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Book of Battle 2nd Edition $19.99
Publisher: Chaosium
by Simon S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/15/2013 04:00:33

This is a VERY complex system. That in itself does not make me hate this pdf so much. Note that I refer to the pdf and not the book. The pdf is completely devoid of an interactive table of contents. This is insane. The system is so complex that it necessitates referring back and forth through book during the course of a battle and without an itemized and hot linked table of contents it's almost impossible to run a streamlined battle. This is not the only problem, by far. The tutorial for the opening battle of the GPC (Great Pendragon Campaign) is incredibly flawed. It directs the players and to refer to specific tables and rules throughout the book. This would be bad enough without the table of contents, however, many of the referrals actually specify no page numbers, so good luck running an interesting first battle. The example tables are also inconsistently presented and either insufficiently or incorrectly filled out. I actually like this system, it provides a sufficiently diverse and "realistic" abstraction of what I imagine a medieval battle would consist of. It's not the system that is at fault, it's the awkward and seemingly unfinished layout. If you want to learn to run a good battle, do NOT read the whole book and then run through the tutorial with your player knights, as the book suggests. Your players will likely lose interest in running a battle ever again, unless they're saints, or make their Merciful checks. Read the book through several times and then roll up some bare-bones NPCs (with just their relevant combat skills, stats and derived stats) and run them through a few of your own battles at a slow pace, as if they were player knights. It's going to feel like studying for exams from a badly edited chemistry textbook from the 1980s, because really, it is.

[3 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Simon S. —

Thanks for taking the time to write this review. We value all our customers' feedback, as it can only help us to improve the product line. Although the feedback to this book on the Nocturnal forums has been overwhelmingly positive, we’re very sorry the book did not meet your expectations and will work hard to improve it over time based on your feedback.

We agree that it would be nice to have the Table of Contents linked to it’s respective pages as well as embedded hyperlinks throughout the text to help make navigating the system easier. We plan to include such links in the next maintenance release along with any additional errata that we develop between now and then. As to issues in the tutorial’s example tables, it would help us out tremendously if you could be more specific so we could correct them in the next release as well. We went over them many times during the production process and it is possible that we effectively became blind to a few of them. Likewise, if you could provide specific examples of where you found the layout to be "awkward and unfinished", we’d appreciate it, we’re definitely interested in hearing your comments on where it could be improved.

Although we’ve had our books compared to history textbooks before, this is the first comparison to a 1980s chemistry book we’ve encountered. But who doesn’t love a well-executed Periodic Table of Elements? Seriously, if you have any constructive advice on ways the presentation could be improved, we’d love to hear them.

Please send all comments to

There’s a lot to unpack in this book, and we want to make it as accessible as possible. Clearly there’s more we could do. We’ll continue to improve the book with help from engaged readers like you, so thanks again for your time.


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Book of Battle 2nd Edition
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