Labyrinth Lord (and most OSR clones) have a Morale stat for monsters. Swords and Wizardry does not (which is fairly consistent with their “less is more” approach). We use S&W monster stats. No Morale. This came up in the last gaming session. I didn’t know the rules for Morale off the top of my head, and the monsters didn’t have a Morale stat in any event. So I improvised / made something up. Which led to a rules discussion from the table. These discussions are where House Rules are born (there was another one about encumbrance that I refuse to make equipment accounting more of a feature in my game to accommodate).

Anywho. Morale. I use Swords & Wizardry monster stats, and Labyrinth Lord monster descriptions. Easy enough to port Morale in as an extra stat. But ugh. That 2d6 Morale check (rolling high is a “failure”) only really looks like the “Monster Reaction” rules. Except there, rolling high means they attack.

I’m tempted to simplify Morale to a 1d6 check like surprise (rout on 1 if Morale is High, 1 or 2 if Morale is Average, 1 or 2 or 3 if Morale is low); or a Saving Throw based on Level. If I go the latter way, maybe I can use Morale Rating as pseudo-Wisdom (the way I’ve been using AAC as pseudo-Dexterity), and just go with a Attribute Save.

If I do that, though, does a high Wisdom mean that you’ll be more likely or less likely to run away and live to fight another day. I could see either argument, and it makes a difference (whether high Morale correlates to high Wisdom, or low Wisdom).

Relatedly, here’s the Angry GM’sthought on Morale.

One thought on “Morale

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