Fantasy Realms : Hârn Adaption Notes

Version 1.1

Copyright (C) 1997 By Joseph W. Teller

Hârn, HârnWorld, HârnPlayer, and HârnMaster are trademarks of Columbia Games, Inc. and are used here without intent to challenge the rights of the trademarks. Columbia Games does not in any way hold responsibility for the contents of this document, nor necessarily agree with the opinions expressed herein in regarding the usability of these notes with their products.

Fantasy Realms is a trademark of Joseph Teller.


Hârn, published by Columbia Games, is a diverse and rich worldbase environment for roleplaying, and over the years has grown to have one of the most extensive backgrounds available. Hârn was originally presented as a background without a specific mechanic, but this was changed later and a native mechanic was presented by the company in HârnMaster.

Although the native mechanic for Hârn fits the personal tastes of some gamers, and its creators, its complexity and unusual flavor does not fit everyone. The Fantasy Realms mechanic, being less complex and more flexible in many ways, can be adapted for use with Hârn's world information.

This booklet is not meant to cover all the detailed aspects of such an adaption, but to provide the framework needed for a game moderator to build upon. It of course requires, to be of value, for you to have purchased Columbia Game's excellent HârnWorld background materials, and preferably the HârnPlayer and other books and maps, or to have them available to you thru your GM if you are a player.

In the following pages we cover Character Creation (including the translating of native HârnMaster based characters to Fantasy Realms mechanics), and basic mechanics, as well as notes regarding the magic system implementation for Hârn.

Character Creation:

The method of creation of a character, especially a player character, has been bound within Fantasy Realms and other game systems to three methods : The random method, the constructed method and combinations of both. Under the random method certain attributes and values are decided by the roll of dice. Under the constructed method specific point pools are given that the player assigns to a series of attributes, skills, and traits to fit their mental outline of a pre-conceived character concept. The Psyche method (or Aspect method) is a constructed method that starts the construction system from a different place, one that helps design the psyche and personality aspects of the character first and using this to shape build a better picture of the character overall, and give player and Game Manager roleplaying tools that help both better understand the character as a whole.

It is the author's preference that the Psyche method be used in Hârn as the primary method of Fantasy Realms mechanic as it has been found to promote roleplaying from character concept onward better and should compliment the richness of the Hârn background.

The Psyche method begins with defining twelve aspects of the character's psyche, reflections of their personality and connectedness with their culture, world and the multi-verse in general. These twelve aspects are assigned a value by the player on a scale of 1-8 (the standard scale used in Fantasy Realms). There is no point pool, the player may assign any value that they perceive as fitting the character, but they cannot have more than 4 of the aspects at of a value of 8, and not more of the 4 aspects at a value of 1. (It is suggested that too many extremes in general be avoided).

Players should remember that they will have to roleplay these aspects as they are assigning them, and that 4 is generally considered an average score in an Aspect, except for Synchronicity where the average is a value of one (1). Some Aspects can produce problems in combination with others of either high or low value, and some can be difficult to play. Your Game Moderator will have some say in the final choices - some aspects require aspects of the players own personality to be reflected, as a player whose own values are significantly different may have a problem playing them.

The twelve aspects of the psyche are:


Adaptability is the measure of the characters ability to adapt and learn from situations. A character with a high adaptability is able to learn best from doing, and this will affect how their character will advance in skills thru practice. It can also affect them socially in fitting into situations, when in combination with other aspects.

Communication is the measure of how well the character can communicate themselves to others. Its the ability to express ideas and to understand the communications of others. If the Game Moderator feels the player does not have at least the same value of the character in this aspect, then the player must identify how the character is able to express themselves. A character might, for example, be conceived as being a painter, able to communicate well thru their art, but be a poor public speaker, and this could be played by a player with personal poor verbal communication skills without problems. (A player with good communication themselves can play a less communicative character).

Creativity is the measure of artistic and to some extent inventive and innovative parts of the characters nature. Creativity is important in artists, engineers, writers and such, but can often be a drawback to characters with a high Discipline. Characters with a high Creativity and a low sanity may suffer from hallucinations, or may withdraw entirely from reality into their own mind. A character with high creativity and a high Curiosity may be dangerous to themselves if they have a low logic. Characters with high creativity can get bored easily and may be limited in how high they might advance in a skill thru actual training.

Curiosity is the measure of the characters need to explore, to experience and to know why. Characters with a high curiosity will have problems with wanderlust, and can easily get side tracked from one thing to another if they have a low Discipline. Characters with high curiosity and a high discipline and logic would make good scientists. High curiosity can lead to taking risks simply to answer a question why.

