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Carry a Big Stick

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Speaking softly is optional.
"To be honest, all you need to use is, at best, a big heavy object. I stick to the axes because that's my style, but I was halfway tempted to just find a big piece of tree."
Byron the Berserker of Guilded Age, on the subject of dealing with kobolds

Perhaps the first weapon of war that humanity has mastered (besides their own two fists), the good old-fashioned club simply consists of picking up a stick (or bone) and whacking something with it. Though the quality of these clubs has advanced over time, from crudely carved pieces of wood to the finely-made flanged mace, the general principle of bashing something over the head remains. A sword isn't cut out for slicing through heavy armor, but a well-designed bludgeoning tool will leave a sizeable dent and break any bones underneath. Do not underestimate the simple stick.

Nowadays, maces and clubs tend to find use with two main groups of warriors; big, powerful bruisers like The Big Guy or the Mighty Glacier, or Technical Pacifist types like High Fantasy priests and clerics who want something to defend themselves with without shedding blood (though anyone who's seen one of these in action knows that these weapons, particularly the heavier ones, are just as capable as bladed weapons of leaving a bloody mess, not to mention all the damage the force does to internal organs).

The hammer is probably the most popular form of bludgeon in fiction; see Drop the Hammer for examples of those. Also compare the more finesse-oriented Martial Arts Staff and the improvised Batter Up!, Crowbar Combatant, and Rolling Pin of Doom for other types of clubbing weapons, as well as Primitive Clubs for when the use of these weapons is used to denote primitiveness and unsophistication. For literal cases of a ''big stick'', often used as a pole-arm, see Telephone Polearm. Spiked maceheads are very common for more violent characters to emphasize their brutality. Combine it with an whip and you get an Epic Flail. Putting a blade on the stick gives you, well, a Blade on a Stick. Pipe Pain is a common way of improvising a big stick in modern times, as well as 2xFore, in which the bludgeoning weapon is a wooden board/plank or any kind of wooden construction material. A common modern version of the big stick is the Lawman Baton.

Not to be confused with Gunboat Diplomacy, which is a metaphorical Big Stick, which Trope Namer Theodore Roosevelt meant in his Big stick ideology.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Shampoo's chúi in Ranma ˝. They're an obscure Chinese mace that looks like a basketball on a shortstaff, but despite being brightly painted the head is made of solid steel.
  • Haruka from the My-HiME manga wields a big honkin' mace, which also shoots beams of light.
  • The Apostle Wyald of Berserk wields a wood club and when he goes One-Winged Angel he uses entire trees as clubs.
  • The weapon of choice of Ryuho Kibe the Silver Demon in Gamaran: is about 8 and a half feet long, has sharp spikes on the edges, and is formally called "Giant Steel Sword: Kokusosou (Black Clawed Comb). To cup it all, due to his immense physical strength Ryuho is capable of wielding the thing with only one hand should he wish or need so. Is realistically treated as a One-Hit Kill weapon. Sequel series Gamaran Shura has Bihoumaru, whose weapon of choice besides fists is a chinese melon hammer he can use to hit the ground hard enough to crack the soil open and summon a massive amount of dust.
  • Goku from the Dragon Ball weapon of choice when he was a child was his Power Pole, a stick that could extend to unimaginable lengths. Fitting since Goku was based off of Sun Wukong and the Power Pole off the Monkey King's famous golden staff from Journey to the West.
  • In Brave10, Seikai is The Big Guy of the Braves and carries a massive metal club.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans:
    • Protagonist Mikazuki favors enormous, heavy bludgeoning weapons. His Gundam Barbatos starts out with a gigantic mace with concealed pile-driver, then upgrades to the "wrench mace", which can open up to grab an enemy machine (and cut them up with internal chainsaws). In the second season Barbatos Lupus has a "sword mace" (essentially a blunt-edged BFS) and a pair of smaller one-handed maces before its final upgrade, the Lupus Rex, gets an even bigger version of the original's mace (and please note: these weapons are oversized even by Humongous Mecha standards). He's carried guns and a katana as well, but he seems to prefer simply crushing foes with giant hunks of metal.
    • Kudal, original pilot of the Gundam Gusion, used a huge, rocket-propelled sledgehammer. When Akihiro gets the Gusion, he ditches this in favor of more traditional weaponry.
  • Slayers: Filia, the gold dragon, carries in her human form a black morning star.
  • Rika Shinozaki, a.k.a. Lisbeth of Sword Art Online, wields a mace as her weapon of choice while playing VRMMORPGs.
  • Goblin Slayer: After losing his sword during a monster-hunting quest in the sewers, Rookie Warrior starts using a wooden club at Goblin Slayer's suggestion, seeing as it is cheaper, more versatile, easier to use and just as easily replaced if broken. Even after getting his sword back, he ends up liking the club so much that, even a year later, he still uses it just as much as the sword.
  • Ogremon from Digimon fights with a bone club.

    Comic Books 
  • Blue Beetle: "I'm Paco. And I am going to hit you with this stick until you get the #@%$ off my planet."
  • Hogun is almost always armed with a morning star.
  • Maces are one of the preferred weapon types of the Hawk Family.
  • Cindy of Cindy and Biscuit loves beating monsters to death with tree branches. It's made explicit that most of the sticks only last for one fight.
  • In Titan Comics Hercules - The Wrath of Heaven, after dismantling the Nemean Lion robot, the half-alien demigod Hercules has its Nigh Invulnerable exoskeleton made into armor for him. Hercules also has some of its plated spine made into a somewhat bladed mace.
  • Meanwhile The Incredible Hercules has the Golden Mace which is a weapon made of adamantite and really lets Hercules take advantage of his Class 100 strength.
  • Continuing with the Hercules theme, Hercules: The Thracian Wars has a spiked club to smack Greek heads.
  • While DC's Hercules Unbound generally fights empty-handed in the modern age, flashbacks in Wonder Woman and situations where he feels the need for a force multiplier prove that his preferred weapon is a club.
  • Ever since her introduction in Wonder Woman (1942), Giganta has preferred a large club or similar bashing weapon.
  • New Gods: Kalibak uses the Beta Club, a metal club designed by DeSaad. The Beta Club can fire force bolts or nerve beams.
  • The Mighty Thor: After Mjölnir was returned to the original Thor, Eric Masterson used an enchanted mace called Thunderstrike.
  • Invincible: Both War Woman and Battle Beast fight with maces.

