One anomaly in the weapon tables in D&D 5e is the weight of the Maul, Pike, and Greatclub -- they all go into double digits, which is awful heavy for a melee weapon you're expected to swing around (or jab at people with in the case of a pike) all day long with a decent degree of precision.

For instance, Wikipedia pegs the weight of real-world pikes as anywhere from 5 to 13 pounds. Taking the average of this range, we get 9 pounds, which is half the weight the PHB weapon table gives. Likewise, the Greatclub and Maul tip the scales at ten pounds – while ten pound sledgehammers exist, I have a bit of trouble imagining how one would wield a hammer that heavy effectively considering the long swings needed when using a hammer that size as a tool. In addition, it'd also be rather impractical to wear on one's person, as would be the norm for an adventurer (who likely is sans retinue of squires to do things like lug weapons around on their behalf).

Is there some sort of design intent (perhaps related to encumbrance) I'm missing here? Or would hacking things by cutting the weight of all three aforementioned weapons in half while not changing their damage die be a reasonable houserule response to this seeming irregularity?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I will remind everyone to not answer this with guesses but with designer quotes. If there aren't any then there's no answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Mar 19, 2017 at 17:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because questions about designer reasoning are off-topic. See this meta question for details: rpg.meta.stackexchange.com/q/7964/23970 \$\endgroup\$
    – DuckTapeAl
    Dec 28, 2018 at 6:01

1 Answer 1


Quote from Christopher Perkins

Christopher Perkins @ChrisPerkinsDnD:

"Because that's how much they actually weigh."

Source: Sage Advice

Christopher Perkins is a game designer working for Wizards of the Coast. This quote was in response to a similar question about the weight of the maul and heavy crossbow. Wikipedia doesn't agree with him, but this is the best quote I could find.


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