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Why is a Wakazashi exotic?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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Do wha? I'm unclear on what changed regarding light weapons and power attack.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

It's my understanding in PF light weapons can be used in Power attack. In 3/x they couldn't.

So a Wakazashi is essentially a rapier, that does slashing damage in addition to piercing and has a (dodgy) special property the rapoer lacks. Thus it's strictly speaking 'better' than a rapier.

Grand Lodge

I consider weapons exotic if the training necessary to use them isn't standardized, and thus reflect a fairly unique or situational fighting style (such as using nets and whips), are incredibly rare or unique (such as the racial-based weapons, hand crossbows, etc.), or are somehow restrictive in another sense. The Wakizashi was a samurai's sword, and anyone who wasn't either a samurai or at least a noble was heavily discouraged from wearing or using one. It isn't so much a matter of training, but more of the fact that most people have no business using one. The ninja gets a free ride because ninjas cheat the system...literally. They get away with doing stuff no honorable person would be allowed to do in a society where honor is king, so them using an "exclusive" weapon because its actually useful wouldn't raise too many eyebrows. As for fighters and whatnot, well...they're out of luck. *shrugs* I dunno, honestly.


Matthew Morris wrote:

It's my understanding in PF light weapons can be used in Power attack. In 3/x they couldn't.

So a Wakazashi is essentially a rapier, that does slashing damage and has a (dodgy) special property the rapoer lacks. Thus it's strictly speaking 'better' than a rapier.

I see.

Well, I'll say this then. With PF, I learn something new everyday.

Andoran

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Matthew Morris wrote:
So a Wakazashi is essentially a rapier, that does slashing damage in addition to piercing and has a (dodgy) special property the rapoer lacks. Thus it's strictly speaking 'better' than a rapier.

It's also a light weapon, allowing it to be used as an off-hand weapon in TWF.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Shisumo wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:
So a Wakazashi is essentially a rapier, that does slashing damage in addition to piercing and has a (dodgy) special property the rapoer lacks. Thus it's strictly speaking 'better' than a rapier.
It's also a light weapon, allowing it to be used as an off-hand weapon in TWF.

True. so it's a Kukuri with a larger damage die, and can do piercing damage. (and a dodgy special property), thus it's 'better' than a martial weapon.

Realism aside, that's why it's exotic.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Still doesn't explain why the Katana, Naginata and No-Dachi are martial, then.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Well the katana fits (except for that dodgy property) between the scimitar and falchion, just like the bastard sword. So technically it's exotic as well, just if you're proficient in martial weapons you can use it two handed. (I'm unaware of being able to take MWP: Bastard for example).

The Nodachi should be exotic (adds to Matthew's house rules). Slightly better damage than the Falchion (5.5 vs 5 average), same crit range, two damage types, special property.


Paizo Forums > WoTC Forums

Just strictly because we are still allowed to argue about katanas here.

"It is just a sword."


The Drunken Dragon wrote:
As for fighters and whatnot, well...they're out of luck. *shrugs* I dunno, honestly.

It makes sense in a Japanese style setting. Bushi are samurai class warriors who use katanas. Fighters are lower class soldiers that use spears and bows. I think it fits, even if it is a little straight-jacketed.


To play a Japanese style setting, and not be straight-jacketed is not playing a Japanese style setting. The katana and wakizashi are intrinsically Japanese weapons, they belong in the hands of those specific oriental classes designed to include them - ninja and samurai.

In the spirit of a more freeform game, use what weapons that best invoke the style of martial sword-wielder you want. If your GM allows you to select such a weapon without the necessary EWP, that's your game. But in a search for justification of its use without EWP, it shouldn't exist. It is there for a reason, even if it doesn't seem reasonable to everyone - it does for the larger audience.

In other words if you want to play a cowboy with a revolver and a katana, do so. If the setting fits use the flavor that fits. For the rest of us who want rules that fit within appropriate cultural and historic precedence, the presented crunch fits the flavor as it currently exists. Why break the game just so you can be a yahoo? Allow what fits your setting. And let the rest of us maintain the existing restrictions as it is appropriate for the context of an oriental setting.

Shadow Lodge

gamer-printer wrote:
To play a Japanese style setting, and not be straight-jacketed is not playing a Japanese style setting. The katana and wakizashi are intrinsically Japanese weapons, they belong in the hands of those specific oriental classes designed to include them - ninja and samurai.

I don't remember Japan showing up in any campaign setting sourcebook.


TOZ wrote:
gamer-printer wrote:
To play a Japanese style setting, and not be straight-jacketed is not playing a Japanese style setting. The katana and wakizashi are intrinsically Japanese weapons, they belong in the hands of those specific oriental classes designed to include them - ninja and samurai.
I don't remember Japan showing up in any campaign setting sourcebook.