    Fan Works 

  • In Kenneth Branagh's Henry V the Duke of Exeter (played in tanklike armor by BRIAN BLESSED) fights with a mace at Agincourt.
  • In The War Lord, Bors (Richard Boone) is often seen using a club or whatever piece of wood he can bash enemies with.
  • Vultan fights with a mace in Flash Gordon.
  • The Peter Jackson film adaptation of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring had Big Bad Sauron wielding a mace big enough to knock half-a-dozen men into the air with every sweep.
  • In Pale Rider, a gang of toughs grabs some axe handles from the general store and start to rough up some local prospectors. Clint Eastwood's character grabs one of his own and singlehandedly beats them all down with it before proclaiming, "Nothing like a good piece of hickory!"
  • Pilgrimage: Raymond de Merville, a Norman knight, wields a mace as his weapon of choice.
  • In Even Lambs Have Teeth, Sloane and Katie murder Boris by wrapping a massive tree branch in barbed wire and nails, and shoving it up his ass.
  • The Indian film Kurukshetra opens in a gladiatorial arena, where two muscular brutes duels against each other using gigantic, golden maces, in front of a cheering audience.
  • Magadheera: The main villain of the picture, Ranadeev Billa, favors a spiked mace as his weapon, which he used in tandem with his sword. This is the same weapon he used to crush King Bikram's skull when usurping the throne.
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: During the fight scene between Jen, using the famed Green Destiny sword, and Shu Lien, going through all the weapons on her Wall of Weapons, Shu Lien grabs a very large cudgel and starts to make a straight run at Jen who backs up at the sheer size of the thing...until the cudgel proves too large and its sheer weight pulls Shu Lien backwards until its head rests on the floor. Shu Lien has to drop it and get another weapon.
  • In The Suckers, Baxter uses a heavy tree branch to kill one of Vandemeer's goons by crushing his windpipe.
  • The martial arts film, Ten Tigers From Kwangtung, has a weird example with the villain using a golden club... modelled after a nude woman. Yeah, like an Oscar bust, but weaponized.
  • Several notable examples appear in Star Wars:
    • Tusken Raiders are known to favor the gaffi stick, which has a beaked hook on one end, and a flanged mace with a spike on the other that is usually coated in poison. It such an effective weapon that Boba Fett was able to use one to make short work of Stormtroopers.
    • The Force pike wielded by the Emperor's Royal Guard is a Vibroweapon that is capable of either stunning an opponent at the lower settings, or dismembering a victim at the higher ones.
  • The gang in Rats: Night of Terror has at least two spiked maces at their disposal.

  • Occasionally pops up as a side weapon in the books of the Fighting Fantasy series:
    • You can acquire an enchanted stone ax in Midnight Rogue;
    • You can get a heavy mace in The Keep of the Lich-Lord that does more damage to skeletal monsters than the sword you start with. A flanged silver mace is the weapon of choice of Big Bad Lord Mortis.
    • The Riddling Reaver offers the option of giving the heroes weapons other than the usual sword, usually with some caveeats (for example axes can deal less damage on a low roll, but higher on a high roll, while broadswords are likely to do more damage but require both hands to use). Maces are avaible and they have the same bonuses as swords, though implicitly the game master could make them better against certain monsters.
    • More generally, Fighting Fantasy monster books like Out Of The Pit show that some monsters like Stone Golems and Crystal Warriors will simply No-Sell bladed weapons. Human adventurers can only damage them with blunt weapons like maces.
  • The Forbidden Gateway, a horror-action duology by Clive and Ian Bailey, has these as some of your major weapons. In the first book Where the Shadows Stalk, your character starts off with a knobkerrie (a heavy African walking stick that was often used as a club) and that could be enhanced by a druid in your dreams to get a metal spike for extra damage. The second book Terrors out of Time, in the beginning you are given a choice between getting a swordcane or your trusty ol' knobkerrie (including its spike if you played the first book). In the 2nd book, you will have to take a short journey into the underworld, so the Egyptian god Thoth gives you an enchanted stone mace that's capable of hurting threats you meet there.
  • In Grailquest, in the second book you're given the option of buying a mace as a secondary weapon, though it's outclassed by swords and lances. In the fourth book, the evil guardian you must face to enter the Kingdom of Terror is a zombie wielding a spiked, poison-oozing club which has the same bonuses as Excalibur Jr.

