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What's New With Iron Crown Enterprises?


High Adventure Roleplaying (HARP)
was born in 2003 in a desire to offer the slick combat table approach of Rolemaster in an easier-to-digest faster-to-play format. Despite wary detractor’s concerns the final product bears only a cursory semblance to its more complex and detailed cousin.

In 2011 Guild Companion Publications took over the helm for Iron Crown Enterprises. Their first releases were HARP Sci-Fi followed by HARP Sci-Fi Extreme. Correcting several errors and refining rules from fan input, the revised printing of HARP Fantasy was released later in 2011.

The HARP system is level-based, uses Professions instead of classes, has a broad detailed skill list and reads much like ICE’s alternative to D&D. The differences are in the details.

In HARP combat you roll an open-ended d100 roll; a result of 96 – 100 “explodes” keeping the previous roll, rerolling and adding the new results. The open-ended roll has no upper limit. Adding a skill modifier, considering any penalties and subtracting your opponent’s defense yields the attack result. The size of the attack or weapon then adds or subtracts from the attack result.

You then look up this result on the combat table for your attack. Results have a descriptive component, the number of "hits' subtracted from Endurance, the number of points added to an ongoing Action Penalty, and a possible number of points of Bleeding. Combat ebbs and flows with vivid descriptions and gritty consequences based on this fast single-roll lookup on a table.

Magic, detailed in the core book and the supplement HARP College of Magics, uses a Power Point (PP) concept where each spell requires a minimum PP cost and allows the caster to invest more PP to “power up” the spell. This flexibility grants plentiful options for the various spellcasting professions.

Races in HARP not only allow for the mainstream fantasy choices but offer up Lesser and Greater Racial Hybrids. Taking one of these options could create a Gnomish Blooded Dwarf or an Elven Blooded Gryx.

The latest release HARP Folkways presents an interesting format for a game supplement. The first half of the book informs with a detailed take on the “20 questions” approach, guiding the GM through the process of creating distinctive cultures. The last half of the book details a plethora of new races, professions and options for players. I found this book not only entertaining to read but imminently useful for fleshing out cultures.

The revised HARP Loot made its debut late last year. The traditional treasure tables are included with additional options for using land, titles and favors as rewards. Wrapping up the book are guidelines for creating a catalog of magic items both simple and fantastic.

The much-anticipated revised HARP Bestiary is due out in two to three months based on forum interactions with the line developer. Print-on-demand and PDF books are available from the various OBS sites.

[Links to products are affiliate links. If you buy something I get a small commission.]
 

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pming

Legend
Hiya!

ICE is still hard at work on Rolemaster Universal (I think thats what the U stands for in RMU). They just officially went into Beta 2 with it. Go check out the ICE forums for specifics (and to DL the Beta 2 playtest rule books if you want to give it a look-see). http://www.ironcrown.com/ICEforums/index.php

^_^

Paul L. Ming
 



bsmith

First Post
I thought the U in RMU stood for Unified? B-)


I think you need to register of the forum first in order to see the RMU section and to download the beta rules and contribute to the playtest.


The director of ICE/GCP gives monthly briefings on stuff in the works on the forum which is good, but these are just titbits and projected or scheduled release dates are not published which is kind of frustrating. :hmm:
 

vivsavage

Explorer
HARP needs a second edition. Please get rid of the d100 roll-over and convert it to d20 roll-over. D100 doesn't add anything IMHO. The game's original author (who now makes the Novus RPG) tried to get ICE to allow him to use d20 for HARP instead of d100. And, to clarify, I'm not suggesting using the d20 system (as in D&D).
 

CapnZapp

Legend
I took a look at HARP a number of years ago but found it uselessly unbalanced and not a real improvement over MERP/RM.

I was reminded much more of the fiddly changes between 3.0 and 3.5 and Pathfinder that attempts improvement but actually ends up not fixing any of the real issues.

What HARP needs is a new set of designers ready to actually fix its weaknesses, much like how 5e really fixes a lot (but not all) of 3e's problems.
 


callinostros

Explorer
HARP needs a second edition. Please get rid of the d100 roll-over and convert it to d20 roll-over. D100 doesn't add anything IMHO. The game's original author (who now makes the Novus RPG) tried to get ICE to allow him to use d20 for HARP instead of d100. And, to clarify, I'm not suggesting using the d20 system (as in D&D).

There is ultimately no difference between rolling 1d100 or 1d20. It is a cosmetic change, but since RM was created with the d100 it is a legacy item that doesn't really need to be changed. I suspect your real issue is something else. Is that there are sometimes more than 20 possible results on a table; ie too many results to look through?
 

vivsavage

Explorer
There is ultimately no difference between rolling 1d100 or 1d20. It is a cosmetic change, but since RM was created with the d100 it is a legacy item that doesn't really need to be changed. I suspect your real issue is something else. Is that there are sometimes more than 20 possible results on a table; ie too many results to look through?
I find it easier and preferable to deal with smaller numbers. I played RM religiously for years in the 1980s and was fine with d100, but my tastes have changed. I do think d20 gives a perfectly adequate amount of results. I like HARP quite a bit, but I wish it would use a d20. Just my opinion.
 


pemerton

Legend
I took a look at HARP a number of years ago but found it uselessly unbalanced and not a real improvement over MERP/RM.

I was reminded much more of the fiddly changes between 3.0 and 3.5 and Pathfinder that attempts improvement but actually ends up not fixing any of the real issues.

What HARP needs is a new set of designers ready to actually fix its weaknesses, much like how 5e really fixes a lot (but not all) of 3e's problems.
Can you elaborate a bit? (Not on the analogy - that's very clear - but on what you think the problems are.)
 

TerraDave

5ever, or until 2024
It probably should be titled "Whats new with HARP".

And maybe give a little more context, say what some challenges might be with the system, and come across as less of an add for the linked products.
 

TreChriron

Explorer
It probably should be titled "Whats new with HARP".

And maybe give a little more context, say what some challenges might be with the system, and come across as less of an add for the linked products.

Thanks for the constructive criticism. I wanted to give some brief context and then talk about what ICE was up to with HARP. At 500 words the "crispness" can come off as maybe too direct. I will try and be less "markety" in my next article if I'm fortunate enough to have another published. I should write up a proper review of HARP with pros and cons.

Thanks!
 

There is ultimately no difference between rolling 1d100 or 1d20. It is a cosmetic change, but since RM was created with the d100 it is a legacy item that doesn't really need to be changed. I suspect your real issue is something else. Is that there are sometimes more than 20 possible results on a table; ie too many results to look through?

Yes there is a major difference: Granularity, especially at high ranks.
Ranks 1-10 are 5% per, and thus able to be replicated on a d20...
Ranks 11-20, however, are 2% each... which cannot be accurately represented on a d20
Ranks 21= are 1% each. again, not representable on d20.

(See HARP, p 30.)
 


TreChriron

Explorer
Personally, I would be playing HARP with the d100, there are plenty of games using d20, the granularity is one of the "little details" that make it special (IMHO).
 

Quatermane

First Post
The Rolemaster Arms Law critical tables and fumble tables were always my favorite part of that system.
IMHO, Rolemaster was very crunchy. Many modifiers and calculations came into play with their system, but you only rolled once to determine hit and any damage.
The open ended D100 system is fun to work with if you like the crunchy aspect of the system.
I will need to look into HARP to see if it that system would have greater appeal to my non-numbers-crunchy players.
 


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