[Barsoom] HG Wells Mars and Barsoom

“As you know I am not of Barsoom; your ways are not my ways, and I can only act in the future as I have in the past, in accordance with the dictates of my conscience and guided by the standards of mine own people.” All RPGs base based on Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom stories can be discussed here.
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[Barsoom] HG Wells Mars and Barsoom

Post by Havard » Thu Jul 09, 2015 5:32 pm

I just found this pretty cool web page investigating how what HG Wells wrote about Mars could be used with the Barsoom setting:
http://www.erbzine.com/mag14/1404.html

I knew that HG Wells had written War of the Worlds, but I didn't realize he had done more on Mars as well. :)

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Re: [Barsoom] HG Wells Mars and Barsoom

Post by Angel Tarragon » Thu Jul 09, 2015 7:14 pm

Good stuff, here. Thanks for sharing this Havard!

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Re: [Barsoom] HG Wells Mars and Barsoom

Post by Yaztromo » Fri Jul 10, 2015 10:38 am

As you can find in Calidar area (viewtopic.php?f=91&t=12891#p150839), I used a good part of Barsoom material as a background for a Calidar adventure (in Lao Kwei) and it worked pretty well: I think that pulp words are specially good for roleplay games and this is no exception by any means!
I'll read carefully HG Wells material as well, a sit sounds like cool additional stuff...
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Re: [Barsoom] HG Wells Mars and Barsoom

Post by BlackBat242 » Sat Jul 11, 2015 6:28 am

I have a serious problem with the description in that "ERBzine" about international communications & travel in 1899...
We can assume that the world was not so tightly woven together in those days. Thus, for America and for Europe, England was a remote far off country. In 2001, the entire world watched the World Trade Centres fall. But 1899 is a different country, communication is slower and less immediate. The telegraph could splash the news of the Martian invasion of England onto front pages in America, but the information will come through laboriously slow as a series of dots and dashes, there will be no photographs, descriptions and reports will be terse and second hand. There won’t be front page photos, live television, or endless camcorder records. At best, you’ll get a few badly drawn sketches based on secondhand information.

In short, for much of the world, the impact of a Martian invasion of England, might not have the same immediate and worldwide impact as a major terrorist attack or disaster like the Tsunami in the modern day.

The world of 1899 was far more accepting of the notion of life, of intelligent life, on other worlds, so that would not necessarily have been as shocking. Meanwhile, a number of factors would have limited the shock and acted to restore complacency. The invasion seemed confined to England, and the invasion was remarkably short lived, only a matter of weeks. Finally, the Martians simply were unable to cope with Earth’s conditions, clearly shutting the door on the whole matter.

So, one might imagine a stir for a year or two, but eventually, people would settle down, get on with their lives and forget about it. Particularly when no further invasions are forthcoming. I imagine the English would still be somewhat traumatized, but John Carter, Gulliver Jones and Ulysses Paxton are all Americans.
That is rather contrary to what I have read about and from those times - there was a rather large amount of communication across the Atlantic, as well as travel - and the doings of the upper class in Paris & London were of immense interest to the upper classes in the US.

There would be lots of photographs crossing the Atlantic on all the ocean liners, mail ships, and so on - as well as newspapers and people.

So Americans would be well-informed about the Martian invasion, which does mean that the American people would be shaken and disturbed profoundly by the events in England.

Probably isolationism takes hold much earlier than historic, with proponents of American expansion overseas like Teddy Roosevelt finding themselves shunned and ignored. It is likely this that forestalls the Spanish-American War of 1898 - which helps lead to all the divergences mentioned later in the article.

In particular:
Finally, and this is obviously conjecture on my part, the War of the Worlds may well have had an impact on Burroughs Earth. In the Moon Maid, Burroughs writes that the first world war continued, almost uninterrupted, off and on until the 1960s on Earth. In our world, of course, there was an almost 20 year gap between the two world wars, to be followed by a cold war through the '60s. In Burroughs world, the war seems to have been an almost continuous, generations spanning conflict, with perhaps shorter periods of peace and stability.
Well, Burroughs himself set a novel in that "prolonged World War" setting - Beyond Thirty, which is a short science fiction novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beyond_Thirty
It was written in 1915 and first published in All Around Magazine in February 1916, in which we find:
The story was heavily influenced by the events of World War I, and reflects U.S. sentiments at the time of writing. When the war broke out, Americans were predominantly isolationist and wary of being drawn into a European war. Burroughs imagines a future two centuries onward in which that view prevailed and the western hemisphere severed contact with the rest of the world. Consequently, the eastern hemisphere has exhausted itself in war and Europe has descended into barbarism while the Americas, sheltered from the destruction, have continued to advance and joined peacefully into the union of Pan-America. By the twenty-second century the entire world east of the 30th meridian west and west of the 175th meridian west has become terra incognita to Pan-America.

In 2137, Pan-American Navy Lieutenant Jefferson Turck is commander of the aero-submarine Coldwater, tasked with patrolling the 30th meridian from Iceland to the Azores.
After many adventures,
Communications between the hemispheres are re-opened, with commerce to follow, and Turck, despite violating the edict against crossing the 30th meridian, is hailed as a hero in Pan-America.
So we see that the world of John Carter, Barsoom, and H. G. Wells' Martians is indeed a parallel world, and not a secret part of our own history. In other words - any Barsoomian adventuring after the arrival of John Carter can see whatever changes on Earth you want to create.
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Re: [Barsoom] HG Wells Mars and Barsoom

Post by Havard » Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:33 pm

I've been reading a bit on how Alan Moore's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (graphic novel, not the awful movie), incorporated quite a bit of lore from HG Wells into their storyline. It seems they made use of elements both from War of the Worlds and from the Time Machine.

An interesting twist is that the race attacking Earth in War of the Worlds invades Mars first (From a different world) and that invasion has to be repelled by John Carter and Lt. Gullivar.

Thinking a bit more about this, I rather like the idea of a John Carter RPG campaign moving back and forth between Earth and Barsoom through the campaign. I dont know how much of the RPG will detail travel between the worlds?

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Re: [Barsoom] HG Wells Mars and Barsoom

Post by RobJN » Thu Oct 11, 2018 7:21 pm

Havard wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:33 pm
Thinking a bit more about this, I rather like the idea of a John Carter RPG campaign moving back and forth between Earth and Barsoom through the campaign. I dont know how much of the RPG will detail travel between the worlds?

-Havard
Sounds like a job for an enterprising Game Master.....
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Re: [Barsoom] HG Wells Mars and Barsoom

Post by Angel Tarragon » Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:07 am

RobJN wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 7:21 pm
Sounds like a job for an enterprising Game Master.....
It could be as simple as picking up a feat at 1st level that allows for Astral Projecton...it worked in the books.

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Re: [Barsoom] HG Wells Mars and Barsoom

Post by Big Mac » Fri Oct 19, 2018 1:32 am

Angel Tarragon wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:07 am
RobJN wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 7:21 pm
Sounds like a job for an enterprising Game Master.....
It could be as simple as picking up a feat at 1st level that allows for Astral Projecton...it worked in the books.
Wouldn't a Stargate-like portal or a device that jumps between Earth and Mars be better? If you made a 1st Level Feat you could get into a situation where entire armies could Astral Project from one world to the other. A portal or device could limit travel between the worlds.

And if you needed to either charge a portal/device or wait for specific times (like when Mars is on a retrograde cycle or on the opposite side of the sun from Earth) that would give a GM enough time to run through several adventures, before PCs exit the world they have jumped to and retreat home.
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