Surprise, Initiative and Morale
By Marcus Pan
A more complete set of combat rules will now be utilized in
Inferno's campaign. Additional sections to the combat rules to be added are
surprise, initiative and morale. They are discussed in more detail on the
Surprise is something new that will be added into the combat
rules of Inferno's campaign. Instead of skipping this sequence and going
directly to the initiative and combat itself surprise of either party is now
possible. This will provide a more well-rounded campaign.
Upon determining that an encounter happens the first thing
that should be done is determine the distance of the offending monsters. A D20
is rolled and that is the number (feet in dungeons, yards in outdoor settings)
used for the distance. After determining the distance a D% must be rolled first
to determine if the party is seen (01 - 50 = unseen). Then another D% is rolled
to determine if the monsters are seen by the party. If both groups see each
other there is no surprise. If only one side sees the other the seeing side may
gain a free surprise attack on a roll of 1-2 on a D6. If neither side sees the
other both may be surprised by rolling 2D6 (one each party). The winner gains a
surprise attack. If equal, neither side gets a free attack.
DISTANCE: 1-20 feet/yards
SIGHT: 01-50 unseen
SURPRISE: 1-2 (D6) or 2D6 (higher)
Initiative is a much-used combat rule, but here it will be
further explained and defined.
After distance and surprise circumstances are figured a
round begins with the determination of initiative. If no special adjustments to
this rule are needed (i.e. haste spell, slow creature, etc.), initiative is
figured by both sides rolling a D6. The higher number gains the initiative and
the party gets to act first. If the initiative roll is equal then both sides
act at the same time. I.E., all hits are simultaneous and if a creature or
person is killed on an enemy's hit in a round such as this that creature still
gets its last attack before falling.
Morale is another new rule never before used in Inferno's
campaign. It will make creatures make a decision in a losing battle of whether
or not they should run away or stay to fight. This adds more realism to the
game and makes it more well-rounded as far as battles go.
Listed in monster descriptions of the Monstrous Compendium
used for encounters is a number assigned as a morale value. This number
determines whether it is a cowardly or brave creature. A D20 is used to
determine morale. If the number rolled is greater than the number listed as its
morale value (the highest value is used for the value if a range of numbers is
given) then the creature flees. A free attack at the creature's rear can be
given if the creature was previously in melee combat and the character is next
to attack. The creature will flee as soon as its turn comes.
There are a few times when to check morale. Morale is
checked as a group and not separately for each offending creature. Morale is
checked in the following instances:
* If the party looks rather powerful, the creature(s) may
flee before even engaging in combat.
* If more than one monster, morale is
checked for the group if half of their numbers are killed (round upwards).
* If there is only one creature, morale is checked when the creature's hit
points reaches half strength.
* Any time a PC strikes a critical hit or the
points struck off are rather large as compared to that of the creature's