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[Columbia Games 1983] Hârn World for Hârn Master

shesheyan

Explorer
"The world of Hârn first appeared in Hârn (1983) from Columbia Games, which presented the Hârn campaign world as a folio that offered a general overview of a campaign area, the island of Hârn, which was about three times the size of Great Britain. It included background, history, a look of religion and a small encyclopaedia called the Hârndex, and a map of Hârn drawn by N. Robin Crossby. Hârn was broadly based on Norman England, with some fantasy elements appearing through dwarves, elves and orcs. It was low magic and Hârn tried to create a genuinely real setting, based on careful research and consideration."

I've always been aware of Hârn Master and Hârn world but never looked it up until this weekend. Has anyone used the world as a substitutes for a D&D campaign? I know it's low magic. Did it take a lot of work or was it easily adaptable?
 

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Lem23

Adventurer
I've run it in a couple of systems, mostly harnmaster of various editions, quite a few times. I've never run it using D&D, though I know a few people who tried with 3rd ed (with mixed results to say the least, and not my cup of tea). Using 5th ed would be just as out of place if you want to keep the low fantasy / low magic feel. If you wanted to go that way, I'd suggest modifying Adventures in Middle Earth as a basis to keep it along similar lines, rather than straight D&D.
 

shesheyan

Explorer
I've run it in a couple of systems, mostly harnmaster of various editions, quite a few times. I've never run it using D&D, though I know a few people who tried with 3rd ed (with mixed results to say the least, and not my cup of tea). Using 5th ed would be just as out of place if you want to keep the low fantasy / low magic feel. If you wanted to go that way, I'd suggest modifying Adventures in Middle Earth as a basis to keep it along similar lines, rather than straight D&D.
That is a very good suggestion. It hadn't occurred to me. I own AiME but don't want to use LOTR as the setting because it's too familiar to the players. I'll try with Hârn. Thanks. ;)

As a follow up question can you describe the play style and flavour of 3e? Seems to be a crunchy system.
 

Lem23

Adventurer
That is a very good suggestion. It hadn't occurred to me. Thanks.
You're welcome. Since Harn was based in part on Tolkein (the elves and dwarves, and some of the metaphysical stuff concerning other worlds - one of which is Middle Earth), it makes a pretty good fit. The work you'd have to do would be on the religions and priestly powers, and on the Shek-Pvar (mages in Harn). I've run several groups in Harnmaster (and played in more) that did chargen by the book and never had any PCs of either, with some great campaigns and adventures, so it's certainly possible to do so, but if someone really has their heart set on an Ilviran cultist or Odivshan scholar, you should probably have a think about them.
 

Ketherian

Explorer
One way to look at the "low magic" aspect is that it is a social construct. Higher powered magic is available, but it is rare and not easy to find. I play with HarnMaster but have a fairly high-magic game. In my game the mages live by a set of rules - all of which can be seen as social.
There is a fan-made supplement for playing in HarnWorld with 5e, available on drivethru rpg: 5e Harn - WarFlail's Armoury | DriveThruRPG.com
It's got a sugested price of $1. I've not read it, but it might help.

Hope this helps.
 

shesheyan

Explorer
One way to look at the "low magic" aspect is that it is a social construct. Higher powered magic is available, but it is rare and not easy to find. I play with HarnMaster but have a fairly high-magic game. In my game the mages live by a set of rules - all of which can be seen as social.
There is a fan-made supplement for playing in HarnWorld with 5e, available on drivethru rpg: 5e Harn - WarFlail's Armoury | DriveThruRPG.com
It's got a sugested price of $1. I've not read it, but it might help.

Hope this helps.
Thank you. It's also possible to curate the D&D spell list and only keep what reinforces the setting. As long as the player are okay with it, of course. I never DM games above level 10 anyway.
 
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Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
"The world of Hârn first appeared in Hârn (1983) from Columbia Games, which presented the Hârn campaign world as a folio that offered a general overview of a campaign area, the island of Hârn, which was about three times the size of Great Britain. It included background, history, a look of religion and a small encyclopaedia called the Hârndex, and a map of Hârn drawn by N. Robin Crossby. Hârn was broadly based on Norman England, with some fantasy elements appearing through dwarves, elves and orcs. It was low magic and Hârn tried to create a genuinely real setting, based on careful research and consideration."

I've always been aware of Hârn Master and Hârn world but never looked it up until this weekend. Has anyone used the world as a substitutes for a D&D campaign? I know it's low magic. Did it take a lot of work or was it easily adaptable?
Oh man, I tried to run a GURPS Harn game back in the late 90's. I remember almost none of what I tried to do. I may have even said this is Harn, but with elves and dwarves and halflings, basically obviating a lot of what Harn was about.

But GURPS is so customizable that you can scale whatever you want in any direction. But it's a lot of cognitive load to start right away, at least in my opinion.

So that was that.

I used to have a bunch of the books, and had read about half of them. What I really liked were the maps and the attention to detail for the background.
 

estar

Explorer
I've always been aware of Hârn Master and Hârn world but never looked it up until this weekend. Has anyone used the world as a substitutes for a D&D campaign? I know it's low magic. Did it take a lot of work or was it easily adaptable?
It is easily adaptable. What happens if you use most of editions of D&D is that fantasy side of Harn tend to get emphasized. The religions, the weird ivashu, exploration of the earthmaster and other ruins , and even some interplanar travel via godstones.

This is because various core books of D&D still rest on a foundation of fantasy based on the myths and legends of medieval Europe. Just Harn dials up the medievalness to a 9. However unlike RPGs like Pendragon, or Chivalry & Sorcery, it includes some extras that N Robin Crossby, Harn's Author, liked. For example the ancient astronaut vibe of the Earthmaster.

Finally what keep Harn managable is its brevity. I know it has a reputation as a extremely detailed setting. That mainly because it been developed without a break since the mid-80s. There are two things that make Harn approachable even today.

1) It divided into articles, most range from 4 to 16 pages. The longer ones detail regions like kingdoms or a city.
2) The articles are written in a terse style. The oldest articles were really terse like some entries had just one sentence and that it. It did expand in the last decade to cover more of the personalities that inhabit Harn as well as to provide short adventure seeds.
 

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