Barsoom - First published D&D setting

“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 based on Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom stories can be discussed here.
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Barsoom - First published D&D setting

Post by Big Mac » Sun Jul 18, 2010 12:59 am

During a discussion to find some better blurb text for the Greyhawk forum, Cthulhudrew suggested "the first Dungeons and Dragons campaign world and ripvanwormer dropped this factoid:
ripvanwormer wrote:The first D&D campaign world is Blackmoor (which obviously wasn't part of Greyhawk before Greyhawk existed); the first published D&D campaign world might arguably be Barsoom, because TSR's Warriors of Mars game had notes on using it with D&D, and the original D&D set listed Barsoomian encounters. There's not really anything that's Greyhawk-specific in published original D&D in the same way that the Barsoomian elements are Barsoom-specific.
I had heard that Blackmoor was older than Greyhawk (but held back), but had not heard that Barsoom had been used by TSR in Warriors of Mars: The Warfare of Barsoom in Miniature before.

According to the page that ripvanwormer linked to Edgar Rice Burroughs's estate forced TSR to shut down the book. But if copyright law was not stupid, we might have seen an entire range of Barsoom sourcebooks.

With the price of TSR's illegal book apparently being $599.99, I don't suppose anyone here has seen it. But I think a couple of other people have done stuff with Barsoom (maybe under licence).

Has anyone here done anything with Barsoom?
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Re: Barsoom - First published D&D setting

Post by Dread Delgath » Sun Jul 18, 2010 3:08 am

Big Mac wrote:During a discussion to find some better blurb text for the Greyhawk forum, Cthulhudrew suggested "the first Dungeons and Dragons campaign world and ripvanwormer dropped this factoid:
ripvanwormer wrote:The first D&D campaign world is Blackmoor (which obviously wasn't part of Greyhawk before Greyhawk existed); the first published D&D campaign world might arguably be Barsoom, because TSR's Warriors of Mars game had notes on using it with D&D, and the original D&D set listed Barsoomian encounters. There's not really anything that's Greyhawk-specific in published original D&D in the same way that the Barsoomian elements are Barsoom-specific.
I had heard that Blackmoor was older than Greyhawk (but held back), but had not heard that Barsoom had been used by TSR in Warriors of Mars: The Warfare of Barsoom in Miniature before.

According to the page that ripvanwormer linked to Edgar Rice Burroughs's estate forced TSR to shut down the book. But if copyright law was not stupid, we might have seen an entire range of Barsoom sourcebooks.

With the price of TSR's illegal book apparently being $599.99, I don't suppose anyone here has seen it. But I think a couple of other people have done stuff with Barsoom (maybe under licence).

Has anyone here done anything with Barsoom?
I doubt many have seen a legal copy of WoM, but I have a printed copy that needs some edge work to be fully legible. Barsoom, AFAICS is nothing more than a set of rules for running adventures & encounters in Barsoom, and it is not really a setting, even though there are maps of Mars with it, but no setting detail. This is a simple matter, however if you have any of ERB's Mars books. http://i241.photobucket.com/albums/ff49 ... 3_eyes.gif

Barsoom and WoM is mentioned in either Bk II (Monsters & Treasure) or III (The Underworld & Wilderness Adventures) in some of the encounter tables. I saw this just the other night as I was looking for something else entirely.http://i241.photobucket.com/albums/ff49 ... bokmal.gif
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Re: Barsoom - First published D&D setting

Post by Dread Delgath » Sun Jul 18, 2010 3:14 am

Also, I have a Word document & a PDF of compiled Barsoomian creatures. These critters were developed by other people from the Knights & Knaves Alehouse board & the OD&D discussion board, IIRC. Let me know via PM, including your email addy, and I can send it to you. As a general rule, I do not used scribd or any other file sharing sites, except for YouSendIt for large files that won't fit in a regular email inbox.
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Re: Barsoom - First published D&D setting

Post by BlackBat242 » Sun Jul 18, 2010 3:18 am

Big Mac wrote: Has anyone here done anything with Barsoom?
Not in D&D... but we are (slowly) working in something for Star Trek here: http://oldschooltrek.proboards.com/inde ... thread=128
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Re: Barsoom - First published D&D setting

Post by Dread Delgath » Sun Jul 18, 2010 4:04 am

BlackBat242 wrote:
Big Mac wrote: Has anyone here done anything with Barsoom?
Not in D&D... but we are (slowly) working in something for Star Trek here: http://oldschooltrek.proboards.com/inde ... thread=128
I'm able to watch a few episodes of TOS with my group, which I haven't been able to do since ST was in syndication in the early-mid 70's! http://i241.photobucket.com/albums/ff49 ... v_0021.gif

http://i241.photobucket.com/albums/ff49 ... hocker.gif

I will be joining this board shortly! Thanks for the link BB! :ugeek:
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Re: Barsoom - First published D&D setting

Post by Big Mac » Sun Jul 18, 2010 11:52 am

Dread Delgath wrote:Also, I have a Word document & a PDF of compiled Barsoomian creatures. These critters were developed by other people from the Knights & Knaves Alehouse board & the OD&D discussion board, IIRC. Let me know via PM, including your email addy, and I can send it to you. As a general rule, I do not used scribd or any other file sharing sites, except for YouSendIt for large files that won't fit in a regular email inbox. http://i241.photobucket.com/albums/ff49 ... bek046.gif
Thanks for that. They should put that online somewhere.

