Does anyone have any play-tested house rules for dealing with attempts to strangle a (not helpless) creature to death?
Suffocating, per the rules
As far as I see, the only guidance in the rules would be the PH rules of Suffocating (Chapter 8, page 183) which determine how long a creature can survive without breathing. Unless there's a strong argument otherwise, I think the best answer would leverage these rules.
Maintaining a strangle?
The main part not covered in the rules would be mechanics on how an attacker achieves and maintains a strangle (with or without a garotting wire) long enough for the suffocation rules to take effect.
The Precipitating Event
I was playing a game where an ad hoc rule was:
(grapple) + (successful strength contest) == (death by strangulation)
I think this is way overpowered. And would plan on changing tactics so my halfling wizard became a mad strangler if it were allowed going forward.
(It won't be a problem discussing this with my DM, that's not what this question is about. I'm interested solutions people might already be using.)
Note on Question Focus
To keep the topic focused, I'm not asking about other breath-related scenarios ("choking out" a target to capture it, holding a victim underwater). A concise answer that incorporated these other cases might be appropriate, especially if it sheds light on this specific case.