Run Away! (with Robert Schwalb)

In today's D&D next conversation, designer Robert Schwalb ponders how morale has affected the game in the past as well as what place it might have in D&D's future. After you've read the article and taken the poll, stop back here for the more in depth conversation.

Trevor Kidd Community Manager

I never used the morale rules when they existed, I can't see using them now.  I think that the DM should RP the monsters, and not have things come to the roll of the dice for fight vs flee.

I think the morale rules, if they existed, would be a waste of space.  Those DMs who have every monster fight to the death are simply going to ignore the morale rules anyway.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
I have always used morale, but it was a roll that I determined for myself when it seemed likely that monsters/NPCs might run away.  There were other times when I KNEW they would break and so they did with no roll whatsoever. 

I would only use morale rules if they fit in with my perecption of when morale matters.
Prior to 4E i have always used Morale Rules and would definitly make some use it in Next, sometimes for NPC, Monsters and PC's Followers and Henchmen.

I like to leave some of the decision resolution drop with the dice, be it Morale, Random Encounters and Magic Items or Rumors, so i'd cheer for the return of Morale Rules !

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Prior to 4E i have always used Moral Rules and would definitly make some use it in Next, sometimes for NPC, Monsters and PC's Followers and Henchmen.

I like to leave some of the decision resolution drop with the dice, be it Moral, Random Encounters and Magic Items or Rumors, so i'd cheer for the return of Moral Rules !



That would be alignment. Wink
as long as they are entirely ignorable i'll survive. 

never used them, never liked them. i know the circumstances around my monsters engaging the characters better then the dice. 

goblin raiders caught unaware on patrol outside their den are more likely to give up then goblin raiders who's two basic options are "fight and die at hands of adventurers" or "give up and live in hiding forever of bugbear taskmasters who will inflict torture and worse".
That would be alignment. Wink


Damn i forgot the ''e'' 

Merci 

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

As a DM, as long as I know the motivations of my NPCs, I've never had trouble figuring out when they should run away without any explicit morale rules. There may be some value to a codified way of noting when monsters will run away or surrender, but in many cases morale is something like "these creatures are fighting to delay the PCs so the warriors down the hall can ready themselves for battle. After five rounds, if the monsters are not winning, they will attempt to do a fighting retreat. If the monsters suffer 50% casualties without inflicting similar casualties on the PCs, they will rout", and it's kind of tough to express that in much simpler terms.
Morale should never be up to a roll of the dice. Whenever I'm DMing, the first thing I ask myself when a fight comes along is, "What are the opponents trying to achieve?" Are they trying to drive the PCs out of their homes? Rob them for their gear? Do they not actually care about the PCs, but fight because a bigger villain will beat them to a pulp if they don't fight?

As the DM, it's my job to roleplay the opposition, and this includes constantly evaluating the situation, from their position, and deciding if it is worth continuing the fight. I think about this every time the initiative comes back around to their action. Are their goals still achievable? And is that goal worth continuing the fight for? If the answer to either of those questions is, "no", then they break off the fight in whatever way makes sense - retreat, parley, whatever. It's down to circumstances, the NPCs' view of the situation, their goal, the PC's apparent strength level, and any number of other things - but never sheer chance.
I doubt the rules would use up a lot of book space. It's harmless to have it in the books. People that want to use the rules will, those that don't, won't.

The arguments presented in the article are valid and true. My critters never surrender or run away.

There is one thing I can think of though. Is this included in the math? And do you get experience points for monsters that run away? A fight where half the critters run away is easier than one where they fight to the end.
The Morale must be up to a die roll actually, that's the whole purpose behind it !

When team monster numbers dwindle, or their chieftain drops (or the altar of Grummsh is destroyed :P) a DM always have the choice of what follows. He can decide to have his Team monster: 

A) Keep fighting

B) Retreat, surrender etc... 

C) Do something else...


And instead of deciding, he can leave the decision be random if it can go either ways and instead decide to roll to determine the outcome of their next move. This is when Morale Rules kick into play. 

