The bowcaster is an interesting weapon as it is a combination weapon that combines a high-powered crossbow with blaster technology. The bowcaster fires explosive quarrels that are then jacketed by a sheath of blaster energy making the resultant shot look like a elongated blaster bolt when it is fired. The crossbow portion of the weapon requires a large amount of strength to cock and load making the weapon very difficult for non-Wookiees to operate (modified versions using robotics to assist the action do exist). In fact this part of the weapon is specifically designed by the Wookiees themselves to be only managed by Wookiees exclusively.
When the bolt strikes a target, it causes a fairly large explosion that is about equivalent to that of a heavy blaster bolt, but with the power drain of a pistol or lighter weapon.
The most well known version of the weapons are the small hand held version but larger heavy models exist that require a tripod to aim and operate. These larger bowcasters are capable of damaging light to medium range vehicles