Morale

Some combatants might run away when a fight turns against them. You can use this optional rule to help determine when monsters and NPCs flee.

A creature might flee under any of the following circumstances:

  • The creature is surprised.
  • The creature is reduced to half its hit points or fewer for the first time in the battle.
  • The creature has no way to harm the opposing side on its turn.

A group of creatures might flee under any of the following circumstances:

  • All the creatures in the group are surprised.
  • The group’s leader is reduced to 0 hit points, incapacitated, taken prisoner, or removed from battle.
  • The group is reduced to half its original size with no losses on the opposing side.

To determine whether a creature or group of creatures flees, make a DC 10 Wisdom saving throw for the creature or the group’s leader. If the opposition is overwhelming, the saving throw is made with disadvantage, or you can decide that the save fails automatically. If a group’s leader can’t make the saving throw for whatever reason, have the creature in the group with the next highest Charisma score make the saving throw instead.

On a failed save, the affectedereature or group flees by the most expeditious route. If escape is impossible, the creature or group surrenders. If a creature or group that surrenders is attacked by its conquerors, the battle might resume, and it’s unlikely that further attempts to flee or surrender will be made.

A failed saving throw isn’t always to the adventurers’ benefit. For example, an ogre that flees from combat might put the rest of the dungeon on alert or run off with treasure that the characters had hoped to plunder.

Morale

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