Discipline is the measure of the character's ability to perform boring, mundane tasks daily. It is also a measure of their ability to learn in a standard classroom, and to organize their actions and thoughts. High discipline is needed in a soldier, bureaucrat, teacher, many forms of the martial arts, and scientific fields. High discipline is often in conflict with high passion; high discipline with low sanity and high communication skills may be found in a cult leader or a dictator of a small country. Discipline is often at odds with High Curiosity. Characters with high discipline also tend to try to inflict their own discipline upon others.

Empathy is the measure of the character's ability to perceive the points of views and emotions of others. This is not the same as the Trait of empathy, which allows one to manipulate the emotions of others. Empathy is perception and understanding, and helps make a good psychiatrist, military tactician, politician or bartender. A character with a high empathy and a high passion would make an excellent lover, but with a low Discipline and a low Sanity might make a berserker warrior. High empathy is a must for a talk show host, along with a high communication skill. A character with a high empathy and a low esteem would probably feel guilty all the time and spend a lot of time trying to repair perceived harm against others.

Esteem is the measure of the character's self esteem, how good they feel about themselves and what they are in life. High esteem characters tend to be egotistical. High Esteem with low Sanity, high discipline and high communication skills could be the formula for a megalomaniac (like Hitler).

Low esteem will lower the character's willpower and spirit, and thus makes them a poor choice to enter into practicing magic, politics or performance arts. Low esteem with average or high discipline or adaptability makes a good factory worker. Characters with Low Esteem shouldn't have a high Fame attribute.

Insight is the measure of the characters ability to make leaps of reasoning and understanding about the universe. A high insight is needed in detectives (like Sherlock Holmes), magicians, philosophers, and engineers. A character with a high insight, low sanity and low esteem would potentially be a mental vegetable if exposed to magic. Insight is often at odds with Logic, as Logic works on the principle of step by step deduction, while Insight assumes leaps of imagination. Insight is needed by a computer hacker, while it can be detrimental to the career of a corporate programmer. Insight is sometimes referred to as Intuition.

Logic is the measure of the character's ability to think in rational, non-emotional, problem solving ways thru application of step by step advancement. It is vital to a mathematician, professional chess player, or martial artist to have a above average logic aspect. It is often at odds with insight, and thus high logic can work against magicians. It is usually in conflict with Passion (a character with both high logic and high passion would either be subject to huge mood swings, or may have to have a high discipline to achieve control over their emotions - such as Spock in the Star Trek tv shows and movies). Logic is necessary to be high for some traits, such as Lightning calculator.

Passion is the measure of the character's emotional forcefulness. A character with a high passion may make an interesting lover, or a very dangerous enemy. High passion means that the character puts a bit of themselves into everything they do, experiencing it as fully as they can. Passion is important to artists, performers, athletes, and some forms of magic. Passion works against Discipline and logic in many ways. A character with high passion, communication and empathy aspects would make a great religious leader or leader or a revolution. High passion characters have extreme emotional highs, but also are subject to extreme depressions that can lower their performance in general in life. Low passion characters are more conservative, more apathetic and more likely to be followers than leaders. They also are harder to startle, scare or cause fear in, but will have slower reaction time to changes. Low Passion characters should never be high adaptability characters.

Sanity is the measure of the character's grasp on the normal reality they live in, their ability to interact with that reality and to function within it. It is not simply a psyche measure, but also a measure of the character's connectedness with the general society they live in. High sanity would be bad in most magicians, good in many other fields (such as science, the military, or industry). If sanity is too low the character may be subject to hallucinations, paranoia, compulsive behaviors, neurosis, delusions or outbursts and fits. If sanity is too high the character will be blind to that which logic, science and common sense says cannot exist, and thus to the greater secrets of the multi-verse.

Sanity is one of the very few Aspects that can change with time within the game, though usually that change is a reduction to a lower score.

Synchronicity is the measure of the character's connectedness with the multi-verse. It also affects the importance of the character to the universe in general, and thus is an aspect with wild differences in value. Many people who live boring ordinary lives will have low Synchronicity values, while those who are the movers and shakers, influence wielders, pawns and knights of greater powers, magicians, heroes, great artists, great writers, etc have Synchronicity scores between 4 and 8. Most player characters should have a synchronicity of at least 4. High Synchronicity also can mean that you can't avoid the occult world, even if you have a high Sanity and Logic, little events keep occurring that can't be explained easily. Synchronicity should not be confused with luck or serendipity. Like Sanity, Synchronicity can actually be increased or decreased during game events.


The psyche system of aspects should be used in the normal method. Fantasy Realms characters are actually 'Veteran' characters by Hârn concepts. The following table is used to determine attribute points based on the Aspects Total:

Aspect Total Attribute Total
81+ 30
76-80 35
71-75 40
66-70 45
61-65 50
51-60 55
41-50 60
40 or less 65

Limits of Attributes:

Mind cannot be less than the character's Logic Aspect.

