Harn Genesys

Discuss Other RPG Rules Systems or role playing worlds. It doesn't even have to be Hârn-related. Anything goes...d20 (D&D3E), RuneQuest, MERP, GURPS, RoleMaster, Chivalry & Sorcery...even Shadowrun.

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zrayaan
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Harn Genesys

#1 Post by zrayaan » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:20 am

I know, the name of Fantasy Flight's system is ughers. But the system is good. Here is the first sketch of a character sheet
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Re: Harn Genesys

#2 Post by zrayaan » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:42 am

The Genesys stock magic system is interesting, but doesn't have the Harnic feel to me. Unfortunately, I am not as familiar with Pvaric magic as other parts of HarnMaster.

Genesys magic is more like RuneQuest third edition, where you have a base ability and manipulate it with meta-skills. There are no spells as such, just magic powers and career/spec abilities (if you are familiar with the Fantasy Flight Star Wars games).

So, what is Pvaric elementalism? What needs to be preserved to make a magic system feel Harnic? Spells? Mastery over an element?
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Re: Harn Genesys

#3 Post by Leitchy » Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:23 pm

My copy is on order but it likely won't be here until after Christmas. I'll be taking a good look at the magic system first thing. :)

Although it's a generic rule system like Savage Worlds, my hope is that I can use it to craft a dark and gritty Dark Rethem campaign with it. Unfortunately, Savage Worlds imparts a swashbuckling feel to all its games, which not a bad thing, just not what I'm aiming for, for Dark Rethem.

But I do like the narrative dice mechanic. However, I also like the adventure card concept of SW. I wonder how well I will be able to meld that with Genesys rules....

I guess I'll have to wait until I read the rules. :)

I just realised, the girl on that character sheet reminds me a hell of a lot like a former girlfriend! <sigh>
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Re: Harn Genesys

#4 Post by zrayaan » Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:47 pm

Leitchy wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:23 pm
I guess I'll have to wait until I read the rules. :)
I am told there was a beta book, but I'm not privy to it. I have the pre-production abstract though which includes the text from this webpage:
https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/n ... -of-magic/
Genesys Magic wrote:If you want your character to cast a spell that you call “fireball,” for example, you start with the basic magic attack action. This allows you to target an enemy at short range. You’ll make an Easy combat check using a magic skill, and deal damage equal to the characteristic linked to that skill, plus one additional damage per success. So far, very similar to making a ranged attack with a throwing knife.

Where things get interesting is what happens next. Right now, your fireball spell doesn’t have anything fiery about it. However, you can choose to add the Fire effect to your spell, increasing the difficulty of your check by one and giving it the Burn quality. Do you want your fireball to explode and hit groups? Give it the Blast effect for another difficulty increase. Now your character is casting something that feels much more like a fireball!

...

Implements are tools that enhance a spellcaster’s power and ability. Like weapons, many implements add to the damage of attack spells. But unlike weapons, implements also allow casters to add certain effects to spells without increasing the difficulty.

For example, the magic staff, a staple of wizards everywhere, increases the damage of your character’s attack spells by four. And what's more, it also allows spellcasters to increase the range of their spells without increasing difficulty. That makes a wizard’s staff far more deadly than a simple walking stick!
Genesys magic allows the player as caster to manipulate the basic spell (Form). The results of the die roll are encoded to account for fatigue/injury. Implements can be seen as foci and other accoutrements. Foundation, I suppose, is the Magic Skill based on the Career/Spec. Is that enough? Is the essence of Pvaric mages in their ability to shape the elements to do their bidding, or is it something more?

EDIT: It appears that the "Fire Effect" is an ability bought on a Career/Spec Talent tree.
Leitchy wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:23 pm
I just realised, the girl on that character sheet reminds me a hell of a lot like a former girlfriend! <sigh>
Was she the model for the FFF character?
Cheers, Konnel.

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Re: Harn Genesys

#5 Post by zrayaan » Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:55 pm

Well, I just got schooled. Apparently they dropped the Talent Trees in favor of a tiered column. Here's an AMA:
https://www.reddit.com/r/genesysrpg/com ... _anything/
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Re: Harn Genesys

#6 Post by Leitchy » Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:15 pm

The "implements" sound a bit like SW "trappings". There are differences, but really only marginal. In SW, there's a Blast power; the trapping can be fire, or air, or water, or ... in one of my games, I played a rune mage and his blast power trapping was an explosion of reindeer bone shards, each carved with the rune for death. :) It was kinda like being caught by a frag grenade.

