New here and wanting to ask questions

Phaerolin's picture

Well I happened to stumble upon Harn a few years ago ( through an RPI MU* which seemed pretty dead) but now that I have found this place I am kind of interested and wanting to find more about Harn before I invest my money in the books (and perhaps get my friends together and play in wonderfully developed world).

Anyone know where I can get more information on this world would needed to buy the PDFs. (I do love the plethora of information on the site but that's sort surface, and I'd like to see a few more things about the world (roles of women and men ect) and how a few of the systems work before I got spend you know 50.00 dollars essentually on PDFs.)

Marduk23's picture

Hey there Phaerolin (and welcome),

Are you looking for more information on the world itself? (i.e. the actual island or another realm on Kethira)
Or are you looking for information on the Harnmaster rules system?

Either can be used independently from the other.

Personally, as a player, I'm on Harn (the island) *a lot*... although I don't get the chance to play as often as I'd like.
As a Game Master (99% of the time), I use the Harnmaster Gold system exclusively, but don't run my campaigns on Kethira... not because I don't like the world (it is wonderful!), but because I had something else in place umpteen years ago when I discovered Harn/Harnmaster and I just never switched. ;-)

Just let us know which (or both) area you'd like to see reviewed, and I'm sure I (or any other harniac on his forum) can get you the information you need.

((even w/o knowing exactly what you want, I'd still suggest grabbing up what you can. I became a FAR better world-designer simply from reading harn-specific material... and the game-mechanics are the most realistic (yet still playable) system I've yet to find. In all likelihood, Harnmaster will probably be the system I use until my arms have withered to the point where chucking dice is impossible.))

Neil's picture

Hello and welcome

A few basics:
Hârn (sometimes marketed as HârnWorld, though more correctly known as Kethira (the name of the planet)) is, in the main, systemless. For a flavour of the background, I’d suggest that (if you haven’t already) you visit and download some of the free fan materials available from that site. These downloads are all (IMO) very good. A lot of the downloads are written by people who have also done official material. Almost all are done in the old CGI house style.
The only free materials at to use the ‘Kelestia’ format are mine, they are ‘Jedes’, and ‘Asolade Hundred’. The free downloads will give you a good idea of the feel of Hârn and how the world works.

HârnMaster, the game system is separate, but (obviously) is designed to be used on Hârn. There are less differences than you might think between HârnMaster Gold and HârnMaster3. These are mostly in character generation & skill sets. The actual game mechanics are almost identical and, like many people I use a mix of both systems. HârnMaster Gold (IMO) has better (though more complex) rules for magic, and better (and less complex) rules for clerics.

Havins said that, I know of people who use C&C, GURPS, Hero System, Burning Wheel, Savage worlds and even DnD as the rules sets for games based on Hârn. You could look at ‘A Shower of Silver’ an adventure I wrote set in Jedes, (also at It should give you some idea of how the (HM3) system works. ASoS also includes six pregenerated HM3 characters, with backgrounds.

I probably seem to be pushing stuff I wrote. That’s because I am! But it’s also because I wrote these things to act as an introduction to Hârn. I’d be interested to know whether you think I’ve succeeded.


Phaerolin's picture

Well this is interesting. So there are two 'sets' of rules? (I know little about Table top gaming and in true when my friends and I play we essentually play a very modified form but I got tired of ROLLplaying and wanted ROLEplaying, so I set out to sort of design my own world-but have hit upon a TON of snags- in terms of mechanics, but the thing that got me interested in Harn was the games FAQ line:

'seven point hit' vs. 'serious left thigh wound'.

It kinda clinched it and then I remembered the mud I attempted to play and started to dig. So I ended up here. So in essense there's the systemless thematic stuff (which seems to be most 'up to date'/ Comprehensive in Harn (versions 1-3 + all the suppliments) and then the Rules + 'updated' thematics in HarnMaster Gold?

I am having trouble finding this, but um... what sort of dice (if any) are used in Harn?

But yes I am interested in both sides (Harn/Kethria) and the Harn Master Gold system.

Neil's picture

As I said, for lots of free ‘world’ stuff, check out

I’m not a rules guy, but, basically, HMG is a percentage based system. If you look at the characters for a ‘Shower of Silver’ they are HM3, HMG has two additional stats: touch and move.
Skills are pretty much the same in their effect in both systems.
The system itself is percentage based (roll lower that the percentage skill to succeed): with modifiers. Any % roll ending in 5 or 0 is a critical (if you’ve a 55% chance, then 05, 10 up to 55 are critical successes, 60 etc. are critical failures.
The combat system uses opposed (%) rolls to generate strikes, a number of d6 plus a (weapon based) modifier for damage to a hit location (%) dice (there are a lot of locations), then damage is modified by armour and a result from minor to kill is produced. Sounds complicated? It isn’t! There are fewer modifiers than (say) DnD3.5 and the system runs surprisingly quickly when the players are used to it. Injuries are graphic, and reduce your skills. After taking a serious hit your characters combat skills could be down 10% or more. Things can get very desperate very quickly.


ken's picture

Greetings Phaerolin,

As Neil has suggested, his Asolade Hundred, Jedes, and Shower of Silver offering over at are a great introduction to HarnWorld. They're free, and they are top quality.