It is hard to be clear on "Japanese Culture" anyway, given that it is kind of long and changes a lot with time. Next time I run a Japanese game, I'm setting it at the beginning of the feudal system, back when power was concentrated in the capitol before the samurai had as much power, but were gaining.

One of my books on samurai had a quote, "we are a warrior people, where every farmer sees fit to carry a sword." What time period was that from? If that's true, getting a katana wouldn't be that hard.


Nobody is speaking of Japan as a campaign setting, rather a Japanese style setting - a distinct difference. Minkai is a Japanese style setting, as is Kara Tur, Rokushima Taiyoo, Rokugan and Kaidan. Yet none of those are Japan either, but very much Japanese style settings (the words I used.)


cranewings wrote:

It is hard to be clear on "Japanese Culture" anyway, given that it is kind of long and changes a lot with time. Next time I run a Japanese game, I'm setting it at the beginning of the feudal system, back when power was concentrated in the capitol before the samurai had as much power, but were gaining.

One of my books on samurai had a quote, "we are a warrior people, where every farmer sees fit to carry a sword." What time period was that from? If that's true, getting a katana wouldn't be that hard.

Kaidan is comparatively set approximately at the start of the feudal period (circa 1185 AD).

It wasn't until the reign of Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1570-ish) that a sword ban was placed onto non-samurai caste members of society (following the end of the Sengoku Period in Japan). Swords could be owned, worn and wielded by commoners (if allowed by their respective daimyo).

Most of the societal restrictions to weapons did not exist until the Tokugawa/Edo Period (1600+), which historically is quite late, relatively speaking. The idea that only the samurai wear the sword, is actually fairly recent. Wearing swords was allowed for almost 500 years before that. Even after the Tokugawa Era begins, there were exceptions to the sword ban. Certain commoner professions such as physician were allowed to wear a single sword, as well as yakuza bosses, who were considered administrators. All adminstrators were allowed to openly wear swords.

Rite Publishing's Kaidan setting is loosely set somewhere between 1185 and 1500, though of course it is not really Japan, but in this time is it's closest association.


gamer-printer wrote:
cranewings wrote:

It is hard to be clear on "Japanese Culture" anyway, given that it is kind of long and changes a lot with time. Next time I run a Japanese game, I'm setting it at the beginning of the feudal system, back when power was concentrated in the capitol before the samurai had as much power, but were gaining.

One of my books on samurai had a quote, "we are a warrior people, where every farmer sees fit to carry a sword." What time period was that from? If that's true, getting a katana wouldn't be that hard.

Kaidan is comparatively set approximately at the start of the feudal period (circa 1185 AD).

It wasn't until the reign of Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1570-ish) that a sword ban was placed onto non-samurai caste members of society (following the end of the Sengoku Period in Japan). Swords could be owned, worn and wielded by commoners (if allowed by their respective daimyo).

Most of the societal restrictions to weapons did not exist until the Tokugawa/Edo Period (1600+), which historically is quite late, relatively speaking. The idea that only the samurai wear the sword, is actually fairly recent. Wearing swords was allowed for almost 500 years before that. Even after the Tokugawa Era begins, there were exceptions to the sword ban. Certain commoner professions such as physician were allowed to wear a single sword, as well as yakuza bosses, who were considered administrators. All adminstrators were allowed to openly wear swords.

Rite Publishing's Kaidan setting is loosely set somewhere between 1185 and 1500, though of course it is not really Japan, but in this time is it's closest association.

Good stuff.

Yeah, the book I have is about the history surrounding an old story called, The Shining Prince. There is more to it than that but I read it once like two years ago and don't have it with me. Anyway, it was set in about the year 1000, which is about the time period I usually like to run when I'm not doing Bronze Age / Iron Age games.


I see a lot of people comparing the wakizashi to the rapier and scimitar. Aside from the advantages it has over both that have already been mentioned (deadly, piercing or slashing, weapon finesse), it also has one distinct advantage: it is a light weapon, and not just treated as one for weapon finesse. Sure, you can use a rapier with weapon finesse, and there are class archetypes and feats that can allow you to use a scimitar with weapon finesse, but neither are actually light weapons, and thus they give penalties if wielded in your off-hand. A twf fighter could focus on wakizashi and wield two of them, saving up to 4 feats for other purposes, and additionally have the highest weapon training bonus for both their weapons (otherwise impossible if you choose two dissimilar weapons).

If the wakizashi were a martial weapon, would any martial class ever wield a short sword, or any other light piercing or slashing weapon for that matter? Would any martial class ever wield a rapier or scimitar?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Sure I would, for flavor reasons alone.


The argument that the weapon is exotic because its from a different culture, because its historically only used by certain people or because its

the fact that it comes from a different real world culture other than the traditional european dark ages does not stand when you consider the Kukri in game is a standard martial weapon.

