Katana as a light weapon


Advice

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Grand Lodge

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LazarX wrote:
Doomed Hero wrote:

[

In fact, the most famous samurai who ever lived, a bloke called Musashi, is a guy considered the foremost bladesman in Japan's history and his primary fighting style was dual-wielding a Katana and a Wakizashi in an explosive style that relied on speed and reach to best enemies. Sounds kinda like weapon finesse to me.

Weren't his swords made of wood?

Not at first, his most famous duel was fought with a carved oar.


phantom1592 wrote:
Shizvestus wrote:

Simple a Katana is a light weapon. In the Japanese world anyway and is considered a fencing weapon along with the Rapier.

Biggest flaw here... is that Rapier is not considered a light weapon. It's in the 'one handed melee weapons.'

So techniquely they DID put it in the same catagory as Rapiers.

The point is that a rapier is finesse-able while a katana is not, even though mechanically they are near identical (with exception to damage type being piercing on one and slashing on the other). a ninja is proficient with a katana but not a rapier, so he kinda gets screwed for no reason if he wants to be a dual wielding finesse build

If you elect me I promise in due time ill necro every old post i can find. im jimibones and i approve this message


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I love Katana threads, katana is the paladin of swords:)


jimibones83 wrote:
phantom1592 wrote:
Shizvestus wrote:

Simple a Katana is a light weapon. In the Japanese world anyway and is considered a fencing weapon along with the Rapier.

Biggest flaw here... is that Rapier is not considered a light weapon. It's in the 'one handed melee weapons.'

So techniquely they DID put it in the same catagory as Rapiers.

The point is that a rapier is finesse-able while a katana is not, even though mechanically they are near identical (with exception to damage type being piercing on one and slashing on the other). a ninja is proficient with a katana but not a rapier, so he kinda gets screwed for no reason if he wants to be a dual wielding finesse build

If you elect me I promise in due time ill necro every old post i can find. im jimibones and i approve this message

I Think you are confusing the katana and tha wakisashi the latter is like the rapier exept it is deadly, ligth, Can so S damage and is exotic the former have a higher damage dice and is not ligth.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
jimibones83 wrote:


If you elect me I promise in due time ill necro every old post i can find. im jimibones and i approve this message

Interesting, in the time it has taken to re-animate this thread, it has in fact become possible to finesse a katana, it's just feat heavy.

1 level of playtest swashbuckler lets you finesse light and one-handed piercing weapons.

The Slashing Grace feat from the playtest document lets you treat a 1-handed slashing weapon as a piercing weapon for such purposes. A katana is a 1-handed slashing weapon.

I had considered making a katana-based swashbuckler as a PFS character, but wasn't willing to pay all the feat taxes to do so, but it is certainly possible.


Seems then that this threat has finally found a second answer that is correct and on topic besides the one suggesting to use a small katana.


All just another example of how the whole Strength OR Dexterity dichotomy of D20 combat is silly... any hand-to-hand combat is obviously really Strength AND Dexterity.

For the record, the weight difference between say a Norse longsword, a late-era German dueling two-hander and a Katana is negligable, and the slight curve of the Katana is surprisingly irrelevant - a Katana can thrust very nicely, and a straight sword can cut very efficiently. Though on the issue of 'finesse,' a double-edge sword has all sorts of agile cutting tricks with the reverse side edge that a Katana can't do...


Shizvestus wrote:

Simple a Katana is a light weapon. In the Japanese world anyway and is considered a fencing weapon along with the Rapier.

So... Just consider it one in the game, as it should have been anyway. They only kept it as a heavy weapon because after all the arguments the game designers started to really get tired of the arguments and kept them as heavy weapons because they were psychologically biased- because of the arguments and not for any real game balance. When you look up what some of the fans put forth for what the Katana should be for damage, length, critical etc. they were perfectly game-balanced as a light weapon in the rapier class. Even when considered masterwork. And it is a one handed weapon that can be used two handed. Most combat forms for Katana are one handed forms. From the drawing cut onward. Only the Kendo style is two handed as a majority. There are lots of styles that use two Katana's- one in each hand. My Sensi teaches one such style.

And speaking from experience its relatively harder to learn two handed Katana style than one handed.

Also there is a two handed Katana that is more of a Bastard sword that you have to use two handed. It is a larger heavier version of the Katana.

They fence and spar yes, but as its a two-handed cavalry sword, it is not actually a light weapon.

One of the original Ainu sword types that the katana is influenced by was a light weapon (half short sword, half machete), but the Japanese conquerors seem to have merged that tech with their straight sword tech and curved the blade for more effectiveness when mounted.

I get for bonuses and such you want it to be light, but it really isn't. Bastard swords are also not light.