  • Dead Man's Land by Robert Ryan. During World War One Winston Churchill has trained a squad of men to go out into No Man's Land and snatch German prisoners. On the day they finish training, he opens a trunk sent by his friends in Parliament which is full of various blunt objects ranging from a Burmese jungle club to a policeman's truncheon. Winton helps himself to the latter and tells the soldiers to take their pick, dropping a strong hint that he intends (against orders) to accompany them on their snatch raids.
  • Discworld:
    • Vetinari walks with the aid of a cane, rumoured by some to conceal a sword. He encourages these rumours, because "if people think your stick might be a sword, they forget that it's definitely a stick."
    • There's also Arch-chancellor Ridcully, whose staff is dependable enough as a bludgeon that he seldom needs to resort to fireballs (or rather, anything that resists a few thwacks from six feet of bog oak is probably going to be immune to fire as well).
    • Igor (not The Igor, just a guy called Igor that runs a Bad-Guy Bar) uses a club with several Weaksauce Weaknesses of the local beasties added on to it. For regular people, the fact it's a damn good club is usually enough.
    • A club is the cultural weapon of the trolls, ranging from a simple lump of wood (sometimes with a nail in it) to an entire tree, depending on the size of the troll.
  • In The Lord of the Rings:
    • Both Sauron and the Witch-King were fond of maces. The latter was upgraded to an Epic Flail for the film version.
    • "Grond", Morgoth's "Hammer of the Underworld" in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion is a mace in some adaptations, a hammer in others. (It is not to be confused with the giant wolf-shaped battering ram named after it that features in Return of the King, despite equal massive smashiness.)
    • Thorin Oakenshield in The Hobbit got his epithet from the fact that in the Battle of Azanulbizar he dual-wielded his axe and a large oak branch to defend himself after his shield was destroyed.
  • In the Fighting Fantasy gamebooks and the RPGs based on them, monsters like Stone Golems and Crystal Warriors cannot be harmed by edged weapons and must be destroyed with maces or warhammers.
  • Sunflash the Mace in Redwall, as his name indicates. It's in fact a big branch he used as an Improvised Weapon and has stayed with him since. But as a friend points out, if he called it a mace instead, no one would argue the point.
  • Ma Jong in Judge Dee uses a club more often than his sword.
  • In P. G. Wodehouse's Psmith, Journalist, Psmith uses his walking stick to fend off a group of New York City thugs. When one of the thugs shouts, "He's got a big stick!" Psmith mutters to himself, "I am become Theodore Roosevelt."
  • The I said, I've got a big stick is one of The Culture's Cool Starships.
  • In The Hunger Games, Katniss describes a previous Games where the only weapons available were heavy spiked maces, so the remaining tributes were forced to bludgeon each other to death.
  • Wayne from The Alloy of Law fights with a pair of dueling canes, which have sword-style grips and are made for a very dense wood, and in skilled hands are easily capable of breaking bones.
  • These were also frequently used by nobles in Mistborn: The Original Trilogy, the series to which Alloy Of Law is a sequel.
  • Garrett from the Garrett, P.I. novels usually defends himself using a heavy wooden nightstick with a pound of lead embedded in its business end. TunFaire has laws against civilians carrying swords, and Garrett doesn't like to kill people if he can help it.
  • According to Dave Barry Slept Here, President Theodore Roosevelt always carried around a big stick, which he used to beat monopolists with when they leaned closer to hear what he was speaking very softly. The stick is also why nobody asked him exactly what he meant by "bully pulpit."
  • In The Baroque Cycle, one of Jack Shaftoe's friends kills a Master Swordsman by using a long pole (which was also his means of arriving at the fight - it's for pole-vaulting over waterways, but also comes in handy as a bludgeon).
  • In Rides a Dread Legion, Sandreena and the other Knights of the order of Dala use maces; the Technical Pacifist explanation (that everyone deserves a chance to yield, even up to the point of death, and spilled blood can't be returned) is mocked when she notes that anyone who believes it can't have seen what a mace does to the human body. Later on in the book, she accidentally kills several people with her mace — not that they didn't deserve it, but she wanted a prisoner to question.
  • In Shattered Twilight, members of the Purgatai, an order of demon-hunting priests, wield "silvered" maces.
  • The Elenium: Most Trolls are armed with clubs, since they lack the metalworking ability to manufacture swords, and their arms aren't hooked right for stabbing with a spear. Ghwerig, the deformed but intelligent Troll-Dwarf, carries a huge stone club wrapped with iron bands and proves to be one of the most dangerous enemies Sparhawk ever encounters.
  • Knights Terra in Codex Alera use truly enormous hammers and swords, owing to their earthcrafting giving them super strength and durability.
  • Fengshen Yanyi has several examples:
    • Three different characters wield a weapon (in one case a single large one, in the other two a set of two smaller ones) called "Demon-Subduing/Banishing Pestle", which is usually portrayed in art as a sword-like club with flanged edges and themed after the Vajra tool.
    • Many characters, both taoists and laymen, dual-wield Jian, which are medium-sized, ridged truncheons used in combat, sometimes to break swords.
    • Leizhenzi (Or Thunderbolt or Thunder-quaker) is given an enchanted golden cudgel to use in combat: it is powerful enough to cleave a cliff in half when he first uses it to intimidate some soldiers.
    • Tuxingsun, a dwarf character, wields a long steel cudgel with great skill to compensate his short reach.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Marcus' signature weapon on Babylon 5: A collapsible bo stick. Creatively, Marcus used it to escape a jail without actually touching it; he convinces the guard to peek into the hole and press the trigger button. Ow.
    G'kar: I was doing fine until you showed up with that [sissy gesture] thing in hand.
    Marcus: It's a Minbari fighting pike, several hundred years old. You're just jealous because you don't have one. Bad case of "pike-al" envy, if you ask me.
  • Game of Thrones: Sandor Clegane's first scene in Season 2 has him wielding a mace in a tourney melee.
  • In the Supernatural episode "All Hell Breaks Loose, Part One" (S02, Ep21), Sam uses a wooden plank to defend himself.
  • In The Walking Dead Negin's weapon of choice is a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire.


