Thursday, November 18, 2010

Episode 57: Shotos and Shoto Pin

Darth GM here with the 57th installment of Fragments from the Rim.

It’s back to the books this week, and this week we’re talking lightsabers.  Specifically, I’m going to talk about a lightsaber that’s only been on-screen in one character’s hands, Yoda’s short lightsaber also known in the EU as the “shoto”. 

The shoto is listed in the Core Rulebook as the Short Lightsaber, a small weapon that deals 2d6 energy and slashing damage.  Normally the main weapon of a small Jedi character, the Shoto offers some interesting character choices for Medium Sized characters too.  It’s a small weapon, but closed down it’s a diminutive object, granting a larger bonus to try and conceal the item.  It’s also a light weapon for a Medium sized character, meaning you can use it in a grapple.  Both of these help out a sneaky Jedi Shadow or Emperor’s Hand who may want to conceal a surprise or two, or who may need to pull a guard into an alcove and dispatch of them quickly and quietly. 

A variant of the Shoto is the Guard Shoto, used by Maris Brood in the Force Unleashed video game.  This tonfa-like weapon has a second handle that extends off from the main handle at a 90 degree angle.  The whole hilt is made of Phirk Aluminum, and grants a +2 equipment bonus to Use the Force checks for the Block or Deflect talents.  To balance this, the weapon deals less damage, only 2d4 damage, but makes for a great off-hand weapon for a dual-wielding jedi or as a main weapon character more concerned with defense than offense. 

This brings up the first of a few talents that take advantage of the shoto’s properties.  With a single shoto, you can take advantage of the Shoto Pin talent from the Jedi Academy Training Manual.  Found in the Jedi Weapon Master Talent tree for the Jedi Knight Presige class, the talent states that “Whenever you are wielding a shoto and successfully use the Block Talent to negate a melee attack, the attacker can make no further melee attacks until the start of its next turn or until you are no longer adjacent to it.”  Naturally, you need to have the Block talent to take this talent. 

Think about what this will do; no melee attacks until you move or the attacker’s next round.  That’s no further attacks from Dual Weapon Mastery, Double Attack, or Triple.  No bonus melee attacks from Attacks of Opportunity, or from attacks granted by certain feats and talents.  And it’s not just the weapon the attacker tried to hit you with, it’s all melee attacks.  So they can’t even kick at one of your allies as they try to move through the attacker’s threatened area, or use an off-hand melee weapon, or attacks like the reactive claw attack for Cathar.  Block that first attack and you own that guy for the rest of the round as long as you stand next to him.  You can even attack him on your turn without breaking the Shoto Pin. 

Be careful of Privateers though, those guys cheat and tend to use blasters and blades at the same time.  You might block the blade, but the jerk just might shoot you for your trouble.  Shoto Pin offers nothing for being shot at point blank range. 

That’s all for this time, but check in next episode as I continue the Shoto discussion.  Twice the shotos, twice the fun.  If you have any questions or comments, sent them along to  Until then, Gamer Nation; 20 side up, 1 side down.

Originally aired on Order 66 Podcast #111 "If the Asshat Fits, You Must Acquit!"

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