Religion on Harn

Hermes's picture

Dear All!

Such a great roleplaying game - but I see no module about Religion. This should really be done. Heard there was someting called Gods on Harn, which is now out of print. Religion plas such a big role and it is an important part of the game I think.

Does somebody have "Gods on Harn" I would be more than happy to buy it?

I discovered Harnmaster when I was in Toronto via the other (non-authorized?) publisher... however I did not know it at that time. What I saw was the great idea behind it with simplified rules. Therefore I am more than happy to discover the real Harnmaster gold. Now comes the delicate question: Since there is no religion module here yet, is the "heretic" Harnmaster Religion module the same idea so that it can be used in the meantime?

I would be very thankful for answers and advise. I am going to start a campaign soon and I need something substantial about Religion, clerics and game mechanics on this.

All the best,

cyrion's picture

Hello Hermes,

I use the "heretic" Religion rules. I use the miracles when and how I need them.
I have no PC cleric so it is easy just to take what I need. You just have to change very little. HMG and HM3 are compatible.


Hermes's picture

Hi Cyrion,

Many thanks for your comment!

It is nice to meet somebody on this forum. I would also be happy to discuss some rules, if u like. I posted something about point vs edge recently. It seems point melee weapons are disadvantaged -- and I did some calculations and normalised the point injury table (only the break levels). What do you think about that? Do you have any issues with the combat system?

Best regards,

Marduk23's picture


It is true that there are some seemingly significant discrepancies between Edge and Point damages... but that isn't the whole story.

Edge weapons do more damage (on average, if normalized) in most locations than pointed weapons in 'normal' conditions. This is true in 'real life' as well. Think of the following hypothetical situation:
You and your twin stand in front of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Give Arnold a 4 pound (2.5 kg or so) wood axe. Have him swing that down on your shoulder *as hard as he can* and have the coroner look at the damage. Now have him thrust a 4 pound spear at your twin's shoulder *as hard as he can*. Have a doctor look at that damage.
Notice that your twin simply needs a doctor. ;-) Edge weapons ARE more dangerous, especially when immediate trauma is concerned.

But let's look at the advantages of using pointed weapons.

1) Healing: I would MUCH rather have a 2" long cut than a 2" deep hole in my gut. Messy messy. The physician tables treat puncture wounds (or at least they used to) with more more prejudice than edged.

2) Reach: Most long weapons (spear, lance, etc) are pointy. Longer reach means I hit you first. I consider this pretty important. ;-)

3) Open vs Close mode: That battlesword with the 7 pt edge aspect looks far more appealing than the spear with a 7 point aspect... until you start using them both in a narrow hallway. Even smaller pointy things are more useful in close quarters. In a crowded street fight, I'd rather have a bunch of thugs (on my side) who know how to use daggers and short-swords than a bunch of thugs that are equally skilled with glaives. Bill Gant has a nice Open vs. Close mode Attack/Defense modifier chart that shows this well... I use a modified version of that chart (just a few tweaks).

So Edge *is* better when you have room to use it *and* you are already up close and personal.
Point takes the edge (so to speak) when you want to keep someone at distance, have limited space to 'swing', or are *too* close and personal.

Just my 2d.

Great question, btw.

Hermes's picture

Hi Marduk,

Thx for very interesting comments. I agree completely that edge is really more dangerous than point, under normal circumstances, so to say. But actually I think one important point is that these "normal" circumstances include NO armour. And in this case edge are superior to point. The aspects you mentioned; healing, reach and open/close are certainly true adv for point; however lets take a look at armour aspects:

Again, Unarmoured => edge wins by far.

