'The distant red sands blow across the works of a reign of red kings who have turned to dust. Warriors of many tribes fight in the hollow remains of pyramids & stalk among the streets of a long dead empire fighting among themselves with sword & radium pistols!'
Over the course of weeks I've been re looking into the Sword & Planet end of the OSR gaming spectrum especially with Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea rpg system.
Now I've been following Tim Brannan's Otherside of the Blog Zothique & his Mars posts. None of his Green Martians are even close to ERB's or even Warriors of the Red Planet Rpg for that matter. That's fine because this simply my opinion for my own Mars game campaigns. Personally I'd go in a completely different direction. Instead over the years I find myself turning back to another OSR free product inspired by the Warriors of the Red Planet Rpg system & some of M.A.R. Barker's Tekumel. I'm speaking of Brett Slocum's Warrior's of the Lost Planets Warriors of the Red Planet rpg add on book.
Its free its easy to use & very open to customization at the table top level.
Now me being the dungeon master that I'm I'd take it further then this & then bring the alien sands into focus more by using Warrior's of the Lost Planets with Adventurer,Conqueror,King's Barbarian Conquerors of Kanahu for an overarching complete campaign. Why? Because Brett Slocum has got all of the familiar races, notes on playing them, the technologies of the Tekumel & their Warriors equivalents. This pairs very well with Barbarian Conquerors of Kanahu & even Warriors of the Red Planet.
This mix would be far closer to Leigh Brackett's Eric John Stark then say Edgar Rice Burroughs John Carter. A tribal & dangerous Mars where the glory of Empire has long faded & the Human Space Empires are only a distant memory.
Its here that I would pull in Venger Satanis's Cha'alt for an added bit of weirdness. This Mars would be a post interstellar mess & relic of empire. A place where the space craft & mecha of a million worlds were once constructed but its relapsed into barbarianism. Only now are some of the Jeddak gaining the secrets once again to mecha & beyond. Wizards are offering their master's the secrets of a forgotten universe.