Wednesday, December 29, 2010


A huge white furred creature with six limbs, four of which are short and heavy to carry it through snow and ice; a denizen of the Barsoomian north pole. The remaining two limbs grow forward from the shoulder on either side of the powerful long neck and terminate in white, hairless hands which it uses to capture and hold its prey. Its head and mouth are like that of the hippopotamus with two large, down-curving horns extending forward from the bottom jaw. Two huge eyes, each composed of hundreds of ocelli, are oval patches running downward from the center of the cranium to below the horns on either side of the head. Each ocelli is equipped with its own lid and the apt can, at will, close as many of the facets as desired. Curiously the creature goes without sleep for periods of up to a month, then sleeps for a whole day before beginning anew the hunt for food in the harsh north.

The animal is domesticated by the Yellow men. Apt fur is generally worn by northern warriors.

Agility: d8Smarts: d4(A)Spirit: d10Strength: d12+1Vigor: d12

Fighting: d8Guts: d6Notice: d10

Secondary Attributes:
Pace: 7Parry: 6Toughness: 10 (2)

Special Abilities:
Alertness: The apt's eyes allow it a +2 to notice rolls
Bite/Claws: Str+d6
Size: +2
(Apts are large sized, and are +2 to be hit, but gain +2 toughness)
Apts often try to grapple a foe then tear him to bits. When grappling, they don’t suffer the normal “unarmed” penalties to their attacks. If they can grapple a foe, they have +1 to hit with their bite attack.
An Apt may choose to attack twice in a round - if they do, they get the usual -2 penalty.

More details from The Warlord of Mars

For five days of cold and suffering and privation we traversed the rough and frozen way which lies at the foot of the ice-barrier. Fierce, fur-bearing creatures attacked us by daylight and by dark. Never for a moment were we safe from the sudden charge of some huge demon of the north.

The apt was our most consistent and dangerous foe.

It is a huge, white-furred creature with six limbs, four of which, short and heavy, carry it swiftly over the snow and ice; while the other two, growing forward from its shoulders on either side of its long, powerful neck, terminate in white, hairless hands, with which it seizes and holds its prey.

Its head and mouth are more similar in appearance to those of a hippopotamous than to any other earthly animal, except that from the sides of the lower jawbone two mighty horns curve slightly downward toward the front.

Its two huge eyes inspired my greatest curiosity. They extend in two vast, oval patches from the center of the top of the cranium down either side of the head to below the roots of the horns, so that these weapons really grow out from the lower part of the eyes, which are composed of several thousand ocelli each.

This eye structure seemed remarkable in a beast whose haunts were upon a glaring field of ice and snow, and though I found upon minute examination of several that we killed that each ocellus is furnished with its own lid, and that the animal can at will close as many of the facets of his huge eyes as he chooses, yet I was positive that nature had thus equipped him because much of his life was to be spent in dark, subterranean recesses.

Shortly after this we came upon the hugest apt that we had seen. The creature stood fully eight feet at the shoulder, and was so sleek and clean and glossy that I could have sworn that he had but recently been groomed.

He stood head-on eyeing us as we approached him, for we had found it a waste of time to attempt to escape the perpetual bestial rage which seems to possess these demon creatures, who rove the dismal north attacking every living thing that comes within the scope of their far-seeing eyes.

Even when their bellies are full and they can eat no more, they kill purely for the pleasure which they derive from taking life, and so when this particular apt failed to charge us, and instead wheeled and trotted away as we neared him, I should have been greatly surprised had I not chanced to glimpse the sheen of a golden collar about its neck.

Thuvan Dihn saw it, too, and it carried the same message of hope to us both. Only man could have placed that collar there, and as no race of Martians of which we knew aught ever had attempted to domesticate the ferocious apt, he must belong to a people of the north of whose very existence we were ignorant--possibly to the fabled yellow men of Barsoom; that once powerful race which was supposed to be extinct, though sometimes, by theorists, thought still to exist in the frozen north.

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Mastodonian draught animals, similar to a Terran elephant, they are primarily used by the Tharks to pull their massive chariots. Red Martians use the zitadar's skin for clothing and occassionally use them beasts of burden.

