Tuesday Magic Item – Black Banner of the People

20 March, 2012

The black banner which had rallied the people to revolt still flew over the fortress at the heart of the city.  Over weeks, the noose had tightened and the rebels had been pushed back -house by house and street by street- into a thin band around the ancient citadel.  But the people would not give up, they would not again return to authoritarian rule.

Viva la revolution!

Black Flag

The soldiers prepared for the final push, hating the fanaticism that banner inspired.  Inside, the rebel looked at their flag with pride, hoping their struggle would inspire others to rise.

Black Banner of the People

Also known as the black banner of revolution.  These flags are deeply hated by anyone who wishes to keep (or impose) order.  They are not much in appearance, just a rectangle of black cloth with ties to attach it to a pole.

When flown, it inspires those people who wish to fight oppression and for their freedom, any who wish to do so gain a +2 morale bonus to save against fear as long as they could see the banner (they do not have to be looking at it, just know that they could see it).  However, it also causes strife imposing a -2 penalty to all Diplomacy checks between people of different social classes, different faiths or different nationalities, any fault line will cause trouble, in the same area.

Once per day, those that fight for the banner’s cause of freedom will be inspired to great effort.  For half an hour, all of those within sight of the banner gain a +1 morale bonus to damage, +4 morale bonus to saves against fear and a +2 morale bonus against other mind-affecting.  When an ally of one of the inspired dies within 30′ of another, the allies gain temporary hit points equal to their ally’s level that stack with themselves and last as long as the banner’s effect, while they have the temporary hit points their morale bonus to damage increases to +2 and a +1 morale bonus to attack is gained.

Aura moderate enchantment (compulsion); CL 7th
Slot none; Price 20,000; Weight 1 lbs
Construction Requirements
Craft Wondrous Item, false life, heroism, resistance, creator must know the enlarge spell or widen spell metamagic feat; Cost 10,000 (+800 xp for D&D)

Notes: The black flag is the traditional symbol of the anarchist movement, thought they needed their own magic item.

Image by დასა and used under  Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.



  1. How is the 1/day ability activated? By the person who is carrying the black standard? Also, do all temporary hit points granted by that ability go away at the end of the 30 minutes (i.e., if someone gained the temporary hit points 1 round before the 30 minutes ended they would lose it the next round?)

    • By someone holding the banner, but it could spontaneously activate as needed, as it is more a plot device than proper magic item.

      Yes, the temporary hit points end when the half hour of the effect does.

  2. I like this sort of item–i.e. the type with something more complex going on in the world than just dungeoncrawling (not that there’s anything wrong with that). It just makes sense that things like this would exist.

    • I imagine these being seeded by a radical sorcerer across a continent, bloody revolution spreading in his wake.

  3. “However, it also causes strife imposing a -2 penalty to all Diplomacy checks between people of different social classes, different faiths or different nationalities”

    I would have thought it would give a bonus to Diplomacy between people of different nationalities.

    • I am not sure if that penalty was a flaw in the magic item or a deliberate attempt by its creature to stoke the fires of conflict, you decide.

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