As mentioned, I’ll be posting some thoughts on Saturday’s running of John Carter of Mars RPG at CanGames 2019. However, here’s the excerpt from the Day 2 blog entry that I’ll be posting that’s relevant to the game.
I headed back to the main convention area, and gathered up SteveR, the gaming material and lunch,
and did just that. Two of the other players were already at the table, since it was after 1:30 pm by this
time, so it was time to eat. One of the players, Keith, had also backed the Kickstarter at a high enough level, and had most of his John Carter of Mars Roleplaying Game stuff with him, and also a neat storage unit that he’d created for himself, with some funky pointy beads and three different set of the Barsoom dice for use in it. I was quite envious, to say the least. We chatted for a while, while SteveR and I ate, and pretty soon the rest of the six players signed up for the game showed up to play. Just before I set up for the game, two things happened. First, I thought I’d lost my glasses, and was a bit panicked. I needn’t have worried, as they were just misplaced underneath some other stuff at the table. Second, I met Knightbane who had come looking for me, and he came over and picked up for me the Yggdrasil RPG gamer stuff that I had for him, and then money changed hands. I would have liked to have chatted with him a bit, but time was short and both he and I had games to get to.
I finished setting up the table for the afternoon’s game of John Carter of Mars Roleplaying Game, with both Keith and SteveR’s help, and then went back to the main area of the convention to grab the sign-up sheet for the game (which was full, of course). I was pleasantly surprised that the table I was at was in a relatively quiet section of the curling sheet, though there were still gamers arriving for their other, various games nearby. When I returned to the table, all the players were there and so we chatted for a few minutes before I took roll-call for the sign-up sheet paperwork. Then it was time for the game.
The John Carter of Mars Roleplaying Game scenario that I ran on Saturday, "The Talara Gambit” (long since re-named “Tayla of Mars”), revolves around five or six player characters being sent to retrieve Tayla, the daughter of the Jed of Holl, from her religious pilgrimmage to the wilderness and time spent with the red Martian Nomad tribes. Needless to say, things don’t go exactly as planned… I’m not going into detail on the world of Barsoom here, but will say that the player characters are all red Martians. The player characters are: Sormar Vaqq, a former airship raider; Hovan Morr, a wandering panthan (mercenary); Djana That, a scientist seeking to learn of the past; “Henda Karas,” a princess thought to be dead; Meras Beurr, “Henda’s” bodyguard, in love with her; and Dakko Rovas, a reformed rogue. All of the characters were working for the Jed of Holl, of course. SteveR took on the role of Sormar, Dave played Hovan, Bruce played Djana, Scot played "Henda,” Keith played Meras, and Ken played Darko. I’m not going into detail about the plot here (because I’d like to run the scenario again sometime!), but suffice to say that the adventure went very well, though I did have to cut out a couple of episodes of the scenario and shorten some of the encounters they had during the scenario due to the four-hour time constraints. Once more, there were no female players at the table, which disappointed me somewhat, but that’s the way things go. Most of the players had a passing familiarity with Barsoom and the John Carter stories, though Keith was very knowledgeable about both the books, the movie and the game, while SteveR is a bit more than familiar with the books and the movie.
The session of the John Carter of Mars Roleplaying Game went pretty well, I thought, and while I was very nervous at the beginning by the half-hour mark of play I was getting into it and not worrying about stuff so much. The players seemed to have an excellent time of it, and Keith gave the other players tidbits of information about the Barsoom setting when it was warranted and also helped a couple of players out when they were struggling with choices and the like. All of the players did a pretty good job of playing the characters, notably Bruce (McDiarmid) as Djana, Keith as Meras, and SteveR as Sormar. Other than SteveR and Keith, the players took a bit of time getting used to the 2d20 Momentum game system, the lack of skills, and the narrative style of the game, but within an hour they were having a blast and getting into the feel of all things Barsoomian. All of the players had moments to shine with their characters, which was important to have, and Momentum was being spent as often as Threat was. Some of the highlights of the game for me included the relationship that played out between Keith’s Meras and Scott’s “Henda”, and how Keith always stayed close to the thought dead princess. The manner in which the player characters pitched in on the airship when the Barsoom storm hit, even “Henda” whom Keith’s Meras insisted stay below decks. The layers of distrust that the player characters had about [redacted], and how she or he came to prove them right. The encounter with the nasty creatures at the [redacted]’s camp and the [redacted], as well as Keith’s Meras shooting their airship as he thought it was about to leave without them when the [redacted] looked like they might get to the airship. The confrontation between the characters and Captain Crim at the airship afterwards. The heroic rescue of Princess Tayla at the [redacted] camp and the escape the player characters made with her, bundling her up in some curtains to prevent her screaming or having a tantrum. Lots of fun to be honest, and a terrific game session at the convention.
After we finished the game session close to 5:55 pm, I started packing up the gaming stuff while SteveR dashed off to buy us supper at one of the local Chinese restaurants. A couple of the players, including Keith, stuck around for a bit and we chatted as I packed up game materials. The players agreed that they really liked the game and that the adventure had been a fun one, that gave them a good grasp of the world of Barsoom.
And that was the game session of the John Carter Of Mars RPG that I ran at CanGames 2019 this past weekend.
If anyone has any questions about the game session or other stuff, I’ll be glad to answer them.