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RAM

Registered User
Validated User
I just ordered the MARS rpg through lulu.com. Anyone played or gamemastered it ? I am not interested in reviews (I read those),but rather in actual play experiences. I could really enjoy some ERB-style adventures. Does it provide that ?
 

Rabid Southern Cross Fan

Anarcho-Capitalist
Validated User
I'm wanting to get that myself to allow for an entrance to Mars in the dungeons of Castle Zagyg so my players can journey there like Erac's Cousin (Ernie Gygax's character) in the original Castle Greyhawk campaign.
 

simontmn

Registered User
Validated User
Huh, adventures'd be nice. It doesn't have those. It has 6 monsters, some tech, and some description of a Barsoom-like Mars, but it's mostly an edit of the d20 Modern SRD. Very large print, and I found it extremely disappointing. For a Castle Zagyg to Mars game it offers very little. There's a black-on-dark-grey world map, too sketchy to be much use, but no NPCs, encounter tables, detailed setting notes, or anything that would let you run an out-the-box Martian setting.
 

Jim Hague

Foreign Agent
Validated User
Huh, adventures'd be nice. It doesn't have those. It has 6 monsters, some tech, and some description of a Barsoom-like Mars, but it's mostly an edit of the d20 Modern SRD. Very large print, and I found it extremely disappointing. For a Castle Zagyg to Mars game it offers very little. There's a black-on-dark-grey world map, too sketchy to be much use, but no NPCs, encounter tables, detailed setting notes, or anything that would let you run an out-the-box Martian setting.
This is true if you ignore what's actually in the book, like setting, or the evocative artwork, or the clear love and effort made to bring the feeling of planetary romance to the game. I guess if you're looking for a detailed down to every single locale, every NPC, anal-retentive treatment that IMO'd suck the enjoyment out of the setting, you'd want to give this a pass. Encounter tables? Give me a break.

Mars is good stuff, well worth picking up. I'm not sure what book you're describing, but it doesn't seem to match the one I've got in front of me.
 

Darth Tang

New member
Banned
Huh, adventures'd be nice. It doesn't have those. It has 6 monsters, some tech, and some description of a Barsoom-like Mars, but it's mostly an edit of the d20 Modern SRD. Very large print, and I found it extremely disappointing. For a Castle Zagyg to Mars game it offers very little. There's a black-on-dark-grey world map, too sketchy to be much use, but no NPCs, encounter tables, detailed setting notes, or anything that would let you run an out-the-box Martian setting.
Yup. Incomplete, lousy map, poor setting data-a decent GM would have to invcest a lot of time to make it work.
 

TonyTempest

Captain of Colors
Validated User
I don't mind putting some work in. But I just reread the history section and the race section (which also includes a lot of fluff about the Mars in this setting). It's funny there seems to be a complaint that it includes all the rules for D20 Modern, because I can remember discussions about some settings "people" would never pick up because it "required" the purchaser to also purchase the rules in a separate book. Nevertheless, this book is self-contained. You don't have to buy D20 modern to be able to play.

This isn't ERB's Mars, though it clearly is based more on Barsoom than the other planetary romances... but it does include ideas from those other authors. One thing that is included, that is more sci-fi than planetary romance, is a clear-cut reference to the Mars of HG Wells. This kind of reminded me of the opening scene of Alan Moore's second League of Extraordinary Gentlemen where John Carter and Gulliver Jones fight the tripods of the Wellsian Martians.

I've run a game based on Mars D20 (as well as other influences, such as HEX) and it seems to be providing some exciting planetary romance moments.

david
 

simontmn

Registered User
Validated User
This is true if you ignore what's actually in the book, like setting, or the evocative artwork, or the clear love and effort made to bring the feeling of planetary romance to the game. I guess if you're looking for a detailed down to every single locale, every NPC, anal-retentive treatment that IMO'd suck the enjoyment out of the setting, you'd want to give this a pass. Encounter tables? Give me a break.

Mars is good stuff, well worth picking up. I'm not sure what book you're describing, but it doesn't seem to match the one I've got in front of me.
There's very little setting there, just a brief planetary-scale overview sketch as I recall. Nothing in the way of a detailed sandbox to begin play in, not even an intro scenario. "Every NPC" - there are no NPCs at all.

While I didn't like the art at all, to me it lacked the virility and sense of action I associate with the planetary romance genre, I didn't mention that as I think it's a subjective judgement.

I think if this had been a thin slip of a book like eg Redline it'd be ok, not great, but as it is it reminds me most of Grim Tales, another extended reprint of the d20 Modern SRD.
 

simontmn

Registered User
Validated User
I guess if you're looking for a detailed down to every single locale, every NPC, anal-retentive treatment that IMO'd suck the enjoyment out of the setting, you'd want to give this a pass. Encounter tables? Give me a break..
While I know some arty-farty postmodernist types don't like random encounter tables, I was replying to a query as to its suitability for use as an extension to Gary Gygax's Castle Zagyg campaign setting. Which, being an old-school product, has all the things I mentioned.
 

Gareth-Michael Skarka

New member
Banned
If anyone purchasing the hardcopy of the rulebook is genuinely unhappy with a lack of extensive NPC tables or a full adventure (rather than the many hooks which *are* present in the book), feel free to contact me at gms@adamantentertainment.com, and I'll send you a free PDF version of both Minions of Mars (our d20 MARS rogue's gallery of NPCs) and Slavers of Mars (our starter adventure).

Both books are also available from Lulu, if you'd like to purchase hardcopies -- but I have no problem sending PDF versions to existing MARS customers who are somehow dissatisfied with the contents of the main rulebook.

MARS is about to undergo a complete re-lauch in 2009.

February will see the release of a Savage Worlds version of the setting -- and we're also planning a possible FATE version (if there's enough demand), as well as a streamlined new d20 version using our Odyssey System rules set.

We're also planning multi-statted support releases as well -- a lot of MARS is coming your way.
 

simontmn

Registered User
Validated User
If anyone purchasing the hardcopy of the rulebook is genuinely unhappy with a lack of extensive NPC tables or a full adventure (rather than the many hooks which *are* present in the book), feel free to contact me at gms@adamantentertainment.com, and I'll send you a free PDF version of both Minions of Mars (our d20 MARS rogue's gallery of NPCs) and Slavers of Mars (our starter adventure).
That sounds very good, assuming those are decent I think that would go a long way to dealing with my gripes. The other thing needed, the thing I'd really like, is a world/setting book that describes the default setting in a reasonable level of detail.

Preferably with random encounter tables. :D
 
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