I've had some ideas for combat options, so I decided to post them here for a sanity check. So in this thread, pulling your blows.
Pulling Your Blows
A character can decide to pull his blow in order to not kill an opponent. He must declared that he is pulling his blow before rolling his attack. Pulling your blow has two effects. First, the attack is done with a -2 penalty. Second, the attack cannot bring an opponent below 0 HP (any points of damage that would bring the target below 0 HP are simply ignored).
Making regular attacks does not prevent pulling one’s blow on subsequent attacks and vice-versa. Even if the opponent had previously been hit by a character who pulled his blow, if it is later hit by regular attacks, it is in risk of dying as per the normal rules.
Pulling your blow is only possible with melee attacks as it is impossible to pull your blow on a ranged attack or with magic.
Alternatively, if Slayer Points are used (DS4 p.43), pulling your blow can be made after the attack has been rolled, but doing so costs one Slayer Point (this has the added benefit of not having to take a -2 on the attack roll and also allows for ranged attacks or offensive spells to pull their blows, which is normally against the rules).