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Cap. Darling wrote:
I love Katana threads, katana is the paladin of swords:)

The Kilij will be your new paladin king.


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Katana still somewhat need strength to use it well. I know people love katana and think it's really light because they saw it on shows how ninja use it to kill everything, but it is not very light. Swords light Kilij and Saber are easier to use in one hand, and short sword is not a bad weapon for one hand neither. At least it felt that way to me when I trained with them.


Hey, to answer the original question Rogier asked, the best way to get a katana using dex to hit is combining Dervish Dance with Martial Versatility


Diminuendo wrote:
Hey, to answer the original question Rogier asked, the best way to get a katana using dex to hit is combining Dervish Dance with Martial Versatility

That doesn't work. martial versatility only works for feats for which you choose a weapon. But with dervish dance there is no weapon to choose.


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paizo said wrote:

Martial Versatility (Combat, Human)

You broaden your study of weapons to encompass multiple similar weapons.

Prerequisites: Fighter level 4th, human.

Benefit: Choose one combat feat you know that applies to a specific weapon (e.g., Weapon Focus). You can use that feat with any weapon within the same weapon group.

Dervish Dance applies to a specific weapon; the Scimitar. This "you have to specifically choose" thing is not refered to anywhere

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

The Katana was a last resort weapon of the Samurai.

Being forced to use it, basically meant you sucked at the Samurai's main focus.

Archery.

Also, there was nothing "superior" about it.

Folding the steel was to remove the mass of impurities in the available iron.

The fragility of the weapon, meant you wanted to get one good clean blow, before it was smashed.

The introduction of firearms basically forced Samurai to alter there iconic weapon, and even much of history was changed to reflect this.

If one wanted a "light" Katana, then the Ninjatō would be more appropriate.

Scarab Sages

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Using Muashi as an example of finessing a Katana is completely wrong. Muashi was all about Speed and Strength. It's the reason he preferred Bokken to Katanas in the first place. He won his first duel by hitting first with a big two handed stick. While his style did use two weapon fighting with Katana & Wakizashi,in game terms, he was STR based. He would have no problem with that as Katana is one handed and Wakizashi is light.


He was a brutal oni of a man. Killed the Demon of the Western Provinces with an oar, advised constant practice with two katanas to condition a warrior for katana and wakizashi dual-wielding.


On light katanas, there is the older, smaller kodachi:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kodachi

Which was a favourite of Terao Magonojō, Musashi's most favoured student.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber

use elven curve blade and say that the Tien translation for that is: Katana (with a big K)


The Ninja in my Runelords game wanted a Katana over a Wakizashi to finesse for flavor reasons. The extra 1 or 2 damage didn't break the game.


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Kairos Dawnfury wrote:
The Ninja in my Runelords game wanted a Katana over a Wakizashi to finesse for flavor reasons. The extra 1 or 2 damage didn't break the game.

if it was for flavor reasons, why not use the wakizashi and call it katana?

best ceese test there is. Some one wants flavor with mechanical benefits, give him the flavor without the benefits and see what happens. Often the flavor is suddenly forgotten.


I'm in agreement with the idea that you should offer any of the myriad of one handed weapons that are already finesseable (aldori dueling sword, saw-tooth saber, elven curve blade, or even reskinning a second wakazashi) to say it's a katana. If you're truly worried about the "look" or flavor that should be sufficient.

What it sounds like you want is the benfit of wielding a katana, and being able to finese. Because a katana has benefits over most of those other weapons. Whether it be proficiency or damage.

I would say no.


Katana is drawn one handed as the other hand is holding/manipulating the sheath...

The draw is often a cut (which is still done one handed).
The other hand is turning the sheath to make the blade face the correct direction for the cut to happen....

Most schools have several cuts utilizing both hands, and some which go back to a single hand grip.

The problem with dual weilding comes in that one hand is used to hold the sheath and the other is used to draw the blade.....


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Can I add this is not a simulation. All this "real world" information or "how it's supposed to work" is irrelevant. You have the game, you have the rules. Abide them. If you want a "katana" reflavor something else to be a katana. If you want it to be finesseable, find a weapon that can be finessed and use it. Describe it as a katana, no big deal. But use the right stats for what your wielding. No one except you and the GM need know differently.


Well my other answer was that only a dark katana should be used as a light weapon....


Umbranus wrote:
Kairos Dawnfury wrote:
The Ninja in my Runelords game wanted a Katana over a Wakizashi to finesse for flavor reasons. The extra 1 or 2 damage didn't break the game.

if it was for flavor reasons, why not use the wakizashi and call it katana?

best ceese test there is. Some one wants flavor with mechanical benefits, give him the flavor without the benefits and see what happens. Often the flavor is suddenly forgotten.

