Let's take this opportunity to ditch some baggage with East Asian weapons and classes


Prerelease Discussion

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So, the kama is a sickle. It is literally a farming tool, but it is treated as exotic because it is Asian (maybe it is the association with ninjas?).

The Katana is a pretty standard sword. A bit of a longer handle than some but basically it is a sword like any other. Again, it is treated as exotic because reasons.

I see this as a problem. Pretty basic weapons get classified as "exotic" for simply being East Asian. On top of that, we have the Samurai alternate class which is the most unnecessary class in all the game. It's mostly just the Cavalier but a flavored Japanese. It should have been an archetype.

At the end of the day, lots of mundane things in addition to these are made exotic simply because of their foreign nature. I think this addition change would be a good chance to right some of these wrongs, I think. The Bo, Kama, Siangham, Katana, etc. are very straight forward. Let them join their martial siblings,


Taking a cue from GURPS, it could be a reflection of how the weapon in question is wielded. I have no doubt, for example, the farmers have pressed the sickle into combat use for millennia, but doubt very much the practice resembled kamajutsu and even if it did the kama's blades are shorter and straighter than many sickles.

Likewise, wielding a katana properly supposedly requires a very specific action with the 'pinkie' finger a technique that I've heard was unknown to western swordsmen.

To be honest, I have no strong opinions either was, do feel the above may be along the lines of what designers were thinking


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Crayon wrote:

Taking a cue from GURPS, it could be a reflection of how the weapon in question is wielded. I have no doubt, for example, the farmers have pressed the sickle into combat use for millennia, but doubt very much the practice resembled kamajutsu and even if it did the kama's blades are shorter and straighter than many sickles.

Likewise, wielding a katana properly supposedly requires a very specific action with the 'pinkie' finger a technique that I've heard was unknown to western swordsmen.

Yeah, but anybody training in fencing or other western sword styles will tell you similar things. That is why they are martial weapons. Being 'properly' skilled in such weapons should be represented by BAB or weapon focus, not the exotic proficiency.

Exotic weapons should be reserved for difficult weapons to use, like the kusari-gama, the dire flail, or the seven-branched sword, not swords and farm equipment.


well, to be fair, try to swing a Katana like a European sword of about the same size, use the same fighting technique and it won't do you any good. And vice versa actually. I had training in the past with both types of swords and it DOES make sense that they are treated differently. Granted, that was a long time ago, in my early 20s, but I still remember how different those techniques were.
Now give a pseudo-European Fighter with no experience with Katanas one of those and he will probably treat it like any other sword he encountered. Which is inefficient and does not make sense. But give him training on how to wield the Katana, a proficiency if you will, due to the exotic fighting style, and he might know what to do with it.


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Hythlodeus wrote:

well, to be fair, try to swing a Katana like a European sword of about the same size, use the same fighting technique and it won't do you any good. And vice versa actually. I had training in the past with both types of swords and it DOES make sense that they are treated differently. Granted, that was a long time ago, in my early 20s, but I still remember how different those techniques were.

Now give a pseudo-European Fighter with no experience with Katanas one of those and he will probably treat it like any other sword he encountered. Which is inefficient and does not make sense. But give him training on how to wield the Katana, a proficiency if you will, due to the exotic fighting style, and he might know what to do with it.

And if you're a Fighter who isn't pseudo-European? Does the longsword now become an exotic weapon?


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Hythlodeus wrote:

well, to be fair, try to swing a Katana like a European sword of about the same size, use the same fighting technique and it won't do you any good. And vice versa actually. I had training in the past with both types of swords and it DOES make sense that they are treated differently. Granted, that was a long time ago, in my early 20s, but I still remember how different those techniques were.

Now give a pseudo-European Fighter with no experience with Katanas one of those and he will probably treat it like any other sword he encountered. Which is inefficient and does not make sense. But give him training on how to wield the Katana, a proficiency if you will, due to the exotic fighting style, and he might know what to do with it.

