Homebrew: Bannerman

If the group you play RPGs with is anything like mine a game can grind to a halt when the group cannot come to a clear plan of action. Maybe this is a problem you never have, but through my personal experience it is a common affliction. A cohesive group after a while will usually defer and create a de facto leader.

One thing to do is ask the group to agree on a leader for the party. It can be anyone, regardless of race, class, and alignment. This person will have the final say on decisions. If the group later finds this to be a problem they can request a Vote of No Confidence. If the motion carries a majority the group must appoint a new leader.

ImageThis voted leader of the party I call the Bannerman. This is the person who would carry a flag for a regiment. The Bannerman has certain responsibilities. He has the final say in offered plans of action. This character will also be seen as the in-game leader of the group. NPCs of stature will want to converse with the Bannerman and will take his statement as the group’s intention. So a party may want to place their most charismatic character as the Bannerman. But I’ve also cooked up a combat mechanic for the Bannerman that may have a bard shirking the nomination.

The mechanic is based on the D&D 4e defender mark/aura. As long as there has been combat there has been the strategy of killing leaders to break morale and win battles.

No Action; Any enemy that can see or hear the Bannerman takes a -2 to attacks against allies other than the Bannerman until the end of the encounter or until the Bannerman is reduced to zero or fewer hit points.


Trigger: The Bannerman is reduced to zero or fewer hit points.

Effect: Enemies gain combat advantage against all allies until the end of the encounter or the Bannerman regains consciousness.

The Bannerman will be a ripe target for the enemy in combat. It will be up to the group to determine if a stalwart fighter, who may be a lackluster diplomat takes the spot as the Bannerman or a wise, but fragile wizard takes the honor and stays behind his tougher allies.

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