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Question about the Katana


Rules Questions

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Sczarni

Hey there,

Just need to clarify something; both Ninja & Samuarai are proficient with the Katana. Neither, as far as I can tell posess the "Exotic Weapon Proficiency" feat. Does this mean that by RAW, neither class can wield the Katana as a one handed weapon?

d20PFSRD wrote:

Katana: Specifically constructed for samurai, katanas employ multiple types of steel combined in a distinctive forging process. The result are swords noted for their wickedly sharp yet slender, gently curved blades, designed to make graceful hacking strokes capable of severing opponents’ heads and limbs. Though finely balanced, these blades are difficult to master.

Benefit: Characters can use a katana two-handed as a martial weapon, but must take the Exotic Weapon Proficiency (katana) feat to use it one-handed.

Emphasis mine. I just find it curious that the weapon description specifically calls out having the EWP feat, where as I think it's easy to infer that the Samurai class specifically is able to TWF with a Katana & Wakizashi (called a Daisho or something).


i would think since it is a martial weapon for everyone 2 handed, it wouldn't be necessary to add it to the list of proficiencies that samurai get, so that since it is added to their list would imply they get to use it 1 handed without penalty.


Doesn't proficiency with a specific exotic weapon by extension confer Exotic Weapon Proficiency for that specific exotic weapon only?


Having proficiency with a weapon (as the samurai does) is the same thing as having the appropriate weapon proficiency feat (in this case the exotic weapon proficiency (katana) feat).

Sczarni

While I tend to agree with you I have heard it argued by members of this board, that being proficient and having exotic weapon proficiency are not the same thing.

This was kind of touched on in another thread regarding the Wanderer Monk's Far Traveller ability and whether or not it counted as EWP for the purposes of using weapon finesse with an Aldori Duelling sword...

I was previously wholly in agreement with you all, now I'm unsure.


Yeah PF Samurai get the proficiency.

Imo, it's a common misconceptions since back in 3rd Edition, the Oriental Adventures Samurai didn't get the proficiency, but could still wield it two-handed. Cause back then, it was just a glorified Bastard Sword back then.


Krodjin: Yes, and in that thread people eventually started agreeing with me :)

(at least in terms of RAI)


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Being proficient, and having the relevant proficiency feat are the same thing.


The difference in the Wanderer class arch is that they don't have standard proficiency. They have an ability that confers proficiency and that proficiency can be "swapped out" at specific levels for a different weapon. So it doesn't jive with other abilities that rely on you having true proficiency (part of standard class proficiency or as the feat).


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Proficiency, is proficiency, is proficiency.

Whether it be the Wanderer class ability, racial ability, Opalescent White Pyramid, Bracers of Archery, or the appropriate proficiency feat.

All are the same.


It's a language problem. The Devs creates weapons that have multiple proficiency levels and then never wrote the language of the rules to correctly account for that.
So really, the only way you can look at it (and keep your sanity) is for Proficiency to cover all types of proficiency, even if that isn't the RAI (and I'm not saying it's not RAI - I'm saying I don't know).


IMO, I know next to nothing about these classes, and even less about the oriental adventures.

however, I like reading, understanding and applying common sense to the rules.

In this particular case, from what I am inferring by the posts in this thread, the samurai and ninja both list as having proficiency with the katana, but don't specifically list the feats.

so... i'm curious where the problem is? or where the misunderstanding about their ability to use a weapon is?

if the class states "you are proficient with this item" then guess what? you are proficient with it. if they didn't specifically list the proficiency in a different area, maybe they were trying to save ink?

if you want to look at it a different way, just think about what makes sense.

If you're playing a samurai, you're character grew up, joined the ranks, and then was given training in these weapons. that's the main weapon they train with IIRC. Therefor it makes sense for the samurai character to be proficient with it doesn't it?

This is a perfect case of Common Sense VS RAW.

i guess a case for RAW is "they don't have the proficiency listed, so they can't use the katana one handed"

to be blunt, if a gamer tried to say that in my group, he'd get a swift kick in the nuts, and probably wouldn't come back. cause we don't like rules lawyers... we like understanding the rules but we don't like lawyers...

Shadow Lodge

I don't see the issue. Samurai are proficient in all martial weapons plus katana. Ninja are proficient in all simple weapons plus katana. If you AREN'T proficient with the katana, you can use it as a two-handed weapon without penalty if you are proficient with all martial weapons.

