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Version 0.16: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.
Name Tomahawk
Launcher Throwing
Base damage 6
An axe-like item designed for throwing. While some larger tomahawk types would be fit for melee, this one sacrifices melee ability to make it smaller, handier and to optimize its ballistic properties.

Tomahawks are a form of Throwing weapon, directly between stones and javelins in terms of power. Although somewhat less powerful than javelins, they can be thrown by all characters regardless of size, and are still capable of inflicting decent damage.

Tomahawks can have the following brands:

(*Exploding 0.17)

Mulch rate: 5%


  • Characters should pick these up without fail on the first few floors. Having a source of ranged damage output, even an unreliable one, can make a big difference. Softening up inescapable adders before engaging them in melee can greatly improve a level 1 or 2 characters' chance of survival. That being said, ogres and gnolls may still be worth running from - your tomahawks might soften them up first, but it doesn't take many hits from a halberd or giant spiked club to take out weak adventurers.
  • Dispersal tomahawks can be very handy for situations where you need an opponent to back off, but remember that you need to deal damage for the brand to trigger. Characters with no Throwing skill may have trouble doing so against enemies with decent AC.
Common Magical Silver Steel
Tomahawk1.png Tomahawk2.png Silver tomahawk.png Steel tomahawk.png


Tomahawks were added in 0.14, compensating for the fact that smaller melee weapons (such as hand axes and spears) were no longer throwable. Smaller species whose backgrounds would normally start with javelins (such as Hunters) were instead given the option of starting with tomahawks.

Axes BattleaxeBroad axeExecutioner's axeHand axeWar axe
Bows Shortbow (Arrow) • Longbow (Arrow)
Crossbows Arbalest (Bolt) • Hand crossbow (Bolt) • Triple crossbow (Bolt)
Maces & Flails ClubDemon whipDire flailEveningstarFlailGiant clubGiant spiked clubGreat maceMaceMorningstarSacred scourgeWhip
Long Blades Demon bladeDouble swordEudemon bladeFalchionGreat swordLong swordScimitarTriple sword
Polearms BardicheDemon tridentGlaiveHalberdScytheSpearTridentTrishula
Short Blades DaggerQuick bladeRapierShort sword
Slings Fustibalus (Sling bullet, Stone) • Hunting sling (Sling bullet, Stone)
Staves LajatangMagical staffQuarterstaff
Throwing BoomerangDartJavelinLarge rockStoneThrowing net