APPENDIX R: NON-LETHAL COMBAT
 
 
Subdual - Vanquishing - Disarming
Appendices - - - Unearthed Arcana

Subdual:

Subdual is an effective form of non-lethal combat that can be used
against creatures of at least low intelligence but no greater than genius
intelligence. It can be used against dragons and similar types of
creatures, including basilisks, wyverns, and dragonnes, as well as
against giants, ettins, bugbears, and other humanoid non-magical
creatures of size L. Whether other creatures are affected by subdual
is subject to the decision of the DM, but note that creatures
native to planes other than the Prime Material cannot be subdued
except on those planes, and PCs can never be
subdued.

In striking to subdue, all attackers must use the flat, butt, haft, pommel,
or other non-lethal part of the weapon in attacking. Any attacker
striking for full damage or using damage-inflicting spells will negate
any subdual effects recorded up to that point.

Subdual damage is noted separately from real damage, and is 75%
temporary, 25% real. If 40 points of subdual damage is inflicted on a
stone giant, only 10 of those points are real. When subdual damage
exceeds the total hit points of the creature, it is subdued, and avictim
will not attack after being subdued except in self-defense.
The requirements and effects of subdual under this section supersedes
previously published material, in particular with regard to the
subdual of dragons.

Subduing a monster is just that: The monster will not further attack
the group that subdued it. If captured, the monster will submit, but
seek the first chance to escape and, if the party that captured it is
weaker than itself, turn on its captors. This subdual will last as long as
the party has a clear upper hand.
 

* * *
Question: Exactly what is involved when a creature is subdued?
Unconsciousness?
Surrender?
Does it apply to player characters?

Answer: First of all (from the DMG, page 67)‚ player characters can-
not ever be “subdued” in the sense of forced surrender. The process
of subduing involves attacks on creatures of semi-intelligence and
higher, in an attempt to instill fear in the mind of the creature being at-
tacked that it could be killed by its opponent(s). Subduing does only
25% of its damage in the form of actual damage (loss of hit points),
and the act of subduing will therefore not drive a creature to uncon-
sciousness.
    Creatures which are successfully subdued will be fearful of the char-
acters who did the damage to them, and will obey those characters
(according to the nature of the creature), out of fear of being punished
further. This type of control is dangerous to try to maintain for a long
time, because when the subduers show signs of weakness or when the
subdued creature reaches a condition of maximum health once again,
the once-subdued creature may attack. — J. Ward, W. Niebling
(Revision: Low intelligence to Genius intelligence creatures may be subdued).
 



 


Quote:
Gary, is there a provision I've been missing, all these years, for combatants to be stunned during regular OAD&D melee combat? (As opposed to unarmed combat, spell effects, etc.)

I was struck by this question while reviewing my 'AD&D Combat Notes' -- a tightly packed, double column cheat sheet -- in preparation for running an AD&D game for the first time in a few years...

Thanks!

Joe


I use stunning attacks as if they were normal, bit only 10%of damage is actual, the balance temporary.
when a character gets to 0 HP or below they are out cold for 1 plus as many minutes as they have accumulated negative HPs.

That isn't in the rules, just the way I ran my game sessions.
Same for PCs being overborn by swarming attackers.
I'd have it automatic if four man-sized attackers succeeded in closing with the character unless OC strength was 18 or better and the attackers weren'y also strong and heavy (seat of the pants DMing there;)

Cheerio,
Gary


Vanquishing:

Vanquishing is a form of combat used by cavaliers, paladins, monks,
and other lawful creatures to settle disputes without excessive bloodshed,
involving a “duel of honor.” One combatant issues the challenge,
and the opponent must take it up. For this reason, vanquishing
combat may take place only between two intelligent beings capable
of understanding each other’s language, and who choose to communicate
and agree to the combat.

Combat proceeds as normal, but, as with subdual, onlyone quarter of
the damage inflicted is real between honor-bound opponents. Each
combatant is “holding back” blows that would otherwise kill outright,
proving his or her mastery by superior weapon-handling. Either side
may resort to real combat at the start of any round, and any full real
damage inflicted (either by an opponent or a third party) upon acombatant
negates the vanquishing. Any temporary points lost are ignored,
and both parties may attack normally. Poisoned blades, vorpal
swords, and similar weapons with automatic effects perform as if in
real combat.