Its similar to Random Encounter rolls, a DM can always decide when to spring an encounter, or he can fall back on a Table and make a check to see if one occurs, and even what shows up!

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Monsters that surrender are a pain ("I'm Lawful Stupid, and I say we must honorably accept this surrender!" "I too am Lawful Stupid, and I say that orcs are inherently evil and must be purged!" and then real life fighting ensues) and I'd rather only use surrender very deliberately. I wouldn't mind some optional rules that handle things like monsters that potentially retreat to heal, scream for help, head for the hills and take up a new life, or flee to fight another day. I'm not sure a system based on rolling is any good, because the last thing I want is for 10 orcs to have to make morale checks every round.

truth/humor
Ed_Warlord, on what it takes to make a thread work: I think for it to be really constructive, everyone would have to be honest with each other, and with themselves.

 

iserith: The game doesn't profess to be "just like our world." What it is just like is the world of Dungeons & Dragons. Any semblance to reality is purely coincidental.

 

Areleth: How does this help the problems we have with Fighters? Do you think that every time I thought I was playing D&D what I was actually doing was slamming my head in a car door and that if you just explain how to play without doing that then I'll finally enjoy the game?

 

TD: That's why they put me on the front of every book. This is the dungeon, and I am the dragon. A word of warning though: I'm totally not a level appropriate encounter.

Important NPCs, like PCs should nto be subject to morale rules.  But for mooks, morale makes sense.  I want to be able to have a hastily drawn-up battle. 

Moreover, morale should be tied into monster creation.  Failing a morale check is like a save-or-suck effect.  The creature is out of the battle.  So creatures likely to flee can be more robust than creatures who fight to the death.  Also, as was suggested in the article on save-or-suck effects, there can be a hp threshold needed before making morale checks.  Morale checks might require the creature to have less than X hp, where X is some number dependent on the PCs' level.
If a monster's leader or religious idol or whatever is destroyed, then it changes the situation, but it shouldn't trigger a die roll.

If the goblins' leader, the bugbear, is a taskmaster that forces them to fight against their will, then they will surrender if he's killed. No point in getting slaughtered by someone over a fight you don't care about.

But if that bugbear treated them reasonably well, and was a figure they looked up to and respected (just because they're neutral evil doesn't mean they can't feel emotions like respect), then they would instead redouble their efforts to slaughter the PCs, or if they judged the fight to be unwinnable, they'd retreat and come back for vengeance when the PCs are more vulnerable.

Same for a religious idol - destroy the idol, and the particularly religious orcs will actually fight harder, because you've desecrated their unholy relic. The orcs who don't care will just chuckle at you for wasting a turn, but I can't see them running away in that situation, not even on a die roll.

There is an obvious divergence here, but it's down to the circumstances surrounding the fight and why the monsters are fighting - but not a die roll.  If a die roll was used to determine this, then the goblins fighting under a cruel taskmaster might run away - but they might also keep fighting, which makes no sense. Same with the goblins fighting under a respected leader - they might redouble their efforts to kill the PCs, but they might also flee and never look back.

Consider magic effects like cause fear and turn undead. These are randomized, but they're randomized because the PCs' strength is being put to the test, not the enemy's morale. Are these ghouls able to withstand the holy power that's forcing them away? Die roll. Is this orc able to shrug off the magic that's making him run away? Die roll. But natural situations and circumstances like the death of a leader or whatever shouldn't necessitate one because the monsters are able to rely on their own personal, reasonably-unimpaired judgment.

Put simply, morale rules randomize something that should not be randomized. Attack rolls, random encounters, these should be randomized. But the monsters' actions need to be RPed, and determining someone's actions by a die roll isn't very good RPing.
wouldn't mind some optional rules that handle things like monsters that potentially retreat to heal, scream for help, head for the hills and take up a new life, or flee to fight another day.



Why do you need rules for that?  The DM just decides what they do, in accordance with campaign theme and what sorts of PC behaviors he wants to encourage.

F'rex:
DM wants to encourage PCs to accept surrenders/not chase down monsters: Surrendering/retreating monsters don't return to cause problems; they disappear into the hills/forest/tunnels never to be seen again.