Edge; *5+ 9+ 13+ 17+
Point;*5+ 11+ 16+ 21+
DIFF: 0 -2 -3 -4

Light armour: This means for ex leather. Here we have protection 2/1 for edge/point; hence one can say that point-weapon "wins" 1 point for leather, i.e. when the armour DIFFERENCE is equal to 1 (=2-1). So in this case the (normalised) breakpoints in the injury table looks like:

Edge: *7+ 11+ 15+ 19+
Point:*6+ 12+ 17+ 22+
DIFF: +1 -1 -2 -3

It seems that point weapons are catching up a little here.. BUT the injury tables look different for edge and point!
To balance out this I have made a quite an estimate of impact for each aspect. If you look at column for 16+ for point weapons and compare it with 13+ edge, u see that in the thorax+eye it is more dangerous than edge but for all other body parts the column 13+ for edge wins. How shall one calculate/compare this and normalise it? Well, we can give each colour (yellow,orange,red) certain number of "weights", and similar for Bleeders, shock rolls and kill rolls. Without mentioning the exact mathematics for this I just say that after calculating for a while I noticed that the 16+ point column is equivalent to a corresponding 12+ column in the edge-injury column. The 11+ point column is equivalent to 8+ in edge, and the 21+ point column would lay somewhere at 15+ edge. Hence, taking into account the difference of the injury tables, we come up with the following normalised table:

Point-normalised: *5+ 8+ 12+ 15+
Original point: *5+ 11+ 16+ 21+
Hence one can say that the current rules gives point an INITIAL penalty of 0 -3 -4 -6 (difference)
compared to edge.

Armour differences compensate this. However, it takes a difference of at least 3 to make point-weapons be equal to edge in "danger" for the three serious last injury levels. Lets check: Armour difference is 3 so we just ad 3 to the last line above.
Point has now the fllowing penalties compared to edge:
+3 0 -1 -3

Hence actually an advantage on the first , equal on the second and still behind on the last two levels.
But if the armour difference is 3, then it IS really a thick armour! Is this reasonable? Who knows?
It is well known that point weapons penetrate armour better than edge.
With 2 layers, say cloth and leather, the difference is 2 and the comparison table would be:
+2 -1 -2 -4

This feels for me a little to weak for point. That is the reason why I use the table

Point: *5+ 10+ 15+ 20+ (instead of the orignal one).

In this case for armour of 2 layers (leather+cloth) such that the armour difference is 2, point is already back in the game: +2 0 -1 -3

Advantage for point 1st level, eqaual on second and still edge holds sway at level 3 and 4. For armour differnce 3 point starts to be better apart from last level:
+3 +1 0 -2

Reasonable? I think so. Hope this was not too complicated ;-)


ken's picture

Hi guys.

That was a great question and a great answer. :)

As to changing the point breaks for injury level re: point damage. I don't think the changes you've made would severely unbalance the game. So long as you and your players are happy with it all should be good.

I do think that this is a great illustration as to how detailed and interwoven the rules system is.

Cheers and happy gaming!


Hermes's picture

Hi All,

After calculating again and taking into account the body parts different hit-percentage (i.e. it is easier to hit thorax than skull according to hit-table. Therefore a K3 entry on thorax is more dangerous than K3 on skull) I see that the normalised point table is

Point-normalied; 5+ 8+ 13+ 16+
Point-original; 5+ 11+ 16+ 21+
DIFF 0 -3 -3 -5

Hmm -- perhaps not soo bad after all. I want to make sure the game is strategically balanced.. ;-) and it seems it is actually not too bad. Good games do not have only one winning strategy; which seems to be the case here.
Now - Blunt can have a slight advantage compared to Point -- but that will be another topic... :-)

(it is my job to analyse things in depth - I am a mathematician...)

See u later!


Hermes's picture

Oh, actually; to take into account the MID hit-table does not make sense since I can choose to try to hit HIGH or LOW or even ARMS - and that changes the hit cances for different body parts a lot!
This pretty much spoils my last calculation!! Gr%$$%

Hence I go back to the original one where I just say
Red (grievious) always comes with shock roll (E), and I guess Red plus Shock is approx that same as getting a bleeder (B): R+E = B. Then a K3 is approx a 3B, since 3 bleeders make you faint and die within a few turns. Hence K=B.
With this rule, the first two previous of my lenghty rules hold:

Point original; 5+ 11+ 16+ 21+
Point-(normalised to edge); 5+ 8+ 12+ 15+

Hence we are back: I still lean towards that point should have the list: 5+ 10+ 15+ 20+. But actually, I am not sure.