I guess I'll have to convert that to 3e, at some point.

Sean K Reynolds has a Barsoom page.

I just found a blog called Savage Barsoom, that has some D&D stats and links to minis on it.

And here is a Barsoomian name generator.
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Re: Barsoom - First published D&D setting

Post by BlackBat242 » Mon Jul 19, 2010 1:07 am

You should have mine, DD... I send you enough stuff.

Time for you to return the favor! ;)

And that site has slowed considerably since the first fevered months... which is a shame. I need to find the time to do some things to post there, but you know how it goes.
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Re: Barsoom - First published D&D setting

Post by ripvanwormer » Mon Jul 19, 2010 1:46 am

Skirmisher Publishing did a d20 Barsoom book.

Adamant Entertainment did some Barsoom-esque books for d20 and Savage Worlds.

Here's a glossary.

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Re: Barsoom - First published D&D setting

Post by Dread Delgath » Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:36 pm

Big Mac wrote:Thanks for that. They should put that online somewhere.

I guess I'll have to convert that to 3e, at some point.

Sean K Reynolds has a Barsoom page.

I just found a blog called Savage Barsoom, that has some D&D stats and links to minis on it.

And here is a Barsoomian name generator.
Thanks for the links. Now when someone translates the d20 3.5+ to OD&D, let me know! ;)
BlackBat242 wrote:You should have mine, DD... I send you enough stuff.

Time for you to return the favor! ;)

And that site has slowed considerably since the first fevered months... which is a shame. I need to find the time to do some things to post there, but you know how it goes.
PM/emails sent! :cool: My group really liked the TOS forum. They are not forum browsers, but they did get a kick out of the whole # of planets named Rigel bit in that one thread. Very cool "swords & planets" D&D ideas. :mrgreen:
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Re: Barsoom - First published D&D setting

Post by Dread Delgath » Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:42 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:Skirmisher Publishing did a d20 Barsoom book.

Adamant Entertainment did some Barsoom-esque books for d20 and Savage Worlds.

Here's a glossary.
I love the glossary! Thanks! :mrgreen:
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Re: Barsoom - First published D&D setting

Post by Big Mac » Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:49 pm

Dread Delgath wrote:Thanks for the links. Now when someone translates the d20 3.5+ to OD&D, let me know! ;)
Erm. Have you seen this? :P :? :twisted: ^_^ :x ;) :o :cool:
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Re: Barsoom - First published D&D setting

Post by Dread Delgath » Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:37 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Dread Delgath wrote:Thanks for the links. Now when someone translates the d20 3.5+ to OD&D, let me know! ;)
Erm. Have you seen this? :P :? :twisted: ^_^ :x ;) :o :cool:
Yes I have, but I haven't read it yet! The first few pages are great; setting up the players in a Jack Chick tract! :twisted:
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Re: Barsoom - First published D&D setting

Post by ripvanwormer » Mon Jul 19, 2010 10:27 pm

Many of the links are dead, but here's an OD&D-focused collection of Barsoom links (this is where I found the glossary).

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Re: Barsoom - First published D&D setting

Post by Big Mac » Mon Jul 19, 2010 11:10 pm

Dread Delgath wrote:
Big Mac wrote:
Dread Delgath wrote:Thanks for the links. Now when someone translates the d20 3.5+ to OD&D, let me know! ;)
Erm. Have you seen this? :P :? :twisted: ^_^ :x ;) :o :cool:
Yes I have, but I haven't read it yet! The first few pages are great; setting up the players in a Jack Chick tract! :twisted:
Well, it might get a boost in the OD&D community, as I dropped a note to a certain RPG advocacy organisation and they put up this. Mwah! Mwah! Mwah! :twisted:
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Re: Barsoom - First published D&D setting

Post by Big Mac » Mon Jul 19, 2010 11:39 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:Many of the links are dead, but here's an OD&D-focused collection of Barsoom links (this is where I found the glossary).
I can't get that page to load. :(
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Re: Barsoom - First published D&D setting

Post by Dread Delgath » Tue Jul 20, 2010 6:11 am

I got through to one of the links, the one that has the Atlas & original maps! Here: From Abner Perry's ERB Atlas
:mrgreen:

Edit: Crosspost Alert! I just had the Pellucidar thread up, but I switched it off before I read this thread, so without searching for the Pellucidar thread, here is a link to ERB's Pellucidar maps: Pellucidar Maps
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Re: Barsoom - First published D&D setting

Post by Havard » Wed Nov 18, 2015 11:41 pm

Dread Delgath wrote:I got through to one of the links, the one that has the Atlas & original maps! Here: From Abner Perry's ERB Atlas
:mrgreen:

Edit: Crosspost Alert! I just had the Pellucidar thread up, but I switched it off before I read this thread, so without searching for the Pellucidar thread, here is a link to ERB's Pellucidar maps: Pellucidar Maps
Those are some really nice maps! :)

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Re: Barsoom - First published D&D setting

Post by DMMike » Thu Nov 19, 2015 8:09 pm

Has anyone read the SPI John Carter boardgame from the 1970s? From what I've heard, its got a lot of systems in it for Barsoomian type adventure scenarios. Each player has a "hero" character busy rescuing damsels and stopping villains; with each player playing the villain another hero has to fight in a given turn.


