Banners, Covens, and Sects

Okay, the group I am in is forming banners and stuff at the moment, and we thought we understood how they worked, but then after speaking with other friends I am now not so sure. Got a couple of questions regarding the following, and can’t find the answers on the wiki.

Is there a maximum number of people in a coven, banner or sect? I thought it was 15, but I’ve heard that it might not be and can not find any reference to a maximum number on the wiki.
Does everyone in the same banner group have to be bound to the same magical standard? I understand that a magical standard can only be bound to people who are all in the same banner group, but hear that others in the banner group can be bound to different standards. So for instance five could be bound to one standard and another five bound to another standard as long as all those bound to one standard is in the same banner group.

Just thought I should clarify these points before we act on them.

I cannot see any mention of a maximum number of people in group. the only membership restriction is the one nation one.

From the groups page of the Wiki; suggests that it’s one item per band and everyone benefits. But I’d wait for an official post, or email PD.

Okay the only mention of 15 I can find is that:
“Up to 15 people can be bonded to any one magic standard.”

Now that would be an explanation of where anyone who brings it up is coming from but it isn’t on the groups page, and I’d assume it’s preventing a really huge group absurdly exploiting a banner, rather than groups shouldn’t have 16 or more members.

To be honest I would rather they just raised the costs or allowed scaled banners. Giving up one 15th of your potential person power to carry a banner is a bit of a nuisance and probably explains why we are not seeing as many on the field as was originally projected.

In an open field carrying a banner in one hand is not a total impediment if it is designed well, however in the forest it mostly takes two to get it past all of the obstacles and low lying branches.

No limit to group size. Only one group item per group bond. Standards only bind to a max of 15 people inside a banner

I suspect the limit is to keep them from (being expected to be) having an effect on campaign army engagements.

The break even point on buff vs cost for magic standards is around 7-8 people, including the bearer. At that point, you’re spending less resources per person on the buff you’re getting. So when you’re up to the full 15, it’s about whether you think 14 people with +1 hit each is better than 15 people but no +1 hit, or whatever one is the relevant buff for your chosen magical standard. The buff-banners are facing competition at the low end from magic items anyway, so just raising the costs and scaling it up to 30 won’t do anything to put more on the field - if anything, it’ll reduce the number. After all, the current setup means large groups are incentivised to have two banners, when they would instead only have one.

Also, it’s worth noting that a banner bearer only has one hand occupied - using the other to fight with a sword, or to defend with a shield, are both highly possible. I’ve had success in previous battles with the kite shield + banner combo, and another group member has done fairly well with shortsword + banner when he was carrying it.

On cumbersomeness, make sure your banner isn’t too large. Mine is mounted on a 6’ pole, with a 2’ crosspiece, and is perfectly easy to move around in any part of the woods that you can also feasibly send an organised unit through. Sure, you can’t crawl through a bush with it - but you also can’t crawl through bushes with squads of 15 armed with pikes.

I was closer to the magical side in the run-up to the first event, but there was the inevitable question raised of “Why doesn’t everyone in the Nation join the same Coven and cast uber-spells together”. The answer to that was the limit of 2 Coven-spells a day, even if you weren’t there for them. So it sucks for anything other than uber-spells, which can be served by a Web of Celestial Attunement instead. Argument raised and defeated.

But did the same question arise for Banners? - just do it for admin purposes, of course, everyone still has their own Group. You get one giant Nation Banner, build the shiniest magical rag you can and give everyone the benefit of it at once.
Awesome for practical benefit, terrible for roleplay purposes.
The answer to that is the 15-person limit on the Magical Standard… so a Nation is much better served by lots of smaller Banners with individual Standards. Argument raised and defeated (and heading off further arguments about why you can’t have one for your Military Unit or Imperial Army).

So I guess what I’m saying is that the 15-man limit on Standards is there to protect against communism. :wink:

Cheers, thanks for the responses! Sounds like the ‘maximum of 15 people per band’ idea must have come from the magical standard limit. Seems like checking with a ref might be an idea regarding how many banners can be assigned to a banner group, sounds to me that it’s one per group regardless of numbers but some have said that they have done it so not sure.

A banner may only be bonded to one magic standard at a time should answer that question, I think.

The way to have a group of 40 people (let us say the Holberg First of Foot) with everyone bonded to standards is to split up into several banners: “1st Regiment Holberg First of Foot”, “2nd Regiment Holberg First of Foot”, “3rd Regiment Holberg First of Foot”. Then each banner can be bonded to one magical standard, and thus everyone is covered.

