Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Weapons for Edge of the Empire (Tools of Ill Omen)

Hey Game fans, we’re back with a more in depth look at part of the equipment you can pickup for your character in Edge of the Empire.  Weapons are an ugly essential truth of the setting, and very few characters are going to get by without packing at least one way to defend themselves.  It’s a violent galaxy and sometimes characters are going to want to be able to shoot back when threatened.  Alternatively, it’s good to have a weapon to add credibility when you have to threaten someone.  Weapons have a host of unique traits and characteristics that we’re going to break down for you today.  Strap in for a bumpy ride.

Key Terms & Characteristics


Every Weapon has a name that tells you what type of weapon it is.  There are dozens of specific types, like the Death Hammer Heavy Blaster Pistol, or the E-11 Blaster Rifle.

Skill Used (Skill)

This is the skill that governs the chance of success when using the specific weapon.  There are weapons that fall within a specific category and the skill used can give you a good idea what kind of weapon you’re firing.  A weapon that uses the Gunnery skill for example is probably a fixed weapon mounted on a tank turret or a starship, while a weapon that uses the Ranged (Light) is probably a one handed blaster pistol.

Base Damage (DAM)

Every weapon has a minimum damage value.  When you roll an attack, every Success symbol generates an additional point of damage that’s added to the base damage rating for that attack.


Range is an abstraction for Edge of the Empire, and falls into a variety of range bands.  Ranged weapons have ranges listed as Short, Medium, Long, or Extreme.  Weapons can’t hit things beyond their range band.  (A Blaster with a range of Medium can hit targets at Short and Medium range, but won’t be able to hit targets at Long or Extreme range).

Critical Rating

Every weapon is capable of creating critical injuries in addition to the damage dealt by the weapon.  In order to trigger these effects, the dice will have to show a number of Advantage symbols equal to or greater than the number indicated here.  
Some effects from weapons or talents will modify the effectiveness of critical injuries, and a single attack roll can only generate one critical injury, regardless of the number of times the critical rating is achieved. The attacker can choose to apply a +10 to the critical injury roll itself for each trigger after the first one.  


Every weapon has a specific bulk/weight value attached to it, and this is its Encumbrance.  Bigger/bulkier weapons have a higher Encumbrance value than lighter/smaller ones.  If you want a better explanation, check out our article here.  

Hard Points (HP)

Edge of the Empire has a robust system for customizing weapons and other equipment, and this is a numeric representation of how much work you can put into tricking out your stuff.  


Every weapon has a price listed in credits (the most common readily available form of currency in the galaxy).  This may not be the actual price you end up paying, or the form of payment you end up using, but this should give you a reasonable idea of a weapon’s relative value.


Some weapons are harder to find than others, and this is indicated by the weapons rarity.  For a more complete discussion on how rarity works, check the link above under Encumbrance.


Some weapons have special qualities (positive and negative).  They’re listed in this section, and the explanations are found starting on page 154.  

These Characteristics should cover everything you’d need in order to find the right weapon for the right job.  We’re going to briefly talk about the weapons themselves, but you’re going to need to grab your copy of Edge of the Empire for the stats themselves.  Without further ado:


Blasters are the most common form of weapon in the galaxy.  Using a combination of energy and excitable gasses, a Blaster weapon discharges a bolt of energy with enough force and heat to cause a significant (possibly fatal) injury.  Blasters come in all shapes and sizes, from holdout blasters for personal security to ship mounted blaster cannons.  Most smaller blaster weapons have the Stun Setting special rule, while the larger ones have a variety of Auto-Fire and Pierce specials.


The ancestral weapon of the Wookies, the Bowcaster is a high tech crossbow capable of firing a variety of munitions.  Each Bowcaster is made to order for the individual (Wookies are the most common users, but they are not unique to Wookies), and can accept a variety of modifications.  Keep in mind that without a modification, the user will have to spend a maneuver re-cocking the Bowcaster between shots.  

Ionization Blaster

This is an anti-droid weapon designed to overload and shut down droids.  They also work on cyborgs, but are of no value against organic targets.  


