Rally Check

Once morale begins to degrade, the best course of action is for a charismatic character to rally the troops with a few stirring words. This is accomplished by making a rally check, which requires a move action by any creature that currently has a morale condition of normal or better.
To make a rally check, a character rolls 1d20 and adds her Charisma modifier and her commander rating, if any (see page 75). A single check allows a character to try to rally any comrades within line of sight and earshot (see the description of the Listen skill, page 78 of the Player’s Handbook). This is a language-dependent effect.
A creature can be subject to only one rally check attempt per round (measured from the beginning of that creature’s turn to the beginning of the creature’s next turn). Unsuccessful rally attempts make that target more difficult to rally (see Rally Check Modifiers, below).
Use Table 4–4 to determine the effectiveness of a rally attempt. The numbers in the table indicate the rally check result required to achieve the new morale condition. In some situations, modifiers might apply to the rally check.
For example, troops that are panicked can be made frightened with a successful DC 20 rally check. Those same troops can then be made heartened in a later round with a DC 30 rally check.

Table 4–4: Rally Attempts

Initial Morale New Morale Condition (DC to achieve)
Condition Frightened Shaken
Panicked 20 25 30 40
Frightened 20 25 30
Shaken 20 25
Normal* 20

*Can only be attempted before the battle (see below).

Rally Check Modifiers

~Situation Modifier
At least one failed rally check within last minute –2
Rallying character is at half hit points or below –2
Enemy troops within line of sight are fleeing +2
Rallying character has 5 or more ranks in Diplomacy or Intimidate +2
No enemies within line of sight +5

Rallying Against Other Fear Effects: Characters can make rally checks to rally creatures that are shaken, frightened, or panicked due to effects such as a dragon’s frightful presence or spells such as fear. Because the morale effect has a magical origin, it’s much more persistent than garden-variety fear of dying on the battlefield. Rally attempts against magical fear only last for 1 round (measured from the beginning of the shaken, frightened, or panicked character’s turn), so the leader must repeat the rally check every round to keep nearby comrades in the battle.
The Prebattle Rally Check: Before the battle begins, the leader of a military unit can make a rally check to improve the troops’ morale condition. This is similar to a normal rally check but takes at least 1 minute to deliver. (The most stirring example of this is the “Band of Brothers” speech in Shakespeare’s Henry V.)
This rally check affects everyone who can see and hear the leader. It cannot be retried, either by that leader or another character. In other words, a leader only gets one chance to inspire the troops with a speech. That’s why armies with charismatic generals try to get as many soldiers as possible to listen to a single speech. Armies with less compelling top brass rely on the exhortations of junior officers and sergeants to inspire the soldiers under their command. Characters can’t take 10 on this check.

Source: Heroes of Battle

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