Posted August 24, 2015
Sure, it takes time, and the mageling will be very weak (yet still retain the Ranger HP pool they had gained earlier), but they just become silly powerful later on. They are essentially the Eldritch Knight prestige class from D&D 3.X, but with even fewer casting restrictions.
Edit: Technically, a Ranger could be dual classed to Mage at any point after level 1, however it should be only be done after the Ranger can cast mage spells on his/her own if one intends to take advantage of the mage-tank 'loophole'.
If one uses the ranger/mage option, it makes forming a party pretty trivial as they can perform both casting and front-line duty.
Personally, I would go with a party composition of this: Ranger/Mage, Ranger/Mage, Paladin, Fighter/Thief (preferably dual classed), Cleric, and a 6th member of whatever you want. I think I went with an elven Fighter/Mage/Thief, just to have a demi-human represented somewhere (since thief levels aren't capped); not the optimal min/max choice, I admit.
Post edited August 24, 2015 by Krypsyn