But then by that logic you need to make every longsword exotic to eastern folks and that particular rabbit hole is going to get messy real fast.

I tend to agree with the OP, but it's also somewhat counterintuitive as to me those weapons are (mostly) inherently exotic to my admittedly euro-centric world view.


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Milo gets it. I've done fencing and anyone that would try to saber-fight as if it were a longsword would have a hard time.

Having these foreign weapons as "exotic" treats Western as the default. Considering how inclusive and diverse Pathfinder is, it doesn't really jive with things.


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I figure the right way to do it is with ancestries, since a weapon used by people in your neck of the woods is not "exotic" to you, whereas a weapon in common usage halfway around the world would be "exotic" to you if you've never seen one before.

But it's really not necessary (or appropriate) to mythologize "Eastern" weapons and armor these days.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I figure the right way to do it is with ancestries, since a weapon used by people in your neck of the woods is not "exotic" to you, whereas a weapon in common usage halfway around the world would be "exotic" to you if you've never seen one before.

But it's really not necessary (or appropriate) to mythologize "Eastern" weapons and armor these days.

That is one way you could do it, but I still think "exotic" should be limited to those specialized and hard-to-use weapons, like whips and nunchaku. The Falcata, for instance, should get out of the exotic category.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I figure the right way to do it is with ancestries, since a weapon used by people in your neck of the woods is not "exotic" to you, whereas a weapon in common usage halfway around the world would be "exotic" to you if you've never seen one before.

But it's really not necessary (or appropriate) to mythologize "Eastern" weapons and armor these days.

Building off of this, the way the proficiency system works makes the simple-martial-exotic paradigm basically redundant. Make it all weapon groups. Your ancestry can give you proficiency with some weapon groups, your background can give you some more, and your class can give you some more (even if there's some overlap). No need to give fighters 'all simple and martial' when you can just say 'pick X number of weapon groups' instead. Let it be a custom set, no need to have cookie-cutters.


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I share the hope that they’ll stop slapping the “exotic weapon” tag (and accompanying feat tax) on any weapon that originated outside of medieval Europe.

Doing so makes such weapons something strange, unusual, or abnormal. Not just strange, unusual or abnormal for people living in European-inspired locales, but strange, unusual or abnormal as a matter of objective fact (according to the rules).

This isn’t Paizo’s fault; it’s a holdover from the early days of D&D. But having this kind of casual ethnocentrism baked into the rules is kind of embarrassing now.


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Katana uses mostly the numbers from Bastard Sword, which is an exotic. You can also use it 2-handed as a martial so... Wut? That weapon has nothing to do with it...

Kama is weird, though.


Milo v3 wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:

well, to be fair, try to swing a Katana like a European sword of about the same size, use the same fighting technique and it won't do you any good. And vice versa actually. I had training in the past with both types of swords and it DOES make sense that they are treated differently. Granted, that was a long time ago, in my early 20s, but I still remember how different those techniques were.

Now give a pseudo-European Fighter with no experience with Katanas one of those and he will probably treat it like any other sword he encountered. Which is inefficient and does not make sense. But give him training on how to wield the Katana, a proficiency if you will, due to the exotic fighting style, and he might know what to do with it.
And if you're a Fighter who isn't pseudo-European? Does the longsword now become an exotic weapon?

usually when I have characters at my table that qualify as Non-pseudo-European, yes I treat the cultural appropiate weapons as not exotic and the European weapons as exotic. (I mean, a dagger is still a dagger and clubs are pretty universal too, but I guess you get what I mean)

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Hythlodeus wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:

well, to be fair, try to swing a Katana like a European sword of about the same size, use the same fighting technique and it won't do you any good. And vice versa actually. I had training in the past with both types of swords and it DOES make sense that they are treated differently. Granted, that was a long time ago, in my early 20s, but I still remember how different those techniques were.

