Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Morale Checks and Saving Throw Table

The DM should use morale checks when PCs are battling any monster that would care about dying, which means pretty much anything outside of demons, devils, and the unintelligent undead. Morale checks can also be used for associates of the PCs, such as henchmen and followers.

A morale check is like a savings throw against the monster's morale score. The roll has to be BELOW the morale score for morale to hold. The DMG has a fairly complex morale modifier system, which can get rather tedious to administer, especially as you are supposed to check every round when someone is losing. For reference, I summaried the modifiers below***, but I prefer to use something a bit simpler.

Here is my rules-light version of morale checking, using d20:

Make a morale check at key points:
1) when things start to get tough (1/4 damage taken, i.e. "crap, this is not as easy as I thought") --> morale score lowered by 10% , -2 on morale
2) when things are going bad (over 1/2 damage taken, i.e. "holy crap, why am I doing this?") --> morale score lowered by 25%, -5 on morale
3) when you are about to die (over 3/4 damage taken, "sweet mother of Krom, one more blow and I'm done for") --> morale score lowered by 50%, -10 on morale

Momentum of battle modifiers:
winning --> raise by 25%, +5
losing --> lower by 25%, -5

--if the enemy has taken half damage (-5), and is not dishing out much damage in return (-5), its morale score would be lowered by 10.
--if the enemy has taken half damage (-5), but is generally winning the battle (+5), morale would be even.
--if the enemy is close to death (-10), but winning the battle, say, having already killed most of the party (+5), its morale still would be minus 5.

Morale Failure table
Compare the savings throw roll (d20) to the morale score:
--roll is 1-5 points higher than morale score: falling back, looking for exits, peace parley offered ("Listen friends, this was all a misunderstanding, perhaps we could work this out like gentlemen...")
--roll is 6-10 points higher than morale score: disengage fighting, an orderly retreat ("Alright lads, good work, you've shown us, we're done here, we're leaving..."
--roll is 11-14 points higher than morale score: flee in panic, a disorderly retreat, dropping treasure, weapons, and other valuables ("You win, ok, we give up, here, take it, just leave us alone...")
--roll is 15+ points higher than morale score: unconditional surrender, throwing away weapons, laying on ground, begging for mercy, offers of servitude and ransom, etc.

Base morale table (HD - Morale)
1 - 50%, 2 - 55%, 3 - 60%, 4 - 65%, 5 - 70%, 6 - 75%, 7 - 80%, 8 - 85%, - 90%, , 10 - 100%

+1% for bonus HPs as well.

*** DMG morale score modifiers:
25% damage taken --> lower score by 5
leader unconscious --> lower score by 10
50% damage taken --> lower score by 15
leader slain or deserts --> lower by 30
outnumbered 3 to 1 and outclassed --> lower score by 20
each friend killed --> lower by 10
each friend deserting --> lower by 15
taking casualties without giving any --> lower by 10
each enemy deserting --> raise by 5
each enemy slain --> raise by 10
inflicting casualties without taking any --> raise by 20

No comments: