Recycled Weapons: The Burn Hammer

William T. Thrasher

Yesterday I replaced my old car battery, a corroded chunk of plastic, lead, and alkalies that was quite literally bleeding its remaining power away in a steady chemical drip. As I pulled its crusty bulk from my car and prepared to replace it with a more vibrant and less corroded power source, my mind turned to gaming and a concept for a post-apocalyptic weapon made from scavenged parts entered my mind. I present to you the burn hammer, a weapon made from recycled parts for your Pathfiner campaign.

Burn Hammer

Name Classification Cost Dmg (S) Dmg (M) Critical Range Weight Type Special
Burn Hammer Two-Handed Melee Weapon N/A 1d6 1d8 x3 50 lbs. B see description

The burn hammer is a weapon made from a sturdy length of metal (heavy pipe, stop sign, parking meter, etc.) bolted on to a spent or corroded car battery typical of the many abandoned vehicles littering urban ruins. This heavy bludgeon is considered both a martial weapon and an improvised weapon, though the wielder only needs proficiency with one of the listed weapon types to properly use the weapon. The burn hammer's main advantage comes from the battery acid constantly leaking from its corroded seams. On a successful hit, the burn hammer inflicts an additional 1d6 acid damage. This additional damage is not multiplied on a critical hit. The following special rules apply to the burn hammer:

  • Creation: A character supplied with a scavenged car battery, sturdy length of metal, and assorted scrap can create a burn hammer after 1d4 hours of work and a DC 20 Craft (weapons) skill check. A roll that exceeds the DC by 5 or more cuts the time required in half. A natural 1 on the Craft check inflicts 1d6 acid damage on the crafter and destroys the battery.
  • Degradation: When attacking with a burn hammer, a natural 1 on the attack roll causes the weapon to degrade, reducing the additional acid damage to 1d4. The next natural 1 reduces the bonus damage to 1, and the next natural one gives the burn hammer the broken condition. A character with access to the right chemicals can reverse the effects of the degradation with a successful DC 10 Craft (alchemy or weapons) check.
  • Surprise Shock: With a full-round action and a successful DC 15 Knowledge (engineering) check, the burn hammer can be jury-rigged to inflict electricity damage instead of acid damage on its next successful hit.

So now you have the burn hammer, the perfect weapon for the humongous brute of hulking mutant overlord in your post-apocalyptic Pathfinder campaign.

Note: I'm well aware that battery acid doesn't work like this, but I never let chemistry get in the way of fun.