10 Stormy Events to Enhance a Battle

Fights during storms can be both exciting and challenging. A storm creates chaos and confusion and can even change the battlefield from moment to moment.

By V Shane

 

A dynamic battlefield adds an extra level of excitement and challenge (and perhaps opportunity) to a battle. The changing conditions can even favour one side or the other. They can be the difference between victory and defeat.

Use the table below, to add details to a battle being fought in a storm:

  1. The wind dies down by one step for 1d4 rounds, providing an opportunity for more accurate missile fire.
  2. Strong wind blasts the battlefield, making missile fire less accurate for 1d4 rounds.
  3. Strong winds swirl about the battlefield, throwing rain into the combatants’ faces; some might be temporarily blinded by the sudden deluge (which also makes missile fire less accurate).
  4. A cacophonous crash of thunder—seemingly coming from directly overhead—echoes over the battlefield. Six rounds later, another crash smites the battlefield.
  5. Lightning flashes down striking a tree some distance away from the battlefield. The tree bursts into flames. A few rounds later, another bolt of lightning hits a tree much closer to the fight.
  6. With a loud crack, a long branch from a tree in or adjacent to the battlefield falls to the ground. Anyone under the tree must dodge the falling branch or be injured. The fallen branch creates an area of difficult terrain.
  7. A curtain of heavy rain sweeps across the battlefield for 1d6 rounds, reducing visibility and the efficacy of ranged weapons.
  8. The wind creates several “dust devils” that swirl about the battlefield. Combatants caught within them gain concealment from their enemies’ attacks but also are half-blinded by the swirling debris.
  9. Heavy wind and rain lashes the battlefield from one direction. Characters getting into the lee of a hill, wagon, thick tree trunk or the like can escape the worst of its effects. Every 1d8 rounds, the wind and rain shift direction.
  10. The rain lashing the battlefield causes the ground—already muddy and churned up—to become distinctly boggy. Puddles deepen and the mud becomes even thicker and cloying. Consequently, movement becomes slower for land-based combatants.

A Final Note


The descriptions above are system neutral; an individual GM should apply the relevant modifiers based on the system used. The important thing is to use the weather to make the battlefield more dynamic than the norm.

Related (Jolly Awesome) Book


If you enjoyed this article, check out GM’s Miscellany: Wilderness Dressing designed to make your outdoor adventures more awesome!

 

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8 thoughts on “10 Stormy Events to Enhance a Battle

  1. Fantastic! As a D.M. who enjoys mass combat scenarios this table will bring an extra element of realism to my games. The images that come to mind as one reads the entries on this and all your tables helps my players feel like they are really there on that battlefield or in that haunted house, etc., etc..

  2. This is really cool. In my homebrew setting one type of magic is Weather magic but it isn’t as fine of control as many would be used to. This is great inspiration as to potential effects.

  3. Very interesting. Many a battle in history was swayed by weather. Swirling mists, sudden downpours or drops in temperature preceding a sudden summer storm rolling in from the sea, even bright sunshine after rain which blinds the combatants.