Making Semi-Balanced Races

Copyright Tim Harper (aka Samwise7) © 2009

Edited by Nicholas HM Caldwell for The Guild Companion

This was my attempt of making a balanced way of making HARP races. While it breaks the HARP tradition of each race only having 3 Racial Special Abilities, I believe it is still balanced.

Semi-Balanced HARP Race Construction

All races must have a +11 total in Stat Bonuses (or if the GM prefers some lower total amount).

All races must have a total of +60 total for Endurance and Power Points.

All races must have a +30 total for all of the 3 Resistance bonuses.

All races should have the following description: Demeanor, Appearance, Lifespan, and Cultures that they normally have.

All races will have 65 Development Points to spend on racial special abilities and/or talents from any HARP book. The total cost of all your Racial Special Abilities must add up to 65 or less. The GM has to approve the combination of the special abilities however. The maximum cost of a single Talent used as a Racial Special Ability is 35 (this is to try to prevent overly powerful and unbalanced races).

In addition, I will allow up to 5 Special Abilities (instead of the HARP normal limit of 3) as long as the total cost is less than or equal to 65. I don't see anything wrong with this, as having more low powered talents seems equal to having 3 more powerful ones. So, each race can have 3-5 Special Abilities as long as they add up to 65 or less.

Costs of the Racial Special Abilities & Monster Abilities that aren't Talents:

  • Bonus Skill Ranks: 10
  • Extremely Nimble: 10
  • Flight: 20
  • Natural Camouflage: 20
  • Natural Immunity: 35
  • Natural Weapons: 10
  • Portage Skills: 10
  • Reverberating Strength: 35
  • Stone Sense: 10
  • Survival Instinct: 35 [not available to PC races]
  • Tough Hide (Minor): 30

Using other Racial Special Abilities from other HARP sources (such as HARPer's Bazaar) would work as well but GMs would have to price them as needed.

Using HARP Talents from other sources will work as long as the GM approves them and prices them.

The Dwarf is an excellent example of how this works (as it adds up to 65 total Development Points).
Darkvision (Greater) 30, Dense Musculature 25, and Stone Sense 10 = 65 total.