This doesn't mean you have martial proficiency with the katana, just that you can use it without penalty.


kantas wrote:
so... i'm curious where the problem is? or where the misunderstanding about their ability to use a weapon is?

The problem is whoever wrote the Katana description explicitly said you must have a specific feat in order to use it a certain way.

For instance, the Net says "It takes 2 rounds for a proficient user to fold a net and twice that long for a nonproficient one to do so."

That means anyone who is proficient with the net can fold a net in 2 rounds. And anyone who is not proficient takes twice as long.

The katana, on the other hand, says you "must take the Exotic Weapon Proficiency (katana) feat to use it one-handed."

So unless the class proficiency counts as having taken the feat, then you can't use it one-handed.

Lets look at the feats.

Shield Proficiency (Combat): "Special: Barbarians, bards, clerics, druids, fighters, paladins, and rangers all automatically have Shield Proficiency as a bonus feat. They need not select it."

Simple Weapon Proficiency (Combat): "Special: All characters except for druids, monks, and wizards are automatically proficient with all simple weapons. They need not select this feat."

Martial Weapon Proficiency (Combat): "Special: Barbarians, fighters, paladins, and rangers are proficient with all martial weapons. They need not select this feat."

So for each of those, class-based proficiency pretty clearly counts as having the feat.

Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Combat): "Special: You can gain Exotic Weapon Proficiency multiple times. Each time you take the feat, it applies to a new type of exotic weapon."

Nothing about class proficiency counting.

Why is this the case? Who knows. Should proficiency with an exotic weapon count as having the feat? Probably. Is the Katana description not worded as well as it could be? Probably. Should a Samurai be able to use a Katana in one hand? Probably.


Krodjin wrote:

Emphasis mine. I just find it curious that the weapon description specifically calls out having the EWP feat, where as I think it's easy to infer that the Samurai class specifically is able to TWF with a Katana & Wakizashi (called a Daisho or something).

Actually, historically speaking, most samurai (even with the daisho of two swords) only wielded one sword at a time, and when wielding the katana using two hands only. Almost no samurai ever wielded the daisho in two weapon style fashion. Miyamoto Musashi is the historical exception, and that's one guy among thousands of samurai over nearly a thousand year period. Not that there are no other exceptions, however, no one other than Musashi is mentioned anywhere in Japanese history for doing so. The Japanese tend to be very traditional. Tradition states a katana is wielded two handed, thus most samurai wield it this way.

For almost all samurai the wakizashi exists only for the samurai to commit seppuku (killing themselves) if circumstances call for that, and not as a secondary combat weapon.

If a given samurai or ninja desires to wield a katana single handed, they require the exotic weapon proficiency for katana.

In Rite Publishiing's Way of the Samurai, there is a samurai archetype called nitojutsu-sensei which is built as a two-weapon fighter wielding katana and wakizashi and does not require EWP for katana, as this archetype is based on the life Miyamoto Musashi. So is the exception - but only if your GM allows 3PP material in your PF game.

There are four samurai archetypes in that supplement, only the nitojutsu-sensei gains this benefit - and it's not the most optimal samurai archetype in that book. I prefer the Yabusame (archery speciailist) as my favorite among the four.


The thing is this: Unless you count class proficiency as the feat, Gunslingers won't be able to take "Rapid Reload" for their firearms without taking a useless feat (since that feat requires the EWP feat). Which is clearly not the intent, since the Rapid Reload feat was reprinted in UC (the same book as Gunslingers) for the specific purpose of allowing its use with firearms.

Meaning the clear intent of the rules is that "gaining proficiency" is the same thing as "gaining the appropriate proficiency feat".

Shadow Lodge

Grick wrote:
kantas wrote:
so... i'm curious where the problem is? or where the misunderstanding about their ability to use a weapon is?

The problem is whoever wrote the Katana description explicitly said you must have a specific feat in order to use it a certain way.

For instance, the Net says "It takes 2 rounds for a proficient user to fold a net and twice that long for a nonproficient one to do so."

That means anyone who is proficient with the net can fold a net in 2 rounds. And anyone who is not proficient takes twice as long.

The katana, on the other hand, says you "must take the Exotic Weapon Proficiency (katana) feat to use it one-handed."