Vanquishing damage is noted separately from real damage. Should
one of the combatants be reduced to 0 hit points, he or she is the loser
and must honorably surrender immediately. If both combatants are
reduced to 0 hit points in the same round, the combat is a draw.
The winner of a vanquishing combat may demand a single service or
item from the loser. The service may include banishment from the
area for a time, to carry a message, do a small favor, or merely sing
the praises of the victor’s prowess in combat. An item may include
any one weapon, armor, or shield of the loser (including magical
items), or a treasure of a value not more than 1,000 gp times the
loser’s hit dice or level. Attempts to enslave or slay a vanquished opponent
will free the opponent from any duty to the victor, though a
vanquished opponent may be imprisoned if the victor had stated that
fact in the initial challenge.

Lawful creatures who are defeated in this manner are honor-bound to
the terms of the victor, unless to do so would be morally opposed to
their alignments. Good creatures cannot be made to perform evil
acts, for example. Neutrally aligned creatures have the choice of honoring
such an agreement, based upon factors such as strength of the
opposition and size of the defeat. Chaotic creatures are under no constraints
whatsoever, and those of CE alignment will see no
problem with causing an opponent to lower his or her defenses and
then striking.

In general, vanquishing combat takes place between only two combatants.
Multiple combat is possible, but in this case the hit points of
all members of one side must be brought to 0 for the other side to
claim victory. Individuals who are reduced to 0 points of “vanquishing
damage” may continue to fight, but all damage taken past that point
is the full, normal amount. A character reduced to 0 hit points in a multiple
vanquishing combat is usually allowed to retire with no loss of
honor (except from being on the losing side, if such is the case).
Vanquishing is used in tournaments and duels where a sudden loss of
life would spoil the festivities. It is also used by monks and druids
seeking to advance to the next level by combat. It is also used in lawful
communities to apprehend felons for trial.


Disarming <(dagger & mace & sword)>:

Disarming is a form of non-lethal combat that may only be used by fighters, cavaliers, and members of their sub-classes.
Only the weapons below, listed in order of length, may be used to disarm:

    Knife
    Dagger
    Mace, horseman's
    Sword, short
    Mace, footman's
    Sword (broad, long, falchion, or khopesh*)
        *The khopesh sword has a chance of disarming an opponent in its normal mode of use.
        If the weapon is used intentionally to disarm, use the rules given here.

Disarming may only be used by a fighter or cavalier wielding a weapon in which he or she has proficiency against an opponent that is likewise using one of the above weapons.
Any weapon that requires two hands to USE can never be affected by this form of attack.

Disarming inflicts no damage,
but if a successful hit is made,
the defender must make a save vs. petrification or lose the weapon being used (superior swordplay has torn the weapon from the opponent's grasp).
Disarming can only be used against weapons of the same length or shorter;
a dagger may disarm someone holding a knife and a scimitar may disarm someone with a mace,
but a dagger cannot disarm someone with a short sword.

A weapon subjected to disarming attack will fall at the owner's feet if the weapon is the same size as the attacker's,
or 1-10 feet away if of a smaller size than the weapon that did the disarming.
The former wielder of the weapon must either take a round to recover the weapon,
draw another,
or engage in weaponless combat.
It is recommended that this form of non-lethal combat only be used if the more extensive version of weaponless combat (System II) is being employed in the campaign.

Q: Concerning disarming,
UA says that if a successful hit is
made, the defender must make a
save vs. petrification or
lose the weapon. What determines
the armor class of the weapon?
Obviously dexterity bonuses could be a
factor, but what use would physical
armor be?

A: The attacker must make a successful "to
hit" roll vs. the character holding the
weapon, not vs. the weapon itself. The
character's armor and dexterity bonuses
are applied normally. The weapon itself is
not being hit per se, and no AC
need be specified for it. This is an extension
of the fact that the AD&D® game does
not use hit location; instead, generic hits
vs. the opponent and saves are
used to determine results.
(117.54)



 


Quote:
Gary, is there a provision I've been missing, all these years, for combatants to be stunned during regular OAD&D melee combat? (As opposed to unarmed combat, spell effects, etc.)

I was struck by this question while reviewing my 'AD&D Combat Notes' -- a tightly packed, double column cheat sheet -- in preparation for running an AD&D game for the first time in a few years...

Thanks!

Joe


I use stunning attacks as if they were normal, bit only 10%of damage is actual, the balance temporary.
when a character gets to 0 HP or below they are out cold for 1 plus as many minutes as they have accumulated negative HPs.
 
 

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