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Re: Barsoom - First published D&D setting

Post by finarvyn » Mon Nov 23, 2015 9:49 pm

I'm not sure that WARRIORS OF MARS should quite count as an RPG, so I'm not sure that it counts as the first published D&D setting. WoM does contain some man-to-man adventure stuff, but its primary goal is that of a miniatures wargame.

I like the SPI John Carter wargame but it suffers from some of the same issues that most SPI games have, which is that they are designed to be wargames first and foremost. The role-play aspect is secondary.
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Re: Barsoom - First published D&D setting

Post by Dread Delgath » Mon Nov 23, 2015 10:41 pm

finarvyn wrote:I'm not sure that WARRIORS OF MARS should quite count as an RPG, so I'm not sure that it counts as the first published D&D setting. WoM does contain some man-to-man adventure stuff, but its primary goal is that of a miniatures wargame.

I like the SPI John Carter wargame but it suffers from some of the same issues that most SPI games have, which is that they are designed to be wargames first and foremost. The role-play aspect is secondary.
So was Chainmail - The Fantasy Supplement and Outdoor Survival (a board game), and many used these games to enhance their D&D games.

Battlesystem was another war game that was used extensively for D&D campaigns, albeit, it was designed to enhance a D&D game, unlike Chainmail -- which is the precursor to D&D. ;)

From what I've seen of Warriors of Mars, (I've seen pics of the game components over at boardgamegeek.com) it was a more complete set that was based on Chainmail, and possibly designed to be compatible with D&D rules.

Edit: I'm not arguing that they were RPGs, I agree they are not, and that they ARE war games; but as far as being settings for D&D - Outdoor Survival was the default setting for D&D in the early days. :)
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Re: Barsoom - First published D&D setting

Post by finarvyn » Sat Dec 05, 2015 7:36 pm

Dread Delgath wrote:Outdoor Survival was the default setting for D&D in the early days. :)
Sort of, but not really. Outdoor Survival wasn't really a "setting" so much as it was a map used when the players went off of the main Blackmoor map and into the wilderness. When they left the OS map's edge the found another wilderness region that was pretty darned similar and used the same OS map again. :lol:

It is a suggested resource of the 1974 LBB mostly because it's a nice generic map and not because there was any sort of real setting associated with it.
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Re: Barsoom - First published D&D setting

Post by LimeOdyssey » Fri Jul 21, 2017 2:23 pm

We played Warriors of Mars a long time ago. It's a wargame but you get into it more like a roleplaying game. Definitely if you are an Arnesonian, it turns into a roleplaying game. And in our case it led directly into an OD&D / mutated version of Classic roleplaying game that lasted something like ten sessions. It died off due to player attrition, everyone liked it. It helped that between us we had a lot of barsoomian miniatures. This is going back a long time to the old lead barsoomian and similar minis, not remotely like the ones around today in quality of casting or detail.

The wargame was how we resolved some combat, other competitions and combat were dealt with RPG style or just by talking it out.

I don't think it would be very easy to write up modern style RPG rules for doing that it would a lot easier to see people doing it. We had another fantasy wargame with another giant selection of little cardboard counters, I think it was Dragonquest or something, at some stage we put them all together for some reason. Not sure why, it might have been for a weekend game marathon so there were enough counters for people to use along with the minis.

It did work like a RPG though, adding in bits of the OD&D and then classic tables and encounters, as well as trying to get expanded rules for eg the evil martian priests, plant men and green men hordes.

Man that takes me back. :)

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Re: Barsoom - First published D&D setting

Post by Yaztromo » Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:40 pm

Big Mac wrote: With the price of TSR's illegal book apparently being $599.99, I don't suppose anyone here has seen it.
I was lucky enough to see it (with my eyes only) and I think it was/is a great piece of gaming.
Starting from it, fresh after reading a fair part of the original novels and after adding my personal thingies, I run a couple of AFF campaigns where I managed to fine tune a few details and I have to say that overall they came together nicely, even when involving people that knew absolutely nothing about Barsoom and Burroughs.
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Re: Barsoom - First published D&D setting

Post by combatmedicreturns » Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:14 pm

Has the legal status of Warriors of Mars changed now that the Barsoom material is at least partly in the public domain?

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Re: Barsoom - First published D&D setting

Post by LimeOdyssey » Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:16 am

combatmedicreturns wrote:Has the legal status of Warriors of Mars changed now that the Barsoom material is at least partly in the public domain?
If it is stuff from A Princess Of Mars then I guess so. Bit like Tower of the Elephant for Conan. But several NAMES are trademarked.

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