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John Carter of Mars - The Roleplaying Game
John Carter of Mars - The Roleplaying Game
Adventures on The Dying World of Barsoom. A planetary romance tabletop roleplaying game from the mind of Edgar Rice Burroughs
Adventures on The Dying World of Barsoom. A planetary romance tabletop roleplaying game from the mind of Edgar Rice Burroughs Read more
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .
With scarcely a parting glance I turned my eyes again toward Mars, lifted my hands toward his lurid rays, and waited..." - John Carter, Gods of Mars
John Carter of Mars - Adventures on The Dying World of Barsoom is a planetary romance tabletop role-playing game. We've created it under license and with the cooperation of the estate of Edgar Rice Burroughs, author of the original Barsoom novels. We've also had guidance of Scott Tracy Griffin one of the leading scholars of his works to ensure utmost authenticity. Using a pulp-action inspired narrative variant of Modiphius' 2d20 system, Momentum, John Carter of Mars allows players to take the role of various adventurers and heroes as they travel, battle, and romance their way across the wondrous and dangerous world known to its natives as Barsoom. Play as John Carter, the princess Dejah Thoris or the fearsome Thark warrior Tars Tarkas - or create your own new heroes from a wide variety of options.
We've spent the last two years working on the John Carter of Mars roleplaying game as a labor of love, everything you see in the project is of utmost quality, from the beautiful landscape book to the stunning resin 32mm multi-part miniatures. We hope to unlock additional art budget to fill our core book with stunning works, to unleash the Swords of Mars campaign book which will include the battle rules for miniatures but also a full RPG campaign. We also want to bring you dozens of gorgeous miniatures to let you see our beloved heroes in action and lots of great geomorphic adventure locations such as airships and ruins.
The core book is being laid out in stunning US Letter size landscape format which allows us to create extra long landscape artworks bringing Barsoom to life in vivid detail. Produced in our European print house which is renowned for its excellent hardback binding quality we can assure you of a truly beautiful book to last the ages. The Collectors slipcase is designed in portrait format so you can store your book upright if desired and will also house the Swords of Mars Campaign book once unlocked.
This will be just the beginning of an all encompassing John Carter of Mars tabletop games line with a planned boardgame coming next.
The core book is fully written, and now in layout, depending on what other books are unlocked in the line, we will be aiming for one shipment in the summer prior to a retail release in the fall. As soon as the Kickstarter closes and payments have been processed you will be given access to the complete documents for the core book as well as the full PDF before we go to print, to provide last minute proofreading.
"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." - John Carter, Princess of Mars
Included in the core book are:
- An overview of Burroughs' Barsoom and its peoples, perfect to introduce new players to the wondrous world of John Carter of Mars.
- Detailed chapters on technology, creatures, and various cultures.
- A new skill-less Talent focused narrative variation of the 2d20 system called Momentum, including a step-by-step character generation system designed to create heroes from a variety of backgrounds and concepts.
- Choose a wide variety of characters such as a dashing Red Martian duelist, a brilliant First Born scientist, a savage Beastmaster, a courageous airship officer, a disciplined assassin, or even Earthborn characters, so players can follow in the bounding footsteps of John Carter himself!
- A detailed Narrator's section with information on how to run genre-and-setting appropriate games and campaigns, including information about the great secrets of Barsoom.
- Three eras of play based on the adventures of John Carter himself. Play during the early days of Dotar Sojat, adventure during the time when Carter was 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.
- Click below to read our sample chapter of the Red Kingdoms
The Momentum system is a streamlined version of the 2d20 system used in other games such as Conan, Infinity, Mutant Chronicles and Star Trek Adventures. It focuses entirely on the abilities of the characters you play by allowing characters to build talents out of whole cloth and eschewing granular details that just aren’t important in describing the ultra-competent characters of Barsoom.
Characters in Momentum are described by six attributes that combine to form the Target numbers of all tests. There are no skills, instead your background and archetype determines your role in the world. You’ll also be told what your character will find harder. This guidance for your GM will help them decide if a test is low or high difficulty. Secondly if you’re a talented scientist then you will have a Talent that describes how you use science. It might be that you make discoveries after hours of painstaking research or perhaps your best leaps of intuition only happen when under fire; however how you relate to the activity is custom described for your character.
