Hârn and Runequest 6

kjetilkverndokken's picture

As I am not too keen of any of the Hârn rulebooks, I am using one of my favorite systems: Runequest 6 (Love the basic roleplaying system).

So after my Savge World Hellfrost game has ended (maybe sooner then later.... evil grin). Chelemby and RQ6 will be starting up :)

Anybody else using RQ6; or any other basic roleplaying variation with the Hârn setting?

Ovatha's picture

Those are the two best game for me. I love Runequest and the last edition is very good. But for me all it start with Strombringer(box) in the 80. That how i found about Runequest :)

sabremmc's picture

I am also thinking of starting a new Harn/RQ6 campaign after a dry run on boxing day went well. My main problem is that I do not like the Religions of Harn but do not wish to rewrite the Gloranthan Gods for use in Harn.

Anyone out there got any ideas on what to do.

Kara's picture

What is it that you do not like about the Religions of Harn? An answer to that is a starting point for working out what to do instead.

sabremmc's picture

I do not like the overly evil nature of Agrik and Morgath. While it is undoubtedly true that evil gods are worshipped, this tends to be destructive to the social structures that they would need to use to gain political control in order to have any influence on the populace.

So these gods would have to offer their worshippers something, like say the protection from disease that Malia (Glorantha) offers her lay worshippers.

Tempest13's picture

Evil and morality are in the eye of the beholder. Also if you pick up a copy of Venarive you will see that this is addressed. In the global scheme of things the Agrikan church on Harn is a very unorthodox splinter group. But Agrik is no more evil than the Spartans or the Aztecs or the Mongols. You are looking at the religion from a distorted 20th century viewpoint. Agrik worship is very much like the Axtec worship. After all the Aztecs sacrificed thousands every year to insure the sun keeps coming up. In the Gods of Harn Agrik is seen as a intercessor with the elder god Manrusha to keep the world from being consumed by fire. All the bloodshed is to help in this deal. Now Morgath is a little harder to work on. All I can say is that on Harn the only place they have power is Golotha - they control the city, and when a group has that kind of power it will change the doctrine (even if only slowly over time) to strengthen the position they hold. I think the biggest issue with Morgathianism is that the CG made the Shadow WAY to powerful. I prefer the way it is addressed in Harnmaster Gold Bestiary. The CG way would make Golotha a ghost town (literally) within a hundred years tops.

pokep's picture

HM Religion and Gods of Harn provide only a snapshot of what the faiths are about. Summa Venarive explains how each faith arose and how their respective communities evolved in the context of the cultures of Venarive. All the faiths have completely plausible origins, and they all offer very considerable benefits to their adherents.

In fact, I consider Venarivan faiths much more realistic than the sort of "religion by auction" seen in most fantasy. People emphatically do not choose their faith based on the goodies the gods offer. Faith is deeply intertwined with community and culture, as well as personal psychology. In my opinion, the Venarivan faiths capture that dynamic very effectively - once you understand how they developed and the environment in which they evolved.

Puster's picture

is to some degree debatable. Most people do not consider themself evil even when they commit the most gruesome deeds, and some of the worst evils in reality were done in the name of some "greater good".

Imho Agrik, Morgath or Naveh do offer something in exchange for service, and most adherents gain (or think they do so) more then they give in their adherence. In regions where these faiths prevail, the "gain" for the common folks is often only to be spared from the worst, but that again has plenty of parallels in real history.

Most people are not evil in the sense that they revel in the misery of others for no gain, but try to achieve something for themself, their family, clan, nation or faith (be it religion or ideology) even when it costs others outside their group far more then they gain. The willingness to accept an imbalance between the losses for others to the gain for the own person (or group) is probably what objectively defines good and evil.

In that regard its harder for me to rationalize "true" Peonism then Agrikanism - mainly because it is harder to find someone who really examplifies all virtues of Peonie then someone who embraces the "virtues" of Agrik. Larani makes a pragrmatic compromise, and tends to be far closer to Agrikanism then Peonism in regions where the "others" are dismissed as worthless (eg. the Solori crusade).

sabremmc's picture

While I agree with what you say, that great evil can be done in the name of a supposedly good cause, I have unfortunately not yet read Venarive and have only read Harn Master Religion. So perhaps my concerns have already been addressed.

However, many players take a superficial view of things and a religion that seems to reward rape and pillage, murder and deceit can put a great deal of strain on a campaign.

Daniel's picture

I've started the Book of Quests scenarios, using Ledenheim as the setting - the first scenario (Caravan) is based along the Hurisea Road.

We've played one short session so far, and future ones unfortunately will be infrequent, so it's still early days to judge. But from what I've read and played so far I do like the system.


pokep's picture

"However, many players take a superficial view of things"

Involving players in the game is almost always a mistake. ;-)

Your players simply need to realize that in this world you don't just choose your deity in isolation. Your faith comes from your community and your place within that community. Some faiths are explicitly ethnic - e.g. Sarajin/Ivinian, Ilvir/Jarin. Some faiths appeal to certain classes - Save K'nor/Scholars, Halea/Merchants, Agrik&Larani/Warriors, Peoni/Farmers, Morgath/Urban Poor. To choose another faith is to choose another society, which is something that very few people do willingly.

I find that most players easily get past the D&D-ish mentality once they realize that religion isn't just a game mechanic in this world.