  • Classical Mythology:
    • According to most stories and vase paintings that involved him, this was Heracles'/Hercules' weapon of choice, making this trope Older Than Feudalism.
    • The bandit Periphetes the Club Bearer beats his victims to death with a metal club. Theseus killed him and claimed the club as his own.
  • Oni are usually depicted as wielding large, metal-reinforced clubs, usually the kanabo. Strangely, they are also known to be wearing tiger-skins, just like the lion-skin of Hercules. See Real Life entry below.
  • Irish Mythology: The Dagda, god of life, death, harvest and the seasons, wielded a club called Lorg Mór. With one end he could bring death (with a single strike capable of killing nine combatants) and with the other end he could revive the slain. Since it was also described as a magic staff as well as a club, Lorg Mor was most likely a shillelagh, a club that doubled as a walking stick.
  • Rostam, hero of the Persian epic The Shahnameh, used a mace when he wasn't wrestling people to death. Most Persian heroes used maces, as far as that goes.
  • Ditto Russian Mythology and Tales. The Bogatyrs were famous for their maces. Here's a bit of Russian Humour about it: Ilya Muromets and D'Artagnan are going to fight. D'Artagnan takes a piece of chalk and draws a cross on Ilya's breastplate. "What is it for?" asks Ilya. "I shall pierce you with my rapier at this point!" answers D'Artagnan. "Alyosha, cover him whole with flour", says Ilya. "I'm going to fight with my mace".
  • Hanuman from the Indian version of Hindu Mythology uses a mace as his weapon of choice. Vishnu also has one called Kaumodaki.
  • Sharur, "smasher of thousands", was the weapon and symbol of the Sumerian/Akkadian god Ninurta. It talks, it flies, provides a way to talk to the god Enlil, and can turn into a winged lion. It also smashes stuff.

  • The Jade Regent RPG Actual Play podcasts from RPGMP3 feature a weapon called Oathtaker. During their travels, the adventurers stumbled across this magical tetsubo (a huge Oriental bludgeoning weapon). Apart from its obvious uses, it can also force people under a Blood Geas. It's currently wielded by Harold Shinken, who discovered that the Viking women of the Linnorm Kingdoms were very impressed by the weapon's... craftsmanship.

    Professional Wrestling 

    Tabletop Games 
  • BattleTech: Maces are a rare BattleMech weapon. In exchange for doing ludicrous amounts of damage (under the Tactical Handbook, a 50-ton 'Mech using the weapon deals twenty damage where a hatchet would deal only ten, putting it on par with some of the largest BFGs), it's inaccurate and inflicts penalties to its hit numbers and skill rolls for recovering from inevitable misses.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Maces and morningstars are generally favored by the Cleric class. In early editions, this is because they are considered bludgeoning weapons and clerics are forbidden by religious law from drawing blood. In later editions, it is because they are "simple" weapons. The Ruby Rod of Asmodeus and the Wand of Orcus are two of the more powerful weapons in the game's catalog.
    • Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition (and by extension, the 3.5 update) maintained the tradition of "Clerics with Maces" in a novel way. Weapons were placed into generic classes, with different character classes have access to different weapon classes. "All simple weapons" includes maces. Of the eleven core classes, the martial ones (Barbarian, Paladin, Ranger, and Fighter) get martial weapons, which are numerically better than maces (typically by having better/more frequent critical hits). Monk, Druid, and Wizard got a specific, short list of weapons, with monk and druid having specific standouts that are slightly better than maces (fists and the scimitar, respectively), while the wizard's list is deliberately awful except for the quarterstaff. Bards and Rogues received a few more weapon proficiencies than Clerics, motivating them to use the short sword, or possibly whip. As a result, despite the generic weapon groupings, Clerics were the only class motivated to actually use a mace as a primary weapon.
    • In Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, the Maul deals the most damage of any single weapon (tied with the Greatsword, which is identical mechanics-wise aside from damage type). It's the heaviest weapon in the game aside from the Pike.
  • Legend of the Five Rings: As they don't have as much blood spilling around as swords, huge iron banded clubs are used by the Crab Clan against the monsters of the Shadowland.
  • Rocket Age: There are plenty of people walking around with staffs, clubs, and maces. They usually appear in the hands of more primitive peoples or are a traditional weapon used in ceremonies and duels, like the Jovian beaked mace.
  • Warhammer: Matching their primitive natures, lack of sophistication and aggressively direct approach to warfare, giants and trolls typically fight with crude but powerful clubs. The giants' in particular usually consist of a simple uprooted tree, often with human-sized weapons crudely rammed into it to give it extra piercing power.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Power mauls are available to Space Marines and others with access to power weapons; while they lack the armor-penetrating power of a power sword or axe, they do provide a nice strength bonus, good for taking on weaker units.
    • Shock Mauls are the melee weapon of choice for the Arbites, as the name suggests these are mauls which apply an electric shock to stun targets when they hit.
    • The elite Deathwing Knights of the Dark Angels have the Mace of Absolution as their weapon of choice.

