Damage normally leaves no lingering effects. This option introduces the potential for long-term injuries.
It’s up to the DM to decide when to check for a lingering injury. A creature might sustain a lingering injury under the following circumstances:
- When it takes a critical hit
- When it drops to 0 hit points but isn’t killed outright
- When it fails a death saving throw by 5 or more
To determine the nature of this injury, roll on the Lingering Injuries table. This table assumes a typical humanoid physiology, but the DM can adapt the results for creatures with different body types.
|1||Lose an Eye. You have disadvantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight and on ranged attack rolls. Magic such as the regenerate spell can restore the lost eye. If you have no eyes left after sustaining this injury, you’re blinded.|
|2||Lose an Arm or a Hand. You can no longer hold anything with two hands, and you can hold only a single object at a time. Magic such as the regenerate spell can restore the lost appendage.|
|3||Lose a Foot or a Leg. Your speed on foot is halved, and you must use a cane or crutch to move unless you have a peg leg or other prosthesis. You fall prone after using the Dash action. You have disadvantage on Dexterity checks made to balance. Magic such as the regenerate spell can restore the lost appendage.|
|4||Limp. Your speed on foot is reduced by 5 feet. You must make a DC 10 Dexterity saving throw after using the Dash action. If you fail the save, you fall prone. Magical healing removes the limp.|
|5–7||Internal Injury. Whenever you attempt an action in combat, you must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, you lose your action and can’t use reactions until the start of your next turn. The injury heals if you receive magical healing or if you spend ten days doing nothing but resting.|
|8–10||Broken Ribs. This has the same effect as Internal Injury above, but the save DC is 10.|
|11–13||Horrible Scar. You are disfigured to the extent that the wound can’t be easily concealed. You have disadvantage on Charisma (Persuasion) checks and advantage on Charisma (Intimidation) checks. Magical healing of 6th level or higher, such as heal and regenerate, removes the scar.|
|14–16||Festering Wound. Your hit point maxiumum is reduced by 1 every 24 hours the wound persists. If your hit point maximum drops to 0, you die. The wound heals if you receive magical healing. Alternatively, someone can tend to the wound and make a DC 15 Wisdom (Medicine) check once every 24 hours. After tend successes, the wound heals.|
|17–20||Minor Scar. The scar doesn’t have any adverse effect. Magical healing of 6th level or higher, such as heal and regenerate, removes the scar.|
Instead of using the effect described in the table, the DM can put responsibility of representing the character’s lingering injury in the hands of the player. Roll on the table as usual, but instead of suffering the effect described for that result, that character gains a new flaw with the same name. It’s up to the player to express the lingering injury during play, just like any other flaw, with the potential to gain inspiration when the injury affects the character in a meaningful way.