I’m turning 14 next year and was wondering how difficult some of the aspects of the academy are and how long it takes to pass the test of citizenship and the test of arms.
Also if at the age of 14 can you make a banner? And if so is it allowed to have friend of the sane age range be in it or do we need someone 18+ years with us. Or is it better to join another banner?
I’m not sure if any of the Academy staff, who would be best-placed to answer your first questions, frequent the forum.
To be on the safe side, I would email PD - probably at firstname.lastname@example.org - who should be able to get you an official answer - including to the latter questions about banners.
I can imagine that PD would like the group contact for a banner to be at least someone who’s passed their Test if Citizenship, but I could be wrong there.
If you know who you want your character to be, and the basics for your choice of nation and the Empire religion and can talk to an adult about them, then you’ll pass your test of citizenship. It’s more a check on whether you’ve got enough of an idea of the game and setting to play your character, not a sit down exam.
If you can have a good read of the wiki and discuss your character plans and ideas with several different people so you have a good handle on who they are and can answer questions IC.
The test of arms is more about safety, so if you’ve fought with larp weapons before and can handle yourself even if you’re being pressed you’ll be OK. If you’re not ready for the big battles and skirmishes, there are still cadet missions, and of course plenty to do in Anvil so it won’t ruin your game if you need a bit more practice.
For the banner I don’t know. email is your best option.
Once you are a full citizen, there’s no reason why you can’t have your own banner.
The most difficult part of the academy (In my opinion) is knowing the history and traditions of your own nation. All the info is there on the Wiki, and there are a few tales you’ll learn when on the field.
The other parts of the academy actually get you ready for life on the field. The fighting part is about safety - but one you know that (It’s easy), then its actually learning to fight well. No matter what skills you buy at character creation, nothing compares to someone who is physically a decent combatant.
The other aspects are about other things on the field - how Magic works, what the different Virtues are, What the Synod, Conclave, Bourse and Senate are and what they do. I remember back in the early days I spoke to some academy students about Trading - What the materials look like, how to buy slightly cheaper and sell for slightly more, what all the coins are etc.
But yeah, give the New Players team a cheeky email - They’ll be able to officially answer your questions!
For more information, there is a page on the wiki dedicated to your age range https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/Information_for_11-15_year_olds
(Although given the content of your post, it seems possible that you’ve read through this page already.)