My group is trying decide if we can or can not.

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    \$\begingroup\$ It's not clear what exactly your group is debating. Are you asking if someone can rip off someone else's arms with their bare hands? Are you asking if there's rules that cover arms-ripped-off injuries? Are you asking for advice on how a character could accomplish ripping arms off? \$\endgroup\$ Nov 16, 2017 at 4:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think this is as straightforward a question can be and there's nothing wrong with it, the answer bellow from Dale M covers it perfectly. He wants to know if he can rip someone's arm off, he doen't care how, just if it's possible within the game and how he could do it. No need to write a novel for a question like that. \$\endgroup\$
    – Manner
    Nov 16, 2017 at 4:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Manner Because RPGs take place in a fantasy space, you can pretty much do anything- the answer "sure, you can" is ok, but then the OP would need to ask again how they can do that, which is the real question, and the real question needs more details to be answered. \$\endgroup\$
    – daze413
    Nov 16, 2017 at 4:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Manner That is one possible interpretation. My first interpretation was “with bare hands”. Since between that and the interpretation the answer below uses, that's two incompatible meanings for the question. And that means the question is probably not clear enough to be ready for answering, which is what holds are for. Cheers! \$\endgroup\$ Nov 16, 2017 at 4:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Korvin We don't generally edit for that sort of thing, since so many titles here would need it and there's no real danger of misunderstanding. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 16, 2017 at 15:27

1 Answer 1


If you want, sure

The basic rule of D&D is on p. 6 of the PHB.

  1. The DM describes the environment. - "Here is a guy with arms."

  2. The players describe what they want to do. - "I want to rip his arms off!"

  3. The DM narrates the results of the adventurers’ actions. - "You rip his arms off."

However, there is no mechanic in the rules that supports this

Combat in D&D is abstracted - "damage" occurs against a generic pool of hit points so there are no rules that cover targeting specific body parts or determining the effect of losing those parts.

If this is something you really want to do, there are RPGs that do deal with this. Or, you can come up with your own rules.

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    \$\begingroup\$ TC looks like he's a begginer at TRPGs so I think it would be nice to point him at some directions. There's the "Critical Hits Revisited", none of the critical options rips the arms, but they do cripple and could be tweaked to their tastes. \$\endgroup\$
    – Manner
    Nov 16, 2017 at 4:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ The link for Critical Hits Revisited is: sterlingvermin.files.wordpress.com/2016/09/… \$\endgroup\$
    – Protonflux
    Nov 16, 2017 at 9:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Dale, isn't there some material in the DMG (optional rules) that deal with major injuries like this? I am AFB or I'd toss in the page reference. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 16, 2017 at 17:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ Injuries and lingering injuries, pages 272-273 DMG optional rules. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 17, 2017 at 3:47

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