A friend of mine is an avid fan of ICE’s classic roleplaying game Rolemaster. I still have some very fond memories of our Rolemaster campaigns set into his homebrew world Ebur. When ICE announced HARP he preordered it and when it finally came out we tried it out as soon as possible. And it felt much like Rolemaster but more modern, more streamlined.
Rolemaster (especially in its later editions) can be mindboggling. If you like math-heavy and crunchy systems with a lot of tables (including very cool critical hit tables) Rolemaster is the perfect game system for you. But everyone else should have a look at HARP.
In my opinion HARP is Rolemaster done right. It still has the old-school feel of Rolemaster but is much less crunchy. And the best thing is that there’s actually a free preview version of HARP available. The 89-page PDF includes everything you need to play, including rules for character creation, combat and even a set of monsters.
By the way, my fellow blogger Zachary posted about HARP today, too, so check out his blog while you’re at it.
Recently I stumbled upon a new rules-light roleplaying game called “Dungeonslayers”. Dungeonslayers consists of 12 pages of rules and is meant as a fun and easy to play fantasy RPG. There is no setting provided with the rules and it’s obviously meant to run dungeon adventures but I am sure you could easily run any kind of adventure. The game is free and was released unter Creative Commons 2.0.
There is currently only a german version of the rules, but since it’s released under CC it should be no big problem to translate it to English.
The official site has the latest rules and several character and equipment sheets available for download.
Recently CDProjekt has released the Enhanced Edition of its roleplaying game “The Witcher”. The game uses a heavily modified Neverwinter Nights engine and it’s based on the novels by Andzrej Sapkowski. One part of the games re-release was the soundtrack that you can now get for free!
The download consists of a ZIP file (approx. 191 MBytes in size) that contains the official score and “Music inspired by The Witcher”.
The official score was composed by Adam Skorupa and Paweł Błaszczak. Instead of some of the other soundtracks I recommended for roleplaying purposes the music from The Witcher is not atmospheric but more melodical, making heavy use of choirs (or samples sounding like choirs) and there are pieces that sound like medieval tavern music.
“Music inspired by The Witcher” is a compilation of songs that were inspired by the computer game. It contains songs from different genres and most of the tracks weren’t exactly my cup of tea. But your mileage may vary.
If you are interested to learn more about the Witcher check out the great Witcher Wiki. By the way, there’s also a Polish roleplaying game set into the world of the Witcher novels called Wiedźmin: Gra Wyobraźni. But as far as I know this game was never translated to English.
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