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I have noticed that in previous D&D versions, the hammer of thunderbolts explicitly returns to the thrower after ranged attacks, but I see nothing in the description of the 5e version of the hammer about returning to the thrower.

My problem is that I am a Dwarven Tempest Cleric of Thor that has a "blessed" hammer that probably will (DM hinted as much) become a Hammer of Thunderbolts and I currently act as a tank for the party (along with the Wild Shape druid). If I send the hammer off far enough not to be caught in the thunderclap (30ft) it takes me two turns (25ft per turn) to reach and retrieve it.

The only solutions I can think of are to take a feat to up my movement distance to 35ft, take 3 levels of Eldrich Knight to bond with my hammer (which also gets me Action Surge) or just never use any of its charges thus never use its big ability. I am currently level 9 and I know switching to fighter would probably make me a better tank for the party but it's kind of odd that a magic item would be changing my course for progression. If the hammer returns on it's own, it would make more sense and leave me more options, but I find that what I wish for and the way things are often do not match up.

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There's no general rule for magic weapons automatically returning to their owner's hand after being thrown and the item doesn't state that it automatically returns (unlike the Dwarven Thrower)... so it doesn't.

It might also be worth mentioning that you need both a Belt of Giant Strength (any variety) and Gauntlets of Ogre Power to even attune to the Hammer of Thunderbolts and use its "thunderclap" ability. So unless your DM is quite generous when it comes to magic items, you may not even be able to use the ability.

Obviously you can talk to your DM and, with their consent, houserule that it returns after being thrown but that's then between you and your DM.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I currently have gauntlets of Ogre power, I am doing the "Rise of Tiamat", I would imagine the opportunity for a belt of giant strength is probably pretty good. \$\endgroup\$ – Bryant Hanson Oct 20 '15 at 1:31

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