Roleplaying Tips: How to be a Ranger in Seven Easy Lessons

“All right—Listen up!” Ranger Sergeant Riley Quinn faced the new recruits. “You all passed your physical, mental, and psychological screening—such as it is,” she said. “We’ve covered—and will continue to cover—law, unarmed and armed combat, emergency first aid, and all that. Right now I want to talk about something much more important. About how to be more than just a cop. It’s about being a Ranger. Not everyone here will get it, and until you do, you’ll never really fit in. It takes a while. Most of you will be really, really experienced before it will really sink in. When it does, the job will start to make sense. Well, at least most of the time.”

“You’ve studied the regulations. The Patrol is heavily into regulations. We Rangers have something more. These are the seven unwritten laws of the Space Rangers. It’s a big universe, and there aren’t as many of us as there should be. The Senate keeps wanting to shut us down, or make us part of the Patrol. They didn’t this year. Two years from now, who knows? It doesn’t matter. While the Rangers exist, follow these seven rules.”

1. Always get your sentient being

“Were law officers. That’s what we do. If there’s a suspect or escapee, and you’re on his trail, get him. You don’t give up when it gets hard. Believe it or not, when people believe were going to get them, eventually, they’re less likely to try to kill you. They know we’ll get them and they’ll pay. It’s also about just doing your job.”

2. Take care of your own

“You know to watch your partners back. That’s just the beginning. Your fellow Rangers are your brothers and sisters. If a Ranger’s having a tough time, you’re there for him. You never leave a wounded comrade behind. You visit them in the hospital. You always recover the body, if there is one. No widow of a Ranger has ever gone hungry, and if a Ranger dies leaving kids behind, those kids always go to college, if they choose to. There’s a darker side too. If one of your fellow Rangers goes bad, it is your sacred responsibility to bring him in. Dead or alive. If he’s gone over, then we have to bring him in. No one else. That’s another way of taking care of our own. We cant let a bad Ranger off. That wouldn’t be taking care of all the straight Rangers.”

3. Hold the line

“We represent law, and civilization, and a lot of good things. Hold the line. Never let it be said that things got worse in your sector while you were there. make them better. If that’s not working, at least hold the line.

4. Use enough gun

“The decks stacked against us as it is. Plan ahead, and make sure you have enough firepower—and other equipment—to achieve your mission. Just don’t get soft and rely on it.”

5. Never let the Patrol get the last laugh

“They have shiny uniforms and lot of equipment. They have those fancy academies, and a budget hundreds of times bigger than ours, and they’re always being voted more money. There are six different video shows about them right now. But if it hadn’t been for us, the Commonwealth wouldn’t have been able to establish the Patrol. We were holding the line—hell, drawing it—long before them. Were not military, were under budgeted, but don’t ever believe we don’t count. Do your job better than they do theirs.”

6. Remember what side you’re on

“Were the good guys. That can be frustrating. The instant you start beating people up or cutting corners, or taking gifts or money to ignore minor infractions, and telling yourself it’s okay because the bad guys get all the breaks, you’re not A Ranger anymore. You’re a crook, and we’ll get you.”

7. Remember the Tradition

“There’s a long line of Rangers before you. They gave up a lot to do the job: marriages, careers, their lives. Just remember them, and act accordingly.”