Skeletons and other non-intelligent un-dead: Morale?

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Ogrepuppy
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Skeletons and other non-intelligent un-dead: Morale?

Post by Ogrepuppy » Thu Jun 16, 2011 4:33 pm

Does it make sense for skeletons and other non-intelligent un-dead to have Morale?

Same question for constructs/automatons with no Intel.

My initial thought is "NO" but I'd like to hear arguments either way.

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Re: Skeletons and other non-intelligent un-dead: Morale?

Post by finarvyn » Fri Jun 17, 2011 6:11 pm

I have to agree with you, Ogrepuppy.

I've often thought that undead shouldn't have morale because they really don't have independent thought. They are controlled somehow by some necromancer (either at the moment or set loose eons ago) and function on only a primal level. Golems and other constructs/automatons would be the same.

Maybe even animals that rove in packs like wolves or dogs. And insects. Heck, I tend to ignore morale for orcs and kobolds and other "dumb" monsters, too. That's harder to defend, however, from a logic standpoint other than to argue some sort of "pack mentality" that keeps them attacking until they all die out.
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Re: Skeletons and other non-intelligent un-dead: Morale?

Post by jmucchiello » Fri Jun 17, 2011 6:37 pm

Actually pack animals are the perfect animals for morale. As soon as the alpha male runs off or dies, every other dog will follow.

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Re: Skeletons and other non-intelligent un-dead: Morale?

Post by meinvt » Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:26 pm

If you are used to 3rd or 4th D&D then I can almost guarantee morale is underused in your game. It is a great way to distinguish between natural predators (they'll run if they can't get an easy meal or are really hungry), humanoids and packs (likely to break when their leader drops), and the very scary skeletons. If you have an evenly stated group of zombies and orcs fighting the players, the zombies are scarier precisely because they are relentless and fearless. The orcs will likely run after half are dropped.

It also works very well in a campaign where there are recurrent trips to a location (like Keep on the Borderlands) as the creatures that fled will also have healed and regrouped when the party comes back, and may take a different and more cautious approach to the party next time.

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Re: Skeletons and other non-intelligent un-dead: Morale?

Post by weezoh » Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:39 pm

I agree with you - I wouldn't think non-intelligent undead would think of running away. Probably once you got to ghouls and above though I would start using the morale check.

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Re: Skeletons and other non-intelligent un-dead: Morale?

Post by Sizzaxe » Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:31 am

On page 79 under Morale it says:

"Some creatures are immune to morale checks. Automatons, animated statues, golems, and other mindless creatures do not fear death and thus do nto make morale checks. The same is true of unintelligent undead such as zombies and skeletons."

Doesn't this cover it?

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Re: Skeletons and other non-intelligent un-dead: Morale?

Post by weezoh » Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:35 am

Sizzaxe wrote:On page 79 under Morale it says:

"Some creatures are immune to morale checks. Automatons, animated statues, golems, and other mindless creatures do not fear death and thus do nto make morale checks. The same is true of unintelligent undead such as zombies and skeletons."

Doesn't this cover it?
D'oh only if you remember reading it :)

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Re: Skeletons and other non-intelligent un-dead: Morale?

Post by Ogrepuppy » Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:54 am

I found that exact section on pg. 79 a few hours ago, just didn't get a chance to post it here.

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