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The Bowcaster... underpowered? My take on it.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your not understanding me/ Since Kashykk is an imperial controlled planet, why would they let wookies Make these devices for other wookies, let alone other beings, if they are that damaging.. Especially since they are supposed to be a slave race during the RoE/Rebellion time frame..
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
Your not understanding me/ Since Kashykk is an imperial controlled planet, why would they let wookies Make these devices for other wookies, let alone other beings, if they are that damaging.. Especially since they are supposed to be a slave race during the RoE/Rebellion time frame..

No, I understand. I just don't agree that the Empire's grip on the minutiae of daily life on Kashyyyk is so overpowering that Wookiees can't make bowcasters in secret, especially for Wookiee resistance fighters living in the lower levels of the Kashyyyk forests. The Empire may be able to have an iron grip on the space around Kashyyyk, or even on the established cities of Kashyyyk. But there are places on Kashyyyk where even Wookiees are afraid to go, and they are far better equipped to survive in that environment than humans, even stormtroopers.
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Dredwulf60
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I feel a bit like a heretic again. An anarchist willing to light the match that theatrically burns the EU to the ground!

...but In my version of the galaxy, a 'bowcaster' is an energy crossbow; it generates it's energy bolt by some peculiar manner that requires the specific shape.

Chewbacca happened to use one. Because of 'Rule Zero' the EU made them THE Wookiee weapon. I disagree and I'm willing to ignore the bulk of the EU that supports it.

Any species can use the bowcaster if they can get their paws on one. Chewie just happened to have one.

It's like watching Lord of the Rings and deciding that in D&D all Hobbits must be armed with magical short swords that glow when orcs are near; that it's a sacred weapon to Hobbits...

Actually early D&D had enough of this sort of connection with LoTR to be irritating.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think that's a realistic comparison. The LOTR films were derived from the massive backstory of Tolkien's writings, so any analysis of how hobbits were armed would take all that information into account (not to mention that, in the films, only Frodo's sword glows, when Gandalf's sword should have, too). In Star Wars, the films are the primary source, and if sample size is too small to say that the bowcaster is a weapon unique to Wookiees, the opposite is also true.
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Dredwulf60
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
I don't think that's a realistic comparison. The LOTR films were derived from the massive backstory of Tolkien's writings, so any analysis of how hobbits were armed would take all that information into account (not to mention that, in the films, only Frodo's sword glows, when Gandalf's sword should have, too). In Star Wars, the films are the primary source, and if sample size is too small to say that the bowcaster is a weapon unique to Wookiees, the opposite is also true.


Well not a great comparison, admittedly. I used it as an exaggeration, but you see what I'm saying?

There is nothing in the movies to suggest that only wookiees can use a weapon that looks like a crossbow and functions like an energy weapon.

If it's just a matter of strength...there are a lot of strong alien species.
And if it's only a matter that wookiees don't sell them to non-wookiees...well anything can be had on the black market.
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bobenhotep
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2016 3:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recently ran SW for the first time in almost 20 years. My son played a Wookiee and he asked me how the bowcaster worked. I told him they were all different, but yours works like this...

I went with the over under concept mentioned elsewhere in this thread, with special quarrels being able to be single loaded one at a time. The only quarrels he had access to were non-powered subsonic quarrels and ones that left a violet/ blacklight glow that had a stun effect. I told him that there were also ion bolts, explosive bolts, underwater bolts, etc. The blaster part of the weapon functioned pretty much like a sporting blaster rifle, but without a stun setting.

I know that the standard damage being only 4d+1 (sporting blaster rifle) is less than a Wookie punch, but I also use a fixed difficulty system for characters resisting damage where they resist blunt weapons and blasters differently.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
On that note, here is my version of the Bowcaster, as an over-under blaster rifle and crossbow

Bowcaster
Model: Wookiee Bowcaster
Type: Combination Blaster Rifle & Bowcaster
Scale: Character
Ammo: 50 (Blaster Rifle), 6 (Bowcaster)
Cost: 2,000 (Power Packs: 25, Quarrel Packs: 50)
Availability: 1F for Wookies, 3R for all others
Range:
-Blaster: 3-30/100/300
-Bowcaster: 3-10/30/50
Damage:
-Blaster: 6D
-Bowcaster: 4D (for standard quarrels. More advanced quarrels are available that cause greater damage).
Rate of Fire:
-Blaster Rifle: Standard
-Bowcaster: Firing more than once per round requires an Easy Strength roll (Free) to aim. Pump-action design requires a Moderate Strength roll (Standard) to re-cock.
Special: Silent Weapon
The bowcaster has almost no firing signature, and can only be detected on a Moderate Perception or Search roll, and even then only if within 20 meters of the bowcaster.

Capsule: Bowcasters are a signature ranged weapon of the Wookiee people, combining a high-powered blaster rifle with an advanced crossbow design. This combination gives Wookiee warriors and hunters a potent combination of hard-hitting firepower and stealth. In addition, the crossbow can accept a wide variety of custom quarrels for tailored effects, including stun, armor piercing, explosives, tracking darts, chemical delivery, etc.

The bowcaster's component weapons are arranged over-under style, with a high-powered blaster rifle forming the main component. The bowcaster itself is essentially an underslung crosbow of advanced design, and is customized for ease of use, including motor-assisted pump-action recocking. Bowcaster ammunition is much bulkier than standard blaster rifle power packs, so many wookiee gunners tend to carry extra ammunition packs in bandoliers.

