Harsh is a game built on a framework of guided narration and storytelling. Multiple Storytellers create personal characters that they take with them through the adventure, while one Moderator acts as the environment and the embodiment of chance. Players can control their scenes and anything in them, while Moderators help resolve rolls and add Twists in to shake up the story and keep things interesting.
All in all, Harsh is an improvisational story generator with enough mechanics to keep the action moving without putting player narratives on rails. Tell any story type of story you want!
Character design is meant to be easy, quick, and fun. Based on a foundation of Social Classes, once you pick your role in your community, you build upon your template by adding mods, Street Smarts, and choosing your religion. Finally, you will determine why you are working with the other characters in your group. Are you old friends? Business partners? Does someone have dirt on you and you want to keep them around to make sure they stay quiet? The details are entirely up to you!
Harsh is a game of narrative prompts and hurdles that Storytellers must navigate in creative and compelling ways. No single person controls the trajectory of the story - it's grown organically as Storytellers describe their actions and the Moderator provides a response from the environment and NPCs.
Cybernetic enhancements. Electrogenetic splices. External rig-based gadgets. No matter the flavor, these mods allow you to modify yourself and your rolls. Choose from a list of mods with mechanical benefits. As for how odd they look and how ridiculously they function within the story - that's a decision you get to make.
You've been through a lot and you came out stronger for it. Street Smarts are the skills and abilities you've learned as you struggle through daily life on the post-Blackout American streets. Maybe you're an expert at talking your way out of trouble; maybe you've become a savant at scaling tall buildings. Whatever your niche, you'll gain roll bonuses and plenty of laughs (or gasps!) for using them creatively within your narratives.
RELIGION & FAVOR
Your religion is your lifeblood, and your anchor in an otherwise volatile world. Through your church you will receive supplies, gain healing, and receive bonuses depending on how loved - or reviled - you happen to be.
Favor is the measurement of your worth to your church, and exists as the currency of Harsh Generation. If you follow the tenets of your religion and avoid performing any of its prohibitions, you will find the riches of the world readily available for you to use.