If you’re an old school RPG fan, you probably saw the ads for Hârn in Dragon Magazine. It was always intriguing to see the beautiful and believable medieval campaign setting, but I never followed through and bought it back in the day.
The price was substantial. $20 then is about $58 in 2022 dollars. I never had much game money then and it may have been a little too deep and realistic for my tastes at the time. I was all-in wahoo magic fireworks AD&D, and Harn was low-magic and based on medieval Britain. Nowdays, I’m more interested in such things, and so I pulled this set aside for a closer look and a photoshoot.
Hârn Regional Module (HarnWorld) [BOX SET]
Contents: 2 booklets, poster map.
DriveThruRPG has this and many other Harn releases in PDF.
Harn was produced by the late N. Robin Crossby and others at Columbia Games. My understanding is that the IP is now shared between CG and Lythia. Both companies have more information, lots of sourcebook releases, and a number of freebies available for download.
For a catalog of classic 80’s Harn releases, be sure to visit my RPG reference page for Harn! There was a lot of support material back in the old days.
There were a lot of incarnations of this early Harn set. Here is a photo of the portfolio edition from my personal collection.
A quick overview of the island Harn
This is a setting, not a rules system. The Character Generation pages are all about background. Later would arrive a set of RPG rules called Harnmaster. I’ve heard its rules compared to Runequest in play style.
Measures 34″ x 22″, single side
If you’re new to Harn, don’t feel like you must know everything to play. Pick a small region, and focus on that area for beginning characters – that’s all they’re likely to experience early on anyway.
Kaldor is a traditional European medieval fantasy locale, a relatively stable kingdom, feuding nobles, and all that. Rethem is more sinister, where a few ruthless individuals could insert themselves into the power structure.
The Kingdom of Kaldor
Located in the eastern interior of Harn, this kingdom has existed for more than 500 years. Ruled by King Miganath from his royal castle in the City of Tashal, Kaldor is a stable and well governed state where traditional principles of feudalism and chivalry pertain. The Kingdom of Kaldor has a population of about 104,000. Tashal, the second largest city on Harn, is an important trade center.
Kingdom of Rethem
A feudal kingdom in western Harn, ruled by King Chafin III from his seat in Shostim. Rethem has a violent history and a tradition of intrigue and assassination; it is Ham’s most unstable, treacherous, and dangerous state. The kings of Rethem have never enjoyed popular support but many believe that Chafin III, a man of considerable ambition and competence, will unite his subjects and provoke another war with hated Kanday. Rethem has a population of about 95,000. The largest settlement is the city of Golotha, nominally a chartered freetown, but in reality an urban blight ruled by a theocratic and repressive council.