The fact that it comes from a different culture in game should not in this case be regulated by a feat. what if I am playing a fighter or ranger in a traditional eastern style game? Do i get a free feat to use it because i grew up in the culture or do i not get it because I am not playing a samurai or ninja.

Should Samurai or ninja treat rapiers, flails and kukri as exotic because those weapons do not normally show up in japanese settings?

If the idea is that you only know how to use a Wakazashi if you have been around them for years learning how to use them as a part of your samurai/ninja training then what happens if I am playing a barbarian and decide to level dip into Samurai, how did i suddenly gain years of experience in that weapon?

The point I am making is that this rule should not be based purely on flavor. Those kinds of things should be handled by the GM of each game.

The Wakazashi is a relatively easy to use weapon, certainly easier to manage than a Katana or Nodaichi, any one who has a fair understanding of daggers, swords, and other martial weapons should be able to get a handle on it after a few practice swings. If a fighter who has never picked up a flail before can start wielding one with no problem due to his general understanding of martial weapons I dont see why they cant figure out a Wakazashi.


While I cannot say a wakizashi or katana cannot be wielded like a rapier and still be effective, the trained use of a wakizashi is not wielded the same as a rapier. No samurai holds a katana or wakizashi point forward like a rapier and stabbed forward, rather point upward with downward strikes.

Had a musketeer been in possession of a wakizashi would he be as effective wielding it like the rapier that he is familiar. While the curved blade is similar, the extended length of the grip which is quite different from a rapier might make it less effective if wielded similarly as a rapier.

The point I'm making is that while a rapier and a wakizashi are similar in blade style, they are still very much distinctly different weapons beyond the blade that suggests that wielding them effectively is different between those two weapons.

If the two weapons were exactly identical the arguments of mechanical differences being fluff instead of crunch might apply. But they are not identical, similar, but different enough that one trained with one of the two weapons would not work the same with both weapons.

They aren't the same, so shouldn't be assumed to work the same - they do not.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

@gamer-printer

I do not know if you are replying to my post. If you are my post isn't about the fighting style of a wakazashi vs a rapier, rather it is about the mechanical similarities and differences.

From a game mechanic PoV, the Wakazashi is better than anything martial in the same catagory


  • vs Rapier: two damage types, situational weapon property.
  • vs Kukuri: two damage types, higher damage die, situational weapon property.
  • vs Scimitar: loses 2 handed damage, gains finessable, two damage types, situational weapon property.

That is why I think it is exotic, RAW. Not because it has a funny accent, but because it is better than its martial brethern.

Likewise, that's why I think the No-dachi needs to be exotic. It's better than the Falchion.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

There's really no reason why it's exotic.

It's not because of balance, because there are plenty of weapons that are worse, but are exotic. Paizo has stated that exotic weapons are rare, hence the exotic designation.

But as it happens, most of the best Asian weapons are exotic. But their armors are just normal armors (and some of them are better as well).

So it's basically random.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Can't really agree about the best asian weapons being exotic, given that Katana, Naginata and No-Dachi aren't. ^^

Andoran

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

"The Katana, essentially a bastard sword with a curved well made blade"

Good grief


Nodachi is martial, even though it is "rare" and is without a doubt better than the Falchion.

The Tetsubo is exotic, and it is worse than the Scythe.
(Scythe does 2d4 vs. 1d10, but deals 2 damage types and can Trip)
Not to mention the Tetsubo is essentially a Greatclub with metal studs. Big whoop. I'm sure the idea of putting metal bits in or on a club never occured to any other culture than Eastern flavored ones. *rolleyes*
Oh wait... wouldn't an actual mace, morningstar, or warhammer be better than a metal-studded baseball bat in all realistic comparisons?
Nevermind... it's asian. It wins. :P

Not to mention it clearly takes a lot more training to swing a studded baseball bat than effectively learning to use an unwieldy farm implement in combat. ;)

My opinion, ever since 3.0, was that Exotic Weapon Proficiency should be purely designated for weapons that are mechanically upgraded from their martial counterparts. Nothing more, nothing less.

Unfortunately, even with D&D 4.0 and Pathfinder, developers can't seem to make up their mind whether it's for flavor or for game mechanics.
Even if it's for 'flavor', I always found it kind of a kick to the nuts that flavor = feat tax.

Don't even get me started on the Spiked Chain in Pathfinder. (why is it even IN the book at all anymore?)

I've just kind of thrown up my hands regarding EWP.
I'm holding out a little hope that the 400 page Ultimate Equipment book will better balance the weapons, especially since I've seen what a fantastic job they did with the Advanced Race Guide... but we'll see.


Matthew Morris wrote:

@gamer-printer

I do not know if you are replying to my post. If you are my post isn't about the fighting style of a wakazashi vs a rapier, rather it is about the mechanical similarities and differences.