Perception cannot be less than the character's Insight.

Power cannot be 0 in Hârn.

Spirit cannot be less than the average of the character's Passion & Esteem.


The standard basic attribute scale is used in adaption. The universally used attributes of BODY, COORDINATION, HEALTH, LIFT, MIND, PERCEPTION, POWER, SPIRIT, and TOUGHNESS are used and have their usual meanings. Social Class is a 1-10 attribute added specifically for Hârn, Wealth has special mechanics in Hârn..

Attributes cannot be raised by the use of Trait points in Hârn.


This is muscle power as used in inflicting damage with punches, kicks, and hand weapons. BODY is never rolled against in play, but its damage is added to attacks after they have been calculated as successful in a combat.


This is general physical coordination, with hand and eye and with body for dodging and moving. COORDINATION in combat adds to the damage inflicted by thrown or fired weapons after they have successfully hit.

COORDINATION is also used to determine a character's initiative in a round, and thus their order of action in that round when other characters are present.


This is general well being and ability to recover from damage or avoid disease. Health is also used as a measure of fatigue. A character that runs, bicycles, or flies under their own power can do so without needing to rest for 10 minutes per point of Health.


This is muscle power as used to lift and carry objects. [Note: Some animals may have LIFT ratings as high as 20, but LIFT is never rolled against as an attribute]. Carrying Capacity is based on LIFT, and basically is the amount of baggage/passengers/gear the character can carry around with them without hindering their traveling speed etc. This is 25 pounds per Point of LIFT. For each 25 pounds above the character's LIFT that they try to carry they have a -1 to their COORDINATION based rolls, including initiatives. A 0 LIFT is possible for tiny beings and animals.


This is mental facilities, the ability to remember and to learn as well as to apply logic. Mages who want a wide collection of spells available to them would want a high value in this attribute too.


This is the ability to notice things and determines the effective ranges of thrown weapons, ranged weapons, ranged powers and spells Perception represents sight, hearing, and all other senses.

Perception, when being used to make a ranged attack or spell casting, can be modified by the size of the target. See the section on Scale Modification for details regarding this.


This is primarily possessed by powered characters, mages and magical creatures, and is a measure of those abilities. In a mage it manifests as the duration factor for their spell castings. In Hârn all sentient creatures possess Power.


The will and passion with which the character lives life. Spirit is also used as a defense against many kinds of magical and psionic attacks.


This is a measure of thickness of hide and tolerance level to Pain. Not all races have this available. Toughness actually reduces the damage received from all attack forms (except some magic spells). Toughness greater than 6 on a being or creature makes them unable to be 'coshed' successfully.


Wealth is ranged between 1 and 20 as an attribute, but the actual funds it produces is modified by Social Class. It is only used to calculate starting cash, and does not represent earning potential.

Social Class:

Social Class is important in the cultures of Hârn, and affects the professions/occupations available to a character. To adapt this to Fantasy Realms, we add an Attribute that is used to determine this otherwise word based concept in Hârn. Social Class is rated on a 1-10 scale and is bought with the standard attributes. The table is NOT demographic in nature.

Class Tribal


Feudal Imperial Khuzan Sindarin
Slave 1 1 1* 1-2 n/a n/a
Serf n/a 2- 4# 2-4 n/a n/a n/a
Unguilded 2-7 5-6 5-6 3-7 1-2 1-6
Guilded n/a 7-9 7-9 7-9 3-9 7-9
Noble 8 10 10 10 10 10

* Rethem only, treat as Serf elsewhere.

# Orbaal only, treat as Freeman Unguilded in Invinia, Harbaal etc.

Starting Finances:

Is based of the character's Wealth and modified by their Social Class. Money is in silver pennies, (1d) the standard currency nomenclature in Hârn economics. Social Class and culture also affect the maximum percentage of starting finances that can be in actual coin (0 means ONLY property):

Class Tribal


Feudal Imperial Khuzan Sindarin
Slave 0 0 0 5% n/a n/a
Serf n/a 10% 10% n/a n/a n/a
Unguilded 10% 10% 15% 10% 40% 15%
Guilded n/a 25% 25% 25% 50% 30%
Noble 25% 50% 50% 50% 60% 50%

The starting finances of the character is calculated by multiplying their Wealth attribute by their Social Class value. This total is then multiplied by 15. This produces a value between 15d and 3000d. A character with average (4 in each) attribute would have 240d.

Guilded occupation characters are assumed to have their guild dues for the coming year already paid for at start.

Sun Signs:

The native mechanic for Hârn depends on sun signs heavily for character construction and for the living of many parts of a character's life, because astrology is intricate in all of the cultures and the magical laws of the worlds associated with it. Instead of trying to emphasize the mechanical implementations of the system, adapting the Spirit of the concept will be the path taken in Fantasy Realms.

