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So I'm being part of a DnD campaign soon, and I'm making a tempest cleric that worships Thor. Since Thor's weapon is a Warhammmer, and I also use a Warhammer, could the hammer count as a holy symbol or would there need to be some form of engraving/emblem on it for it to count?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Note: Mjolnir, Thor's hammer, is not a typical warhammer. The handle was made shorter than intended because of Loki's doing (Norse mythology). \$\endgroup\$
    – NomadMaker
    Commented Aug 10, 2020 at 7:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Aug 10, 2020 at 11:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ Leaving aside the RPG mechanics, this is what a genuine Holy Symbol of Thor from real life looked like: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mj%C3%B6lnir#/media/File:Mjollnir.png It's a very stylized design, and I don't think it would be suitable to use as a weapon. \$\endgroup\$
    – nick012000
    Commented Aug 10, 2020 at 11:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ Engrave it with "Whosoever holds this hammer, if they be worthy, shall possess the power of Roth" and you'll have everybody looking for a rock singer named Dave. :-) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 11, 2020 at 2:31

3 Answers 3

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You can make it work with a common magical item. The Ruby of the War Mage (from Xanathar's Guide to Everything) can be attached to a weapon or shield and allows that item to be used as a spellcasting focus. As mentioned, it has a rarity level of common so it shouldn't be hard to obtain.

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A holy symbol is a defined item and does not have weapon as an option as written

Holy symbols are defined on page 151 of the Player's Handbook:

[A holy symbol] might be an amulet depicting a symbol representing a deity, the same symbol carefully engraved or inlaid as an emblem on a shield, or a tiny box holding a fragment of a sacred relic. [...] A cleric or paladin can use a holy symbol as a spellcasting focus, as described in chapter 10. To use the symbol in this way, the caster must hold it in hand, wear it visibly, or bear it on a shield.

It being a weapon, or engraved on a weapon, are not options per that description. You can on the other hand bear it on your shield. You should ask your DM however about having it on the weapon instead. Unless you're doing it to alleviate action economy somehow, this change shouldn't have any impact (beyond the flavour you're going for) and is likely to be allowed.

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    \$\begingroup\$ A rust monster will be extra deadly. If you are trying to gain an advantage (vs just getting RP flavor), your DM may use it against you. \$\endgroup\$
    – Nelson
    Commented Aug 10, 2020 at 4:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ That's a list of things a holy item might be, not a list of things holy items are restricted to. Those are suggested possibilities, not defined options. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 10, 2020 at 9:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ Indeed, the text explicitly says "might be", not absolute "must be" or even ambiguous "can be". \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 10, 2020 at 11:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ A holy symbol might be placed anywhere, but to be used as a spellcasting focus, it "must be" in hand, worn or on a shield. \$\endgroup\$
    – cjol
    Commented Aug 10, 2020 at 14:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ @TylerH I disagree that the second sentence restricts the holy symbol to the three listed options. It says "the caster must hold it in hand, wear it visibly, or bear it on a shield." It seems to me, if the holy symbol is a weapon and the weapon is being held in hand (most weapons are,) then the criteria of the second sentence are met. You wouldn't be able to use an arrow maybe, but a standard melee weapon, like OP's warhammer example, should be fine. \$\endgroup\$
    – Steve-O
    Commented Aug 10, 2020 at 15:56
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Yes.

A holy symbol is given no hard definition in its description, but PHB151 makes a few suggestions and refers the reader to Appendix B for the holy symbols of common gods. Some of these gods (Ares and Tyr are two) have their listed holy symbol as a weapon.

Be warned that your GM may decide to disallow a cleric of Thor to use a warhammer as their holy symbol. If it's not in the book, the GM can veto it, and your GM may decide that the warhammer is not Thor's holy symbol, but rather his favored weapon, a separate concept from older editions of D&D that gave clerics special privileges for using his deity's favored weapon, but has been removed (minus a vestige or two) from 5e.

Be also warned that your GM may be using a setting where Thor is unknown or nonexistent, and when you're playing a holy man you should always work closely with your GM to straighten out which deities are being used and the dogma of their followers.

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    \$\begingroup\$ It is worth mentioning, however, that a warhammer is typically large enough that a holy symbol could be inscribed on its surface (similar to the example of a shield), and that the warhammer's use is such that such an inscription is unlikely to affect the effectiveness of the warhammer as a weapon. So even if the warhammer itself cannot be the holy symbol, the need for a holy symbol could still be satisfied by the warhammer, as opposed to some other object. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 10, 2020 at 16:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ If it's in the book the GM can still veto it, but it might be more likely to lead to upset players. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ben Sutton
    Commented Aug 10, 2020 at 23:14

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