I know it's cheating, that's two classes, but I've always been enthralled by the idea of wielding both sword and sorcery. It's the name of the genre and from there many derivations of the theme arose, might and magic, swords and wizardry, wizards and warriors. I want to do a little of both. I don't expect to be great at either, but hopefully (system willing, but not always the case) the two disparate parts meld together into a capable whole, something greater than the sum of their limited components.
by William O'Connor
In systems where this is not possible or easily feasible, I often tend towards the half-casters such as paladins, rangers, or bards. A battle cleric can sometimes fill this mold, as can druid-types. Currently playing a Ranger in 2E, haven't reached the level where I get spells, but having a blast either way.
Rangers in this regard may be a bit of a rough gem for this archetype. Even if they're not quite mechanically up to the task of being 'gishy' all of the time in all of the game versions, some of the older sources gives them arcane spell access and this has carried on to some of the retro games.
Read the Ranger write-up in Swords & Wizardry Complete. Now that is some stimulating reading just for a class entry. Some games gives them a spin as down-to-earth woodsmen and hunters, archers, skirmishers, or physical combat-oriented whirlwinds. I see plenty of precedence for variants to go the other way, a more mystical skill set to fit with their mysterious ways, a direction that shouldn't be neglected in favor of making them just another warrior class. Not that there's anything wrong with warrior-rangers.
|We are Rangers.|
We walk in the dark places no others will enter.
We stand on the bridge, and no one may pass.
We live for the One, we die for the One.
That's like three or four classes under discussion.
We're also crossing genres.
Told you this would break the rules.