Sunday, March 31, 2019

Castles & Crusades, Old School Mars, & Appendix N Authors

 "Gaunt giant and passionate beauty, they dragged their thirst-crazed way across the endless crimson sands in a terrible test of endurance. For one of them knew where cool life-giving water lapped old stones smooth -- a place of secret horror that it was death to reveal!"

Queen of the Martian Catacombs by Leigh Brackett 

Part of the reason that the war between the forces of light & darkness is heating up is because mankind is stirring up the hidden places at the edge of the maps of the universe.
So once again I've been thinking about Mars, I had my Victorious Rpg /Amazing Adventures! Rpg campaign last night. But that's going to be another blog entry I've been thinking about Mars again when I got home. I began thumbing through my player's hand book, thinking about Edgar Rice Burroughs, Leigh Brackett, & Clark Ashton Smith. 

I want to make this Mars a bit different from the run of the mill Mars game campaigns that steal heavily from the John Carter of Mars books. So I began to think more in terms of Leigh Brackett's Mars & Sword & Sorcery. Skirmisher Publishing's Shadows of A Dying World has all of the Barsoomian creatures & horrors all under one D20  roof. But I really want to break away from the traditional & so I dug out my copy of Ancient Kingdoms Mesopotamia (SWORD & SORCERY) D20 book instead. This book draws specifically from the mood & themes of some of the great pulp writers, specifically Robert E. Howard and H.P. Lovecraft.

Next I dug out my Castles & Crusades  Codex Classicum which has a number of classes that will port over to Mars with out a problem. The fact is that gladiator class has some bones on it for use as a part of a Mars gladiatorial style adventure element & feature that I'm thinking of using.  Maybe using some of the Greco Roman gods as 'lost' Martian clerical options.

I know that Queen of the Martian Catacombs by Leigh Brackett is definitely going to be a major inspiration for this upcoming campaign. 

I've been quietly looking at how Brackett's humanoid Martian tribesmen are put together into their low lander dead sea tribes. These are a very barbarian race that seems to draw from the American plains Indians & Celts as much as ERB's red men races. Brackett manages her usual trick of flowing prose filled with beautiful women, blood feuds,weird science, daring do, & some excellent scenery perfect for old school adventure settings. The Eric John Stark stories as well as a bunch of Brackett's other early stuff, seems to fit into the notion that Mars is a both a very old world & a world of many forbidden little areas of insanity just waiting to not only engulf Mars but the whole of the solar system. This same notion we'd see from Lovecraft & Clark Ashton Smith in "The Vaults of Yoh-Vombis". 

Even Edgar Rice Burroughs inferred that there were locations of grave peril upon the back waters of Mars. We'll get into those later on. 

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