Hârnic Inquiries

Hârn stands on the crossroads of two different yet interconnected approaches to world-building: The first is generic RPG fantasy, the other is world constructing, ConWorlding. The first approach stresses danger, violence, mystery, magic, dramatic personalities and adventure, while the latter one has its focus on cultures, histories, mentalities, languages, economics and the general functioning of imagined ecosystems and societies. Both approaches pay attention to realism. In the RPG approach realism is understood as a good (combat) system, challenges based on the setting, possible NPCs and general game balance. In the ConWorld approach realism is understood as internal consistency, based on our understanding of (historical) real-world phenomena.

In the following texts, Hârn is approached as a ConWorld. The focus is on study and research of Hârnic phenomena, based on the published sources that describe Hârn, its inhabitants and their cultures. This approach accepts and arguments that Hârn is independent from our world, but still familiar enough to be described in familiar terms. While this approach is not focused on adventure gaming, I believe the following texts will give hints and tips for all who see role-playing as a method of exploring, studying and further developing interesting settings.

The following texts represent my own conclusions and visions, and are not necessarily compatible with previous approaches. Some of the texts even include intentional “canon-bashing”. (On occasions where the creators stand in mire, one doesn’t need to stand on their shoulders in order to see farther.) The texts have benefited from discussions and insights of some special and peculiar people (once) active on the HârnForum. Thank you! You know who you are. The web publishing and editing has been done by Juha Makkonen. Naturally, all lapses and misspellings are mine only.

Feedback, contra-arguments and discussions are appreciated. Enjoy!

Ilkka Leskelä, ileskela@hotmail.com

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