From a game mechanic PoV, the Wakazashi is better than anything martial in the same catagory


  • vs Rapier: two damage types, situational weapon property.
  • vs Kukuri: two damage types, higher damage die, situational weapon property.
  • vs Scimitar: loses 2 handed damage, gains finessable, two damage types, situational weapon property.

That is why I think it is exotic, RAW. Not because it has a funny accent, but because it is better than its martial brethern.

Likewise, that's why I think the No-dachi needs to be exotic. It's better than the Falchion.

No, I can actually agree without almost every one of your posts.

My point was to those suggesting that rapier and wakizashi are virtually identical. I was pointing out other reasons to show their dissimilarity.

I think that no-daichi should be exotic as well.

In the hands of a samurai or ninja archetype trained to use a specific weapon, whether it is katana, wakizashi or no-daichi, if specifically stating so in the archetype class feature description they can wield such weapons without considering it exotic. To all others, including other Japanese based classes they should be exotic.


magnuskn wrote:
Can't really agree about the best asian weapons being exotic, given that Katana, Naginata and No-Dachi aren't. ^^

The Katana is exotic, unless you don't mind being required to wield it with two hands. In which case, the Falchion or Nodachi are clearly better options.

The Naginata is actually perfectly balanced with other Martial polearms.
It gains x4 critical, but drops to 1d8 damage and has no extra special properties.
Personally I would have preferred the Naginata to have the same stats as the Fauchard and be exotic, but oh well.
1D10 18-20/x2 Slashing, Reach and Trip properties.

The Nodachi is the main outlier in about the same way the Tetsubo is.

The monk weapons are all over the place, but that's nothing new.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The Falchion is not better than the Katana, it is equal. The No-Dachi really is better as a two-handed weapon, though.

Still, the fact remains that the Katana is a better Bastard Sword, with the same proficiency requirements. And it is martial if wielded two-handed. That other weapons are better is immaterial to that fact.


Pathfinder Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

In my own games I do the following :

Martial Weapon Proficiency (Combat) wrote:

Choose a weapon group (Axes, Blades: Heavy, Blades: Light, Bows, Close, Crossbows, Double, Flails, Hammers, Monk, Natural, Pole Arms, Spears, Thrown). You understand how to use that group of martial weapon in combat.

Benefit: You make attack rolls with the selected weapons normally (without the non-proficient penalty).

Normal: When using a weapon with which you are not proficient, you take a –4 penalty on attack rolls.

Special: Barbarians, fighters, paladins, and rangers are proficient with all martial weapons. They need not select this feat.

You can gain Martial Weapon Proficiency multiple times. Each time you take the feat, it applies to a new weapon group.

Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Combat) wrote:

Choose one weapon group for which you already have proficiency, such as the axes or heavy blades group. You understand how to use exotic weapons from this group in combat, and can utilize any special tricks or qualities that the exotic weapon might allow.

Prerequisite: Base attack bonus +1, martial weapon proficiency with group.

Benefit: You make attack rolls with the weapon normally.

Normal: A character who uses a weapon with which he is not proficient takes a –4 penalty on attack rolls.

Special: You can gain Exotic Weapon Proficiency multiple times. Each time you take the feat, it applies to a new weapon group.

Weapon Focus (Combat) wrote:

Choose one weapon group. You can also choose rays, if you are a spellcaster, as your weapon for the purposes of this feat.

Prerequisites: Proficiency with selected weapon group, base attack bonus +1.

Benefit: You gain a +1 bonus on all attack rolls you make using weapons in the selected group.

Special: You can gain this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time you take the feat, it applies to a new weapon group. It applies to exotic weapons in the group, if you also have proficiency with them.

Weapon Specialization (Combat) wrote:

You are skilled at dealing damage with one group of weapons. Choose one group of weapons (including rays) for which you have already selected the Weapon Focus feat. You deal extra damage when using those weapons.

Prerequisites: Proficiency with selected weapon, Weapon Focus with selected weapon group, fighter level 4th.

Benefit: You gain a +2 bonus on all damage rolls you make using the selected weapons.

Special: You can gain this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time you take the feat, it applies to a new group of weapon for which you also have Weapon Focus.


magnuskn wrote:

The Falchion is not better than the Katana, it is equal. The No-Dachi really is better as a two-handed weapon, though.

Still, the fact remains that the Katana is a better Bastard Sword, with the same proficiency requirements. And it is martial if wielded two-handed. That other weapons are better is immaterial to that fact.

The Katana does 1d8 18-20/x2 Slashing damage.

The Falchion does 2D4 18-20/x2 Slashing damage.

The Falchion wins in average damage (by 0.5 points, but still).
The 'Deadly' property is pretty much useless, so I don't count it.

How is the Katana better again?

