Confidence is an internal game attribute for NPCs and creatures which determines what percentage of their health an actor must lose before fleeing from combat. The Confidence value can range from 0–100.
A hostile actor with 0 Confidence will flee immediately upon entering combat. Deer are a good example of this behavior; they have 0 Confidence but 100 Aggression, causing them to attack the player on sight but immediately flee, thereby emulating the appearance of being startled. An actor with 100 Confidence will never flee.
Fleeing NPCs may run to a nearby guard, even if the guard is dead. However, guards do not respond when the NPC reaches them, and the NPC will merely follow the guard around, periodically playing the cower animation.
You can temporarily modify Confidence using Rally and Demoralize spells, which respectively raise and lower the value. Demoralize will not work on the undead; you must use a Turn Undead spell instead to lower their Confidence.
When an NPC flees combat, it may trigger specific lines of dialogue.
- "Don't hurt me!"
- "I give up!"
- "Run away!"
- "Take whatever you want! Just don't hurt me!"
- "Fall back!"
- "Take what you will! Just spare me!"
- "Not again!"
- "Leave me alone!"
- "Somebody help!"
- "No! No!"
- "There's got to be some way to end this nightmare!"
- "For pity's sake, just let us die!"
- "There's too many of them!"
- "We'll never hold them!"
- "Fall back to the city before it's too late!"
- "I'm getting out of here!"
- "We're all going to die!"
- "Protect the ancestors!"
- "Help! A prisoner has escaped!"