Saturday, April 7, 2012

What is the Difference Between HARP and Rolemaster?

I always really liked Rolemaster... as a player.  I just could never find someone willing to GM it.  In the end, I would find myself running a MERP / Rolemaster combo of sorts.  Always fun.  Always full of improvisations, as my fluency with Rolemaster was never quiet where it should have been.

Back when ICE was still a publishing company (in some form) I picked up a fairly complete collection of HARP books.  HARP, High Adventure Role Playing, was also published by ICE, and to my inexperienced eyes, seems damn close, if not identical, to Rolemaster.

What are the major differences between the two?  Is HARP closer to Rolemaster Express than the full Rolemaster rules?  (Rolemaster Express was a nice consolidation of the RM rules).

Should I keep this stuff handy, or pack it away with the bulk of my RPG stuff?  Space is definitely at a premium.

As an aside, I can find the HARP Sci-Fi RPG at RPGNow, but not HARP itself.  Is it a dead system these days?

1 comment:

  1. I too love Rolemaster, not the rules so much as the quality of the player base. My RM games were flake free which was refreshing to say the least...

    As it happens I have well had both at one time.

    HARP is a slightly lighter, trimmed and cleaned up version of Rolemaster. It has less prep-time, some different races and most importantly a more flexible spell based magic system.

    Given a choice I'd play Rolemaster over HARP probably in the order of Classic, Standard System, HARP, MERP but its not a huge difference between selection priority.

    The game is apparently in the process of a revamp.


    As a system it was lightly supported though fairly complete. I thought it good but just not my cup of tea. It deserved better.

    You can find a complete list of everything made here


    I've seen much of it and its good.

    However if space was a premium and I didn't have an active game, I'd box it


Tenkar's Tavern is supported by various affiliate programs, including Amazon, RPGNow,
and Humble Bundle as well as Patreon. Your patronage is appreciated and helps keep the
lights on and the taps flowing. Your Humble Bartender, Tenkar

Blogs of Inspiration & Erudition