View Full Version : Swords?
Tue, 10th Oct '00, 6:55am
Anyone understand why Katanas are so damn powerful. I understand that the game calls them "the perfect sword", but 1d10? I think is kinda crappy and takes away from the 2-handed swords (which I prefer). They could have just done like a 1d8+1 or something instead of taking totally away from the good old 2-hander.
Tue, 10th Oct '00, 7:02am
Well, there is some balance.. only one Katana in the game can truly be described as powerful. However there are MANY powerful 2-handers and Long Swords. (no great bastards or shorts that I know of, though)
So, putting a lot of points in Katana may hurt you if you end up with a bunch of beautiful non-katanas.
Tue, 10th Oct '00, 7:48am
No, that wasn't quite what I meant. On a base level(without enchatment), Katanas are just as powerful as 2-handers, but they have a distinct advantage in speed and the fact that they are one handed. Seems a little unfair..... I mean what is the point of having a 2-hander when there is a 1-hander with the same states.
Tue, 10th Oct '00, 11:26pm
Dunno if anyone will see this. But from my experiance in BG1 the bastart sword was the one to use... So like an idiot i put like 4 points into it... and now im picking up all the +2 long swords that could (with critical hits) do much more than my bastard sword +1 since i apparently picked the wrong one... What should i start investing in now? (in only level 9 so far) I got that Reflection sheild so i dont worry about missles on my main char..
Tue, 10th Oct '00, 11:41pm
Katanas in general are inherently better made weapons (in real life, that is), with more durability and a sharper edge than your basic long sword. So I imagine this factored into it's damage die.
Wed, 11th Oct '00, 12:07am
Yeah, I understand your point, but I still wonder why katanas are as powerful as 2-handers. In real life, 2-handers were made to take out pike heads of enemy front lines and to deliver a ton of damage, but at a cost of speed and and an extra avialble hand. I like katanas and all, but I think it is crappy they made them as damaging as 2-handers.
Wed, 11th Oct '00, 12:47am
Since durability isn't a factor in BG2, you don't really see the tradeoff one makes when picking a katana over a 2-handed sword. Try to chop through a couple of suits of platemail and you wont have a katana anymore...
The good longswords in bg2 don't appear till the game is 99% over anyways, and if you're not evil, you won't even get to use what I consider to be the best one ( if you actually try to roleplay, you'll be giving it away a minute after you get it ).
There are so many good flails/maces in this game, I'd go flail/mace/morningstar on every class that'll end up in melee. If you aren't going to keep Keldorn, you'll miss out on Carsomyr unless you're a paladin yourself. I believe the dispell magic due to a hit from that sword doesn't use a saving roll, making it good to take down anything that casts protective magic. Also, you want one melee person to have a couple stars in hammer. Once you get Crom whatever, you'll be gibbing everything you hit ( cept dragons and adamantite golems, heh ).
Other than Carsomyr, the 2handed swords in the game are so-so on bonus's, making them not hit many creatures later on. Minsc couldn't hit many things with the best 2 handers I could find for him. I don't think I found any 2handers with more than +2.
Wed, 11th Oct '00, 2:38am
Thanks for the tips woo-foo and I agree, with things like the flail of ages and stuff, that is probably the best weapon class. You also make a sound point about durability, which is one of my arguements that, for some reason, I just could not spit out. Good-luck with gaming!
Wed, 11th Oct '00, 8:36am
For your information, a real katana is superior in everyway to European swords of the same period. It is durable, and it can cut through armor and bone like mud many times. :D
I can understand if they made Katanas rarer, or more expensive, but less durable? :o
By the way, why aren't my favourite swords like the Flametongue and Sword of Sharpness in BG2?
That Holy Avenger is just too munchy! :D
Wed, 11th Oct '00, 10:25pm
just for your info, the Flametongue sword is in BG2, you can even buy at some shops. I was just wondering about your statement on katanas.....is that the truth or your opinion. Not that I don't beleive u, and really that wasn't my arguement, but u have given me something to check out and research.
