Laughable Throwing-Stars

During one game of Feng Shui I encountered the following situation:
A Ninja (player character) hit a Big Bruiser type named character
with a throwing star (damage 5), 0 outcome.
Thus I calculated the damage... 0.
The Big Bruisers toughness made the effect of the weapon laughable,
but even a common toughness of 5 would have neutralized it.

In other words: you need at least an outcome of +1 to deal minimum
damage to an average person, when you hit it with a throwing star. Isn't that
a bit ... uhm.. lame ?
For a Big Bruiser you need an outcome of at least +7 to deal any damage
with a throwing star to him, which is rather weird, too.

I know it can be rather funny, when the BB looks down at his pierced chest with a bored face and brushes away the little pointy thingies with the
back of his hand, but still... it was VERY frustrating for the Ninja who
hadn't very lucky dice that evening,

What do you think ?

I suppose the main idea is that throwing stars are best used against mooks who would of course be taken out regardless of Toughness. However, my house rule is that shuriken deal Str+1 damage. They still aren't likely to make much of an impression on a Bruiser (unless they're a Sig. Weapon) but at least they've got some teeth.


Iron and Silk includes rules for throwing a handful for better damage, but they're normally anti-mook weapons.

You can, of course, use them to pin someone's sleeve to the wall, at least temporarily. That still would not be a problem for a Bruiser, but some on compare the size of a shuriken to the size of a Bruiser. He can probably eat them by the handful.

First, the Big Bruiser should be able to shrug off or ignore minor flesh wounds... that's the whole point of the Big Bruiser.

Second, the Ninja should know better than to make a frontal attack on a Big Bruiser. If the Ninja had made use of his exceptional Intrusion skill and attacked the Big Bruiser from an ambush, then the Big Bruiser's Dodge AV would have been 0, and the Outcome would have been 12. Outcome + Damage - Toughness = 5 wounds... ok, not exactly impressive but at least somewhat effective.

Third, the Ninja could use a stunt to neutralize, distract, or take advantage of scenery. For example, a well-thrown shuriken could cut the big bruiser's belt, causing his pants to fall down (temporary penalty or loss of shots to pull up pants). Or cut a wire holding a heavy spotlight that the Big Bruiser just happens to be standing under (Damage 15). Or pop the tire of an approaching delivery truck, causing the driver to lose control and swerve right into the big bruiser (Damage 25).

No, because an "average person" is a mook and doesn't track damage in the first place.

"No, because an "average person" is a mook"

[color=darkblue]I'm gonna assume the poster meant "the average PC."

I've had some grievances with Toughness, too, over the years. A lot of players will pump their extra points into the TGH subability during char-gen, and even a few points in that attribute means they can get blasted point-blank and not suffer too much. (A sorceror could start the game with a Toughness of 9, which means a shotgun blast to the chest will do a measley 4 points of damage! And with mooks, you can't expect Outcome to increase that by much...)

In actual use, throwing stars weren't expected to kill opponents, just give targets a reason to stop pursuing the ninja. Plucking pieces of sharpened steel from your ribs may not leave you with a mortal wound, but it may make you reconsider chasing that black-clad stealthy bugger into the garden maze...

Anyway, to reflect this, you could always opt to give shuriken a side effect, such as delaying an opponent by 1 Shot on a successful hit. That way, stars are useful even if they don't do massive amounts of damage, fitting their intended purpose.