[RPG] Is the alignment conflict in the Ranger/Druid multiclass combination evidence of an error


In 2nd Edition D&D, it mentions in the Player's Handbook that Half-Elves can multiclass as Ranger/Druid. This is a contradiction with the alignment rules, stating that a Ranger must be Good and a Druid must be True Neutral. The book never elaborates on this further, leaving the reader to wonder if this was a typo, or whether certain special exceptions occur.

Is it possible that such a character can exist as either True Neutral or Neutral Good? Perhaps they are the precursors to the Druids of 3rd Edition, who are allowed to be any Non-Corner Alignment, thus allowing for Neutral Good to be the only acceptable option? Perhaps it's just a mistake in the book, and this class combination is completely bogus?

Edit: After some consideration, I would like to keep this question open. A major facet of the question is the original intent behind this text. Separate of the eventual ruling, whether made by errata, retcon, or supplemental material, the question still remains on whether this was a typo at the time of the printing of the PHB. While this might be difficult to determine, the presence, or lack thereof, of references to the race/class combination or of similar characters from around the time that 2nd Edition began may serve as proof in either direction.

Best Answer

Not A Typo, Gary Said So

Gary Gygax wrote an article in Dragon magazine #96 about the Ranger/Druid multi-class ("New jobs for demi-humans - Dwarven clerics, elven rangers, and that's not all...", April 1985), and Frank Mentzer wrote a follow-up ("All about the druid/ranger - A classy explanation, better late than never", Dragon #100). As AD&D 2e was then published in 1989, I think it's clear that the ranger/druid therein was not a "typo" but was derived specifically from the ideas of those venerable authors. Perhaps @ExTSR can elaborate for us?

Anyway, Gary establishes the appropriate alignment of a Druid/Ranger as Neutral Good therein: "Though the druid/ranger is permitted in the AD&D game rules, an alignment conflict is obviously present. But the combination is equally obviously logical; both classes are woodland-oriented. Then again, why should high-level rangers gain druid spells, even when their alignments are radically different from those of the deities who grant such spells? First, allow this multi-class combination only for characters of the Neutral Good alignment."

Followup info: The Complete Ranger’s Handbook, p. 79, gives guidelines for playing such characters: A Nature deity of good alignment must exist whose specialty priests are all druids. This priesthood must ally with a group of rangers. Any half-elf druid/ranger must obey the level limits for demihumans (DMG, p. 15), making it unlikely for the character to compete for high levels of druidic power. The druid/ranger’s multiple interests antagonize conservative druids, and the character usually suffers from divided loyalties.