[Barsoom] John Carter of Mars RPG?

“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] John Carter of Mars RPG?

Post by Angel Tarragon » Thu Oct 27, 2011 4:25 am

I am curious if there was or is an rpg based on John Carter of Mars.

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Re: John Carter of Mars RPG?

Post by cromsriddle » Thu Oct 27, 2011 5:03 am

MARS is intended as a Barsoom setting using Savage Worlds system. It doesn't have John Carter in the title, but the content is Barsoom.

pdf:
http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product_i ... s_id=60955

Hardcopy with pdf:
http://shop.cubicle7store.com/epages/es ... ts/CB75000

There was a d20 version made too, and it is about as well.
http://www.rpgnow.com/product_info.php? ... 25739&it=1

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Re: John Carter of Mars RPG?

Post by Angel Tarragon » Thu Oct 27, 2011 6:25 am

Thanks for the links. :)

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Re: John Carter of Mars RPG?

Post by dulsi » Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:24 pm

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Re: John Carter of Mars RPG?

Post by BlackBat242 » Fri Oct 28, 2011 7:56 am

In 1974 TSR put out Warriors of Mars, which was a Chainmail-style miniatures wargame set in John Carter's Barsoom. http://wiki.acaeum.com/wiki/Warriors_of_Mars

Additionally, many Barsoomian creatures were written up in the original D&D rules.


There is a recently-created "original D&D-style" RPG based on those rules: http://www.grey-elf.com/dnd/barsoom.pdf

There is a discussion of this game by the author here: http://odd74.proboards76.com/index.cgi? ... 1202431015



I've collected this article by Jim Ward (no intro needed, right?):
Deserted Cities of Mars
by Jim Ward


For anyone who has read more than one of the famous John Carter of Mars series, just the mention of the title of this piece brings to mind vivid images. While Edgar Rice Burroughs never went into any great detail on this fascinating subject, there are several basic features to these cities that should be taken into account by the perspective wargame Barsoomian adventurer.

The empty cities of Mars were all port cities created by a fair haired, fair skinned race that was forced to keep moving their ports as their oceans dried up. As opposed to all the inhabited cities of the red planet, the ancient cities were unwalled with ceremonial gates at the front of the four great avenues. A Martian gate is composed of a large round disc, which rolls to the side displaying a circular entrance. The reason for the lack of walls is, as the author explains it, the white skinned race had evolved beyond war and it's destruction and therefore had no need for hiding behind walls. The elder race always tried to blend their towns with their environment. Their cities are found with hills or mountains on one side and flat plains on the other, with the dried up sea to the front. While the rich of this old race placed many large country villas in the hills by the cities they also had palace-like dwellings in the city.

All Barsoomian cities are divided into fourths by two long wide avenues running east and west and north and south. Large open plazas filled with the fountains and marble benches, and smaller courtyards placed within buildings predominate in the architectural styles of the white Martians. The largest plaza of all was found in the center of the city. From earliest beginnings the races of Mars were governed by kings called Jeddaks. Their huge sprawling palaces are always the biggest structure in each of their cities and always at the center of the town. If you imagine the shape of a pyramid, the shape of a Martian city becomes easily discernible. All the biggest buildings and towers are at the center and the structures as they get further from center get smaller and smaller in size with the ruins at the outskirts eroded away to nothingness. The wells and cisterns at the center of the city can be counted on to supply water because the hordes of green Martians that always live in the largest buildings of the ageless cities keep these in repair for their own use as they roam in and out.

In dealing with the buildings themselves, the old Barsoomians always placed ornate carvings on their building walls and liked many windows and balconies. The Martians favored high towers and domed roofs, placing only a few flat-roofed structures amongst them… while the flat roofs are necessary to the modern red Martian because of the many types of aircraft which land among the spires and domes which weren't used by the later day Martian. All the races of Martians are oviparous, and the high towers in the new as well as the old cities are used for egg incubation. These towers are designed to capture the sunlight to speed the hatching process. The domed structures were made of colored glass and in many cases were the coverings for the sunken baths the Martians were so fond of. The flat-roofed structures denote either stores or warehouses.

The Barsoomians built with marble, gold, and gems, placing scenes of everyday life on their outer wall carvings and on many murals found on their inner walls. An interesting facet of Martian buildings is that they use ramps instead of stairs to travel from level to level in their buildings. Characteristic of every city was the underground levels, lighted by the eternal radium bulbs.

