Saturday, January 29, 2011

[My Collection] Harn

From the mists of time, Hârn came. Written by the late and much lamented N. Robin Crossby and first published by Columbia Games in 1983, it slid into a sea of RPGs with a radical idea - realistic, medieval fantasy, with low-power magic and limited to the bare minimum staple of fantasy races: humans, elves, dwarves and orcs. Columbia Games was never a powerhouse in the early 80s, in fact, by any stretch of the imagination, it was one of the first true "indie" game companies.

Originally Harn was simply a campaign setting but later became an RPG in it's own right, with the publication of HarnMaster in 1986 (with 2nd and 3rd editions published in 1996 and 2002, respectively). The detail was astounding and probably, to many minds at the time, boring as hell. Why bother dealing with minutia when you could be slaying orcs? Well, sometimes that minutia is damn interesting.

This was another game that I missed (even though it was being published less than 120 miles from my home in the PNW). I don't even remember hearing about Harn until the late 80s or early 90s, though I probably saw the ads in Dragon Magazine. That didn't stop me from getting most of the supplements that I want. Unfortunately, I still lack some issues of the Encyclopedia Harnica (Issues 1, 2, 3, 5, 9 and 11) and just one of the magic pamphlets (Savorya). has a whole mess of reviews on the subject (with just a sampling 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) which may prove interesting to you and A Paladin in Citadel blog recently had an excellent post on it as well.

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