Monday, June 2, 2008

Flying Craft

The mysterious “eighth ray” of Barsoom counters gravity; flying boats capture this ray in special tanks, resulting in a shape very much like watercraft. These vessels, which come in all sizes, are capable of high speeds. Also, due to the relative flatness of the Martian surface, it is often possible to set a direction and altitude and simply let the flier run, confident that no obstacle such as a tower or hill or tree will appear in the path (though one cannot predict such things as pirate attacks!). Despite their resemblance to boats or ships, the Piloting skill is used.

For more advanced rules and details for Flying Craft pick up a copy of MARS by Adamant Entertainment; check out pages 90-97 (Airships of Mars).  At the time of posting this Adamant's entire catalog was priced at $1.99 per PDF.

Personal Flyer: Little more than a surfboard with a windshield (16 feet long, two feet wide), this device carries a single person, often a messenger or envoy. It is also somewhat fragile and offers scant protection against weather or attack.

Acc/Top Speed: 20/150; Climb: 15; Toughness: 4(0); Crew: 1

Small Flyer: A small flying boat, suitable for a handful of heroes in pursuit of a villain. Vehicles of this size are very common among advanced Martian cities.

Acc/Top Speed: 15/120; Climb: 15; Toughness: 8(2); Crew: 1+3

Large Flyer: This represents workhorse light craft of the sky fleets of Barsoom. Ships of this kind are often used for patrolling civilized lands and shipping lanes, as well as by pirates in remote areas.

Acc/Top Speed: 10/100; Climb: 15; Toughness: 13(2); Crew: 2+10.

Fliers of this size and larger are sometimes equipped with radium cannon; use armament equivalent to modern vehicular weapons from the rulebook if necessary. Larger ships exist, up to the size of Earth cruisers and more, but these are only employed in all-out war between major nations.

Read more details on fliers at

From Savages of Mars By Tim W. Brown, 2004
Art by Joe Jusko

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