Talk:Katana (5e Equipment)

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Due to the unique style of folding (at the time) and the kurviture of the blade, the Katana's damage, strength and versatility was much better, and the edge much sharper. The Damage should be 1d10 (versatile 1d12) and bekause not just anyone kould own such a fine specimen of arms, the only way to get one is either gift, stolen or found... the kost should be 0gp or priceless.

The "myth of the katana" has been debunked quite thoroughly. There's no evidence that Japanese swords were sharper or more stronger than other longswords (and in fact they were prone to bending). The katana is a long sword, and as far as I'm concerned it only has a separate entry here in order to gratify anime fans. Marasmusine (talk) 01:13, 8 April 2015 (MDT)

Just as an addition, there are differences between a longsword and katana. For one thing the longsword is longer and straight while the katana is shorter and curved. Metal wise katana a were more tend to breaking and shattering as they were made much more rigid than the longsword. This did make it stronger to sudden stress like cutting through harder material, however more susceptible to long term wear and tear, and as the longsword was heavy enough to deliver damage even without being actually cutting, this small advantage was negligible. Personally I feel the katana should be marked as a heavier version of the scimitar (as it is a one edged slashing weapon) but really, the d and d combat has never been (thank God) particularly precise so it shouldn't matter how you skin it. In that regard I think if you really want to make a super sharp baton blade, you could always make a class based on ki or something that strengthens the blade... (Anime Fan Rant) --Balthazar (talk) 05:33, 8 April 2015 (MDT)

LOL, u klearly do not own any swords. Personally, I have a great many of them... and yes, anyone who has aktually done a side by side komparison, you will note, tht the folded steel of the katana allowed for a far sharper edge and using soapstone to sharpen it, sharpened the individual folds of the metal making not one sharp edge, but multiple sharp edges kaskading along the taper. The kurve of the blade allows for moore pressure to be displaced over less surface area, slicing the material over a slightly longer length of time (fraktions of sekonds, btw) instead of all the force of the kut being brought flat to the surface being kut. The standard English longsword was approximately 40-41 inches in lenght... koincidentally... the katana has been known to be approximately 39-43 inches long.... Both lengths are over-all.... standard blade length is usually between 31-34 inches in length, the Long sword on average 2-3 inches longer blade. But I will throw you this bone sir, katana is really japanese for longsword and if you look up the history of the katana... it was originally a straight blade, fashioned from the chinese design. Changed bekause of the frailty of the standard longsword design. The katana is also the ONLY sword to have ever sliced a man from groin through skull in a single upward slash, Get a katana and a Long sword and go into your yard and kut through rolled up karpet... you will immediately notice a difference in power and kutting kapability. One last point in my rant before you tear my ass apart w/ grammer nazi'ism... not everyone who reveres the Katana is an anime fan.

Oh, and the fakt that the katana was prone to bending (probably it's only flaw)was bekause it was of a slightly softer steel, the softer steel was used as a shock absorber allowing the katana to stand against strong resistance (from another weapon, armor, etc). the strength and kutting power of the katana was not bekause of it's steel, it was due to the struktural engineering that went into making the sword better.

I'm sorry and I rant like a bastard, I kno, and this is probably not the best place for this question... but as you both kan tell, I'm new to wiki, and as such I still need to learn how to tag my komments. Is there a page to learn templates?

On the editing page, second button on the top front the right. Welcome to the wiki. --Balthazar (talk) 18:30, 8 April 2015 (MDT)

Ahhh, there it is, tyvm, and TY for the welkome :) A lot of good stuff here. --Khimaera (talk) 18:37, 8 April 2015 (MDT)

What if the katanas had an INT modifier? In fact, wielder needed to be intelligent to be able to deal more damage more accurately... TheQuantiX (talk) 19:36, 27 March 2020 (MDT)


You people have clearly no idea how to use the discussion section. Anyway, I was thinking the katana should be finesse because it's definitely lighter and smaller than a medieval longsword. --Aldwynadain (talk) 15:09, 4 January 2016 (MST)

The weight of both longswords and katanas varied somewhat, but they were roughly the same. Wikipedia says that the minimum weight of both was 1.1 kg (2.4 lbs). Within the abstraction of D&D 5e, a katana is a longsword. Speaking of which, I'm putting the damage back, an anonymous user raised it from 1d8 to 1d10. Marasmusine (talk) 15:19, 4 January 2016 (MST)