The Momentum system cuts down on the descriptive terms such as status effects and weapon qualities. Once you understand how to do a skill test and have chosen how you want talents to describe your character, you’re ready to go! There is also an entire chapter of example talents for you to choose, reword, combine and ignore as you see fit. Expect a free to download Quickstart booklet very soon so you can try the game for yourself. In the meantime have a look at our gorgeous character sheet illustrated by Francesca Baerald.
Let's introduce our heroes once again: John Carter, Dejah Thoris, Tars Tarkas and ever faithful calot Woola who have been brought to life in intimate detail by our wondrous sculptors and will be cast in a high definition resin in a 32mm scale (or you might call this 'heroic 28mm scale'). We will be showing off 3D prints of these miniatures during the Kickstarter and comparing them to other figures to give you an idea of how they will look. Yes Tars Tarkas and Woola really are big miniatures! You'll notice all our miniatures come with custom resin scenic bases.
PLEASE NOTE: The Heroes of Barsoom and Starter Set both wrongly state they come with the Heroes of Helium Miniatures set, this should be the Heroes of Barsoom Miniatures set below!
We are unlocking numerous sets of these with titles such as the Zodangan Fighting Crew and Helium Fighting Crew, Thark Warband, or Beasts of Barsoom, and whilst they are not required to play the roleplaying game, we are unlocking a book titled 'John Carter - Swords of Mars’. This includes a full roleplaying campaign and the rules to play battles with miniatures on the airships of Barsoom, amongst the ruins of ancient cities or in the very palaces of Helium!. Check out closeups of the miniatures here:
If you're not a fan of the roleplaying genre you can just pledge for the miniatures themselves by picking up the Heroes of Barsoom pledge or the complete Miniatures Collection which gets you one of every set. In addition to the miniatures we're planning a set of geomorphic adventures tiles to help you recreate many different types of encounters. Have a look at the miniatures we've been creating for our other big Spring launch to get an idea of the quality we're aiming for with John Carter of Mars - Fallout: Wasteland Warfare.
As we raise more funds we'll unlock further Stretch Goals revealing more miniatures sets, PDF's, books, dice and more. When additional items are unlocked we will add bigger pledges including 'all the miniatures', or bigger bundles.
NOW WITH MORE CONAN! Choose the £15 Core Book PDF or above and get the free Conversion pdf which lets you play adventures on Barsoom using the more gritty CONAN version of the 2d20 system. Choose any pledge with 'All the Unlocked books PDF's' and get a free copy of the Conan core book in PDF. Find out more here.
It's very easy to become a backer!
If you need any help completing your pledge simply message us and we'll be glad to help, or post in the comments and other backers will help out too! You will be able to support via Paypal as well - we'll be making this live soon.
You can use the table below to confirm the contents of each pledge.
You can get extra items by choosing Add On's, this is really simple:
"The men of Helium have prided themselves that they have ever shown Barsoom how a nation of red men should live, now is our opportunity to show them how they should die. Let us go about our duties as though a thousand useful years still lay before us.." - Tardos Mors, A Princess of Mars
Simply put, John Carter is the chief protagonist of a series of novels written by Edgar Rice Burroughs, also know for creating Tarzan and other heroes. The novels primarily take place on a fantastical version of the planet Mars, or Barsoom as the natives call it. The tales are very much science fantasy with strong themes of rationalism and romance.
Carter himself is a soldier, adventurer, and explorer. He attacks his life on Barsoom with romantic flair and a sense of swashbuckling abandon that even the character himself recognizes is extreme. However, in doing so Carter gave the readers of his adventures a fast-paced and wondrous look into a strange world filled with exceptional people and strange creatures.
Barsoom isn’t just a collection of odd beasts and unusual people. It is a living world with multiple cultures, rich history, shocking secrets, and varied beliefs. As Carter travels Barsoom, we see that the natives are often violent, passionate, adaptable, and honorable. They have great heroes and terrible villains, noble pursuits but also harmful beliefs, and to know them is to realize it is character that defines them more than skin color or physical traits.