    Video Games 
  • Stick War: Clubmen, your starter units, are this, and they look rather pathetic. You get to upgrade them to swords after driving out Swordwrath and adopting their technology. Giants also carry these, and can do much more damage with them.
  • 9 Monkeys of Shaolin have your range of equipment (being based on Stock Wushu Weapons) including two maces. You can obtain the Abbott's staff, a metal cudgel on a long pole, and get the Jade Cliff near the end of the game, a mace made of jade which can magically deal greater damage than other weapons.
  • Baten Kaitos: In Origins, main character Milly wields large twin maces. And she is very, very skilled with them.
  • Golden Sun
    • In Golden Sun, maces can be wielded by three people: Isaac and Garet, both warrior types, and Mia, resident White Magician Girl and healer. Each character has a unique sprite for each weapon type, so while Mia gets a small studded metal sphere, Isaac gets a flanged version and Garet gets a classic big ball o' spikes the size of his head on a stick we all know and love. In the sequel, Sheba (a Squishy Wizard) uses them. Staffs are used by Mia, Sheba, Ivan, and Jenna.
    • In Dark Dawn, maces are carried by men— Matthew and Tyrell (Isaac and Garet's suspiciously similar sons), Rief (Mia's suspiciously similar son), and Eoleo the pirate. Staffs can be used by Rief, Ivan's daughter Karis, Prince Amiti, and Himi.
  • Warriors of Fate have spiked maces as collectible power-ups, which deals greater damage than swords (at the cost of limited range). Enemies killed by this weapon have their own unique death animations - via instantly turning to Ludicrous Gibs.
  • Mountain Giants in Warcraft III can rip entire trees out of the ground and use them as clubs. Ogres also use maces and/or big wooden clubs, Faceless Ones use nasty-looking spiked maces.
  • In World of Warcraft one-handed maces (the weapon class which includes hammers) are often designed for healers, playing off the old equation of maces with priests, although there remains no circumstance in the game beyond about level 10 where a priest could possibly ever want to actually hit someone since even if they have no mana left a wand is still more damaging. Rogues tend to actually use one-handed maces to hit people, as do some shamans and death knights. Two-handed maces live on in with paladins and druids, warriors, and death knights who often use giant maces. Before some of the later Burning Crusade raids went live, this was considered one of the best weapons in the game for retribution paladins.
  • Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura has a variety of hammers and maces available. They had the special effect of dealing Fatigue damage, which meant that they could knock enemies unconscious and effectively drained Mana from mages. Oh, and they could also be used to open locked doors and chests without being damaged (Axes are another option for this).
  • The first two Fallout games had several bludgeoning weapons, but the series really gained its own place in here when the third game brought in the Behemoths, mutants so large they use fire hydrants as melee weapons. Then New Vegas gave the player the Rebar club: a long rebar pole with a huge chunk of concrete at the end. The DLC's add the Nuka Breaker, which is a rebar club with a Nuka Cola sign in place of the concrete, the X-2 Antenna, which inflicts EMP damage on machines, and Old Glory, a flag staff capped with a golden eagle.
  • The War Mace powerset in City of Heroes.
  • Kronk the caveman carries a large white club in Ballz
  • Dwarf Fortress features several varieties of mace and war hammer, which compared to slashing or piercing weapons trade a reduced One-Hit Kill probability for a better chance of causing knock-back; high-level mace- or hammerdwarves can launch enemies into nearby walls with enough force to reduce them to Ludicrous Gibs. Or walls about a quarter-mile away with enough force to reduce them to Ludicrous Gibs. It's all good.
  • Rock from SoulCalibur has taken to using a mace in more recent games. Originally, he favored axes, but this got switched in later games to differentiate him from fellow axe-user Astaroth.
  • In the Dynasty Warriors series, Diao Chan, Taishi Ci, and Huang Gai are often depicted wielding clubs of various types. In later games, club weapons include "Steel Whips" (essentially flexible cudgels), iron rods and huge clubs with massive heads.
  • Fate has clubs and maces as one of the many weapon classes, usually dealing high crushing damage at the cost of low speed. The game also has hammers as a separate weapon class from clubs and staves as a two-handed variant meant for magic-based builds.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • In Final Fantasy VI, Umaro's weapon of choice is a massive club carved out of behemoth bone.
    • Final Fantasy VII gives us the Nail Bat — a baseball bat with nails driven through it. In keeping with the "powerful but crude" nature of this trope, it has one of the highest attack stats of the weapons available at the time you find it, but has no materia slots for character customisation and special skills.
    • Final Fantasy XI featured a variety of blunt objects with which to beat enemies with. Primarily clubs and staffs, which were usually "wielded" by mage classes more interested in what the stats on the weapon could do for their casting than actually using the weapon, but both being able to be used by Monks for melee offense. Clubs were especially popular for MNKs before a nerf to the TP return of multi-hit weapon skills like club's Hexa Strike. Also of note, some clubs were hammers, that were primarily equippable by White Mages. The White Mage relic weapon was Mjollnir.
    • Maces appear in the Ivalice Alliance sub-series, most notably in Final Fantasy XII, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, and Final Fantasy Tactics A2, where they're most commonly the province of Magic Knight classes such as Sage, Green Mage, and Red Battlemage.
  • In the Baldur's Gate games, the Cleric class is only able to use bludgeoning weapons.
  • While the weapon Saix uses in the Kingdom Hearts series is referred to as a claymore, it's actually closer to a mace, or a kanabo.
  • Age of Mythology has Hercules, wielding his trademark wooden club. The Cyclops and Mountain Giant myth units also wielded clubs. In The Titans we have the Atlantean Katapeltes infantry, who wields a mace.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Throughout the series, maces, warhammers, and even simple clubs are found as weapons. While the exact mechanics vary from game to game, they are typically classified as "blunt weapons," being slower to swing than other weapons but also dealing more damage per strike. In Skyrim, they (realistically) also have the potential to circumvent a percentage of a foe's armor when struck as well.
    • Massive clubs are a favored weapon of the Giant race. Some have a large rock tied to the end, turning them into primitive warhammers. Others have spikes of stone or bone, turning them into primitive battleaxes.
    • In the Yokudan/Redguard religions tradition, Ruptga, the "Tall Papa" and chief deity of the pantheon created Sep, the serpentine Yokudan version of Lorkhan, to help him save spirits from Satakal's Vicious Cycle of eating the world. However, Sep convinced other spirits to help him build an easier alternative, even though Ruptga did not participate or approve. When the plan proved to be a failure, leaving many spirits stranded on a dying patchwork worldskin, Ruptga punished Sep by "squashing him with a big stick". Sep could then only slink around in a dead skin or swim about harmlessly in the sky.
    • Scourge is a Legendary Weapon mace and artifact of Malacath, the Daedric Prince of the Spurned and Ostracized. Malacath dedicated it for use by mortals, and any Daedra who attempts to wield it will be vanished to the Void.
    • The Mace of Molag Bal is an artifact of the eponymous Daedric Prince of Domination and Corruption. It has the power to drain the strength and magicka of those it strikes, making it an effecting weapon against warriors and mages alike. In Skyrim, it also has the ability to absorb souls. Molag Bal himself uses it against you in the final battle of Online's main quest.
    • Mazken (aka Dark Seducers), are an intelligent race of lesser Daedra in service to Sheogorath. They primarily use maces (and the occasional axe) as their favored weapons.
    • In Oblivion's Knights of the Nine expansion, you can acquire the Mace of the Crusader, a mace blessed by the Divines themselves and formerly wielded by the legendary hero of mankind/racist berserker, Pelinal Whitestrake.
    • In Skyrim, the favored weapon of the Vigil of Stendarr is a mace.
  • ICO: the titular horned boy's first weapon is a wooden stick that falls off of a torch; it's still burning when he picks it up. He later finds proper swords scattered about, but he still uses them the same way. The best weapon you can get in a normal playthrough is the Spiked Club, which brutalizes everything in two hits.
  • Jitsu Squad: One of the heroes, Jazz Amun, carries a mace called the "Ishtar" as his primary weapon. Collecting enough power-ups will give Ishtar spikes for extra damage, or momentarily turn it into a guandao.
  • The Legend Of Silkroad: The first game have three playable heroes, one of them being a Mongolian barbarian who wields a gigantic spiked mace for smashing faces, in contrast to the other two who use swords.
  • Mabinogi:
