Thrown weapons rule clarification needed

Quick question about thrown weapons, why are they in comparison to bows excluded from providing impale on hit?

If I throw a 20 inch javelin and hit the chest of the enemy whose torso is not protected by heavy armour - and then see him continue walking as if nothing happened rather then convulsing on the floor from the grievous wound it just received it would be hella anticlimatic and definitely immersion breaking.

Any reason why archers get to do impale without using hero points but thrown weapons do not?

Mostly to try and emphasis the effectiveness of archery.

Honestly if we were being entirely realistic any decent blow from a sword is going to put you out of a fight without armour to guard from it but that makes a poor game.

You wont get a comprehensive answer here; you’d need to talk to one of the game designers to get a real answer.

However, it might be to do with the possible ease of using and obtaining thrown weapons. You don’t want a 1-point skill and cheap weapons to be attached to a potential one-hit-kill call.

In another system (the LT) I was part of a ‘grenadier’ unit; we each carried two bags of about 30 thrown weapons per bag into battle, and could throw them using ambidex at a pretty high rate. We would shelter behind our unit’s shield wall and rain death on the enemy. In that system (like Empire) they did 1 damage each. Imagine if they did Impale. The reason we had so many of those weapons was each was only a piece of pipe lagging, wrapped in gaffa tape and dipped in latex. We made hundreds of them for almost no cost, compared to a LARP bow and arrows, which are a decent chunk of money.

By enphasizing the effectiveness of archery in this fashion they reduce the effectiveness of throwing weapons to the point where they are rarely if at all used on the field.

The grenades wouldnt work in empire as the size is set on the wiki. You couldnt take more throwing weapons then you can take arrows and the cost associated is actually close if not more then arrows - the only saving point is not having to buy the utility that allows you to fire the projectile - namely bow. Also the range is already a huge limiting factor, which further makes me confused about this state of affairs.

Are you saying the developers do not visit their own forums? Ill open an official ticket if I have to but forums seemed the easier option.

Some of the game organisers do but:

A) they specifically don’t make Official statements about the game other than through official channels

B) Most have full time jobs as well as volunteering for PD, which means that they’re not universally available.


Throwers are quicker to pull, quicker to use, can be used one in each hand, can be used in conjunction with a shield, and can be used as melee weapons. A bow or crossbow takes a time to load and fire, requires two hands to fire, and cannot be used to block or parry.

A projectile fired from a bow will travel further then five meters. A bowman doesnt need to be at the front line to make use of his weapon, as with the amount of archers you hardly run out of ammunition in comparison- as there simply arent any throwers out there.

Speed wise, Id say theyre a similar speed. You may use a shield or rather you better because unlike the archer you need to be vulnerable yourself when throwing as the distance it can go is laughable in comparison. If you try to hold two of them - remember, theyre coreless. You wont be able to block or strike much with them either. You can try, so I guess theres a plus there. However pretending it to be effective in any measure is a strawman argument.

The things you mentioned dont actually outclass a bow or a crossbow in any capacity, in fact they present multiple limitations of a subpar weapon that is further limited by the game mechanics.

Ask yourself - assuming you go to battles and dont speak from a theoretical standpoint - how many players have you seen with throwing weapons?

Personally, I’ve seen a few people using throwers, and I’ve used them myself- about as often as I’ve seen crossbows.

Something else to consider is the loss of projectiles. A 36" javelin from Saxon Violence is £50. There’s no hard guarantee you’ll get it back at the end of a battle, or that it won’t get stood on and ruined. Do you really want to spend ~£150 for a quiver of javelins if you might loose them all in one battle? As opposed to £10 per arrow.

Even if you go the route of throwing knives, these are cheaper but still about £15 a pop and far more likely to be lost.

I agree. Theyre easy to be lost, easy to get destroyed and someone would really have to invest and be into the idea to go that route. Only to be rewarded with a ruined immersion as the enemy you hit points to where he was hit, to the javelin and then pretends to cry while laughing his ass off because for some reason throwing weapons do not provide impale so he loses 1 hit instead.

For me, the rules are made this way to deter players from using thrown weapons where possible, as telling people outright theyre banned might have been a bad PR move. If thats not the case and the reasoning for taking this route, then this should be looked into.