In other words, Carter helps us see Barsoom and its people the way an alien visitor might see us. This makes the setting and stories fantastic, but also approachable. This is the strength of Carter and the Barsoom tales—as amazing as these tales are, there is an element of familiarity that makes them easy to enjoy.
Which brings us to John Carter of Mars: Adventures on the Dying World of Barsoom. Using the Carter tales as both foundation and roadmaps, we have created a tabletop roleplaying game that allows players and Narrators to undertake their own adventures on the Red Planet whether playing as Carter and his allies or completely new characters. The game allows you to make Burroughs' world your own exciting setting for wondrous adventure.
The races of Barsoom live for centuries and lead lives that require them to focus on the present instead of dwelling on past events or future possibilities. Months or even years may pass between significant events, during which time things do not change much. This is illustrated in Burroughs' work, as Carter and other characters often spend long periods of time between events detailed in the novels. Weeks, months, or even a year or more will be done away with in a few lines of text, with time passing in leaps and bounds before returning to the action. In a John Carter of Mars campaign, similarly long periods of time may pass quickly and casually. Thus precise and strict timelines are of limited utility.
Despite this, there are significant periods, events, and developments in the Barsoom novels. Most of these revolve around the actions of John Carter and his allies. Depending on exactly when a campaign, adventure, or game session is set, certain kingdoms may be rising or falling. Certain figures may be alive, dead (or believed so), unborn, or even off planet. Certain races, customs, and beliefs are very different based on which general era of Carter's time on Barsoom the action is set. John Carter of Mars addresses these temporal changes not with a strict timeline, but with three distinct eras of play. These three eras are named for Carter himself and relate to various events in the Barsoom novels: Dotar Sojat, Prince of Helium and Jeddak of Jeddaks.
We work with a range of publishers in Spanish, Italian, German, French and Portuguese and hope to introduce John Carter of Mars in as many regions and languages as possible. These are not part of this Kickstarter project but we hope to announce partners in the near future.
Retailers can support this project by signing up to our direct to retail store www.modiphiusretail.com. This will get you access to Add Ons with retail discounts visible once your account is approved. You will also be listed on our retail locator. You will only pay when you submit your order. Order cut off dates will be sent out after the Kickstarter closes.
We have a fantastic creative team involved in this project including:
Jack Norris (Tianxia: Blood, Skill, and Jade, Fantasy AGE, Marvel Heroic Roleplaying) is a writer and designer with twenty years of experience in tabletop roleplaying. In addition to John Carter, he currently works as a developer and writer for Green Ronin, Vigilance Press, and others.
Jennifer Baughman (7th Sea, Star Trek Adventures) Jennifer is a freelance writer and has been a gamer for over 25 years. In addition to writing, she works in GIS and programming with Python. She is currently working on the Beta Quadrant sourcebook for Star Trek.
Chris Lites (Robert E. Howard's Conan, Unknown Armies, Fragged Empire) is a writer and designer of made up stories using funny dice. Besides John Carter, he's currently working on Over the Edge 3E with Jonathan Tweet and helping line manage Conan which, yes, involves wrangling barbarians.
Jason Brick (Achtung! Cthulhu, Mutants & Masterminds, Pathfinder, GURPS) is a freelance writer with a 35-year gaming habit. Besides tabletop RPG work, he speaks internationally at writing and business conferences, and is putting the finishing touches on a YA novel about quantum physics and zombies.
Jonathan M. Thompson (Gaslight Victorian Fantasy, Terran Trade Authority: The Proxima War, Ninja High School RPG, Mighty Tiny Tales from the Old Empire RPG) is a game designer from Shreveport, Louisiana. He has worked on games for Amarillo Design Bureau, Fearlight Games,and Rogue Games, along with his own imprint, Battlefield Press
Richard August (Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of, Infinity, Codex Infernus) is a freelance writer, designer and general nerd. He is currently working on a game supplement for EN World’s WOIN system and on the latest edition of Runequest, due for publication in 2018, from Chaosium.