The Bastard Sword does 1d10 19-20/x2 Slashing
The Katana does 1d8 18-20/x2 Slashing

A Katana is to a Bastard Sword as a Scimitar is to a Longsword.
They also both have the 'Martial if used two-handed' clause.
Even though I tend to agree that higher crit threat ranges are better than an average of 1 point of damage, the trade-off is at least a consistent one since 3.0 came out and is considered 'normal' for the system.

I have zero issue with the Katana or Wakazashi.
Like many, I prefer a larger chance to threaten a critical hit over a larger damage die(especially in Pathfinder where a lot less monsters are immune), but at least the exchange is a consistent and accepted one.

Personally, I think EWP should simply be worth the feat... unfortunately it rarely ever is.
Instead it's more likely to be used as a feat tax for 'flavor', or a slight freebie boost for certain races (dwarves, half-elves, etc) or classes (Ninja and Samurai, I'm looking at you).

The likes of the Tetsubo and Spiked Chain (and MANY other exotic weapons) are practically a waste of ink, IMHO.


Quote:
While I cannot say a wakizashi or katana cannot be wielded like a rapier and still be effective, the trained use of a wakizashi is not wielded the same as a rapier. No samurai holds a katana or wakizashi point forward like a rapier and stabbed forward, rather point upward with downward strikes.

I cant for the life of me figure out why your comparing rapiers to wakasashi in actual method of use. I only used rapiers to express that saying wakasashi should be exotic because western fighters have no historic experience with them is the same as saying that eastern classes should treat traditionally western weapons like rapiers as exotic for the same reason.

Quote:
The point I'm making is that while a rapier and a wakizashi are similar in blade style

they are not at all in any way similar.

a wakazashi has more in common with a billy club than a rapier.

Taldor

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I concur with both CraneWings and Axl that the exotic weapon classification is used to restrict weapons to particular player types.

I started out by looking for a definition of "exotic" in the PRD.

The only reference I could locate easily was here:
http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/equipment.html#simple-martial-and-exotic -weapons

Anybody but a druid, monk, or wizard is proficient with all simple weapons. Barbarians, fighters, paladins, and rangers are proficient with all simple and all martial weapons. Characters of other classes are proficient with an assortment of simple weapons and possibly some martial or even exotic weapons.

The simple/martial/exotic seem to be based on /who/ can use them, rather than /what/ the weapon is; in other words, classification appears to be driven by class rather than the underlying principles of the weapon.

I believe that this view is supported by the following:

Hammer, gnome hooked
Curve blade, elven
Sling staff, halfling

"Halflings treat halfling sling staves as martial weapons."

Why treat something as martial when wielded by a particular race if the underlying nature of the weapon makes it exotic?

It would seem more logical that the intent is to limit certain items to certain classes or races; something that the Character Creation chapter and the Equipment illustrate.

I agree with all the reasons /why/ particular items might be restricted to certain classes, but my view is that the "exotic" tag only serves to make that restriction possible.


I consider this simply to be an example that gaming is one of the last refuges of Orientalism. I mean hell, the people who make wakizashis and katanas super-special weapons are the same ones who use the term "Oriental" to refer to Asia.


Straight from the mouth of tyranosaurusJames

James Jacobs wrote:
blue_the_wolf wrote:


Why is a Wakazashi exotic?

Because it's a smaller katana. If that seems arbitrary... well, you're right. A fair number of rules in ANY RPG are arbitrary.

But also because it's fundamentally better (if only slightly) than an equal sized similar martial weapon like a short sword.

When we determine if a weapon is simple, martial, or exotic... the actual real-world difficulty in wielding the weapon isn't something that we factor in. It's pretty much "is this weapon better than the standard version of the most similar weapon?" and if it is, it's exotic.

If a real world weapon is hard to wield, we'll often DELIBERATELY give it better stats than a martial weapon equivalent so that it's Exotic, of course.

And further complicating all that is the unfortunate truth that there are multiple different ways for different designers to decide what makes a weapon exotic or not—and those decisions don't always match up with other folks' opinions.

pretty straight forward answer which explains why a metal studded baseball bat is exotic and deals d10 damage.

I still think the system should be revamped though.


Rob Duncan wrote:
I agree with all the reasons /why/ particular items might be restricted to certain classes, but my view is that the "exotic" tag only serves to make that restriction possible.

Pretty much this.

blue_the_wolf wrote:
I only used rapiers to express that saying wakasashi should be exotic because western fighters have no historic experience with them is the same as saying that eastern classes should treat traditionally western weapons like rapiers as exotic for the same reason.

That makes perfect sense to me. I would certainly agree that to a samurai or ninja trying to wield a rapier, gladius, or other specific non-Japanese weapons might be exotic weapons and require some restriction to weapons not found in their culture.

I have no problem with this being the reason for the EWP feat tax, it's acceptable.

