Learn all about my Twi'lek Mandalorian, one of my favorite original characters for Star Wars. Also including stats for the Edge of the Empire TTRPG if you'd like to use her as an NPC in your tabletop games!
While Rio wasn't born into Mandalorian culture, she clawed her way out of a miserable early life and discovered the Shael Clan as her new found family.
Rio is skilled in several forms of combat, and can hold her own with a pair of daggers or pistols just fine. She has a full suite of Mandalorian gadgets as well. But nothing is more precious to her than her custom made sniper rifle. Her accuracy is downright deadly, and the rifle is powerful enough to make every shot count.
You don't carve your way out of the slums of Nar Shaddaa without gaining a bit of an ego along the way. Rio is full of sass, snark, and attitude. She knows she's good at what she does. She doesn't have to boast about it. Her skill in combat and at catching marks will speak for themself, giving her plenty of time to give everyone else a hard time.
Rio’s first memories aren’t of the streets, but of the sewers of Nar Shaddaa. A world full of nooks and crannies and hidden passages, perfect for a twi’lek war-orphan to eke out a living - until the day the slavers were faster.
She found herself in the tutelage of a Hutt. At the oversized squeaky-slug’s bidding, she learned dance, learned music and entertainment… as well as hand to hand combat, sleight of hand, and close combat weaponry. She was one of his prized Jewels: beautiful ladies who were equal parts arm candy and bodyguard to the hutt. His last line of defense against an attack - no one would expect the entertainment to be holding a knife, after all.
But Rio wanted freedom. And she knew the only way to her freedom lay overtop his corpse.
She waited. She was patient; she knew he’d make the mistake of leaving her alone with him. When that opportunity finally arrived, she didn't hesitate, moving in for the strike - only for a Mandalorian warrior, in glistening black and grey armor, to crash through the wall just before she could enact her plan.
The Mandalorian got the kill; the hutt had pissed off the wrong people, and the bounty on his head was substantial. Rio, unceremoniously, got her freedom. But not without forming a vendetta against the Mandalorian who took the pleasure of killing the hutt from her.
For the next few years, she chased the Mandalorian and his partner across the galaxy. Initially, the Mandalorians spurned her efforts to kill them, but over time, she learned. Became a brilliant sniper, and an expert in hiding and sneaking into places she didn't belong. Her attempts to kill them grew more cunning, and the three were locked in a deadly race over several bounties.
Over time, though, that relationship began to change. She learned that the Mandalorians' names were Talos and Desdemira of Clan Shael. And through their games of cat and mouse, they grew a liking to each other. Rio started to discover she actually liked working with them more than she did trying to kill them.
She did, finally, admit that Clan Shael had become more than just a means to an end, and took her oaths to join the Mandalorians, her people.
It would, however, take her several more years to finally admit to Talos and Desdemira that they were maybe - possibly - potentially - a bit more than family to her, too. But she still loves her sniper rifle more than anything else in the world, and they all know that.
Rio didn't grow up with the Mandos. She was an adult by the time she became a Foundling. And so she'd already had her own sense of style. Her own aesthetic. And she took the Mandalorian armor, and put her own spin on it.
This means it's a lot less covering than others - it's a set of armor built as much for looks as it is for function. With it's bright gold beskar and dark silver accents, all layered on top of a laminated compression suit... Rio's armor strikes a very noticeable, very memorable appearance.
But her armor is also modular - if she's not expecting a fight, or if she's planning on sniping from half a kilometer away, she can wear something lightweight. If she's planning to wade into a warzone, she can swap out parts for a much heavier, more protective set of beskar that will keep her safe. In fact, Rio's armor is so modular and has so many combinations of parts, the Shael clan jokes that she never wears the same combination of armor twice.
But like any Mando, her armor is always well equipped for the job. Depending on her needs, her armor may come equipped with:
Rio is a very successful bounty hunter. And with the help of her clan, who specialize in high tech gadgetry, she's always well equipped for her work.
One of the things that allows Rio to get away with wearing an actual crop top armor into battle is her custom Personal Deflector Shield.
Developed by the Shael Clan, this personal shield is small, quiet, and efficient. Though it does need to be recharged after use, it's capable of absorbing a considerable amount of punishment before it's expended.
These sort of shields are very rare, and most of them are much bulkier than the one Rio owns. So those shields often catch her enemies by surprise when she starts brushing their blaster fire off.
Rio's pride and joy. A fully customized IQA-11 sniper rifle. Designed to be both modular and collapsible. Sniper barrel can be detached to function as a normal blaster rifle.
A common choice among Mandalorians, and Rio is just as much a fan. With high stopping power and a quick rate of fire, she can hold her own in a close range fire fight just fine. She carries a pair of them, strapped to each armored thigh plate.
Also on her belt are a pair of vibro knives. While they are not her preferred weapon, she does keep them handy for situations where a silent attack or melee fight is necessary.
One of the things you can count on most - even if Rio isn't in her armor, wearing the most casual of disguises... she has throwing knives hidden on her somewhere. They won't penetrate armor, but a well aimed hit between the armor plates will still do a lot of harm.
Thermal Detonators, Flashbangs, Smoke Grenades, Ion Grenades... Rio does like to carry an assortment. She's not shy about using them, either. In fact, she's so fond of them she likes to refer to them has her "Negotiation Tactics."
So many people have asked me if they can use Rio in their roleplay. I'm so flattered that people love her as much as they do! She's been one of my favorite characters to play for over a decade now. I was very happy to put this page together and give people all the info they needed! But, please understand... I'm also very protective of her, and it was very hard for me to put this out there for everyone to just use without me having creative control. So... I have a few guidelines that I would like people to respect if you decide to use her as an NPC.
Rio has her clan, but she also travels alone a lot, and joins other random crews for a job or two. If the job aligns with her interests, or presents a challenge, or even stands for the right cause, she'll be happy to help out for a little bit. Just don't expect her to stick around long term.
With a reputation like hers, and the connections she has, Rio can be a great person to turn to when looking for information, or for work. She knows who's who. She knows who's paying well for bounties in this sector. She knows where some safe houses are, some weapons dealers. She might even know when something big is about to go down that might present certain opportunities for your crew.
"I know a guy," your character says. It turns out, it's Rio that they know. Maybe they owe her money from a job together a while back. Maybe they were on opposite sides of a conflict once. Rio will be happy to help out, whether it's with her combat skills, her gadgets, or even just her underworld connections. Just be prepared for her to rib your character the whole time about needing her help.
Maybe your crew of bounty hunters is competing against her for a mark. Maybe someone on your crew is the mark that she's after! Rio can make a great adversary for a campaign, because she's not the type to hold grudges. In fact, if you beat her, she might even respect you for it. It's all just business, after all. Just be ready for her to (playfully) get even, later.