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) Javelin.png
Name javelin
Appearance throwing spear
Damage vs. small 1d6
Damage vs. large 1d6
To-hit bonus +0
Weapon skill spear
Size one-handed
Base price 3 zm
Weight 20
Material iron

A javelin is a kind of weapon. When unidentified, it appears as a throwing spear. It uses the spear skill. It can be used in melee, or thrown.

There are no artifact javelins.

Javelins have a +2 to-hit bonus when hitting kebabable monster classes.

Javelin skill

Versions of NetHack prior to 3.6.0 and derived variants used a separate javelin skill specifically for the javelin weapon. This was because of the different uses of spears - javelins were intended for throwing and spears for thrusting. NetHack 3.6.0 merged the javelin and spear skills for gameplay reasons.

Max Role

The javelin was the only weapon to use the javelin skill.


Javelins make up about 1.0% of randomly generated weapons (on the ground, as death drops, and in shops).


Javelins are slender spears, designed for throwing.

The related lance is designed for jousting and the spear for thrusting.

Encyclopaedia entry

- they come together with great random, and a spear is brast,
and one party brake his shield and the other one goes down,
horse and man, over his horse-tail and brake his neck, and
then the next candidate comes randoming in, and brast his
spear, and the other man brast his shield, and down he goes,
horse and man, over his horse-tail, and brake his neck, and
then there's another elected, and another and another and
still another, till the material is all used up; and when you
come to figure up results, you can't tell one fight from
another, nor who whipped; and as a picture of living, raging,
roaring battle, sho! why it's pale and noiseless - just
ghosts scuffling in a fog. Dear me, what would this barren
vocabulary get out of the mightiest spectacle? - the burning
of Rome in Nero's time, for instance? Why, it would merely
say 'Town burned down; no insurance; boy brast a window,
fireman brake his neck!' Why, that ain't a picture!

[ A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, by Mark
  Twain ]