The one thing that Empire shouldnt become is to be afraid of change.

I seriously doubt that. I have a feeling it’s more because, in other systems, throwing weapons have been proven to be unpopular and uncommon.

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If it werent that and a potential health and safety issue ( which connects with outright banning them in my previous point ) then there would be no reason for them not to impale the enemy. I dont believe there is even a single historian here that would support that point.

Its not a great money investment at all. I simply cant comprehend the discrimination.

Also 1 hit of damage is as much as most sword blows, its not nothing, it shouldn’t be laughed off any more than any other weapon strike.

This is a larp, not historical reenactment.


Weapons kill people. This is not a moral statement, but an argument in favour of one hit systems, with possibly two hits for the toughest of the tough. These are an excellent choice for brutal LRPs (eg Zombie), but not for a heroic LRP. Once you get past the idea that a normal blow should have an unarmored unfortunate on the ground, you also have to step past this same idea for other weapons, which includes the javelin. Any arguments that cite immersion, reality and climax are void once you have multiple hits.

Which brings us on to “why would anyone chose thrown”, and that is a simple case of how effectively it combines with other strategies. Every weapon choice in Empire has something that makes it cool, and the thrown weapon is no exception. The Roman javelin strategy of throw just before close would work on an Empire field.

Which puts us in a position of “why does the bow do impale” rather than “why don’t thrown weapons do impale”. A problem with most LRP systems is that the bow is underpowered compared with other options. It is two handed, like a spear, but doesn’t protect you. It can get one shot off in the time it takes your target to close, like thrown, but cannot be combined with a shield. There has to be something to bring archery back towards the coolness of other weapons choices, and in Empire this is the reward for picking your target or getting a good shot.

Also, referencing a history in which the bow and arrow have dominated over thrown ever since iron tools and skilled tradespeople (ie everything between Roman and Gunpowder) is a brave choice. I can point you at a large number of sources that point to archery being a much more effective weapon across several time periods and cultures. Which would you rather a picture of here; the Bayeux tapestry, Feudal Japanese silk prints, the sinking of the Mary Rose? The Mary Rose is a particularly good one here. In a potentially wet environment (which increases the fragility of a bow), after the advent of gunpowder and in the pride of a major nation they found vast quantities of longbows and no quantity of thrown weapons.


It definitely can be laughed at, youre investing in a skill, investing the money into it. You compare it to using a sword which does Not cost any skill points, you realize this yes?

@thresher ah yes, its fantasy so lets throw logic out the window. If thats your line of defence then remove impale from arrows. Why heroic battles in fantasy should end in one arrow, when boromir fought until the 4th in his chest killing numerous orcs while at it?

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Which doesnt mean that perfecting one weapon and improving armors made the other ineffective against unarmored or lightly armored enemies. The alternative was simply the better choice by far. Remember, only heavy armor protects from impale entirely and only covered body areas. Which for heavy armor puts them at an equal spot. Now, if youre telling me that javelins cant pierce robes or leather armor, and youre trying to prove that with what you perceive as a history lesson?

By all means, do educate me which medium or light armor would a javelin struggle with penetrating and would in fact not injure the foe.

Remember, metal Is heavy armour whether I agree that a chain mail should be one or not in empire, keep that in mind.

Boromir had Unstoppable.


This is to a fair extent a problem with the hobby. Thrown LARP weapons need to be coreless and not too spiky for when they bounce of someone’s face. This generally makes them light and less accurate than archery, while also requiring a certain degree of hard skill. And while they are often about as pricey as arrows, they are more durable but easier to lose…

I’ve played a few systems, but even those with damage multipliers (ie, doing more than 1 point of damage per hit) rarely buff throwing weapons…

Archery in Empire is itself unusual. Empire (and Odyssey before it) were the first systems I encountered where an arrow was functionally an insta-kill. Hang, on, no, Skullduggery (An arrow did a triple. A starting character had 3 global hits). This has cropped up in some other local systems, but archery is generally a poor relative to melee damage. And thrown usually worse…


So there is a similar discussion going on on Facebook on the Empire LRP group. Andy Raff has pretty much stated that PD are happy with the skill as is. Go ask him why. Your not going to get a better answer out of us.