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The 4e Monster Manual states:

...An attached stirge doesn't make attack rolls while grabbing a target...

Does this mean on the stirge's turn it automatically deals 1d4 damage, or does it just not do anything on its turn until the target escapes the grab?

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2 Answers 2

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The Stirge does nothing other than ongoing damage to its target while it has its target grabbed.

The updated StirgeDDI from the Monster Vault clarifies this.

The MM Strige's Bite attack reads:

+6 vs. AC; 1d4 damage, and the target is grabbed (until escape) and takes ongoing 5 damage until it escapes. An attached stirge doesn’t make attack rolls while grabbing a target and gains a +5 bonus to its AC and Reflex defenses.

The Monster Vault's Bite attach reads:

Requirement: The stirge must not be grabbing a creature.

Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +6 vs. AC

Hit: 1d4 + 5 damage, and the stirge grabs the target (escape DC 12). Until the grab ends, the target takes ongoing 5 damage.

And a trait is added indicating:

While the stirge has a creature grabbed, the stirge gains a +5 bonus to AC and Reflex

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The Monster Manual already includes the ongoing 5 damage. Do they just not act on their own turn? –  Murphy Jul 25 '11 at 13:08
    
They don't act. Updated my answer to make that clear. –  Simon Withers Jul 25 '11 at 17:22
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They do automatic damage. They're rather harmless otherwise!

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Harmless? Do you know how many 1st level PCs have been brought to 0-hp these pests? My first death-saving throw in 4e was due to Stirge –  F. Randall Farmer Jul 24 '11 at 1:38
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Hence "otherwise…" :) –  SevenSidedDie Jul 24 '11 at 16:42
    
Looking at the monster vault version of the stirge, it looks like the Stirge does not "auto hit another bit attack". It just does the ongoing 5 outlined in the bite attack. –  Simon Withers Jul 25 '11 at 17:25
    
@Simon It's still useful to know how the original version is intended to work. –  SevenSidedDie Jul 25 '11 at 17:41
    
@SevenSidedDie yes, I agree, and since the original version isn't very clear (and hence the question) it makes sense to look at the updated version which may have been updated just for clarity (or may have been updated for other play reasons) for insight into what may have been the original intent. –  Simon Withers Jul 25 '11 at 22:15
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