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HârnMaster Preview 2

Our first Preview featured HârnMaster's familiar core dice roll, the d100 Mastery Test. Its four results -- Critical Failure, Failure, Success, Critical Success -- help describe the outcome of risky or uncertain endeavors involving both raw talent (such as Strength or Dexterity) and honed skills (such as Awareness or Stealth).

The simplicity and immediacy of the d100 test serve well the sense of realistic, dangerous adventure expressed in the setting. A great part of the fun of role playing a character in Kèthîra is negotiating the ever-present lethality of the game's combat system and the gravely consequential nature of its magic.

Fate Rolls

As a small boon to characters navigating the mundane obstacles they face, the new edition of HârnMaster introduces the Fate Roll. Far from an automatic "get-out-of-jail card", the Fate Roll simply offers the chance to improve the outcome of certain d100 Mastery Tests.

Here is how it works: Player characters start with around five Fate Points, varying more or less by age and folk. During game play, the moment a character's test generates a success level (CF/F/S/CS), the player may decide to make one Fate Roll to improve it.

A Fate Roll may only be attempted to improve the test of a skill from one of the six mundane Skill Groups (Nature, Craft, Combat, Physical, Lore, and Social). Skills from the seventh Skill Group (Esoterica) may not be the target of a Fate Roll. Thus, a character could attempt a Fate Roll to improve a Stealth test (Physical) but not to improve a Telepathy test (Esoteric). A Fate Roll tests the character's Aura attribute, an ML equal to its score times five. This represents how strong the character's soul is tied to the "cosmic all" (to Keléstia). The EML also includes what is called the Sunsign Modifier of the Skill Group to which the skill in question belongs.

For example: A PC with five Fate Points tests Stealth ML70 and rolls 83 -- Failure (F). Before the game proceeds, the player decides to make a Fate Roll. The PC has an Aura ML60 (from an Aura score 12) and a Tai sunsign. Since Stealth belongs to the Physical Skill Group, there is a +5 bonus to the Fate Roll (due to Tai being the PC's sunsign) -- for a final Fate Roll EML65.

By the way: As part of this preview, we share with you the new HârnMaster's Sunsign Modifiers Table. You can download it from the Free Stuff --> Previews section.

The result of the Aura test Fate Roll determines whether the initial skill's test improves and whether the character loses Fate Points (FP) in the process:

Aura CF: No effect, but the character loses one FP.
Aura F: No effect.
Aura S: Success level of initial skill improves by one, and the character loses one FP.
Aura CS: Success level of initial skill improves by one, and the character loses zero FP; or Success level of initial skill improves by two, and the character loses one FP (player chooses).

Apply the Fate Roll result to the initial test’s success level and proceed as if that were its in-world result all along. Only one Fate Roll attempt is allowed per situation.

Returning to the above example: A Fate Roll test is made against the PC's Aura EML65 in an attempt to improve the initial Stealth test Failure (F). The roll is 43 -- Success. The initial Stealth test Failure (F) improves by one success level to a Success (S); and the PC reduces the Fate Point total by one, to four.

Players can attempt Fate Rolls to increase initial successes and even beyond a CS -- simply add one star victory per success level (see Preview 1 for the rules on victory stars). Players often select this tactic when their characters face opposed rolls, especially in combat to achieve "super" critical successes or overcome ill-timed critical failures.

Recall: Fate Rolls cannot be attempted to improve the success level of skills in the Esoteric Skill Group, such as spellcasting tests. They also cannot be made while characters suffer Aural Shock or when their Fate Points drop to zero.

Finally, an important benefit of the Fate Roll mechanic is that it fosters new applications for several divinatory skills, such as Runecrafting, Tarotry, and Astrology. These allow for special modifications to certain Fate Rolls and for replenishing or offering extra, targeted Fate Points.

Even before Keléstia Productions publishes the next edition of HârnMaster, you can try out Fate Rolls in your own games, either logically assigning Sunsign Modifiers as appropriate or just ignoring them for the time being.

Happy holidays!

We at Keléstia Productions wish you a joyful and safe holiday season! Be sure to check back on December 26th (UTC-8) for more news.

Out now: Falânia Gazetteer

The Keléstia Productions development team is happy to announce the release of the Falânia Gazetteer – Hèpekéria's Princes of Sand and Sail. This is the third of four Regional Map and Gazetteer products detailing the Lýthian sub-continent of Hèpekéria (the other two being the Elánas Gazetteer and the Menêma Gazetteer).

