RECON: Morale Rules

The following is adapted from material written by Erik Growen for his now-defunct (and sadly not-mirrored-by-the-Wayback-Machine) Geocities website. Full credit to him for coming up with the idea of adding Morale as an attribute, though I use a different method for determining the starting value (at Character Generation, as with other Major Attributes) and how Morale is gained/lost.

 

 

New Major Attribute:

Morale

Morale (MO) is a new Major Attribute that measures a character’s attitude, mental wellbeing, coolness under fire and discipline.

Characters with a high Morale will fight hard, stay alert and follow orders effectively. Characters with a low morale will lack discipline and focus, will retreat from battle more often, display signs of stress and mental fatigue.

To determine Morale for a character, roll percentile dice as for any other Major Attribute. If the character was “drafted”, subtract 10 from the result.

A character with Morale less than 30 is considered “4-F” and may be re-rolled, however this value does not count against the recommended 180-point Major Attribute total described in the original rules.

Like Strength, a character’s current Morale can temporarily fluctuate during play. Unlike Strength, it can rise above the base score as well as dropping below it. As with a character’s Strength, base Morale should never be erased.

The following is a list of circumstances that can alter a character’s current Morale, often depending on their Alignment. The MD should feel free to add to this list as they feel fair and fit.

EVENT PAC IDE OPP RIG KAR MAL PSY
Caught in an Ambush situation -10 -10 -10 -5 -5 -15 -5
Witness an ally’s death -10 -10 -5 -5
Cause an ally’s death -20 -15 -10 -10
Witness an innocent’s death -15 -15 -5 -10
Cause an innocent’s death -25 -20 -10 -5 -15
Witness a friend’s death -15 -15 -10 -5 -10
Cause an friend’s death -25 -25 -20 -5 -15
Kill an enemy -10 +5 +10 +10
Burn a hamlet or village -15 -10 +15
Save an ally from danger +5 +10 +5
Save an innocent from danger +10 +10 +5
Save a friend from danger +5 +10 +10 +5
Get saved by someone else -5 -5
On the “good” side of a Turkey Shoot +5 +5 +10
Win a battle against a superior force +5 +10 +15 +5 +5
Forced to retreat/abandon objective -5 -5 -15 -20 -5
2+ consecutive missions, little rest -10 -10 -10 -5 -5 -10 -10
2+ consecutive missions, no rest -15 -15 -15 -10 -10 -15 -15
Kept awake all night -5 -5 -5 -5 -5 -5 -5
Morale-sapping propaganda/broadcasts -5 -5 -5 -5 -5 -5 -5
Morale-boosting event (e.g. USO show) +5 +5 +5 +5 +5 +5 +5
Just returned from R&R +5 +5 +5 +5 +5 +5 +5
Get “entertained” by a Mama-San +15 +10 +10 +5 +5 +15 +10
Abuse or torture an enemy or civilian -50 -40 -30 -20 +10 +15
Forced to face Phobia (see “Phobias“) -10 -10 -10 -10 -10 -10 -10
Take drugs or get drunk Varies (see “Drugs“)
Receive important letter/package Varies (see “Letters From Home”)
Eat a Favorite Meal (see “Chow Time“) +5 +5 +5 +5 +5 +5 +5
Eat a Despised Meal (see “Chow Time“) -5 -5 -5 -5 -5 -5 -5
Forced to eat rations cold (no fires) -5 -5 -5 -5 -5
Just received a promotion (this month) +5 +10 +5 +5 +10

Alignment Key: PAC – Pacifist, IDE – Idealistic, OPP – Opportunist, RIG – Righteous, KAR – Karmic, MAL – Malignant, PSY – Psychotic.

 

DESIGNER NOTES:

Below are Erik Growen’s original post on Morale from his RECON fansite, which I based my own rules (above) on, for the sake of comparison and full transparency.

MORALE
I have introduced a new Major Characteristic to the game: Morale. This is to more accurately portray firefights where not everyone becomes “Sgt. Rock”.
Morale starts off at a base level depending on rank (+1D10) and goes up (+1D5) each time the character survives a firefight (even if his/her side loses).
Starting Morale Levels by Rank:
Private-PFC: 35
Corporal: 40
Sargent-Staff Sargent: 45
Platoon Sargent or Sargent Major: 50
2nd Lieutenant or 1st Lieutenant: 40
Captain: 50
Major: 55
Lieutenant Colonel-Colonel: 60
To this add +1D10. Add +1D5 per firefight survived.
Roll for Morale when unit is ambushed, friend gets WIA or KIA, superior gets WIA or KIA, under attack by enemy tanks, under artillery fire, etc.
If failed first time the PC must take cover. He/she may continue fighting, but will not expose themselves.
If failed a second time the PC will do an orderly withdrawal. This does not mean they have to stop fighting, just that any movement made must be towards friendly lines. The idea is to get out of the firefight.
If failed a third time the PC routs possibly even abandoning his weapons and their unit. Survival is all that counts.

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