Thursday, January 29, 2009

More Regarding HARP

It looks like yesterday's post on HARP got some wheels turning, as evidenced by this post at Stargazer's World and this one at Dungeon Mastering 101 (look at us, leading a mini-mini-revival)!

So what happened to HARP? A few years back, it was what seemed to be selling for Iron Crown. There were solid supplements, good support, and all in all, it seemed to be at least a mild success. So did ICE's support dry up, then talk about the game? Or did the game peter out, followed by ICE's support for it? OR (perhaps most likely) was it just that ICE is large enough for one supported line at a time, and Rolemaster Express and the Rolemaster 2 revival was the new (old) hotness?

I don't claim to have answers, and I haven't dug too deeply, but it occurs to me that HARP might be a case study for many d20 alternatives that make noise for a bit, only to quiet down to a mere murmur.


greywulf said...

I think you hit the nail on the head with Rolemaster Express & Rolemaster 2's release - Iron Crown muddied their own waters a bit too much.

That said, HARP does have a quiet but loyal fanbase all of it's own, and quite right too - it's a brilliant system and one I'd love to have chance to play again.

Bonemaster said...

I'm not sure what ICE really did. I know that after the bankrupcy, (Which lost them the LOTR license) They were never quite the same. As a matter of fact, I didn't even know that they were still publishing anything.

Badelaire said...

It is also sad to day, but I'm sure the OGL/D20 movement hurt them too, as it hurt a lot of games (Although I won't blame WotC for that move, I do think it was a two-way street). HARP, while being a different mechanical system from d20, I do believe has roughly the same level of complexity as a system like 3.X D&D (minus the uber-supplements) or D20 Modern or a lot of those other medium-crunch systems, so there was a lot of competition going on.

I bought HARP because while I like playing in RM games, I can't run them, and I wondered if I could handle HARP. Around the same time, of course, I discovered Castles & Crusades and that's become my default game of choice for fantasy RPGs at the moment.

Really glad to see that HARP is still appreciated out there.

Tony Reyes said...

I've been "hearing" about HARP a lot recently in blogs and boards. It's quite interesting that a game that's so well regarded disappeared.

Teilnehmer said...

Being a HARP player, I agree about the petering out. It started real good, a supplement here, one there, an own world, but for some years now, new content is limited to very little PDFs. It's a shame.
The one immensely good thing about HARP is its take on magic, by the way. Brilliant. Combat is open for a lot of tweaking, which I like, but then again, I haven't played very many systems.