    • Among its blunt weapons, something of note for taking this trope literally is the Broad Stick. It's a stick. A broad one. And you hit things with it. That's about it, though to its credit, it's very cheap to repair in a game of extremely expensive repair systems, and earlier on it can do significant damage.
    • Giants are all about blunt weapons; they have their own bigger and nastier clubs, are able to dual-wield blunt weapons, and in a pinch can punch down certain trees and use the resulting Broken Logs as weapons.
  • Armored Core V: You get the Mass Blade which is the mother of all big sticks. It's really a concrete pillar with some I-beams and a spiked wrecking ball stuck on one end and a few rocket boosters strapped on for good measure.
  • In Ragnarok Online, maces are generally used by Acolyte, Merchant, Super Novice, and Swordman classes, primarily Monk class as their main weapon. Maces have wide variety and mostly are unbreakable unless attempting to upgrade the weapon.
  • In RuneScape, Dungeoneering boss Rammernaut Hoskins is a huge, heavily armoured warrior that definitely like this trope, requisitioning first a "Big mace", then a "Bigger mace" note , and tries to take it to the max with "Biggest mace" note .
  • Demon's Souls and Dark Souls have weapons that run the gamut from simple, small maces to very large hammers crafted from the setting's World Tree and another weapon that amounts to a severed tooth of an Everlasting Dragon. Some of the larger weapons are ornate and are used by "Holy" warriors, like Demon's Souls' Bramd and Dark Souls' Grant. Dark Souls II maintains the tradition by keeping "archtree branch" and "dragon's tooth" smashers from previous game as well as adding new ones like "boulder tied to a tree", "the top half of a dragon's skull", and "anvil on a stick". The Crown of the Old Iron King DLC currently tops them all with Smelter Hammer, formerly a giant axe, now melted into misshapen iron lump about as large and thick as your character's entire body.
  • Bloodborne has the "Whirligig Saw" from The Old Hunters DLC, a Trick Weapon that goes from long-handled mace to pummel beasts in to death to a pair of buzzsaws on a stick to shred your foes to strips until either they die or your stamina runs out.
  • Pokémon:
    • Cubone and Marowak's bone clubs and the held item Thick Club, which doubles either species' attack stat.
    • And also the Timburr line, which wield huge logs (Timburr), girders (Gurdurr), and concrete cylinders (Conkeldurr).
    • There's also Mimikyu, the Disguise Pokemon, who dresses up like Pikachu with a rag designed in its image and uses a wooden stick to emulate Pikachu's tail, which it can use to attack with Wood Hammer, Play Rough, and other attacks.
  • Guild Wars:
    • Oddly averted in Guild Wars, one of the few RPGs not to feature clubs or maces of any kind. At least, in the traditional sense. Two-handed warhammers are a warrior weapon, and there are truncheons and canes in the game — but they're actually classified as one-handed wands for magic-using classes. Using one in battle would simply toss a weak magic projectile at your enemy.
    • Guild Wars 2 finally allowed one-handed maces to be used hand-to-hand. Warriors are the only class that can dual wield them. Guardians can equip them in their main hand for a more traditional Paladin look.
  • Mount & Blade has a variety of bludgeoning weapons, the most primitive and weakest of which are the wooden stick, club, and cudgel. The variety of dedicated maces available is much greater, and most of them are viable blunt weapons, which can deal significant damage right through heavy armor and will render foes unconscious as opposed to dead, so that they can be captured and sold for ransom.
  • Maces are just one of the many melee weapons melee types can wield in Diablo III. In addition, the very first boss, the Skeleton King, wields a powerful two-handed one — which you can later grab for yourself.
  • Dragon Quest:
    • In Dragon Quest II, Atlas wields a huge wooden club.
    • Several clubs are among the weapon options in Dragon Quest IX, though they're considered part of the hammer skill line. Smash Mooks like trolls and cyclopes use spiked and non-spiked versions.
  • Faceless Void from Dota 2 uses a club, smaller than the usual big like the ones in the example, but there's a reason why he's one of the more dangerous carries in the game. A swing from his club can lock down the enemy in one place, or he can stop the time to ensure a lot of club-beating time. Build up a lot of damage or attack speed items, and suddenly, a club is deadlier than a sword.
  • King Knight from Shovel Knight fights using a sceptre.
  • Team Fortress 2 features a handful of club-like weapons—in the beta, the Sniper's melee weapon was actually a baton instead of his kukri, and it's still coded as 'club' in the game. Surviving club weapons include the Boston Basher, which is a huge spiked club, and the Pain Train, a broken axe handle with a railroad spike in the end. Closely related to clubs are the Neon Annihilator, Conscientious Objector, Freedom Shaft, and Crossing Guard are all signs or other items on posts that have been pulled up from the ground for use as bludgeons.
  • Generally averted in Fire Emblem up until Fire Emblem Fates, where the Hoshidan side introduced Japanese takes on the common enemy types and common weapon classes, where clubs and maces were used as the oriental equivalent of longstanding franchise standard Axes. Some bludgeoning weapons were classed as axes before then, however.
  • Persona 5: One of your party members, Ryuji, specializes in bludgeon type weapons when fighting monsters. These include steel pipes, hammers, maces and weaponized baseball bats.
  • There are plenty of maces in Eternal Card Game, both for you and your units to use.
  • The Shugoki, one of the Samurai characters in For Honor, fights with a Kanabo befitting of the oni he is modelled after.
  • Kid Icarus: Uprising features clubs as one of the available weapon types. Pit even quotes Theodore Roosevelt during a conversation with Viridi.
  • Paul of Eternal Darkness finds a mace on a wall in his chapter. It's also what his ghost wields in the final battle.
  • Fittingly, Klubba and Kudgel from Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest both wield a massive wooden club with metal spikes. The former will only wield it against you if you try to get past him without paying his toll, while the latter, being a boss encounter, has no such compunctions.
  • The first MediEvil has the Club for Sir Daniel Fortesque to use, while he's far from being primitive nor savage. The giant wooden weapon is a powerful and useful part of his arsenal, the weapon can smash rocks and weak areas of walls and it's primary attack deals as much damage as the games' Hammer. Although it's made of wood and can wear down quite quickly, however being made of wood is also to it's advantage as it can be used and mad into a impromptu giant torch that can set other things on fire.
  • Mortal Kombat:
  • Ninja: Shadow of Darkness: One of the earliest Game-Breaker weapons for Kurosawa the ninja is the tetsubo, a spiked mace, which can kill several lower-tier enemies in one hit. At that point in the game, you're not knee-deep in Elite Mook territory yet, so the massive club is going to be your favourite weapon until the nagayari a few levels later.
  • Silent Hill 4: The Room: an old-fashioned nightstick is the strongest melee weapon available for Eileen. It has the drawback of shorter range than her other weapons, so she cannot attack enemies that have been knocked down.
  • Onion Pixie from Puyo Puyo is always seen carrying a spiky club. It being a "big" stick is relative in this case, since Onion Pixie is quite tiny.
  • Splitgate: The BFB is a large, high-tech bludgeon in the shape of a mace that deals 150 damage with every swing, killing nearly everything in the game in one shot. While you lose out in range, any encounter that starts tightly enough that the melee dash can close the distance is basically won with it.
  • Throne of Darkness, the tetsubo is one of the top tier polearms, though most classes can't equip them or display them as spears anyway. The exception is the Brick, whose character model is always depicted with a tetsubo regardless of what his polearm is.
  • Samurai Warriors: surprisingly little, though we have Ishikawa Goemon (who wields a spiked mace that can turn into a flail for certain attacks) and Fukushima Masanori, whose weapon of choice is described as a "Double Kanasaibo", consisting in a massive woode staff with enormous cilindrical metal heads at both ends. Said heads features studs from which spikes can pop out in certain attacks.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • Sockbaby: Chub Chub.
  • Todd in the Shadows, reviewing Flo Rida's "Club Can't Handle Me".
    Todd: Now, maybe it's just me, but if the club can't handle him right now, my only conclusion that they're using the wrong club. Now, *lifts a club* this is MY club. It is an authentic replica of a war club used in battle by ancient Greek soldiers, and trust me: It CAN handle you right now.
  • Doctor Oobleck's thermos from RWBY turns into a kanabo/napalm-launcher when he needs to fight. He's strong enough and skilled enough to total Mini-Mecha with it.
  • In The Cartographer's Handbook, soldiers in the RSA are regularly outfitted with specially designed maces referred to as "Clementines." They are designed to reduce the amount of blood spilt while fighting Wendigos in close quarters in order to prevent infection.

