Vibroswords and axes are available in game in order to appease PCs whose archetypes use them, and the prices reflect that. We can see clearly that vibroweapons are very expensive and not 'cost effective'.
Furthermore, the number of characters in the EU that use vibroswords is very small. In TCW and the movies, the only characters using vibroaxes are Gamorrean guards. BX commando droids used vibroswords as part of integrated weapons systems. The primary melee weapons being used by guards and other such 'minions' are shock staves/prods/batons that are similar to truncheons used by our own police forces.
Vibroknives are used because well, they're knives. You can use a knife for anything. They're simple, stealthy, and have multiple uses.
Vibroswords aren't any of that. They're flashy and mostly for killing people. They are the weapons of 'special snowflakes'.
In a world with guns, dedicated killing melee weapons are severely limited in use. Most of them are items of 'exceptional craftsmanship', much like in our own world- people that buy melee weapons are dedicated to it and unique. There aren't Grease Gun or AK47 versions of vibrosword manufacturers that produce cheap, crude versions for the people that don't want to spend a lot of money, but just need a sword. No one in the setting actually NEEDS a sword - owning own is more of a luxury for a high class killer.
Vibroblades and swords exist as logical extensions of thought. Why wouldn't people in Star Wars use swords, and why wouldn't there be a high tech version of them? The technology exists and they're certainly made...but they wouldn't be made with an economy of scale in mind. They would be made with an economy of style and luxury. Items like a fusion cutter could be found cheaply or on discount as a promotional or surplus at a tool store. You would not find a sword at a half-off or going out of business sale, or as a special on whatever the Amazon-equivalent is.
The actual usage of vibroswords and other large melee weapons is yes, strictly due to the fact that very effective ranged weapons exist in the universe..melee weapons are typically used in a story fashion in order to distinguish unique characters. The NPCs in the canned adventures reflect that..the only ones really using dedicated vibroweapons as a primary weapon are indeed the 'big bosses' or deliberately quixotic and unique characters. These characters are depicted as being generally rare, and their weapons unique, expensive, and highly prized.
Edited by TarlSS, 20 April 2014 - 04:44 AM.