Taldor

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
gamer-printer wrote:
Rob Duncan wrote:
I agree with all the reasons /why/ particular items might be restricted to certain classes, but my view is that the "exotic" tag only serves to make that restriction possible.

Pretty much this.

blue_the_wolf wrote:
I only used rapiers to express that saying wakasashi should be exotic because western fighters have no historic experience with them is the same as saying that eastern classes should treat traditionally western weapons like rapiers as exotic for the same reason.

That makes perfect sense to me. I would certainly agree that to a samurai or ninja trying to wield a rapier, gladius, or other specific non-Japanese weapons might be exotic weapons and require some restriction to weapons not found in their culture.

I have no problem with this being the reason for the EWP feat tax, it's acceptable.

When you and blue_the_wolf frame it from that perspective, I think it fits with the concept of "exotic" as being tied to classes; I don't have the sourcebooks to look with more detail into the samurai/ninja restrictions, but the PRD suggests that the wizard can only use /some/ simple weapons.. If the samurai/ninja do not get all the martial weapons, this would seem to serve the purpose of restricting "western" weapons and reinforce the "exotic" to class rather than underlying weapon.


i think the simple/martial/exotic distinction should be removed entirely. all it does is restrict weapons to specific archtypes.

i mean a western character can already wear eastern armor if they have the appropriate proficiency. why can't a western character wield eastern weapons? is it to preserve the aesthetic desire for Katanas to be a superior weapon? what about the eastern classes? do we really need a seperate class for the Geisha when a bard works just fine? do we need a seperate class for the samurai when the fighter works just fine?

if one really wants to differentiate proficiencies by ethnic background. just come up with variant weapon packages for specific classes to represent these ethnic differences.


blue_the_wolf wrote:

Straight from the mouth of tyranosaurusJames

James Jacobs wrote:
blue_the_wolf wrote:


Why is a Wakazashi exotic?

Because it's a smaller katana. If that seems arbitrary... well, you're right. A fair number of rules in ANY RPG are arbitrary.

But also because it's fundamentally better (if only slightly) than an equal sized similar martial weapon like a short sword.

When we determine if a weapon is simple, martial, or exotic... the actual real-world difficulty in wielding the weapon isn't something that we factor in. It's pretty much "is this weapon better than the standard version of the most similar weapon?" and if it is, it's exotic.

If a real world weapon is hard to wield, we'll often DELIBERATELY give it better stats than a martial weapon equivalent so that it's Exotic, of course.

And further complicating all that is the unfortunate truth that there are multiple different ways for different designers to decide what makes a weapon exotic or not—and those decisions don't always match up with other folks' opinions.

pretty straight forward answer which explains why a metal studded baseball bat is exotic and deals d10 damage.

I still think the system should be revamped though.

This just reminded me that the Greatclub is martial in Pathfinder, which is where some of the ridiculousness starts.

That needs to be fixed as well, and I almost forgot about it because everyone I play with saw that years ago and went.... WHA?!?!.... and simply houseruled it as simple.

Anyway, comparisons should be made from a purely mechanical perspective.

That quote from Jacobs actually seems to say (to me) that their intent is always to make Exotic weapons better mechanically.... but it's frustrating and doesn't always work, because of there being so many legacy issues and different cooks in the kitchen over the years.

For the Tetsubo, a better comparison is Pathfinder's own Earthbreaker hammer.

2-handed
Martial
2D6 Bludgeoning Damage
x3 Critical

So when you compare to the Tetsubo, it makes perfect sense to keep it Martial as you are lowering the damage die to increase the critical multiplier by one step.
You see many different precedents for this already in the system.

Does the Tetsubo LOOK like an Earthbreaker? Nope, but mechanically they are two-handed bludgeoning weapons... so IMHO, that's where the comparisons should start.

All just my opinion though... I don't want to be a backseat developer and I have pretty good faith in the folks at Paizo.

The latest Advanced Race Guide has me just giddy, and that quote from James Jacobs actually gives me a little hope for some balance tweaks in Ultimate Equipment (what better place to centralize all the fixes and errata?),


I think the core of the problem is essentially expantion bloat.

the game is set and balanced but then they add a bunch of "eastern" stuff. and they have to make it cool but not make it so cool that no one plays anything but the new stuff. so they put it in the exotic category.

but when you look at it as a whole it stops making sense.

I think that the mechanics of the game should work in any setting and not be modified in order to make one setting more exotic from a specific story perspective. if I am playing a game in an eastern campaign, but NOT playing a samurai or ninja why should common weapons be rated as exotic simply because pathfider in general is western fantasy biased.

fixing the problem, however, can be problematic. The entire weapons list whould be revamped. re-balance all of the weapons damage, crits, abilities etc. some weapons may happen to have the exact same stats as others but have essentially a different skin. as long as its not excessive it should be ok.

then develop a new proficiency system. even if they maintain the exact same feat based proficiency system simple, martial, exotic can take on a more real world based system ensuring that weapons like clubs and spears and tetsubo stay simple, martial weapons would cover your general purpous standard military weapons like most straight or curved swords, maces, axes, bows etc. Exotic weapons would be only those weapons with very strange characteristics; double axe, flail, hook swords, Kukri, sword breaker etc. Or weapons with very strong roll play reason to be exotic like it ONLY comes from a special island, non human race, religious worshipers or class feature.

