Weighted Dart (5e Equipment)
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Martial Ranged Weapons
The weighted dart found mainstream use in the Late Roman and Byzantine militaries. The plumbata or martiobarbulum consisted of a short shaft attached to a barb with a lead weight, which was thrown high into the air to allow it time to self-correct its point downwards onto its target. While inferior in range and accuracy to the more famous pilum of the earlier Roman military, the weighted dart proved capable against massed infantry in tight groups, and its high arc allowed it to circumvent shield walls or barricades. They also counterbalanced the decreased length, aerodynamics and versatility of the javelin with simple manufacture and small size, with Late Roman limitanei being able to carry up to five in purpose-built hollows in their shields.
Special. The weighted dart is intended to be thrown upwards in an arc to land downward onto the target. When used at long range, the weighted dart ignores all cover except for that which is directly overhead (at the DM’s discretion).