Probably a game mechanic to prevent very large groups or even nations ignoring their general.
While it is possible to use multiple standards the cost would be prohibitive.
Game mechanics wise if say a mercenary banner from wintermark joins in the battle that the rest of wintermark are monstering then altering the numbers by 15 is neither here nor there.
If the whole of wintermark can bond to a mercenary banner then the effect is very noticeable.

Disagreed on the cost front. For a group sufficiently large that they’re running into the magic standard size limit, the cost of moving to two is almost certainly not an issue.

Comparing items on cost per call:

Reaving Mattock (two-handed weapon, 1 Shatter per day) is 7 tempest jade, for 7 resources per call.

Glory’s Call (magic standard, two-handed weapon users gain 1 Shatter per day) is 17 dragonbone, 12 tempest jade, 7 beggar’s lye, 7 orichalcum, and 3 iridescent gloaming, for 46 resources total. At full efficiency, that’s 14 calls, for 3.2 resources per call (and you could pass the banner from one bearer to another to gain an extra)

So if you have e.g. 20 people, you get 18 calls for your 92 resources on two standards, while getting 18 extra calls from normal magical weapons would be 126 resources. And this is one of the worst possible balance points for standards against weapons - when you go up to 30 users it’s again just massively in favour of the banners.

And finally, with 20 people you get 800 resources per year as a group, so putting <100 into the pair of banners isn’t that expensive for the extra combat power it grants.

I would love to see half a Nation using the Banner or ritual to do that if there’s ever a crap enough General.
For what it’s worth Braying Horns of War can be quite effective. It’s Magnitude 20, so 10-20 Mana (Probably 10 if you can find a coven). But it affects an unlimited number of troops in the same Banner. Providing you don’t want to use more than one Magic Standard, you could theoretically stick that on, say, 50 people at once. Also you can create it on the fly, which you can’t do with a Mercenary Banner unless you use Timeless hammer Rhythm, which is another 8 Mana on top.

1: Create Banner with a few people in it
2: Drop Braying Horns of War on that Banner.
3: Bond in anyone who wants to go to another fight, there’s not a 15 person maximum.
4: SAD GENERAL. Or Happy General if they need more troops in one fight and less in another.

well that clears that up for me, I didn’t realise you had to march into battle with them…

I thought it was ok to have over your tent or something… Damn…

Oh well, back to the drawing board… :slight_smile:

[quote=“Bucklund”]well that clears that up for me, I didn’t realise you had to march into battle with them…

I thought it was ok to have over your tent or something… Damn…

Oh well, back to the drawing board… :slight_smile:[/quote]

Hrrm. I can’t see a “must be the same side of a Portal to benefit” or any other range restriction. Just “…Any character bonded to…” Perhaps I’m missing something; the item entries are placeholders.

Hidden away, I’m afraid:

It’s like any other magic item.

If you want to use your magic sword to cut someone in half, you have to hit them with that sword.

If you want to be protected by your magic armour, you have to be wearing it.

And if you want to stand bravely for your magical banner, you have to be standing with it*.

A sword, suit of armour, or banner back in your tent is separated from you, it can’t do anything from over there.

*The Mercenary banner is a bit of an odd edge-case here, as the benefit is just one which applies for entering the battlefield. My personal interpretation is that the intent is for a unit using the Mercenary banner to march through the portal together as a unit under the banner, if they wish to use its power to go to a battle.

Good find.

I’ve lost the thread a bit. Can more than 15 people be bonded to a Bands Item?

I’ve just seen the updated rules. Everyone in a band might want to be bonded to a Band Item, but if there is a maximum of 15, and only one Band Item per band this creates a problem for big bands. Splitting an IC group into a set of smaller bands causes problems for downtime.

Magical Standards have an explicit limit of 15.

Covenstones and Reliquaries don’t seem to. I imagine that’s because they require the expenditure of a resource to be used, so there’s a cost.

Having no limit causes bigger problems for both up and downtime as has been cogently argued above. With regard to Standards, the “break even” point compared to furnishing the unit with individual items is quite a lot lower than 15, if I’m reading the sums earlier in the thread correctly. If you have a group larger than can use one banner, you can profitably employ 2 Standards. Having “Sword Troop” and “Spear Troop” as two Banners with different Standards to match their equippage is probably pretty effective.

I don’t see why. What’s the band got to do with downtime? I’m a member of a Sect and a Banner, and there’s no dowtime associated with either. Your Band isn’t your IC group. Not that that has much to do with downtime either.