    Western Animation 
  • Hawkgirl from Justice League fights almost exclusively with a large, electrified mace. It has energy-disrupting and Anti-Magical properties that make it a very versatile smashing tool.
  • Elite Skrall are armed with Thorny Clubs in BIONICLE.
  • The Mighty Mightor had a magical club that changed him from his Secret Identity into his heroic form and could shoot various forms of energy (as well as beating up villains).
  • Captain Caveman had a club that doubled as a Flintstones-tech gadget-filled Swiss-Army Weapon.
  • In ThunderCats (2011) The Dragon Grune has a huge, spiky kanabo that's also a Morph Weapon, turning into a BFG Lightning Gun. He wields a more ordinary round-headed mace in flashbacks prior to his Face–Heel Turn.
  • One of the Co-Dragons in Ivanhoe: The King's Knight, Reginald Front-de-Boeuf, favours the mace. He uses it frequently in tournaments and duels.
  • Referenced in this exchange in Ballot Box Bunny:
    Bugs Bunny: I speak softly, but I carry a big stick!
    Yosemite Sam: Oh yeah!? Well, I speak loud! And I carry a BIIIIIIIIGGER stick!! And I use it too!
  • Referenced again in Celebrity Deathmatch in a match with Washington vs Lincoln, who were being coached by Nixon and Roosevelt respectively. Midway through the match, Nixon and Roosevelt have an exchange of words, but Nixon then comments that he can't hear Roosevelt because he's speaking so softly. Roosevelt then pulls out a big stick and proceeds to hit him with it.
  • Quick Draw McGraw: El Kabong's "kabonger" may qualify as he uses it to bash villains over the head when he's not playing it as the guitar it actually is.
  • As befits his role as "The Barbarian" of his group, Bobby from Dungeons & Dragons (1983) wields a club as his magical artifact. It should be noted he's also a rather scrawny 10-year old boy, which makes it rather funny when he swings the club and its enchantment allows him to send much, MUCH bigger opponents flying or cause localized earthquakes.
  • Gargoyles: since the titular creatures turn into stone during daytime, so the Vikings who fought them carried maces for that purpose. A spiked morningstar is also Demona's melee weapon of choice, if she's not using magic, guns, or her claws.