DM wants to encourage PCs to not accept surrenders/chase down monsters: Surrendering/retreating monsters warn everybody else and reinforce their fellow monsters in future encounters, making things more difficult.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Morale should never be up to a roll of the dice. Whenever I'm DMing, the first thing I ask myself when a fight comes along is, "What are the opponents trying to achieve?" Are they trying to drive the PCs out of their homes? Rob them for their gear? Do they not actually care about the PCs, but fight because a bigger villain will beat them to a pulp if they don't fight?



These things are all things to be considered (and more), but there are times when I take all things into consideration and say to myself, "I can see this going either way at this point."  It's then that I will roll.

Also, a monster failing a Morale check doesn't necessarly have to surrender, it can retreat, commit suicide, agree to cease hostilities etc...and it can be up to the DM.

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

wouldn't mind some optional rules that handle things like monsters that potentially retreat to heal, scream for help, head for the hills and take up a new life, or flee to fight another day.



Why do you need rules for that?  The DM just decides what they do, in accordance with campaign theme and what sorts of PC behaviors he wants to encourage.

F'rex:
DM wants to encourage PCs to accept surrenders/not chase down monsters: Surrendering/retreating monsters don't return to cause problems; they disappear into the hills/forest/tunnels never to be seen again.

DM wants to encourage PCs to not accept surrenders/chase down monsters: Surrendering/retreating monsters warn everybody else and reinforce their fellow monsters in future encounters, making things more difficult.


Sorry, I should be clearer. I pretty much mean exactly what you're saying. The DMG should have suggestions like yours, and DMs should be encouraged establish the campaign's conventions early on. Maybe the MM should have a brief Morale entry that says how that particular creature typically reacts to adversity, if at all. I don't want a bunch of detailed rules or random tables, but I think the game is better when multiple defeat conditions exist. Emphasizing that more in the (possibly very loose) rules would help people add whatever complexity they want.

truth/humor
Ed_Warlord, on what it takes to make a thread work: I think for it to be really constructive, everyone would have to be honest with each other, and with themselves.

 

iserith: The game doesn't profess to be "just like our world." What it is just like is the world of Dungeons & Dragons. Any semblance to reality is purely coincidental.

 

Areleth: How does this help the problems we have with Fighters? Do you think that every time I thought I was playing D&D what I was actually doing was slamming my head in a car door and that if you just explain how to play without doing that then I'll finally enjoy the game?

 

TD: That's why they put me on the front of every book. This is the dungeon, and I am the dragon. A word of warning though: I'm totally not a level appropriate encounter.

.

Put simply, morale rules randomize something that should not be randomized. Attack rolls, random encounters, these should be randomized. But the monsters' actions need to be RPed, and determining someone's actions by a die roll isn't very good RPing.




dude I do this all the time when I am playing.  

Is my character smart enough to figure this out?
roll an int check real quick.
failure means nope he doesn't realize it yet.  
passing means he realizes it and I can tell the rest of the party.  

I'm playing neutral.
Does my character feel the need to inform the rest of the party about something he has just realized?  
I roll high he tells the party.
I roll low he doesn't tell the party, but I pass a note to the dm so he knows that my character knows.  

Having actual morale rules wouldn't be to bad because then when I can't decide my PC's response quickly I can roll a die and then play that out.  That is if I don't full on disagree with the result which in any case would result in me more quickly deciding how I want to act, and the moral system has continued to be useful by showing me how I absolutely don't want to act.  Also coming up with an explanation for the randomization is often a fun improvisation exercise.
I always liked the idea that monsters could give up or flee, and I like the idea that some monster races flees faster than others, but I don't like to double guess what the DM is thinking, so I often prefer a die roll to a DM decission.

In some situations it makes sense that a player can roll an inimidate check to check if the monsters give up. That lowers the work burden of the DM, and allows the players to be part of the action, but in other situations the monsters should flee even though the characters want them to stay and die instead of alarming their friends.
DISCLAIMER: I never played 4ed, so I may misunderstand some of the rules.
There is one thing I can think of though. Is this included in the math? And do you get experience points for monsters that run away? A fight where half the critters run away is easier than one where they fight to the end.


