In this chapter you can find information regarding the exploration of The Banner Saga 3's world. This mechanic is similar to how it was in the previous entries. Therefore, we will focus more on mentioning the most important mechanics rather than making complex descriptions of the whole process.
Types of caravans
There are two caravans that travel through the world of The Banner Saga 3. You switch between them during certain chapters of the game (e.g. in chapter 16 you command the caravan no. 1, in chapter 17 you play as the caravan no. 2 and so on). The caravans differ in, e.g. types of available units. These changes are described more broadly in the later part of this chapter.
The first caravan is led by Rook or Alette. The leader of this group is decided by making an important decision in the first game (either Rook or Alette must die, you can't keep them both alive). If you don't have save files from the previous The Banner Saga games then you can decide about the leader at the beginning of the game. Rook's/Alette's caravan consists of playable heroes, clansmen, fighters and Varl. You also have to take care of supplies - they are responsible for your party's morale.
The second caravan is led by Iver who is accompanied by Juno and Eyvind. This group consists of playable heroes and mercenaries called Ravens. This caravan doesn't require you to manage supplies. However, you have to let your people rest from time to time if you want to keep their morale at a high level.
Other important information on managing the caravans
- Just like in the previous games from this series, the caravans follow fixed routes that can't be changed. Despite fixed goals, your journey can go differently - this depends on your previous choices and decisions made during additional (usually random) events.
- Your choices can also have an impact on your party's line-up. For example, you can recruit or lose a hero or change the number of clansmen, fighters and Varl (Rook's/Alette's caravan). We did our best to provide information on the potential changes.
- Your caravan can also stop in certain places. This is especially important for Iver's caravan - you can increase your morale by letting your people rest. Besides that, you should always check the heroes' tents and level up your party members. You can also click on the character portraits to have optional conversations with them. They can improve your relations with them or, in rare cases, reward you with a valuable artifact.
- Rook's/Alette's caravan requires you to manage your supplies. The game informs you about your supplies by showing you the number of days. Their level can change without your involvement if your number of the caravan members changes significantly (e.g. joining a lot of clansmen can affect your supplies - they will last for less days). Supplies can be bought in markets - you need renown points to purchase them. Depleting supplies completely will result in much lower morale. You can even lose a few people.
Renown points are important in The Banner Saga series. However, the third game adds new ways of spending them.
You can get renown points by:
- Participating in battles. Your reward depends on a battle's duration and difficulty level. In those battles where enemies attack in waves, try to stay on the battlefield until the very end. Thanks to that you will get the highest possible amount of renown points. Also, you should try to not miss any of the optional fights. The only exception to that is when the majority of your heroes is currently healing their injuries.
- Making progress in the campaign and making certain decisions. Depending on a situation or your choice you can get a dozen to several dozens of renown points.
You can spend renown points on:
- Leveling up your heroes. You should spend the majority of your points on that. Don't try to level up all your heroes - focus on those who are the most useful during fights.
- Unlocking Heroic Titles. This is a new feature in The Banner Saga 3. You can unlock them when your hero reaches a sufficiently high level. The game lets you choose from various titles and each one of them has a few levels. Every new level of a Heroic Title requires you to spend more renown points. At first, you should limit yourself to unlocking 2-3 levels per a title. The highest levels are very expensive.
- Purchasing supplies. This is available only to Rook's/Alette's caravan. Iver's caravan doesn't have to worry about them. Don't spend too much on supplies. We recommend you to have enough for the next 3-4 days.
- Buying artifacts. The majority of the artifacts offered in the markets should be ignored. Only the most powerful items are worth your attention and points. This is because The Banner Saga 3 allows you to get a lot of extra artifacts by staying on a battlefield until the very end (battles where enemies attack you in waves). Winning these fights will grant you an artifact.
You still have to manage your caravans' morale. They have an impact on Willpower points that you can use during a fight. High morale can give you additional Willpower points while having them at a low level means that your characters will lose a few points.
- You can improve your caravan's morale by using rest option. Each day spend on resting improves morale by one level. It can also be increased by making decisions that are approved by the majority of your caravan.
- Morale can decline when you travel for too long without resting (each day spend on a journey lowers it by one level) and by running out of supplies (only Rook's/Alette's caravan). You can also lose morale by making decisions that aren't appreciated by the majority of your group.
You will come across various additional events. This mechanism is known from the previous The Banner Saga games. Events are divided into 3 main groups:
- Mandatory. They trigger in specific moments of your journey - you can't miss them.
- Results of your previous decisions. They can trigger only by meeting their conditions. For example, joining a new character can trigger an event in the future that is related to that particular hero.
- Random. It is very rare to have random events not triggering at all. You can come across them during various parts of the game. Don't worry if you still didn't get a certain event described in our guide. It is possible that this particular scene is random - you have to wait longer until the game unlocks it for you.
The majority of the events force you to make a decision. Pay close attention to available options and to windows that are displayed after you make a choice. Some seemingly unimportant decisions can have serious consequences and can lead to, e.g. death of one of your heroes or a situation where someone leaves your caravan.
If you aren't happy with your results, you can always check your saves and see if you can replay a given event. Sadly, the game usually creates new checkpoints right after events - here, your only solution is to reload one of the main autosaves created in your current chapter.