John Carter of Mars core book by Modiphius launches today!

“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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John Carter of Mars core book by Modiphius launches today!

Post by Yaztromo »

"My attention was quickly riveted by a large red star close to the distant horizon. As I gazed upon it I felt a spell of overpowering fascination—it was Mars, the god of war, and for me, the fighting man, it had always held the power of irresistible enchantment. As I gazed at it on that far-gone night it seemed to call across the unthinkable void, to lure me to it…"

Edgar Rice Burrough’s John Carter of Mars: Adventures on the Dying World of Barsoom transports you to the Red Planet of Barsoom, an arid, dying land of ancient civilizations and fearsome creatures. Begin your adventures of romance and heroism using a pulp-action inspired variant of the 2d20 System. Take on the role of heroes as you travel, battle, and romance your way across the wondrous and dangerous world of Barsoom. Play as John Carter, Princess Dejah Thoris, the fearsome Thark warrior Tars Tarkas – or create your own heroes from an exciting variety of options.

Features:
•An overview of Barsoom and its peoples, perfect to introduce new players to the wondrous world of John Carter of Mars.
•Detailed chapters on Barsoomian technology, creatures and cultures.
•A new talent focused, narrative variation of the 2d20 System including a step-by-step character generation system designed to create heroes from a variety of backgrounds and concepts.
•Create a wide variety of characters such as a Dashing Red Martian Duellist, a Brilliant First Born Scientist, a Savage Beastmaster, a Courageous Airship Officer, even Earthborn characters, so players can follow in the bounding footsteps of John Carter himself!
•A detailed narrator's section filled with information on how to run genre-and-setting appropriate campaigns, including information about the great and terrible secrets of Barsoom.
•Three eras of play based on the adventures of John Carter himself. Adventure during the Dotar Sojat era, or adventure during the time where Carter became a Prince of Helium and in the years after when he was believed dead, or fight alongside Carter and his allies during the later Jeddak of Jeddaks era.
•An introductory adventure, the Mind Merchants of Mars, to get players and narrators started on their adventures and immersed in the world of Barsoom
You can find it here: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/26 ... e-Rulebook
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Re: John Carter of Mars core book by Modiphius launches today!

Post by finarvyn »

If anyone gets this I'd like a review. I'm a huge fan of Barsoom, but really didn't enjoy the Alpha and Beta playtests of the 2d20 game. I'm hoping that my initial impressions are wrong and would like to hear from folks who like or dislike it so I can decide if it gets a second look.
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Re: John Carter of Mars core book by Modiphius launches today!

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Artwork is not Frazetta but looks very nice!
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Re: John Carter of Mars core book by Modiphius launches today!

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Anyone buy this yet? Care to give us a quick review?
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Re: John Carter of Mars core book by Modiphius launches today!

Post by Yaztromo »

Bump! :P

Hem... really curious to read somebody's impressions and early experiences about this...
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Re: John Carter of Mars core book by Modiphius launches today!

Post by Yaztromo »

Strange that nobody yet gave us an informed opinion on this ruleset...
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Re: John Carter of Mars core book by Modiphius launches today!

Post by shesheyan »

Yaztromo wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 12:57 pm
Strange that nobody yet gave us an informed opinion on this ruleset...
It's probably because it uses the 2d20 system which is fairly crunchy. It is the same system as the Conan RPG and Infinity RPG. We've reviewed them in the past and the consensus was that the game system was too complicated and didn't really promote what is unique about each setting.
Last edited by shesheyan on Sun Apr 07, 2019 1:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: John Carter of Mars core book by Modiphius launches today!

Post by Yaztromo »

Hmm... I see... :/
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Re: John Carter of Mars core book by Modiphius launches today!

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I will probably pick this up later. Waiting for my new credit card to arrive :P

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Re: John Carter of Mars core book by Modiphius launches today!

Post by finarvyn »

I bought it the other day. The version of 2d20 is advertised as "lite" compared to the Conan or Star Trek rules. I find it hard to read but some online say that it plays better than it reads. Kind of frustrating. I'll try to post some thoughts as I process what I'm reading better.
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Re: John Carter of Mars core book by Modiphius launches today!

