Rangers may be heavy hitters when it comes to adventuring; they're melee-ready, their base attack bonus equals the fighter's, and their saving throws make them quite durable. At 4th-level, they also gain the ability to cast spells, but their spell list can be viewed as a bit limiting. "17 Ranger Spells" adds a few new functional spells to the ranger's spell list. Instead of halfway aping the druid's spell list, the ranger now has some ranger-specific spells that can add to the utility of the class even more so than its class abilities already have.
(The Le Games includes two versions of "17 Ranger Spells" with those download - a printer-friendly version and a landscape version. For purposes of this review, the landscape version has been used.)
"17 Ranger Spells" begins by introducing the Book of the Woodsman, a ranger-specific spell book. Hidden in the woods, this spellbook can only be found by rangers (or the occasional druid if the woodland animals guiding the druid to its location promises to deliver it to a ranger). Resistant to the elements, the book confers no additional benefits to the ranger character unless one of the GM's options is used in your game (the options include granting additional spells per day, granting a 1st level spell to a non-spellcasting ranger or even bestowing upon the character a bonus 10,000 experience points).
The spells are presented according to level. There are four 1st-level spells: "ambidexterity" grants the ranger the benefit of the Two-Weapon Fighting feat (or Improved Two-Weapon Fighting if the character already has the prior feat/ability) as well as a few other benefits to balance and tumble checks); "eyes of the eagle," which improves the ranger's sight and grants him or her additional range with a ranged weapon as well as a bonus to Spot checks; "heal the land" grants all natural creatures (undead are not affected) an immediate hit point of healing within a particular radius of the ranger; and "natural shelter" allows the ranger to create, as the name of the spell states, a natural shelter that can comfortably hold a number of people equal to the ranger's level.
There are also four 2nd-level spells: "detect poacher" allows the ranger to experience the last few moments of a poached animal's life, allowing him or her to identify its killer; "enemy shield" grants the same affect of "invisibility" to a ranger and his or her allies, but in regard to the ranger's favored enemy; "favored strike" grants the ranger a bonus to strike opponents belonging the ranger's favored enemy; and "free animals" returns domesticated or guard animals to a more free-willed state, as well as allows the ranger and his or her allies to be treated as friendly by the animal.
"Borrow animal ability" is the first of the four 3rd-level spells, and it grants the ranger a touched natural animal's ability (speed, climbing ability, etc.); "nature's armory" allows the ranger to turn natural debris (branches, rocks, moss, etc.) into armor and weaponry; "resume decay" works against the magical forces keeping (corporeal) undead creatures from rotting into uselessness, causing 1d6 hit points of damage per ranger level (this spell also affects flesh golems, and, strangely, lycanthropes); and "summon wave" calls upon a water source to cause damage to a ranger's foes, the amount and affect of damage based upon the source of water (a pond may blind up to three opponents whereas a large lake can cause 2d6 hit points of damage and may sweep the opponents into the lake afterward).
A ranger can call out to the animal kingdom for help with "animal assistant," the first of this supplement's five 4th-level spells, by summoning the nearest available natural animal for assistance; "earth's armory" is similar to "nature?s armory," but uses mud and dirt instead of sticks and twigs, and confers a magical enhancement to the created items as well; "enemy slayer" is a powerful spell (castable only by a ranger of 19th-level or higher) that enchants a ranger's weapon so that the next time he or she strikes a favored enemy, that favored enemy must make a Will save or die; "nature's roar" allows the ranger to gather energy from surrounding animals and then use that energy to deliver a massive roar causing 1d6 points of damage per ranger level; and "quicksand" creates permanent quicksand.
The supplement also includes a number of baubles and urus of ancient power, forms of magic items created by The Le Games that can enhance weapons or armor and grant them new abilities. I'm not a fan of the baubles and urus, however, one can immediately tell that many of these are designed for use by the ranger.
Overall, because "17 Ranger Spells" can add new flavor to the ranger by allowing him or her to have access to ranger-specific spells, I would recommend this supplement. Writers Tony DiGerolamo and The Le have crafted some well-balanced spells that would enhance an already powerful player character class without making him or her too overpowered.
LIKED: This is a well-designed supplement, and is incredibly easy to use. Also, that a printer-friendly version and a landscape version of the same material is included is greatly appreciated.
Additionally, The Le Games typically includes applicable material from the System Reference Document in their products. "17 Ranger Spells" concludes with the material for the actual ranger class, and the "ambidexterity" spell includes the material for the Two-Weapon Fighting and Improved Two-Weapon Fighting feats. The more a product eliminates the need to have more than a couple rulebooks at the table, the better.
DISLIKED: I'm not a fan of the baubles or urus, and could have done without them in this supplement.
QUALITY: Very Good
VALUE: Very Satisfied