Think of our old friend Arnold Schwarznegger again: He hits with a spear against the chest vs. he hits with a sword against the chest.
With leather armour for instance, I think the spear wins ;-)

Now I give up. I am going crazy...

It is just that such a very good game I want to make even better.

Buy for now,

Marduk23's picture

Hermes, I know your pain.

Me <--- Physicist. I have to tweak with ~everything~.

Now you see why I chose the shoulder in my Arnold example. A spear to the chest in real life *should* be more lethal than an axe.

Sure the HMG combat system is simplified (gameplay must be maintained, afterall), but I truly like the 'believability' of it all. You know the system is working in when a character with a spear 'wastes' the points to say "-20 towards abdomen. I ~really~ don't like this guy."

Likewise, an arrow to the forearm isn't nearly as bad as a falchion in the same location, but those arrows really shine when that torso roll comes up.

Hermes's picture

Yup - I guess this is a "professional quirk" math and phys people have ;-)

HMG is really among the best I have ever seen (I think it simply IS the best). However, there is no combat system without flaws. And this is the job of the GM ;-) It is already very good and believable, as you said. I am not an expert in middle age weapons, but I can take a look at the stragegic balance, so to say. A good game has no simple strategy to win or optimise. It is (almost) the case here already.
It is just that I have a pretty strong intuition that Point weapons are somewhat /behind/ and this should be corrected. The problem is that I want to have a "scientific" reason to change things...

I would say that the biggest problem is throwing spears vs melee spears. With the current rules you roll 2d6 + Impact if you throw a spear whereas you go to the melee attacktable for dogde when you use spear as melee weapon; this usually means 1d6 + Impact. In average you gain 1d6 for throwing a spear vs using it as melee weapon. /This/ is a bit unreasonable I think!
Maybe the game constructors took this into account when writing the table for point weapon, bc in this case it is NOT unbalanced. One should probably have another table for point/melee. Hence something like:
point-melee: *5+ 10+ 15+ 20+
point-missile: *5+ 11+ 16+ 21+

But still it does not balance things out, you still have a better chance of inflicting more damage by throwing a spear vs thrusting. Do you have a better idea?


Marduk23's picture

Hmm... I had been using an alternate str-damage rule when I was still GMing with HM1. It worked for HMC, then HM3, so I assumed it would work with HMG.

So I didn't notice the discrepancy. Try this:

Every attack using 'muscle' (which includes thrown missile weapons) has an additional d10 used. If the number rolled comes up equal or higher to the character's str score (difference from 10), they get another d6 of damage.

(sounds complicated, it's not)
(18 str = 1-8 extra die)
(12 str = 1-2 extra die)
(10 str = no need to roll ;-))
(7 str = (1-3 *missing* die)

So thrown melee weapons use the HMG to-hit chart for missiles (deviation, etc) but do damage the same as as if they were used normally. With, of course, the added problem that they may not hit 'business-end' first. ;-)

Any missile that uses external energy (sling, bow, etc) uses the standard missile damage (2d6+Impact) but doesn't get any str bonus (duh).

Works pretty well. Obviously well enough that I never thought about the problem you mentioned. lol

In fact, this speeds up combat. Players thrown FIVE d10 when they attack. 2 for the *do I hit*, 2 for *where would I hit* and 1 for *str damage if applicable*. I have my players throw all 5 simultaneously (color differentiation helps A LOT) and combat just speeds along nicely.

Hermes's picture

That is a very nice idea!
Do you mean that you get an extra 1d6 in addition to the original 1d6 if the 1d10 roll exceeds str?

You use the normal Point table (5/11/16/21) for that ?

I lean towards giving 2d6 on normal hit and 3d6 on critical hits for bows, slings etc (external force) and your rule on thrown weapons. AND one can dogde them with half EML (full EML for thrown):
MS => -1d6 damage and +1d6 deviation. CS => -2d6 damage and +2d6 deviation.

