Let’s face it, there’s a 75% or higher chance that any player I recruit into a Hari Ragat game will already be a D&D player. So one of the ways to introduce Hari Ragat effectively is to be able to explain the game in D&D terms. Here’s my take on it:
What do we do in the game?
Think Vikings in a primeval, tropical island setting; you’ll be voyaging around, raiding, pillaging, slaying monsters, trying to move up by gaining wealth and fame.
What characters do we play?
The basic game of Hari Ragat is played with Warrior, Corsair and Hunter characters, all of the Orang Dakila caste. You can also play Shamans (Babaylan/Katalo), or Amazons (Kinalakian).
The Orang Dakila are the noble warrior caste, corresponding to D&D’s Aristocrat. They get a bonus in social contests where their prestige and authority can be brought to bear.
Warriors are equivalent to Fighters, of course; the protectors and the bashers. They’re the best character for taking on human opponents in the game, as that’s where they have a bonus.
Corsairs are a combination of sailor and fighter, good at navigation, sailing, and fighting at sea. Corsairs get a bonus when fighting on a ship or leading an amphibious assault.
Hunter characters are equivalent to D&D’s Rangers, good with hunting weapons such as bow and spear, and with a bonus to fighting animals (but not humans).
Shamans are the equivalent of the Cleric class, of course. They speak with various spirits, and work magic by controlling spirits.
Amazons are women warriors who have devoted themselves to the sword, vowing to take no husband or lover save one who has defeated them in combat, or until they decide to retire from being Amazons. They have a bonus against all non-Amazon human opponents.
Two other caste roles are available: Orang Malaya and Orang Dukha.
Orang Malaya characters are peasant heroes, strong, sturdy, and gifted with common sense; they get a bonus to tests influenced by the local lore of farmers, hunters and fishermen, or to tasks involving building or obtaining food.