[RPG] When is a reasonable level range for Gurt’s Greataxe to be offered to a player


As suggested in the title, I ran into Gurt's Greataxe. I was looking up magic items in my free time since I was curious, and I thought why not search for magic items related to greataxes, since my character is a Half-Orc barbarian who is currently a barb-fighter 4-2. I accidentally ran into Gurt's Greataxe while searching, which is offered in the Storm King's Thunder campaign that I'm in with my group. For further information, Gurt's Greataxe gives:

+1 bonus to attack and damage rolls. It is sized for a giant, weighs 325 pounds, and deals 3d12 slashing damage on a hit, plus an extra 2d12 slashing damage if the target is human.

The axe sheds light as a torch when the temperature around it drops below 0 degrees Fahrenheit. The light can't be shut off in these conditions.

As an action, you can cast a version of the Heat Metal spell (save DC 13) that deals cold damage instead of fire damage. Once this power is used, it can't be used again until the next dawn.

Heavy. Small creatures have disadvantage on attack rolls with heavy weapons. A heavy weapon's size and bulk make it too large for a Small creature to use effectively.

Two-Handed. This weapon requires two hands to use. This property is relevant only when you attack with the weapon, not when you simply hold it.

Based off of this rather immense power that the axe has between the 3d12 slashing damage, the extra 2d12 if attacking a human, and the cold version of the Heat Metal spell, although subjective to the DM, what is a reasonable level range that this weapon could be offered in? Because with this weapon, I'd say there's a point where it would be rather overpowered if given too early, and I just needed some outside input on this thought.

If needed, I'm currently running a Totem Warrior Half-Orc Barbarian who's 6'10" and going on the bear path, meaning I can carry double capacity at level 6. Let's say I obtain a strength score of 22, what would the circumstances be then?

Best Answer

Level 33 should be a good enough level.

Seriously though, you're talking about a weapon that weighs 325 pounds. That's heavier than Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson would be if he were wearing full plate armor. Unfortunately, this is a super cool weapon that was never meant for a PC to have.

One way you can tell that this axe isn't meant for PCs to have is that wielding it isn't just about having the strength to carry or lift it. No matter what level you are, you won't have the sheer size needed to use it. We can learn what that would be by taking a look at who it's meant for. Frost Giants have a strength of 23 and are size Huge creatures. But how big is that? Wikis are certainly not RAW, but they can often help to draw a more complete picture - especially in this case. The Forgotten Realms wiki says Frost Giants are over 20 feet tall and weigh almost a ton and a half...that's about the same weight as my car, a Kia Soul.

Another reason this weapon shouldn't get into the hands of a PC (ever) is how much damage it does. It does 5d12 damage against humans. That's more than twice the damage potential of the most powerful PC weapon in the game. By comparison, a Giant Slayer greataxe only does 1d12 (+2d6 vs Giants) ....and that one only weighs 7 pounds.

Ultimately, it's up to your DM. I suppose that if you had a lifetime supply of Potions of Giant Size you wouldn't have much of an issue using it!

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