The katana should definitly be finesse. It's not about how light a weapon it is or not, in fact the difference between a longsword and a katana in weight isn't that noticable anyway. It's how both weapons are used. And while I will not deny that you have to put some strength behind using a katana, it's style of combat is more about quick, precise slashes than actually puting all of your strength into a powerful blow. People forget that longswords rarely cut people to death. Yes they were sharpned but even a tough piece of leather was enough to prevent a cut from a longsword, however the strenght of the impact still caused severe bludgeoning damage, even when that didn't killed it was enough to knock a person down at which point you'd just stab them down. Anyway, the moral of the story is. Longswords are indeed dumb strength weapon, but katanas are definitly a finesse weapon. [Elhazzared]

I will compromise and add a finesse variant. Marasmusine (talk) 02:22, 17 October 2016 (MDT)

I'm a tad late, but @Elhazzared, longswords used a remarkable amount of finesse and were sharpened very finely throughout history. There have even been accounts of longswords severing bones and cutting off limbs in numerous battles and altercations. The katana is no different. It's slight curvature adds "some" (but not terribly much) extra cutting capacity doesn't change it from effectively a longsword to a magical razorblade. You also have to think about the development of armor. In europe, armor was typically comprised of steel which was far more durable than the armor of the far east at the time. This can very much skew the believe that the katana cuts better simply because the far east had less effective armor (when they wore it, though a civilian duel likely had unarmored opponents) against cuts which is what most european armors defended from. A katana is synonomous with a longsword. Technique has nothing to do with the finesse property or not because the property is to the weapon not the technique. If you fight in a back-alley sense, or a rigid martial sense, the weapon will still retain certain properties. PunnyDM12 (talk) 21:30, 21 November 2018 (MST)


Since the Complex weapon property now properly exists, I suggest we return the optional addition of it, with some minor changes. I put forward the following:

Complex Variant

In fiction, katanas often have the ability to deal incredible damage with proper weak-point analysis and edge alignment. If you would prefer an Intelligence based katana, replace the Versatile property with the Complex property.

This would also require the addition of the Complex category tab. -Ref3rence (talk) 16:12, 29 March 2020 (MDT)

I don't see why the katana should be different than every other weapon that has a number of ways to wield(historically) and because of this allow you to use your Intelligence modifier since you would still need the physical capability to actually hit with a katana no matter how complex it is. I really only see the complex weapon property having uses on things that don't require physical capability nearly as much as other things(possibly mounted crossbows/ballista for aiming for target's weak point/because you are leading a target).--Blobby383b (talk) 19:44, 29 March 2020 (MDT)
As I put in the description, the intent is to be more inline with the mythicized/fictional idea of the katana. My idea was to add it to satiate the kind of people who would make that kind of katana variant, while still making it balanced and playable. -Ref3rence (talk) 20:17, 29 March 2020 (MDT)
Regardless of flavor or theming though, a weapon that does not use Dexterity or Strength would be a strictly better weapon than all other weapons for builds that use weapons but their main ability score is something else. For example a 1d4 weapon with no other properties except the complex property would still be used because of the bonus to attack rolls that come from using Intelligence. This is also the main reason why ever since the hexblade's release they have been tons of extremely powerful builds that main ability score is Charisma, not using Dexterity or Strength for weapon attacks is very powerful.--Blobby383b (talk) 20:42, 29 March 2020 (MDT)
I’d argue that it’s no more powerful than Finesse. A Rogue with a Finesse weapon determines their AC, attack bonuses, whether or not they get sneak attack, and one of the most common saving throws in the game with Dexterity. A Wizard with a Complex weapon determines their spellcasting modifier and attack bonuses. If there’s something I’m missing that makes this vastly more powerful than I can see, please let me know. -Ref3rence (talk) 21:39, 29 March 2020 (MDT)
Compared to existing weapons which only use dex or str, Intelligence builds using a complex weapon would make you deal more damage and have a higher chance to hit than with any other existing weapon plus it would make pcs more SAD(single ability score dependent).--Blobby383b (talk) 23:09, 29 March 2020 (MDT)
Acid splash is the only Wizard cantrip that deals less than this weapon, and they all have a greater range except shocking grasp, which would be identical to this weapon if it didn’t have advantage against metal armor and eat reactions. This doesn’t make anybody more reliant on Intelligence than they already are. -Ref3rence (talk) 09:56, 30 March 2020 (MDT)
When balancing a weapon, the weapon should be compared to other weapons not cantrips, but that is a whole other can of worms so I will leave it at that. Simply put, a Intelligence based weapon is simply not balanced and usually not thematic so lets use numbers to prove it. I will go through the possible builds that are enabled by Intelligence based weapons, mainly looking at damage but I will also try and cover the several other notable aspects as well.
Lets first start with the most obvious build, the wizard. While at first glance, Intelligence based weapons don't give much to the wizard, they are actually extremely potent if they gain access to a Intelligence based weapon because they give a higher to hit chance and damage than with regular weapons. Let us look at the following table for an example.

