In Mazes & Minotaurs, what effect does wielding a barbarian weapon two handed have?

It's mentioned that non-Barbarians must wield them two-handed if they have Might less than 13. It's also mentioned that Barbarian weapons are very large. There are even many pictures of Barbarians using their weapons two-handed, with no apparent reason. Why would they not use a shield, seeing as they apparently only need one hand?


Deriving from first principles:


Battle Might : Barbarians add their Might mod to their damage when using their barbarian melee weapons (see chapter II for more details)

Possessions : Barbarians start with a dagger, their melee Weapon of Choice, a missile weapon (bow + 12 arrows OR 3 javelins OR sling + 12 stones) and a shield. Starting wealth is 3D6 x 5 silver pieces.

The incredibly phallic barbarian holding a sword two-handed does not seem supported by the text on page 10. P. 21:

Melee weapons fall into four categories : Swords, Spears, Daggers and Barbarian Weapons (see next page for more details). In addition, these rules will often refer to “battle weapons”, a term which encompasses all melee weapons except daggers.

P. 22:

Barbarian Weapons

These weapons include big swords, huge battle axes and even heavy maces or crude cudgels. As their name implies, are normally only used by Barbarians. Other warriors who try to use them need a Might of 13+ to wield them properly and will not gain the special damage bonus of Barbarians; characters with a Might below 13 can only use barbarian weapons using both hands (which prevents them from using a shield). These weapons have an Encumbrance value of 2.

Again, supporting the sword and board of barbarians.


Some characters are so strong they may be able to wield the enormous weapons used by some Large creatures (much like Herakles with his big club in the illustration below). Such weapons have an Encumbrance value of 4 and can only be wielded by characters with a Might of 19 or 20, using both hands. They roll 2D6 for damage but cannot benefit from any special damage bonus. In addition, characters who do use such weapons in combat will strike at half their normal Initiative (rounded down).

Thus, we have a "you don't get to add your might mod when using stupidly large weapons."

Furthermore there are no references to "both hands" or "two hands" outside P.22 in both the primary and the supplemental books. Therefore, barbarians derive no in-game benefit from wielding their preferred weapons two-handed except those granted by the maze master. If the player desires it, modifying the "no bonuses" rule of truly large weapons to be an "Except for barbarians who can wield the weapons with both hands and.." if the maze master wishes to encourage that imagery.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I found: Creatures that use two-handed weapons (+2 to Melee Attack) also add 5 to their Menace Rating. \$\endgroup\$ – Matt Joiner Apr 30 '11 at 13:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @matt Cool. Write that up as an answer :) \$\endgroup\$ – Brian Ballsun-Stanton Apr 30 '11 at 13:35

Page 24 of the Maze Master's Guide contains this line:

Creatures that use two-handed weapons (+2 to Melee Attack) also add 5 to their Menace Rating.

I can find no other effects of wielding weapons two handed, nor are players, "creatures".


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.