I think I'm going to be fine with this and if I get a player that wants to play a shek-p'var, I'm not going to have too much problem working up the Pvaric Wheel. :)

I'm a bit sad about the Talent Trees; I like that mechanic, but I'm pretty sure the Talent Tier will work just as well. And watch out for more books from FFG, each with specific rules for a particular genre; my guess is there'll be a fantasy companion with a Talent Tier for each of the fantasy character tropes (fighter, thief, healer, mage, paladin, ranger, barbarian, etc.) You want to be a ranger-bard? Spend the XP to buy both Tiers...

Probably the same for sci-fi, steampunk, horror, cyberpunk...hey, they have to sell more books! :)



No, she wasn't the model. I'm going back a couple of decades; she looks nothing like that anymore. :)

But then, none of us do! :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Re: Harn Genesys

#7 Post by APrewett » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:47 pm

Unless you are undead

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Re: Harn Genesys

#8 Post by zrayaan » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:39 pm

Here's the Talent Pyramid. It's basically the same as the tree, but with more flexibility since Career/Specs won't have preformed trees. It'd be an easy thing to format as a tree, though. It may prove, however, that in a fantasy setting having pre-determined trees would lead to a lack of variability in characters.
genesys talents.png
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Re: Harn Genesys

#9 Post by Munin » Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:54 am

The pyramid idea is interesting because it lets you stick pretty much anything you want in it. I've always preferred skill-based systems to class-based systems because they allow for more character customization. I always found the talent trees in SW pretty constraining.

I've been reading/watching a lot of the reviews of Genesys online, and one of the key gripes seems to be that they give a few examples of how stuff works across various genres, but don't really get into the nitty-gritty detail of how to use the system to create your own talents - specifically lacking information on how to cost them (i.e. what is a rank 2 Talent and what's a Rank 5 Talent). I think the system has potential, but I suspect making a good Harn-hack is going to be a lot of work and is going to take a lot of careful consideration to balance well.

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Re: Harn Genesys

#10 Post by zrayaan » Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:14 am

I'll post two LoP templates soon. Most of the stock talents seem to be dice pool manipulation, and I assume skill suspensions/substitution as well.

There are two approaches to talent play balance that I can see. The first and easiest is to broaden the character's abilities as it progresses up the pyramid. The second is to increase the magnitude of abilities, either through duplication of an existing talent (upgrading dice) or adding functionality (advantage). The Spec trees may have been constraining, but they were curated. Allowing players to choose from an open list is probably a bad idea. Hooefully there is a happy medium.
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Re: Harn Genesys

#11 Post by Munin » Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:33 am

zrayaan wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:14 am
Allowing players to choose from an open list is probably a bad idea.
Says you! My assassin/ranger/bard/mage/priest character says otherwise! ;)

Seriously, though, one of the things I always thought was kinda neat about the old (super old) Talislanta game was that the different schools of magic were just skills. Want to learn both geomancy and luck magic? No worries, you can totally do that!

I think the way to curate stuff in a pyramid is to make liberal use of prerequisites, where more powerful talents have one or more weaker talents that are required first. You want to be a little careful with this, though, because if you go too crazy with it you end up locking up someone's entire talent pyramid just to get a particular high-level talent.

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Re: Harn Genesys

#12 Post by zrayaan » Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:51 am

I think they have also dropped the Specializations, so that it's just Career with career skills and there's no changing Specs (thus the open list pyramid). This makes sense for fantasy, since there isn't much mobility but cuts out the Fighter/Assassin/Thief. On balance, I think I prefer the SW method: Career + Career Skills Bonus + Spec1 + Spec1 Skills Bonus + Spec1 Stunts + Spec 2...

I still think there is a happy medium, and not just reverse engineering EotE. FWIW I liked the system, just not for Star Wars. I played in a 2 year campaign and ran a 6mo rebellion campaign. Ultimately, I think Fate does a better job emulating the Force.
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Re: Harn Genesys

#13 Post by zrayaan » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:55 pm

Something I threw together. The GM could go the route of the talent trees, or I see where they could provide a list of Talents and (though I didn't include them here) the starting tier. I am assuming the core rules states which talents can be selected multiple times.
Warrior - Heavy Horse Pyramid.png
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Re: Harn Genesys

#14 Post by gallusgames » Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:44 am


zrayaan wrote:The Genesys stock magic system is interesting, but doesn't have the Harnic feel to me. Unfortunately, I am not as familiar with Pvaric magic as other parts of HarnMaster.

Genesys magic is more like RuneQuest third edition, where you have a base ability and manipulate it with meta-skills. There are no spells as such, just magic powers and career/spec abilities (if you are familiar with the Fantasy Flight Star Wars games).

