It is important to determine the background of the character before the choosing of abilities begin. It is especially important to determine if the warrior comes from a civilized or a barbarian background. Many of the Warriors skills are available to both types of background, but some are exclusive to one.

Another vital aspect are things like: Is the character Noble or not. Does the character belong to a church?

The crucial point is this: Does the character get anything from the background he has? Is he the son of a lord? Does he get help from his father? Has he got a retinue?

On Hârn, social clout is almost universally tied to social duty. It may be great to be a lord – but the lord has to sit for moots and petitions and generally be available for many things.

A member of a Fighting Order might have powerful friends – but he also has powerful enemies, and cannot govern his own time much of the time.

So, basically, if you want a background that provides something, make sure it costs something as well to balance it.

You can still be a noble and a knight, eg. The concept of Freelances, “journeymen” Knights exist, and loose affiliation to fighting ordes is also offered. It leaves the character free – but also limits the amounts of aid he can count on.

And if you have a friend that will do stuff for you – like any character might have – make sure you’d want to do the same for him.


On Hârn, illiteracy is the norm.

Warriors, Scouts and Lia-Kavair may buy Literacy as a skill. Servitors and Shek-P’var are assumed to be literate.

Extra skill slot.

If you choose a background that will make significant demands upon your character – like lordship or heirdom, full Fighting Order or Clerical Order membership, a Mercenrary contract, a central placing in the Lia-Kavair et. al. – you get an extra mundane Skill you may choose from your available lists.

This represents the more intensive training often recieved in such circumstances.


HârnDW The_Wrathchild The_Wrathchild