Then why does it state that samurai are proficient with the katana at all? They are proficient with all martial weapons, and can therefore use it two-handed without penalty anyway. Your argument might have had merit if the katana were actually a martial weapon, and then you could take exotic weapon proficiency for the ability to wield it one handed.

However, it is a one-handed exotic weapon, with the ability to be used without penalty in two hands if the user isn't proficient with it, but is proficient with martial weapons.


Serum wrote:
However, it is a one-handed exotic weapon, with the ability to be used without penalty in two hands if the user isn't proficient with it, but is proficient with martial weapons.

I think you've got that backwards. The katana is a two-handed martial weapon, that can be wielded one-handed with exotic weapon proficiency. It is not, by definition, an exotic one-handed weapon as it's base description.


gamer-printer wrote:
The katana is a two-handed martial weapon, that can be wielded one-handed with exotic weapon proficiency. It is not, by definition, an exotic one-handed weapon as it's base description.

Look at Table: Eastern Weapons—Exotic, under One-Handed Melee Weapons. The first entry is Katana.


srd wrote:

(Exotic - Eastern)

One-Handed Melee Weapons: Katana

RAW it is a one-handed weapon


It would have been cumbersome for Paizo to list katana in 2 different weapon categories, since EWP is required to wield it one-handed. It was a categorization choice for less confusion, not meant to force one particular description.

I was one of the freelance writers for Jade Regent #6, and I've been clarified on this point by Paizo, plus I'm considered an 'expert' regarding 'things Japanese' in the game, among 3PP.

But at your table, read it, however best fits your game.


gamer-printer wrote:
It would have been cumbersome for Paizo to list katana in 2 different weapon categories, since EWP is required to wield it one-handed. It was a categorization choice for less confusion, not meant to force one particular description.

So just putting it in the Martial table under two-handed weapons, with a note in the description that someone with EWP can wield it one-handed wouldn't have worked?

gamer-printer wrote:
I was one of the freelance writers for Jade Regent #6, and I've been clarified on this point by Paizo

Would you be willing to post the clarification they gave you? Is it about the weapon category (one-handed vs two-handed, which affects weapons of different sizes, HP, and various other abilities) or is it about requiring the feat vs class proficiency?


Serum wrote:

Then why does it state that samurai are proficient with the katana at all? They are proficient with all martial weapons, and can therefore use it two-handed without penalty anyway. Your argument might have had merit if the katana were actually a martial weapon, and then you could take exotic weapon proficiency for the ability to wield it one handed.

However, it is a one-handed exotic weapon, with the ability to be used without penalty in two hands if the user isn't proficient with it, but is proficient with martial weapons.

well, if the katana counts as a martial weapon when wielded two handed, then there is no need for them to specifically state that the samurai is proficient with it, unless it is referring to something specific about that weapon.

in the katana's case, it must be referring to the exotic weapon proficiency. no other case makes sense... it is already encompassed by the martial weapon proficiency, so to state you have proficiency with all martial weapons and the katana is redundant unless it refers to a special case.

Lets elaborate on it more.

A fighter is proficient with all martial weapons, and the longsword.

does that statement make sense? yes and no. we know the longsword is martial, so it's already encompassed by the first part of the statement, but adding it again, just serves to confuse whomever is reading that statement, because it doesn't mean anything.

A fighter is proficient with all martial weapons, and can wield a bastard sword two handed.

Again, same kind of statement. the fighter is proficient with all martial weapons, and the bastard sword can already be wielded two handed by anyone with all martial weapon proficiencies.

now the confusion arises when you say:

A Samurai is proficient with all martial weapons, and the Katana.

Now we can examine this statement and say, alright so the Samurai has all martial weapon proficiencies, and he has the Katana proficiency. so... seeing as he already has the martial weapon proficiency aspect of the Katana, if he has further proficiency, then the only thing left is the exotic weapon proficiency.

otherwise it's redundant... and this isn't the department of redundancy department.


It was concerning the categorization - not about the proficiency. It was a private mail from development, I'd need permisssion to clarify. I was concurrently working on Way of the Samurai for Rite, when doing Jade Regent, and that's why it came up. I was told to do my best to keep 3PP leanings and Paizo official material separate - otherwise Paizo would own my rulings, and could not do so for my 3PP projects.