Because I don't care about the Ninja doing 5 extra damage in each encounter. That close attention to detail isn't as valuable to me as my players taking real interest in their characters. Giving them a little house rule love gets them more invested in the story.

I know my players and he isn't a min-maxer. There are story elements tied into it, and he just wants it. I think when we try to have a one size fits all approach to things, it ruins things for a majority of people, since we're all so different.


Rogier wrote:
I know... but I would love to use a Katana and Wakizashi

Nothing stops you from doing that. Wakizashi is light weapon and if used in you off hand the penalties are -2/-2. You only run into problem if you don't use a light weapon in you other hand. If you want to use two Katanas go with the TWF fighter archetype. At level 11 your off hand weapon is considered light and the penalties for TWF decrease by 1. So you'd be -1/-1 but you have to wait. Until that time I'd use the Wakizashi.


Musashi did win many of his duels with a wooden sword its true. He invented or at least popularized his two sword style at a different stage in his long career.

At our game table we've long considered weapon weights as listed to include the appropriate belt harness scabbard etc. Combat swords are usually much lighter than replica weapons. Carbon steel is lighter.

As for swordplay, my friend took a few years of French fencing and I took a few years of Escrima so we fight with padded swords for fun. We have tried every combination of long and short swords and shields.

Actually if find both shields and off hand weapons kind of a hinderance in a one on one duel. The versatility of the free hand for switching hands, those of us lefties with ambidexterity,and doubling up at need really adds flexibility. Personally I like one handing it. Turning the body edge on to your opponent makes a much smaller target than squaring up two handed. As with knife fighting most swordblows land on the hands and arms as they are always the closest target. That is why Kendo armor has excellent helmets and padded gloves. Still the head is hard to reach if your opponent has practiced before.


Frederic wrote:
Musashi did win many of his duels with a wooden sword its true. He invented or at least popularized his two sword style at a different stage in his long career.

Musashi is also legendary, which means, first, he shouldn't be taken as representative of what people generally did, and second, that most of what he is supposed to have done he probably didn't. (No, Washington didn't chop down the cherry tree, and Alfred probably never burned the cakes, either.)


all of this Musashi talk is very entertaining, what are some good sources of information on his life?

any good reads? or is this wikiknowledge?

The Exchange

Why not just reverse-engineer a Sun-blade to figure out what the enchantment to make the Bastard sword feel and act like a short sword would cost and apply it to your katana? Then you won't need some weird house rule or GM permissions...you just get it enchanted and start TWFing your butt off.


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There's no reason for the katana as it exists in pf to be finessable. Additionally most of what people talk about "real World" Kara knowledge is pure fanasy.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber

two wakisashis are better anyway (you get to use weapon focus / specialization on all attacks)

the 1d6 compared to 1d8 is almost insignificant in terms of difference (especially if you have weapon specialization, as m from the "mx+b" equation, the variable part, i.e. d6 vs d8, becomes insignificant the higher the b part becomes... i.e. b being dictated by STR bonus (other other, depending on build) as well as weapon specialization, enhancement bonus, etc.)


Miyamoto Musashi was a ronin samurai most of his life, and though the most famous 2 weapon wielding samurai, he was pretty much the only one known - being mostly self taught. Sword schools in Japan then and since focus on 2 handed katana use with little aberration towards 2 weapon training. Musashi was the author of Book of Five Rings, which he wrote at a very old age while residing in a monastery. You can find more details here... Miyamoto Musashi from Samurai Archives.

While its 3PP, I've helped develop a "Musashi" styled 2 weapon samurai called Nitojutsu Sensei (2 weapon master) from Rite Publishing's Way of the Samurai (PFRPG)


Only way to do it I've found for a character is use a swashbuckler with slashing grace which lets you use swashbuckler finesse with it (and all the other swashbuckler goodies).

Other option if your DM allows 3rd party is the Swordmaster from Dreadfox Games which is perfect for...well mastery of swords but also finessing of katanas.


Frederic wrote:

Musashi did win many of his duels with a wooden sword its true. He invented or at least popularized his two sword style at a different stage in his long career.

At our game table we've long considered weapon weights as listed to include the appropriate belt harness scabbard etc. Combat swords are usually much lighter than replica weapons. Carbon steel is lighter.

As for swordplay, my friend took a few years of French fencing and I took a few years of Escrima so we fight with padded swords for fun. We have tried every combination of long and short swords and shields.

