|Damage vs. small||1d8|
|Damage vs. large||1d6|
|Base price||5 zm|
A shuriken is a Japanese ranged weapon, designed for throwing. It appears as a throwing star when unidentified. Shuriken have damage exceeding that of daggers while having a weight equal to that of darts, but are quite rare. Like darts, shuriken can break when thrown, but this risk can be minimized by blessing them and having very high luck. Positive enchantment also helps. Samurai start with shuriken identified.
Shuriken are the only weapons to use shuriken skill, and there are no artifact shuriken.
Shuriken cause solid damage, give a to-hit bonus, don't need a launcher and can be poisoned. If you find some it is usually a good idea to take them and use them to soften up tough monsters or against mind flayers. Their +2 to-hit bonus helps to reduce the unskilled to-hit penalty, which is useful since they are so rare that you probably won't get a chance to raise your skill level (and probably wouldn't want to spend the skill slot anyway). Extensive use of shuriken may require polypiling or wishing.
Monks are in a special situation. They can reach basic skill in only 3 ranged weapons: shuriken, spear and crossbow. As spears are heavy and a crossbow must be wielded to be used, it may be worth enchanting and blessing shuriken if you find them, especially because monks have little other use for scrolls of enchant weapon. Even at unskilled, monks will get a +1 multishot bonus when throwing shuriken, offsetting their low skill cap. If you don't mind polypiling stacks of useless weapons, this is a good way to get shuriken.
Healers can reach skilled in shuriken. They can also reach skilled in the weaker daggers and sling, and expert in the weaker darts, so shuriken are interesting. Healers are restricted in matter spells, and even with a robe and high enough level they won't be able to reach much better than 90% failure rate with the polymorph spell, so the PYEC and wands are usually a better way to get large numbers of shuriken.