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I own it, and backed it. If anyone is honestly interested, I'm also more than willing to sell it

The game purports to be rules light. And on the surface it kind of is. But aside from the dice mechanics, there are three in game currencies, each of which must be tracked round to round, and they're very intrusive. Enough so that my entire group finds the game unplayable because the system feels like it takes precedence over the narrative, making it feel much more game and much less role playing. I am disappointed with how clunky it is and with the amount of in game currencies, because I had high hopes for the game. But I also should have learned my lesson from Conan, so I suppose that's on me
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Re: John Carter of Mars core book by Modiphius launches today!

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@Kythkin, I may be interested. Send me a PM
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Re: John Carter of Mars core book by Modiphius launches today!

Post by shesheyan »

Kythkyn wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 1:04 am
I own it, and backed it. If anyone is honestly interested, I'm also more than willing to sell it

The game purports to be rules light. And on the surface it kind of is. But aside from the dice mechanics, there are three in game currencies, each of which must be tracked round to round, and they're very intrusive. Enough so that my entire group finds the game unplayable because the system feels like it takes precedence over the narrative, making it feel much more game and much less role playing. I am disappointed with how clunky it is and with the amount of in game currencies, because I had high hopes for the game. But I also should have learned my lesson from Conan, so I suppose that's on me
I had the same problem when I read the Infinity 2d20 book. I don't like that approach to RPG design. Feels too much like boardgames ressource management.

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Re: John Carter of Mars core book by Modiphius launches today!

Post by Yaztromo »

I can see that approach appealing a lot to a certain kind of gamers, but doesn't sound exactly like my cup of tea... I think I need to find an opportunity for trying it out first...
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Re: John Carter of Mars core book by Modiphius launches today!

Post by finarvyn »

I wish I had backed the kickstart to get the miniatures. I've wanted Barsoom minis as long as I can remember playing RPGs....
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Re: John Carter of Mars core book by Modiphius launches today!

Post by Yaztromo »

The KS campaign went absolutely awesome, but I still haven't read proper real-life gaming feedback and I still haven't see any introductory games being run on internet as play by post or similar... am I looking in the wrong places?
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Re: John Carter of Mars core book by Modiphius launches today!

Post by finarvyn »

Here's my feedback, for what it's worth.

I bought the core rulebook, the GM screen, the campaign book, the play tiles, and lots of the special dice. Not everything in the catalog, but a lot. (But no minis yet.) I've spent time looking at the rulebooks and like the vibe that I'm getting, but I'm running into a few issues.

(1) Without minis, I feel that a lot of the visual nature of Barsoom is lost. I picked up the tiles, I bought some Thri-keen (sp?) minis to use as Tharks, I bought a white ape mini. I have some Dark Sun tiles as well. I feel like I can do a sort-of-Barsoom but I'm just not sure if I can get the feel right. I guess what I'm feeling here is that elves and orcs are pretty universal so I don't really need to be as visual with them because everyone knows what they are and what they look like, but creatures of Barsoom are unique to ERB's world and thus one ought to have the right minis and/or artwork ready to bring the campaign to life. I don't feel prepared for that yet.

(2) When I read the rules, I just don't quite get them. I feel like I have a vague feel for how they work, how there is an economy of momentum that goes back-and-forth between players and GM, but I still would like to play a few games of 2d20 (Conan, JC, Star Trek, whatever) before I try to run the thing. I have tried running new game systems with my home group and they give me tons of latitude with D&D but for some reason not so much with other game systems. Perhaps they don't get them either, and thus don't have patience if I mess it up. (This may be unfair to my players. We tried Shadowrun and they hated the mechanic, and it was worse by the fact that I kept getting the terminology confused. Folks tell me that Shadowrun is a poor mechanic and thus a bad test of new rules for my group. I don't know. I just know that they will try anything once, but only a few things twice.)