Now give a pseudo-European Fighter with no experience with Katanas one of those and he will probably treat it like any other sword he encountered. Which is inefficient and does not make sense. But give him training on how to wield the Katana, a proficiency if you will, due to the exotic fighting style, and he might know what to do with it.
And if you're a Fighter who isn't pseudo-European? Does the longsword now become an exotic weapon?

usually when I have characters at my table that qualify as Non-pseudo-European, yes I treat the cultural appropiate weapons as not exotic and the European weapons as exotic. (I mean, a dagger is still a dagger and clubs are pretty universal too, but I guess you get what I mean)

Fun houserule I hope they codify something similar in PF2E


Leedwashere wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

I figure the right way to do it is with ancestries, since a weapon used by people in your neck of the woods is not "exotic" to you, whereas a weapon in common usage halfway around the world would be "exotic" to you if you've never seen one before.

But it's really not necessary (or appropriate) to mythologize "Eastern" weapons and armor these days.

Building off of this, the way the proficiency system works makes the simple-martial-exotic paradigm basically redundant. Make it all weapon groups. Your ancestry can give you proficiency with some weapon groups, your background can give you some more, and your class can give you some more (even if there's some overlap). No need to give fighters 'all simple and martial' when you can just say 'pick X number of weapon groups' instead. Let it be a custom set, no need to have cookie-cutters.

That's not bad. I do think there is room for special training weapons, though. Kusari-gama have little crossover with other weapons, even other soft weapons.


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Albatoonoe wrote:
Leedwashere wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

I figure the right way to do it is with ancestries, since a weapon used by people in your neck of the woods is not "exotic" to you, whereas a weapon in common usage halfway around the world would be "exotic" to you if you've never seen one before.

But it's really not necessary (or appropriate) to mythologize "Eastern" weapons and armor these days.

Building off of this, the way the proficiency system works makes the simple-martial-exotic paradigm basically redundant. Make it all weapon groups. Your ancestry can give you proficiency with some weapon groups, your background can give you some more, and your class can give you some more (even if there's some overlap). No need to give fighters 'all simple and martial' when you can just say 'pick X number of weapon groups' instead. Let it be a custom set, no need to have cookie-cutters.
That's not bad. I do think there is room for special training weapons, though. Kusari-gama have little crossover with other weapons, even other soft weapons.

::nods:: I think it's fair that not all weapon groups have the same number of weapons in them. If something is radically different from everything else then I don't think it's unreasonable for it to be the only thing in its weapon group to represent that.


Crayon wrote:
I have no doubt, for example, the farmers have pressed the sickle into combat use for millennia, but doubt very much the practice resembled kamajutsu

Wht are you so sure? Similar weapons would have very similar use methods in the same context.

A farmer who started out slinging a sickle around and managed to survive long enough would likely develop skills highly reminiscent to kamajutsu. In fact isn't that the origin of Kamajutsu?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Leedwashere wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

I figure the right way to do it is with ancestries, since a weapon used by people in your neck of the woods is not "exotic" to you, whereas a weapon in common usage halfway around the world would be "exotic" to you if you've never seen one before.

But it's really not necessary (or appropriate) to mythologize "Eastern" weapons and armor these days.

Building off of this, the way the proficiency system works makes the simple-martial-exotic paradigm basically redundant. Make it all weapon groups. Your ancestry can give you proficiency with some weapon groups, your background can give you some more, and your class can give you some more (even if there's some overlap). No need to give fighters 'all simple and martial' when you can just say 'pick X number of weapon groups' instead. Let it be a custom set, no need to have cookie-cutters.

I like this too, it reminds me of old school DnD. Just make sure the proficiency lists are bigger than what you used to get in 1E!


Weapon groups for proficiency were also used in Unearthed Arcana for 3.X.


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Frankly I think cutting down on the numbers of weapons would probably be a good thing, and you can bin most of the "exotic" weapons or fold them into martial weapons without losing anything.

