Yklwa - 5e Equipment Guide (2024)

One hand clutching the red, wet wound in his thigh, Hoga used his remaining energy to groan. The sound ricocheted off unseen stone worn smooth by water and time.

“Quiet,” Sil hissed, clutching her weapon’s haft in one hand, eyes on the dark.

“A warren of kobolds,” Hoga whimpered, “and all we have is your stupid little spear.”

Yklwa 5e stats

Type: Simple Melee Weapon | Cost: 1 gp | Weight: 2 lbs

Name Cost Damage Weight Properties
Yklwa 1 gp 1d8 piercing 2 lbs Thrown (10/30)

The Yklwa in D&D

The yklwa (pronounced YICK-ul-wah, also written iklwa or ixwa) is a light, one-handed spear consisting of a 3-foot wooden shaft with an 18-inch stone or steel blade. Its name comes from the wet, sucking sound made when pulled from a wound.

As a one-handed melee weapon, its d8 is comparable to the morningstar’s piercing damage but at half the weight and a fraction of the cost (1 GP). The yklwa is a simple weapon, making it an accessible and relatively high-damage option for PCs lacking martial proficiency.

The yklwa’s 10/30' range adds versatility. It lacks the distance and accuracy of the damage-comparable longbow and light crossbow, but in close quarters, a yklwa is a handy projectile. Its relatively low cost and weight (2 lbs.) make it a qualified higher-damage/shorter-range alternative to javelins (albeit at twice the price per unit).

Comparison: Yklwa vs Spear

The table below compares the yklwa to the standard long spear.

Yklwa Spear
Cost 1 gp 1 gp
Damage 1d8 piercing 1d6 piercing
Weight 2 lbs 3 lbs
Properties Thrown (10/30) Thrown (20/60)
Versatile? - Versatile (1d8)

The Zulu Weapon of Choice

The yklwa became prominent under the military leadership of Shaka kaSenzangakhona (also known as Shaka Zulu). Previously, warriors used these short spears to stab retreating enemies’ backs. Shaka implemented the yklwa as a primary weapon used in tandem with a relatively small cow- or ox-hide shield. A soldier used their shield to hook their opponent’s and pull it aside, exposing the enemy to attack. The yklwa’s long blade can puncture vital organs, making it a lethal melee weapon.

Prior to Shaka’s military reforms, combat emphasized intermittent volleys of thrown long spears. Avoidance of close combat and the protection provided by large, heavy hide shields resulted in extremely low-mortality battles that lasted only as long as combatants’ stockpiles of spears.

Shaka instead focused on aggressive melee combat. After an initial barrage of long spears, soldiers would close and attack with the “bull’s horn” maneuver: one group engaged head-on, another flanked, and a third waited in reserve to attack any enemies who broke free.

Using these tactics, Shaka consolidated the Nguni-speaking ethnic group (of present-day KwaZulu-Natal in the Republic of South Africa) into the Zulu nation, which he led to conquest over the larger Mthethwa and Dingiswayo. To this day, Shaka’s expansion of the Zulu kingdom and its power continue to be emblematized by the efficient, deadly yklwa.

Roleplaying the Yklwa

“We’re done,” Hoga whispered again, mouth dry, words cracking.

“Hold the torch steady,” Sil said.

“We’re going to die—”

“We will if you don’t—”

The kobold lunged from the side, shrieking. Sil stepped, pivoted on her heel, and as its crude stone sword glanced off her cuirass, she set her feet and thrust. Her spear’s blade—nearly the length of her attacker’s arm—found soft scales.

“—shut up!” Sil pushed, forcing steel through flesh and into its gut.

Gibbering became a shrill screech then descended to a dull gurgle that died along with the kobold. The little corpse slid from the blade to the ground. Beyond the wet slurp and the dull thud, Sil heard more chattering voices approaching, and closer still, a skittering in the dark. Claws against stone.

“Let’s go,” Hoga urged, his bloody hand reaching for hers. “Before more come.”

“No.” Sil glanced around the shadowy perimeter. There, a glint at the light’s edge. Her arm rose.

As her eyes narrowed, Hoga’s widened. His outstretched hand contorted into a silent plea for her not to—

She stepped and threw. The spear sailed into the dark. Another shriek, another thud.

“Now we run.” She grabbed her brother’s arm, pulled it across her shoulders. “Before more come.”

“I can’t believe it,” Hoga groaned, eyes and teeth clenched against the pain in his leg. “That stupid little spear.”

“It’s called a yklwa,” she reminded him, pulling his weight toward the cave mouth, “and you’re buying me another when we get back to town.”

Yklwa - 5e Equipment Guide (2024)


Is the yklwa a good weapon? ›

The yklwa's long blade can puncture vital organs, making it a lethal melee weapon. Prior to Shaka's military reforms, combat emphasized intermittent volleys of thrown long spears.

Do you have to throw a yklwa? ›

A yklwa consists of a 3-foot wooden shaft with a steel or stone blade up to 18 inches long. It costs 1 gp, and it deals 1d8 piercing damage on a hit. Although it has the thrown weapon property, the yklwa is not well balanced for throwing (range 10/30 ft.).