Wed, 11th Oct '00, 10:31pm
katanas are so much better because the cost loads more [about 650gp] compared to about 70gp for a 2 handed sword
Thu, 12th Oct '00, 3:31am
I recall reading years back on Katana's/Samuri Swords etc. These weapons centuries back 'in real life' are far superior in design (metal folding/tempering) than any European sword ever was. Balance, Sharpness, Grip were almost an obsession with the cultures attached to making these weapons. - of course expertise & experience with the weapon is what always makes the difference.
Also in BG2 I believe that the weapons have vs S(mall) type damage, vs M(medium) type damage and vs L(arge) type damage. If this is the case (only 'concluding this from Minsc dealing out BIG damage with a 2-H Sword) then the 2-H Sword will do 3-18pts vs Large creatures while the Katana would most likely do 2-12 damage. -only a possibility here.
Thu, 12th Oct '00, 1:04pm
In game terms, a 2-handed sword does 1-10 against small and madium sized creatures, 3-18 against large+ creatures.
The Katana IIRC, does 1-10, 1-12 repectively, so the 2-hander still has a small advantage, damage-wise.
IRL, the Katana was superior to almost every European sword of the era due to the way the steel was made. Steel in pre-industrial times was made by heating an iron rod in a charcoal foundry till it was glowing red.
Carbon atoms from the charcoal would be taken up into the iron grid by diffusion and transform the outer layers of iron into steel. Thus all swords made were basically an iron core, with a thin layer of steel on the outside.
Japanese waeponsmiths would heat a flat piece of iron in the foundry and expose it to the charcoal only on one side, then folding the workpiece in the middle and hammering it flat again. Repeat this a dozen times, and the result is a layered blade, with a very large percentage of steel in hundreds of layers.
These layers show in the places where the edge is trimmed and are a way to tell a real Katana from a cheap industrial steel replica.
By adjusting the metal mix, temperature, charcoal quality and number of steps, the iron/steel layers could be custom-made to yield exactly the desired mix of sharpness, edge and flexibility.
However, due to the lightness of the blade and the inherent brittleness of steel (it's hard, but not flexible, so the swords stay sharper than the iron core counterparts but break easier) Katana's were prone to breaking, especially at the tip, and when going against the more heavy blades and armor of Europeans (mostly Spanish and English...). Many a family heirloom still found today are considerably shorter than the original blade.
The only comparable swords made in Europe were the fabled Toledo blades in spain (folded, very similar to Japanese in fact) and the norse "woven" swords, where the smith would use many thin rods of iron, make the outer layers into steel, and then "weave" these thin rods by constant hammering into one blade. This gave the steel a unique, kinda scalelike look, and that's why swords are opten associated with snakes in norse lore.
Is there a +3 Katana in BG2? ;)
Fri, 13th Oct '00, 8:00am
More than +3, its the Celestial Fury. 1d10+3, speed factor 1, Lightning Strike once/day, Blindness once/day, Save vs. spell or be stunned every hit, 5% chance of 20 lightning damage every hit. It's too good, but it's the ONLY good Katana.
Fri, 13th Oct '00, 8:12am
a couple responses to several of the posts...
to the fellow with the bastard sword proficiencies... there ARE a couple good bastard swords later on... not GREAT like some 2-handers and long swords but decent.
And, other than the holy avenger, there are MANY good 2-handers... Vorpal sword, a +3 sentient 2-hander "Lilarcor", a +4 Soul Reaver, and a +3 Hallowed Redeemer
Fri, 13th Oct '00, 3:46pm
To support Mr. Paladin, I would not agree that a katana, no matter how sharp or well made would issue as much damage to one wearing Full Plate or better as the 2 handed long. Katanas just aren't as heavy. A 2 handed long sword can often times be in excess of 6 feet long and weigh 5 times as much as a katana. You get a 2 hander going and even if it is dull as a butter kinfe it's going to crush someone.
Next, I must COMMEND Mr. Armin on his knowledge of metalurgy and for metioning the Toledo weaponsmiths of spain!! While many SHEEP on this post bleat "katana's are the best" only because they have seen the Highlander one too many times, a valid arguement for Toledo blades being superieor
can easily be made. Besides the folding process the spanish mastered the art of tempering (Cooling a hot balde correctly to achive the right amount of flex or temper... for the sheep that get confused by big words.). The Toledo Weaponsmiths would often temper a hot blade by sticking it in a live bull.
Fri, 13th Oct '00, 4:37pm
Well, Mr. Blackthorne, thanks for the compliment, however, I need to pass some it it along and at the same time add a few nits to the "tempering" tidbit...
There are quite similar stories about Japanese weaponsmiths tempering a blade by inserting it into a condemned criminal or even a slave, however many historians doubt the practicality of the process and speculate that these stories are most likely part of folklore or the myth often deliberately spread around a certain weapon, weaponsmith or school of weaponsmithing. Something to make the awe these blades are held in even more inspiring ;)
A fiend of mine is a historian - she plays in our friday night RPG group and has an understandable interest in ancient swordmaking - that's where most my tidbits are from (and from practising Kenjutsu and some related martial arts until a few years back).
I myself am a biologist (with some basic background in chemistry ad physics thus), and the thing about these tempering lore is: some things would in theory make sense, some others wouldn't.
While blood, and the protein and acids contained therein might indeed have effects (even desired ones) on the quality of the steel tempered in it no one knows for sure.
An important thing about tempering is to have the metal cool in *exactly* the right time, and especially have the WHOLE workpiece cool as one. Sticking a blade into a bull would cool the tip faster than the part closer to the hilt (I wish I knew the english translations for all the sword parts ;) ).
The very constant temperature of blood inside the animal would be an advantage for the reproducability of the process, however muscle, sinews and interior organs are a WAY worse heat conduit than plain water. And the heat needs to go quickly, and at the same speed along the whole length of the blade.
Hitting bone, cartilage even an air bubble inside an interior organ would make for impurities and flaws in the blade.
The most likely explanation is that the swordsmiths used a well-heated basin of water (icewater or snow would actually make for very hard but also very brittle steel), maybe made acidic with some vinegar or containing some calciumcarbonate, and dropped the glowing sword into it in some controlled fashion. THEN told a wonderfully grisly story about hardening the blade in a live bull ;)
Don't get me wrong. I LIKE those stories as much as the next man, I'm just rather sceptical about them.
Fri, 13th Oct '00, 6:37pm
Armin, your knowledge of the topic seems to be boundless. I applaud your savvy. It's nice to see someone that is NOT spouting feces.
I was always told that steel was temepered in an animal so it did not cool too fast, but I suppose the myth is always more impressive than reality. Besides that is a lot of cattle to depose of.
It sounds like you have an OUTSTANDING GAMING group!
Sat, 14th Oct '00, 2:42am
i'm no expert or anything, but were katanas not used against hardened wooden armour, as opposed to the european swords, where the weight of the sword was just as much use as an edge against metal armour?
Sat, 14th Oct '00, 3:56am
Burntime, what exactly did you mean? I am not quite sure I understood what you posted. I would also like to thank both Wraith and Armin for supplying information that I found useful. I want all to understand that I am not trying to knock katanas in any way, and Armin reminded me of the damage vs. large opponents, which i had forgotten totally about. i am pretty much a fan of all swords (especially 2-handed, if no one noticed).
i also wanted to add, that the 2-handers wraith was talking about were swords like the german Flamberge which averaged a 46" blade that was wickedly curved and had a total length of 64". Needless to say, you must have had to have some strenght to wield that sword and I assurdly wouldn''t want to face a skilled opponent with such a blade, nor would I want to face a samuri warrior for that matter!!!
Sat, 14th Oct '00, 7:07am
Anybody ever read the manga "BERSERK"?
Now THAT's a sword.