I don't feel like the game is losing anything in particular if a katana's just a longsword but it's understood that since this is an east asian flavored area of the game world it is a katana. We don't mechanically play out the nitty-gritty in how you're using a sword, after all, so there's no particular reason you can't say this longsword happens to have a single-edged curved blade in settings where that is what swords look like. You don't swing a sword and axe in at all the same way, but any given fighter is equally capable with each before investments, after all.

We already do this to an extent. The scimitar and the cutlass are different kinds of sword but mechanically it's just scimitars because they're close enough and you get the idea. I don't think we lose anything by increasing this. Longsword and Katana are both swords that deal 1d8 slashing, have a somewhat better than normal critical hit rate, and can be used with one or two hands. I don't see any reason for there just to be the stats for one sword with all these traits that can be either of them as flavor demands.

As far as I'm concerned, "exotic" weaponry should be strange and more to the point powerful unconventional weapons that can do things you can't normally do with weaponry, not weapons you have to pay an extra feat for because they're japanese or nonsense like that.


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Agreed. It creates hurdle to player "de-exoticizing" the class or weapon in their mind in order to play it outside it's ethnic ghetto. As well as placing roadblocks to "exotic" characters, e.g. "OH, you can't use THIS feat based on Longswords, you're a stinking Katana-wielding Samurai!" How many more "Samurai Orders" could they have if it wasn't a new class, but just different orders and a simple archetype swap?

To the extent they think something like this is necessary/desirable, I think what they did with Aldori Dueling Sword is a better model: "This is special weapon that can be treated like Longsword. But there are also special feats/class abilities which work only with the special Aldori Dueling Sword type of Longsword". Or "when wielded this way [2H, 1H empty, etc, possibly requiring "Exotic Proficiency" unlock] it gains X stat instead".


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Just have weapon groups instead of Martial Weapons.

Also, the kama is a sickle. The katana is a bastard sword. The wakizashi is a short sword. The tanto is a dagger. The daikyu is a composite bow. Etc. The differences are not significant enough to be classified as entirely separate weapons.


Wow the katana is the shortest bastard sword I've ever heard of.

Seems closer to falchion, scimitar or longsword imo


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kyrt-ryder wrote:

Wow the katana is the shortest bastard sword I've ever heard of.

Seems closer to falchion, scimitar or longsword imo

I believe the justification for that is that it was traditionally used two-handed, but some styles preferred to use it one handed. Which makes bastard sword the closest analogue as far as combat usage goes.

That said, I also would like to put in a vote for not feat taxing characters to use weapons just because they aren't Euro-centric. I mean really, the siangham is literally a pointed stick. I would however, prefer for there to be a large varied pool of weapons available. Weapon group proficiencies is probably the most elegant way to achieve that, but I am also looking forward to seeing what the devs actually come up with for it. At the very least I'm hoping the current Simple/Martial/Exotic system goes away.

EDIT: Come to think of it, I think they also used making it bastard sword based to justify making it an exotic weapon in 3.x. Sneaky. lol


kyrt-ryder wrote:
Crayon wrote:
I have no doubt, for example, the farmers have pressed the sickle into combat use for millennia, but doubt very much the practice resembled kamajutsu

Wht are you so sure? Similar weapons would have very similar use methods in the same context.

A farmer who started out slinging a sickle around and managed to survive long enough would likely develop skills highly reminiscent to kamajutsu. In fact isn't that the origin of Kamajutsu?

The only European sickle fighting that I know of being codified is in Paulus Hector Mair's book in a section with other "peasant weapons" like scythes (which from what I understand threy were usually remounted with the blade parallel to the shaft when taken to war) , big knobbly sticks and the two-handed peasant flail (As far as I can tell they were more common than the one-handed flails. The Hussites were famous for using them). I'm not sure if this is based on observed duels among the peasant class or just the author showing off something weird and cool. But I'm very curious to see how his sickle section compares to Japanese Kama techniques. I suspect there is some overlap, just as I've heard there is a lot of overlap in techniques using the katana and the European longsword (bastard sword in PF terminology). Similar weapons usually end up being used similarly.