Not dramatically. Let's compare two fights. In fight one, you're up against five critters who fight to the end. In fight two, you're up against six critters who will run 50% casualties. We'll also assume that the PCs can focus fire and drop one critter per round:
Fight 1: 5 critter attacks in round 1, 4 in 2, 3 in 3, 2 in 4, 1 in 5; total 15 attacks.
Fight 2: 6 critter attacks in round 1, 5 in 2, 4 in 3; critters run. Total 15 attacks.
If area effects are being used or damage is being spread out a bit, it's often even less relevant;

In practice, since 5e seems to be focusing on xp per adventure (zone, whatever) rather than per encounter, monsters running away tends to make the adventure harder because they get added as reinforcements on the next fight. It also probably means that you only get xp for monsters who run away and don't return, not monsters who run away and act as reinforcements in the next fight.
The Morale must be up to a die roll actually, that's the whole purpose behind it !

The purpose is so the party Rules Lawyer can bring it up as often and obnoxiously as possible.

"okay, that guy's dead."
"Morale check?"
"No, Fred."
"One of the surviving guys takes a swing at Bill's fighter... and falls flat on his face."
"So, uh... Morale check?"
"Dammit, Fred.  Stop that!"
I have no interest in (generalized) morale rules.

I'm not sure there's any more to say than that.
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
The Morale must be up to a die roll actually, that's the whole purpose behind it !

The purpose is so the party Rules Lawyer can bring it up as often and obnoxiously as possible.

"okay, that guy's dead."
"Morale check?"
"No, Fred."
"One of the surviving guys takes a swing at Bill's fighter... and falls flat on his face."
"So, uh... Morale check?"
"Dammit, Fred.  Stop that!"


The sad thing is that I've seen that happen before.  However, I think morale might not be a bad thing.  It just depends on the execution.

I like morale guidelines, things like: when the mosters lose half their numbers, when the monsters' leader is killed, etc.  These guides provide signposts for the DM to think about the monsters as living creatures, and not as XP shoved inside a pixellated pinata.

I'm not fond of the random morale mechanic.  I'd rather have a morale stat/resource (one that is assigned to the encounter group, not to individual creatures) that gets whittled away by the players.  Each condition that affects morale could reduce this resource by 1 or 2.  If you want added complexity, you could opt to track morale for individual creautes (it certainly makes sense that default kobolds would be more cowardly than default hobgoblins).  Another benefit of this version is that you could have some monsters that restore morale (leaders, masters, etc.) to their minions: maybe a hobgoblin taskmaster that bullies his cowardly kobold squad to keep fighting.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

Signposts, yes, I could use those.
But there's really no need for signposts to be anything more than some fluff - they would serve the same purpose.
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
I think Morale could almost be a semi-template added to a creature:

Morale: A creature who might not fight to the death might have a morale entry.  Each such creature also begins with a morale rating between 1 (dedicated) and 20 (craven).  The morale entry specifies the conditions necessary before the creature begins to check morale, one of which is a threshhold number of hit points above which, no morale check can be made.  (For cadres of creatures, you might list an aggregate hp that all the creatures in total must exceed to avoid morale checks.)  Each round in which the conditions for morale checks exist, each creature makes a morale check at the beginning of its turn.  If the roll equals or exceeds the creature's morale, he chooses to fight for another round.  If he fails, he will surrender, flee, or take other appropriate action (and his hp are considered lost for purposes of group morale).  The morale check receives a penalty of -1 for each prior morale check made by the creature in this encounter, and may recieve other circumstantial modifiers in the DM's discretion
Signposts, yes, I could use those.
But there's really no need for signposts to be anything more than some fluff - they would serve the same purpose.



