8-bit, Magnaric, you're on the same side; settle. (Magnaric, you might want to check who you're quoting before replying.)
I didn't ... say the Shadowrun stats were justified in any manner. I'm just saying that Katanas and Swords are not the same. They do not handle the same way, they do not cut the same way; they should not have the same stats. It's their group's choice though, so it's whatever.No, they don't. Scimitar, machete, longsword, wakizashi, jian and seax (which BTW is a fraggin' KNIFE) also don't handle the same way. And yet, they all get the same stats as the generic sword. Furthermore, as Magnaric mentioned, katanas might slice flesh like butter but they SUCK against armored targets. So why the frag do they have the same AP modifier as monosword?!
Because you read and responded to one part, 'they don't handle the same', and ignored the critical part - they don't cut the same way.
And the reason they don't cut the same way is found in how they're made.
Removing the wakizashi from your list*, you find that with the possible exception of the jian, all your weapons are single-steel weapons; they are generally forged from one piece of steel, sharpened, and given a hilt. The jian is essentially the same, albeit with two softer, more flexible plates protecting the brittle center of a harder 'edge' plate. This sort of construction - one type of steel for the entire blade - may result in a good blade, but it also results in a clean-cutting
blade. The folded katana and wakizashi, using steel of different qualities, results (for all intents and purposes) in an edge that is, well, kind of jagged at the microscopic level; each steel quality wears different, so you wind up with something that cuts cloth and flesh just by being drawn across them.
Are they handled differently? Yes. A scimitar is a slashing and chopping weapon, made for a cleave as much as an opportunistic sweep. A machete is a straight-out chopping item - more a tool than a weapon. A longsword is made to cut/chop, battering the opponent as much as cutting through some pretty damn serious defenses. A seax is made to stab. A jian is made to flex, and that flexing is part of its weapon use. The katana is made to cut, not chop, and because of the way it is made, it is very, very good at cutting.
* - A wakizashi is a 'short sword' that gets the stats of a 'long sword', meaning it's a step up from the standard short sword.
The nature of the folding done to forge a