While the core weapons tend to be Eruocentric, most of them are pretty universal. Spears, clubs, maces, axes etc are basically used everywhere. And a straight one handed sword is close to universal too. We've got them in Europe, in China (like the jian), Africa (like the Kaskara and Takoba), and even the middle east which is known for curved swords predominately had straight ones until I think like the 13th or 14th centuries. So I don't think weapon proficiency should be that closely tied to a culture unless they commonly use something that's used in a different way than what's common elsewhere.


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And speaking of odd baggage around east Asian weapons, I've mentioned this in another thread but it makes sense to fit it here too. Let the monk flurry with the other weapons they're proficient with. They have proficiency in club, handaxe, dagger, spear, shortsword etc. So why can they only flurry with 'eastern' weapons? Giving them a bunch of weapon proficiencies that will never be used because their primary class ability is incompatible is silly. I can understand not wanting the crossbows, slings or maybe javelins to be usable with Flurry (to avoid them having an easy flurry-able ranged weapon that does more damage than a shuriken, but reloading time already does that for the first two).


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Hythlodeus wrote:
well, to be fair, try to swing a Katana like a European sword of about the same size, use the same fighting technique and it won't do you any good. And vice versa actually.

This, right here, is the exact problem.

If Western and Eastern swordsmanship require more-or-less equivalent modifications in technique...

... why do the Eastern weapons require an Exotic Weapon Proficiency, while their Western equivalents do not?

You're assuming that Western weapons and training are the automatic default, and that Eastern weapons and traiing are extra for the assumed Western characters. It's a screaming Orientalism.


FaerieGodfather wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:
well, to be fair, try to swing a Katana like a European sword of about the same size, use the same fighting technique and it won't do you any good. And vice versa actually.

This, right here, is the exact problem.

If Western and Eastern swordsmanship require more-or-less equivalent modifications in technique...

... why do the Eastern weapons require an Exotic Weapon Proficiency, while their Western equivalents do not?

You're assuming that Western weapons and training are the automatic default, and that Eastern weapons and traiing are extra for the assumed Western characters. It's a screaming Orientalism.

If you're playing a character, as noted above, that's culturally rooted elsewhere and not pseudo-Europe, please, for all purposes, just change what defines exotic weapon for them. If the character grew up with Katanas but not broadswords, treat the Katana as the standard martial weapon and the broadsword as exotic.

It's common sense, basically, even though never explicitly stated in any rule book. We do that since the very first days of 3.0. The exotic weapon proficiency just means you have to lear new techniques to wield weapons that are wielded differently than the ones you are culturally accustomed, especially if they share enough similarity to be mistreated


Yeah I'm ok with the idea of dropping it as an exotic weapon. hmm I suppose if you really wanted to differentiate them you would have a western martial weapon and an eastern martial weapon prof. Katanna does have some mechanical similarities to a Bastard sword. Mostly that you can use it 1 or two handed.


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Hythlodeus wrote:
It's common sense, basically, even though never explicitly stated in any rule book. We do that since the very first days of 3.0.

Common sense isn't common, and like you said-- the rulebooks do not give the slightest indication that this is expected or desirable behavior. The vast majority of private games, and 100% of organized play, are not going to just stumble across this house rule to a fix a problem that shouldn't even exist anymore.

Dark Archive

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IMO, Exotic Weapon proficiency is a feat. An Exotic Weapon should be something worth spending a feat on, not just a Japanese sickle.

Feats are game mechanics, not 'flavor.' Similarly, if all that separates a crossbow or sling (simple weapons) from longbows is a single feat, it shouldn't take *three feats* to make a crossbow user or sling user competitive with a longbow user.

