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Hârn and RQ6


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I have also posted on Lythia's forum, but it is very slow over there when it comes to their other systems section.

I am taking my time in preparing a Hârn RQ6 campaign, based in Chelemby (Kelestia.com | The official online home of Hârn and HârnMaster) - and I do anticipate that maybe one player will try to apply to a Shek-Pvar chantry, if they find out about it (keeping every mystical thing in the setting a secret).

So I want to be prepared for magic in Hârn, this is my thoughts.

Theism - is miracles for the religions - can be used as is. (though putting the right ones in the right temples)

Animism - its the druidic/shamanistic religious magic, I would use that as is.

Sorcery - this is the baseline Shek-Pvar magic. And by giving the magic trappings (this is related to the element of fire etc etc), and change the runes for the elements - it goes as is. (should one bother by dividing them among elements? Like if it where cults)

Folk Magic - This is the stranger one, remove it from common skills, but could it still be used? its easier, and faster magic. But not as strong as Sorcery - do they have a place in the Shek-Pvar?

Mysticism - This is the bodily Chi magic in RQ6, does that have any place in the greater Lythia? I don't know, if it does, then it could be used as is.

What are your thoughts? For those of you who have knowledge of Hârn.

Tea and Madness

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I've contemplated running P-Harn (personal Harn) that ignores canon somewhat. However, I came up with essentially the same breakdown that you did:

Religion: Theism, with each of the ten gods of Harn having at least one cult.

Shek'Pvar: Sorcery, with one grimoire of common spells, grimoires around the six P'varist elements, and an advanced grimoire for Gray Mages.

Shamans: Animism

You could discard Folk Magic and Mysticism, or keep them as rare forms of magic that the Guild of Arcane Lore either studies or pretends doesn't exist. Folk Magic might work as an alternative or supplemental shamanic/druidic magic, while Mysticism could be a hidden tradition (as in my P-Harn).

Harn also has Psionics, which I'm not sure how to model. Maybe some form of innate Sorcery? An extended version of Mysticism? A simplified port of the HarnMaster system? I like the idea of psionics, but it's hard to wedge into RuneQuest unless every power is a distinct skill, which would means psionicists had to split their experience between mundane skills and their psionic talents.


"Welcome to the hottest and fastest-growing hobby of, er, 1977." -- The Laundry RPG
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Replying to my own post ... oh, my.

Harn/Kethira is such a low-magic world that you could swap in virtually anything if you're willing to ignore canon. The Wizard Secret Society whatever you like: Mystics, Sorcerers, Shamans, whatever.

For example, I've thought of running Magic World (or straight BRP) in Harn, (EDIT) which I've posted here.(/EDIT) You could do something similar with RuneQuest.

  • Maybe the gods aren't real, or at least don't intervene except when they feel like it.
  • Maybe the Invisible College teaches something else besides traditional spells.
  • Maybe all supernatural effects require supernatural entities, and wizards find spirits more tractable.

Supernatural elements -- by design, I think -- are easy to throw out or rearrange to a GM's taste. Ivashu, Khuzdul/Khuzai, Sindarin/Sinai, meredragons and other magical creatures live in very specific and small areas; Shek-P'var and the gods hide their existence to the point where they have little appreciable effect on history or society. The Harn materials have great maps and lots of (mostly) historical detail, all of which you can use or ignore without affecting the rest.

Edited by fmitchell
move MW tl;dr to another thread, formatting for readabilty.


"Welcome to the hottest and fastest-growing hobby of, er, 1977." -- The Laundry RPG
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Perhaps you could port the Harn magic system over almost as-is. From memory, Harn used a D100% skill system, and had a very good magic system. Nice, meaty char gen as well, perhaps a little overcooked for some :-) My dislike was that it was a bit too fiddly with combat. and BRP certainly wins out here. If you have the Harn setting but not the actual rulebooks, then I'ld go with RQ or Magic World and just port the setting itself over. If you have the Harn rulebooks, then perhaps the Magic system could be easily plugged into either RQ or Magic World.

As I remember, you rolled your Sorcery/Wizardry skill % minus 5 times the spell magnitude/level (ie A wizard with casting ability 80% casts a Magnitude 2 spell at 70%). So this doesn't really need to change at all. Then you took Fatigue if you failed, so perhaps you only lose Magic Points when you fail a roll, which could be double spell level (eg level 2 spell drains 4 MP upon a failure, perhaps 8MP on a fumble, in addition to the spell mishap table). So that part could port over fairly smoothly as well. The modifiers for the enriched magic rules could work as well, such as Cant bonus, Convocation bonus, etc as its all D100% based. The modifiers for casting different effects also work well, being D100% skill based. I guess damage calculation would be the most difficult to port over, but it probably works out roughly 1d6 per Spell level I suppose.

In any case, if you like the Magic and Religions then perhaps they can be ported over with minimal ease, and you use BRP, Magic World, or RQ6 for all the rest of the mechanics. Otherwise, just go with the Sorcery as written and don't try to convert too much, just let the BRP Mages/Sorcerers be analogues of the Shek-Pvar, for instance. I do like how fmitchell has done Religion though, that's good focusing on Knowledge (Theology) and Allegiance (Piety: Deity). It really makes religion feel quite different to Wizardry, thats a good thing.

Edited by Mankcam

" Sure it's fun, but it is also well known that a D20 roll and an AC is no match against a hefty swing of a D100% and a D20 Hit Location Table!"

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Hm, I've only got the Harnmaster Magic from Colombia games, and it don't port over as well. Maybe I should get Harnmaster Gold magic from kelestia.com - it also looks meatier on the setting info around magic, as its 174 pages (100+ pages more then the others).

Having skimmed through the HMG magic book, I don't think it will convert any more easily. Spells cost HarnMaster fatigue, not RQ6 magic points, and damage and other effects are still in the HarnMaster system. You could still define magic skills as I outlined for Sorcery, but that's a little more complicated than the "two skills per major magic" philosophy of RQ6.

I haven't tried to convert Religion or Psionics; are they easier?


"Welcome to the hottest and fastest-growing hobby of, er, 1977." -- The Laundry RPG
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  • 4 months later...

There was a thread like this not too long ago: http://basicroleplaying.com/showthread.php/2882-BRP-on-Hârn-which-magic-system-to-use?

I recommended using the Maelstrom magic system (which I summarised there) for Hârn because it is very subtle -- it's not usually clear whether magic has been used at all. Good for a low-magic setting. It also has no fixed spells and relies a lot on situational roleplaying from the spell caster.

I have played Maelstrom in Hârn on a few occasions, quite successfully.

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