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Version 0.29: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.

Each weapon has a particular handedness, which determines how well you can wield it based on your size, and whether or not you can use a shield.

Weapon Handedness

Weapon Type One handed weapons One handed weapons
(Two handed for small species)
Two handed weapons Large species only
Short Blades Dagger
Quick blade
Short sword
Long blades Falchion
Long sword
Demon blade
Eudemon blade
Double sword Great sword
Triple sword
Axes Hand axe
War axe
Broad axe Battleaxe
Executioner's axe
Maces and Flails Club
Demon whip
Sacred scourge
Dire flail
Great mace
Giant club
Giant spiked club
Polearms Spear Trident
Demon trident
Staves Magical staves Quarterstaff*
Throwing Dart
Throwing net
Javelin Large rock
Slings Hunting sling
Bows Shortbow*
Crossbows Hand crossbow Arbalest*
Triple crossbow**
Entries with * can be wielded as two handed weapons by Spriggans and Kobolds.
Entries with ** can be wielded as two handed weapons by only Kobolds.


Shields can be worn while wielding one handed weapons. Shields provide SH, in exchange for a penalty to EV, attack speed, and spellcasting. They also disable the offhand punch auxiliary attack. Octopodes have an offhand slap that can be done even if holding a shield.

With the exception of Felid, anyone can wear a shield, though with varying extents. Formicids have four strong arms, so (except for both giant clubs) can wield a two-handed weapon and a shield. Everyone else, including the 8-tentacled Octopode, are limited to one-handers.


Ru's Sacrifice Hand disables a ring slot, in addition to the loss of two-handed weapons, shields, and the offhand punch.

While Formicids have 4 arms, two of them are oddly shaped; they have two "hand-pairs", so have two ring slots. Under Sacrifice Hand, they lose the shield slot and offhand punch but can stil wield two-handed weapons.


  • In 0.18 throwing delays followed the throwing skill dependency improvements like other weapons. Before this thrown missiles used the unarmed combat skill and were not impacted by wearing a shield.
  • In the 0.14.2 bug fix release transformations no longer allow the character to wield too-large weapons.
  • Prior to 0.12, there were two additional types of handedness: 1.5-handed (which could be used with a shield but suffered larger-than-normal penalties) and double-handed (which had even worse penalties, plus cut the weapon's base damage in half).