RELIGION Divine Revelations

Expansions and Options

The Hârnmaster religious rules are certainly unique and more sophisticated than many other FRP systems. However, they have received little attention since the early issues of Hârnlore. The following additions are intended solely as an expansion of existing rules. I have tried very hard not to adjust the spirit of the original rule set.

The purpose of the Harn Religion Team (HRT) as I see it is to provide additional background material for use by GM's in their own worlds related to the Harnic Pantheon. In this regard, we are not really a "rules" team, but are more interested in background material. One of our goals was to remain compatible with the published HarnWorld material. I've decided that it is also important to remain true to the published HarnMaster (rules) material.

This, however, creates a problem in that the published material is incomplete, inconsistent and in some places even contradictory. Specifically the problems are:

  1. HM doesn't provide any guidance on how to handle a corrupt (morally bankrupt) priest or a pious layman in the grace of a deity.
  2. The care and use of the ritual skill is poorly described and it is used as a catch-all skill for priests. As such priests can become very powerful vis-a-vis the Shek-Pvar by improving their ritual skill with few limitations.
  3. The introduction of altenative Ritual SB's for each church in HL 1 is confusing. These SB's contradict the original rules, and are themselves contradcited by the letter in HL 3.

The approach I've taken with these notes is to remain consitent with the HM rules while trying to provide guidance on the above three problems.

It is unlikely that any roleplaying group will like all of these optional rules; Some are cumbersome in terms of the number crunching involved, and a particular group might find them not worth the extra effort. In the final analysis, like Enriched Magick, these Divine Revelations should be treated as spice, each group should season to taste.


Morality and Ethics
Piety Management (Sin)
Piety Options
Improving Ritual
Using Ritual
Divine Revelation
Learning Invocations
Divine Will
Holy Sybmols
Consecrated Ground
Holy Days
Holy Scriptures

Morality (& Ethics)

The Harnmaster Morality attribute is a rather strange addition to the system. In many ways, it doesn't really fit, particularly when dealing with PC's. For NPC's it can be useful in a quick & dirty sort of way. However it is never really used in the game (except in the optional Ritual SB's from HL 1, which I recommend you not use.)

Morality, seems only to make sense in terms of the opposing viewpoints expressed by a few of the dominant churches (Larani/Peoni/Siem? - Agrik/Morgath). In AD&D terms it can be described as a line from LG to CE and is thus actually less useful than the AD&D alignment system (which makes it a pretty sad attribute). The problem of ethical outlook is certainly not one or even two dimensional. In fact it is closer to infinite dimensions, as each individual sees the world in their own way.

The Morality attribute can safely be ignored for PC's, and used only as a quick & dirty reaction check for NPC's. This is the recommended approach. However this leaves the GM with the difficulty of determining the degree to which a character is following the teachings of his religion or of a particular life outlook. Such problems are best handled by an ethical code used as a measure of behavior. Such codes are discussed in several of the individual articles in GoH and under development by the HRT.


The Ljarl       Sarajin's Warrior Code

Chivalry        The Lady of Paladins Code

Most other dieties have similar if less formal codes. Ilvir for example has many parables, each containing "lessons" their sum total could be considered a code of behavior. Peoni has strict codes of behavior though whether a strict set of "commandments" exists or not is unknown. Save-K'nor's code is likely much like that of the Shek-Pvar. Morgath probably has 13 laws, Agrik 8, etc.

GM's should use these behavior codes in lieu of the Morality statistic as a measure of a PC's behavior. In turn, behavior will impact the character's piety score.

Piety Management (Sin)

Some discussion of the holiness of the sacraments was discussed in Hârnlores 1 and 3. However, the real solution to the problems of corrupt bishops and devout but overlooked acolytes is the management of the character’s piety score. Hârnmaster suggests deductions of piety for various actions against divine will or the doctrines of the church. While a complete listing of sins for each religion is neither practical or necessary; a simple categorization of transgressions will suffice.

Transgression     Piety Penalty

Minor                   10

Intermediate            20

Major                   30

If a character acts in a manner inconsistent with the teachings of his faith, the GM should feel free to deduct an appropriate piety penalty. The above table is provided only as a guideline. The nature of a sin will vary with the tenants of the church. A sin against Larani is likely a sacrament to Agrik.