And I do mean competitive, not 'exactly equal.' A sling user who has spent a feat to be a better sling user doesn't need to be exactly equal to a longbow user. He might fire fewer shots, but do more damage, for instance. He just needs to not be explicitly objectively worse in every way than the longbow user, despite having expended an equal amount of character resources as the bow-user.

When one weapon, or type of armor, is clearly objectively better than the other choices, it lends to all parties looking the same. I want to see effective spear users. I want to see characters who have chosen weapons other than longswords or greatswords or composite longbows who aren't punished for that choice.

Mix it up. Encourage diversity of design.

(And not just in weapons and armor. Make there be a reason to want to make an abjurer or diviner, for instance.)


So pretty much as a hard rule I think martial should be better then simple and exotic should be better then martial It seemed to be the general idea but didn't always stay true. Then maybe make some feats to specialize in a simple to improve it.


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Hythlodeus wrote:

If you're playing a character, as noted above, that's culturally rooted elsewhere and not pseudo-Europe, please, for all purposes, just change what defines exotic weapon for them. If the character grew up with Katanas but not broadswords, treat the Katana as the standard martial weapon and the broadsword as exotic.

It's common sense, basically, even though never explicitly stated in any rule book. We do that since the very first days of 3.0. The exotic weapon proficiency just means you have to lear new techniques to wield weapons that are wielded differently than the ones you are culturally accustomed, especially if they share enough similarity to be mistreated

Our Paizo could just write the weapon proficiency rules with the knowledge that non-european games not only exist in peoples home games but are even part of their setting. Also, PFS exists, and it's rather annoying for people when the RAW has most the weapons of your characters intended culture exotic so you have to take a feat just to use a single one or be part of "an asian class".


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Milo v3 wrote:
Also, PFS exists, and it's rather annoying

I tend to agree, but I also accept it might have its merits


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I always thought Exotic-ness was more about stats than anything else? Like, a Falcata isn't exotic because it isn't from "Western Europe" (because it is, it's Spanish. Or Greek, if we go by the earlier Kopis), but rather because it's a battle-axe that's 19-20. The sword-breaker dagger, same thing. The katana isn't Exotic because it's from Asia, but because it's 18-20 on a 1d8 chassis and has an extra ability on top.

It's just that it's better to put Falcata than "Better Axe" and Katana than "Better Sword". Or, "Better Sword mk II" since "Better Sword" is technically the Bastard Sword....but does that make the Sawtooth Sabre "Better Sword mk.III"? Or just "Sword for TWF"? Oh lord my mind!

But jokes aside, that's basically it for almost every weapon. Off memory, only the Tetsubo I think is just a greatclub that needs EWP for...reasons. Even the Kama has "monk" to set it apart from the sickle, although why something useable by a monk is exotic is a whole other rabbit hole (and lets not get into the other rabbit hole of why can't a monk use a normal sickle).

I do agree weapon proficiencies need to be reworked, however. Exotic Weapons being either "X - but better" or "Quirky Thing" has always rankled. Hopefully it gets revised.


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In terms of making weapon proficiencies vary from culture to culture, that does sound like something they could easily do with the new Ancestry mechanic.

TheFinish wrote:

I always thought Exotic-ness was more about stats than anything else? Like, a Falcata isn't exotic because it isn't from "Western Europe" (because it is, it's Spanish. Or Greek, if we go by the earlier Kopis), but rather because it's a battle-axe that's 19-20. The sword-breaker dagger, same thing. The katana isn't Exotic because it's from Asia, but because it's 18-20 on a 1d8 chassis and has an extra ability on top.

This has always been how I've seen it. They decided to make the Katana a better weapon than it's western equivalents so required the exotic weapon feat to balance that out. For those weapons that retain their improved stats in PF2 then I would expect additional character resources to be needed to use them to act as a balance to the improved stats.


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I'm with the OP (and so many others in this thread), and I think moving into PF2 is an excellent opportunity to correct many of these out-dated and clunky weapons rules. Especially with PF2's eye towards simplicity and modularity.

