Black Market: Lightbow (FFGSW and SWSE)

© 2016 LucasFilm/Disney

Even before seeing Rogue One, I was captivated by Chirrut Îmwe in the trailers. After seeing it? His weapons are Must. Have. Now. So here are the stats for Chirrut’s lightbow. (While Wookieepedia says Chirrut’s lightbow is combined with a melee weapon, I have opted to build it as a ranged weapon only, as it is clear from the movie and stills that he has two different weapons.)

When not in use, the lightbow’s polarizer limbs are folded down and it takes time for the wielder to ready it for use, covered by Prepare quality (FFG SW) or the added Ready Time characteristic (SWSE), which are only used the first round, and only if the weapon was not readied before the encounter. The wielder also needs an impeller gauntlet, included in the weapon cost, worn on the off (non-dominant) wrist, to ready and fire the lightbow.

Since these bowcaster variants are both handcrafted and unique to the Guardians of the Whills, most PCs aren’t going to be able to get their hands on them without a lot of time, credits, and trouble, in any era. Double–at least–the trouble in the Rise of the Empire and Rebellion eras, when an inquiry with even the vaguest connection to the Jedi or the Force might draw the attention of the ISB (bad enough) or the Inquisitorius (worse)…

This is reflected in the Rarity (FFGSW) and Availability (SWSE) given below, as well as the cost, which I opted to make closer to lightsabers than bowcasters. The given cost, as with lightsabers, is for the materials used in construction, and is still, in the case of the FFG stats, affordable for Knight Level PCs (Force & Destiny). One final note. The reason for Cumbersome 3 in the FFG stats is that martial artists, contrary to popular belief, are often as strong as they are agile, and that from the movie scenes, this is clearly an awkward weapon to wield, like the crossbow that inspired both it and the bowcaster.

System: FFG SW
Skill: Ranged (Heavy)
Damage: 10
Critical: 3
Range: Medium
Encumbrance: 4
Hard Points: 2
Price: 4,000
Rarity: 9 (post-Rogue One)/7
Special: Cumbersome 3, Pierce 2, Prepare 1

System: SWSE
Weapon Group: Exotic
Weapon Proficiency: Exotic Weapon (Lightbow)
Ready Time: Full-round action
Size: Large (Two-handed for Human-sized characters)
Cost: 3,000
Damage: 3D10
Stun Damage: —-
Rate of Fire: S
Weight: 5 kg
Type: Energy and Piercing
Availability: Restricted*, Rare**
*Guardians of the Whills (Jedha)
**Illegal under the Empire

Perkins, Christopher, et al., Star Wars Saga Edition Core Rulebook, © & ™ &/or ® 2007 LucasFilm Ltd.
Little, Jay, et al., Force and Destiny, © & ™ 2014 LucasFilm Ltd.
Hidalgo, Pablo, Star Wars: Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide, © & ™ 2015 LucasFilm Ltd.
“Lightbow.” Wookieepedia.
Nicolette, Jade. “Fifteen Things You Didn’t Know About Chirrut Îmre.” Screen Rant.

Credits: My husband, Mark Whitson, for information on how the weapon might handle and physical characteristics. Friday Nite Skypers for technical editing, playtesting, and/or feedback.

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Linda Whitson

Linda Whitson

Contributing Writer & Copy Editor at D20 Radio
Linda Whitson is a long-time RPGer, amateur musician & artist, & an officer in the Rebel Legion Star Wars costuming club. Linda met her husband in an AD&D game and they have 2 teenagers, an anime fangirl daughter and a son who plays on his university's quidditch team. She is the Lead Mod of D20 Radio's forums and Copy Editor for the blog. Linda can be reached at
Linda Whitson

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  1. I would treat it like a Missile Tube. In my games I allow that weapon to hurt vehicles with the right projectiles. I don’t X10 or anything with it… just narratively I let it happen. I would just keep Linda’s stats but then if fired at a TIE… I wouldn’t worry about personal vs. vehicle scale. I would just let it do damage to the vehicle. I ignore the RAW.

  2. Huh. How do you handle the fact that Chirrut shot down a TIE fighter with this thing? He has to have done at least 30 damage to punch through the armor and deal 1 point of hull trauma.

    I would have thought something like a Missile Tube that lacks Guided and Blast.

    • Seeing as how we have Jedi in Star Wars Rebels deflecting TIE Fighter blaster fire and not getting vaporized (something currently impossible under FFG’s rules), I wouldn’t get into a twist over it. The various Star Wars media have plenty of instances of characters doing things that are flat-out impossible under the rules. Heck, Chirrut’s shot could have been the result of a Triumph and a Ranged (Heavy) combat check to do something other than just deal damage to the TIE Fighter, such as taking deliberate Aim at it’s stabilizers (double Aim to target a specific area of the body), thus forcing an immediate Piloting (Space) check with the pilot (a minion) flubbed horribly, resulting in a collision (which as a crit would defeat the minion instantly). So in that instance, it’s actually quite possible so long as you apply a bit of creativity to the situation and not get entirely hung up on the letter of the rules or that dealing damage is the only way to defeat an opponent.

      What Linda wrote is a weapon that is both sensible and balanced from a game-playing perspective, something that won’t make a GM cringe when asked “can my character have this?”

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