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Questions tagged [nonlethal]

For questions about attacks and abilities that are designed to subdue a foe nonlethally (possibly by knocking it out or incapacitating it), especially the mechanics surrounding such mechanics or abilities. For questions about designing encounters as a whole instead, such as those where enemies choose not to kill party members, see [encounter-design].

24
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4answers
4k views

What mechanic is there to disable a threat instead of killing it?

Is there a built-in mechanic in D&D5e for when the players choose to disable or neutralize a threat as opposed to kill outright?
1
vote
3answers
243 views

How can I turn nonlethal damage done to an enemy into lethal damage?

I'm looking for ways to ensure an enemy dies on the exact blow I want them to, and one of the solutions I came up with was to drop them with nonlethal damage, then convert it to lethal. Is there any ...
4
votes
2answers
499 views

Can a spellcaster choose to deal nonlethal damage with a touch weapon-like spell?

The rules for nonlethal damage state: You can use a melee weapon that deals lethal damage to deal nonlethal damage instead, but you take a –4 penalty on your attack roll. Does this allow for a ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

Can any creature be knocked out

Reading this question, I see that the answer to it quotes the player's handbook, saying that: When an attacker reduces a creature to 0 hit points with a melee attack, the attacker can knock the ...
10
votes
2answers
384 views

Is there any reason not to always try to knockout rather than damage?

I was re-reading the rules of Call of Cthulhu (5th Edition) today whilst preparing an adventure and saw the knock out rules: Use this rule to render a target unconscious rather than to do physical ...
5
votes
1answer
214 views

Can dragon fire adept's breath weapon deal nonlethal damage?

Dragonfire adept player wants to gain Vow of Peace feat, which demands you to deal nonlethal damage to humanoids and monstrous humanoids. Is it possible or not? Please note, that he has Vow of Poverty ...
9
votes
1answer
982 views

Can you knock out Animated Armor and/or Zombies?

When making a melee attack against a creature that reduces it to 0 HP the attacker can declare the attack incapacitating rather than lethal: "the attacker can make this choice the instant the damage ...
42
votes
5answers
6k views

Can massive damage knock out rather than causing instant death?

Suppose, as happened last night, a character intends to subdue rather than kill an opponent. She made a melee attack, hit, declared her intent to knock out. The damage roll was enough to reduce the ...
11
votes
4answers
5k views

Can spells or spell-like abilities do non-lethal damage?

I'm working on a Paladin/Warlock combination, based off of Pureferret and Miniman's work, and as part of this, I noticed Miniman's remark that Repelling Blast won't be that useful, because as a ...
26
votes
11answers
2k views

Excuses for opponents using nonlethal force? [closed]

In plotting out low-level encounters at the start of a campaign (especially with new players) I prefer to create opponents who don't want to kill the PCs right away. Instead, I generally have them ...
7
votes
6answers
1k views

Knocking out NPCs

Alright, so I'm thinking up a stealth based mission that involves sneaking into a guarded manor and stealing an artifact. Needless to say, it would be best if this was a quiet affair. I have most of ...