A weapon may be used to beat down, rather than kill, an opponent. When the player desires, damage inflicted can be composed of half "real" damage and half "subdual" damage that does not kill. Such subdual damage is recovered at a rate of 1 hp per hour.
Not all monsters may be subdued. Generally only humanoids and special creatures such as dragons will be subject to such attacks. Some creatures may voluntarily agree to accept defeat from subdual damage (this is common in knightly tourneys) but in this case, subdual must normally be agreed with the foe in advance.