Here's the damage output of the various wizard damage options that are used at will if Intelligence weapons were a thing. This assumes that you start with a Intelligence of 16/17, a Dexterity of 14, no feats, and no magic items, but otherwise optimized builds for a wizard(maxing Intelligence first then Dexterity if using green flame blade) and using one-handed 1d4 weapons(complex and dagger) and open hand to cast spells). The +X or spell save DC denoted after the / is the spell save DC or the attack bonus for that attack.

Level Green Flame Blade(primary target using dagger) Green Flame Blade(primary target using complex weapon) Green Flame Blade(bonus target damage using dagger) Green Flame Blade(bonus target damage using complex weapon) Toll The Dead Fire Bolt
1st 4.5 (1d4+2) / +4 5.5 (1d4+3) / +5 3 3 4.5 or 6.5 (1d8 or 1d12) / DC 13 5.5 (1d10) / +5
4th 4.5 (1d4+2) / +4 6.5 (1d4+4) / +6 4 4 4.5 or 6.5 (1d8 or 1d12) / DC 14 5.5 (1d10) / +6
5th 9 (1d4+2+1d8) / +5 11 (1d4+4+1d8) / +7 8.5 (4 + 1d8) 8.5 (4 + 1d8) 9 or 13 (2d8 or 2d12) / DC 15 11 (2d10) / +7
8th 9 (1d4+2+1d8) / +5 12 (1d4+5+1d8) / +8 9.5 (5 + 1d8) 9.5 (5 + 1d8) 9 or 13 (2d8 or 2d12) / DC 16 11 (2d10) / +8
11th 13.5 (1d4+2+2d8) / +6 16.5 (1d4+5+2d8) / +9 14 (5 + 2d8) 14 (5 + 2d8) 13.5 or 19.5 (3d8 or 3d12) / DC 17 16.5 (3d10) / +9
12th 14.5 (1d4+3+2d8) / +7 16.5 (1d4+5+2d8) / +9 14 (5 + 2d8) 14 (5 + 2d8) 13.5 or 19.5 (3d8 or 3d12) / DC 17 16.5 (3d10) / +9
16th 15.5 (1d4+4+2d8) / +9 16.5 (1d4+5+2d8) / +10 14 (5 + 2d8) 14 (5 + 2d8) 13.5 or 19.5 (3d8 or 3d12) / DC 18 16.5 (3d10) / +10
17th 20 (1d4+4+3d8) / +10 21 (1d4+5+2d8) / +11 18.5 (5 + 3d8) 18.5 (5 + 3d8) 18 or 26 (4d8 or 4d12) / DC 19 22 (4d10) / +11
19th 21 (1d4+5+3d8) / +11 21 (1d4+5+2d8) / +11 18.5 (5 + 3d8) 18.5 (5 + 3d8) 18 or 26 (4d8 or 4d12) / DC 19 22 (4d10) / +11
Based on the table, Intelligence weapons allow wizards access to more damage and higher bonuses to hit compared to a traditional dagger and would make green flame blade extremely powerful compared to other cantrips for a wizard because of their normally lower Dexterity and Strength scores which counteract green flame blade's power. Anyway, let us move onto the next build, the eldritch knight. For the eldritch knight, complex weapons allow you to increase your Intelligence score over Dexterity or Strength, while at the same time allowing them to have a higher bonuses to hit and a higher spell save DC on their spells compared than a normal eldritch knight which has to increase their Dexterity or Strength first. Lets get to the number crunch then.

