So I'm joining a two man party of two gestalt characters with one of my own. The basic idea was a woman of noble descent, fencing since she was 8 and is now looking for the culprit that burned down one of the galleries of her family.

Having looked at some of the example encounters I think that a Melee Fighter has a bad time with just two Ranged in his group, but that is the question. I don't have experience in D20 Modern (although I do have in D&D) and my GM won't give me an example of fight the group had, so I can't "do the math" myself.

A little bit of background info: I've got a gestalt character with Charismatic Hero 8/Negotiator 4 on the one side and Fast 6/Strong 4/Archaic Weapon Specialist 2 on the other side. Everyone in that little group is level 12. So is my character.

The Stats are the following: Str 13, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 14, Wis 10, Cha 15 - haven't added the attributes yet. I thought of taking the following Feats: Dodge, Elusive Target, Combat Expertise, Agile Riposte, Improved Disarm, Archaic Weapon Proficiency, Weapon Focus, Weapon Finess, Defensive Martial Arts. There are still some I could use (the character is not yet finished).

So the question is: In a group of 2 ranged and 1 melee (me being the melee), with an Armor Class of 21, does my character survive a normal encounter or should I switch from Rapier to Bows? Is there a way of still using a Rapier as weapon of choice since I like the concept?

Edit: The whole group is a group of Mercenaries riding from one hotspot to the next using top notch (even a bit sci-fi) equipment, so not carrying a weapon with me all the time would be a very suicidal thought. (The d20 Future Progress Level would be between 5 and 6, something along those lines.)

I switched Con and Wis around to get at least one more hitpoint per level. It's not much but I wouldn't want to take the 15 away from Charisma.

And for "viable": I meant it that way. The question would be what I would have to do to just don't die in an encounter. My focus would be more regarding Armor Class than just being a meat shield for my group members.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Will your DM send police to ask you why you are walking around with a fencing blade? The "athlete" angle is a good way to get around that sort of thing, so you are already thinking in that direction. Some places simply won't allow weapons (court rooms, airports, etc.), therefore Brawling and Martial Arts is nice. It is going to be very role-playing specific. Could the ranged in your party give you "suppresive fire" while you run into melee range? Converse with your group. Find a good dynamic. Modern has a lot more roleplaying involved - because of real-world technology being a thing. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ruut
    Sep 10, 2014 at 10:36
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Anything can be viable with the correct role-playing application and fulfillment in the group. Are you actually going to compete in fencing in this campaign? Can you use a "sword cane?" Need to pump up physical stats a little more if going to be melee. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ruut
    Sep 10, 2014 at 10:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ It also depends on how flexible your DM will be with your choice of weapon. Many, many everyday objects can be used the same way you would use a sword. (youtube.com/watch?v=wfcwUkb7kWI) If you can get proficiency with thrown weapons, acrobatics, and/or stealth your character takes on a Jackie Chan type style that can certainly be viable, especially with a bit of ranged support. \$\endgroup\$
    – Perkins
    Sep 12, 2014 at 17:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ Wonder why none mentioned the swordsman from Indiana Jones - youtube.com/watch?v=3I_Ds2ytz4o \$\endgroup\$
    – DoStuffZ
    Sep 18, 2014 at 13:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ It would help, very much, if you defined your requirements to qualify as "viable". That word gets tossed around a lot as if everyone knows what they mean by it, but everyone's requirements are different, and nobody seems to mean the literal definition of viable (merely "capable of existing", a very low bar!). \$\endgroup\$ Sep 18, 2014 at 16:35

3 Answers 3


One thing to note is that using a ranged weapon to attack a melee fighter provokes an attack of opportunity, which means that if you can close without getting shot, you may have the advantage.

I'd say this is a case of "six of one, half-dozen of the other". You may own some chump with a pistol but get owned by a professional sniper. Pretty balanced... unless your GM constantly throws snipers at you.

Maybe invest in Hide to get close enough without becoming a target?


Long Version:

I played a star wars campaign several years ago. I can't remember the system name right now, but 3.0 dungeons and dragon was related enough that it only took me three weeks to learn the system.

There was a guy in the party that always tried to push weird anti-thematic builds. While everyone else was using light sabers, he had to use bar stools or throwing knifes. His characters were always funny or interesting, but ultimately useless because he chose terrible combat styles.

I'd recommend looking at the other weapons if your concerned about power levels. Or you could possibly invent your own interesting weapon that is more relevant to combat, while staying to theme. With few exceptions, sharpened swords are illegal pretty much every where.

I own a sword in real life. I got a warning from the cops, for just wearing it while going to my mail box. Now imagine getting pestered or given a fine by police every time they see you. That would be expensive and annoying very fast.

Short Version:

I'd ditch the rapier, and possibly invent/find a new weapon that isn't illegal to wield in the first place. Old time nobility doesn't have to mean old time weapons.

  • \$\begingroup\$ That would be Wizards of the Coast's Star Wars RPG using the d20 system \$\endgroup\$
    – Adeptus
    Sep 19, 2014 at 4:01

Quickdraw, Dodge and Mobility. Versatile Combatant and Two-Weapon fighting. Conceal the weapon, or conceal yourself. Attack from surprise, or the suggestion of covering fire from your comrades is a good one. Viable; of course it is, but you would want to be one step ahead of your opponents to avoid being the swordsman from Indiana Jones.

That was a scoundrel like sneak attack by the way, swordsman = dead but honorable. Indy = bastard player BANG!


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