Even elements of the Yakuza in Kasai, were my inclusions, but I kept it as fluff, since I was also working yakuza rules in Way of the Yakuza for Rite at the same time as well.

I am only a fluff writer/cartographer and not a freelance game designer, so for Paizo, I keep myself out of the rules generally.


gamer-printer wrote:
It was concerning the categorization - not about the proficiency.

By putting it in the wrong table, it has the wrong HP, and object size categories.

A Katana by RAW has 5 HP.

If a Katana was actually a two-handed weapon that could be used one-handed by some people, it would have 10 HP.

A Katana by RAW can be used by a proficient creature one size category smaller than it was designed for, much like a bastard sword.

If a Katana was actually a two-handed weapon that could be used one-handed by some people, this wouldn't be the case (since use doesn't determine size category, else a Phalanx Soldier could wield a large lance).

A Katana by RAW can be thrown as a standard action.

If a Katana was actually a two-handed weapon that could be used one-handed by some people, it would be thrown as a full-round action.

A medium Katana by RAW is a small object. A level 11 cleric can animate 11 katanas.

If a medium Katana was actually a two-handed weapon, it would be a medium object. A level 11 cleric would be able to animate only 5 of them.

Shadow Lodge

kantas wrote:
A fighter is proficient with all martial weapons, and the longsword.

Your argument doesn't need to go any further than this. A fighter is proficient with all simple and martial weapons. Period. It's part of his class features. Just like a samurai is proficient with all simple and martial weapons plus the katana, naginata, and wakizashi.


^^ Don't forget you can make a Katana from obsidian (not normally relevant).


Are wrote:

Having proficiency with a weapon (as the samurai does) is the same thing as having the appropriate weapon proficiency feat (in this case the exotic weapon proficiency (katana) feat).

Having proficiency with a weapon, and having the appropriate proficiency feat, are NOT the same thing. However, they are treated as the same in many respects.

If it were exactly the same thing, as many people seem to be claiming in this thread, then a fighter has nigh-unlimited feats he could trade out every few levels.

That obviously is not the case. You get proficiency, and you are treated as having the feat, but you don't ACTUALLY possess the feat.

Game designers have already clarified that having proficiency is like having the feat in that you can (for example) do things like wield a bastard sword one-handed.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

@RD: Your statement on the Fighter is untrue, as he can only retrain the feats that he gained as a fighter bonus feat.

Proficiency, is proficiency, is proficiency.


Ravingdork wrote:
If it were exactly the same thing, as many people seem to be claiming in this thread, then a fighter has nigh-unlimited feats he could trade out every few levels.

The fighter can only replace bonus feats. Even if class-based proficiency granted the feat, it doesn't grant it as a bonus feat, so it can't be traded out.

Except for Shield Proficiency, which actually says they get it as a bonus feat. That's fixed by assuming that the Bonus Feat ability is referring only to bonus feats granted by that ability, rather than any bonus feat from any other source. (AKA: “fighter bonus feats”)


If you believe that proficiency = a feat (I don't), then how is that not a "bonus feat?" Which, by definition, is any feat you get outside your general feats at 1st-level and every odd level. Heck, they are even combat feats granted by the fighter class.

Good thing proficiency doesn't give you actual feats.

Shadow Lodge

Ravingdork wrote:
If you believe that proficiency = a feat (I don't), then how is that not a "bonus feat?" Which, by definition, is any feat you get outside your general feats at 1st-level and every odd level. Heck, they are even combat feats granted by the fighter class.

Perhaps because they're not called "Bonus Feats", and not gained with the "Bonus Feats" class feature?


The fighter class feature makes no mention of what bonus feats can and cannot be switched out (excepting those with prerequisites).

Shadow Lodge

Weapon proficiencies still aren't explicitly given as "bonus feats".

Why are you arguing semantics, anyway? Your own post allows that someone who is proficient in the katana can substitute "proficient with katana" as "Exotic Weapon Proficiency (katana)" for any requirement that matters.


Thank the designers for that!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
kantas wrote:
however, I like reading, understanding and applying common sense to the rules.

You poor, deluded fool.

Don't you know there is only RAW? There is no interpretation, every supposed "typo", every assumption that people understand plain English, every "mistake" the writers make are all intentional.

You should only ever, under any circumstances, take those tiny hiccups at face value. This is a game, your common sense has no place here.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I was with him until 'common sense'.