Maybe, but I think this should be based on encounter design and purpose, not by monster.  'These monsters are hired mercenaries and aren't very loyal; they'll flee if they think they're going to lose' or 'These creatures are zealots and are more than happy to die for their cause', rather than 'kobolds are cowardly' and suchlike.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
I like morale rules for the same reason I like hitpoints. They're an objective, though abstract and randomized, measure of how long the creature will keep fighting. Morale rules codify how long the monster will fight before it flees, hitpoint and damage rules codify how long it will fight before it dies.

Since I like to be able to populate a zone quickly and easily, and after doing so I like to adjudicate the resulting encounters impartially, I need some kind of system for determining how long the monsters will fight. Hitpoints work, but always deliver the same result - death. Morale gives some pleasing variation - surrender, cowering, tactical retreat, screaming flight, etc.

You could easily have the individual monster morale scores be linked to the hitpoints or hit dice, so you wouldn't need an extra number on the statblock. Monsters with 'special' morale scores get a note, like "this monster is too stupid/fanatical to run" or "this monster is especially cowardly, -2 to morale checks".

Morale rules need three charts. One is a list of circumstances that force a morale check. The other is a list of circumstantial modifiers to morale checks. The last is a list of morale check results. Then you have a paragraph that explains how to roll a morale check. If you are going to derive morale stats from hitpoints or some other number instead of just listing a morale stat on the monster block, you have a sentence that explains that. And that's about it.


Morale rules need three charts. One is a list of circumstances that force a morale check. The other is a list of circumstantial modifiers to morale checks. The last is a list of morale check results. Then you have a paragraph that explains how to roll a morale check. If you are going to derive morale stats from hitpoints or some other number instead of just listing a morale stat on the monster block, you have a sentence that explains that. And that's about it.



Which ... really seems like more work and effort than it's worth.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Signposts, yes, I could use those.
But there's really no need for signposts to be anything more than some fluff - they would serve the same purpose.



Maybe, but I think this should be based on encounter design and purpose, not by monster.  'These monsters are hired mercenaries and aren't very loyal; they'll flee if they think they're going to lose' or 'These creatures are zealots and are more than happy to die for their cause', rather than 'kobolds are cowardly' and suchlike.


That could be cool - there could be a few different morale models. The DMG could give suggestions on how to run them, and the MM could list a few common morale types for each monster.

truth/humor
Ed_Warlord, on what it takes to make a thread work: I think for it to be really constructive, everyone would have to be honest with each other, and with themselves.

 

iserith: The game doesn't profess to be "just like our world." What it is just like is the world of Dungeons & Dragons. Any semblance to reality is purely coincidental.

 

Areleth: How does this help the problems we have with Fighters? Do you think that every time I thought I was playing D&D what I was actually doing was slamming my head in a car door and that if you just explain how to play without doing that then I'll finally enjoy the game?

 

TD: That's why they put me on the front of every book. This is the dungeon, and I am the dragon. A word of warning though: I'm totally not a level appropriate encounter.

And - to deal with the varying net-result "difficulty" of the encounters with/without morale rules - it should list XP or whatever-is-used-to-design-balanced-encounters adjustments right there alongside the rules.

A monster that runs away at the slightest provacation is a very different challenge than one that makes a tactical retreat under very specific circumstances, even if all other aspects are the same.
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
A monster that runs away at the slightest provacation is a very different challenge than one that makes a tactical retreat under very specific circumstances, even if all other aspects are the same.


And not necessarily an easier one. Regenerating creatures that run away when damaged can be spectacularly annoying.
A monster that runs away at the slightest provacation is a very different challenge than one that makes a tactical retreat under very specific circumstances, even if all other aspects are the same.


And not necessarily an easier one. Regenerating creatures that run away when damaged can be spectacularly annoying.


Right.  Something that runs away because "It's scared!  You might kill it!", randomly, when it's still more-or-less at full strength, and doesn't come back, is a very different threat than the same thing that retreats because it wants to regain an advantage (like limited-use abilities), or recover from a disadvantage (such as low hit points), and strike again later.

XP-or-whatever adjustments are just something I'd generally like to see alongside "modules" like this, that could dramatically change the actual monster "difficulty".

