In Darkest Dungeon, I like to arrange battles so that there's only one weak enemy left so I can tank its hits and focus on healing. For example, leaving a weak skeleton around so that I can re-cast stress healing skills on my party that heals more than the skeleton hurts.

The problem is, the game recognizes this eventually by having a random character shout "We should move on!" or something equivalent, which starts stressing my party out faster than I can heal it.

I know that the game doesn't just punish me for long fights. I've had skin-of-my-teeth encounters that have lasted 20+ turns where I wasn't in control of the situation and nobody complained about taking too long. So there's something the game is using to determine if I'm playing with the enemy.

I want to know what that is so that I can figure out the minimum amount of effort needed to artificially prolong fights.


The system was changed with the most recent DLC, so I'm just going to defer to the wiki:

Stall Penalties will not occur if the remaining enemy is a 'large' creature (takes up 2 spaces).

The first Stall Penalty will occur if either of these 2 conditions are met:

  • At the end of two full rounds after there is 2 or fewer enemies remaining.
  • When a player uses 2 or more stalling moves when there are 2 or fewer enemies remaining.

If the remaining 2 enemies are one of or a combination of the below enemies, the first Stall Penalty is reached after only 1 round.

  • Bone Arbalist
  • Bone Courtier
  • Bone Rabble
  • Bone Soldier
  • Collected Man-at-Arms
  • Collected Vestal
  • Crone
  • Fungal Artillery
  • Madman
  • Maggot
  • Pelagic Guardian
  • Pelagic Shaman
  • Swine Drummer
  • Swine Skiver
  • Webber

There's also a long list of stalling moves, the gist is that it's any move that doesn't deal damage to the enemy.

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