In making a Martian city the Jeddaks palace must be considered first. The palace must be immense in width and length; displaying all the Martian building features. The palace must have many high towers and domes, and every other thirty foot wall section has a balcony or window. The walls are covered with carvings and projections. There must be an audience chamber with a three story vaulted ceiling, and a raised platform at one end for the Jeddak. Every Barsoomian palace has many towers for egg incubation. The palace also has secret paths and rooms from top to bottom. Balconies and windows must cover the outside and there must be at least one large courtyard and maybe there are more. There are always many lesser palaces on the avenues which are merely smaller versions of this first one.

Hotels can be found throughout the city. These are four or five stories high, with large open levels containing many raised platforms for sleeping. There are side rooms containing sunken baths for everyone’s use. While there are no places for eating in the hotel there are always such places adjoining the hotel.

Many smaller three-story structures can be found in the city. These are for the less royal Martian to live in. They have ten rooms per level and many times have the high glass tower for egg incubation.

Finally the warehouses and the stores are only to be found on side streets, and the port side of the city. They display the large windows, balconies, and carvings that all other Martian structures do.
The stores have rooms on the first floor and large open areas on the other floors for storage. The warehouses have only the large open areas.

In assimilating these facts certain ideas should come to mind.
The green Martians prefer to live in the largest buildings at the center of the town, therefore the smaller ones at the outskirts should provide partial safety from their attack and a greater possibility of finding ancient treasure. The secret passages in every palace give any captured person a chance to escape or move around undetected in a green Martian area. The outside wall carvings make it possible to climb up and down, while the many balconies provide lookout posts for those fearing attack.



The Martian architecture lends itself easily to chart form, which may prove useful to the perspective judge.


Avenues Percent
1. Lesser Palaces 01-60%
2. Hotels 61-80%
3. Apartment Houses 81-100%
* There is always a Jeddak’s palace at the center of the city.
---------------------------------------------------------------
Jeddak’s Palace
Floors 3-24
Tlowers for eggs 2-20
Domes 6-60
Rooms per level 15-120
Ramps per level 1-8
* There is always more than one courtyard within the palace.
* There is always one main audience chamber.
* There are always secret passages.
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Apartment Houses
Levels 3
Rooms 10
Bedrooms 1-4
Towers for eggs 01%-45%
* A balcony or large window is placed every thirty feet.
* There is a 01%-51% chance that six of these apartments are placed together to form an inner courtyard.




Side Streets Percent
1. Lesser Palaces 01-10%
2. Hotels 11-20%
3. Apartment Houses 21-80%
4. Warehouses 81-90%
5. Stores 91-100%
---------------------------------------------------------------
Lesser Palaces
Floors 1-8
Towers for eggs 3-12
Domes 1-10
Rooms per level 10-80
Ramps per level 1-4
* There are always secret passages.
* There is always one main audience chamber.
* There is always a courtyard within the palace.

--------------------------------------------------------------------
Hotels
Floors 1-4
Ramps per level 1-4
Sleeping platforms per level 1-100
Sunken baths 2-12
* There must be an eating establishment adjoining the hotel.
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Stores
Floors 1-4
First floor rooms 1-8
* The Upper Floors are just one large room used for storage.

I've also collected a bunch of different maps of Barsoom, a PDF that collects write-ups for OD&D for many Barsoomian creatures (gleaned from threads on different boards), and other stuff. I put most of this up on yousendit some time ago... I can do so again, if there is interest.
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Re: John Carter of Mars RPG?

Post by Jorkens » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:10 pm

Its always been a bit of a mystery for me that there was never a John Carter RPG, or at least one based of one of the variations such as Callisto or Moorcocks Mars books. Especially since Burroughs and Carter was still pretty popular in the late 70's and early 80's.

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Re: John Carter of Mars RPG?

Post by BlackBat242 » Tue Nov 01, 2011 7:48 am

I suspect it is simply that no one could get permission to make a game based on the books.
The estate of E. R. Burroughs maintained copyright over his works, and has been vigorous in asserting that control.
The Acaeum article wrote:TSR was contacted by the Burroughs estate, and to avoid lawsuit Warriors of Mars was never reprinted.

Given that attitude, anyone trying to make an RPG based on the books would have been denied permission, and if the game was identifiable by casual gamers as being "inspired by" the Carter books, they would have been treated just like TSR was.
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Re: John Carter of Mars RPG?

Post by Jorkens » Tue Nov 01, 2011 10:23 am

I agree where John Carter himself is concerned, but with all the pastiches and knock-offs (I forgot to mention Bulmer and Kline too) I still think its a bit strange that there wasn't any form of the "sword and planet" genre.Chaosium published enough other Moorcock variations and it would be perfect for GURPS to publish a "Mythic Mars"

But I am probably just sorry there was never a Lin Carter rpg I guess; the Barbarians of Lemuria game is a good attempt, but it would have been fun to see what would have developed if Carter had gotten himself involved in rpg's somehow. And yes I am among the very few who still like Carter and miss his writing.