The GM may also wish to adjust a characters morality score based upon actions over time. If the adherents morality lies outside the deities acceptable range, the character’s piety score should be reduced to zero until the behavior changes appropriately.

Piety Options

The use of piety by the laity is particularly limited. One option that allows the players to utilize their piety without forcing the GM to adjudicate a call for divine intervention, is to allow character’s to expend piety to improve their chances of success at a particular task. Up to 30 piety points may be expended to increase the chance of success of any skill roll. Each point of piety spent increases EML by one point. This option will not effect spell EMLs.

Improving Ritual

Hârnmaster sets specific limits on the ways in which a character can improve his ritual score. There are basically only three ways a character can earn development rolls: Training/Instructions; Study of holy scriptures; and divine revelation.

This requires a teacher with an ML of at least 20 points higher than the student. At low ritual MLs these should be plentiful, but as ML increases finding a teacher will be difficult. One development roll is given for every 12 hours of training/instruction.

Study of Holy Scriptures
This requires holy scriptures. For every 10 hours of study one development roll is earned. Only so much knowledge can be gained from any scripture. Such works are given two ratings (I-VII & 1-24). The first limits the ML above which the scripture provides no further development rolls. The second limits the total number of successful development rolls possible with each specific work.

e.g. Jamys the devout has a ritual of 56 and finds a Laranian text rated at III/15. Jamys studies the tome for almost a month making 15 of 28 development rolls (280 hours of study), raising his ML to 72. Further study of that particular work will be of no further benefit as he has already mastered the material. Had the text been rated only at II/15, he could have only used it to increase his ML 4 points to 60.

Divine Revelation
Divine revelation is the final method by which a priest may increase ritual ML. Whenever a roll on the piety table (for prayre, mass or pennance) results in a critical success (i.e. results in a piety award and is divisible by 5) the character may gain new insigth into the religion through divine revelation and is awarded a development roll.

Using Ritual

The ritual skill has a variety of uses. It is a catch-all skill for priests that reflects his basic knowledge of church dogma and general theology as well as his knowledge of holy scriptures and rote memorization of chants, songs and other rituals. However ritual is used in several ways and this can make priests just a bit too powerful as they need only concentrate on improving a single skill. The following options alleviate some of this problem and make priests more multi-dimensional.

Priests may minister individuals and in such cases their ritual ML should be averaged with Rhetoric ML. Results of such sessions are highly discretionary. Depending upon the situation, a contest of the counseling ML against a multiple of Morality, Will or Intelligence may be called for. Alternately a check on the value enhancement table can be used.

Communicating with a congregation is handled by averaging Ritual and Oratory ML's. This use is also highly discretionary. More likely than not the value enhancement table can be used in this case.

Calls for Divine Intervention
A short ritual may increase the likelyhood of a call for divine intervention. This use of ritual is explained in HM.

Ritual Invocations
Ritual ML is the basis for summoning divine will through ritual invocations. Note that HM states that the GM should make modifications to the ML based upon the appropriateness of the call. See the guidelines for this under Divine Will.

Hierarchal Advancement
Ritual skill is also listed as a basis for advancing in the Church Hierarchy. When checking to see if a character qualifies for advancement to the next circle, the GM may substitute Ritual averaged with Intrigue, or in extreme cases Intrigue alone. Well placed bribes can in some cases secure the next circle regardless of any ritual or intrigue ML.


Divine Revelation

Learning Invocations

Ritual invocations are sub-sets of each religions ritual skill. As such each must be learned. Unlike Shek-Pvar spells the rituals are simply learned by rote and do not require the complex mental constructs used by the mages. Thus invocations do not justify separate skills, sub-skills or even skill specialties. Each invocation has a power level that is roughly equivelent to the circle at which the ritual is taught. To learn the invocation, the priest's ritual ML must be greater than the Target ritual ML.

Power Level  Target ML

I                26+

II               41+

III              61+

IV               76+

V                86+

VI               96+

VII             106+

The character must then make a number of successful targeted development rolls equal to the invocations power level to learn the invocation. This requires a teacher, a holy scripture dedicated to the subject or divine revelation.

Note that this may limit the number of invocations a priest can learn. It is recommended that learned invocations be recorded in the spell section of the character record. Partially learned invocations suffer an ML penalty of 5 times the number of unmade development rolls.