    Real Life 
  • Maces with glass or stone heads were invented in the ancient Near East thousands of years ago and may have been the first weapons invented specifically for killing other humans instead of doubling as utility and hunting tools like the knife, spear, or bow and arrow. A large animal's skull is usually too thick to reliably crush with a mace, but people's are easier to crack. They became especially useful after the invention of helmets made of copper or bronze since they could still give a person wearing one a concussion.
  • The countries of the UK, as well as Australia, Canada, and the US, all use "ceremonial maces" as symbols of power within parliament; the US version can even be symbolically brandished at Congresspersons who are disrupting the proceedings. It is, quite literally, the carrying of a big stick for the sake of speaking softly. Actually walloping an elected representative upside the head with it is depreciated these days, of course, but it has happened on occasion. Gavels are a related item.
  • King Henry VIII had a "walking staff", a combination mace and gun.
  • When swords fell out of favor as part of a gentleman's standard outfit, walking sticks replaced them. Being about three feet of sturdy wood and topped with a metal handle, they made excellent clubs in a pinch. The British art of Singlestick and the French art of Canne De Combat were martial arts based around walking sticks, using many of the principles of fencing.
  • In 1856, Preston Brooks beat his fellow congressman Charles Sumner into unconsciousness with his walking stick on the floor of the Senate. Sumner had made an impassioned speech against slavery, comparing it to the "rape of a virgin" and worked the names of two Southern congressmen into the analogy, and fellow Southerner Brooks felt that retaliation was in order. Although his deed was lambasted by the North, he was hailed as a hero in the South and gifted a number of replacement walking sticks for the one he broke on Sumner's head. A number of these canes were engraved with the words "Hit him again!".
  • The Filipino art of Eskrima features fighting sticks as one of their primary weapons, usually with one in each hand.
  • The Kanabō, also known as the Tetsubō, was a popular weapon in feudal Japan. It consisted of a long, heavy wooden stick — typically straight with an octagonal cross-section — covered with iron studs or spikes over at least half of its length, making it the Samurai equivalent of a baseball bat. There was a kata (fighting technique) — Kanabō-jutsu or Tetsubō-jutsu — specifically devoted to its use, though it is believed that it could also be employed with kata from both Bojutsu (staff) and Kenjutsu (sword) depending on the size. Some later versions were completely clad in, or made entirely of, iron. In Japanese folklore, it was the favoured weapon of the Oni. According to The Other Wiki, there is a saying in Japanese: "Like giving a kanabō to an oni" — which means to give an extra advantage to someone who already has the advantage (the strong made stronger).
  • The Flemish goedendag (good-day) combined Carry A Big Stick with Blade on a Stick. Essentially a very thick, iron-banded or studded pole topped with a spear point, the idea behind the goedendag was that you hauled a man off of his horse with the spear, and then bludgeoned him to death with the pole. It supposedly took its name from a shibboleth used during the Revolt of Bruges in 1301, in which anyone who replied to the Dutch greeting "goedendag" in French or with a French accent would promptly be killed with one.
  • And then there is the Chinese weapon know as the Wolf Tooth Club, which is in fact every bit as badass as it sounds, with a pointy bit on one end and a head full of spikes on the other.
  • The Irish shillelagh is a club made out of a big stick, usually with a large knob at the end. The shillelagh came in handy when the Irish were forbidden to own weapons. A "walking stick" that just happened to be stout and heavy enough to beat the tar out of someone- especially if you loaded it with a little lead in the head. It's become a symbol of Irish culture, but also a symbol of Irish violence.
  • Those Ancient Russian warriors who were strong but poor and couldn't afford for sword or flanged mace sometimes wielded an oslop - a huge, two-handed club, usually wooden and reinforced by iron, rarely made of iron. Weighing up to 12 kg (average 6-8), oslop is considered by some to be the heaviest practical melee weapon ever. With two-handed grip providing enough leverage, a single hit from such monstrosity, even if blocked by shield, was guaranteed to knock the opponent off his feet. The word "oslop" was later turned into "ostolop", meaning a stupid man, referring to the fact that the oslop didn't require any skill to use, just strength.
  • In a pinch a thill ('Ogloblya', a shaft used to attach a horse to a carriage) from nearby 'telega' could be used by local strongman.
  • The knobkerrie is a traditional club of the Nguni-speaking peoples of South Africa and environs (e.g. the Zulu, Xhosa, Sotho, Swazi...), coincidentally rather similar to the shillelagh. These days, it is usually used as a walking stick. Crossed knobkerries currently appear in the coat of arms of South Africa and a crossed knobkerrie and assegai formerly showed up on the flag of Lesotho.
  • Soldiers who had to raid enemy trenches during The Great War found that the rifle and bayonet were too long to use in such close confines, and it also helped to have weapons that could kill more silently. Sure you had your standard-issue weapons, but when you need something with a little more oomph there's the trench club. Fashioned in the field by squad carpenters, they were made with any wood-handles and on-hand metals, including defused grenades, to create maces, morningstars, and even flails to get the drop on enemy troopers and finish them off after a gas attack.
  • The typical Martial Arts Staff takes this to a literal extreme, being literally a big stick.
  • Much of the traditional Māori arsenal is nothing but bludgeoning implements.
  • The gunstock war club is a Native American club weapon, so named because of its similar shape to the wooden stocks of rifles and muskets. Gunstock clubs were most predominantly used by Eastern Woodland, Central and Northern Plains tribes in the 18th and 19th centuries.
  • The Fijian totokia is a wooden weapon with a beaked head that is used in a similar manner to a warhammer. Most notably however, this weapon is the inspiration for the Tusken Raider gaffi stick.


Video Example(s):


Gaderffii Stick

The signature weapon of the Tusken Raiders, Boba Fett flawlessly wields it in battle against a fireteams worth of Imperial Stormtroopers.

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Example of:

Main / DropTheHammer

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