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Skeletons and other non-intelligent un-dead: Morale?
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Author:  Ogrepuppy [ Thu Jun 16, 2011 4:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Skeletons and other non-intelligent un-dead: Morale?

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.

Author:  finarvyn [ Fri Jun 17, 2011 6:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Skeletons and other non-intelligent un-dead: Morale?

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.

Author:  jmucchiello [ Fri Jun 17, 2011 6:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Skeletons and other non-intelligent un-dead: Morale?

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

Author:  meinvt [ Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Skeletons and other non-intelligent un-dead: Morale?

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.

Author:  weezoh [ Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Skeletons and other non-intelligent un-dead: Morale?

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.

Author:  Sizzaxe [ Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Skeletons and other non-intelligent un-dead: Morale?

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?

Author:  weezoh [ Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Skeletons and other non-intelligent un-dead: Morale?

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 :)

Author:  Ogrepuppy [ Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Skeletons and other non-intelligent un-dead: Morale?

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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