How do you choose starting equipment 5e? ›

The default method of selecting your starting equipment is to take the items listed in your class's description under “Equipment”. This will be formatted as a series of bullet points, each bullet presenting one or more options. You select one option from each bullet point which presents multiple options.

What is considered a martial weapon 5e? ›

The two categories are simple and martial. Most people can use simple weapons with proficiency. These weapons include clubs, maces, and other weapons often found in the hands of commoners. Martial weapons, including swords, axes, and polearms, require more specialized training to use effectively.

Is a yklwa a two-handed weapon? ›

Yklwas could be wielded with two hands, but Tabaxi warriors typically used them in conjunction with oval hide shields called hlang. The name "yklwa" supposedly mimicked the sucking sound heard when pulling the weapon from the heart of a slain dinosaur.

Is Polearm better than sword? ›

polearms are heavier weapons, capable of damaging the soldier wearing the armor or cutting through the armor. They also have better reach than swords, capable of hitting an opponent at a greater distance. They are best for infantry vs.

What is the best simple weapon D&D? ›

In instances such as this, these simple weapons are the best in a pinch—or whenever showing off is possible.
  1. 1 Quarterstaff. From Magic Transmutation To Combative Feats.
  2. 2 Spear. A Versatile Option For Polearm Masters. ...
  3. 3 Javelin. A Longer Ranged Option. ...
  4. 4 Spiked Gauntlet. ...
  5. 5 Scythe. ...
  6. 6 Dagger. ...
  7. 7 Greatclub. ...
  8. 8 Handaxe / Light Hammer. ...
Apr 9, 2024

Can you throw a javelin in D&D? ›

This means you can draw and throw one javelin on your turn. You can't draw and throw a second. After you throw it, you can attack with your 2H weapon normally. Important: if you are still holding a javelin in one hand, you CANNOT attack with your 2 handed weapon.

Can you throw a dagger in 5e? ›

You can't attack a target beyond the weapon's long range. Thrown. If a weapon has the thrown property, you can throw the weapon to make a ranged attack. If the weapon is a melee weapon, you use the same ability modifier for that attack roll and damage roll that you would use for a melee attack with the weapon.

How do you pick a saving throw in 5e? ›

Roll a d20 and add your character's ability score modifier to the result to calculate a saving throw. Add a proficiency bonus if they're proficient in that saving throw. Death saving throws are even simpler: roll a d20 and take note of the result. Rolling a 10 or above is a success, while a 9 or below is a failure.

How do you get advantage consistently in 5e? ›

Dungeons & Dragons: 8 Ways To Gain Advantage
  1. 8 Steady Aim (Optional Feature)
  2. 7 Stealth / Surprise.
  3. 6 Guiding Bolt.
  4. 5 Faerie Fire.
  5. 4 Knocking Opponents Prone.
  6. 3 Status Conditions.
  7. 2 Greater Invisibility.
  8. 1 Help Action.
Aug 20, 2023

How much GP do you start with in D&D? ›

Random Starting Gold
ClassStarting GP
Monk5d4 gp (average 13 gp)
Paladin5d4 x 10gp (average 125 gp)
Ranger5d4 x 10gp (average 125 gp)
Rogue4d4 x 10gp (average 100 gp)
8 more rows
Jan 26, 2022

Is 2d6 better than 1d12? ›

With 2d6 it is impossible to do less than 2 damage, while 1d12 can still roll a 1, also most combinations of 1-6 added together can match or surpass many of the single results of a d12. 2d6 is statistically more consistent to hit a 6 or greater while a d12 has the same odds for each possible outcome. d12 is uniform.

What is the most powerful martial weapon in D&D? ›

1 Greatsword / Maul

While these two are not as versatile as some of the other weapons on the list, they have the highest average damage out of all martial weapons. They do require high Strength to use effectively, so it is best to plan a little ahead when using them.

Can a fighter use a gun 5e? ›

Starting when you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you gain proficiency with firearms, allowing you to add your proficiency bonus to attacks made with firearms.

What is the most powerful weapon in Osrs? ›

The Twisted Bow is considered one of the most potent ranged weapons in OSRS. Its unique mechanic scales its damage based on the opponent's magic level, making it exceptionally effective against high magic level enemies and bosses with substantial hitpoints.

What is the best weapon in dexterity intelligence? ›

Moonveil is one of the best Dexterity weapons in Elden Ring, and just so happens to be one of the best Intelligence weapons as well. Moonveil also has one of Elden Ring's best unique weapon skills in Transient Moonlight.

What is the best weapon for Ragadon? ›

Popular weapons like Blasphemous Blade and the Sword of Night and Flame work great for this, as do fire Incantations and Sorceries. Use any of these to deal huge chunks of damage to Radagon.

Which weapon is better than spear? ›

Walking around with a spear in town is tiring, because its big, heavy and awkward. On the other hand, swords can be sheathed. They were expensive to manufacture, so they denoted wealth. And finally, they were effective weapons at the end of the day.

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