Agility: d4Smarts: d4(A)Spirit: d6Strength: d12+4Vigor: d12+2

Fighting: d8Guts: d8Notice: d10

Secondary Attributes:
Pace: 7Parry: 6 (2 with Size Mod)Toughness: 18 (8)

Special Abilities:
Low Light Vision
Zitidars can trample foes in an area-attack slam that causes STR damage
Goring Tusks: STR+d10
Zitidars have frighteningly huge tusks.
Size: +4
Zitidars are Huge sized (+4 to be hit, +8 to Toughness as natural armor)

More details from A Princess of Mars

We made a most imposing and awe-inspiring spectacle as we strung out across the yellow landscape; the two hundred and fifty ornate and brightly colored chariots, preceded by an advance guard of some two hundred mounted warriors and chieftains riding five abreast and one hundred yards apart, and followed by a like number in the same formation, with a score or more of flankers on either side; the fifty extra mastodons, or heavy draught animals, known as zitidars, and the five or six hundred extra thoats of the warriors running loose within the hollow square formed by the surrounding warriors. The gleaming metal and jewels of the gorgeous ornaments of the men and women, duplicated in the trappings of the zitidars and thoats, and interspersed with the flashing colors of magnificent silks and furs and feathers, lent a barbaric splendor to the caravan which would have turned an East Indian potentate green with envy.

The enormous broad tires of the chariots and the padded feet of the animals brought forth no sound from the moss-covered sea bottom; and so we moved in utter silence, like some huge phantasmagoria, except when the stillness was broken by the guttural growling of a goaded zitidar, or the squealing of fighting thoats. The green Martians converse but little, and then usually in monosyllables, low and like the faint rumbling of distant thunder.

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Monday, December 27, 2010

The Burroughs Bestiary

The Borruoughs Bestiary by David Day
I don't have a copy of the book, but rather found this list compiled from The Burroughs Bestiary over on the forums (even if you are not True20 player, it's worth digging through the thread).

Here is the list of beasts that exist on Barsoom (I striked out beasts that have already been added to the bestiary in The Game section of the site):
  • Apes of Barsoom (Great White Apes)
  • Apt
  • Banth (Lion of Barsoom)
  • Birds of Ladan
  • Calot (Dogs of Barsoom)
  • Calot Tree
  • Cat Men of Ladan (Masenas) Sentient race?
  • Corphals
  • Darseen
  • Ghastans (Spidermen of Ghasta) Sentient race?
  • Goolians Sentient race?
  • Hormads (Synthetic Men) Sentient race?
  • Hovan Du (The Great Ape of Ptarth) Sentient NPC
  • Kaldanes Sentient race
  • Komal (A huge Barsoomian Banth)
  • Malagar
  • Man-Flower
  • Orluk
  • Plant Men of Barsoom Sentient race
  • Rykors Sentient race when conjoined with Kaldanes
  • Silian
  • Sith
  • Sorak (Cats of Barsoom)
  • Spidermen of Ghasta (Ghastans) Sentient race?
  • Spiders of Ghasta
  • Thoat (Horses of Barsoom)
  • Ulsio (Rats of Barsoom)
  • White Lizards (Lizards of the Tjanathian Pits)
  • Worm, Sixteen-Legged
  • Zitidars

Re-reading the books (again) is in order for me, just to piece some of these beasties together.  Any feedback via comments would be appreciated, if you have any thoughts on the above list.

Also, as Clovis Cithog points out, checkout his blog for more stats for Barsoom Monsters.

Friday, December 24, 2010

An Illustrator Coming On Board

Terry Pavlet is coming on board to start illustrations for The Game section of the site, namely the Barsoom Bestiary will be first in the line for a overhaul.  The following are a few of his pieces I really dig:

Click to enlarge...
Click to enlarge...
Click to enlarge...

I'll post something as soon as it comes available.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Warriors of the Red Planet: Art

An awesome take on a Platman!
Thanks to School Master for pointing out more information about Warriors of the Red Planet.  I found the artist involved with the project, Thomas Denmark's blog: Old Edition Fantasy.  Click here to dig into the Mars related posts.  I really, really like his take on ERB's Barsoom!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Triad Toys & Collectibles

I just discovered these (slightly pricey) action figures from Triad Toys & Collectibles:

John Carter
Dejah Thoris
Tars Tarkas

A little out of my price range, but they are pretty nice looking.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


If you want to add some flavor to an adventure via evil cultists or an Old God, go read up on Barsoomian Religions on the

Some other entries on the site:

Barsoomian Religion

The Religions of Barsoom
by Den Valdron

The Religions of Barsoom II
by Den Valdron

Dig around a bit and you will find more on the topic.

Description by David Bruce Bozarth, from

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Glossary of Names & Terms Added

I started compiling a glossary of names and terms,  but back dated it so it wouldn't bury the front page (it is going to be long).  If you want or see something that should be added, send it my way.