Here's the damage output of the various eldritch knight damage options that are used at will if Intelligence weapons were a thing. This assumes that you start with a Intelligence of 16/17 and a Dexterity of 14 if using complex weapons or a Intelligence of 14 and a Dexterity of 16 if using finesse weapons, no feats, and no magic items, but otherwise optimized builds(maxing main ability score then secondary ability score) and using 1d8 weapons(complex and rapier)) and shield for bonus AC. The +X or spell save DC denoted after the / is the spell save DC or the attack bonus for that attack.

Level Green Flame Blade(primary target using rapier) Green Flame Blade(primary target using complex weapon) Green Flame Blade(bonus target damage using rapier) Green Flame Blade(bonus target damage using complex weapon) War Magic(effectively bonus damage if using green flame blade) Regular Attacks(via extra attack)
3rd 7.5 (1d8+3) / +5 7.5 (1d8+3) / +5 2 3 - 7.5 (1d8+3) / +5
4th 8.5 (1d8+4) / +6 8.5 (1d8+3) / +6 2 4 - 8.5 (1d8+4) / +6
5th 13 (1d8+4+1d8) / +7 13 (1d8+4+1d8) / +7 6.5 (2+1d8) 8.5 (4+1d8) - 17 (2d8+8) / +7
7th 13 (1d8+4+1d8) / +7 13 (1d8+4+1d8) / +7 6.5 (2+1d8) 8.5 (4+1d8) 8.5 (1d8+4) / +7 17 (2d8+8) / +7
8th 14 (1d8+5+1d8) / +8 14 (1d8+5+1d8) / +8 6.5 (2+1d8) 9.5 (5+1d8) 9.5 (1d8+5) / +8 19 (2d8+10) / +8
11th 18.5 (1d8+5+2d8) / +9 18.5 (1d8+5+2d8) / +9 11 (2+2d8) 14 (5+2d8) 9.5 (1d8+5) / +9 28.5 (3d8+15) / +9
12th 18.5 (1d8+5+2d8) / +9 18.5 (1d8+5+2d8) / +9 12 (3+2d8) 14 (5+2d8) 9.5 (1d8+5) / +9 28.5 (3d8+15) / +9
16th 18.5 (1d8+5+2d8) / +10 18.5 (1d8+5+2d8) / +10 13 (4+2d8) 14 (5+2d8) 9.5 (1d8+5) / +10 28.5 (3d8+15) / +10
17th 23 (1d8+5+3d8) / +11 23 (1d8+5+3d8) / +11 17.5 (4+3d8) 18.5 (5+3d8) 9.5 (1d8+5) / +11 28.5 (3d8+15) / +11
19th 23 (1d8+5+3d8) / +11 23 (1d8+5+3d8) / +11 18.5 (5+3d8) 18.5 (5+3d8) 9.5 (1d8+5) / +11 28.5 (3d8+15) / +11
20th 23 (1d8+5+3d8) / +11 23 (1d8+5+3d8) / +11 18.5 (5+3d8) 18.5 (5+3d8) 9.5 (1d8+5) / +11 38 (4d8+20) / +11
In summary, Intelligence based weapons that deal the same damage as other weapons would in fact deal more damage for several builds that use Intelligence as its spellcasting ability, allow those builds to have a higher spell save DC/to hit bonus if the build would not have maxed Intelligence first, and that is not mentioning the insane damage output that could be achieved by say a artificer multiclassing 1 level into wizard for green flame blade or the problems Intelligence based weapons could have with homebrew classes. Add to the fact that it would make more builds SAD(single ability score dependent) which makes them more powerful/is usually a bad thing and that in most cases Intelligence based weapons are not thematic by ignoring the fact that you need physical prowess to hit with a weapon, Intelligence based weapons are not a good idea.--Blobby383b (talk) 15:26, 31 March 2020 (MDT)
Thank you, I now understand my error. I don't have a physical copy of many of the additional resources, so I am generally unaware of the spells contained within them. -Ref3rence (talk) 15:57, 31 March 2020 (MDT)
It is alright, seeing actual numbers for how the complex property would function has a different effect than someone saying it. I just hope I don't have to make tables like that again for a long while, but I am glad that they served their purpose.--Blobby383b (talk) 16:14, 31 March 2020 (MDT)
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