Thorgrim's Hammer (Conan The Barbarian movie weapon)


The evil Thorgrim (Thulsa Doom's musclebound henchman in CtB) uses a gigiantic hammer. Looking in Bastion Press's 3.0 D&D Arms & Armor, I find this to be a suitable stand-in, to which I've added Conan tweaks:

War Maul (Large Exotic Melee): The war maul is a five foot warhammer that is too heavy to use for an untrained Medium creature, even with two hands. In fact, a creature must have a minimum Strength score of 17 to even wield one effectively at all. A Medium creature with the Exotic Weapon Proficiency and Strength 17+ can wield the war maul with two hands. A Large creature can use a war maul with two hands as a martial weapon, or with one hand as an exotic weapon. A Large creature without the Exotic Weapon Proficiency who uses the war maul in one hand suffers the standard -4 penalty to its attack rolls.

War Maul: 100 sp, 2d8/x3, AP 7, 30 lb., Hardness 8, Hit Points 10, Bludgeoning, Reach: 5 ft.

Looking for feedback to fine-tune this weapon.


I'd up the Armor Piercing, honestly. It's gonna cave in any armor it meets, if it hits. I might suggest giving it an Initiative or AC penalty, since in the movies Thorgrimm is a slow bastard with it. Then again, he does swing it single-handed while on horseback...


Wow, Chef, you read my mind. I'm watching the movie right now and I was wondering how to model the hammer in the game. Say, Chef, does Mongoose allow for Open Game submissions like Green Ronin? You should publish some king of rules addendum or rules variants. I'd buy it.


The Conan RPG warhammer has very high AP because it is described as being like a real medieval warhammer, with a 'tenderiser' pronged head that can easily punch through armour (this doesn't match the picture, which is a 'mallet' like Thorgrim's hammer). I would put a mallet's AP much lower, being that it is blunt and relies purely on crushing effect. I'd suggest exotic weapon, 2-h on foot or 1-h horseback, 2d8 dmg.


Too good. Lets assume for a moment that the character who wants to use this has the required 17 Str (shouldn't be unusual for a meele focused character, and who else is going to be droping feats on EWP eh?) and copmare it to some other exotic weapons. For the price of one feat you can have one of the folowing

War Maul: 2d10 x3 AP7
Greatsword: 2d10 19-20/2 AP4
Tulwar: 2d8 18-20/2 AP3

Now I know darn well how valuable a large threat range can be, but if you are expecting to deal with armored opponents at all the War Maul becomes a no-brainer. At AP7 it can chew through any medium armor all by itself. In actual combat the total AP will probably be closer to 10-12 which will crush even full plate & great helm. You need to balance that out and I think the best way for a weaopn to balance out high AP is with a lower damage dice.

Consider the warhammer; 1d6 and AP7 in a category where most other weaopns have stats like 1d10 and AP3. The reason why that works is because penetrating armor reduces its DR by 1/2. The warhammer looks to me like it is designed mostly to smash medium and low-end-heavy armor, which means that its average damage of 3 will be mostly soaked up by the penetrated DR leaving hime his strength bonus and other bonuses as damage. his advantage is that he knows he is going to penetrate and therefore knows what his expected damage is going to be. His disadvantage is that, against lightly armored/unarmored foes (the guys he would penetrate even with another weapon) his max damage is low. Compare that to the broadsword wielder, he will (most likely) not be able to penetrate heavy armor which means that the armor will soak up more than his average roll of 5, meaning that it will eat into his expected damage (less reliable damage output). His advantage is that aginst lightly armored/unarmored foes his max damage is high. What I am trying to say is that the trade off for a high AP weaopn should be that you sacrifice a high max damage in order to guarantee yourself a high min damage against armor: in other words you are paying for reliable, average damage.

So I would suggest you try the War Maul with a 2d6 damage, and if that proves to be too low then maybe, maybe, you could try 2d8. But definitely no higher than 2d8.

PS: it is for the reasons above that I have house-ruled the pollaxe to 2d4.

PPS: also you sholuld probably raise the cost to 100 sp to keep it in line with other exotic weapons, even if it is just a overblown warhammer. [/b]


The main balancing point that I can see for these high-damage, high-AP weapons is a low hardness and HP level. You may be able to deal hella damage with a bardiche or pollaxe, but they're considerably easier to Sunder than a greatsword or war sword.


Overall, 2d10 Damage Crit x2 AP 7 Doesn't seem toooo heinous if you consider some other possible rules mods for such an unusual weapon. I'm not saying ALL of these should be used, but any one of them, and certainly two of them together, would make this weapon a lot less attractive.

1. Make an attack with this beast a full-round action, so a high-level character has to weigh one attack with this weapon vs. 2-4 attacks with other weapons.

2. Make readying this weapon a Standard action, so you can ready it and move, or ready it and do something else, but you can't ready it and attack on the same round. Considering that the only way to carry this thing unreadied is slung on the back in some harness, or on a horse, this makes getting it into the fight quickly impossible.

3. Considering the prolonged windup needed to wield this thing, say that attacking with it provokes an AoO from the person you're attacking, so they get a chance to stick you in the guts before you flatten them with your Maul of Doom.

4. If you keep the weight at 30 lbs or so (and why not, it's a big ironbound log on a big ironbound stick), that's a not-too-inconsiderable chunk of one's encumberence eaten up right there. You could be wearing a dozen light weapons or a suit of medium armor for the weight of this thing, so a character will need to consider that as well.

5. Taking #4 a step further, why not assign an armor check penalty to the character? It's a very heavy, dense object and it's going to put the character off-balance, it's going to smack into things, and it's going to get in the way a lot of the time. Perhaps a -2 Armor Check penalty.

5. This is a BIG weapon, and it's going to make people notice you. Walking around with this thing in the wrong parts of town is going to be like hanging a "I think I'm soooo tough!" sign around a character's neck. Pulp Sword and Sorcery has a lot of "Old West" flavor to it, and this sort of "Hey, you don't look so tough!" attitude is perfectly appropriate.

Like I said, there's no reason to use all of these, or even most, but one or two of them might make this weapon less attractive, or at the very least, make using it less of a game-breaking feature of the campaign.


I lowered the damage to 2d8 and raised the cost to 100 sp. I'd prefer not to incorporate specific penalties into the weapon's use, as this is too much to expect anyone to remember in combat. 30 lb. is a huge chunk of encumbrance, more than a scale corselet, for example.