Use the table that follows to decide their character's sunsign (exact date is decided by the player). Under this some signs have more benefits than others, and thus have an additional cost as they are positive traits. A character born on the cusp of two signs (there are only 12 possible cups) will have to include the costs of both signs to gain the benefits associated with them.

You MUST have a sunsign for a character.

Sunsign Benefit Trait Cost
Ulandus +1 Fynria Convocation +1 Siem Rituals, +1 Peoni Rituals +2
Aralius +1 Tarotry , +2 Peoni Rituals +2
Feniri +1 Runecraft, +1 Sarajin Rituals +1
Ahnu +1 Peleahn Convocation, +1 Agrik Rituals +1
Angberelius +1 Jmorvi Convocation, +1 Agrik Rituals, +1 Peoni Rituals +2
Nadai +2 Agrik Rituals +2
Hirin +1 Lyahvi Convocation, +2 Siem Rituals +2
Tarael +1 Siem Rituals, +1 Halea Rituals +1
Tai +1 Save K'Nor Rituals, +1 all Convocations +4
Skorus +1 Alchemy Realms, +1 Save K'Nor & Ilvir Rituals +2
Masara +1 Odivshe Convocation, +1 Halea & +2 Naveh Rituals +2
Lado +1 Savorya Convocation, +1 Morgath Rituals +1

All plus factors above are applied to ROLLS, not actual training. If you have no training then you do not get the benefits.


Hârn has a number of sentient races available to characters, and this can affect a number of options and decisions in design. Race can affect culture choices, as many of the races have their distinct cultures.

Human Trait Cost = 0
BODY 1-8 MIND 1-8

*Tribal Humans have a maximum of 8 in Social Class

Humans have the most diverse cultures within Hârn. Although HârnMaster distinguishes different attribute ranges for males and females, we prefer to believe that both genders are capable of the full range above, though males will tend to have higher Body, Lift and Toughness and females will tend towards a higher coordination, Mind and Health.

Sindarin Trait Cost = 20
BODY 1-8 MIND 1-10

Although a Sindarin may choose to live among humans, they must have been raised within their own culture at start.

Ageless (barring violence they are immortal)
Do not truly sleep (but enter a half-conscious meditative state)
Can Get certain Positive Traits at Reduced Cost
Can be mages with more than 3 Convocations without being considered Renegades to Shek-Pvar
Automatically get 4 Ranks of Skill Sindarin Lore as part of upbringing
Automoatic Familiarity : Shava Forest (4 Ranks)
Automatic Familiarity : Ulfshafen Castle or Elshavel (4 Ranks)
Automatic Sindarin Language : Rank 4

Khuzdul Trait Cost = 10
BODY 1-10 MIND 1-8

Khuzdul have their own culture, but may choose to live among humans.

Prejudice Against Sindarin.
Under 5' size (Scale Modifiers)
Unable to swim (or to learn to do so) due to body density
Long Life (150-200 years)
Poison Resistance (+4 Health vs ALL Poisons)
Automatic Khuzdul Language : Rank 4

Sharg Trait Cost = 10
BODY 1-8 MIND 1-8

The Sharg are not part of the background for standard Hârn, but are an addition that we use in our interpretation of the worldbase.

Canine Competent
Deviant Behavior (Minority Race)
Shapeshifter : Humanoid form (Looks like normal human)
Shapeshifter : Wolf-like form (Wolf attributes in this form, but humanoid vocal chords)
Unusual Looks : Red eyes in all forms.
Cannot be Shek-Pvar

The sharg live mostly in secret, beside humanity but no longer have a separate culture in the normal sense of the concept as they have been deeply assimilated. They previously were shared the same continent that the Karrandier tribes now live upon (Ketheria).

Karrandier (Feline Shifter) Trait Cost=15
BODY 1-8 MIND 1-8

The Karrandier are not part of the background for standard Hârn, but are an addition that we use in our interpretation of the worldbase.

Body Weaponry : retractable claws (all forms) +2 Damage HTH
Cold Resistant (+8 Toughness vs Cold Based Damage)
Fast Metabolism (+5 all Initiative Rolls, Health Heals +2)
Feline Competent
Deviant Behavior (Minority Race)
Cannot Be Shek-Pvar
Shape shifter : House cat
Shape Shifter : Large cat (Puma, Leopard, Lion, Cougar, Jaguar etc)
Shapeshifter : Humanoid Form (w/unusual looks)
Unusual Looks in Humanoid form(Cat like Eyes, Feline Tail, Soft body hair)
Tribal Society, but no slaves. Not native to Hârn. Native to Kamerand Continent of Kethira.
Automatic Karrandier Language (4) Karrandier Culture (1) Basara Religion (1) for Free
{Esteem & Curiosity must be at least a 4}

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