Moral Check

Scott Adams longshot at DARKTECH.ORG
Thu May 23 03:57:37 CEST 2002

At 03:31 PM 5/20/02 -0400, you wrote:
>|| 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".

Oh I've not read th emass combat rules in a long time. I'll have to consult
>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. :}

I agree.  I just think morale for pcs would be x2 or x3 for efffectiveness
pcs would get scared in some situations.  If a party sees 10 dragons flying
them ...I'd hope the pcs would run :)

>|| 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.

I extracted the info and will read over your material later...

>-----/* 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.
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