Tales of Tolgard
A javelin is a polearm weapon similar to a spear or a glaive. They are also a type of ranged weapon known as a hurled weapon as well as being piercing weapons. The end of the pole usually has a small, rounded head on it. The pole, or shaft of the javelin, is much lighter than that of a spear. This allows it to be thrown as an effective ranged weapon but it also makes it much more likely to break on impact. This general weakness makes the javelin a poor choice as a melee weapon.
A variation of javelins, called pilum, are specifically designed to deal with shields. They usually have long, thin, and barbed metal heads- often fairly soft iron- that sinks into an opponent’s shield. The weight of the specially reinforced shaft bends the head and makes removing it in the heat of battle very difficult. This usually forces the opponent to discard their heavier and unwieldy shield behind, removing their advantage.