Kama? Sai? Siangham? I pretty much found them all right here. :D
This is what farmers use when they revolt. Easy to find + easy to use = Simple prof. to me.


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Honestly, I think GURPS has it right in making the difference between the normal Katana and the normal Bastard Sword being the default quality. Make it a cultural thing that no swordman would use a sword of less than Masterwork quality and that allows you to have those two weapons be the same.

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BretI wrote:
Honestly, I think GURPS has it right in making the difference between the normal Katana and the normal Bastard Sword being the default quality. Make it a cultural thing that no swordman would use a sword of less than Masterwork quality and that allows you to have those two weapons be the same.

That's how 3rd Edition DnD handled it, the katana was just a masterworked bastard sword.


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I have always had a problem with the weapon categories. I mean I have no problem using a bow(martial) but a sling(simple) is a pain in the butt.


PossibleCabbage wrote:

I figure the right way to do it is with ancestries, since a weapon used by people in your neck of the woods is not "exotic" to you, whereas a weapon in common usage halfway around the world would be "exotic" to you if you've never seen one before.

But it's really not necessary (or appropriate) to mythologize "Eastern" weapons and armor these days.

Cultural Weapon Proficiency? Fighters might be proficient with all the weapons used in their culture (with feats giving extra abilities with the ones they specialise with) while a cleric or wizard would only have a few of them. Of course it could also be appropriately restricted by social status, as I don't think the katana is a normal peasant weapon or the mounted lance common outside the wealthy classes in Europe.


Albatoonoe wrote:
Having these foreign weapons as "exotic" treats Western as the default. Considering how inclusive and diverse Pathfinder is, it doesn't really jive with things.

I'm all for eliminating the "exotic" label from weapons and equipment based on a perceived nationality (instead of true rarity in the weapon or complexity in how it's wielded), but take a look at the characters, world and adventures of Pathfinder and tell me that Western is not the default there. As far as I know, there are just two iconics whose characters, in official appearance or description, have any connection to the Far East, and they are for the classes of--you guessed it--Ninja and Samurai (Reiko and Hayate.) The other characters are either fantasy races or humans with apparent European style lineage or possibly Central Asian themed appearance or stylings (such as Sajan and Kyra.)

Though Pathfinder may have a diverse playerbase, like D&D before it, it is definitely overflowing with Western influence and Western European design is the default for the game, with classes like the Ninja, Samurai and Gunslinger (from the New Americas) being the outliers.


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Classifying a weapon as "Exotic" should be based on the weapon doing something better than a "Simple" or "Martial" weapon does, not on having a name or appearance that is less familiar than "sword" is to English speakers. If the weapon is functionally identical to a non-exotic weapon, it is enough to mention that Eastern cultures often refer to the weapon in question by that name. If the weapon is actually superior to its closest Western equivalent, then you have a good reason to either designate it as Exotic or provide a weakness that balances out its advantages.

For example, one think I recall reading about katanas is that they are superior to Western swords at slicing through unarmored opponents but inferior to them at hacking through heavy armor of the sort commonly worn in medieval Europe.


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David knott 242 wrote:

For example, one think I recall reading about katanas is that they are superior to Western swords at slicing through unarmored opponents but inferior to them at hacking through heavy armor of the sort commonly worn in medieval Europe.

They really aren't, besides the fact that they're both equally good at hacking through armor. That is, they're both absolutely terrible at it and you should never try to do that. A curved sword may cut deeper due to the more extended blade contact, but that's about it.

Katanas aren't really better at anything, they just have that reputation because of being....well, exotic. In reality they're just okay swords, nothing special. So, I've no problem with the game treating them as martial weapons, so long as they aren't better than the other weapons in the class.

Silver Crusade

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Ultrace wrote:
Albatoonoe wrote:
Having these foreign weapons as "exotic" treats Western as the default. Considering how inclusive and diverse Pathfinder is, it doesn't really jive with things.

