Moral Check

Choinski, Burton Burton.Choinski at MATRIXONE.COM
Mon May 20 21:31:10 CEST 2002

|| Someone mentioned a moral check on the the party. I can't
|| find any info on
|| this, but in the mass combat option it uses a moral check.

The mass-combat rules are nearly 100% transliterated from the GURPS rules I
have.  Some day, like when I am faced with having to deal with armies again,
I should see about making the core rules more "P&P-ish".

But since my brother tends to like to hire soldiers to go along with him,
some sort of morale rules is probably a good idea.  I don't generally
believe in morale for PC's because, well, they are special and should very
well know when to beat feet. :}

|| The character will have three possible ways of deciding to
|| stay and fight
|| or run like a wee-baby and cry in him/her self to sleep in their huge
|| pillows:
|| Empathy - A friend or loved one in danger can give anyone
|| huge boost in
|| moral.
|| Intelligence - When informed of stragic tactics and holding superior
|| knowledge can be an excellent sorce of calmness.
|| Will - Sheer refusal to give up when faced with overwelling odds.
|| Add all three. Write it down.(ML x 10 for Simplicity)

The problem with this is that it gives wizards insane morale levels compared
to fighters, when in reality the wizards should be the ones with quivering
knees if it comes to knife-fighting range.

Since the CDF formula already takes into account all the elements such as
AHP, magical capacity, etc, then CDF itself should be the main factor.

-----/* begin rant */-------
I have never been 100% fond of the CDF formula -- it is in essence HP * HP,
plus other modifiers, so it effectively rewards players for fighting dumb
mounds of meat.  I have played around with coming up with a better formula,
but have not found one to my liking yet.  Something that factors in OCV and
DCV as well as EL, which have as much an influence on combat ability as does

I was thinking of something along the lines of:
  0.5 + (OCV+DCV+EL)/10

This would be multiplied for poison or magic or whatever.  Granted, it no
longer gives you 22 EXP for a AHP 11 Joe Average fighter, but instead gives
you 11. (OCV 2, DCV 2, EL 1).  In theory, AV should also be factored in

In any case, it's not a perfect system and could use work and playtesting.
-----/* end rant */-------

Since we want to keep it simple, the easiest way is to instead just
determine a morale rating for the units.  This is taken from the GURPS
rules, and somewhat simplifed for P&P units.

Basic Morale Ratings:
Non-combatant   9
Militia        11
Footman        13
Elite Footman  15
Cavalry        14
Elite Cavalry  16

To this base, apply the following modifiers:
  - Battling a hereditary foe: +1.
  - Defending home territory: +2
  - In the face of an atrocity make a morale roll:
    = On a failed roll, morale drops by 1 (in fear)
    = On a successful roll, morale rises by 1 (in anger)
  - Unit defeated a similar foe within the year:  +1
  - Unit was defeated by a similar foe within the year: -2

  - Combat Ratios (hostile CDF vs friendly CDF)
    = Outnumbered 2-1: -1
    = Outnumbered 3-1: -2
    = Outnumbered 5-1: -3

A morale roll is 3d6, with the total less then or equal to the morale roll
required a success. Rolls should be made initially upon meeting the enemy
and whenever an important event in battle occurs (Combat ratio degrades,
loss of commanding officers (or PC's), when hit by unforseen powers or
poisons, etc. Rolls of 17 or 18 always fail, rolls of 3 always succeed.  On
a morale failure, roll for morale again (at -1) to see if the unit reacts
intelligently.  A failure here is a rout, and the unit just flees like a
little girl.  A unit with high INT (over 6) may add (INT-6) to his second
morale check on failure to see if he does the intelligent thing.  INT 5
units make the second morale roll at -2.

Note that this only applies to intelligent creatures (INT 5+).
Subintelligent creatures (INT 1-4) always rout on morale failure.
Carnivores that are not surprised tend to have high morales, and low morales
if they are ambushed.  Herbivores tend to have low morale, unless defending
their young.

Try the above and see if it works.  I'll probably do the same sometime in my
next game. We can tweak this.

       -- Burton

Burton Choinski
Principle Software Engineer, Quality Engineering
email: burton.choinski at

phone: 978-322-2135
fax  : 978-452-5764

MatrixOne, Inc.
Two Executive Drive
Chelmsford, Ma 01824

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