First, I don't know of any specific morale rules for NPC's/monsters, but I would say based on modern army tactics, a unit has lost its effectiveness at 33% losses, and at 50% its a rout. So if the NPC's break and run, do the PC's get full XP for the encounter? Any specific rules?

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    \$\begingroup\$ To add a note, once the outcome of the encounter is "certain" it's worthwhile having enemies flee to speed things up. you may also want to allow players to "buy off" the encounter after the tipping point (visualize as enemies running, by spending surges). \$\endgroup\$ Feb 16, 2012 at 19:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ What do you mean by "buy off"? Sounds interesting, but I am not sure how the mechanic would work for that. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 17, 2012 at 12:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ You'd need to adjust the ratio but something like 1 surge for a monster's bloodied value in HP sounds reasonable: it's what the combat would generally have done anyways, it forces them to make up a heroic description of what they did with the rest of combat, and then you narrate how the monsters respond and die. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 17, 2012 at 16:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ I like the interesting article by Dave Chalker, The Combat Out, as a wait to wrap up a combat once the outcome is pretty clear ... \$\endgroup\$
    – SteveC
    Feb 20, 2012 at 18:00

1 Answer 1


You get the full XP for the encounter. D&D's XP is awarded for "challenges passed." Thus if you cause your enemy to retreat you have passed the challenge of the encounter and should get he full XP for the encounter.

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    \$\begingroup\$ As an aside, all D&D editions I've read give full bonus for running off the enemy. \$\endgroup\$
    – aramis
    Feb 16, 2012 at 4:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ The only time I could think I wouldn't give full XP is if you needed something/someone who ran away. (If the goal was to capture Bob The Terrible and you let him get away, for instance). \$\endgroup\$ Feb 16, 2012 at 22:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ Even if the players avoid a combat encounter with diplomacy, trickery, or other non combat actions I tend to give full xp. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 21, 2012 at 17:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TysonoftheNorthwest hence the "challenges passed" verbage. \$\endgroup\$
    – wax eagle
    Feb 21, 2012 at 18:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hence my upvote ;) \$\endgroup\$ Feb 21, 2012 at 20:03

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