I'm all for eliminating the "exotic" label from weapons and equipment based on a perceived nationality (instead of true rarity in the weapon or complexity in how it's wielded), but take a look at the characters, world and adventures of Pathfinder and tell me that Western is not the default there. As far as I know, there are just two iconics whose characters, in official appearance or description, have any connection to the Far East, and they are for the classes of--you guessed it--Ninja and Samurai (Reiko and Hayate.) The other characters are either fantasy races or humans with apparent European style lineage or possibly Central Asian themed appearance or stylings (such as Sajan and Kyra.)

Though Pathfinder may have a diverse playerbase, like D&D before it, it is definitely overflowing with Western influence and Western European design is the default for the game, with classes like the Ninja, Samurai and Gunslinger (from the New Americas) being the outliers.

Tangent for completion:
Feiya the Iconic Witch is Tian-Min and Yoon the Iconic Kineticist is Tian-Hwan.

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TheFinish wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:

For example, one think I recall reading about katanas is that they are superior to Western swords at slicing through unarmored opponents but inferior to them at hacking through heavy armor of the sort commonly worn in medieval Europe.

They really aren't, besides the fact that they're both equally good at hacking through armor. That is, they're both absolutely terrible at it and you should never try to do that. A curved sword may cut deeper due to the more extended blade contact, but that's about it.

Katanas aren't really better at anything, they just have that reputation because of being....well, exotic. In reality they're just okay swords, nothing special. So, I've no problem with the game treating them as martial weapons, so long as they aren't better than the other weapons in the class.

One does not hack with Katanas. One slices. Never hack. That's what European swords are for.

(That's the short, abridged and nicer version of a very long, earnest speech my old Sensei would have given you only for implicating Katanas are used the same way)

Silver Crusade

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Hythlodeus wrote:
TheFinish wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:

For example, one think I recall reading about katanas is that they are superior to Western swords at slicing through unarmored opponents but inferior to them at hacking through heavy armor of the sort commonly worn in medieval Europe.

They really aren't, besides the fact that they're both equally good at hacking through armor. That is, they're both absolutely terrible at it and you should never try to do that. A curved sword may cut deeper due to the more extended blade contact, but that's about it.

Katanas aren't really better at anything, they just have that reputation because of being....well, exotic. In reality they're just okay swords, nothing special. So, I've no problem with the game treating them as martial weapons, so long as they aren't better than the other weapons in the class.

One does not hack with Katanas. One slices. Never hack. That's what European swords are for.

(That's the short, abridged and nicer version of a very long, earnest speech my old Sensei would have given you only for implicating Katanas are used the same way)

Yep, sharpened clubby sticks.

(Demon's Souls even even had some of the BFS Greatswords deal Bashing damage)

Shadow Lodge

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Doktor Weasel wrote:
I can understand not wanting the crossbows, slings or maybe javelins to be usable with Flurry (to avoid them having an easy flurry-able ranged weapon that does more damage than a shuriken, but reloading time already does that for the first two).

Which reminds me... I'd like a Shuriken that doesn't break on impact.


Hythlodeus wrote:

One does not hack with Katanas. One slices. Never hack. That's what European swords are for.

(That's the short, abridged and nicer version of a very long, earnest speech my old Sensei would have given you only for implicating Katanas are used the same way)

So closer to a saber, correct? (yes, I know sabers are designed for attacking from a mount)

I would be for bit of all camps. Fold some of the really egregious weapons into being their western equivalent, give a more easily obtained route for cultural weapon proficiencies, and give monks and other eastern themed classes/archetypes options for eastern and/or western weapons. There's no reason a monk born and raised in the Inner Sea shouldn't be able to use longswords instead of a temple swords.


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I'm pretty sure the katana is exotic because it has an 18-20 crit range and the Deadly special ability. Which makes it slightly better than it's closest analogue the Long Sword. Are there better Exotic Weapons, I tend to think so.

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