I’m planning to run a game campaign set during the pre-Dotar Sojat period that will also hopefully continue into the period of John Carter’s arrival on Barsoom.
However, I’m not sure I can figure out a way to have a mix of different character races during that time frame. How would you justify a green Martian, let alone an Okarian or a First Born, working wth red Martians given the time period and all the conflict between the races going on, not to mention the fact that Okarians and First Born aren’t all that common outside of the polar regions during that time?
Any thoughts and advice would be welcome.
Also interested in this since I know nothing about the setting other than what I read in the character creation section (just got the game a few days ago)
If you’re trying to be canon to the books, the Okar and First Born wouldn’t be available, since the Okar aren’t known to exist and the First Born are thought to be from a moon. Red Martians and Green Martians aren’t working together either. So, whatever relationships you have would have to be due to special circumstances (like outcasts banding together, etc). Maybe a Panthan (mercenary) campaign, at least as far as the Reds and Greens are concerned.
The thing to keep in mind is that all the scenarios with pre-generated characters for conventions and the like will have to mentioned as to what era they are set in. It’s easy to break canon in convention scenarios, but if you’re trying to stay faithful to the books, campaign stuff will be a bit tougher in this regard.
As you say, that means to get a multi-racial party in the pre-Dotar Sojat era will have to be based on special circumstances. And that doesn’t even add in the matter of throwing in an Earthborn before John Carter ever arrives on Barsoom. sigh
I think the “special circumstances” are really just the reason you’re in this story—the reason you’re a PC and not an NPC.
The audience (the GM and Players) cares about what happens to the Okar Invincible Sword Princess enough to roll dice for her because she has fled the isolation of the frozen north to see what is beyond it and to seek out exciting challenges. That’s how she met up with the dashing Red Martian rogue and his brother-in-arms the Green Martian gladiator, who won their freedom from the arena together and now wander the red sands as soldiers of fortune with a First Born fugitive-in-exile and this pale pink skinned being who barely learned how to speak a civilized language, but possesses tremendous might among other surprising skills.
Sounds like you’ve got a good group of (player?) characters there! Hopefully, they came up with the connections between the characters.
I see what you mean about the “special circumstances” that brought the characters together. One has to hope that the players and Narrator care about what happens to these individuals; from the players’ perspective, one should hope they do, otherwise what was the point of creating those characters?