". . . USING THE UNIT MORALE CHART: Use this chart when a unit's morale is called for, such as facing up to a Demon. If the roll is missed on one die, the unit must withdraw from the action for one turn at half movement, and then check again. The facing of the unit is up to the player whose unit is affected. If the morale save is made, the unit will obey battle orders . . ." (Becker, 27)
". . . Monsters and NPCs are an entirely different matter . . . The DM makes their decisions, trying to think like each creature or non-player character, in turn.
In combat, thinking like a creature mainly means deciding what actions it takes and how badly it wants to fight - the morale of the creature.
As a general rule, monsters and NPCs are no more eager to die than player characters. Most withdraw when a fight starts to go badly. Some panic and flee, even casting their weapons aside. If they think they can get mercy, brighter foes might fall to their knees and surrender. A few bloodthirsty or brainless types might fight to the death - but this doesn't happen too often. These are the things that make up morale, things the DM must decide, either through role-playing or dice rolling . . ." (Cook, 69)
|Jeff Easley title unkown|
". . . The first (and best) way to handle morale is to determine it without rolling any dice or consulting any tables. This gives the biggest range of choices an prevents illogical things from happening . . . To decide what a creature does, think about its goals and reasons for fighting . . ." (Cook, 69)
". . . Unintelligent and animal intelligence creatures attack, most often for food or to protect their lairs. Few ever attack for the sheer joy of killing . . . A mountain lion, for example, doesn't hunt humans (as a rule) and doesn't stalk and attack humans as it would a deer . . . Such creatures normally allow a party of adventurers to pass by unhindered, without even revealing themselves. Only when the creature is close to the lair does the chance of attack increase . . . When they do become involved in combat, animals and other creatures rarely fight to the death . . . Their interest is in food . . ." (Cook, 69)
". . . Intelligent Creatures have more complicated motivations than the need for food and shelter . . . Greed, hatred, fear, self-defense, and hunger are all motivations, but they are not all worth dying for . . . As a guideline for intelligent creature and NPC motivation, consider the actions of the player characters. How often do they fight to the death? Why would they? At what point do they usually retreat . . ." (Cook, 69)And here comes a point where I begin to understand why I might have simplified monsters' motivations. My players almost never retreat. Not once in the 13 years that I've been running have I had a group that fell back (though I have been a part of two groups who fell back as a player). Typically my players fight to the death every time the enter into an encounter. This begs the question, though: do they determine their notion on how to handle a fight from the way that my monsters interact with them, or do I take my lead from them?
I think that I will have to put Zeb's ideas into action to tell.
Becker, Michael, Keith Elliott an Wilfredo Aguilar. Sword Lords of the Eastern Regions. Archive Miniatures & Game Systems. 1981. Print. pg 27
Cook, David "Zeb." Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition Dungeon Master Guide. Random House. USA, 1993. pg 69 - 72,