[RPG] What does losing a hand or arm to a crit mean if it was just a punch


In the DMG on page 272, there are rules of injuries if you take a critical hit, drop to 0 hp, or fail a death saving throw by 5 or more. The table that is used gives different things that could happen and in the game that I am running, an NPC attacked a PC and got a critical hit on him. I rolled on the table and rolled a 2. It states

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.

The problem I'm facing is that the NPC was actually an ally that was only insulted by the PC and was only doing subdual damage to knock him out and didn't want to knock off the hand, he wasn't even aiming for the hand. He was also only using his fist and isn't a monk and doesn't have the Tavern Brawler feat. His strength is also a 14. Is the hand still punched off or is it just broken?

Best Answer

It is up to the DM.

The rule for injuries in the Dungeon Master's Guide states the following:

It's up to you to decide when to check for a lingering injury. A creature might sustain a lingering injury under the following circumstances: (DMG, 272)

Emphasis mine.

The DM, and the DM alone, makes the decision whether or not the attack caused a lasting injury. I believe that most reasonable people would think that punching someone's hand off would be rather silly, and you can safely rule that the player's hand has remained attached to his body.