A Stirge attacks and on hit it attaches to the body of the adventurer and start draining blood. This "attached" or "have attached" status is not a regular condition, but in the monster description is stated that, at the cost of an action, a creature or the subject itself can detach the Stirge.

So the question is: does a creature (or the adventurer itself) have some penalty to attack the Stirge? does such attack have a probability to hit the adventurer on a miss (like the optional friendly fire rule for ranged attack on cover)?

On a side note it seems pointless to spend an action to remove a Stirge while the creature has relatively low AC and 1-2 hit points.


1 Answer 1


No, there's no penalty to attack the attached stirge. If there was, it would describe it. I believe you're missing a few points, in any case:

  • First and foremost: The players have no idea what the stirge's capabilities are. Unless your players have read the Monster Manual, they won't know that the stirge has low AC and hardly any hit points. All they know is that a monster attached itself to them - they're going to want to remove it.

  • To a lesser extent: While attached, the stirge is guaranteed to deal damage. As a CR 1/8 creature, the stirge is only meant to be a threat to low level, probably first level, players. And at first level, where misses are common, guaranteed damage is a big deal.

  • Finally, the stirge's AC isn't that low. For a CR 1/8 creature, 14 is on the high side of AC. And a miss will probably cost a first level player half their health, so attacking is a risk. Manually removing the stirge is guaranteed to work, even if it doesn't guarantee that the stirge won't reattach.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I can't think of any class features that would let you do that, but I might be forgetting something. \$\endgroup\$
    – Miniman
    May 20, 2015 at 21:02
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ While these classes do indeed have said bonus actions, they only gain those bonus actions if they choose the Attack action. Spending your action on another type, such as is required to remove a Stirge, won't give you said bonus action. Remember that bonus actions can only be taken if explicitly given by another action or trigger before. \$\endgroup\$
    – Eric
    May 21, 2015 at 12:52

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