HARP Read Through – Talents & Other Options

The heroes of stories and legends often have extraordinary
abilities , unique magical powers or secret, special
knowledge. Collectively, these are referred to as Talents.
Talents are purchased with Development Points.
Certain Talents may only be purchased during character
creation, like Blood Talents, while others may be learned
any time a character goes up a level. Players are urged to
provide the Gamemaster (GM) with plausible reasons for
allowing a character to purchase the selected Talent. This
process has been simplified by the Talent entries containing
only the descriptions of the effects of the Talent. The player
should work with the GM to find a way of describing how
the talent works so that it fits within the GM’s setting.

HARP is based around Talents. Talents define the player races and they are available to buy during character creation and leveling up. There are 48 talents in the core book, I guess there are more lurking elsewhere but I haven’t looked (Edit: I just looked in Folkways and there are another 22 talents in that book, there could be even more in other books!). Most are just fit and forget, you buy it once and that is that. There is one talent listed with two tiers and two talents with three tiers but most are just a single purchase.

The average cost seems to be in the region of 20DP. Starting characters get 100DPs so talents are definitely affordable but the trade off is that points spent on talents cannot be spent on skills.

Here are three talents, that seem rather typical the first gives a flat +10 bonus across all the related skills, the second gives a +25 to a single skill and the last has no mechanical effect in terms of pluses and minuses but certainly helps with the adventuring life!

The character has a gift for healing, and receives a +10 bonus on all his healing & medical skills.
Cost: 15
Quiet Stride
The character is naturally light on his feet, giving him a bonus of +25 to Stalking maneuvers.
Cost: 20
Reduced Sleep Requirement
The character requires less sleep than normal. Four hours of sleep are the equivalent of eight hours of sleep for him.
Cost: 15

Special Items

In addition to skills and talents characters can buy special items and special backgrounds, like nobility or law enforcement backgrounds, with DPs. A +5 bonus item costs 5DP and a +1 spell adder costs 10DP for example. I quite like the idea of all the original RM Background options being purchased with DPs.

Multiple Professions

The option to take an additional profession is bought as a 20pt Talent.

I have copied the example from the book to explain this a bit more.

Example: Felzan is a 3rd level Mage. Upon reaching 4th level Felzan decides to learn something about combat and become a Fighter. Felzan’s player pays for the Additional Profession Talent and Felzan is now a Mage(3)/Fighter (1), which is a 4th level character overall. Once Felzan reaches 5th level he may increase his Mage level, increase his Fighter level or add yet another profession. Felzan elects to increase his fighter level making him a Mage(3)/Fighter(2).

So when you advance a specific profession you spend your DPs using that professions costs and the professional special bonuses that happen every x levels only happen when that specific profession hits the right level. So this is the Fighters special bonus paragraph from earlier…

Beginning at first level, and then every fifth level thereafter (5th, 10th, etc.), Fighters gain a +10 bonus to any Combat skill of their choice. No weapon skill can have more than a +30 bonus from this ability. Beginning at first level, and then every third level thereafter (3rd, 6th, etc.), Fighters also gain a +5 bonus to any one skill from the Athletic or Physical categories. No skill may have greater than a +25 bonus from this ability.

So it is these bonuses that advance only when the character hits those levels in that specific profession.

This is of course one of the big differences between HARP and Rolemaster in all versions.

Fate Points

So Fate Points are a core rule in HARP. Each character starts with 3 Fate Points, they can have as many as 5 points but no more.

The points may be used as listed below.

Fate Points may only be used for certain effects, as listed below.
For 1 Fate Point, the player may add a special modifier of +50 to any one roll that he makes for his character.
For 2 Fate Points, the player may add a special modifier of +100 to any one roll that he makes for his character.
For 1 Fate Point, the player may add a special modifier of +50 to his Defensive Bonus for one round.
For 2 Fate Points, the player may add a special modifier of +100 to his Defensive Bonus for one round.
For 1 Fate Point, the player may have 25 subtracted from any one critical his character receives.
For 2 Fate Points, the player may have 50 subtracted from any one critical his character receives.

The GM can award fate points for great role play or they can be bought at leveling up at one Fate Point for 5DP.

Finally in this chapter are the training packages that have already been covered.

The next chapter is equipping your character. I am not going to cover this as the prices are almost identical to Rolemaster. The only stand out is that armour needs to be bought by the piece and ideally fitted to the character for full effect. This will come up again later.

In my next HARP post we cover Adventuring which means that all the skill resolution, resistance rolls and spell casting is covered. That will be much more interesting to us than lists of equipment prices!

5 Replies to “HARP Read Through – Talents & Other Options”

  1. I was actually rather looking forward to the lists of equipment prices. I need help.

    I too like the idea of using development points to buy background options, including special items. I think I will add that to my houserules for RMU!

    I am intrigued by HARP’s use of Fate Points. I think I am warming to the idea, so long as the fate point has to be used before the attack or critical roll is made.

    1. It does not explicitly say that they need to be declared before the roll or before the result is known. One option is to ‘tax’ the character one or two Fate points if the result would kill them.

      I prefer the idea of paying one or two Fate points for +50 or +100 DB for a round. That puts the emphasis on the player to make the absolute best of that round to achieve the goal.

    2. Item Cost
      Bonus Item I 5
      Daily Item I 5
      Loyal Domesticated Animal 5
      Loyal Unusual Creature 15
      Spell Adder (+1) 10
      Power Point Adder (+1) 15
      Nobility 20
      Law Enforcement Ability 20
      Heir 15
      Focus Item 5

  2. You do not have to purchase armor by the piece, if you buy a full suit, you have two options of how the suit is comprised.

    Option A: Helm, Gorget, Pauldrons, Bracers, Gauntlets, Curiass, Greaves, Boots.

    Option B: Helm, Gorget, Shirt, Bracers, Gauntlets, Greaves, Boots.

    Either option should cost and weigh the same, have exactly the same maneuver and casting penalties.

    Granted, this only applies to HARP Fantasy. In HARP SF you’re either wearing a full suit, or a helmet and vest. I have yet to see if those come out the same.

    1. I 2as aware of the fullsuit vs piecemeal and fitted vs unfitted. I was goung to cover these in the combat chapter as armours biggest impact is on DB.

      Welcome to the blog Bjorn A. I always welcome more voices on here.

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