Most Tobin Spears are homemade or jury rigged, and consist of a large bore needle and syringe attacked to a long spear handle. The most simple versions are nothing more than this. There are other versions that have spring based shock absorbers that allow for multiple doses to be delivered from the spear. The common versions tend to be one-shot affairs.
The Tobin Spear can be used to deliver intramuscular injections at range.
The easy explanation for the Tobin Spear is as a sedative delivery system for dealing with unruly or dangerous animals. No one makes a needle spear to stab an angry dog. Tobin spears are made to deal with people.
There are multiple levels of fear and intimidation based around the Tobin spear and it's crude construction.
The fear of needles, as a basic deterrent.
The fear of contamination from the use of dirty needles is easily added to the above fear. Many insurgents and rioters who wield these crude weapons typically justify this fear by using dirty needles, or needles knowingly and deliberately contaminated.
The final level of fear is that what the needles might be loaded with. Tobin spears have been loaded with disease ridden blood, liquified and strained fecal matter, poisons, corrosives, and worse. Compared to a gun or knife wound, the victim of a Tobin spear has a long time to find out what they've been hit with, how painful it might be, and how it might destroy their lives and kill them slowly and painfully.
The Tobin spear is a fragile weapon, and can be easily stopped with almost any sort of body armor. The syringe component is also easily broken. Even a successful hit can snap the needle from the barrel of the syringe, or a glancing hit can shatter the mechanism. Repairing or replacing the syringe can be time consuming, and needle sticks are easy to manage when handling the spear.
The spear itself is the weapon of a terrorist and insurgent, and those who use them can expect no quarter from their foes. That being said, anyone zealous enough to use such a tool has no real fear of reprisal.
Tobin Spears are easily crafted weapons, used by the lowest of the low. The targets of these weapons are law enforcers, officials, people of importance or power, the sort who hold themselves in high position and regard. The intent is to sow fear and undermine morale in the enforcement caste in a stratified society, and drive a wedge between those enforcers and the common population.
The spear can be used as a secondary weapon in a riot or protest, where the front line protesters carry the shields and while the enforcers are dealing with them, the people with the Tobin Spears can use their extended reach to get around shields, and strike at people who've not considered spear tactics in all their years of combat training.
Tobin spears can also be thrown, but with less accuracy and less of a chance of fully discharging their payloads.
Tobin arrows can be made and fired , lashed to arrows or quarrels. These are bulky, have compromised aerodynamics, and are not accurate weapons, but they can cause a great deal of fear.
The sad truth is that these already exist.
The name comes from the actor Tobin Bell's role as the Jigsaw killer from Saw.
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