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Top Ten Swordsmen I'd Want in My Fantasy Party

We've all thought it. Which fantasy characters, good with a sword, would we want in our fantasy TTRPG party if we were able to make that happen? Tor had a good list called Five Fantasy Swordsmen I'd Never Want to Challenge, and while it was a decent list there were only five entries and it made me think about who else they were missing. I think, in the end, it was hard to narrow down just ten, but I think it's overall a pretty solid list that I came up with that still leaves some wiggle room for entries I may have forgotten. Let's dive in!

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Garet Jax is a character I've not stopped thinking about for several years. He made his appearance in The Wishsong of Shannara where he met his end battling the Jachyra that killed Allanon, the powerful Druid. He's since appeared in a few other iterations, such as the Shannara Chronicles television show. However, the version of Garet Jax found in The Wishsong of Shannara is, I think, the most skilled. He dresses all in black, carries a black staff, and he kills the Jachyra with a longsword. Garet Jax is a mercenary in the books, so in order for a party to retain his services they'd have to pay handsomely and be wary of the villain being able to pay more money. He has worked with adventurers before, such as when he helped Eretria find Lyria, so even though he skews almost toward evil in some cases, if your party has enough coin then it's definitely worth it to pay him extra since he usually only works alone, thus ensuring a smooth tenure with you and yours. Garet Jax is a Weapons Master and is trained in how to expertly use any weapon made, but when he fought the Jachyra, and won, he used a slender longsword, which is why I placed him on this list. Even the mighty Allanon couldn't do to the Jachyra with Druid magic what Garet Jax did to it with his blade work.


Inigo Montoya is often overlooked as a swordsman in fiction. Featured in The Princess Bride, we see Inigo Montoya face off against the Man in Black (secretly Westley) and then later on against Count Rugen. Inigo Montoya is a Spanish fencer and was trained by the world's finest and attained the rank of "Wizard" which is one rank above "Master" (it's a fictional title). Inigo Montoya later joins forces with Westley, so despite working for Vizzini initially, Inigo Montoya can make for a formidable teammate under the right circumstances. Essentially a fantasy version of the swashbuckling Zorro.


Dassem Ultor is a complex character much like Garret Jax in the sense that his morals may be a bit muddy depending on how you look at his actions, but his swordsmanship and leadership skills are unmatched. From Malazan: Book of the Fallen, Dassem was First Sword of the Empire and as such, his men loved him and would throw away their lives for him without hesitation. His skill grew so great that he became pretty much a god in his own right, with plenty of other titles added to his name. Many people, armies, and even gods were afraid to cross blades with him. Dassem would be tricky to have in a party, as he's such a bold character with a prominent personality and drive, but I don't think it would be impossible under the right circumstances. There would just have to be some sort of common enemy or goal to work toward that was shared with this expert swordsman and Knight of Death.


Like others on this list, Elric is a very complex character when it comes to morality, thus making it questionable to place him among others in an adventuring party, especially with his cursed sword, Stormbringer, needing to drink the souls of intelligent beings. Add to that, Elric is essentially helpless without the sword as it does away with his drug dependency. But the sword can cut through almost anything, and with the sword Elric is very formidable indeed. He can augment his sword skills with his sorcery skills as well. It's not out of the question for him to work with parties, either. Though he is Melnibonean (they are an over-decadent people who engage in torture play, etc) he has shown empathy and adverse reactions to the actions of his people. He's also traveled in the past with other adventurers, such as Yishana of Jarkhor, and he was also once a mercenary and so is used to working alongside others. If the party were going to be engaging agents of Chaos, it's not hard to see Elric joining the side of the heroes. Just be very wary, as he's a strong personality and his sword has one of its own that may try to get in the way. Overall, I think Elric is more likely to be an asset than a liability.


From the pages of A Song of Ice and Fire, Ser Arthur Dayne, Sword of the Morning, is a master swordsman whom even Jaime Lannister idolized. Dayne carried a massive great sword called Dawn, which he had slung across his back. Dayne was an extremely chivalrous knight and out of most of the characters on this list so far, would be the most trustworthy and valuable hero to add to the adventuring party. While not possessing any supernatural abilities, Ser Arthur Dayne is a very accomplished fighter, and would be very reliable when it comes to teamwork and swordplay.


This was such an obvious choice that I almost didn't put him on this list - but what better swordsman and party member to have on your adventure than the man who helped Frodo bring the ring to Mordor? Aragorn is not only a good swordsman but is arguably the best swordsman in all of Middle Earth. On top of that, when it comes to working together with a party, this man is the epitome of teamwork and selfless sacrifice. He would do anything to save his friends, and that includes you if you count yourself lucky enough to be in his good graces. Just like Ser Arthur Dayne, he is less likely to be a liability in a party, VS some of the other characters on this list.


What, you thought because I had him in the header that I wouldn't have him in the blog post? Geralt is one of the coolest characters in fantasy. He's got several books, a television series, and some video games based around him so if nothing else about him says "staying power" those things should. Geralt is an incredible swordsman, and being a Witcher - he's also imbued with some supernatural traits and abilities he uses to augment his swordsmanship. He's used to working with other adventurers, and if the adventure at hand calls for taking down a rogue beast, then he's your man. Just watch out because he's been known to woo the ladies once or twice.


FaerünDrizzt is really a no-brainer to add to this list. Between his magic scimitars - Twinkle and Icing Death, and the other magic items he carries with him on his adventures - he also has the aid of his massive panther, Guenhwyvar. Unfortunately for his opponents, Drizzt is one of the greatest swordsmen living in Faerün and is also used to working alongside a party of adventurers since he worked alongside the Companions of the Hall (Cattie-Brie, Wulfgar, Regis, and Bruenor Battlehammer) as well as other characters roaming Faerün. Drizzt would definitely be one of my top choices on this list, for sure, especially since he's forsaken evil for good and is such a team player.


Not the most conventional choice for a party, like some of the choices on this list near the top, but who *wouldn't* want to harness Conan's power and battle prowess for their adventuring party? The man has wrestled rhinos to the ground, has beaten demons and other supernatural horrors, and has grown old in a lifestyle where lots of people tend to die when they're much younger. I think his morality is on the midline, and maybe you'd have to watch out if he didn't like you, but overall, he's used to working with other adventurers - especially the Conan from the comic books who has worked with the likes of Red Sonja.

Anyway, that's what I've got for a list. What'd you think? If you're anxious to see a list of capable lady fighters, or maybe other sorts of class archetypes in the future - then we'll see how this post does! I had fun writing it and revisiting these characters, so hopefully it rekindled some interest for you as well. Once again, thanks for reading! - Joe


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