Crafts and Professions
HârnWorld and it’s dedicated system, HârnMaster, is aimed at providing a realistic milieu for the gaming experience. Thus most people are very ordinary folk, mostly defined by their lot in life, which ofte involves having some sort of craft or profession that forms the basis of their livelihood.
One of the classes of the game also have a special interest in this subject: The Shek-P’var. Most Shek-P’var who roam the world do it in some sort of guise. Eg., many Jmorvi Shek-P’var take up Smithing, bth because it is central to their magical crafts, and because it provides a “cover” for them to operate under in a society that often frown upon magical arts, mistrusting and fearing them. Being able to work under the cover of a trade or profession is thus practical, leading many such characters to learning such skills.
As an option, every character may declare a craft, trade or profession (however you want to define this).
Soldiery and hunters are expressed through the PC classes, as are scouts and eg. organised criminals (Lia-Kavair).
Most other especially civilised warriors of common birth will probably be Farmers.
Other possibilities include crafts (professions involved in the production of things) and professions (people trained in providing services, from chambermaids to litigants.
Especially crafts (Smiths) but also some professions (Physicians, Apothecaries/Herbalists) are often useful to adventurers. Eg. the Friar skills of Chirurgy, Engineering and Folk Remedy are indicative of what some with the right professions and trades can do.
But whatever the case, the abilities from a craft or profession should not eclipse the abilities available through a character class.
Furthermore, Warriors should generally not be into “cerebral” professions. These are mostly appropriate for Shek-P’var, Servitors and some Assassins/Lia-Kavair. Also, as the GM, have an eye for the rarity of various professions and limit their prescence in a party accordingly. Ie, if 3 out of 5 characters are Physicians, the strain on the setting verisimilitude begins to mount.
Of course, such thing CAN be made into a feature rather than a flaw by a creative and story-oriented group.
A rule of thumb about capability might be that at Ranks 1-4, the character has the abilites one could expect from a Senior Apprentice, that Ranks 5-8 is the Journeyman level, while ability from Rank 9 and beyond is that of a Master, a true Expert, an Artist in the field.
Characters will of course exsist that have these mastery levels, but no character Ranks as such.
An alternative approach is to make this part of the skill system “proper”, by defining this as a separate class of skills, each available in 3 levels:
Thus each such skill can be taken 3 times.
If this option is used, the Servitors and Shek-P’var should have 2 skills available at 1st Rank, and gain new skills every 3rd Rank gained (4th, 7th etc.).
Some professions are of particular interest to adventurers:
- Apothecary/Herbalist – intricate knowledge of the properties of plants etc. Includes knowledge * of dangerous and soothing compounds.
- Blacksmith – can aid in the maintainanace of a group.
- Physician – while all adventurers are assumed to know basic “first aid”, a physician knows more. The attentions of a Physician can cause natural healing to have a faster onset.
- Weaponcrafter – a smithing speciality giving the character the ability to produce arms and armour. Weaponcrafters are in practice exempt from the ban on chivalric arms for commoners
- Woodsman/Warden – knowledge of not just bringing game down, but also survival skills for the wild.
An Option under this Option: Treating Church and Noble ranks as “careeers”
This model can be applied to clerical and noble families as well. Aside from the “skills for obligations” rule mentioned elsewhere, this can be a path to the trappings and influence of nobility and clergy with less of the obligation.
- Apprentice corresponds more to a basic knight, and provides the right to bear chivalric arms and provides basic knightly equipment incl. a horse, though not one of Warhorse quality. x10 starting funds
- Journeyman is more akin to a household knight with access to top equipment and funds. Warhorse and x20 staring funds.
- Master would be a very well-equipped and established knight. Warhorse and x50 staring funds.
- Apprentice would not be Acolyte level, but an ordained priest.
- Journeyman level is on the level of a temple master or senior priest in the employ of one of these.
- Master is on the High Priest/Abbott level of things.