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Basic Information

Boomerang is an Australian word, derived from one or more Aboriginal languages, meaning a throwing stick used either for hunting, sport or warfare.

Boomerangs are divided into two main categories - the returning sort, which exhibit aerodynamic flight and, when thrown, recurve to the position from which they are launched, and the non-returning. Which don't. Returning boomerangs appear to be exclusive to Australia, and seem to have been used mainly for leisure purposes and as hunting decoys - the non-returning kind (also known to the Australians as shaunies or kylies), however, seem to have been practicable weapons capable of bringing down kangeroos, emu and even humans. These latter types also appear in other locations including the pre-columbian Americas and ancient Egypt, although typically used for lighter game.

The boomerang is a bludgeoning weapon (unusually for a missile weapon) and only moderately effective given its size - even slings render them quickly obsolete for most purposes. In common with most thrown weapons it can also be used in melee combat as a sort of improvised club.

A traditional example is generally carved from wood, although examples crafted from bone have been found as well. Any culture capable of forging a metal boomerang almost certainly won't - modern sport boomerangs continue to be made of wood, plastic or carbon-fibre.


1. full source reference

Game and Story Use

  • A fairly primitive weapon, useful as flavour for a low tech society … as long as the PCs don't immediately expect other cliched Australian characteristics to follow along behind.
    • In all probability eliminating the returning feature will prevent most PCs from realising that what they are seeing could be called a boomerang and thus avert the problem.
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