Question regarding Ranger weapons

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Let me start by saying i'm a complete newcomer to 4e and a relative newcomer to D&D having played 3.5 only briefly. I'm starting a game on Saturday with 4 friends, a DM, wizard, rune priest, and cleric. My issue is, I want to play a melee ranger as I prefer light armor melee combatants who avoid damage rather than fight through it, but I don't want to feel like a drizzt clone. I am going to play an elf but everything I have read says that I should use a scimitar or bastard swords. Scimitars remind me entirely too much of drizzt, and bastard swords seem ridiculous to me when I consider a quick agile combatant so I want to avoid those. Anyway, are there any one handed weapons that work as well as scimitars for a melee ranger? Thanks for any help you can offer me.
Try a Rapier, which is a 1d8 light blade with a +3 proficiency bonus. 
I do have a question about the rapier, isn't piercing damage one of the weakest forms of damage to have. I have been looking at other classes such as monk but the ranger seems like the easiest to learn on, and as long as I can differentiate myself from drizzt I will be fine. Are there any other 1h besides rapier?
I don't actually have any idea why someone would recommend scimitars.

Melee Rangers can do very well with almost any weapon. There's lots of important decisions, and some of the correct answers hinge on what weapons you went with, but weapon choice itself is not that big of a deal at this point.

Take a look at things like Rapiers, Battleaxes, Spiked Chain (or other flails), or even spears.

There is, of course, a most-optimal route, but if you pick the worst possible weapon, you'll end up at most 1 attack and ~3 damage behind.
Let me start by saying i'm a complete newcomer to 4e and a relative newcomer to D&D having played 3.5 only briefly. I'm starting a game on Saturday with 4 friends, a DM, wizard, rune priest, and cleric. My issue is, I want to play a melee ranger as I prefer light armor melee combatants who avoid damage rather than fight through it, but I don't want to feel like a drizzt clone. I am going to play an elf but everything I have read says that I should use a scimitar or bastard swords. Scimitars remind me entirely too much of drizzt, and bastard swords seem ridiculous to me when I consider a quick agile combatant so I want to avoid those. Anyway, are there any one handed weapons that work as well as scimitars for a melee ranger? Thanks for any help you can offer me.



Oo I wonder where you've read about Rangers using Scimitars. I don't think that any optimized ranger would use those. Bastard Swords are viable, but need a feat to get proficiency with. 2x Rapier + Light Blade Expertise give you more damage and save you a feat. If you really want to go for Heavy Blades, i'd rather pick 2 Longswords over Bastard Swords. 
You should really read this. It covers everything a new player has to know.

Edit: All those ninjas..
Piercing Damage isn't a thing.

4e still has elemental typed damage (which is more readily optimizable than physical damage, so finding a way to convert your damage to any type is more important than weapon type), but has grouped all physical damage together with no differentiation based on what weapon group you use.
Rapier is my personal preference, since I think light blades have much better over all support. If you were going all the way to Epic and you had to worry about the stats for a Mastery feat, the plain old longsword is fine really.

I generally have so many feats I want on builds that a weapon has to offer something truly special to be worth spending a feat on it. (Gouge I'm looking at you.) 
What are your thoughts on katars vs long swords or rapiers? I looked at the thrill of the hunt guide and it had several weapons I hadn't thought of yet. I like the idea of doing something distinct for roleplay purposes. Really like the spiked chain but it seems so anti-ranger.
What are your thoughts on katars vs long swords or rapiers? I looked at the thrill of the hunt guide and it had several weapons I hadn't thought of yet. I like the idea of doing something distinct for roleplay purposes. Really like the spiked chain but it seems so anti-ranger.



Katar: Costs a feat, does less/same damage.

Rapier or MC Spiked Chain.  Light Blades best blades for rangers.

E: also, if you want to have the flavour of using something cool like a katar or a kukhri, that's what refluffing is for.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
If you don't mind me taking this a bit off topic, are there any other melee oriented classes that are somewhat easy to play. The main reason I'm rolling a ranger is the easy learning curve. I like monks concept wise but I've read quite a few negative posts. I don't want to concern myself with combat advantage for a rogue. What are your thoughts on the other melee classes for beginners, and specifically light armored ones? I looked at archery rangers but they seem somewhat bland and like they don't bring much to the table. Thanks again for all the advice.
Its generally tough to go wrong with a Ranger. They have a strong power list and, being one of the original classes, a good bit of overall support. Multi-attack powers and minor action attacks are two big pieces of doing damage in 4E and probably no class does that better than the Ranger. 

