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4 hours ago, Mugen said:

My own take on the subject would be to use something akin to MouseGuard/HeroQuest/Revolution d100/L5R 5th edition, with "Hit Points" that represent one's overall situation in combat, and not only physical integrity.

I think that's the right way to do.

Since trained soldiers have a better morale, it shall be related to their skills. But probably also to their own willpower (I'm not sure about INT, since sensible people may run instead of stay fighting - during WW1 soldiers got some alcohol before they charged in order them NOT to think too much).

Use a "morale" skill or the main weapon (when you have to "do the job", you better face adversity) to roll. Use some augments (like passions, command, strategy or any situation relevant skill or spell...) or situational bonus/penalties, to increase or decrease the %.

Set HP = highest (or lowest ?) POW in the group and use cult affiliation, formation, magic (Morale) to increase or decrease the resolution points. Make an opposed roll. Decrease the HP of the losing party.

Note that morale doesn't automatically mean stand to the last man. It can also be the ability to retreat in good order to keep the forces for the counterstrike.

And tell us if it works ūüėú

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12 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

I didn't carefully read all the messages here... But just picking on the "moral as skill"...

In skirmishes, clearly, there is little to gain in staying in a lost fight, if you gonna die, retreating is the most sensible option!

Yes, but that isn't morale, just good common sense. 

THe idea here isn't that only idoits fight on when they should be running, but that as things happen some combatants will lose the will to continue fighting - and this might have little to do with the overall coruse of the battle at that point. 

 

For instance let's say during a battle someone sees the guys on either side of him get shot and drop, and a third shot barely misses him.. Now the rest of his forces might be doing good, but he might be feeling expecially vulnerable and decide to bug out.

12 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

So I wouldn't make that sort of morale go higher as your skill increase hey?

Morale is a complicated thing, it has has self-preservation (which might be the smart thing to do), arrogance (which might be warranted or not), awareness (see how the combat is going), peer pressure (some sergeant have the duty to shoot deserters, and one often will do anything for their brother in arms), opportunity (is fleeing obviously doomed or feasible)....

Which leads me to: most of my NPC flee or beg for their lives when they see the battle going very badly against them... No need to roll anything....

mmm.. that way, come to think of it, oversimplifying morale could be modelled as a resistance roll (if needed)
perceived personal power vs perceived enemy power
and you could approximate each size by counting the number of protagonist, each one counting as 2 (full health) or 1 (wounded)

Yes, that would work. Personally I think a simple POW roll (or skill roll) would do it. Perhaps with modifiers. THe thing is, it's not so much about making the right tactical decision and more about what the character feels he should do. 

 

 

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Hey Good point Atgxtg!

The idea that is emotional and not rational crossed my mind.. but I scratched it out with the personal belief the subconscious (hence emotions) does (roughly) the same calculation... 
But one can argue it's slightly different indeed...

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On a related note, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay had the concept of winning the round. If your side inflicted more damage on your opponents than they did to you last round, you got a +10% bonus to attack, and your enemy would fall back slightly. A round-by-round mini version of morale. It's less predictable than 'morale hit points' which is an interesting idea but sounds like another thing to keep track of during the fight. Maybe if one side won the round three times in a row it might be a morale break point?

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10 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Yes, that would work. Personally I think a simple POW roll (or skill roll) would do it. Perhaps with modifiers. THe thing is, it's not so much about making the right tactical decision and more about what the character feels he should do. 

 

(POW x3) + 1/2 Skill perhaps?

SDLeary

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Mythras has a skill for this, Perseverance. It's the one that replaces POW when resisting mind-affecting magic, for instance.

However, using a skill to model morale is not necessarily a good thing. Sure, experience will learn you how to keep calm in dangerous situations, but it's not all that matters when speaking of morale.

Motivation is key. A young and inexperienced soldier who thinks he's good because he has excellent gear, or a fanatic, won't flee because one of their comrades has fallen. A peasant who must protect his children will risk his life to do so. On the other hand, a seasoned mercenary who sees the odds are against him thanks to his combat experience, will retreat.

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3 hours ago, Mugen said:

On the other hand, a seasoned mercenary who sees the odds are against him thanks to his combat experience, will retreat.

Yes, but he will not panic because of high morale. Morale does not mean 'fight' or 'retreat', it means 'panicking and doing whatever your emotions tell you to do', or 'not panicking and doing whatever your intellect or training tells you'.

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10 hours ago, SDLeary said:

(POW x3) + 1/2 Skill perhaps?

SDLeary

Okay. Or even making it a POW based skill would work for me.

My major point here is that a unit that has it's morale break and turns and runs isn't rationally reworking their strategy, but panicking and fleeing for their lives. BTW, in real life morale tends to get shaken a lot quicker than in most RPGs. Most people don't really want to fight for their life, and it doesn't take much to make then want to give up and run away.

Edited by Atgxtg
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Alright, here's what I got for Space Cowboys:

Under the Mook rules, a follower or certain npcs have a Ranking from 4-6.A unit must roll under or equal to its Ranking on a d10 to succeed at attack. Multiply the Ranking by 2 to get their Morale. Roll d10 under or equal to the Morale to avoid rout when the group has half its number killed,  receives artillery or suppressing fire, or other conditions due to GM discretion. So a trooper (Ranking 4)has an 80% chance to avoid rout, a Sgt. (R5) will only rout on a 10, and a Lt. (6) doesn't rout. So basically d10 axis and allies kind of thing. In my home game we use a lot of hired mercs and mass combat, so this would work nicely.

Edited by hix
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On 9/9/2020 at 12:08 PM, Kloster said:

Yes, but he will not panic because of high morale. Morale does not mean 'fight' or 'retreat', it means 'panicking and doing whatever your emotions tell you to do', or 'not panicking and doing whatever your intellect or training tells you'.

Well, morale in wargames, and role-playing games influenced by these, exactly means that : the chance your unit will continue fighting, with no regards to the reason why they don't.

Edited by Mugen
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On 9/9/2020 at 6:08 AM, Kloster said:

Yes, but he will not panic because of high morale. Morale does not mean 'fight' or 'retreat', it means 'panicking and doing whatever your emotions tell you to do', or 'not panicking and doing whatever your intellect or training tells you'.

Yes, I'll second that.  A unit that see's it's not being effective and withdraws to try something different later isn't suffering form a loss of morale. A unit that throws down it's weapons and scatters in every direction to try and get out of dodge as quickly as possible probably is.

Edited by Atgxtg
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Okay, so your definition of "Morale" may not be the same as mine, but it seems to me mine is the same as the OP :

On 9/4/2020 at 9:10 PM, hix said:

I like morale rules, I make up my own when they aren't there. This is referring to a threshold beyond which an adversary will discontinue or flee the fight, usually based on the type of enemy and triggered by certain circumstances (first ally dead, majority of team gone, etc) Makes it feel more real and have more varied results when every group doesn't fight to the last man. So let's say I want to improvise a morale level out of already-existing BRP stats. Are there any BRP books that do this already? (maybe clasic fantasy?) How would you do it? Something based on POW + CHA?

It's perfectly fine to determine how a character will discontinue the fight with a "self control" roll (which might even result in a burst of rage for some fanatics), but it seems to me it's a consequence of Morale loss, not Morale loss itself.

Edited by Mugen
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