John Carter of Mars – Adventures on The Dying World of Barsoom from Modiphius Entertainment is a planetary romance tabletop role-playing game. Modiphius created it under license and with the cooperation of the estate of Edgar Rice Burroughs, author of the original Barsoom novels. They 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.
The core book is fully written, and now in layout, depending on what other books are unlocked in the line, they 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 they go to print, to provide last minute proofreading.
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.
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!