So, what is Pvaric elementalism? What needs to be preserved to make a magic system feel Harnic? Spells? Mastery over an element?
At the risk of taking you down a different path ... the 4 Pvaric skills in Fate of Harn have demonstrated that you don't need a spell list as you can do most things with Create/Make; Destroy/Disperse and Learn/Perceive. It's fair to say Conjure gets less use as it's a lot narrower than the others.

My point us that as long as you know which Convocation you're dealing with then any narrative system could use them.

Most spells are low key in practice 'cos the risks of going large are ... large. Assuming Genesis had a way of dealing with 'difficulty' which allows you to keep some scale of the effect desired, then job done.

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Re: Harn Genesys

#15 Post by gallusgames » Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:40 pm

zrayaan wrote:Here's the Talent Pyramid. It's basically the same as the tree, but with more flexibility since Career/Specs won't have preformed trees. It'd be an easy thing to format as a tree, though. It may prove, however, that in a fantasy setting having pre-determined trees would lead to a lack of variability in characters.
genesys talents.png
I've never played the SW equivalent, only read it so this may miss the point entirely. It certainly is biased by my experience running the relatively freeform magic in Fate of Harn, where the 4 Pvaric skills have delivered everything the Mage playtesters wanted ...

Starting top left - choose one combination of convocation + effect (e.g. Fyvrian+Create/Make). Go down and right as directed by the arrows to add the other effects for that convocation (e.g. F+Destroy/Disperse; F+Learn/Perceive; F+Conjure), in whatever order is desired. Generally, an apprentice will only have 1-2 'open' at the start of play, a journeyman 3-4, master all of them.

Once all 4 of the effects for one convocation are in place, the player can extend to either accumulate all the effects for another convocation, or limit the effect for a variety of convocations.

The 'cost' of convocations nearby on the wheel would be less than those that are diametric, so that will tend to move PCs along a career/expertise path that has the right Harnic flavour.

I'm not certain the tiers as designed will allow a PC to achieve all 4 effects in ALL convocations, i.e. become a Grey Mage, but in my pHarn that would be rare indeed. If necessary the tiers could be extended?

As long as the 4 skills are then described in a way that makes it clear what they can do and the convocation descriptions include Elements and Essences, to provide a boundary for their applications then, IF I've understood the dice mechanic ... the system does the rest: fatigue, backlash, impact on the scene etc.

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Re: Harn Genesys

#16 Post by gallusgames » Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:44 pm

Just realised tiers across page and assuming higher tiers = more effective/easier to do ... then my suggestion above has to change so existing effect-convocation have to be bumped up to allow 'newer' skills to come in at the bottom.

The Fyvrian would otherwise end up with higher tiers in another convocation, which seems very anti-Harnic. They should get better at Fyvrian magic while introducing new convocations at a lower tier if expertise.

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Re: Harn Genesys

#17 Post by Munin » Sat Dec 09, 2017 1:54 am

The easy answer there is to make access to each Convocation a Tier 1 Talent.

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Re: Harn Genesys

#18 Post by Kingofelfland » Sat Dec 09, 2017 11:39 am

I just got mine and I was thinking Hârn Rethem too. Now to just my Hattiesburg 5e group to go along with a new game...
By the way, I like the tool kit approach and the vague implementation of the magic rules. A set magic system is one of the hardest thing to work around to adjust a game to a setting.

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Re: Harn Genesys

#19 Post by zrayaan » Sat Dec 09, 2017 12:17 pm

Would that be Hattiesburg, Ms?
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Re: Harn Genesys

#20 Post by Munin » Sun Dec 10, 2017 2:48 am

zrayaan wrote:
Sat Dec 09, 2017 12:17 pm
Would that be Hattiesburg, Ms?
I also would like to know the answer to this!

On that topic: zrayaan, I'm going to be in your neck of the woods for a couple of days at the end of February.

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Re: Harn Genesys

#21 Post by Kingofelfland » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:33 am

Yes, Hattiesburg, Mississippi. I live in Heidelberg (just north of Laurel) but I game on Tuesday nights in Hattiesburg.

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Re: Harn Genesys

#22 Post by zrayaan » Mon Dec 11, 2017 12:14 pm

Kingofelfland wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:33 am
Yes, Hattiesburg, Mississippi. I live in Heidelberg (just north of Laurel) but I game on Tuesday nights in Hattiesburg.
I am on the gulf coast !
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Re: Harn Genesys

#23 Post by Kingofelfland » Mon Dec 11, 2017 12:16 pm

I have a player who drives up from Gulfport; she had lived in Hattiesburg but even then she usually was driving up from the coast.

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Re: Harn Genesys

#24 Post by zrayaan » Sat Dec 16, 2017 1:02 am

Cheers, Konnel.

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