Most Muckrangers are Bayou Punters that chose to become amphibious rangers of the swamp. These ferriers seek to protect the environment from forces that would destroy it, or intervene with elements that would bring harm to its inhabitants. Often, Muckrangers are confused with Heath Rangers, the traditional rangers that patrol the swamp’s perimeter.
Adventures: Muckrangers make for excellent adventuring companions, especially in a wetland. Good aligned Muckrangers offer advice and comfort along the way. Evil Muckrangers adventure to feed their own arrogance, giving lessons about the harshness of nature by camping in the most uncomfortable spots, and possibly robbing these "ignorant interlopers" near the end of the journey. Since most are neutral, they tend to offer their services for a reasonable fee, such as a share of treasure, or a few dozen gold pieces for the trouble of spending weeks guiding and protecting greenhorns through the wetlands.
Characteristics: Muckrangers hate Anthroaches and often select them as a favored enemy. They use their survival skills to avoid detection and find what they are looking for. As with rangers, natural power can be channeled into druidic spells.
Alignment: Muckrangers can be of any alignment, although many are some combination of neutral.
Religion: Muckrangers favor the worship of Marais and honor other deities of nature.
Background: Most Muckrangers learn their skills from others of their kind or Quag Druids. A rare few are self-taught, having been raised in the wilderness and left alone at an early age.
Other Classes: Muckrangers work best when in charge, as it suits their isolated nature. They work well with barbarians, druids, and rangers, as their philosophies are similar. The rest are often tolerated or ignored.
Role: A Muckranger is best at discovering and avoiding natural dangers, as well as scouting. In wildlands, their knowledge of local monsters is essential for their defeat.
Class Features Edit
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Muckrangers are proficient in all simple weapons, as well as the blowstick, throwing club, bolo, net, sling stick, staff, and their favored weapons: the orc double axe and greataxe. Muckrangers are proficient in light armor and tend to wear Mudbug chitin armor (+5 AC), moss-padded giant-toad-hide leather armor (+4 AC), or alligator hide armor (+3 AC), and wooden cypress shields (+2 AC).
Spells: Mechanically, spell use for Muckrangers works the same as for rangers, except Muckrangers receive 0-level druid spells. Otherwise, Muckrangers use standard ranger spells as list in the PHB.
Aquatic Sprint (Ex): Once per day, the Muckranger can take a charge action while swimming underwater by increasing speed to ten times normal swim rate for the duration of the charge.
Bayou Breath (Ex): Constitution score plus class level equals the number of rounds a Muckranger with this ability can hold breath.
Biophony (Ex): A Muckranger with this ability can use the Listen skill to distinguish familiar life forms in a given area by concentrating on the din of the swamp. To identify a creature in the din, the listener must concentrate for 1 round. Success indicates the results are both precise and all inclusive. All creatures making sounds (including false sounds, such as those made by a mockingbird or human mimic) are identified. Success also yields the number of creatures, including creatures that are unidentifiable to the Muckranger. Failure indicates mistakes were made in at least half of the sounds (the game master has discretion as to which sounds) and the total number of creatures cannot be determined. Possessing the Concentration and Listen skill invokes a +2 synergy bonus for a biophony check.
Brachiation (Ex): The Muckranger possessing the Balance skill with at least 8 ranks can travel by swinging from tree branch to tree branch, arm over arm, at a rate of 20 ft. per class level. This mode of travel mimics that of a monkey and must be performed with minimal encumbrance.
Perfect Camouflage (Ex): Within a wetland, a Muckranger with at least 15 Dexterity can become undetectable by sight, smell and hearing, even by darkvision or keen hearing. The Muckranger is effectively invisible as long as there is no movement bigger than a blink or a breath. Even a small amount of movement negates the ability, allowing the ranger to be found using the Spot skill.
Enemy Rage (Ex): This ability works mechanically the same as the rage spell, except that it can only be used against a favored enemy.
Hazardous Travel (Ex): The Muckranger can automatically recognize quicksand, quaking bogs, and other natural swamp hazards. When avoiding such dangers, a Muckranger receives a +4 circumstance bonus to Survival checks. Once identified, a Muckranger can cross quicksand and similar terrain without sinking at half normal speed.
Indiscernible Tracks (Ex): A Muckranger that makes a successful Survival check (DC 5) makes no tracks of any kind across wetlands. Failure indicates the Muckranger has made enough mistakes to allow someone with the Track feat to discover the tracks if successful against DC 10 + Muckranger level.
Pidgin (Ex): A Muckranger with this ability can learn to communicate in a rudimentary fashion with intelligent humanoids and monsters that inhabit wetlands, just by listening to them speak. For each 2 hours of intense listening and observing, the Muckranger can attempt a Concentration skill check against DC 11. Failure indicates another hour of observation and listening is required. Success indicates a basic understanding of the language structure and its most common words. This allows communication of simple concepts. An Intelligence check can be allowed for abstract words and ideas that are difficult to grasp.
Swamp Form (Su): A Muckranger with this ability can take on the appearance and form of a swamp native that is roughly humanoid in form (Lizardfolk, Bayou Halfling, Anthroach, etc.). This ability is similar to the alter self spell, except that it does not allow alteration of clothing or equipment.
Swim Move (Ex): A Muckranger gains a swim rate of 5 ft. per class level.
Tough Skin (Su): Surviving the constant barrage of animal and monster attacks has toughened the skin of a Muckranger and earned some protection imbued by nature. The number of points indicated reduces damage received from blows (PHB Damage Reduction).
Tree Bound (Ex): A Muckranger with this ability can bound up a tree at the speed of 5 ft. per class level, maximum 50 ft..
Water Run (Ex): A Muckranger can run (PHB Run) across 5 ft. of water per class level without breaking the surface tension [similar to the real-world lizard chrisbala cherepo basilisk]. Characters with the Run feat may move an additional +5 ft. synergy bonus distance across the water surface. It is possible to jump at the end of a water run.
Woodland Language (Ex): This hunting language is based on the sounds of wetland animals (buzzes, growls, hisses, chirps, bellows, whistles, hoots, howls, screams, calls, rattles, etc). It can be used to communicate simple ideas, such as direction, distance, time, danger and other similar concepts.