A variant to morale and fear for old-school fantasy adventure games,
Menace: How fierce and horrible a monster appears to be. Reality and genre fiction is full of horrible menacing monsters that make all but the most stalwart or foolhardy shake in their boots. Fear effects and fear attacks have been with the games for years but oddly limiting. Here is a take on spreading the fear.
Dealing with Menace.
NPCs are forced to make morale checks when facing monsters with menace scores. This check must be made when the Monster makes it's presence known or NPCs could possibly act against or expose themself to the wrath of the Menacing Monster.
Should this check fail consult the NPC Menace Reaction Table.
NPC MENACE REACTION TABLE
morale 11 to 14 15 to 17 18 to 20 21+
----- -------- -------- -------- ------
10 or more D/F F/B F/C B/W
6 to 9 F/B F/C B/W C/P
5 or less C/T W/T R/T P/T
#1- fail/ #2 fail with a roll of doubles. Letter matches the first level of the reactions listed here.
Desperate- +2 to attack but defenses ARE AT -2.
Forlorn- all defenses are at -2, no benefits to attacks.
Balk- Can't advance this round.
Cower- Can't advance, if pressed must check again at -2, can reroll next round as normal. Actually +2 to defense and saves while cowering.
Withdraw- moves at least half a move away, if pressed must check again at -4
Retreat- must move away, will be able to defend self but all actions at -2 until away from foe for 3 or more rounds or until rallied
Panic- must move away, will be able to defend itself but is -4 until away from foe for 3 minutes or more minutes until rallied.
Terrified- must move away, will not be able to defend itself. Will retreat for 30 minutes or go deep into hiding if possible. May not be rallied in under 10 minutes.
PC MENACE REACTION TABLE (PC's do not have to check against menace if they have 3 or more levels above the monster's HD)
PC's make a Menace save. On a roll of 1d20+WISbonus+1/2 level.
If the Menace roll is beat they are unaffected and act as normal.
If the roll is equal to the Menace score the character is Forlorn
If the roll fails the character will Cower.
If the roll fails by 10 or more the character will Panic.
Assigning a Menace score:
Take the Monster's HD and add it's 2d6 Morale score. If they have a particular reputation for ferocity increase this by 3. If they have a fear attack or special ability add 5. This is the Menace score. If the score is 10 or less ignore the score it doesn't create Menace worthy of distinction, standard Morale rules apply. If the creature is known to be timid or friendly it will not have a menace score. Adjust to taste of course.
Rallying the Troops!
PCs, Military Commanders, and Nobles can attempt to rally others to gird themselves vs the threat or to halt retreats. Resolve this as a reaction roll.
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