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I'm playing a Ranger in a Pathfinder campaign. I've been looking over the spell lists, and I'm a bit miffed as to just what spells a Ranger can use - is it limited to only using the Ranger spells list?

If the Ranger can use other spells, how does it "learn" them? Can the Ranger keep spells not included in the Ranger spells list in a spellbook?

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No, it is only spells listed on the Ranger spell list. A Ranger typically learns these spells in a manner similar to druids in that they are essentially communing with nature to gain influence over it.

A Ranger's spell list is limited because casting spells is not their forte. They are first and foremost warriors and trackers. The spellcasting is secondary to their nature and mission.

In order to learn any other spells, you would have to take class levels in some other spellcaster class.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah, that makes total sense. Can Rangers read scrolls of spells not from their list? \$\endgroup\$ – fluff_thorrent Oct 20 '14 at 12:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ @fluff_thorrent In regards to every spell not on their spell-list, Rangers (or any spellcaster for that matter) are no different from non-casters, meaning they cannot use items without a Use Magic Device check \$\endgroup\$ – MrLemon Oct 20 '14 at 12:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ Rangers CAN add spells from other classes lists to their own, granted the number of options is really limited but it is possible. \$\endgroup\$ – Mr Tumnus Oct 22 '14 at 4:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MrTumnus Not by default, unless I'm mistaken. Aren't they required to spend feats for that, or otherwise alter the base Ranger build of Pathfinder? \$\endgroup\$ – Zibbobz Oct 22 '14 at 15:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yes these are expanded options but parts of the question were "is it limited to only using the Ranger spells list?" and "If the Ranger can use other spells, how does it "learn" them?" These are options to gain additional spells beyond those offered by the base class, the question never said anything like "with just the base class" or "by default what spells do rangers know" \$\endgroup\$ – Mr Tumnus Oct 22 '14 at 18:06
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Yes, a Ranger can gain additional spells added to their spell list in a Pathfinder only game. The following are only examples I could find, I'm sure there are more.

  • Mystic Past Life (Samsaran Alternate Racial Trait, Advanced Race Guide) - Allows you to add 1 + your caster attribute modifier spells to your class's list, must be the same type i.e divine must choose from divine classes and arcane must choose from arcane.
  • Spell Sight Bracer (Magic Item, Gods and Magic) - Allows you to sacrifice prepared spells to cast Detect Magic.
  • Sahir-Afiyun (Feat, Dark Markets, A Guide to Katapesh) - Adds a ton of spells like Remove Fear, Sleep, and Confusion to your spell list. FYI d20pfsrd doesn't list the full spell list, you need the actual book or a PDF.
  • Corpse Hunter (Ranger Archetype, Undead Slayer's Handbook) - Adds a bunch of undead related spells to your spell list.
  • Demonslayer (Ranger Archetype, Inner Sea Combat) - Adds a bunch of demon related spells to your spell list.
  • Nirmathi Irregular (Ranger Archetype, Inner Sea Magic) - When you prepare spells for the day you may prepare 1 druid spell as if it was on the ranger spell list.
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    \$\begingroup\$ Added more options. I have to say there are quite a few and I'm almost certain there are more out there. \$\endgroup\$ – Mr Tumnus Oct 22 '14 at 5:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ These all require feats, traits, magic items, or additional rulebooks (which may or may not be allowed in a particular group) to modify the Ranger. The base Ranger class cannot learn spells from other classes. Not a big fan of the archetypes myself. Many of them seem somewhat broken or pointless. \$\endgroup\$ – BBlake Oct 22 '14 at 12:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yes but the question never said "Just core" or "Non broken options only" or even "With just the ranger base class" he asked if there was any way to get some new spells with ranger. Just because you're not a fan of these options doesn't mean these aren't valid ways for the OP to add additional spells to the ranger spell list. \$\endgroup\$ – Mr Tumnus Oct 22 '14 at 18:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm a purist, I don't want to 'dilute' my first D&D campaign by using rule altering expansion packs (I'm saving them for when I tire of the game as is). Hence I downvoted this answer, based on the comments dotted about its clear this answer doesn't work on the vanilla game but instead involves rule changes, and an answer that boils down to 'Yes, just change the rules' is really a 'No' which the accepted answer is. Then shook my head at myself, told myself not to take life so seriously and removed my down vote. However, you may want to add clarity that in the base game it is not possible. \$\endgroup\$ – RyanfaeScotland May 29 at 23:28
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As BBlake said Ranger's Spell list is limited due to the Rangers main focus not being spells.

