Shrug it off

This House rule is thanks to Chris Scaturo’s post on Lingering Injuries on 5eGrognard’s Blog .

Shrug it Off

Lingering injuries can add a dynamic that improves the combat narrative as well as the story arc. When presented with a long term penalty, characters are forced to make decisions.

Once per combat (or twice if you’re nuts) you may choose to take no damage from any one attack.

Following this criteria:

  • Critical hits
  • Blows that would drop the character down to zero
  • Failed saving throws

At the end of the combat, you make a CON save equal to the damage you should have taken. Failure of this save indicates the player has “earned” a lingering injury.

It’s the players choice to make, one can use it at any time but it works best when the combat is tense and the stakes are high. Our lingering injuries are pretty brutal so it isn’t a choice that is easy to make.

Lingering Injuries

1 Hand/Arm Cannot use one hand or arm at all. Spells with a somatic component have disadvantage on attack rolls or the enemy has Advantage on their save
2 Foot/Leg Speed is halved, cannot take the Dash Action, and has Disadvantage on all dex checks and attack rolls
3 Torso A massive internal wound. They move to level 4 on the Exhaustion chart (Page 291 in the PHB)
4 Jaw The character cannot speak or cast spells with verbal components
5 Eye The character has lost vision in one eye. Disadvantage on all Perception, Investigation and ranged attack rolls
6 Deep Wound Physical stats (STR, DEX, CON) all drop to 10
7 Concussion Mental stats (WIS,INT, CHR) all drop to 10
8 Damaged Soul Your connection with divine beings is severed. She cannot receive benefits of any divine spells that directly affect her

Lingering injuries have a Injury Point Value. Actions taken to heal the injury reduce the point value. When the injury is reduced to zero points all penalties are removed and the character is healed. As a general rule, lingering injuries should start with points equal to twice the character level plus 1d6.

The following actions reduce the Injury Point Value:

Long Rest 1 point/rest
Curing Spell 1 point/spell level
Medicine Check DC 15 1 point
Medicine Check DC 20 2 points
Medicine Check DC 25 3 points

Shrug it off

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