I’ve always been a a big fan of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Barsoom novels
, set on his dying, fanatstic version of Mars. There has been a good number of role-playing games set on Barsoom. Here’s the list I’ve put together so far.
Let me know if I’ve missed anything in comments.
John Carter of Mars
This is the big one. John Carter of Mars
– Modiphius’ lavishly illustrated RPG, with the official backing of Edgar Rice Burroughs estate. It uses the same 2d20 system that their other games use (Conan, Star Trek). They’ve published multiple supplements, minaiatures, tile sets, and a GM screen.
Even if you’re using another system, anyone interested in gaming on Barsoom needs to pick this up. There’s a lot of background material for running a game on Barsoom, in a clear usable format.
Warriors of Mars: The Warfare of Barsoom in Miniature
In 1974, Gary Gygax and Brian Blume put out wargaming rules for Barsoom, including individual man-to-man combat. You can get it for free at the Internet Archive.
Dungeons & Dragons: Warriors of Mars
This is a free, fan-made supplement designed to run Barsoomian games using original D&D rules. It’s even formatted to look like one of the original D&D books.
A unofficial fan hack of Savage Worlds
Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Mars: Shadows of a Dying World (An OGL Guide to Monsters, Races, and Beasts)
Skirmisher Publishing put out an OGL version of Barsoom that should
work with most D20 systems.
Heroes of Mars
Jeffrey Kazmierski put together a version of Barsoom for the FUDGE system. It’s no longer online, but you can still see it on the Internet Archive
A Dream of Mars
Little Red Goblin Games has a cheap ($1.00) adaptation of Barsoom for Pathfinder
Lords of Mars
Ray Otus made a simple hack of Tunnel Goons set on Barsoom. It’s only a few pages long, but includes rules for mass battles and airship conflict. I made a character sheet for it here
In addition to games set explicitly on Burrough’s Mars, there are many games set on fictional versions of Mars that are clearly inspired by Barsoom.
Warriors of the Red Planet
Night Owl Workshop puts out several games using Original D&D-style rules for variety of genres, including Warriors of the Red Planet
. It’s set on a thinly-disguised Barsoom. It has rules for airship combat, underground exploration, and sorcery. It has a particularly nice “Appendix N” section, listing almost every Sword & Planet novel ever published, including a lot of obscure stuff more casual fans probably haven’t heard of.
Revelations of Mars
Exile Games had an expansion to their Hollow Earth Expedition set on their pulpy version of Mars, using their Ubiquity system.
Cavaliers of Mars
Onyx Path Publishing’s fantasy Mars setting.
Adamant Entertainment put out two versions of this. One is a D20 version, the other is in Savage Worlds.
Steve Jackson Games’ GURPS supplement covers several different versions on fictional Mars. Chapter 7 – “Dying Mars” describes how to design and run a Barsoom-like game.
Setting for old-school D&D\OSR games. Lovely B&W illustrations
This Victorians-in-space game features a very Barsoom-like Mars. There have been a few different versions:
The original GDW game
The Savage Worlds edition – Red Sands
And the Modiphius version using their Ubiquity system
***UPDATE – Almost forgot, the original D&D, specifically Book 3 – The Underworld & Wilderness Adventures does include an encounter table for Mars, for both animal and human encounters
Please list anything I missed in the comments.
I’ve gotten a bunch of suggestions from Reddit and elsewhere. Thanks to everyone for the suggestions
Rocket Age – Blood Red Mars
Rocket Age’s Mars is clearly Barsoom-like with an ancient, dying Martian civilization.
Suggested by roninnemo from Reddir/rpg
Thought Lords of Mars
This one looks out of print as far as I can tell. I think it’s a supplement for John Harper’s Dnager Patrol
Suggested by omnihedrom from reddit/rpg
Adventures on Dungeon Planet
A supplement for Dungeon World that helps to create a Sword & Planet like world. Easily adaptable to Barsoom
Suggested by J_Standberg on Reddit/rpg
Jarkoon – Adventures on Planet X!
An OSR game for Sword & Planet
Suggested by Simon W at gamingtavern.eu
Swashbucklers of Mars
A Searchers of the Unknown hack available for free at
Suggested by RedwoodRhiadra at reddit/rpg
Under the Moons of Zoon
This is its own light RPG system, with a strong Burroughs influence on thw world.
Suggested by RedwoodRhiadra at reddit/rpg
The Pathfinder supplement Distant Worlds lists some of the other planets in the Pathfinder universe. One is Akiton, clearly a take on Barsoom.
Suggested by high-tech-low-life on Reddit/rpg
Update *** 01/21/2020
Found this one. It’s a free add-on to the man-to-man tactical game Swordplay. It’s more of a wargame than a RPG, but it’s close enough.
It’s called John Carter For Swordplay (free PDF)
Update *** 2/13/20210
Goodman games put a series of adventures for Dungeon Crawl Classics called the Purple Planet series. It’s set on an dying alien world, with a clear Barsoom influence.
Suggested by hodaza on Reddit/rpg