Assuming you are not wanting to multi class the options below are useful.

Thanks to Rob and GoBLiN for showing me some other options. I have added them below

Traits

Two World Magic: Lets you add one 0-level spell from a class that is not your own to your spell list. If your class cannot cast 0 level spells it adds it as a level 1 spell.

Feats

Nature Magic: Grants the spell Know Direction as a spell like ability as well as one other Druid Orison cast-able once per day with your Character Level as Caster Level.

Arcane Talent: Only available to Elves, Half-Elves, and Gnomes. Allows the character to select one 0 level spell from the sorcerer/wizard spell list to cast 3 times a day as a spell-like ability with Character Level as Caster Level.

A Ranger does not use a spellbook like a wizard does so you would not be able to copy anything into a spellbook. A Ranger is more like the cleric where he meditates and receives his spells from a higher power. In the case of the Ranger this is his bond with nature.

Below are some 3.5 feats that you might ask your DM if he/she would allow.

Mother Cyst: From Libre Mortis comes the creepy way to get spells. You grow a cyst and can add necrotic spells to your spell list.

Initiate Feats: This is not a specific feat but is a list of feats from 3.5 that grant various abilities. As the name suggests you become an Initiate and gain access to a limited amount of something depending on the feat.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Arcane Disciple is not really relevant to rangers - as its name suggests, it allows you to choose a domain and "learn to cast the spells associated with that domain as arcane spells." - and rangers cast divine spells. For the same reason, rangers don't have the prerequisite "able to cast arcane spells"... \$\endgroup\$ – G0BLiN Oct 21 '14 at 15:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @G0BLiN Thanks for the correction. For some reason I thought they were arcane casters. \$\endgroup\$ – Aaron Oct 21 '14 at 15:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Aaron In AD&D edition they got both druid and wizard spells, so maybe it was a lingering memory of that. :) \$\endgroup\$ – starwed Oct 21 '14 at 16:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ There's also a new feat in the Advanced Class Guide: Nature Magic gives sense direction and one druid orison, which a ranger probably has anyway, but hey. \$\endgroup\$ – Rob Oct 21 '14 at 16:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ The Arcane Talent feat can grant an elf, half-elf or gnome 3 0-level arcane spells as spell-like abilities usable once per day. \$\endgroup\$ – G0BLiN Oct 21 '14 at 16:42
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To spell it out explicitly, in general, a Ranger can only prepare and cast spells on the ranger list. There might be specific abilities or special rules that break this general rule.

A ranger can activate a scroll, casting the spell from the scroll without having to have it prepared or using any spell slots, if the spell appears on the Ranger list. Rangers do not need to learn spells, and cannot learn spells outside the Ranger list.

This question is answered in the Core rulebook, in the Ranger class description, under the Spells ability.

A ranger may prepare and cast any spell on the ranger spell list, provided that he can cast spells of that level, but he must choose which spells to prepare during his daily meditation.

As a further reference, there is the New Divine Spells and Divine Magical Writing sections of the Magic chapter, which are quite different to the Arcane equivalents.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, but it doesn't answer whether or not a ranger can copy divine or arcane spells from scrolls. \$\endgroup\$ – fluff_thorrent Oct 21 '14 at 9:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ To me it does - there really is no other information needed. But I've expanded the answer. \$\endgroup\$ – YogoZuno Oct 23 '14 at 21:35

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