May 29th, 2019

Sunday Afternoon Game - John Carter of Mars Character Creation

As noted in Sunday's blog entry, the Sunday afternoon gaming group has decided to start their John Carter of Mars Roleplaying Game. I had meant to post this blog entry on Monday, but figured I'd wait until Tammy had also created her character with me by phone. So here you go.


The Sunday afternoon gamers have started to play the John Carter of Mars Roleplaying Game of adventures on the dying world of Barsoom, published and distributed by Modiphius Entertainment. John Carter of Mars Roleplaying Game is a science fantasy sword & planet roleplaying game set in the world of Barsoom (what we call Mars) created in the various Barsoom novels written by Edgar Rice Burroughs.

It turned out that Tammy couldn't make it out to game on Sunday, as there was a personal tragedy in the family (though it was expected), so she and I were going to create her character at some point in the early part of the week. However, there's a new fellow playing in the Sunday group, Keith Savage, who's just starting with us, so this was a good opportunity to get to know him and for him to get to know the other players. Once the Sunday gamers showed up at my place for the evening, Keith being the last to arrive around 1:25 pm, SteveR and I spent about 20 minutes just talking with Keith and getting to know him a bit better and vice versa. I started off by showing them the map of Barsoom, talked with them about the game world and answered their questions to the best of my ability for about 40 minutes or so. This covered everything from basic game mechanics, the use of the d20 dice, Momentum, Luck, and some of the other unique features of the game, the various cultures of Barsoom, and a couple of other things that they asked about. From that starting point, we moved on to character generation. I managed to create Tammy's character with her on Monday before supper, taking just around 50 minutes to do so.

Character generation in the John Carter of Mars Roleplaying Game is a relatively straightforward process, made easier if you have an idea of what you want to play, but does require some thought when it comes to the Talents. (You can get an idea of how character generation for the game system works with the detailed example, Haju Hallan, that I posted up to the blog a couple of days ago.) That said, half the fun of the character generation system for John Carter of Mars Roleplaying Game is making some of the decisions around Talents as well as several other choices that are present in the character creation system. The fifteen basic Archetypes for the game - Airship Officer, Assassin, Beastmaster, Duelist, Envoy, Explorer, Fugitive, Gladiator, Guide, Healer, Panthan, Rogue, Scientist, Soldier and Spy - are a good guideline to use for creating character professions as well, as they seem to be the most typical archetypes that are found in the stories by Burroughs.

The characters that the Sunday afternoon players created for the John Carter of Mars Roleplaying Game turned out quite interesting and had some interesting basics to their backgrounds. Here's what the Friday night players created.

SteveR - He had an idea of what he wanted to create after we went over the Archetypes for the game system, and settled on an explorer. He created Kartos of Pakku (one of the cities I've added in the game), an Explorer with a background that I'm still waiting on.

Tammy - Tammy went over the Archetypes with me, and eventually settled on Jaxti Jarr, a red Martian scientist with a penchant for technology that often gets her into trouble.

Keith - He was the great unknown to me, but made an interesting choice. He's playing Rendar Thule, a Beastmaster exile from his home city of Dusar, and has an interesting background that I'm not going to reveal here.

All in all, an interesting group of characters with a lot of potential, and the players had a good deal of fun with the process and really did a good job of coming up with ideas on how their characters would meet, though not necessarily know each other. The players didn't really struggle with character generation, finding things relatively simple, and from start to finish, character generation went from 1:20 pm or so until about 3:20 pm (about 2 hours), including going through the game world stuff and the Talent material.

After we finished character creation, I managed to go through the game mechanics with the players, SteveR and Keith, and then ran a few quick one-on-one combats as well as teaming the player characters up to face a couple of White Apes in battle as well. Overall, the players told me they quite like John Carter of Mars Roleplaying Game system and rather enjoyed character generation, and are now looking forward to starting their game on Sunday afternoon (my health willing).

For that matter, so am I! :)