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Re: John Carter of Mars RPG?

Post by Ashtagon » Tue Nov 01, 2011 10:28 am

Dungeon #101 had Iron Lords of Jupiter, which is basically this trope for d20 Modern.
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Re: John Carter of Mars RPG?

Post by Jorkens » Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:31 pm

Hm interesting; would this be of any use if you didn't play any D20 version and had some knowledge of the sub-genre beforehand?

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Re: John Carter of Mars RPG?

Post by Big Mac » Sat Aug 10, 2013 12:30 am

BlackBat242 wrote:I suspect it is simply that no one could get permission to make a game based on the books.
The estate of E. R. Burroughs maintained copyright over his works, and has been vigorous in asserting that control.
Very strange that the estate thinks they can do this when the copyright on John Carter of Mars has expired and the work fallen into the public domain.
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Re: John Carter of Mars RPG?

Post by rabindranath72 » Mon Aug 12, 2013 1:17 pm

Big Mac wrote:
BlackBat242 wrote:I suspect it is simply that no one could get permission to make a game based on the books.
The estate of E. R. Burroughs maintained copyright over his works, and has been vigorous in asserting that control.
Very strange that the estate thinks they can do this when the copyright on John Carter of Mars has expired and the work fallen into the public domain.
That's probably true now; perhaps in 1974 there was a still a copyright?

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Re: [Barsoom] John Carter of Mars RPG?

Post by night_druid » Mon Aug 12, 2013 1:36 pm

Twin Agate Dragons wrote:I am curious if there was or is an rpg based on John Carter of Mars.
In a way, Darksun is heavily influenced by Barsoom. It has many of the same themes, even if many things were changed to fit a D&D game.
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Re: [Barsoom] John Carter of Mars RPG?

Post by Havard » Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:01 pm

Neat blog on the Barsoom setting here: http://warriorsoftheredplanet.blogspot.no/

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Re: [Barsoom] John Carter of Mars RPG?

Post by Angel Tarragon » Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:57 pm

Havard wrote:Neat blog on the Barsoom setting here: http://warriorsoftheredplanet.blogspot.no/

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The Egg of Crepsys kinda had me curious if inspiration for Blackmoor was drawn from Barsoom.

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Re: [Barsoom] John Carter of Mars RPG?

Post by Angel Tarragon » Mon Aug 19, 2013 6:00 pm

I found a product called Shadows of a Dying World that is based on Barsoom for the D20 system.

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Re: [Barsoom] John Carter of Mars RPG?

Post by Boneguard » Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:54 pm

Any RPG Covering Michael Moorcock Kane of the Old Mars serie?

It's inspired by E.R. Burrough's work although Mars is different -only a light skin 'Human-like' martian and a Blue skin giant.
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Re: John Carter of Mars RPG?

Post by dulsi » Tue Nov 19, 2013 7:28 pm

I was thinking of using Girallons in my nanowrimo story. I decided to take a look at the Great White Ape from this product. Someone wasn't paying attention. They gave it a LA of +2. Huge size and +20 Str is not a +2 LA IMHO.
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Re: [Barsoom] John Carter of Mars RPG?

Post by Angel Tarragon » Tue Jul 14, 2015 7:07 pm

Modiphius is releasing a John Carter rpg this year.
The Dying World of Barsoom Needs Heroes: Will You Answer the Call?

First brought to life by Tarzan author Edgar Rice Burroughs in 1912, John Carter is a Confederate officer who survives the American Civil War only to find himself transported to a fantastic version of Mars called Barsoom. The Mars stories spawned a generation of writers who went on to create such classic worlds as Dune, Star Wars, Superman, Avatar and Dungeons & Dragons. It is only fitting that John Carter is brought to life in the industry Burroughs’ ideas helped inspire. As with many other gamers, the John Carter books inspired a love for Barsoom in Chris Birch, founder of Modiphius, who nurtured a collection of gradually disintegrating novels:

“I remember finding the whole set in a quirky bookstore in Shepherds Bush when I first moved to London, complete with gorgeous 70’s art. The adventures of the Warlord and his friends were hugely inspirational. These classic planetary-romance stories took me on a fantastic journey, and it’s been a dream to see Barsoom come to life through a series of games and miniatures.”

Modiphius is committed to a faithful adaptation of Burroughs’ planetary romance and Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter draws directly from Burroughs’ original texts.


