In our group, we have a certain ranger that isn't too bad at roleplay (given that their background is hermit and they are naturally antisocial), and is a good and valuable player. This player is a tiefling, who according to their hermit backstory, has lived among good - willed giants and helped the tribes fend off demons, which are his 'favored enemy'. However, they say that as a Chaotic Neutral character, they simply cannot blame the demons for their inherent nature, and therefore does not dislike them.

Everyone I have ever talked to or posted on any online discussions of the class has simply assumed that the ranger's favored enemy is one that they hate.

Any discussion I give as an example, including DawnForge's "So you want to play a ranger" (YouTube link) is simply discredited by the player. I need clarification on how to resolve this issue, as hating one's favored enemy is quite literally the central part to a ranger, in my opinion at least.

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    \$\begingroup\$ So...your player refuses to let a bunch of random people on the Internet tell them how to roleplay their character, so you're asking a bunch of random people on the Internet how you can make her listen to random people on the Internet? \$\endgroup\$
    – Miniman
    Commented Oct 24, 2015 at 11:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ No, absolutely not. However, the PHB says (or asks, rather) 'What's the source of your particular hatred of a certain kind of enemy?' I see this as a question with a valid assumption. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 24, 2015 at 11:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ aside from the two of you not seeing eye-to-eye, is there a problem this is causing for your table or your adventure/campaign? Please hone in on that a little more. \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60
    Commented Oct 24, 2015 at 11:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ Not necessarily, however disagreements that slow down gameplay do arise, and this player sometimes instigates them. It is however, more of a 'Druid's WON'T wear metal' question. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 24, 2015 at 11:50

1 Answer 1


If that's the way they want to roleplay their character than why not let them? Why does it matter to you (or anyone else) if they don't "hate" their Favoured Enemy?

The PHB says:

you have significant experience studying, tracking, hunting, and even talking to a certain type of enemy (pg. 91).

Nothing in there says anything about them having to hate that enemy and mechanically the game doesn't care in the slightest so why should you.

The questions posed under the Creating a Ranger section on page 90 are only there to serve as a guide and give the player ideas for things that could be a part of their backstory. They are not a strict code that the player has to incorporate into the backstory of the Ranger they create.

You say they're a good and valuable player who's not too bad at roleplaying so just let them play their character the way they want to.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Absolutely. At my table, a player telling another how to play their character is a massive no-no, and something I stamp down on hard. \$\endgroup\$
    – Wibbs
    Commented Oct 24, 2015 at 11:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ The PHB, on pg. 90, also asks a question under the 'Creating a Ranger' section: 'What's the source of your particular hatred of a certain kind of enemy?' That does talk about hatred. The way the PHB is written, I am lead to believe that the 'prompt' questions asked under the 'Creating a [Class]' section apply to all characters of that class. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 24, 2015 at 11:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ @IlyaDonskikh absolutely--there's mention of hatred in the PHB. I think everyone around here's reading that as fairly mutable, as the difference between hatred, intense study, or admiration wouldn't change any of the mechanics. \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60
    Commented Oct 24, 2015 at 11:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ @IlyaDonskikh It is one of a number of questions posed to help a player construct a back story and a sense of who the character is, not a directive to hate. It is the first of six questions presented to help you build a richer characterization of this ranger. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 24, 2015 at 11:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast if players can simply not answer any of the 'prompt' questions in the PHB, my question is resolved and I am in the wrong. Please tell me if I'm misunderstanding the PHB. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 24, 2015 at 11:54

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