Divine Will

Unlike Shek Pvar magics, ritual invocations are standard formalized calls for direct aid from a deity. Since these rituals are formalized and standard, it is likely that such calls generally go unnoticed by the deity. Deities have better things to do than to constantly answer ritual invocations. It is more likely that ritual invocations access the subconscious mind of the deity.

The subconscious mind however is not blind to the intent of the invocations use. The GM has ultimate authority over the final EML used in the ritual call. There are a variety of factors that may be used to enhance EML for a ritual call (holy symbols, consecrated ground, holy days, etc.) but little guidance on reducing EML. The GM should feel free to use discretion to modify ML's by as much as doubling EML for a highly appropriate call by an unpious worshiper to reducing EML to 5 for a highly in-appropriate call (i.e. the Peonian Primate invoking Peoni to call in the four horsemen. etc.)


Disciplines are specializations of ritual skill. Agrik's Balefire disciplines are an example. GM's may wish to add a variety of disciplines to the game.

Holy Symbols

Each god will have their own holy symbol(s). These a numinous symbols which increase the presence of the god within a specific area. Fur game purposes, this results in a modification to Ritual EML's of their faithful within that area. It is assumed that, when people call upon their god for either invocation or intervention, they have at least a rudimentary symbol of their god in the possession. Better symbols will offer increases to Ritual EML, while having no symbol will result in penalties to Ritual EML. There are four classes of symbol, as follows:
I No symbol. -15 to Ritual EML.
II Basic. No change.
III Detailed/well adorned. +05 to Ritual EML.
IV Symbolic in every way./
An astounding work of art.
+15 to Ritual EML.
The specifics for what constitutes each class varies by god. For example, for a Halean, the levels would be as follows: Of course, with some deities, such material variations would be immaterial; however, in most churches and sects, such material variations are in fact useful and reflective of the deity's favor.

Note also that statuary, censers, tapestries or other holy objects may constitute symbols of this type. When two or more objects are used to benefit Ritual EML, use the better of the two for the actual effect.

The process of creating a holy symbol has basically two steps; actual creation of the mundane object itself, and consecrating it. The priest usually has little to do with the mundane part of the process. This step will determine the basic class to which the object belongs, but not the class to which it will finally belong.

The consecration requires the performance of a ritual, the success or failure of which will determine the final level of the object, as follows.
CF: The object is either actually destroyed through divine disfavor (10%) or merely worthless in the eyes of the god.
MF: The object becomes holy, but is now of one class lower than its materials would normally dictate. Thus, an MF when trying to consecrate a simple wooden Sarajinian whale-symbol makes it effectively worthless.
MS: The object is now holy, and is of the class normally dictated by its materials.
CS: The object is now holy, and is of one class higher than its materials would normally dictate. Thus, very mundane things could possibly be made to be very powerful symbols. Also, roll again against Ritual ML, with no modifiers. If the result is another CS, the object may (at GM's discretion) be a holy artifact withsome sort of holy powers, often permanently embodying some invocation (again at GM's discretion).

Rachel Kronick

Consecrated Ground

Places, as well as objects, may be made holy. The classes for holy places are basically the same as those for holy objects. The associated ritual is different, but the resolution is the same as above. Note that, when there are available multiple holy objects and/or places, only the highest takes effect.

Rachel Kronick

Holy Days

Holy Scriptures

There are a wide variety of holy writings, parables, songs, poems and teachings that can generally be thought of as Holy Scriptures. Priests need these works to expand their knowledge of church dogma. Church Archives are often filled with such written works. Such scriptures are generally categoriezed according to the level in the Church Hierarchy to which they are most appropriate. In addition, scriptures may be rated as to the amount of information they contain.

level                max ML

I               40

II              60

III             75

IV              85

V               95

VI              105

VII             --

Value        Description

1d6     A short passage of scripture, a lost verse to a song, prayer, etc.

2d6     A short parable or song, a page or two of scripture, etc.

3d6     A (short) book or scroll, a family of parables or songs, etc.

4d6     A collection of books or scrolls. A treatise of theology, etc.

Example: Moleryth finds a book The Divine Power of the Disciplines of Balefire the GM determines that it is rated at IV/15. It will be most useful to Moleryth when his ML is 70 or below. When his ML reaches 85 he can learn nothing from the text. At 75 he already knows a third of whats in the book, but may still study it until his ritual improves to 85.