John Carter Role Playing Games? Video Games? Board Games?

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There is a discussion thread over at the John Carter Facebook Group that I wanted to post here because it’s something that I’ve thought about from time to time — what about John Carter role playing games, or video games, or board games for that matter?  I’ve always thought Barsoom was perfect for a role playing games; have even thought about “Second Life: Barsoom Edition” as a possibility that would be very attractive if the film were to be successful, even at a cult level as now appears to the case.

Are there any experts out there on this stuff who could weigh in about possibilities?

Click on “Continue Reading” to see the thread in question.

Pierre C
Hello Barsoomians ! I’ve got two questions for the gamers among you :
– Do you know about any pen & paper roleplaying game set in the Barsoom cycle universe ? The world described by Burroughs seems vast and adventurous enough.
– While I’m at it, has there ever been a video game adapted from the books ? Even a tiny, fan-made one ?
Thanks in advance :o)
 ·  ·  ·19 hours ago


  • Kevin, that idea also sounds like it would be a ton of fun!

    MMO’s based on movies are usually reserved for films that are very financially successful. The single-player game would be a great start, and if the John Carter series takes off financially in the future, maybe then we’d get an MMO. One can hope! 🙂

  • For a roleplaying system, I would look no further than the D6 system: it is free to use, it was implemented first for a Ghosbusters roleplaying game, but more importantly, worked wonders with Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Men in Black.

    The choice would be between D6 Space and D6 Fantasy, since John Carter is half-way from both of them. It is easy to grasp, and geared towards heroic feats. The “Wild Die” mechanics is particularly good for pulp-oriented gameplay, since it adds a level of impredictability. That’s one of my system of choice.

  • My dream game would be a John Carter MMORPG along the lines of Lord of the Rings Online.

  • I have bought recently the SPI boardgame but hasn’t been able to try it yet. Note that the rulebook is available on the boardgamegeek site in PDF.

  • You know, for months now I’ve been thinking that Assassin’s Creed 2 or Red Faction Guerrilla would work great for John Carter mods. AC2 because of the jumping, free-running, swordfighting and romantic architecture, and RFG because…well, it happens on Mars! 😛

    Kind of like how FarCry 2 would’ve been the perfect game to turn into a District 9 mod…oh well.

  • Moping wouldn’t be the problem, MCR, it’s that a Tars Tarkas playable character would only be able to faint and/or barely avoid accidentally killing allies. 😉

    That aside, one of the things that’s cool about imagining a VG is that they could more easily get away with a full-throttle fantasy style than a live-action film could. Which could be fun.

  • I’ve had that board-game for awhile, but it’s in brand-new condition and I’ve never had the heart to break the perforated cards and actually play the thing. There’s some lovely artwork throughout, though.

    False Gods I would play the hell out of a Tomb-Raider or Assassin’s Creed style JCOM video game! It’s all about the play control for the character… something smooth that really makes you feel like Errol Flynn with Spider-Man strength/agility.

  • I was waiting for a John Carter Wii game. I was already to hack and slash my way across Barsoom. That said – I want in creating art for any new board game. I dooooo.

  • we need some real video games, the presence of some JCOM content on xbox-live (my character has a pet woola) says to me they had a movie tie-in game in development but probably cancelled.

    The game “fallout 3” would be a magnificent starting point for a Barsoom game, you can choose between playable races, large open world filled with creatures, guns, swords . . . all that barsoom needs, fallout 3 is capable of.

  • I just want a Jetan set. That would have been a cool piece of merchandise. As for a role player game I never got much into it but I could if a cool Barsoom related one was made. Or a video game as long as it isn’t based on the movie. I don’t feel Moping should be a game option next to fight, jump and run.

  • I’m a roleplayer and have for the longest time regretted that there were no roleplaying game based on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ works. I proposed that in a few rolepaying discussion boards, most notably in the british Mongoose Publishing forum, that was at the time the succesfull publisher of many licences, like Conan and Babylon 5. I don’t know if they tried to actually pursue it.

    There was two rulebooks issued by Heritage Models, Barsoomian Training Manual, one a wargame, and the other more of a roleplaying game, but they are next to impossible to have without selling a womb. TSR issued a Warlord of Mars rulebook which was also a wargame, but unauthorized. Then there’s the SPI boardgame, and that’s about it.

    There was never a straightforward adaptation of the Barsoom series in roleplaying game since, and licence notwithstanding, there’s some reasons why. One, there is nothing in it so specific that you can’t pillage what you want and get away with it. For example, I am convinced TSR’s Dark Sun setting is ore than heavily influenced by the Barsoom series: in a dying desertic world, heroes with psychic abilities have to fight notably 4-armed giant insectoids. Second, if you respect Burroughs’ spirit, you have to behave in the most chilvalric way possible. I have no problem with it personally, that’s what I usually play in games anyway, but I know more than a few players that find this too limitating.

    That being said, that would be a blast. In fact, every time I begin to read a Barsoom book, I tell myself that I should take notes, to create just a “world guide”, but each time I am so caught in the action that I read the whole book without taking any note! Perhaps I’ll do it someday. Damn Burroughs, he gets me every time. 🙂

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