Though, honestly, like I said above I really just don't care for "morale rules", and probably wouldn't use them even if I liked how they were implemented.  So there's no real reason to cater to me, or my suggestions.  :-p
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)


Morale rules need three charts. One is a list of circumstances that force a morale check. The other is a list of circumstantial modifiers to morale checks. The last is a list of morale check results. Then you have a paragraph that explains how to roll a morale check. If you are going to derive morale stats from hitpoints or some other number instead of just listing a morale stat on the monster block, you have a sentence that explains that. And that's about it.



Which ... really seems like more work and effort than it's worth.



The effort evens out. The big encounters you figured would last a long time ending quickly because the group unexpectedly kills the taskmaster in the first round, you roll bad on the check and the rest surrender or flee makes up in effort for the 3 or 4 extra die rolls you make in an average encounter. I find, on average, the 'extra work' of morale results in a substantial net increase in number of encounters per session. The sometimes boring tail-end of an encounter is often chopped off.

Sure, I could simply use DM fiat to determine when the monsters run, but as my preferences aren't random, the end result is eventual predictability and boredom.
Personally I really liked the 4e morale rules. They were not called morale and were tucked away in the skills section...

The way they worked was that in a fight if an enemy had lost at least 1/2 it's HP you could attempt an intimidate check to force to enemy to surrender or flee. The check was hard enough that it was not a go-to tactic, but just within reach of a lucky roll.

It came into play rarely because iirc it required a standard action to use, which meant sacrificing an attack to try it.
finally the next team is mining my blog for ideas

frothsof4e.blogspot.com/2012/04/morale-i...

thanks for the flattery guys. let me know if you need anything else
(Intimidate) came into play rarely because iirc it required a standard action to use, which meant sacrificing an attack to try it.


Well, that and I'm pretty sure the DM was given license to say "Yeah...good roll. But this guy is a fanatic, so you wasted your action."

I wouldn't mind having some general morale rules for minions. Currently, if something occurs that should cause a morale crisis for the mooks, I roll a die to determine how many give up (meaning they flee, surrender, or kamikaze based on what/who they are).
4e D&D is not a "Tabletop MMO." It is not Massively Multiplayer, and is usually not played Online. Come up with better descriptions of your complaints, cuz this one means jack ****.
I never bothered using morale rules in older editions and I can pretty much guarantee I won't use them in DDNext also. If it makes narrative sense for combatants to run away I have them run away, and if the party successfully attempts to do an Intimidate check to make opponents surrender or run away then that works too. Between common sense roleplaying and Intimidation I don't really see a use for a complicated additional morale mechanic. Just my opinion.

P.S. Since when was focus fire something that was introduced in 4e? That's a universal strategy that's common to just about any RPG I've ever played, tabletop and video game alike. 
P.S. Since when was focus fire something that was introduced in 4e? That's a universal strategy that's common to just about any RPG I've ever played, tabletop and video game alike. 


Focus fire is a strategy for single-target damage effects. If your firepower is dominated by area damage (1e-2e) or save or die (3e) the strategy changes a bit.
I'd like it mainly for the data.  If as wrecan says we gave all the monsters a morale from 1 to 20 (I'd prefer big is good though) then as DM I could take it from there.  The system is fine and it's good guidance for new DMs.  But just knowing the morale number for a monster tells you a lot.   As DM you can make it up but you could also make everything else up. Why is morale special.  I like the idea.
I'd like it mainly for the data.  If as wrecan says we gave all the monsters a morale from 1 to 20 (I'd prefer big is good though) then as DM I could take it from there.  The system is fine and it's good guidance for new DMs.  But just knowing the morale number for a monster tells you a lot.   As DM you can make it up but you could also make everything else up. Why is morale special.  I like the idea.


I don't care for it as a number to roll against, but I'm not opposed to a morale that can be reduced by demoralizing factors until the monsters feel the need to flee.  If monsters do have different morales however, and we assume that encounters are not single monster types vs PCs, any morale system will have to figure out how to handle creatures with drastically different morales in the same encounter.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.