Alternate Setting: Harn

I was wondering has anyone here used Harn World for thier Ars game? I'm currently running a mage the awakening game and was considering starting a fantasy flavored game. I've been going back and forth on a system....Harnmaster or Ars. I've played both but have played Ars alot longer. Both have some good things about them. However I really prefer Ars mages over shek pvar.

My thoughts are not to try and cram Ars into Harn but run an Ars game on Harn. It won't be a traditional Ars game here are the ideas I have:

No houses - I will keep the Chantry/Covenants that exist in Harn. I don't think the houses as is will fit well with Harnworld. As a result of that no house specific virtues or flaws

No starting Covenants - as I mentioned above I'd like to keep the current chantry system of Harn in place. Instead player magi will be sent out into the world to learn and possibly set up a site for a future chantry which they would run.

Study and advancement time for magi: Since player magi won't have their own covenant or library to start with they can utilize labs or libraries based at established chantries. This would involve the usual bargaining for borrowed library use. In addition I will incorporate the ranking system from guardians of the forest, apprentice, journeyman,etc.. and limit library use based on that. So an apprentice would only be allowed one or two seasons a year to use a chantries resources a journeyman 2 o 3 seasons a year etc. to use resources. of course favors bargaining, bribery can up these times.

For Priests I can used the Realms of Power Divine. So what problems do you see with what I have so far? any suggestions would be appreciated

Comparing Hârnmaster and Ars Magica is not an easy undertaking. In fact, I'd consider it a rather difficult one. Moreover, there's not just the termini Hârnmaster and Ars Magica to be taken into account, but also, as you already hinted at, Hârn World one the one hand, and Mythic Europe on the other. Effectively, you have two rules systems and two settings to think about, and try to pick the pearls from each tuple.

Hârnmaster and Ars Magica both offer lots of depth of detail, but in various areas of application, and at various levels of degree. Whereas Hârnmaster takes a measurable, down-to-earth approach on all aspects of the game, Ars Magica employs key elements that emphasize dramatics and heroism, in short, the very extraordinary, based on stress die rolls and (almost) open ended development options in various fields of expertise. Without wanting to stir a discussion about role-playing theory, I would say you basically have simulationism vs. dramatism/gamism. The associated settings support the aspects of the game engine, and vice versa, respectively. If you start to tear apart what was meant to go hand in hand, you'll most probably lose one important, often underestimated facet of the original game — flavor. Even game engines that are promoted as being “generic”, like GURPS, BRPS, or d6, tend to behave that way. Note, however, that this is usually not a flaw of the respective component, but rather the absence of perfectly tailored, balanced and play-tested system/setting combinations that cease to exist once they're ripped apart and treated independently.

My recommendation would be not to start by counting the options, but by asking the question of what you actually want — dramaturgy, heroism, realism, long-term development, hack 'n slash, or whatever. Then think about about what setting and background you'd prefer to play in. Hârn World, for one, tries hard (and indeed tends) to be realistic in most aspects with regard to the postulated mythic-medieval mind set, up to the point where some players consider it dry. Once you've chosen the setting, examine and evaluate the rules systems that are at your disposal.

By the way, there's Mage: The Sorcerer's Crusade, if you'd like to take Mage beyond the default contemporary setting. Most of the major WW product lines had dark ages counterparts.

My first serious AM campaign was set in Harn. There was a simple reason: I was in college with a group of historians and we needed to have a place that was Not Medieval Europe. Harn seemed ready-made.

We moved the Harnic gods into the roles of saints and/or demons. The Jarin people more or less became the Jews of the society. Chantries felt very close to Covenants, but we used or ignored them as we felt was appropriate. In other words, we stropped out several of the differences that felt more divergent and altered some points simply to keep it feeling more European. We set our initial covenant in a corner of Kaldor and simply went from there.

Anyway, some opening notions.

Thats an interesting idea. I might have to steal some of that

I would suggest that you check out the Harn Forum. This topic has come up before with some reported success. Just do a search for Ars Magica and see what you come up with and then if you want some more information just ask.

Thanks I will check there and see what I can find!