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Thread: Oh Hai Katana!
Wednesday, 10th October, 2012, 10:00 PM #51
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
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Wednesday, 10th October, 2012, 10:14 PM #52
Myrmidon (Lvl 10)
I'm not messing around. The khopesh, a bronze age weapon that basically plain sucks, has less business being in a game of Medieval combat than the katana. Basically, I'm just completely disagreeing with your premise, that somehow Eastern derived weapons should for some reason not be included in the core rules. And for the record, I'm the guy who is standing four-square against the inclusion of kung fu monks, for different reasons.
Dungeons and Dragons isn't even directly based on European history. It's based on fiction that kinda, sorta, loosely was based on European history, with a whole lot of 1001 Nights, kung fu movies, et cetera thrown in. The original game even includes Eastern style monsters like the Ogre Mage. The AD&D Deities & Demigods included pantheons for India, China, Babylonians, Sumerians, Japan, et cetera.
The technology level of most published game worlds, including Forgotten Realms and Greyhawk, appears to be around the 16th Century, incidentally after the discovery of the New World, so lets throw the Mayans and the Aztecs in there.
I do have a small objection to katanas having their own entry. I think the scimitar or longsword already adequately covers the mechanics of the katana as well. I find them no more finessable, if not less so than equal length European swords that are designed for use in one hand. But that's the same reason I don't want an entry for yataghans, and asseghai. That doesn't mean we have to leave them out until we have an "Africa" supplement.
What I want is an equipment list that adequately covers any real world culture I choose to include, or a made up culture, like for instance the Wheel of Time, that has katanas while not having a specifically "Japanese" culture in the world. Unique weapons, like the South American bolo and atlatl, the Afghani kukri, or some of the Asian weapons like the meteor hammer should be included.
I strenuously object to the idea that default D&D ever has been or should be based only on Medieval Europe.
Wednesday, 10th October, 2012, 10:15 PM #53
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
If there's an issue with which name the sword should have, why not just call it "curved sword" (or "curved longsword" if you want to leave space for the wakizashi)?
Wednesday, 10th October, 2012, 10:19 PM #54
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
Curved longsword sounds good to me. The sound of it reminds me of Brian's cousin. She was hot.
Wednesday, 10th October, 2012, 10:25 PM #55
Guide (Lvl 11)
Hm, I think I'd be happy with the scimitar being placed with the saber, an entry for a longsaber replacing the katana, and "special" being added to the longsword entry. Under long-sword it would read that a longsword, when wielded in two hands, may use Strength modifier or Dexterity Modifier for attacks. It's still a Martial weapon, though. Also, drop the weight down to 3 lbs.
I'd also love to see the Broadsword added to Heavy Weapons as a 1d10 one-handed weighing in at 4lbs. or so. Bastard swords at 5lbs. and the Greatsword at 6lbs. would suit me fine enough.
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Last edited by mlund; Wednesday, 10th October, 2012 at 10:29 PM.
Wednesday, 10th October, 2012, 10:31 PM #56
Myrmidon (Lvl 10)
Plus, this set up the dex based characters to fight like Valeria in the Conan movie, (the Arnold one).
That's one thing I like about the inclusion of the katana. It provides that sort of light two-handed slasher to fill in for swords like Valerias, a light dualling longsword, or heron mark blades, or whatever I need it for. Calling it a katana just gives it an evocative name for people who think katanas are cool.
Wednesday, 10th October, 2012, 10:45 PM #57
Defender (Lvl 8)
Wednesday, 10th October, 2012, 10:48 PM #58
A 1e title so awesome it's not in the book (Lvl 21)
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So, yes, a generic weapon list, one that doesn't limit itself to a given culture or narrow historical period would be best.
Thursday, 11th October, 2012, 12:55 AM #59
Cutpurse (Lvl 5)
He mentions that he intended to move the monk class to an appendix and states that adding a samurai class would be "compounding error" and that such classes belong in "an Oriental-based game." He believed that non-European Medieval themed classes and their associated trappings (notably, he mentions arms and armour) should be saved for "...another version of the AD&D game system which is based on Sino-Japanese culture." He even goes so far as to call for "special rules" for when Eastern and Western cultures encounter one another. Clearly, the game's creator intended for the game to feature a firm boundary between East & West.
So, yeah: default D&D was--at least in the mind of its creator--based on Medieval Europe, and he makes it pretty plain in the article mentioned above.
Now, mind you, I'm not arguing that it still should be based on Medieval Europe anymore, but let's be honest with ourselves--the game did have a heavy Euro-Medieval flavor in its early years.
Last edited by ArmoredSaint; Thursday, 11th October, 2012 at 01:19 AM.
Thursday, 11th October, 2012, 01:33 AM #60
Guide (Lvl 11)
The Macuahuitl, a slashing weapon that was made by mixing a wooden core with cutting edges made of very sharp obsidian, used somewhat like a sword, but it had an effect closer to a saw, the two-handed version was capable of beheading or maiming on a single strike, basically the real-life equivalent of a vorpal sword, except it wasn't magical or a sword.
The Katara, a "punching dual-edged shortsword" very usefull for stabbing and parrying, since the grip provides a bigger surface to block incoming attacks with while protecting the borders of the hand and wrist. Some versions even had a shield integrated that provided further protection for the hand and wrist. Weapon smiths got crazy with the katara, many weird variations existed, some had a trishula mounted instead of a blade, or multiple blades or a mechanical triple blade that could be opened once it was inside the victim's body causing more damage.
The Chakram, a bladed steel ring, it is a throwing weapon with a long range and a good fire speed, unlike a bow (which pierces) or a sling (which provides bludgeoning damage) a Chakram slashes and is reutilizable. It can be used as a melee weapon on a pinch.
The Wind and Fire Wheels. Like a melee chakram, but crazier, it has multiple hooks and blades that allow to trip and disarm, but also to parry, it can be used to either pierce or slash.