So I guess my bottom line is that I really love what I see. The game seems to have a decent Barsoom feel, but I'm not sure of the rules and am not sure I can pull off a Barsoom campaign. As such, the stuff sits in a box waiting for me to give it a shot. Someday....
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Re: John Carter of Mars core book by Modiphius launches today!

Post by Yaztromo »

That's a bit my strange feeling: people must have bought this game (+200K in the KS!) but seems they are not (yet?) really playing it...
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Re: John Carter of Mars core book by Modiphius launches today!

Post by finarvyn »

Yeah, I agree with you. Strange to buy but not play, yet I haven't found anyone to run a game for me. A real shame as there was an ERB convention less than 30 minutes from my house and someone was running a game there, but my wife had already booked a vacation before I found out about the convention. If fate had dealt me a different hand of cards I would have experienced the game already and be able to give a more informed review.

Heck, I'd try a 2d20 Conan or Star Trek game if I could find one. Anything to get the gist of the way the system works. :(
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Re: John Carter of Mars core book by Modiphius launches today!

Post by Yaztromo »

I just saw that Modiphius is following the core book with (approximately) monthly releases for setting campaigns in different eras of Barsoom... viewtopic.php?f=108&t=23361&p=243654#p243654
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Re: John Carter of Mars core book by Modiphius launches today!

Post by Yaztromo »

The experience of character creation took me back to the times when rolling your character required a whole gaming session. It is very crunchy and there are nine steps involved.
One thing that I like is that you have a series of clear and snappy statements about what you know, what you don't know and what you can do. The Attributes scores generation is well guided too.
The Talent system was particularly complicate for me to manage and I found a bit strange the fact that the character creation is designed to generate "special" individuals (you), but if you want to be just a "normal" individual, then you can encounter some little problem. Maybe it's just me, but I usually like to start a campaign as one among many others, rather than being especially gifted or chosen by the gods.
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Re: John Carter of Mars core book by Modiphius launches today!

Post by Cromstar »

That may have been done because its somewhat in keeping with the feel of the source material? There are 'common' folk but we basically see nothing of them, as characters. Almost everyone named in the Burroughs' stories is a unique individual (a despicable villain, a stalwart brother in arms, a love interest with a strong personality streak, a conflicted character caught between different societal demands, etc).

The stories are deliberately set in a world of objective morality: there are heroes and there are villains and everyone knows which they are and have chosen to be. Similarly, there's a bit of a theme that there *are* no truly common individuals. By definition, people who are swept up in great events become great people by virtue of being involved; everyone already has everything they need to be someone great and are simply waiting for the course of events to push them into the spotlight.

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Re: John Carter of Mars core book by Modiphius launches today!

Post by Yaztromo »

Sola for example is one of the very first characters that we find and she is a "normal" Green Martian, except that she is fairly merciful. It would be quite difficult for me to generate a character like Sola.
In general, it would be difficult (for me, of course) to generate a "normal" Fighting Man, Green Martian character, for example. I could more easily generate a Green Martian Duelist, or a Green Martian Gladiator...
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Re: John Carter of Mars core book by Modiphius launches today!

Post by Cromstar »

Yaztromo wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 3:59 am
Sola for example is one of the very first characters that we find and she is a "normal" Green Martian, except that she is fairly merciful. It would be quite difficult for me to generate a character like Sola.
In general, it would be difficult (for me, of course) to generate a "normal" Fighting Man, Green Martian character, for example. I could more easily generate a Green Martian Duelist, or a Green Martian Gladiator...
Ah, I see, you meant mechanically, not narratively.

That is a bit odd, though I'm wondering if it isn't a more common thing in modern TTRPGs in general, especially with (what I think is) a larger emphasis in TTRPGs on ACTION than the other elements of the game.

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Re: John Carter of Mars core book by Modiphius launches today!

Post by Yaztromo »

Maybe you're right, and I'm just odd in enjoying to play a "normal" person that may (or may not) become special through good choices and good roleplaying, instead of a "special" person, that is special since the very start of the character generation.
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