I just found a copper pick in Dwarf Fortress adventure mode. Can I use it to dig?
Not yet. Adventurers being able to dig or change the landscape in other ways is on the list of future things to do, but the amount of data the game would have to keep track of to support it is astonishing. So it's not really going to be implemented in the foreseeable future.
You can use it as a weapon, though; it uses your Mining skill in place of Sword, Axe, or Hammer, but it's otherwise not that great a weapon so there are usually better choices for adventurers. Picks work okay as an early weapon in fortress mode because fortress dwarves often have extremely high Mining but no other weapon skills.
1Blasphemy! Picks are awesome weapons! Feb 24, 2012 at 18:06
@Raven Dreamer No, no they aren't. They're like axes, only not as good because they have higher speed multiplier, but lower penetration (less organ damage) AND lower contact area (less bleeding). Alternately, they're like warhammers, only not as good because they have higher contact area and deal Edge damage (which isn't as good against armor).– Paul ZFeb 25, 2012 at 0:46
1High speed and low contact area is exactly what makes whips so lethal. I'm not sure why you think they have low penetration - they're much better than, say, Axes, at piercing armor (the speed helps). Feb 25, 2012 at 0:49
1High speed and low contact area in combination with blunt damage is what makes whips so lethal. The edge damage type is in all cases much worse at dealing with armor, because it also depends on penetration (which is where picks fall short). I'll agree that they're better against armor than axes, but this isn't saying much as neither is very good. Really, the incongruously low penetration on a low-contact-area attack is the death knell for picks (and short swords) as weapons; spears are the only good piercing weapon made by dwarves.– Paul ZFeb 25, 2012 at 1:04