a javelin commonly used by the Roman army
Special: +1 Defense
- Short range is character’s Strength + Dexterity + Athletics-4 × 2
Medium is 2x Short
Long is 2x Medium
Generally about two metres long overall, consisting of an iron shank about 7 mm in diameter and 60 cm long with pyramidal head. The shank was joined to the wooded shaft by either a socket or a flat tang.
The iron shank was the key to the function of the pilum. The weapon had a hard pyramidal tip but the shank itself was not hardened. The softness of the shank would cause it to bend after impact, thus rendering the weapon useless to the enemy. More importantly, If the pilum struck the shield of an enemy it would embed itself into the shield’s fabric, and this along with the bending of the shank would cause the shield to become unwieldy, forcing the enemy to discard it or waste time trying to pull it out. The former action tended to happen more often than the latter as affected soldiers couldn’t risk removing the pilum without disrupting their formation during an advance or losing their lives during a melee