Two Bit Tables: Ancient Battlefield Encounters

Healing Fireball publishes a series called Two Bit Tables – small, inexpensive ($0.50 each) PDFs which GMs can use to help flesh out various aspects of game play. Ancient Battlefield Encounters opens as follow:

Every map has those marked locations that have been forever scarred by large-scale battles. Sometimes these areas are marked by the presence of a memorial of some type but usually they are just areas forgotten or avoided by man that bear the scars and artifacts of battle. But what do these places look like and what can be found there? Wonder no more – with the tables below you can generate a collection of random encounters and landmarks that will give these places a feel of their own.

So… a random encounter table to battlefields – old battlefields that people rarely visit, for one reason or another.

The Creature/Monster encounters are unimaginative. 70% of the encounters are mundane, and the rest are plain jane undead – zombies and skeletons. They threw in a vampire, but that just made me wonder why a vampire would be hanging around a battlefield. Vampires don’t strike me as prime candidates for random encounter tables.

The landmarks table shows some promise, though. Unfortunately, many of the battle remnants they list don’t add up. How could a command tent (#1) survive, even if it is worn and tattered? If it were magical, I could understand… but, then it wouldn’t be worn and tattered, would it? And how is a used torch (#19) indicative of an ancient battle?

The other two tables list landmarks for recent battles and (*cough*) species of skeletons.


It may only cost $0.50, but this product isn’t really worth it. The idea is sound, though. Hopefully the publisher will take another look at the content and release an improved version.

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