I agree that this would be a difficult undertaking as pathfinder is basically suffering under the expantion bloat of D&D.

but if they ever did a PF 2.0 it would be possible and a great addition.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Ravennus wrote:
magnuskn wrote:

The Falchion is not better than the Katana, it is equal. The No-Dachi really is better as a two-handed weapon, though.

Still, the fact remains that the Katana is a better Bastard Sword, with the same proficiency requirements. And it is martial if wielded two-handed. That other weapons are better is immaterial to that fact.

The Katana does 1d8 18-20/x2 Slashing damage.

The Falchion does 2D4 18-20/x2 Slashing damage.

The Falchion wins in average damage (by 0.5 points, but still).
The 'Deadly' property is pretty much useless, so I don't count it.

How is the Katana better again?

Are you going to continue to assign words to me that I didn't use? I said they are both more or less equal, not that the Katana is better.


magnuskn wrote:
Ravennus wrote:
magnuskn wrote:

The Falchion is not better than the Katana, it is equal. The No-Dachi really is better as a two-handed weapon, though.

Still, the fact remains that the Katana is a better Bastard Sword, with the same proficiency requirements. And it is martial if wielded two-handed. That other weapons are better is immaterial to that fact.

The Katana does 1d8 18-20/x2 Slashing damage.

The Falchion does 2D4 18-20/x2 Slashing damage.

The Falchion wins in average damage (by 0.5 points, but still).
The 'Deadly' property is pretty much useless, so I don't count it.

How is the Katana better again?

Are you going to continue to assign words to me that I didn't use? I said they are both more or less equal, not that the Katana is better.

I apologize, you didn't say better.

You said equal. You also did not say 'more or less'. ;)

Either way, I think we can all agree the system needs some work.
I imagine that during the development of Pathfinder, they hoped to sort some of this out but they only had so much time.

Still hoping for a good balance pass for Ultimate Equipment, as it seems like the perfect place to do so.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

That would be nice, yes.

<Waiting for James/Sean to pop in and say "Sorry, the book already is off to the printers, no more time for that, because of production delay...> ^^


Adding new weapons into the game also has another effect: sometimes, we are talking about the same weapon by another name . For example, Naginata is in principle nothing else then Japanese for Glaive. In other cases, some particular models are picked from sn existing weapon with an broader definition although specific stats are not necessary, like the Gladius.
Another bizarre categorisation would be the so called "Roman Scissor" (or in the entry called Scizore, which probably is the modern Italian form), a very, very obscure weapon only known from a few depictions of a gladiator type apparently called Scissor (Carver). We do not even now what its historical name is (the term was invented by a modern historician). But it is martial (and piercing, even though it is a cutting weapon even in the game's description). Same goes for the Rhomphaia, a weapon noted to require a lot of training. I cannot even understand this even uunder the angle of "we decide it which weapon seems more cool so we make it more powerful but restricted".
And of course a Falchion is not a heavy onehanded chopping weapon, but a twohanded slicing weapon (and the Kruki is chopping, too).
A simple solution could be to restrict some weapons according to the region the game is set in, without making some arbitrary weapons "exotic". If some weapon is not used and sold (or very rare) in a region (but of course, there are no rules anymore for the interaction of weapon and armour type that was the dominating factor here, i.e. slicing versus lightly/unarmored, heavy and solid piercing versus heavy, etc.), but different regions have other weapons. And you do not necessarily need a new weapon for every region: in the end, a European sabre, an Oriental sabre, a Chinese Dao and a Southasian Talwar are more or less the equivalent of each other.

Ravennus, on the scythe: The weapon is not described as the farming tool, but in the modified form known as the War Scythe, where the blade was flattened and repositioned so the blade extended forward, curved downwards. It was an extremely effective weapon, and like almost all pole arms, heavily utilised by peasants. (Again an example of arbitrary classification and the stupidity of the Commoner I would rather use the type hitdie for "normal" people than that, as live in such world should be tougher then 21th century first world cities, how would something like this even survive to adulthood? Sorry, off-topic, I know.)


Irbis wrote:

Adding new weapons into the game also has another effect: sometimes, we are talking about the same weapon by another name . For example, Naginata is in principle nothing else then Japanese for Glaive. In other cases, some particular models are picked from sn existing weapon with an broader definition although specific stats are not necessary, like the Gladius.