Reading, understanding, and applying game theory.


Tempest_Knight wrote:

I was with him until 'common sense'.

Reading, understanding, and applying game theory.

Most of game theory IS common sense. Some of the things you learn are of the "Ohhh, I didn't think of that variety" but things from stuff like "A Theory of Fun" are things you should know already and are just being reiterated.

Sczarni

I just think it would have been clearer if it didn't specifically call out possessing the Exotic Weapon Proficiency feat in the description for Katana in order to use it 1 handed.

Or they could have said that both the Ninja & Samurai gain Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Katana) as a bonus feat.


Ravingdork wrote:

If you believe that proficiency = a feat (I don't), then how is that not a "bonus feat?" Which, by definition, is any feat you get outside your general feats at 1st-level and every odd level. Heck, they are even combat feats granted by the fighter class.

Good thing proficiency doesn't give you actual feats.

The armor proficiencies are actual bonus feats, regardless of what you think the weapon proficiencies are (the armor proficiency feats specifically say so). Nobody would think you can swap out one of the armor proficiency feats or the shield proficiency feat.

So, the bonus feat swapping must thus be referring to feats gained through the same class feature.


Are: I'm not sure that I follow. Do you mean to say that the armor proficiency feats are fighter bonus feats? If so, then yes, that's true.

However, if you are saying that fighters start at level one with the Armor Proficiency (light), Armor Proficiency (medium), and Armor Proficiency (heavy) feats, than you are sorely mistaken. (They gain proficiency, but not the feats.)


Ravingdork: As I mentioned in my post, the armor proficiency and shield proficiency feats specifically say they are bonus feats:

PRD wrote:

Special: Fighters and paladins automatically have Heavy Armor Proficiency as a bonus feat. They need not select it.

Special: All characters except monks, sorcerers, and wizards automatically have Light Armor Proficiency as a bonus feat. They need not select it.

Special: Barbarians, clerics, druids, fighters, paladins, and rangers automatically have Medium Armor Proficiency as a bonus feat. They need not select it.

Special: Barbarians, bards, clerics, druids, fighters, paladins, and rangers all automatically have Shield Proficiency as a bonus feat. They need not select it.

Special: Fighters automatically have Tower Shield Proficiency as a bonus feat. They need not select it.

So unless you're prepared to make the argument that fighters can swap out any of those 5 feats for other feats with their "Bonus Feats" class feature, then you shouldn't use that as an argument against treating weapon proficiencies as bonus feats.

Paizo Employee Digital Products Assistant

Removed a few posts. Please stay on topic and be civil to other posters.


Are wrote:

Ravingdork: As I mentioned in my post, the armor proficiency and shield proficiency feats specifically say they are bonus feats:

PRD wrote:

Special: Fighters and paladins automatically have Heavy Armor Proficiency as a bonus feat. They need not select it.

Special: All characters except monks, sorcerers, and wizards automatically have Light Armor Proficiency as a bonus feat. They need not select it.

Special: Barbarians, clerics, druids, fighters, paladins, and rangers automatically have Medium Armor Proficiency as a bonus feat. They need not select it.

Special: Barbarians, bards, clerics, druids, fighters, paladins, and rangers all automatically have Shield Proficiency as a bonus feat. They need not select it.

Special: Fighters automatically have Tower Shield Proficiency as a bonus feat. They need not select it.

So unless you're prepared to make the argument that fighters can swap out any of those 5 feats for other feats with their "Bonus Feats" class feature, then you shouldn't use that as an argument against treating weapon proficiencies as bonus feats.

Holy crap.

Sczarni

One last question: Any character with Martial weapon proficiency is able to take Weapon Focus (Katana) and receive the +1 to Attack when using it 2-handed. Correct? They would still only require EWP (Katana) if they intended to use it 1-handed I presume?

Silver Crusade

Thanks to this thread, I now realise that my next warrior-type PC will be wielding a large katana!

It will cost 100gp and weigh 12lbs, it will do 2d6 damage (18-20/x2), and it will be a two-handed weapon for my medium PC.

But I won't need to waste a feat to be proficient in it! I already have martial weapon proficiency and that's all I need to wield a katana two-handed!

None of you are allowed to copy this; it's mine!

BWAA HA HA HA HA HAAAAA!!!

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