Peter Wright (Cthulhu Britannica, Call of Cthulhu) is a freelance writer and academic with interests in science fiction, fantasy and adaptation studies who teaches narrative and roleplaying game design. He is currently developing a tabletop wargame with Crooked Dice Game Design Studio.
Benn Graybeaton is an in house 2d20 System Developer (Mutant Chronicles, Infinity and Conan), and Co-designer for Dust Adventures. He is currently managing delivery of the Infinity RPG.
Mark Carroll (7th Sea, World's Largest Dungeon, Mutants and Masterminds, CAIRN, Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of) is a freelance writer and designer living in Austin, Texas. Being taught to game by a roving band of ex-convicts playing Pacesetter's CHILL horror RPG has forever dominated his path. He lives with his wife and four cats, none of whom are surely plotting against him.
Darren Bulmer (Mutants and Masterminds, DC Adventures, Warlocks and Warriors, Crooks 2e, the Sampler of Dr Mekaniakal.
Bryan CP Steele (Warmachine, Conan, Babylon 5, Massive Darkness, Dark Age) is a writer and game developer that has been creating fun stuff since 2002, and has worked in nearly every aspect of how games are made. Being offered a full time position after contracts like the John Carter and Luther Arkwright RPGs, Bryan is now currently working happily as a Game Producer and Brand Manager for CMON (Cool Mini or Not).
Sam Webb is the line manager on Star Trek Adventures and our art director for John Carter of Mars. He has a diverse team of artists all over the world contributing to the beautiful imagery; Bjorn Barends (cover art), Cristi Picu, Daren Bader, Giorgio Baroni, Jeff Porter, Michele Giorgio, Mitchel Malloy, Paolo Puggioni, Rodrigo Toledo, Rolf Mohr, Soren Meding, Steve Stark, Thomas Denmark, Toma Feizo Gas.
Jonny La Trobe-Lewis is the senior 3D designer in charge of our sculpting team which includes Domingo Díaz Fermín, Alex Gargett, Chris Peacey, Gino Cruz, Noel Cortes, Tom Lishman, Roy Gabriel, Romeo Salbatecu, Ana Román Peña and Kevin Campion.
Jay Little is an award winning games designer who designed the first iteration of 2d20 produced for the Mutant Chronicles Roleplaying game. Jay has worked with us since on the Siege of the Citadel boardgame but is responsible for other awesome games like Star Wars: Edge of the Empire and Star Wars X Wing Miniatures Game and the Blood Bowl Team Manager Card Game.
The Edgar Rice Burroughs Estate - Our gracious thanks to Jim Sullos and Cathy Wilbanks who have allowed us to take on this project and play in the wonderful world of Barsoom. Special mention to John Carter scholar Scott Tracy Griffin for reviewing endless texts and helping ensure we remain as authentic as possible to the original writings of Edgar Rice Burroughs.
ABOUT MODIPHIUS ENTERTAINMENT is a UK-based publisher of roleplaying games, boardgames and miniatures games from classic titles like Achtung! Cthulhu, Matt Leacock's Thunderbirds and Mutant Chronicles, to releases like Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of, Star Trek Adventure and Fallout: Wasteland Warfare. For more information please visit www.Modiphius.com and you can catch the very latest news on Modiphius' Facebook page and Twitter feed.
ABOUT EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS, INC. Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. was founded in 1923 by the author Edgar Rice Burroughs to manage the rights to his literary works. He is renowned for his many novels of fantastic adventure. His best-known creations are the jungle hero, Tarzan of the Apes and Sci-Fi hero John Carter of Mars, both first published in 1912. The company has overseen every adaptation of his literary works in publishing, film, television, theatrical stage productions, licensing and merchandising. The company continues to be owned by the Burroughs’ family and remains based in Tarzana, California, the city named in honor of Burroughs and his famous storybook character.
Trademarks John Carter of Mars®, Dejah Thoris®, Tars Tarkas®, Woola™, Barsoom®, Warlord of Mars®, Gods of Mars®, A Princess of Mars™, and Edgar Rice Burroughs® Owned by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. And Used by Permission. All characters and creatures trademarked and owned by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.