In addition to our tried-and-true gazetteer format detailing all major points of interest in the region, the module also includes never-before-published information on the history, politics, culture, and religion of the Faláni people, making the region even more exciting as a role-playing setting. The accompanying PDF map has customizable layers and is suitable for printing at 50 cm × 37.5 cm (20" × 15").

We hope you enjoy this latest product from Keléstia Productions! As usual, we're very interested in your feedback.

For further details and to purchase, click here.

More Hârn Premium Content

Back in 2015, we came up with a special idea of rewarding our loyal customers: Hârn Premium Content. It's a collection of Hârnic texts, maps, and images not published so far and either intended for upcoming or planned products or completely exclusive and not meant for separate publication.

We've released several items of Premium Content over the next few years until, in 2018, the project went on a long hiatus for organizational reasons. As of now, however, the hiatus is finally over, and more Premium Content will be added in reasonable intervals -- which means: definitely more than once a year! We're starting this off with an unusual preview of a never before shown script used on Kèthîra: the Tankóno alphabet, used by the Mafáni of central Lýthia.

If you are new to the Premium Content system and wonder how to get access to this exclusive material (or if you need a reminder), here is how it goes: Once you have purchased products for a total of at least $100 from Kelestia.com, you automatically become what we call a "Premium Member". This gives you access to the hidden Premium Area of the website that can be found in the Free Stuff section. If you are a Premium Member and logged in (important), the Premium Area will appear as the last link in this section. There are no extra costs involved, no subscription or the like -- you can simply enjoy the Premium Content for free once you have spent $100 or more on our official Keléstia Productions Hârn products.

We hope you enjoy the new entry in our Premium Content series and promise to add additional entries more often from now on. If you have any comments or questions regarding our Hârn Premium Content, let us know over on the forums or contact us directly via the Contact section.

HârnMaster Preview 1

The next edition of the HârnMaster role-playing game system has entered the final stages of review and art direction. Over the next several months, we would like to share our intent behind its design, discuss specific rules, and unveil its new layout and artwork.

Design Goals

While Keléstia Productions' variety of game and world modules offers a great deal of flexibility, it can be difficult for players to know where to start. The primary goal with the new edition is to present the HârnMaster book as our obvious introduction to gaming in the world of Kèthîra. This requires it most importantly to be a unified product, where all the rules are found in the same volume -- character generation, skills, combat, magic, miracles, beasts -- instead of requiring gamers to cobble them together across several publications. We also intend to tie more closely together the game with the world, not only in the HârnMaster title, but also in future adventure and world region offerings.

While recast more clearly and completely, HârnMaster will also provide broader coverage of several game details. This includes rules for elements that received inadequate treatment in HM Gold, such as shamanism, astrology, runecrafting, tarotry, and alchemy. Moreover, several concepts that N. Robin Crossby had only begun to outline have been developed into specific rules, especially his approach to the interesting challenge of how to incorporate into gameplay the dozens of religions expressed in cultures throughout the entire world. Finally, we're taking the opportunity granted by a new edition to introduce both mechanics that streamline some aspects of gameplay and others that expand HârnMaster in terms of realism and usability.

While the Misty Isle will remain an ideal place to start gaming in the world of Kèthîra, the new HârnMaster will also travel beyond its shores, a journey N. Robin Crossby himself had long ago embarked on. It was carried forward by Keléstia Production's monumental Venârivè publication over ten years ago and, now, continues into the new edition of HârnMaster.

Preview 1: The Mastery Test

HârnMaster remains a skill- and d100-based system. The first preview covers two pages that introduce the game's core mechanic: the Mastery test. It explains how regular skill tests, opposed tests, attribute tests, and -- a new concept -- skill value tests work. A few terms and acronyms might seem cryptic at this point but will be explained in upcoming previews.

Those who downloaded the free Venârivè Poetic Map by Marc Grunert will notice certain elements of it in the design of this same two-page spread.

As an additional peek to this first preview, we share two pages from the Bestiary chapter, a dramatic highlight of the art by Juha Makkonen.

Both documents can be downloaded from the Free Stuff --> Previews section or right here:
Skill System preview, Dragon Entry preview