I found an image of various historical weapons and one caught my eye. It is a Patta from India between the 15th and 18th centuries. It is between 10 and 44 inches in length and is a slashing weapon. Obviously based on the construction it would be a one handed weapon and would not have the option of being versatile. I'm thinking it would be closest to a short sword but I'm not sure. What weapon from the PHB would this be closest to for determining damage die and weight. Would this also count as an exotic weapon for things like the gladiator background?
From the wikipedia article, we receive an interesting precedent:
"The pata has a long straight blade ranging in length from 10 to 44 inches. The blades were sometimes locally made and other times recycled from older European swords imported through colonial trade. In the case of European blades, broadswords were most common, though rapier blades were occasionally employed."
This suggests that rapiers and broadswords are the closest equivalents. Broadswords include basket-hilted swords and sabres. The text also suggests that there was a preference for the heavier military blades like sabres, which are fairly similar to scimitars.
In game, the appropriate reference implementations are:
- longswords without the versatile trait
Most pata would be implemented as scimitars, but while game mastering I would accept any of the others as suggestions from a player.