So what are your thoughts on the lack of magic (footprint) on Harn, and the HarnMaster, HM1, HM2, HM Gold, and HM3 systems.
Are there any solutions? Alternatives, like other other magic/invocation systems (I was looking at RoleMaster's Spell Law for example) that could be graphed into the HarnMaster version X, system.
What Leitchy said!
For me there is a dissonance with the prevalance of arcane powers (Psionics,magic,invocations) possible to the general populace if one expands the character generation process into said general populace....and evidence of this in the general history. Surely there would be more evidence/footprint of said folk using said abilities I hear you say!!
Well; there are explicit and implicit social constructs that limit the rawness and 'boot weight' of such powers:
Magic: The Shek Pvar and the Pvaric code; and renegades. Almost all Magic is learnt in secret (Chantries), and/or taught by masters...who themselves have mostly been indoctrinated (in a positive way
) into secret practices. There is an explicit code to follow that instructs secrecy. This is enforced if it is not followed; public mages do not last very long
Religious invocations: To employ them one has to be accepted and taught by a church hierarchy that by implication is as secret and punitary as the Shek Pvar. IMHO the gods often employ them in a 'hidden' way (although this is easier with the vaguer divine interventions); and often take place in the physical buildings of the churches....de facto excluding the non-faithful and leaving them open to scepticism.
Psionics: Withcraft!! And also people with psionics will often be co-opted by the shek-pvar; dampening the wider social effect by amalgamating them with 'magic'.
All of this ameliorates the evidence of magic use. However; two vast uses/users of Sorcery have massively defined Harnic history to the current day: Lothraem the Renegade and the Sorcerous defence of the Elven realms. And whilst his magic may not be evident Genin does have a road named after him
Despite this however; I still feel that the magic footprint is very shallow. One could use activities the council of Eleven order of the white hand to explain this; a common idea is that they use Men in Black savoryan type memory swiping. Whilst not my cup of tea; it could be an extra layer of suppression to explain the relative mundanity of the Misty Isle.
The other thing I do is suggest that the character generation process is for players
to make them special and noteworthy for play. So I do not give all my my NPC priests invocations; the public loads of psionics etc. Controversial; but it does stop players whining 'lets take him to the temple where they have truthsense etc'
(Oh and I forgot to mention Godstones and Earthmaster sites!!!!)
Using Rolemaster spells for me would add nothing or detract nothing to the mix. It might make starter characters more spell replete...depends how you do it...but these spell-casters should be just as wary as following the code as Pvaric ones...or they are renegade
Also; if a player does let rip with a fireball in a city shall we say.....I make sure some local say's 'sorcerous fireball!' but two others say 'Don't be a fool; did you not smell the corpse gas from the embalmers! and see old jambers carrying a naked flame the fool! That chanting loon has tricked you!'
The next day the visit from a couple of powerful observant masters reminding of the code usually ameliorates future behaviour.