Sunday, March 12, 2023

Royals, Hordes, and The Alien Nature of Mars - The Hyperborea rpg & Warriors of the Red Planet Hybrid Campaign Commentary

Tonight as we prepare for yet another round of snowstorms, I got together with my players via a Zoom call. And we discussed the upcoming Warriors of the Red Planet/Hyperborea rpg campaign leg. During tonight's call we spoke at length about the various aspects of the fact that that the ancient White Martians had a war with the serpent men of our campaign's Mars. And this made me dig out Night Owl Workshop's  Space Noble PC class. 

Why?! Because this class highlights something that we find in the writings of both Edgar Rice Burroughs & Leigh Brackett. The fact that social class plays such a tight role in the separation of the Martian races hierchary that is implied within the writings of both authors. 
And this has been a key playing point within our campaigns. There are two of our player's PC's who are of noble blood. Ironically Hemaza Dee our princess turned thief & Nazaa the space noble who is masquerading as a warrior. 
These two know & hate the ancient White nobles whose behind the resurrection of the serpentmen. The White Martians & thier counterparts among the Reds have woven immortality within thier unlives after death to continue the racial feuds millions of years later. 
And this is something we see within the writings of Leigh Brackett time and again. 

White Box: Unearthed Trove By Jonathan Rowe was also discussed but I'm unsure about allowing too many resources at the table top at this time. There are already enough classes with the Hyperborea rpg that allow many of the tandum PC classes to be done within our campaign. 

The Pyromancer,cryomancer, druid, and shaman PC classes  may in point of fact be perfect for the revivalization efforts of Mars as a dying world. And may be behind the atmosphere processing plans of the planet created by the ancient Martians. The ancient Martians also had thier own monsters to contend with in the form of the Green Martians. According to the Encyclopedia Barsoomia Wiki Green Martian entry;"The complete origin of the Green Martians is mostly unknown. They first rose to prominence in the waning days of Barsoom, when the oceans began to recede, and began raiding the cities of the various races (such as the Orovar), driving these once-great civilizations into increasingly remote regions. When the peoples abandoned the cities, the Green hordes took over. Though they appear to have lacked the intelligence to make use of most of the ancient technology left behind, their size, brute strength, and abundance of limbs for many years prevented them from being driven out."
And the next part of the entry is telling; "As time grew on, the Green hordes ran out of enemies and began to fight among themselves. They began to split into different hordes based on the kingdoms they occupied - the horde that occupied the ancient city of Thark began to call themselves Tharks, the horde that controlled Warhoon began to call themselves Warhoon, etc. The bitter rivalry between the the hordes ensured that there would never be any alliance between them, while they fought among themselves and didn't advance, the Red peoples thrived."
There are many Green hordes scattered across Mars and thousands of minor hordes as well. Here are some of the most common & infamous hordes that appear in the ERB books: 
The Green hordes had to have supported by hordes of Red Martian barbarian tribes as well. These are the tribes we see within Leigh Brackett's stories. Not beneath the notice of John Carter but relatively unknown possibly in his part of the world. The fact that's been forgotten by many DM's and players is the size of Mars. 
Geen Martians play a huge part in many of the various campaigns of Warriors of the Red Planet that we've played over the years. The fact is that Mars is a very alien planet. And post Colonial Mars is a rather unsavory and dangerous place. And it's this nature of unrest that within our games has allowed the Sorcerers of the Black Gate & the serpent men to take hold of certain underworld & criminal aspects of the planet. 
The royals & tribal rulers of Mars are the go betweens when it comes to the Earthmen vs the barbarian hordes. These hordes are mobile moving across the face of Mars exploiting what & if they can find resources across the face of the red planet. And here's where the PC's come in. These caravans are more then simply traveling hordes. The Green & Red Martian caravans are a fact of life supplying goods, information, and more across the face of the planet. The dead cities are the way points & stations on Mars. And these are also where and when the player's PC's may be from! 

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