about when playing.

Now that we’ve talked about the standard features of this character type, let’s look at some different backstory possibilities for a Ranger character:


You grew up in the wild country with your nomadic tribe. Compared to many of them, whom you’d consider barbarians, you were always interested in society, and whenever you went to a town, you’d converse with the people and learn about them. When you got older, you realized you knew something that most other people didn’t — you knew the wild country, and you could create maps to sell and help people find their way through the wilderness. There’s a ring of mountains you’ve seen in the distance, and you want to be able to map it as well. However, everyone tells you that it’s too dangerous, and that no one has ever mapped it before. But you’ve found a group to travel with, and maybe if you work with them long enough, you can get them to help you map out that area.


As a child growing up in the streets of a small town, playing with friends, you never expected your life to change too drastically. But then, goblins attacked your village, and you were barely able to escape. You went to the city for a while, but when you were older and heard of another goblin attack back in your home county, you needed to go back and take care of the goblins. You spent time visiting there and learning everything you could about the goblins. Now you’re ready to kill the Goblin King. You need help, though — if only you could find some others as strong as you are.


For decades, you’ve been the protector of the realms, keeping the planes of existence separate. It’s a solitary lifestyle, and you’d grown used to it. Then, more and more planar portals started opening, and creatures started showing up. This is something bigger than what you can handle. You’ve tried to stem the flow of creatures and monsters, but you’re going to need help. And that means that, after so long, you’re going to have to be around people again. You’re going to have to open yourself up again and pray that it doesn’t end up with you getting hurt like last time.


Life was great — you were a guide for big game hunters, and you loved it. You knew where creatures lived and how to hunt them. But one horrible day, you watched as all of the the members of a well-paying party were killed while hunting a monster. There wasn’t anything you could have done to save them, but it ruined your reputation, and what you saw haunts you to this day. Now you need to rebuild your reputation, and you need help tracking down that monster before more hapless big game hunters try and fail to conquer it.


Have you had a chance to play a Ranger before? What was your reason for staying with the party?


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D&D Classing it Up: Paladin

D&D Classing it Up: Paladin

We’re getting back into the lawful good style of D&D. My number one piece of advice is, don’t play lawful stupid. That’s no fun for you, and it just makes the game itself less fun for everyone else. Unless you play it so far over […]

D&D Classing it Up: Fighter

D&D Classing it Up: Fighter

Ready for a Holiday Fight, we come back with one more post, this time on playing a fighter. A fighter is often considered the most boring of classes but one that is really wide open. A fighter seems pretty bland because they are just a […]

D&D Classing it up: Druid

D&D Classing it up: Druid

Getting back to a classier note, it’s time to class it up some more with Dungeons & Dragons. This time, we’re going to look at how you might want to play a druid.

Image Source: Wizards

One thing I want to mention first about all of these classes is that playing against type, as I sometimes suggest, is going to be for your more roleplay-focused player versus a more combat-focused player. The reason I want to call it out is because the first example of a druid player I want to mention is Torin from our Dungeons & Flagons podcast. He is not your typical druid in some ways — his background is that of a soldier, and he’s not the hippie-granola character that’s common for this class. Yes, he is a pacifist in a sense, but still has to fight against the urges to destroy.

With that idea out of the way, what is a druid? Most of the time, they are that hippie or granola type I mentioned. They love Mother Earth and all creatures upon it that aren’t humans, elves, dwarves, gnomes, etc. (who are probably messing up the land). A druid is often connected to a specific grove or glade that they watch over, and often, their impetus for going exploring is that something is happening to their grove or something is threatening it, so they have to keep whatever it is from happening. People often play druids as lone ranger types (as compared to playing a ranger who likes to be alone, which would be a lone ranger ranger).

Image Source: D&D Beyong

Mechanically speaking, druids are spellcasters first and shape-changers second. All druids have the ability to shape-change into various beasts, and this is the feature that normally draws people to the druid. Being able to change into a bear and then run through bad guys seems cool. It isn’t a super-effective means of combat, but can be used well at times (especially for humorous effect). Also, druids tend not to be focused, traditionally anyway, on charisma. Their spell-casting ability is based on wisdom, and with the lone ranger archetype that most people think of for druids, they wouldn’t be too used to conversing with humanoids, so it makes a lot of sense.

Now that we have our framework in mind, let’s look at some possible backstories you could use for a druid character:

Growing up in the city, you always felt a connection to nature — the rats running around, the pigeons that would sit in the market trying to find scraps. When you got older, you ventured out into the country, and you loved it there. The fresh air, the creatures running everywhere — you found that you belonged in nature. However, as you spent time in the country, it laid heavily on your heart that there were some people from the city you grew up in who never got to really see nature. Finding a patron back in the city you had come from, you created a druid grove so that all people could come visit and see what matters so much to you, but now your patron has passed away, and his heir isn’t willing to support you anymore. If you want to keep your little bit of nature alive in the city, you’re going to have to find a way to support yourself.


Your people’s calling was to protect the island you grew up on. There were amazing creatures there that weren’t found anywhere else in the world. One day, however, strange ships showed up to your island. You and your people hid, but these humans had come on a mission to search out exotic creatures, and even cut down some of your trees. What could you do? These people weren’t peaceful like your tribe; they weren’t living in harmony with nature. One day, they left, and things seemed to get back to normal — until you saw more ships on the horizon. They came again and again, and finally, you knew what you had to do. Stowing away aboard one of the ships, you sailed back to the mainland to see if you could find a way to stop this and people who would help.


You don’t remember what your parents looked like. There are blurs of what could have been them, and you remember hearing screams. You were just a baby when they were killed. Out all alone by yourself in the woods, you wouldn’t have made it if it weren’t for a kindly wolf who had taken you in. Or that is what you had thought at first — in reality, the wolf was the druid who would raise you and keep you safe as you grew up. Now she is old, and you are tasked with keeping her safe. However, there are goblins raiding in the woods and cutting down trees. What will you do about it? Your mother told you to find help in the outside world, but how do you do that? What is the outside world even like?


Share questions, ideas for articles, or comments with us!

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D&D Classing it Up: Cleric

D&D Classing it Up: Cleric

Cleric is an interesting class to look at. Whereas with a Paladin there is a built in assumption that you are going to be good, with a cleric, you can be a cleric of an evil deity. However, with a cleric, you do have to […]

D&D Classing It Up: The Bard

D&D Classing It Up: The Bard

Now that you’ve gotten to know your nerds, I’ve decide to class things up in this joint a little bit. I’m going to be talking about the different classes of D&D and how you might want to play them, or what it might look like […]