What is Heroes & Other Worlds?

Heroes & Other Worlds is a game of adventure inspired by Metagaming's classic Melee/Wizard/TFT system combined with inspiration from the Moldvay edited basic game. The rules are easy to learn and use standard six sided dice. The system is simple, sensible and flexible in the spirit of classic role playing games from the early 80's. Become a Hero, Other Worlds await!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Fight or Flight revisited

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Well at Heroes & Other Worlds HQ (besides working on the monster book) I have worked on the Fight or Flight idea some more.  Thanks to lots of great input and some play-testing encounters I would like to humbly present a new take on Fight or Flight (morale) rules for your consideration:

Summary of FoF idea:
1)      Chance of Fight or Flight is based on the creatures behavior
2)      That number is a 3 die test-roll: under or equal means fight/roll over means flight
3)      A FoF Test occurs whenever:
A)      A member of the creature's side is killed
B)      A creature takes a total of 30+ damage in one turn
C)      The Referee decides to make one.

Making a test
The creature's behavior gives it the FoF #
  • Cowardly (7)
  • Unpredictable (10)
  • Territorial (13)
  • Aggressive (16)
Test is made by rolling 3 dice and comparing to the Behavior Number . (This is noted as 3/B#)
Rolling equal to or under the Behavior Number (B#) means the creature will continue to fight
Rolling over the B# means the creature will flee.

A fleeing creature and will move its full movement each turn away from its foes.  If it is cornered or unable to flee:
  •  A Cowardly creature will surrender
  • For Unpredictable creature roll 1d6: 1-3 it surrenders or 4-6 it fights  
  • Territorial or Aggressive will turn and fight desperately.  It will attack at DX+1 and -1 IQ until it is able to flee or is killed.
I want to make special note of testing option B) A creature taking 30 pts of damage in one turn. 

That means a coordinated party attack against a major high ST foe (Dragon, Frost Giant, etc.)  So rather than figuring ST levels and rolling, I used a massive damage done to influence the creature FoF roll for major creatures.

As an alternative, here is an optional reaction chart. You could roll 2d6 on this chart (rather than test 3/B#) whenever a FoF test is necessary. In this version, when to make a FoF test is the same, but a DRM is applied to the 2d6 roll based on the creature's behavior:
  • Cowardly +3 DRM
  • Unpredictable: +1 DRM
  • Territorial: -1 DRM
  • Aggressive: -3 DRM
2d6 Roll              Reaction
 2- 5           Continues fighting, no reaction
 6-7            Hesitates, will not engage voluntarily this turn, but otherwise fights normally.
 8-9            Hesitates, will not take any attack option this turn.
 10-11       Break and run, will try to disengage and/or run off map away from danger.
 12+           Surrender - opponent drops to knees, drops weapons and tries to surrender.
Let me know what you think. 


  1. I LOVE IT! I really think its perfect! You took everyone's best ideas and somehow made them all work together in harmony. Its absolutely fantastic! both options! i think i prefer the non-chart option but not sure yet...

  2. only thing i would change (atm) is the Cowardly = 3/7 test. 3/8 would be better. i think 3/8 makes the probability with that method closer to the probability of fleeing when using the chart alternative too.

    you know i wouldn't feel right if i didn't nit-pick a little!

    1. Thanks Adam for the feedback it is really appreciated and helped with all the testing. I have no problem with the critique. I had originally done 8/10/12/14 and liked the results but two play testers thought cowardly did not "feel cowardly" enough. I am game to change it as it is a WIP.

      Thanks again!

  3. actually, 3/9 yields a 37.5% chance cowardly will stay. while the 2d6 chart yields a 41.67% cowardly will stay. (chances of rolling 6 or less on 2d6 = 41.6%)

  4. just read your comment on the 8/10/12/14 thing. so, 3/8 (3/B#) seems better for those that want more cowbell, i mean cowardliness. those that want less cowardly foes, the chart is an option.

    of course, the Referee can change methods or alter target numbers at will.

  5. 3/7 yields 16.2% chance cowardly will stay. 3/8 yields 25.93%...for those wondering. i'm using www.anydice.com and selecting the 'at most' table.

  6. i have decided. i prefer the 3/B# test using your original numbers (8/10/12/14). i like the chart option as an inspirational tool for Referee improvisation.

    man, i can't wait for the monster book. i guess i actually have a reason to look forward to christmas this year!

    1. Thank you kindly Adam--I will continue to tweak before it gets set in stone. Appreciate your critique and support!

  7. I like the 2d6 vs chart with DRM's. I think the DRM for aggressive should be -2 to give a small chance of fleeing. To be honest I would use either one and think both are great systems.

    1. Thanks mabon, I will tinker with the DRM some more. I think either one works, just depends on what you like. Just glad either one can be workable!

  8. I can't actually say that one system is any better than the other. I suppose the "purist" in me leans towards the 3/B# version, but really, they both seem (from a few dozen test rolls) to deliver about the same results with about the same level of statistical occurrence. In short, I guess it comes down to which one your particular GM "feels" is the best one for his/her game.

    And also let me second ewookie's praise for your amalgamating all those comments into a workable system that accomplishes everything we collectively talked about. Very impressive. I guess that's why you're a published RPG designer and I'm not! ;-)

    1. Thanks Jeff! The results are pretty similar, but I know a bit more tinkering is necessary to get them closer in result. My goal is to find a "use what you like" possibility with regards to a Fight or Flight system. Finding a way to make a chart vs. non-chart possibility was a challenge, but I am lucky to have had a lot of great ideas and feedback from some really clever folks kind enough to post on the blog like yourself.

      I really appreciate the input and critique so we can get something that can work!

  9. the 2 methods seem pretty different to me, even if you ignore the probability differences. i prefer the 3/B# method because 1) there is no chart 2) there is no 'hesitate' 3) foes only surrender when trapped or cornered.

    however, there are things i like about the 2d6 chart. the probability of fleeing is lower. with Aggressive (-3) DRM, they will never flee (or surrender) unless there are other, external modifiers (as Mabon pointed out).

    what i like about a 'fight or flight' rule in general: it provides a way for characters to overcome seemingly overwhelming odds. without FoF, if four characters encounter a party of 16 orcs, they should probably retreat. with FoF, it is more tempting to 'press your luck'. i think this makes things more interesting for players. as a ref, it provides another easy way to modify the difficulty of an adventure to suit the party in question. fiddle with the modifiers (2d6) or B# (3d6) numbers and you have an elastic waste-band, sort of. of course, there are many other ways to 'size' an adventure but this one seems less 'artificial' and provides some extra 'story-telling' to the combat. the little goblin that never quit. the dragon that tucked tail and ran for cover. remember those orcs that fled from your greatness yesterday? well, here they are again - increasing the numbers in this encounter. they want revenge! etc.

    1. oh yeah, and that goblin that surrendered to you today? sleep with one eye open and keep your soap on a rope :)

    2. Thanks Adam, I am happy to hear the FoF rules can help make the game more fun!

    3. @ewookie: Of course the two methods ARE different. I was more commenting on the end results than the methodology to get there, and you point out some of the advantages and disadvantages of both, which is why I noted that it was up to the GM to decide which one fit with their game style better. Which, I think, was sort of Chris' intent here! ;-)

      Fully concur with your remarks on the "scalability" and reinforcement of the story-telling aspect of the FoF system. That's the beauty of a thing like this -- it's not cumbersome, and adds a TON of possibilities with minimal effort. Pure RPG gold, that!