If a staggering blow occurs and does not kill the target monster, it will stun them, removing its movement points; they will also be moved one step away from the player unless there is an obstruction (e.g., a wall).
For a staggering blow to happen, all of the following must be true:
- You must be attacking in melee without wielding any object.
- You must not be wearing body armor or a shield.
- You must be in your natural form (not polymorphed).
- The target monster must not be huge or gigantic and must not be thick-skinned.
- The damage dealt by the attack (with bonuses added) must be greater than 1.
- You must pass a random chance dependent on your bare-handed or martial arts skill. The chance is 0% at unskilled, 1% at basic, 2% at skilled, 3% at expert, 4% at master, and 5% at grand master.
Staggering blows are most common for Monks, as the role encourages playing without body armor or a shield; their martial arts knowledge lets them deal more than 1 damage with a higher chance, and they can get the highest skill in martial arts.
- <monster> staggers from your powerful strike!
- You performed a staggering blow on a monster.