Actually if find both shields and off hand weapons kind of a hinderance in a one on one duel. The versatility of the free hand for switching hands, those of us lefties with ambidexterity,and doubling up at need really adds flexibility. Personally I like one handing it. Turning the body edge on to your opponent makes a much smaller target than squaring up two handed. As with knife fighting most swordblows land on the hands and arms as they are always the closest target. That is why Kendo armor has excellent helmets and padded gloves. Still the head is hard to reach if your opponent has practiced before.

I'm ambidextrous and it sucks. Sure I can use either hand for things but I'm never as good at either way as person who is right or left handed. I have to practice a lot more and never get that good. If right handed person is forced to go left handed I'm much better but not better than the left handed person.


Adding more to the Swashbuckler, there just has to be an archetype in the works for a swashbuckler to focus on a singular weapon ala the Kensai and use that weapon with an archetype specific finesse ability. Maybe with Canny Defense as well? Please?


Take the third party feat "lighten weapon"
And then "improved lighten weapon"

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Not sure what weapon stats would best represent the Ninjatō though.

Scarab Sages

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blackbloodtroll wrote:
Not sure what weapon stats would best represent the Ninjatō though.

Short sword should be sufficient.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Katana, since Ninjato is a fantasy weapon.

Or just whatever feels right to you, since this is a fantasy game. :-)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Rogier wrote:

He everyone,

Another question.
What would you have to do to make a katana a light weapon?
So you can use it with weapon finness.

It would literally have to be a different weapon. it would have to be smaller, so it would be lighter and do less damage... Such a small version does exist.... it's called the Wakizashi.


LazarX wrote:
Rogier wrote:

He everyone,

Another question.
What would you have to do to make a katana a light weapon?
So you can use it with weapon finness.

It would literally have to be a different weapon. it would have to be smaller, so it would be lighter and do less damage... Such a small version does exist.... it's called the Wakizashi.

Or you could use third party feats.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
icehawk333 wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Rogier wrote:

He everyone,

Another question.
What would you have to do to make a katana a light weapon?
So you can use it with weapon finness.

It would literally have to be a different weapon. it would have to be smaller, so it would be lighter and do less damage... Such a small version does exist.... it's called the Wakizashi.
Or you could use third party feats.

You're talking about a weapon that's essentially comparable in size to a bastard sword. I know that third party feats aren't beholden to concepts such as verisimilitude, or game balance, but presumably the poster was asking for a rules answer, not a home-brew.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:

Katana, since Ninjato is a fantasy weapon.

Or just whatever feels right to you, since this is a fantasy game. :-)

Yeah.

Most people forget that. Also, the Shinobi shōzoku, or "Ninja Outfit" came from theater. Puppet Theater, or Bunraku.


LazarX wrote:


You're talking about a weapon that's essentially comparable in size to a bastard sword. I know that third party feats aren't beholden to concepts such as verisimilitude, or game balance, but presumably the poster was asking for a rules answer, not a home-brew.

"Third party" isn't homebrew, not entirely.

Second, the feats are underpowered.

Even if it was just one feat, it allows you to use finesse with a katana, putting it at approximately 1 extra point of damage over the rapier. But it's not. It's two. The first lets it happen at a -2, and the second just lets it happen.

The two feats can also let you wield a weapon that's too large for you.

Increase the size of a greatsword? Extra 3.5 damage. For 2 feats.

The most broken use of the feat is on a ranger, combined with lead blades /and/ enlarge person, allowing you to deal 6d6 damage on a hit.

Of course, that requires two spells, and is still only a total of +10.5 average damage.

These feats are there to help with a theme, not to be overpowered.


Umbranus wrote:
Kairos Dawnfury wrote:
The Ninja in my Runelords game wanted a Katana over a Wakizashi to finesse for flavor reasons. The extra 1 or 2 damage didn't break the game.

if it was for flavor reasons, why not use the wakizashi and call it katana?

best ceese test there is. Some one wants flavor with mechanical benefits, give him the flavor without the benefits and see what happens. Often the flavor is suddenly forgotten.

Yep!


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My sensei can beat up your sensei.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Rogar Stonebow wrote:
My sensei can beat up your sensei.

My Sensei is a Horse.

Also, he is dead.


Cap. Darling wrote:


I Think you are confusing the katana and tha wakisashi the latter is like the rapier exept it is deadly, ligth, Can so S damage and is exotic the former have a higher damage dice and is not ligth.

Ah you are right, my mistake. I was thinking a rapier was d8 damage


I like how several people here are saying theres no reason to make the katana finesse-able and to just play by the rules when Arutema has already pointed out that you can now make it finesse-able by the rules.

Which leads me to my question. @Arutema Is there a way to accomplish this without being a swashbuckler? I'm playing a ninja, dual wielding wakizashis right now but id like a katana in 1 hand.

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