John Carter —The Roleplaying Game-- Due for release: Christmas 2015
Explore the wonders of Barsoom from the vast deserts to the ancient cities. Discover the forgotten secrets of a world that was old when life first spawned in the oceans of Earth. Play as pilots, warriors, scientists, or one of the terrifying green Tharks. Create you own Barsoom adventures or take on the great journeys as John Carter himself along side Dejah Thoris, Kantos Kan, Xodar, Tars Tarkas, Thuvia of Ptarth, Carthoris of Helium or any of the other major heroes and heroines of Barsoom.

The John Carter roleplaying game uses 2d20 LITE—a streamlined version of the 2d20 system featured in the Mutant Chronicles, INFINITY and Conan roleplaying games. Designed for fast flowing action accentuating the exuberant adventures of the original books, 2d20 LITE let’s you dive into the game immediately with a sleek, pulse-pounding system. Major industry artists will help bring Barsoom to life.

John Carter: Swords of Mars—Miniatures-- Due for release: Spring 2016
A line of collectible miniatures for use with the roleplaying game brings your adventures to the battlefield. Play small skirmishes or fight a war for the dying planet—scalable rules provide for both. Defend ruins against a horde of Tharks, raid the city of Helium to capture the Princess or take your battle airborne with the Red Martian navies.

John Carter: Warlord of Mars—The Board Game—Due for release: Summer 2016
Enact the greatest adventures across the ancient world of Barsoom as you lead your heroes through crumbling ruins and take to the skies in the beautiful ships of the Helium Navy. Can you save Barsoom from ruin at the hands of dastardly scientists or ancient forces?

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Re: [Barsoom] John Carter of Mars RPG?

Post by Yaztromo » Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:01 pm

Angel Tarragon wrote:I am curious if there was or is an rpg based on John Carter of Mars.
Possibly the most famous is Warriors of Mars, by Gygax and Blume, dated 1974.
Overall it's a really bright book, with a very good mix of references to Burroughs' canon and bright ideas about game mechanics. The only aspect that IMHO is laking is a number of ready to play introductory adventures.
Unfortunately there were big copyrights issues and.... now finding this book on the market can be quite rare and expensive.
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Re: [Barsoom] John Carter of Mars RPG?

Post by Havard » Tue Sep 29, 2015 11:40 pm

Yaztromo wrote:
Angel Tarragon wrote:I am curious if there was or is an rpg based on John Carter of Mars.
Possibly the most famous is Warriors of Mars, by Gygax and Blume, dated 1974.
Overall it's a really bright book, with a very good mix of references to Burroughs' canon and bright ideas about game mechanics. The only aspect that IMHO is laking is a number of ready to play introductory adventures.
Unfortunately there were big copyrights issues and.... now finding this book on the market can be quite rare and expensive.
From what I understand this was not a proper RPG, but more like a skirmish game. Although I have hard some people mixing it with D&D. Not sure if that would be feasible?

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Re: [Barsoom] John Carter of Mars RPG?

Post by Falconer » Wed Sep 30, 2015 2:44 am

It is not a RPG, but, OD&D already has some basic Barsoom support built into the game, so all you really need is a world sourcebook, and Warriors of Mars is pretty good for that, by OD&D standards.
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Re: [Barsoom] John Carter of Mars RPG?

Post by Yaztromo » Wed Sep 30, 2015 5:11 am

Havard wrote: From what I understand this was not a proper RPG, but more like a skirmish game. Although I have hard some people mixing it with D&D. Not sure if that would be feasible?
Consider it more an OD&D Barsoom Gazzetteer / localization or something like that, with dedicated classes, magic (psionics), monster manual, encounters tables, maps, locations, adventure ideas, etc.
A nice one.

PS I'm actually typing up something similar, but for AFF2e and with incorporated conversion notes to add Barsoom to Lao Kwei (Calidar). If I only worked a bit less it would be ready now.
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Re: [Barsoom] John Carter of Mars RPG?

Post by Havard » Sat Oct 17, 2015 8:08 pm

Yaztromo wrote:
Havard wrote: From what I understand this was not a proper RPG, but more like a skirmish game. Although I have hard some people mixing it with D&D. Not sure if that would be feasible?
Consider it more an OD&D Barsoom Gazzetteer / localization or something like that, with dedicated classes, magic (psionics), monster manual, encounters tables, maps, locations, adventure ideas, etc.
A nice one.
So this book was 100% compatible with OD&D?

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Re: [Barsoom] John Carter of Mars RPG?

Post by Yaztromo » Sun Nov 01, 2015 8:45 pm

Have a look at this fan-fiction beauty, inspired by Gygax and Blume's work: http://www.grey-elf.com/barsoom.pdf
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