Dying Earth & Barsoom

We're developing a new RPG based on Edgar Rice Burroughs' Martian stories, and want to emphasise the aspects of Barsoom as a dying planet. Does anyone have suggestions as to how to incorporate that theme into an RPG, considering how it's been incorporated into DERPG?


  • Uh... right now, I just purchased the Dying Earth bundle. I may be able to give you some hints after I digest that for a bit. BTW, I also have some great ideas for Barsoom if interested.
  • One of the things you could do is emphasize the air generator plant(s?) AN adventure to the Air Generator plants would be a great start. The semi-lack of water is another good thing to emphasize. BTW, if you need help with this whole project, write! I have a reasonably good knowledge of the Burroughs Mars/Barsoom books.
  • From what I can tell, DERPG incorporates the theme of a dying planet using mood and tone, rather than any specific mechanics. To paraphrase the book, characters know from an early age that the sun is near dying, the world is incredibly old, and grand efforts are a waste of time. Most people seek nothing more than to attain comfort. This seems to me to be much different than the Barsoom of ERB. I'm sure there are similarities, but I like to think that whereas most inhabitants of Vance's Dying Earth were simply waiting for the sun to go out, John Carter and his comrades on Mars would have done all they could to save their planet or themselves.
  • Yeah, I'm not sure that the DYING EARTH RPG mechanics have any real connection to a Barsoom style game. If I was going to design one, I'd go with something a little flashier like 5E or 13th Age.
  • I actually love the DERPG mechanics, especially the slimmed down version used for Skulduggery/DE Revivification. I think you can tell an appropriately heroic Barsoom story using them. The Dying Earth setting is all tone, rather than mechanics, so the rules can be ported over to other settings. That's what the Skulduggery book demonstrates, with scenarios for pirates, space traders, politics, etc. I like how each roll of the die is a "beat" of action--succeed or fail--and should be narrated as such. It's not roll until you succeed, then narrate; it's roll, narrate, roll, narrate. I like that. I don't miss the flash, and I like the simplicity! [Character creation is not so simple, but I get around that by using some house-rules for random tables for skills and other characteristics.]
Sign In or Register to comment.