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 Publisher Info

Harp Sf $20.00
Average Rating:4.4 / 5
Ratings Reviews Total
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2 4
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Harp Sf
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Harp Sf
Publisher: Guild Companion Publications
by Evan M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/20/2011 16:14:18
The Good: Harp SciFi does a great job of allowing detailed character development, cool combat system and nice set of skill sets. I like a system that is not overly complex, but does not feel too fluffy in the rules. Harp does well at balance in this reguard.

The Bad: SciFi RPGs are a tough nut to crack since there is sooo much potential variation in technology and it makes "keeping it real" difficult. This is not a hard sci fi game - which is unfortunate as the system allows for more realism in the mechanics, it would be nice if they did more to "Harden" the scifi premises of the game. Also, it would be nice to have some more on spaceship combat/design - probably a future suppliment.

The Ugly: As mentioned by others, the setting. The aliens just don't do it for me and the background sounds like it was cut and pasted from many scifi rpgs of the past.

Summary - great game mechanics, could use some more variation in characters based on future potential of humans, genetics, and artificial systems. Buy the game - sure its a good system, but throw out the awful background setting.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
Harp Sf
Publisher: Guild Companion Publications
by Erathoniel W. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 02/08/2011 16:12:03
Harp SF isn't the most clear product (I found myself confused at several spots, though typically the confusion cleared when the point of ambiguity was cleared up later), but it's still very well written.

It uses a nice system with enough precision to be playable, but not so much that it's over-encumbering (though 80 skills is a mixed bag: versatile, yes, but also a little much, though admittedly these can be fine-tuned on a per-campaign/game basis).

The Fumble and Critical Tables were a nice touch, it's been a while since I've seen detailed critical charts, rather than just a "Take double damage and have something cute happen". I mean, it's not perfect, and I feel like at times you could run into places where they weren't applicable, but they'd be a stretch.

I like it, it's a decent break from the average, the art is good, the setting is decent, the price is not the cheapest, but you do get a coherent, well done product with enough content to be worth it.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
Harp Sf
Publisher: Guild Companion Publications
by Thomas G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/04/2011 01:31:53
I have been waiting for this book for a long time now! I'm so glad it's finally here!

First off, what I didn't like:

I think my biggest problem wih this book is its setting. Tintamar and its totally bizarre races just don't do it for me. I guess I'm just the kind of guy who never wanted to play a little tree creature, or a short thing with tentacles... Fortunately, you can customize the heck out of humans or just make your own races with the simple creation rules. Races aside, the setting feels a bit generic in general. There also doesn't seem to be enough information to run it. It's a small portion of the book, so I don't really feel that it takes too much away.

I feel I should also mention the system for psionics. While I understand that the idea was to create a system that is different from HARP fantasy's magic, I feel that this particular set of mechanics is simply not as intuitive. While magic develops much like skills, psionics is simply another system to learn, which I feel does not fit well with the core mechanics. It is here where I really see the difference in authors as opposed to HARP fantasy.

What I do like:

The rules system, like HARP fantasy, is a dream come true! You get much of the realism of Rolemaster without the complexity! You get LOADS of options! You can make just about any kind of character you desire! The flexibility you are allowed when making your characters is incredible!

I know that some people consider HARP to be a bit daunting on the rules side, but I am not one. Is it more to learn than D&D or Savage Worlds? Yes. Is that a good thing? To me it most certainly is! I honestly believe that this is one of the best systems out there. If you want a system that allows for great flexibility and customization to fit your needs, give this book a try!

[4 of 5 Stars!]
Harp Sf
Publisher: Guild Companion Publications
by Gary W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/24/2011 19:05:45
I really wanted to like Harp SF. So precious few decent SF games out there. And for the first chapter I loved it: the best part of the game is its setting, the Tintamar Universe (though I don't get why it was named after the so-named space station). The setting contains just the right amount of history, tech, aliens and worlds. Then you start reading the rules, and your smile fades.

SO complex! My head hurt trying to keep straight all of the Development Points, Skill Ranks, skill sources, resolution types, Talents, charts and tables, professions, cultures, something called "concussion hits," etc. Write down the character creation process and keep it next to you, otherwise you will get lost. The game provides too many options, exceptions and too many mechanics. And I am someone who normally likes a deep and complex mechanic, especially when it serves to promote realism. The rules of HSF will likely only promote stress. One of weakest links in the game is the Profession system: many of the professions seem suitable only to Humans (it is hard to imagine a Madji Entertainer). Adding to the tangle of the rules is the author's constant referals to Harp Fantasy: explaining the differences, adding conversion rules, including magic in SF game for "completeness". No. I don't need to know how many Power Points my Silth has.

All this said, the game is interesting enough to keep coming back to and puzzling with, and with several close readings I might be able to play it without hiring a full-time secretary. For playability the games needs a serious revsion and simplifcation. Fewer Professions, fewer talents and skills, a very simple and easy to follow character creation system that does not require reams of scratch paper. And scrap Cultures altogther: just give me more skill ranks in my Profession. I look forward to Harp SF Second Edition some day, as the core of a great game is here.

[3 of 5 Stars!]
Harp Sf
Publisher: Guild Companion Publications
by Jimmy P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/23/2011 17:23:31
The HARP system is basically the offspring of the old Rolemaster system. It reminds me of MERP (or Middle Earth Role Playing), which was a simplified version of the Rolemaster rule set.

HARP sci-fi and HARP are very similar. If you did not like HARP, chances are you will not like HARP SF.

This book is not for everyone. The rules contained within are very crunchy - maybe not as crunchy as Rolemaster, but still. If you prefer rules light systems, steer clear.

The art contained within is decent and appropriate for the subject.

Overall, if you prefer realism over ease of play, this might be for you. There is a real lack of decent and innovative SF systems out there. This might be the one that does it for you.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
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