3e SRD:Subdual Damage
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Sometimes a character gets roughed up or weakened. This sort of stress won't kill a character, but it can knock a character out or make a character faint.
Nonlethal damage is subdual damage. If a character takes sufficient subdual damage, the character falls unconscious, but the character doesn't die.
Dealing Subdual Damage
Certain attacks deal subdual damage. Other stresses, such as heat or exhaustion, also deal subdual damage. When a character takes subdual damage, keep a running total of how much a has accumulated. Do not deduct the subdual damage number from a character's current hit points. It is not "real" damage. Instead, when a character's subdual damage equals a character's current hit points, the character is staggered, and when it exceeds a character's current hit points, the character goes unconscious. It doesn't matter whether the subdual damage equals or exceeds a character's current hit points because the subdual damage has gone up or because a character's current hit points have gone down.
Nonlethal Damage with a Weapon that Deals Lethal Damage
A character can use a melee weapon that deals normal damage to deal subdual damage instead, but the character suffer a -4 penalty on the attack roll.
Lethal Damage with a Weapon that Deals Nonlethal Damage
A character can use a weapon that deals subdual damage, including an unarmed strike, to deal normal damage instead, but the character suffers a -4 penalty on the attack roll.
Staggered and Unconscious
When a character's subdual damage exactly equals a character's current hit points, the character is staggered. The character is so badly weakened or roughed up that the character can only take a partial action each round. A character ceases being staggered when the character's hit points exceed the character's subdual damage again.
When a character's subdual damage exceeds the character's current hit points, the character falls unconscious. While unconscious, a character is helpless.
Each full minute that a character is unconscious, a character has a 10% chance to wake up and be staggered until the character's hit points exceed a character's subdual damage again. Nothing bad happens to a character if the character misses this roll.
Spellcasters who are rendered unconscious retain any spellcasting ability they had before going unconscious.
Healing Subdual Damage
A character heals subdual damage at the rate of 1 hit point per hour per character level. When a spell or a magical power cures hit point damage, it also removes an equal amount of subdual damage, if any.
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