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.

1 Answer 1


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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