View Full Version : Iron Kingdoms: HARP or GURPS?

2009-03-15, 09:19 PM
so, my friends bought me the Character Guide and World Guide of the Iron Kingdom setting for my birthday, and I must admit I love the setting.
However, since DD3.5 fits the setting like a bicycle fits a fish, I will adapt it to another system (notwithstanding the fact that I will never touch DD3.5 again, even with a 5 meters range telekinesis).

The problem is, which system (I narrowed the choice down to two, which I know quite well):
HARP: HARP is a class- and level-based system (at least, in theory), akin to Rolemaster, but a bit more flexible and less detailed. The default playstyle is gritty enough for the Iron Kingdoms and adapting almost everything will be relatively easy (adapting mechanika will require some thinking, but nothing unsurmountable). However, since it's a system with classes and levels, it suffers from a few problems: a discrete arrangement of stop-points determining how much ranks you can have in skills and when you can change your current class, and the impossibility (by the rules) to create a starting character who is extraordinarily gifted in one area (more than what a standard character can be, anyway).

On the other tentacle, I have
GURPS: GURPS being completely point-based, these 2 problems won't come up, plus this system integrates directly social aspects, like status and ranks in organisations. However, adapting the flavor of magic (and particularly mechanika) will be a pain in the ass to do, because I'll need to recreate a new sub-system for magic (even though Thaumaturgy might help here). GURPS also fits well with the gritty feel of the setting.

Which one should I choose (and, according to you, why)?

thanks for your answers and for the time you'll spend reading this post and following the links to both games' Lite versions (free demo versions of the game, perfectly playable)


2009-03-16, 01:17 AM
Well, as an ICE fan I'd vote HARP, even though it's my least favorite ICE game. Mainly because it's closer to 3.x that conversion would be easier. Granted I haven't really stress tested HARP to figure out how to "Heavily Optimize" it, but I did build a Spacemaster character with 5 100+ skills at first level, so I'm sure "exceptional" is doable somehow.

2009-03-16, 03:23 AM
Gurps is almsot always a good for game conversions and most of the time I tried this, I found the result quite satisfying.
The important thing is: Try to convert the flavor and the feeling, not the crunch. You don't need to create a new magic system; you need to find a magic system that fits the flavor of the game, even though it works different on the surfce. I have to admit that I don't know much about the Iron Kingdoms Magic, but as a rule of thumb, try Magic as Powers for general magic and the rules for Gadgeteering for anything more steampunky.