Since NPCs, even henchmen, are supposed to be unique personalities, they are
not slavishly obedient or bound to the player characters. Thus, NPCs associated
with the player characters in any way must have a morale rating. This rating is
for the DM's use only and is always kept secret from the players.
An NPC's morale rating depends on his position, his personality, the quality
of his treatment, and the player character. Henchmen and hirelings each have a
base morale which is then modified by a number of factors.
The base morale for henchmen is 12 and the base for a hireling is 10. The
modifiers to the base morale are given on Table 71 below and on Table 50 .
An NPC must roll a morale check when the combat rules call for one (see "Morale" in Chapter 9). In combat situations, the NPC who fails a morale check will
retreat or flee as noted under Combat. The DM can require other checks as he
feels are appropriate.
Morale checks are also appropriate when an NPC is faced with temptation. A
failed roll means the NPC gives in to the temptation. Note that temptation can
take many forms other than outright bribes. The opportunity to right an injustice,
strike back at a hated employer, work for one's real beliefs, or get revenge
for a long-held grudge are all forms of temptation.
For such subtle forms of temptation, the NPC's reaction may not be immediately
obvious to the player characters. The NPC may desert in time of need, spy on a
player character, rob the character of some valuable item, attempt to
assassinate the player character, or directly betray the player character to his
enemies. Indeed, he may remain in the service of the player character for a long time
after the check has failed, waiting for his opportunity to strike.
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