Side note, since you keep mentioning lightly armored and such and you are new to 4E. You do know the melee Ranger is Strength based right? You'll want a decent Dex secondary for AC, Init and Reflex, but Str is your primary concern since its what your attack and damage are based on.
Yes, I had read that strength would be my primary attribute while researching. We are doing the standard array (i think that's what it's called) for attributes, so I'm just gonna do the best I can with that putting in points. My main concern with the weapon was that I love the roleplaying aspect of tabletop games more than the combat, and I wanted to roleplay something unique. Hence why I love monks but they are seemingly much more difficult.
Piercing damage doesn't exist and the standard array is not that great of a choice for most classes.
"Ranger with two melee weapons" is not what I would recommend when it comes to unique stuff. You might want to look here for inspiration. The MC Spiked Chain option in particular could be different enough for you.
A rogue is also a melee oriented striker that's relatively easy to play. If you just want a character that fights in melee without being married to the striker-concept, you get more options.

Also, remember that you can always "refluff". Your vanilla twin striking rapier wielding Ranger can be a Drizzt clone or a pirate armed with a magic chicken, depending on what you want it to be in-game, simply because mechanics aren't tied to any particular representation. 
Roleplaying and the mechanical aspects of combat are apples and oranges. 4E encourages refluffing the descriptive text to match your roleplaying goals, and that has no effect on the mechanics of a feat, power, class feature, etc. Build a sound character mechanically based on the handbook and allow your imagination to supply the rest. If you envision this character as a "monk," you can build a ranger with rapiers and just imagine they are the trained fists of your martial artist.
I guess I don't understand the concept of refluffing. In my mind if I say I am using rapiers, I should be wielding rapiers not my fists. How complicated is combat advantage for a rogue class, and are assassins at all viable? Sorry to bring this up again, but I would still enjoy hearing from people who like/dislike monks about that class specifically. Thanks for all the info. 
ps, I know i'm being borderline obsessive, but I want to make a character I can carry through a long campaign as we used to very rarely continue with the same group in our gaming sessions. This is the first opportunity I've really had to make a character that I will get to roleplay and develop.
Your character sheet may say that you are using rapiers and you use the mechanics of using rapiers but to the character in the game (including yourself) you are a pirate using a magic chicken as a weapon. It's that easy.
Combat advantage is easy for rogues.
The original assassin doesn't work, except maybe in low heroic in unoptimised groups. 
You need to put in a lot of effort to make a Monk competitive in a moderately optimised group.
Yes, I had read that strength would be my primary attribute while researching. We are doing the standard array (i think that's what it's called) for attributes, so I'm just gonna do the best I can with that putting in points. My main concern with the weapon was that I love the roleplaying aspect of tabletop games more than the combat, and I wanted to roleplay something unique. Hence why I love monks but they are seemingly much more difficult.



Just wanted to double check. Some new players are thrown off by the powers that list both Str and Dex on the attack line. Honestly if you aren't playing in a high optimization game you would probably be fine with a monk. Some people dislike the fact that monks spread damage around multiple targets rather than turning a single target into a bloody smear. 
The assassin only works with a table of lawyers and engineers, who are willing to read the words in front of them and ignore the clear intention behind the words.
Back to Basics - A Guide to Basic Attacks You might be playing DnD wrong if... "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." Albert Einstein
The assassin only works with a table of lawyers and engineers, who are willing to read the words in front of them and ignore the clear intention behind the words.



Haha that was all I needed to hear. I might just play an archer ranger for simplicity at this point. 
What are your thoughts on katars vs long swords or rapiers? I looked at the thrill of the hunt guide and it had several weapons I hadn't thought of yet. I like the idea of doing something distinct for roleplay purposes. Really like the spiked chain but it seems so anti-ranger.



Katar is a great choice if you're going to take the Snow Tiger paragon path.

