As part of an ongoing initiative to extend accessibility all over the globe, Harpy is now accessible to those wanting to adventure in their native language
Type into any search engine the phrase “Tabletop Roleplaying Game Virtual Tabletop” and, at the time this article was written, you will be shown 17,700,000 results in a matter of .77 seconds. All this information can easily be overwhelming with the skyrocketing popularity of TTRPGs. With that comes a horde of online companions associated with running the plethora of games out there that have changed our lives for the better. You might be tempted to look at all these options and go with the first one that pops up and just make it work. This could be an easy yet punishing misstep. Running a virtual game can be a delicate thing and finding a system that meets your needs is both paramount and perplexing.
Here enters Harpy. The HeroForge 3D miniature compatibility, user-friendly interface and player-forward development is attractive, and being free for its essential functions is always a plus. However, your buddies Karin from Tokyo and Vladimir from St. Petersburg sadly can’t join… until now!
Why this matters.
For decades the West has been at the forefront of tabletop roleplaying developments. Most online resources for TTRPGs are written in the English language and offer support exclusively for English platforms. The outliers may include content for french-speakers or spanish-speakers, maybe italian-speakers which is all well and good. Though is there not another half of the world we’re forgetting?
Japan has been a power player on the forefront of gaming since the 1980s, not excluding in the least tabletop roleplaying games with popular titles such as Blade of Arcana, Alshard, and Night Wizard! which got its own anime television series. Russia, as well, is no stranger to the TTRPG scene which is gaining traction in major cities like Ekaterinburg which boasts a booming roleplaying scene. Despite the global popularity of these games and an equally universal need to take these adventures virtual, the question is begged: where is the support for these countries?
Harpy; which has already developed its support for English, French, Portuguese, and German; now welcomes Japanese and Russian to the roster. We at Harpy see the need to expand the accessibility of our free to use, straight-forward, and user-friendly platform to anyone with internet access who has a desire to adventure all around the globe. Anything from Wizards of the Coast’s wildly popular Dungeons & Dragons to any niche, obscure, or even a homebrew system can be run here, all in one’s native language!
What is Harpy?
In simplest terms, Harpy is a free to use virtual tabletop platform that runs in your browser. Looking closer at its functionality, you can see that it’s a metaphorical home in which you craft your stories, populate your world, and then bring them to life around the 3D virtual hearth that is the tabletop.
Realistically, it’s an all in one homebase with all the features you want and none that you don’t. Features like a dice roller, 3D figures or landscape assets that can be added on your imported maps, custom assets to share with select players and the ability to hide what you want to keep secret about them. Harpy contains a vast variety of tools as well as all the tools a dungeon master/ keeper/ game master or whomever else may need on the fly. If there’s a feature that’s been glaringly omitted, Harpy includes a built-in system where the community can vote on what the developers concoct next. The three core functions are the only three pages you’ll be navigating through to bring your world and the story within to life.
The three fold system of the codex, tabletop and story, needless to say, require an understanding of the language you’re working with. The codex is an asset structure system in which you can create wikipedia-like entries for important things that you’ll need to reference. Categories pertaining to your world such as characters, creatures, places, groups, items, stories, events, and miscellaneous notes can all be created here. You can then connect these entities with other elements of the tabletop and the story. The depth here is thorough and we do our best to not be convoluted, though naturally you actually need to understand the categories you’re writing in. The tabletop, while being straightforward and customizable, without this key update would be illegible to those based in Japan and Russia. The story, not unlike the codex, is structured in such a way that a solid understanding of the operating language is essential.
What Does This Mean For Me?
One of the greatest achievements of the internet is the ability to connect with like-minded individuals anywhere in the world. Coupled with the accessibility of TTRPGs, now anyone with an imagination (and usually some dice), are able to have fun and bond with people while experiencing different and rich cultures allowing this to become easier than ever. We are now able to expand our desire for community to people a world away. We at Harpy understand how valuable that is and now give you the ability to bring all your friends together with increasing access as well as share the wonderful games that bring us closer together.
The founders of Harpy are always developing new features that our users actually want. This is evidenced by our voting feature in which you vote directly for what you want to see added to the platform. You asked for it and we delivered: Japanese, Russian, and many more to come as well as exciting new features in development. What started out as a simple yet exciting roleplay chat log has flourished into an international virtual tabletop solution with a focus on the players’ needs. If you, like so many of us, want to play a D&D, Monster of the Week, Call of Cthulhu or any other game with friends just too far away, look no further than the Harpy Virtual Tabletop Website. 幸運あれ。そして楽しんでね and Удачи и приятного времяпровождения!
– Alec Pileski – Nov. 2022