Miniatures from the Past

Tars Tarkus from Heritage Models
Here is a site with some photos and a listing of old JCOM miniatures from Heritage Models.  Take a peak at the Tars Tarkus miniature on the right; it shows the scale next to a miniature in the upper left corner of the image: seems pretty damn big, bigger than 15 feet?

I remember seeing some of these miniatures for sale back in the early 90s' at a game/comic shop I use to haunt.  Too bad I didn't pick them up at the time.

Also, the creator of the page has a link to The Barsoomian Language; it's an interesting read.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Barsoomian Aircraft: Expanded

I do like the rules for Flying Craft in the MARS rules (<-- that link will take you to the PDF version, if you don't want to shell out the cash for the hardback), so if you can pick up the rules, I don't think you will be disappointed.  Also, Airships of Mars is in the works, adding even more rules for flying craft.

I was checking out and was reading through A Gallery of ERB's Barsoomian Aircraft and thought it worth reposting the link here.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Mars/Barsoom Blogs: Part 1

The Barsoom community is small enough, in my opinion, so here are a few blogs that are following worthy:

Some random bits of news of Barsoom and more.

Warriors of the Red Planet
Sword & Planet action on distant worlds of high adventure!

Marooned - Science Fiction & Fantasy Books on Mars
The name of the site really says it all; a really nice resource.

If you see any Mars/Barsoom blogs or sites worth checking out, send them my way.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Interview with Gareth, Contributing Author of MARS

I recently chatted with Gareth-Michael Skarka, the Director of Adamant Entertainment, about MARS concerning it's past, present and future.

Q: You are one of the author's of MARS?

Yes -- I'm the director of Adamant Entertainment, and was one of the contributing authors on MARS. I came up with the original outlines of the setting, which were then expanded upon by "Lizard", who wrote most of the setting material and rules for the original d20 version of the game. When we converted over to Savage Worlds, I was the one who took over rules design for that version.

Q: What inspired MARS?

The entire genre was my biggest inspiration -- whether you choose to call it "Sword and Planet" or "Planetary Romance". I've always been a huge fan of the genre, from the time I was a kid.

Q: I take it you are an Edgar Rice Burroughs fan?

Absolutely -- his Barsoom books are my favorite planetary romance series -- through those, I discovered the other great authors in the genre, like Otis Adelbert Kline, and later revival authors like Michael Moorcock and Lin Carter.

Q: MARS seems to skirt around the ERB source material. I take it that is due to copyright concerns?

Not at all. Given the fact that the first five books in the series are in the public domain, we actually would've been just fine using those. We wanted to create an original setting within the style of the genre, though, because it afforded us wider options. (For example, I liked the idea of including Welles-ian tripod Martians in the setting, as well as the more usual Barsoom-esque species.)

Early on (back when we were prepping the original d20 version), we did get a letter from the ERB estate questioning whether we were infringing on their property, but we showed them what we were doing, and told them that our project was a tribute to the wider genre -- not just Burroughs, but Welles, Moorcock, Kline, Carter, etc. We offered to put a brief disclaimer in our credits, making sure that it was clear there was no connection between us, and they were satisfied by that.

Faces of Mars
Q: I did notice wallpaper on the Downloads page with the title Face of Mars, but could not find anymore information on the project. What is Face of Mars?

FACE OF MARS is an adventure for the game, written by H.M. "Dain" Lybarger. We'll be releasing it in PDF before the end of the year. It's an adventure involving red nomads, green martian hordes, and a lost treasure in an ancient tomb buried beneath the Face of Mars.

Q: Besides the growing list of MARS products listed on, what is coming up MARS?

We've got a ton of stuff underway which will be released over the next couple of months:

Blood Legacy of Mars -- another adventure, featuring secrets, assassination and political intrigue.

Sell-Swords of Mars -- an adventure featuring a daring group of mercenaries up against the focused might of a Grey Martian citadel!

Sky Tyrant of Mars -- the first installment of a trilogy of connected adventures.

City-States of Mars - Korium -- the first of a series of setting supplements, featuring fully-detailed campaign locations.

Airships of Mars -- a supplement with advanced and expanded rules for airships in the setting.

We're also considering launching a line of MARS fiction via (available in Kindle and in print) -- if your readers are interested in that, they should drop us a line and say so!

Warriors of Mars
Q: Are there plans to convert any of the other resources for MARS to Savage Worlds, such as Minions of Mars or Slavers of Mars?

Actually, it's already happened! Both were converted and included in the main Savage Worlds MARS book.

