Is there any good mechanical reason to wield a melee weapon?

Is there any good mechanical reason to wield a melee weapon in Cypher?

Ranged weapons have virtually no downsides compared to melee weapons. They deal the same damage for their light/medium/heavy weapon category, and they have the same accuracy.

There are no penalties for shooting an enemy point blank, and in fact, the difficulty is lowered by 1 (or 3 on a d20) for shooting an enemy point blank, which means that if an enemy is right next to you, you should fire your bow or your rifle rather than draw a melee sidearm. If you have a knife and someone is next to you, you should throw it rather than stab them.

On top of all this, the rules for movement are very harsh (unless you have a special ability or you succeed on a risky roll, moving more than a few feet costs you your action).

With all of this in mind, why ever wield a melee weapon?


  • #1: Roleplaying
    #2: Melee weapons do not require ammo.
    #3: Depending on the setting, concealment is important. Excluding modern pistols or greatswords, melee weapons are generally easier to conceal.
    #4: Personally, I would not allow certain weapons to gain the benefit of point blank range (bows & long arms are two quick examples).

    These are just some thoughts off the top of my head.
  • edited April 2016
    Because they´re awesome. I suppose thats really not the reason you´re looking for but all my players tend to pick awesome swords, improvised meele weapons (like boards with nail in them ;) ) and big ass hammers by themselves, so there must be something to it.

    Mechanically there´s nothing wrong with both of them, because weapons mostly dictate the story youre telling. E.G. I hit something with a hammer, I roll a 20, the GM says:" the opponent is stunned.". If I hit something with bow and arrow, the GM will say :"The arrow pins the opponent to the wall." Same result, different words.
    If you want to analyze it futher, the differnce is just not that big. You gain maybe an action or two, because the enemy has to cover the distance between him and the PC, but i shouldn´t matter for the flow of the action.
    I don´t know. Isn´t it about what you make of it? If you play a gunslinger kind of char the GM might play out how you doge from cover to cover between taking shots, if you play a meele oriented char it might be about pushing and shoving and kicking and using dirty tricks to gain an advantage but it´s all about the way you play the game
  • I would probably not give them the bonus for point-blank especially if the weapon is too unwieldy to shoot. Have you seen the American TV Show "Arrow"? the characters in that often cannot use their bows to shoot arrows so they use them as melee weapons when they get into close combat. The one character that uses pistols uses them as fist hardeners in close combat but always backs up a few feet, moving from immediate (point blank) range to short range: creating space, before trying to shoot his foes.
    If you want to force the issue, there is a mechanic in the game where you can exchange damage for effect. One of those effects is disarming. If your players are taking advantage of the combat system, take away that advantage. pg. 224 in the core book. But as the GM you can always fudge numbers and actions for dramatic effect.
    I personally carry a pistol for my real life job, and I know from experience that if you are too close to your opponent, it can be too easy for the "badguy" to take it away or just disarm you. Look up disarming techniques on Youtube. Use a couple of those on your PCs and it'll change their attitude towards point-blank attacks.
  • This actually came up in one of my recent games of Numenera. And the benefits to hit certainly are better for a ranged weapon. However, this has once prevented them from getting the benefits of cooperative actions, e.g. high-and-low with only ranged weapons doesn't work.

    In addition to disarming, or other intrusions, remember there are often reload times or situations where drawing a weapon for another attack required the PC to have another ability to support this. There are also conditions such as light, visibility, and deep/underwater combat that all affect ranged attacks more adversely than melee attacks.
  • In the cypher system point plank range is Immediate range. ( up to 10 feet radious around you ) so with in 10 feet of the fo makes sense for an easier hit.  If you want to make is an issue that ranged weapons would have problems, the point bank could ber part of a GM Intrussion? 
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