Shuriken Question


3.5/d20/OGL


I have a player who wants to play a monk. A question has arisen about shuriken.

In the old 3.0 Sword & Fist (I think) it was noted that a character throws 3 shuriken per attack, and that each shuriken required a separate attack roll. Only 1 could benefit from sneak attack or any extra damage. Thus, a monk with Flurry of Blows would be able to throw 6 shuriken a round at first level, rolling 6 different attack rolls. Granted the attack bonus would be low. Is this still correct for 3.5?

I can't find anything similar to this in 3.5 anywhere. Really, I can't find much at all on shuriken. I know they are treated like ammo for pricing and recovering them after a fight. I'm assuming that means 50 +1 shuriken costs 2,000gp (plus mw cost).

Is there anywhere I can look to find some further rules info on these weapons?


The 3 per attack thing has been trashed with 3.5.

You only get to throw one per attack. For a lot of purposes, they're thrown weapons, though, and that includes getting to add your strength bonus to damage.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

However, I believe (and need to check this) that they are special monk weapons, so he can do a 'flurry of throws' with shuriken.

The Exchange

Actually, the 3 per attack was from the PHB 3.0, but as far as I can tell it has been trashed. But, they are cheaper and do more damage per shuriken (1d2 rather than just plain 1). I did think that the whole 3 per attack was really fricken cool though, and I do miss it. I still think that they should be 3 per attack, and be at 1d2 damage, because without that they are pretty much utterly useless.

EDIT: Hm. You're right about the strength bonus thing, KaeYoss. Good thing they changed that, because they used to not add the strength because they're too damn small

Liberty's Edge

Yes, I can confirm that you only throw one shuriken per attack, you do add your strength bonus as a thrown weapon, and it's a special monk weapon so you can flurry with it. And they're priced like ammo.

I've played a lot of monks...but usually end up only using shuriken a tiny bit at low levels because they do so little damage.


Hunterofthedusk wrote:
I did think that the whole 3 per attack was really fricken cool though, and I do miss it.

+1 collision frost fiery acid electrical shurikens on the top of the shopping list ;-P


Call me a powergamer, but wow these things are useless as... well, anything. I'm not even sure why they're exotic, save for the fact that they're special monk weapons. Darts do more damage and have better range for 2.5x the cost. Hell, the stupid new "starknife" crap they added is better. Daggers even! Frikkin daggers! I'm not asking for some super awesome weapon, but it seems mean to the monk to give them a really cruddy weapon to use.

Actually, looking over everything, the monk is really getting shortsticked in the beta. I'm hoping to see more in the final version. Call me bitter for seeing the rogue get upped to d8 hit die while the monk gets... ki pool? Cool and all, but since sneak attacks now hit 99% of the D&D universe, the monk is no longer and awesome secondary fighter.

Ack! Sorry - derailed. Back to shuriken.

So I did like the 3rd ed 'multi-throw.' I will admit, the powergaming 'oh cool I make magic shuriken of super death' ruined this, but it at least gave reason for having the little things. I say at LEAST give them a secondary ability like sai and nunchaku - bleeding damage on a crit maybe? Repeated hits result in more damage? Maybe allow a proficient person throw several at once for a +1 competence bonus to strike, but only count damage for one +1 for each extra thrown? I dunno - something cooler than it is now.


Hunterofthedusk wrote:
I did think that the whole 3 per attack was really fricken cool though, and I do miss it.

If you like the concept of throwing lots of shurikens, you can do it with flavor text:

Shuriken come in sets of three (price/weight of a set is the same a single PHB shuriken). With a single attack, you throw the entire set. Make a normal ranged attack to see if any hit, then roll 1d2 to see how many hit. (Yes, at least one always misses). Magical enhancements apply to the set.

If you have a set of +1 shocking frost shurikens, you make an attack rolls of 1d20 + 1 + <other range attack modifiers>. If that hits, you roll 1d2 + 1d6 (cold) + 1d6 (electric) + <strength mod> damage. Cost of the set is 183xx/50 gold, (where xx is the base cost of a shuriken).

Mechanically, it's the same but you can describe your first level monk as tossing six shuriken around each round, which is a cool description.


Thanks for the information.

Setting aside the possibilities of the fire/frost/shock/bleeding/decapitating +1 shuriken power gaming stacking, was there any other balance reason to take away the 3 per throw attack routine?

And does anyone still use that rule at all? I'm tempted to try it out to see if it is an issue. The player is not going to stack a ton of magical enhancements on them anyway, so I'm curious to see if it is an issue otherwise.


The only purpose I've seen for shuriken, and it even deviates from what they were designed for, is a vessel for poison/sneak damage. They have better range than a throwing dagger, and thats about it. But, a heavily poisoned, high level sneak attack with one is really gonna hurt. It's a shame the best use for them requires NOT being a monk lol!


I agree that they shouldn't be exotic. The weapon categories need a spring-clean. Only weapons with the right stats get to be "dire weapons" (i.e. in the category now called exotic). Then have some weapons be "exotic", i.e. they're not from around here, which may increase their proficiency category when they're not common in your area (or it's just a flavour addition).

But shurikens can be useful: The're small so you can hide them. They can be drawn ammo (i.e. you can draw them as a free action!) but thrown like a thrown weapon (i.e. you add your strength bonus). That's really useful for monks who won't have quick draw, but many attacks.

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