Morale (Optional Rule)
In combat, the referee decides whether monsters or NPCs surrender or run away. The following system may be utilised.
Monsters have a listing for morale, rated from 2 to 12, which represents how likely they are to fight or flee. Higher morale scores indicate more fearless monsters.
A score of 2: Means the monster never fights (unless absolutely cornered).
A score of 12: Means the monster will fight until killed.
The referee rolls 2d6 and compares the result against the monster’s morale score:
- Higher than morale score: The monster will surrender or attempt to flee.
- Equal to or lower than morale score: The monster will continue to fight.
Two successes: If a monster makes two successful morale checks in an encounter, it will fight until killed, with no further checks necessary.
When to Check Morale
The referee usually makes a morale check for monsters under two conditions:
First death on side: The first time one of their number is killed in battle.
Side half incapacitated: When half the monsters have been killed or otherwise incapacitated.
The referee may decide to apply bonuses or penalties to morale (from –2 to +2), depending on the circumstances. For example, the side that is losing or winning might receive a penalty or bonus to morale of –1 or +1, respectively.
Scores of 2 or 12: Adjustments are never applied to monsters with a morale of 2 or 12.
Mercenaries (see Hirelings) have a morale rating and check morale in exactly the same way as monsters.
Morale rating: Determined solely by the type of troops, see below. The CHA of the hiring character has no influence.
Modifiers: The morale score of a group of mercenaries may be modified based on working conditions, at the referee’s discretion. If mercenaries from the group are being killed frequently or subjected to other abuses, morale will be low. If the mercenaries are enjoying riches and excitement, it might be higher.
Retainers signed up to work as adventurers, so are not frightened off at the first sign of danger. Retainers do not make morale checks in combat, but a loyalty check may be required in extreme peril (see Retainers).