Illegal just about everywhere, Disruptors are an energy weapon that uses an energized beam of particles to disintegrate parts of the target.  It’s an evolution of blaster technology and utilizes specialized parts to create a more radical effect than a traditional blaster.  These weapons have the Vicious special ability, and frighteningly short ranges.


The second most common type of ranged weapon in the galaxy, slug throwers use a solid projectile instead of an energy bolt.  These are extremely common on worlds that don’t have the technological capabilities to produce blasters.  

Bola or Net

A common weapon for hunters and trappers, the Bola or Net is designed to restrain and capture a target rather than injuring them.  There are a number of special rules that apply to nets or bolas, and i would encourage you to read up on them on page 164.

Explosives & Flame Projectors

There are a host of ways to injure or kill things in the star wars galaxy, and not everyone is going to bring blasters.  There are a lot of odd, quirky weapons in the galaxy, some of them explode, and others just set things on fire.  

Flame Projector

Some folks like the ability to use fire as a weapon.  Flame projectors are ideally suited for dealing with soft targets, but the cone of fire effect can catch a group of enemies at the same time.  The Burn special ability can be an indiscriminately used one.  

Missile Tube

The Missile tube is a shoulder fired rocket that can feature a variety of warheads and has several methods of operation.  It’s probably the largest man portable rocket weapon a person is going to have access to that isn’t mounted on a vehicle or ship.


Grenades are small portable explosive devices that can be stowed easily and either planted in a location or thrown.  With a variety of triggering mechanisms and payloads, grenades can be a remarkable force multiplier if they’re used correctly.  

Brawl Weapons

These are weapons that enhance the unarmed damage a character can deal.  Brass Knuckles (and their ilk) add metal plates to the knuckles of the puncher, increased damage suffered by the punchee.  Shock Gloves add an electric field to the fighter’s hands and can be quite shocking to an unexpecting target.  

Melee Weapons

Melee weapons are frighteningly common in Star Wars, but very rarely seen.  Most folks have a combat knife, or a cudgel nearby and there are a host of vibro-weapons that space pirates can come up with in a pinch.  There’s also that highly energised light sword that they make movies about.  Let’s break down some of the weapons you can find.

Combat Knife

Virtually everyone in the galaxy has access to a combat knife (or something similar).  These are considered “Commoners” weapons, but are still capable of putting serious hurt on a person.  

Gaffi Stick

The Tusken Raiders of Tatooine have constructed a variety of vicious clubs and cudgels out of the spare parts they’ve found wandering the desert.  It’s a massive weapon that requires two hands to use, but the Gaffi Stick is a versatile weapon that can do a lot of different things depending on which end you’re using.  

Force Pike

The Force Pike is a meter long metallic staff that end with a powered tip.  The tip can be set to vibrate (with enough force to crush stone) or to shock (with variable power settings).  The weapon is easy to use and in the hands of a skilled user can be as dangerous as a lightsaber.  This is a weapon that requires two hands to use.  


This is the iconic weapon of the Jedi Order, and they are findable in Edge of the Empire.  However, none of the characters in Edge of the Empire are trained in it, and it’s very easy to hurt yourself with a lightsaber.  Carrying one is also a jailable offense in the Empire, and there will be severe questions asked of anyone who gets caught with one, but you do you.  


Truncheon is a really fancy word for club.  There are dozens of possible shapes, styles, and manufacturers, but the basic idea is the same.  Apply the Truncheon liberally about the head and shoulders of the troublemakers until the problem subsides.  


Vibro-Weapons use the same principle.  A high frequency oscillator causes the cutting surface to vibrate an astonishing frequency.  This increases cutting power and can cause horrific wounds to exposed flesh.  The common forms include the Vibro-Ax, the Vibroknife and the Vibrosword.  


Those are the weapons described in the Edge of the Empire Core book, and should get you through most of the murder making situations where you’ll need to hurt someone.  You’ve got a lot of choices for a broad category of a weapon, and you can select an existing model or make up one of your own.  If you’re really into customization, you can check that out on page 187 and see what sort of craziness you can come up with for your characters.  Game On, Game Fans, Next week we’ll look at Armor.  

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