Another bizarre categorisation would be the so called "Roman Scissor" (or in the entry called Scizore, which probably is the modern Italian form), a very, very obscure weapon only known from a few depictions of a gladiator type apparently called Scissor (Carver). We do not even now what its historical name is (the term was invented by a modern historician). But it is martial (and piercing, even though it is a cutting weapon even in the game's description). Same goes for the Rhomphaia, a weapon noted to require a lot of training. I cannot even understand this even uunder the angle of "we decide it which weapon seems more cool so we make it more powerful but restricted".
And of course a Falchion is not a heavy onehanded chopping weapon, but a twohanded slicing weapon (and the Kruki is chopping, too).
A simple solution could be to restrict some weapons according to the region the game is set in, without making some arbitrary weapons "exotic". If some weapon is not used and sold (or very rare) in a region (but of course, there are no rules anymore for the interaction of weapon and armour type that was the dominating factor here, i.e. slicing versus lightly/unarmored, heavy and solid piercing versus heavy, etc.), but different regions have other weapons. And you do not necessarily need a new weapon for every region: in the end, a European sabre, an Oriental sabre, a Chinese Dao and a Southasian Talwar are more or less the equivalent of each other.

Ravennus, on the scythe: The weapon is not described as the farming tool, but in the modified form known as the War Scythe, where the blade was flattened and repositioned so the blade extended...

Yeah Irbis, I'm aware of the War Scythe. I was just kind of over-generalizing in 'rant mode', lol.

When the D&D/Pathfinder Scythe is pictured, it's always the farm implement version... not the Fauchard looking one.
That particular configuration would require some definite specialized training (farm version).
Yet the 'Scythe' is Martial and the Fauchard is exotic *eyeroll*.

And yeah, I totally get what you mean about the commoners... though I accepted it a long time ago as an arbitrary gamey thing, like most other rules in the game. *shrug*

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
magnuskn wrote:
Still doesn't explain why the Katana, Naginata and No-Dachi are martial, then.

The Katana, like the Bastard Sword is only martial in two handed use.


Among the wakizashi, the katana and the nodachi, at the very least the last one should be Exotic, since it was actually far too unwieldy to be used for combat - rather, it was worn as a symbol of status, and made by blacksmiths as a way to show their skill. But lol historical relevance.

Mechanics-wise, it being Exotic would also no longer make it be a no-brainer choice over the katana...

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting Subscriber

To the OP.

Because nerdrage dictates that everything Japan does is super mega awesome and therefore needs its own special rules and toys. Every other culture that is not as super mega awesome as Japan has to make do with the classes and weapons from the core book despite there being cultural analogues in the Golarion setting.

Basically some very vocal people were not happy with the "Wakisashi are shortswords" argument because "OMG! Wakisashi are like totally the most awesome blades evar and can cut through like sheet metal as if it were like paper!"

Paizo therefore felt that they had to reflect this nerdrage and create special rules for the Katana and Wakisashi making them effectively a better version of the Long/Bastard Sword and Shortsword respectively. However to maintain game balance they then had to make them exotic weapons.

If Paizo had made the Katana and Wakisashi martial weapons then they would have made the Longsword and Shortsword redundant. Conversely if they made the Katana and Wakisashi equivalent to the Longsword and Shortsword then you would have had a storm of protest from armchair Oriental historians saying that the Katana and Wakisashi need their own special rules because they have seen Ninja Scrolls 813 times and that clearly shows that Japanese weapons are better.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
LazarX wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Still doesn't explain why the Katana, Naginata and No-Dachi are martial, then.
The Katana, like the Bastard Sword is only martial in two handed use.

Thanks for pointing that out, I obviously hadn't noticed that before, despite my multiple mentions of the same in this thread.


Pathfinder Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

@FallofCamelot

Your own nerdrage is making a faulty assumption. You're assuming the game is based on historical realities. It's not.

One look at the weapons table, armor table, class abilities, basically anything in the rulebook will remove that flawed premise.

Therefore, the game is based off fantasy, and in fantasy, the Katana and Wakizashi IS better than a longsword and short sword. This is nothing to do with reality, it's to do with fantasy preconceptions. If we're going with fantasy for things like cross-bows, armor, spells, etc, then it is hypocritical to demand historical accuracy for the katana/wakizashi.


trhvmn wrote:

Among the wakizashi, the katana and the nodachi, at the very least the last one should be Exotic, since it was actually far too unwieldy to be used for combat - rather, it was worn as a symbol of status, and made by blacksmiths as a way to show their skill. But lol historical relevance.

Mechanics-wise, it being Exotic would also no longer make it be a no-brainer choice over the katana...

The no-daichi was never decorative. It's purpose is to cut both the horse and rider with a single blow - that's not a decorative act. It first saw prominence during the first invasion by Kublai Khan during the Minamoto shogunate in the early 13th century. It was always a real use combat weapon.

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