Moreover, I found a fun rule on the HMG advanced missile rules:
Instead of having

0 deviation for CS
1d6 deviation for MS
2d6 deviation for MF
3d6 deviation for CF

I use skill index (SI):
1d6-SI for CS
2d6-SI for MS
3d6-SI for MF
4d6-SI for CF

So, if you are really skilled, like 81+ = SI 8 then it is quite likely you hit on a MS M ;-)
Too dangerous? Who knows.

I will tomorrow start a brand new campaign; first real in my life with HMG! :-) and for this the combatsystem /must/ be complete...
Will be close to either Chelna Gap I think among the tribes "Chelni" or in some other outskirts of Kaldor.

It is very nice to read your (and all others) comments and discuss all this -btw

Marduk23's picture

To clarify, the d10 Str die yields an additional d6 in addition to whatever the chart says (A1, A2, etc). Note that this is the ONLY str modification I use (so as to not overly emphasis STR for players or NPCs).
Example: A MS attack vs MF dodge would result in a normal 1d6 + impact. If they made their STR die it would add 1d6 to damage.
(so I think you assumed correctly)

Of course we use slightly different rules for damage in any case. All book damage values for weapon aspects are reduced by 7 (broadsword edge = -2, for instance)... but we add that to 2d6 for impact damage. That allows for FAR more deviation in damage - which was desperately needed... afterall, by canon rules, a pole-axe ~cannon~ simply "graze" an unarmored man. It misses completely... or it removes limbs. ;-)

But... back to the subject at hand:
Your missile deviation mod might be a little too powerful (unless you like killing PCs.. mwhaha). You give an extra d6 towards deviation, granted... but the average roll on the d6 is a 3.5...
so any SI above 4 (pretty likely!) will have little to no deviation at all. Messy messy.
I'd almost suggest that you add *2*d6 to the list just to make an SI of 7 the 'average'.
2d6-SI for CS
3d6-SI for MS
So (N)PCs of skill 70 break even on the chart (on average) and really start to be dangerous at 80+. It also means that a character/npc with an opening skill of 30 will, well, suck. Duh. ;-)
For us, we generally prefer deviation as it stands. Sure, this means that a MS will ~never~ hit exactly where you want it... but it *is* called a "MARGINAL" success, afterall.

Personally I don't give the Critical Success 3d6 damage for missile fire (as HM3 does), since the 0 deviation for CS (as per canon) far makes the CS worth it in its own right. Remember what your characters can do to the NPCS is what the NPCS can do to the characters. That tends to mitigate decisions/arguments on both my group's side and my own. lol

In the end, it is "each to his/her own." If you and your group like the increased lethality, then I salute you. You have more testicular fortitude than we do. ;-)

Hermes's picture

Hi again Marduk,

So you skip critial hits for melee weapons (i.e. muscle used weapons) and replace it with the extra d10 to determine of you get 1d6 or 2d6 + Impact? That is also a very nice idea but doesnt it become a bit too powerful? It is like a critial hits on a high percentage. With ML=50 then you have 50% chance to get 2d6 instead of 1d6 + impact. well, it is bascially a nice rule.

Something like that I will think through also. I will tell you when I have thought more.

All the best,

Marduk23's picture

Ah... I skip the CS damage bonus for *missile* weapons. CS counts as canon for melee strikes (CS vs MF = A*2 strike + impact)

The extra d6 possibility for STR really doesn't add much... in fact it is far less than what the STR rules were in HM1.
For instance, a character with a 15 STR (pretty rare, actually... hard to get that on 4d6 (keep 3) will get his xtra d6 50% of the time. The average d6 roll is 3.5, so you can approximate that a character with a 15 STR does an extra 1.75 points of impact every time he *connects* with a target. When you think that a 15 STR is in the top 4.5% of the population, this isn't that much of an advantage. Most other STR damage rules yield far(!) more damage to the strike.

How this REALLY comes into play is when characters stumble across the (very) rare Troll. A STR of 25 means that the troll automatically gets the first STR die (20) plus a 50% chance for a 2nd.
Likewise, smaller creatures do less damage... although being ~swarmed~ kinda makes that point moot. lol