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What's the rule (and where is it in the books) that defines which ability's modifier applies to basic attacks for melee and ranged weapons?

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    \$\begingroup\$ please read our FAQ. RPG.SE is for expert Q&A on RPGs - not for asking people to post a whole rulebook for you piece by piece. All your questions would not be questions if you owned and had read the 4e rulebook. Please do so, and then ask specific questions on items that are still confusing after you've done some basic thinking about them. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk - SE stop being evil Jul 16 '12 at 1:32
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Per page 216 in the D&D 4ed Players Handbook if you are making a melee attack you use the strength ability modifier. If it is a ranged attack use your dexterity modifier.

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