Bowcaster quarrel packs contain a maximum of 6 quarrels, along with a power pack that charges the recocking assistance motors. The power packs are intentionally designed with power to spare, so that running out of power with quarrels still in the pack is never an issue. Quarrel packs are generally recovered for later recharging and reloading.
CRMcNeill wrote:
Actually, the blaster is the over, with the crossbow the under, which fits with what we see of the bowcaster in the films.

The reason for the higher damage is that this blaster consumes twice as much ammo per shot as does a standard blaster rifle (notice that it has Ammo: 50, not Ammo: 100). The other reason for the higher damage is that it obviously hits harder than Han Solo's Heavy Blaster Pistol (5D Damage), which is my explanation for why Han told Chewie he liked it after using it against the stormtroopers at Mas Kanata's castle.

So based on this interpretation of the bowcaster, everything we see in the films was the over/blaster, right? We never saw the under/crossbow in action?
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Correct.
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vanir
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 6:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like that actually, I wouldn't have been so bold in my own game off the bat, but now I see it out there presented as an idea it is actually satisfying. I like game stats to reflect what we see in the movies most of all, even to the departure of regular WEG stats, which definitely happens with starships, for one.

Here's the sort of idea I'd have.

Base damage 4D energy and physical damage, targets use lower resistance value.
In addition bolts have custom warheads.
Fragmentation 4D 0-2m radius.
Plasma 5D+1 for 2 rounds
Explosive tip 5D
Shaped charge 6D
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 6:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

After re-reading the stat, I should clarify that the Silenced Weapon rule applies only to the crossbow, not the blaster rifle. It would seem obvious, yet there will always be some rules lawyer who takes it literally...
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Whill
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
Correct.

Thanks. I agree that WEG's bowcaster is underpowered, and I really like how the over/under better interprets film canon yet still honors WEG. But the nagging thought that remains in my mind is, since the blaster is so uber (damage and range), it would almost makes the crossbow pointless. Yes, I get the idea is that there are specialized crossbow bolts available, but they are going to not have the range so need to be really special in damage and/or other effects to give the weapon-user a good reason to not use the long-range 6D blaster.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree, and that sort of weapon would only be the more useful of the two under certain circumstances, hence why Chewie used the over/blaster exclusively in the films. The crossbow was there if the circumstances required it, but they never did on screen. In the end, that's the best compromise I can come up with that captures both the films and the Brian Daley books (which are the basis for WEG's stats). What we see in the film's is clearly a crossbow, and is even referred to as such by Luke in ROTJ, yet it behaves entirely like a standard blaster.

There is also the fact that Wookiee are an honor culture, and even hunting for food may
demand a degree of "honorable fairness" from them, in that using a high powered blaster to hunt would be "unsporting", not to mention not leaving much left to eat. They would still need the blaster to defend against Kashyyyk's nastier predators, and having the two different weapons in the same frame would make good sense by reducing the time required to switch weapons.
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MrNexx
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also kind of like the over/under option, as it does give the bowcaster a lot of flexibility. I'd be inclined to fiddle with the stats a bit.,, make the blaster portion 5D (as a regular blaster rifle), with the crossbow "defaulting" to 4D for a regular quarrel, but with explosive or other gimmick quarrels available... something like vanir's.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
CRMcNeill wrote:
Correct.

Thanks. I agree that WEG's bowcaster is underpowered, and I really like how the over/under better interprets film canon yet still honors WEG. But the nagging thought that remains in my mind is, since the blaster is so uber (damage and range), it would almost makes the crossbow pointless. Yes, I get the idea is that there are specialized crossbow bolts available, but they are going to not have the range so need to be really special in damage and/or other effects to give the weapon-user a good reason to not use the long-range 6D blaster.


Plus if the 'underslung blaster' is so "uber", why wouldn't every character buy them, rather than going for regular blasters?
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal, there are the strength rolls to aim and re-cock that don't make the weapon practical for everyone.

CRM, something not clear from your stats is what skill(s) does this require? Is it a dedicated bowcaster skill for the over and under, or is it blaster for the blaster and bowcaster just for the crossbow?

CRMcNeill wrote:
I agree, and that sort of weapon would only be the more useful of the two under certain circumstances, hence why Chewie used the over/blaster exclusively in the films. The crossbow was there if the circumstances required it, but they never did on screen. In the end, that's the best compromise I can come up with that captures both the films and the Brian Daley books (which are the basis for WEG's stats). What we see in the film's is clearly a crossbow, and is even referred to as such by Luke in ROTJ, yet it behaves entirely like a standard blaster.

There is also the fact that Wookiee are an honor culture, and even hunting for food may demand a degree of "honorable fairness" from them, in that using a high powered blaster to hunt would be "unsporting", not to mention not leaving much left to eat. They would still need the blaster to defend against Kashyyyk's nastier predators, and having the two different weapons in the same frame would make good sense by reducing the time required to switch weapons.

It's been over 20 yeas since I read the Daley novels and the original film novelizations. Who did first name it "bowcaster"?

I can see the traditional hunting weapon thing, but I don't see that a Wookiee out adventuring around the galaxy would need to hunt for food very often. But there's definitely an honor or some cultural aspect with it because from RotS it does seem to be a distinctively Wookiee weapon.
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