Back Banners

So i was having a chat with my friend over skype the other day, the topic of orcs came up and soon enough he was waffeling on about his favourite kind of orc; the blademaster from WoW. now that got me thinking, the blademaster uses a back mounted banner thats, ofcourse, stuck to his back so he’s still able to fight with both hands.

in my head i was thinking; how could this work for larp? and why haven’t more people adopted the supposedly badass idea? so my fellow larpers, what do you think about back mounted banners?

From a practical point of view, it is because if you walk into the woods and your banner goes above your head, you’ll get it caught fairly frequently.

I also think that magical banners have to be held in one hand? So it might be purely ‘for the look’.

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Banners with magical effects do have to be held for the effect to happen, so as long as they’re on your back they’re just regular standards.

You could still do it, and it would still serve the actual purpose of a standard as being something that can be seen from a distance and easily pointed out. Also bear in mind though that there are also safety considerations to think about and refs might not allow you to wear it into battle if they think a big back-mounted pole could end up doing someone a mischief.

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Back banners are great… historically used by the Samurai as Sashimono’s to. But… thats kinda it. Great for the open field, less so for forests and quite a few back banner wearers have managed to get themselves tangled whilst fighting. If you are willing to accept the risks, and rig the banner properly as Sashimono then it would probably work.

Rules wise if you want a magical effect banner in Empire, they need to be held by one hand.

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I also suspect that back banners are probably a pain to actually wear and fight with. Unless you get a very light banner with a well-made harness, I can imagine they might be quite impairing to your movement.


Alas yes. This is one of those cases where rule of cool loses to rule of practicality.

Walking around the camp? Don’t go into tents and watch out for marquees. Going on a skirmish? Watch out for the Sentinel gate,
and especially trees.

Don’t lean over on the battlefield, you’ll hit someone over the head with your bannerpole. Don’t fall over, ditto. Don’t try to stand up, someone’s trodden on it.

What happens it it gets hit by an arrow? Is it the same as (accidental) arrow cutting with a weapon, where you take the impale to the holding location? Could you therefore cripple someone in medium armour by shooting their back banner, inflicting an IMPALE to the back…?

It’s a lovely idea, but I’m not sure how it could safely work.