Otherwise, not so much.
Ask your DM to allow your proficiency with the katar for free (or at worst with the gritty sergeant background).
Back to Basics - A Guide to Basic Attacks You might be playing DnD wrong if... "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." Albert Einstein
The Assassin (Executioner) (Essassin for short), detailed in Dragon and, later, Heroes of Shadow, is an Essentials-line variant on the original Assassin (Osssassin) that is a perfectly viable striker in a non-optimized game (and passable with multiclassing/hybriding in a somewhat optimized one) that is fun, easy to play, and flavorful as all get out. Check out the handbook in the Collection of Character Builds thread.
I've googled and can't come up with an answer so I've gotta ask, what is the "MC" needed for spiked chain? I'm not familiar with that abbreviation.
Multiclass
Non-bards can only multiclass once. If you take Spiked Chain Training, you use up a/your multiclass option, despite the fact that "Spiked Chain" isn't really a class.
Ahh got it thanks! I don't intend on multiclassing so that shouldn't be an issue then. Maybe spiked chain is the way to go.
It's a very viable path, but most melee rangers MC fighter for their excellent feat support and to power swap for Battle Fury Stance.
Everyone seems to advise for Rapiers, I advise for a Double Sword. Costs a feat, but since the number of magic items you find through your career is finite and Double Weapons save you one Item Slot, you can find get yourself more good non waepon/armor/neck slot magic items. +1 to AC does always come in handy too.
-1 to hit for a feat, however, hurts.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
Double sword is paying a feat for a downgrade though. Spiked Chain, Double Axe (for dwarves) or Lotulis (for genasi) is the better double weapon pick.
-1 to hit for a feat, however, hurts.

In my book the Double Sword is a Light Blade, +3 to hit. Slightly lower damage than the rapier, but the big advantage is that you won't need that many magic items.


Spiked Chain has the problem that it eats up your multiclass option.

Could've sworn double swords have only +2, but that could be my memory.  If they're +3 that's less of an issue.  The damage hit is less of an issue.

The real benefit of the Spiked CHain is reach, which is a HUGE boon for the melee ranger, it means you have to spend fewer actions moving, and have more reach with your immediate action attacks such as Disruptive Strike.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
I guess I don't understand the concept of refluffing. In my mind if I say I am using rapiers, I should be wielding rapiers not my fists.


When you choose rapier on your character sheet, you're actually choosing the following:

+3 proficiency bonus
1d8 damage
access to feats/powers/enchantments that apply to light blades

Rapier is just a category that grants you these things. As was said, you can describe it as a magic chicken, a Tron disc, your fists, frickin' laserbeams coming out of your eyes, whatever. I would encourage you to explore this because roleplaying can be a lot more fun and your characters become a lot more memorable when you break through the false restraints of "I must follow the flavor text given to me."
If you're going to go for a double sword, it might make more sense to go hybrid ranger|fighter, the hybrid feat can go to tempest technique to make up the damage gap and it makes battlefury stance that much easier to get.  Plus, rain of blows taking up the required Fighter encounter power.


what's that you say?

This thread is for someone trying to figure out D and D?

I'll just show myself the door.
Cahulaks are also a viable weapon choice, but would probably require refluffing given your mental image.
-1 to hit for a feat, however, hurts.

In my book the Double Sword is a Light Blade, +3 to hit. Slightly lower damage than the rapier, but the big advantage is that you won't need that many magic items.


Spiked Chain has the problem that it eats up your multiclass option.




Spending a feat for the equivalent of +1 damage over dual wielding short swords is a waste, unless you are really really item restricted. 
My issue is, I want to play a melee ranger as I prefer light armor melee combatants who avoid damage rather than fight through it, but I don't want to feel like a drizzt clone. I am going to play an elf but everything I have read says that I should use a scimitar or bastard swords.

A thought for you - there's a DEX-based melee version of the ranger called a "Scout."  If you'd like a quick two-weapon combatant that doesn't need to pump STR, it's a simple and effective route that still gets ranger utilities and feats.  

Light Blades should be the Ranger default these days, especially with Light Blade Expertise.

Heavy Blades only get consideration for Firewind Blade (which probably means you're a Genasi) or Heavy Blade Opportunity which will require an investment of 15 Dex.

Bargle wrote:
This is CharOp. We not only assume block-of-tofu monsters, but also block-of-tofu DMs.
 

Zelink wrote:
You're already refluffing, why not refluff to something that doesn't suck?
-1 to hit for a feat, however, hurts.

In my book the Double Sword is a Light Blade, +3 to hit. Slightly lower damage than the rapier, but the big advantage is that you won't need that many magic items.


Spiked Chain has the problem that it eats up your multiclass option.




Double Sword is also Defensive, so the total package should include the extra +1 AC.

So the net package, versus twin rapiers, is:
Pro: Improved item economy
Pro: +1 AC
Con: -1 feat
Con: 1d6 versus 1d8 damage

Whether this is a positive trade or a negative trade depends on how item-starved you are and/or how feat-starved you are.

A minor point for tempest fighters/hybrids is that the Double Sword is also the only double weapon where BOTH ends have the Off-hand keyword. This isn't important for much besides the tempest fighter talent, but it is VERY important for that talent.

Nearly every striker build is feat starved, so twin rapiers clearly wins, imo. 
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