Copyright © 2018 Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
MUSIC: ORACLE (FEAT. UYANGA BOLD) PHOENIX, NICHOLAS ROBERT Used Under License from Extreme Music Library. LMGR-0012746
Particle effect footage: http://mitchmartinez.com/free-4k-red-epic-stock-footage/
REFUND POLICY We can refund you within 7days of the campaign’s end, fees included. After that, we continue to offer a no questions asked refund policy though Kickstarter and payment processing fees will be charged. If we’ve begun packaging your pledge for shipment (usually 4 to 6 weeks before the actual shipping date), no refunds are possible. If a component cannot be delivered AT ALL, we refund that completely, including fees. All refunds after the 7 days close of the campaign may be processed via PayPal or reversed via Stripe to your credit card at our discretion. Refunds within 14 days are reversed via Stripe to your credit card. This project is being funded in GBP and any refunds processed will be in GBP for the exact amount received in GBP, excluding any applicable fees depending on the time of the refund being processed.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS By pledging to this project, you acknowledge that the final look, materials and content of the rewards (and the project) are subject to change and may differ substantially from what is presented while the Kickstarter project was active. All dates advised are aspirational and non-binding . If you do not log in and confirm your pledge within 8 weeks of our notification via email to confirm your pledge, you agree that we have fulfilled our obligations to you in full for payment or donations received. However, we may, at our discretion, refund or ship your pledge, in whole or part, if you contact us and confirm your pledge after the 8 week window has elapsed. Unconfirmed pledges make it difficult for us to plan production and logistics, and in the past have led to project delays. For this project we do not intend to allow this to happen, which may mean if you confirm your pledge too late, certain items may not be produced in sufficient quantity for your pledge. If you confirm your pledge within 8 weeks of our notification via email, you agree that our responsibility to you is to ship your order as entered into our pledge manager system, that title and risk passes to you upon delivery to a common carrier for such shipment, and you are responsible for import duties or any other duties that may be payable to the relevant tax authorities, providing correct address information and ensuring this address is deliverable by normal methods. We regret we are unable to ship to PO Boxes. If you do not accept these terms, please do not pledge on this project but instead wait for the general release.
Risks and challenges
This is our 7th Kickstarter, and there are some vagaries in terms of timing when it comes to anything produced internationally, such as: Production delays, Shipping delays, Customs delays
The estimated delivery date of the Corebook is July 2018. Please keep in mind this is an estimate only and we ship to backers as and when their shipments are ready which means that there could be some variance as to when backers receive their products and some may receive their rewards sooner than others.
We've done our best to minimize this as much as possible, and we are always happy to refund pledges if for some totally unforeseen reason the game can't be delivered at all. Since the game is ready for layout, we don't believe this is in the least bit likely. We've successfully delivered Achtung Cthulhu, Mutant Chronicles, Matt Leacock's Thunderbirds boardgame as well as the first waves of both the Infinity and Conan RPG's, with both second waves well in to development. Our last Kickstarter Siege of the Citadel is currently in final development and pre-production with the factory in China. More recently we have launched the Star Trek Adventures roleplaying game via a major online pre-order and delivered the entire launch release to pre-orders and retail.
After our experiences with Conan and Infinity we took the decision to delay the John Carter of Mars Kickstarter as long as possible so that the entire corebook was written and then approved by the Edgar Rice Burroughs Estate, along with as much of the artwork as possible so we could reduce any possible chances of delays. We are also ensuring that we have a solid timeline to write any unlocked additional books so that delivery schedules are as realistic as possible. We do not plan a massive line of books for John Carter like with Conan or Infinity, but instead a much richer set of releases and supporting products and accessories including the miniatures, tiles, dice, GM screen, etc.
When you work with large groups of people on creative projects life often throws a curveball to someone on the team. As a company we put people first before work and try make allowances in case of issues. If someone is hired to work on a project we make allowances to continue to use them in case of personal issues for as long as possible. However, if this results in ongoing delays we have contingency plans to move their work over to other members of the team to reduce the impact on the project.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter