Ewok Technology

Ewoks, in AaA, have a low technology clause. What technology is “not available on their home world”? No energy weapons clearly, but slug throwers maybe? Are there any bows that are not Cumbersome 3?
I know as a player I can get around it “after time” or by spending XP, but I’d like to start out at least respecting the limitation and let it be character growth.

Low-Tech Users:

Upgrade difficulty of checks to use technology not available on their home world. May become familiar with equipment after time, removing the difficulty for the specific equipment. Remove this disadvantage with 10XP

Basically, no technology that can’t be made with sticks, stones, and string, or that isn’t simply a more modern version (i.e. a vibroknife=fancy regular knife).

You’d have to look at an Ewok stat block to find a “primitive” bow that they can wield. I think there’s a compound bow in the Corellian book (Suns of Fortune), but I don’t have that book and could be misremembering.

As GM, I’d allow an Ewok to use any melee weapon that isn’t particularly unusual (electro-pike yes, lightsaber no), and if it’s powered I might use Threat or Despair to indicate that the Ewok doesn’t understand to turn it on.

Blasters and slugthrowers would be automatic nos, and specialized bows (compound, light, Nightsister, etc.) would also be upgraded since they share only the form, not the function, or in the case of a compound bow the function and not the form.

But comms, computer systems, HUD interfaces, scanners, blasters, slugthrowers, modern ships and vehicles, refreshers, all would be upgraded.

(You reference slugthrowers vs. blasters. Practically, they operate identically. If anything, it would be easier for someone trained on a slugthrower to use a blaster than the other way around.)

Bows, arrows ,spears all made from bone and wood it looked like (from RotJ). They haven’t even made it to a metal-using age in their culture.

Valid points. I did find a Voss Warspear that seems reasonable to wield as you suggest, similar enough to crude crafted weapons.

Incidentally, I find it odd that the basic projectile bow that can be crafted with Survival (per S.M. Ranged weapon crafting) uses Ranged Light not -Heavy. Who ever heard of a one-handed bow? Maybe it’s actually a rudimentary crossbow?? Sure, it makes sense for a sling, blowgun, or javelin, but not a bow. If it’s a crossbow, then can’t one argue that anything with point-and-shoot would be similar?

What about chemical-based weapons like the Spray Stick? Still a point-and-pull-trigger weapon.

A crossbow is something the Ewoks definitely have the materials and know-how to craft.

But I think you’re reading too much into the examples given and the choice of Ranged (Light) as the skill. It gives four examples, three of which are one-handed. The only outlier is the bow, and a GM would be well within his rights to simply change the skill to Ranged (Heavy) if the narrative is of the “simple projectile weapon” as a bow.

The differences between a crossbow and a rifle are many, but there are a couple specific reasons why “point-and-shoot” isn’t a sufficient justification.
It’s just an upgrade: It isn’t that they can’t use the given item, just that they don’t have a good understanding of it. An upgrade is a relatively minor difference.

Mechanical understanding: A crossbow is very obvious, and works on known principles. Pull back string, flex stick, secure. Release string, stick flexes, arrow shoots.
A slugthrower, however, is not easily understood by someone without an understanding of how it works. You pull the trigger, there’s a bang, and then there’s a hole in something relatively similarly located to wherever you were pointing the gun.

Then there’s the safety, select-fire modes, bullet drop, you can’t see the projectile, did you load the magazine correctly?, did you do something that jammed the weapon?, are you prepared for the recoil?, etc.

With a blaster, you eliminate several of those objections, but you still lack the fundamental understanding of how it works. Do you know to replace the power pack, or how to? Do you understand select-fire? What about the principles of aiming a blaster? The sights are very different than those on a crossbow. And what about optics? Do you understand how to use an optic?

Any of these would probably be enough for an upgrade. In fact, several of those are good arguments for upgrading powered weapons, though that should be on a case-by-case basis.

All of these can be overcome, it will just take some training and practice, and that’s a narrative explanation you were looking for, isn’t it?


Or, just use Athletics for archaic ranged weapons? I’ve yet to have someone convince me this is not a good idea. Then, the Ewoks could use Athletics or Melee for their weapons of choice and make Ranged not allowed at character creation for them. Of course, when they narratively can learn such skills, they then may pump XP into them.

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Well, archaic bows already use Brawn +1 (or more) for damage, so you are already getting effect out of a good Brawn score, but needing Agility to line up your shot still makes sense.

You could use Coordination for Bows and Slings, then Athletics for anything thrown like an Axe, Spear, etc.

Brute strength has nothing to do with accuracy and would just encourage min-maxing even worse if Brawn could handle both their melee and ranged attacks (ignoring Saber Throw talent, because it’s Space Magic).

I’m ok for preferring Brawn over Agility when throwing a Short-ranged Spear, Axe, or Club. Then, as mentioned above, put the archaic Bows, Slings, Javelins? under Coordinated for the Ewoks so Agility is used for them instead.

Athletics and Coordination are specifically aimed at whole body control and (for Athletics) brute strength, in the context of running, jumping, climbing, balancing, etc.

Ranged (Light) is specifically aimed at hand-eye coordination for throwing or firing pistols.

Where “strength” comes into play is a Cumbersome rating. Without enough Brawn, using the item is more difficult (“you aren’t as good at it”).

Conversely, for Brawn weapons (melee weapons) that take particular dexterity to use, rather than making them use the Agility Characteristic, they have the Unwieldy quality so that without enough Agility, using the item is more difficult (“you aren’t as good at it”).


My responses were based upon the original post about primitive cultures, such as Ewoks, automatically being good with tech weapons such as blasters they have never seen simply because they are good with bows. Thus the need for a method to handle such situations. I’m aware of the original intention of the rules. Perhaps have it be an ability reserved to Primitives that allows them to use Athletics/Coordination for certain weapons? Just giving another option instead of the upgrade to tech Ranged weapons (above) if you didn’t like that method.

I was addressing the root idea of substituting the skills, because if you’re substituting them in one place, why not the other?

A better option, I think, would be to simply not apply skills to a “foreign” weapon, or perhaps count the skill as two ranks lower, or some other number.

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There was probably an ewok training montage that was left out of Return of the Jedi, where the rebels taught them about blasters before the big battle.