The Harn situation is somewhat confusing, so I'll try to explain the current state of things briefly.

Currently there are two seperate companies producing Harn material. Kelestia Productions (KP), (whose website you are currently on) is the company created by the creator and author of Harn, N. Robin Crossby. Sadly, Robin died just this last week. But KP stands to continue producing material and keeping his vision alive.

Columbia Games (CGI) is the original publisher of Harn and a few years back they and Robin experienced an acrimonious split. Robin terminated the contract between the two and started publishing on his own. CGI has not recognized the termination and continues to publish HarnMaster and HarnWorld material without Robin's consent.

Robin's current version of the HarnMaster Rule System is called HarnMaster Gold and is available on this website. CGI's version of the rule system is called HarnMaster 3. By and large the two system are the same. They are both iterations of HarnMaster I, written by Robin many years back.

HarnMaster 3 is available as a printed product.
HarnMaster Gold is available in PDF form.

The HarnMaster 3 series incorporates some expansions from HarnMaster 2 (HarnMaster Magic, and HarnMaster Religion)
HarnMaster Gold is a system that includes HarnMaster Gold: Player's Edition, GM's Edition, Shek-Pvar (the magic suppliment) , and Bestiary. In HarnMaster Gold the religion rules are included in the Player's Edition.

HarnMaster Gold's design stresses common-sense realism while striving to maintain a balance between detail and ease-of-use.

My recomendation to you would be to pick up HarnMaster Gold: Player's Edition and test it out to see if you like it. The rest of line is there if you want it, but you don't NEED anything but the first book to play.

As far as the setting is concerned... When Robin split from CGI, he did not republish any of the older material. Most of the fan and customer base of Harn already have these materials so Robin focused on new material, most of it off of the island of Harn, and instead in the wider world of Kethira. The first place detailed in this manner has been the Island of Chelemby.

There is no current way to purchase the material about the Island of Harn (where most of the development over the years has taken place) without purchasing it directly from CGI, or getting it second hand.

The HarnMaster system:

Most dice rolling is going to consist of percentile dice. Characters have a range of skills that are numerically rated. These skills are based on experience, training, and natural apptitude. Players roll the percentile and if the result is equal or less than the appropriate skill, the character achieves some level of success. In combat, or other opposed situations, the levels of success are compared (often on a matrix) to determine the final results.

Damage is expressed in terms of injury and is determined affected by weapon type, strike aspect (cut, smash, stab etc.) strike location, and armor type.

Characters do not have hit points. Some injuries are instant kills (a high impact sword cut to the neck for instance), but for the most part, characters succumb to shock, exhaustion, and bloodloss.

By far the most common dice in the system are the percentile dice, and some d6 (which is most often used to determine the forcefulness of a strike).

I hope that answered your questions to some degree. If you have any more, please ask. This board is also here to help you through learning the system.



arnimlueck's picture

Hello Everybody,

I was inactive in roleplay the last years. But I plan to come back and restart with HM that I liked very much. Looking on my backup CDs I found pdf of HMG Gamemaster edition named Edition 2.1. Is that still the newest material? As I need to restart anyway I would like to go with the latest HMG version. As i have no players edition presently I would purchase the one offered but it would be beneifcial to have GM and players edition matching.

Balesir's picture

HMG 2.1 is, indeed, the current version - but you may not have the Bestiary and Shek Pvar 'supplement' that now exist for it... ;-)

If you have the GM edition my guess is you'll have the players' document, too - that would at least be worth checking.

arnimlueck's picture

... I am busy reading, sorting, ...

It is definitely great fun to read myself back into this world. Let's see if I manage to get into playing too ;-))

Phaerolin's picture

Yeah I was reading through and I was quick to realize this is /not/ for the casual gamer-my friends and I play losely and while I LOVE the world- I am kind of sorry that I can't play in with my friends (I am one of the two female group memebers and at least of the four guys are like 'kill things or you know world domination' :(

But I think with the right group this game'd be WONDERFUL.

ken's picture

Hi there!

Kethira may lend itself to an immersive, in depth game, but that doesn't mean you can't play in it with an over-the-top, rule the world attitude. I hope you give it a try sometime. :)