MINIONS was just a collection of NPC stats for the game (because designing d20 NPCs was so time consuming, we figured a collection of pre-generated stat blocks would be helpful) -- including some "featured" NPCs that were much more detailed. We decided to include the "featured" NPCS from MINIONS in the core book of our Savage Worlds version, where they appear on pages 172-178!

SLAVERS was a d20 adventure, and we converted it to Savage Worlds and included it in the core book release as well -- the whole adventure features as Chapter Seven of the core SW Mars book (starting at page 135)!

Q: Is there anything else you would like to add?

We would love to hear from fans of Martian gaming, to help us decide what to work on in the future -- what sort of stuff would you guys like to see for MARS? Drop us a line and let us know!


I would like to thank Gareth for taking the time to answer our Q&A and I encourage people to send there ideas and feedback to him.


Warriors of Mars

Warriors of Mars
I just received my copy of MARS (I picked up the hard cover) by Adamant Entertainment and have to say I like a fair share of what I read.  This weekend I'll make a detailed post of what I like and what may fit into an ERB Barsoom campaign.  I will say the flyer section is the first bit that comes to mind and it will be incorporated into my gaming sessions, it's just a matter of figuring out what to omit.

Over at you will see a nice selection of supplements.  I am curious to check out Warriors of Mars (scale combat) to see what it has to offer.

If anyone has been playing MARS, please leave your feedback below via the comments.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Jasoomian Dreams

I found Jasoomian Dreams the other day surfing the web.

Quoted from the site:

This blog serves as a forum to discuss CLASSIC pen-n-paper, role playing games. Featured herein are pages from the author's pnp game written and copyrighted in 1990.

I haven't ordered a copy of  RED PLANET, The Science Fantasy Role Playing Game yet, but I most likely will in the next couple of weeks.  The glossary on the site has some great information to dig through.

Also, if you are thinking of ordering the game, make sure to read this blog entry AND the comments; it will be worth your effort.

Savage Barsoom's News Feed & Facebook

If you go to the bottom of the left hand side of the page you will see a section titled 'Subscribe'; select how you would like to receive your news feed.  I'm not real familiar with the RSS process, but I believe all the options one will need to sign up for a RSS are there.

Below the news feed and the graphic, you will see the Facebook 'like' button.  If you haven't already added Savage Barsoom to your Facebook pages, please do so.

As always, suggestions and feedback are more than welcome.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Articulated Rot & Steam Launched Drivel: Miniatures/Conversions

Green Martian warriors made out of GW Kroots.
Articulated Rot & Steam Launched Drivel has some great Barsoom looking miniatures that they created from other kits and miniatures.

Updated 'The Game' Page

I added and updated the The Game section of the site.

Updates to Gear as well.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Martian News

Joel Jenkins' Dire Planet novels are very much in the tradition of Edgar Rice Burroughs' sword and science fiction Barsoom tales.  This posting is lifted from his blog:

Yesterday I finished writing Lost Tribes of the Dire Planet and it now stands at 128,000 words of pure pulp sword and science fiction.  This books ran somewhat longer than the other Dire Planet novels as I had a multitude of plot threads and story lines which needed some resolution.

Between Strange Gods of the Dire Planet and Lost Tribes of the Dire Planet I've been living on the Dire Planet for over a year.  Now the hard work begins--the brutal editing and revision process.  Because the two novels are closely knit together I'll be editing them consecutively before submitting them to Pulpwork Press--after which they will undergo yet further editing.

Strange Gods is slated for a 2011 release and Lost Tribes of the Dire Planet for a 2012 release.  Of course, the first three Dire Planet books are available at, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Savage Mars Blog & Miniatures

I was out and about looking for miniatures for Barsoom (other than the excellent line from Bronze Age Miniatures) and came across some awesome paint jobs on the Savage Mars blog.  Most of his paint jobs are BAM, but he also has some painted up miniatures from TinMan Miniatures.

Go check the out :)


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Updates to Savage Barsoom

I am in the process of updating

The first thing you may notice is the little navigation bar under the header. 
  • I consolidated the rules under The Game and organized things under a table of contents.
  • I created a Resources & Links page; if you have a relevant link you would like to add there, please let me know.
  • I added a page for Contributors (and fixed the typos!); I'll be adding information for people that are contributing to the site.
  • Lastly I added an About page and Disclaimer page, for general information.
I will be changing the design, but I'm taking it slowly so I don't blow up my custom pieces I have built into the blog.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Dynamite Entertainment: JCoM Covers

I really like the artwork on the covers of Dynamite Entertainment's JCoM series, so I thought I would post them all in one convenient post (click to enlarge):

If I missed any, please point them out via comments.