Do you go to the dungeon?

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Oh, Injury!

A new house rule appears!

While you can grapple and shove and disarm and dodge and disengage the enemies to your heart's content, there is no way to hurt or harm or kill them within the normal action economy system. Instead, there are two specific windows or prompts to do so.

"You can kill the monster"

If the monster goes to 0 or lower HP throuh your maneuvering (see below), you can kill it. The DM is supposed to say "You can kill her" or "You can kill the skeleton" or whatever and that's your chance to do it. It doesn't cost any extra actions, reactions, bonus actions etc. You've already paid the actions through your maneuvering and that has granted you this golden opportunity.

Say how you kill the monster, and it is dead. A pro tip is to use a similar ability that you've been using when maneuvering; for example, burn it if you've been maneuvering against it with fire magic, or pierce it if you've been maneuvering against it with archery. But this "killing blow" is a separate blow. It doesn't cost any actions but it is still a good old chop!

You may also choose to subdue or capture the monster instead of killing it.

If you decline to kill, subdue, or capture it, it keeps living&fighting (awake & fresh) at 0 hp until someone else lands a successful attack through maneuvering against it.

"You can hurt the monster"

When a monster gets from having HP over their wound threshold (which, for monsters, is going to always be half their max HP, unlike heroes, who can choose their own threshold), to having HP at, or under, it,

that's when you can hurt, harm or wound it. Again, it doesn't cost any extra actions, reactions, bonus actions etc. Hurting and killing is beyond time and space; you've created a window of opportunity which you can then seize. A monster can't be both hurt and killed in the same blow; killing them bypasses the step where they are hurt.

Unlike heroes, the monsters don't get insp when they are wounded. And they don't get the luxury of getting a randomly rolled injury.

Instead, you can choose how they are hurt. The mechanical extent of the damage is limited to one of four effects:

  • A one time advantage on attacking them
  • A one time advantage on defending against them
  • A one turn halving of their speed

Within that limitation, there are lots of things you can do. Harm their legs, their sword arm, their shield arm, their vision, their ribs etc.

Don't just think in terms of the lingering injuries table. If the monster does get away or otherwise survive, then you get to choose an effect from the lingering injuries table consistent with the original injury you chose. Yes, that's the power of being a monster; injuries take a while to take full effect, unlike when heroes roll lingering injuries which take effect immediately.

Harming the monsters this way is optional.

Same as with the killing blow; you can use a similar ability as you've been using for maneuvering but it's a separate blow; a harming blow. See examples below♥

In addition to the wound, the monster has to make a morale check unless it's undead or construct.

Maneuvering

Maneuvering means anything that causes hp loss ("damage"), for example the attack action or casting harmful spells.

A.k.a. normal attacking!

You use maneuvering to tick down the enemies HP to give you an opportunity to bash, slice, chop, smash or burninate them. This can all be mixed in with other conditions such as Grappled, Prone, Disarm etc which might give you advantage on your damage maneuvering, getting you all that closer to The Killling Time (under blue moon).

Here are some ideas (for attackers) to describe maneuvering moves:

  • Aim (this conserves ammo!)
  • Suppressing fire
  • Look for a window
  • Try to create an opening
  • Start up a blast
  • Summon the arcane might
  • Call on Beshaba's favor
  • Parry
  • Our swords clang

We need moar T_T
Add in some more please

Here are some ideas (for defenders) to describe the outcome of maneuvering:

  • Staggered
  • Gasp
  • Unfazed
  • Laughs
  • Shocked
  • Worn down
  • Desperate
  • Cries out

Spells & maneuvering

Maneuvering with spells still costs slots & components. Side effects, such as the slow from Ray of Frost, or setting things on fire with Burning Hands, are applied right away.

Examples

Example of maneuvering and then hurting:

Jenny: I try to find a window to hit the skeleton!
DM: OK, AC 13.
Jenny: [Rolls] 6 bludgeoning damage!
DM: That’s 12 damage with his vulnerability. You can hurt him!
Jenny: I smash his sword arm with my mace.. crrrrrush! Imposing disad on his next attack.

Example of maneuvering and then killing:

Jenny: I aim my bow at one of the stirges!
DM: OK, AC 14.
Jenny: [Rolls] not enough yet… I’m still holding my aim steady.
[later that same… uh, evening]
Jenny: Still trying to find that perfect shot on the stirge… [Rolls] six damage!
DM: That’s more than enough! You can kill it!
Jenny: I let the arrow fly, piercing it! (Scratches 1 arrow.)

Stirge example but with spell:

Jenny: I cast Ray of Frost at one of the stirges!
DM: OK, AC 14.
Jenny: [Rolls] not enough yet… My magic is still building its arcane momentum! [later that same… uh, evening]
Jenny: Still trying to find that perfect chance to Frost that stirge… [Rolls] six damage!
DM: That’s more than enough! You can kill it!
Jenny: Consider it frozenated!

In other words, maneuvering is what costs actions and ticks down HP; which in turn will hopefully work you towards the chance to strike for real.