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LGBTQIA+ stories on Barsoom

I was wondering if anyone here has ever played any games that featured LGBT+ themes in it? Also what are your thoughts on LGBTQIA+ related content in the setting of Barsoom?


I think this would fall very well in the over all narrative of the John Carter of Mars series. Though much of the initial work is a bit dated gender and racial wise, it was certainly on the right path and well within the talking points of the work. The instance of the red martian’s brain in the White Ape’s body is somewhat of a trans species plot, I’d love to hear potential ideas.

If I do not count the few cases of such characters (both PCs and NPCs) LGBT+ themes were never important.

That depends on how it is used. Steamroller tactics are definitely wrong, but I have nothing against some culture shock for Earthborn characters. Remember that the novels all take place the late 19th and early 20th century. For someone from Earth of that time life on Barsoom would be very strange even without LGBT+ themes.

As a g_y man whose entire gaming circle is composed of other g_y men who love playing naked Martian swordsmen, all of our gaming sessions on Barsoom necessarily intersect with some form of qu_er romance. I’ve read all eleven novels in the series, and the themes of the later novels (the homosexual nation of Lothar in the fourth book, the body swapping themes in the latter books etc.) work so well. In my handout, adapted from the rulebook, my description of the setting reads in part:

“False gods, lying aristocrats, deceitful nobles, treacherous assassins, and many other cruel adversaries are the biggest threats. Themes of qu_er personhood are paramount and often explored through an ever-present tension between the perceived supremacy of the mind, with its many latent psychic abilities, and Barsoom’s manifoldly mutable forms of sensual embodiment (brain transplants, headless bodies, disembodied heads, interspecies surgeries and relationships, etc).”

Sidenote: Why is the Modiphius forum censoring out LGBTQ terms like ■■■ and ■■■■■?

Anyway, I’ve loved the game and the setting in large part because of its compatibility with these themes. Of course I’ve adapted much from Ancient Greece.

I think it may just be because people can use those words in a pejorative manner, so they would rather avoid the use of them altogether rather than allowing for the negative use?

John is correct.

I think i have to add something. In your private campaign you can really do anything you want, but Modiphius cannot do the same in an official campaign without suffering some backlash. Paizo for example is often criticized in their forum for the use of LGBT characters in Pathfinder adventure paths. I don’t want to know what will happen if they publish a whole adventure path full with LGBT themes…
Luckily John Carter of Mars is not really main stream…

They are not so naked as you think. If a red martian woman could easily disguise herself as a man simply by wearing a man’s harness than a harness covesr enough to disguise its wearer’s gender. For the sensibilities of the people of the time ERB wrote this stories they definitely were naked.

They could be transmen, plus there is a power in the game that allows one to change their physical appearance and traits up to and including gender

No, Tavia is neither a transman nor has she any power which would alloow her to change/hide her gender. She was just a girl wearing a man’s harness.

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