HárnMaster Third Edition

By on 24 February 2008

Hárnmaster 3e – N. Robin Crossby / Columbia games (currently a big dispute over the legal owner)

Ok so before i start i apologise for any typos rule inaccuracies and tangents that I will no doubt go off on.

Ok so Hárnmaster the concept well to quote a thread who location i cannot remember “With [WOD’s] Vampire being D and D’s Role-playing in the extreme Hárnmaster is D and D’s combat system on steroids.

Though this may not sound like you cup of tea hear me out for Härn has a lot more to offer than an interesting in depth combat system that punishes the overtly brave and then punishes everyone else for your mistake with a complete party wipe in a matter of rounds.

Hárn is set in a medieval fantasy version of Britain (though not in shape) the majority of the game bases its self around a Feudal world with a distinct (see 98%+) human dominance (though Elves{Sindarin} and Dwarves {Khuzdul} do exist the are very rare in all but their population centres and enclaves) the land is inhabited by all the standard beasts and villains that you would expect but with a fair smattering of magic.

The system its self is based around percentile dice rolling lower than (in the case of standard attacks) and higher then (in the case of skill improvements) a known skill level.

So far as character creation is concerned it is as flexible as you would expect but the method that i have found far more entertaining is to allow the entire character generation to be decided by the dice from gender and species to sexuality social status family situation and role in society.

Character creation for a predominately novice group took us the best part of three hours but unlike d20 where I find myself just copying down stats from books Hárn “char gen” was an adventure in its self with as much excitement tension and general good humour as you could wish for in the highlights of a campaign.

The combat system is at its roots 2 sets of around 3 rolls:-
On the attackers side
%ile roll to hit
%ile roll for location
varied dice for damage depending on weapon

On the defenders side they have a choice either
Dodge % in relation to agility score
Block % against shield stat
Counter attack ass attacker

this basic premise when padded out with choice of target location a wide variety of hit location mixed damage types and the ongoing system to heal up in which (in the case of the current campaign that I am part of) a player can quite easily survive an encounter but a small stab would can become infected the infection travels expands and if not caught can kill (poor guy first proper play session was killed of by an infection to the jaw (what we have taken to be lockjaw) which was spawned from a moving infection that originated in his chest).

There are some features that i am still not to sure about but most of these are based around the games interpretation of magic and in a case of amazing dice rolling on char gen physic abilities (a farmer who can project his metaphysical self and heal mysteriously).

The system is not level based but instead grants players “checks” for outstanding or critical use of skills which are collected and at the end of every in game month are traded for rolls against the stat score (this time trying to get higher than the skill) which in the case of a success increases the score by 1, this is a wonderful idea in my mind as it rewards and expands skills based upon their use and not on the players choice of that fits the bill for the party.

Thats about all i think ive missed just about everything i wanted to mention but thats life i told you ide get sidetracked

8/10 very fun questionable magic system minor engine problems

Thanks for your time and eyes 🙂

PS 3-ring binders dam there hard to find

Reviewed by thedoctor

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