A two-handed weapon requires both hands to wield. You cannot wear a shield or engage in two-weapon combat while wielding one. Hitting a monster with a two-handed weapon has a 5% chance to shatter its wielded weapon. Monsters, including pets, can wield two-handed weapons if they have the strong attribute and are not wearing a shield, in addition to the usual restrictions, i.e. they must have a weapon attack, no cross-aligned artifacts, etc.
List of two-handed weapons
The weapons below are two-handed:
|Weapon||Skill||Cost||Weight||Prob (‰)||Damage (S/L)||Material||Appearance||Tile||Glyph|
|battle-axe||axe||40 zm||120||10||d8+d4||d6+2d4||iron||double-headed axe||)|
|dwarvish mattock||pick-axe||50 zm||120||13†||d12||d8+2d6||iron||broad pick||)|
|two-handed sword||two-handed sword||50 zm||150||22||d12||3d6||iron||)|
|tsurugi||two-handed sword||500 zm||60||N/A||d16||d8+2d6||metal||long samurai sword||)|
|unicorn horn||unicorn horn||100 zm||20||tool||d12||d12||bone||(|
Two-handed weapons are infamous for their crippling effect when wielding a cursed one; wielding a cursed weapon while wearing a cursed shield has similar drawbacks. Spellcasting monsters (including Rodney) are often the most notorious culprits, as they can curse your items directly; while your hands are welded to a cursed two-hander, you cannot loot or apply containers, cast spells, change your cloak, body armor, or shirt, wear or remove rings, and several other activities. These handicaps also make it hard to get at your curse removal items, since you cannot cast spells and you uncursing items will usually be safely in your bag.
Your god treats this as a major trouble for prayer purposes, making it a viable option provided your weapon was not cursed as a result of angering them. As of NetHack 3.6.0, you can empty your bag on the floor with the #tip command to reach your means of curse removal; it is best to prepare a bag of such items in advance for when prayer is inconvenient or unavailable (e.g. in Gehennom). Some people also drop holy water on the ground in places you can easily branchport or level teleport to.
As the #tip command was introduced in NetHack 3.6.0, variants based on older versions (such as SLASH'EM) may lack the command; this makes wielding a cursed two-handed weapon a much more serious problem in those games, and players may choose to avoid these weapons entirely.