Stacking Morale Modifiers - Command

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koewn
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Joined: 2012-07-17 20:11
Stacking Morale Modifiers - Command

This is essentially a follow up to the unresolved question here:

http://www2.autarch.co/forums/house-rules/hr-campaign-class-warmaster

I'm going to be proposing a new campaign to my old college DM, who's woken back up with the release of 5E - I asked him if he'd ever had any love for the domain level game and he replied 'Yes, that's why I liked Birthright so much.' and I was like, "Oh, wee lamb, let me show you this ACKS."

Anyway. I've got a custom race I've been working on that is given the Command proficiency as a custom power at Racial 0.

(edit: bah! Command happens at Racial 4, mixed it up with Leadership in my head)

I'm also a fan of the Aristocrat/Warlord class that floats around a few places here that gets Command as a custom power at Level 1.

Should that stack? You're looking at a minimum of +4 to morale, +5 at 5th level, and likely a CHA mod on top of that.

Assume a +1 CHA, that's +6 morale for a directly commanded unit, or a minimum of 8 - Waver, but only a ~3% chance of that (2 on 2d6).

The army modifier for the same is a +3, that's a minimum (assuming a CHA-less unit commander) of Flee, again, a ~3% chance.

I'm inclined to let it happen, for the following reasons:

1) D@W's Morale Phase is solid and effective, and even a unit with a +6 MM will eventually have enough sense beat into it by situational modifiers that a result of Flee gets at least into the 15% range; and, that's just one unit amongst many.

2) A battle that's going badly for this super-moraled army might mean they're getting much more punished than they would if they'd simply flee/rout - manually retreating your army is fraught with all sorts of things that can go horribly wrong.

3) Related to the previous, the full modifier is only for a single unit, and that's cut in half (round up) for the entire army. The devious DM may allow this super-commander's reputation to precede him or her, and opponents would do well to have some stratagem to eliminate the general ASAP. A kill-the-general gambit is never not fun.

Since D@W's been out a while and we've all got some experience with the Morale Phase, I'd appreciate other thoughts on the matter; espc. with what I may be missing in this.

Thanks!

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

I think allowing the Morale Modifier to stack is fine within the context of the tabletop game. As you point, it will only result in commanders that are above-the-"legal"-limit in a small number of edge cases.

The real impact is societal or structural or inter-class. What will it mean if all of the best and most charismatic leaders come from the same race and class? It seems like it would have implications on who runs the world, who leads the armies, etc.

koewn
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Patreon SupporterDomains At War BackerSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters BackerBarbarian Conquerors of Kanahu BackerACKS Heroic Fantasy Handbook Backer
Joined: 2012-07-17 20:11

This is true, and to an extent the solution is already built into the fiction of the race; so as Judge I have an explanation why this particular culture has only conquered the world once.

And as it turns out, reviewing what I actually wrote I swapped something in the brain - the Command power comes in at Racial 4, Racial 0 is Leadership (the extra hench)

I vaguely recall some light talk about the internal racial demographics but I don't think there was anything set in stone and/or guidelines.

It's a touch more expensive than Dwarf, but it's a 'human demihuman' race, like Zaharan - nothing really inherent in the race, but each progressive racial value indicates further training into the race's warrior culture.

So, perhaps the hurdle of getting to Racial 4 is enough of a break on things; and it's really asking for an ability score requirement as well that I haven't yet thought about much.