Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Warriors of the Red Planet Update

Art by Frank Frazetta... as if you didn't know.
It had been a while since we last heard from Al and Thomas Denmark about their Baroomian Swords & Wizardry supplement Warriors of the Red Planet. In our last installment back in September, the game had gone into layout. Then, after many long months of silence, Thomas posts a sample of how the final book might look.

I'll give you a moment to look it over.

Wow! Full color and professional layout! If this looks anything like the final product then Warriors looks even better than I ever expected! I would have been satisfied with a black and white .PDF composed on MS Word or Pages, but Thomas springs this serious professional shit on us. Work of this calibre cries out for a hardcover!

Thomas says that he is trying to get this finished by the time the House of Mouse releases "John Carter" to theaters in early March. Personally, While I'd just be happy if he get's this released by GaryCon where I can run some pick-up games, it's a excellent date to shoot for. In my college Mass Communications courses, they taught us the concept of "synergy:" using multiple forms of products or media to promote another.  Even if the movie flops horribly, it will get gamers excited about Barsoom in particular and the Swords and Planet genre in general. The best thing is that despite the entertainment industry's sway over copyright and IP law, most of Burroughs' work from this era (including the early John Carter tales) are in the public domain, you won't have to fork over huge licensing fees to Robert Iger to get in on the fun.

Along with Warriors, I'm hoping to see other game companies ride the "John Carter" bandwagon and follow suit and produce a whole bunch of Barsoomian-style products. Paizo is going to release their Distant Worlds campaign setting book for Pathfinder late next month. I was expecting Adamant Entertainment to come out with some more material for their Mars campaign setting for Savage Worlds and d20, but they seem more preoccupied with other projects (apparently they seem more pre-occupied with a RPG based on a pulp movie from the 80s than cashing in on an upcoming media event). However, more is needed. We need scenarios. We need airship deck plans to play out epic boarding actions taking place high above the Martian deserts and  paper miniatures for those who can't paint. Speaking of which, there are plenty of excellent "NOT Barsoom" figures available on the market which I will be reviewing in very near future, but perhaps will shall see more and more come out as the months go by. (Hey! Reaper! Are you guys listening?)

While we are waiting, I'll be here, plotting and planning my own adventures on the Red Planet (and possibly beyond). Of course, being a Burroughs purist and not a Disney-fied Family Values Fascist, my Martians will be appropriately attired...

Art by Chad Spliker

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