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Thanks to Jim Sullos and Cathy Wilbanks at the

John Carter Line Editor John Carter Logo Edgar Rice Burroughs Estate and John Carter
Jack Norris Michal E. Cross scholar Scott Tracy Griffin for reviewing ensuring
we remain as authentic as possible to the original
Written by Editor writings of Edgar Rice Burroughs
Jack Norris Brian Casey Trademarks John Carter of Mars®, Dejah Thoris®,
Tars Tarkas®, Woola™, Barsoom®, Warlord of
Game Design Layout Mars®, Gods of Mars®, A Princess of Mars™, and
Jack Norris and Benn Graybeaton Chris Webb Edgar Rice Burroughs® Owned by Edgar Rice Bur-
roughs, Inc. And Used by Permission. All characters
Original 2d20 System Design Proof Reading and creatures trademarked and owned by Edgar
Rice Burroughs, Inc.
Jay Little Aric Wieder

Copyright © 2018 Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. All

john carter of mars

Art Director Approvals Rights Reserved.

Sam Webb Scott Tracy Griffin
The 2d20 system and Modiphius Logos are copyright
Cover Art Produced by Modiphius Entertainment Ltd 2018. All 2d20 system
text is copyright Modiphius Entertainment Ltd.
Björn Barends Chris Birch
Any unauthorised use of copyrighted material is
Interior Artwork Operations Manager illegal. Any trademarked names are used in a fic-
Christian Quinot, Cristi Picu, Daren Bader, Garry Harper tional manner; no infringement is intended. This is
Giorgio Baroni, Michele Giorgio, Paolo Puggioni, a work of fiction. Any similarity with actual people
Community Support and events, past or present, is purely coincidental
Rodrigo González Toledo, Rolf Mohr,
and unintentional except for those people and
i Sören Meding and Steve Stark Lloyd Gyan events described in an historical context.
For what, pray, is the pleasure of doing Rolling Dice Combat Die
an easy thing? Whenever a character’s action might fail, or their If you are using a normal d6, then please
– John Carter, The Gods of Mars failure might be exciting for the story, players roll consult the table below for the Combat Die
dice to randomly determine whether they succeed. result. When more than one is rolled
Two types of dice are used to resolve these actions: together the results are totaled.
These quickstart rules cover the Momentum
system, used in John Carter of Mars. AA Twenty-sided Die (d20) 1 damage
The participants in a game of John Carter take Used for resolving Attribute Tests. These are
on two roles: players and a narrator. Each player abbreviated throughout as d20, with a number
controls a single character — making decisions prefix to indicate the number of d20 to roll, 2 damage
for their characters, describing how they act and e.g. 2d20.
react in the narrator’s scenes. The Narrator is
responsible for setting scenes, interpreting rules, AA Combat Die 0 damage
and controlling Narrator characters. A special six-sided die (d6) abbreviated with
The Narrator is not an adversary to the play- this symbol: . Used to score damage, and
ers. Playing this game is exciting when the Nar- activate weapon Qualities. 0 damage
rator is an enthusiastic supporter of the player
characters, seeking to make those characters’ In most circumstances, more than one die of
lives dramatic and exciting. any given type are rolled at once. These dice col- 1 damage, 1 Effect
lectively are referred to as the dice pool (or the
1 damage, 1 Effect
Re-rolling Dice
Some talents, abilities, and circumstance let Example: John Carter successfully strikes a
players re-roll their dice pool. Players can always White Ape with his sabre. The attack deals 5

choose which dice to re-roll, and roll them again, damage. John Carter’s player rolls five d6s and
replacing the original result entirely. The new generates results of 1, 2, 4, 6, and 3. The 1 and the
results stand, even if they’re worse than the origi- 2 add together for a total of 3. The 4 and 3 are
nal results. Re-rolling dice is always optional, ignored, and the 6 adds 1 to the total. Adding this
and players can roll all, some, or none of the dice all together, John’s attack inflicts 4 damage.
available to be re-rolled.
Six attributes define each character: Cunning, Daring, Empathy, Might, Passion and Reason. These attributes indicate a character’s inherent abilities
and their physical and mental limitations ranging in value from 4 to 12, and two attributes are used in conjunction with each other to resolve tests.


Cunning is used Daring comes into Empathy is used Might is used to apply Passion governs any Reason supports any
whenever a charac- play whenever a whenever a character force to the inani- attempt to lead, love, action that applies
ter wants to weaken character is at risk. seeks to understand or mate world. It is used or entertain. It is used the mind to work out
another. Cunning is It covers Movement, heal another. Empathy outside of combat to whenever another a problem.
used for all Attacks, Piloting, and Defense is used to heal all types lift, bend, and break character needs to be AA Reason is used
Insults, and Thefts. actions of all sorts. of impairments and to items. convinced to attempt with Cunning
AA Cunning is used AA Daring is used understand what your AA Might is used an action. to sabotage an
with Might to with Cunning senses might be telling with Daring to AA Passion is used enemy flier.
scuttle a ship or to strike with a you about a person. pick up an uncon- with Empathy to AA Reason is used
bash down a door. sword. AA Empathy is used scious character woo a lover with Empathy to
AA Cunning is used AA Daring is used with Reason to and carry them to AA Passion is used understand a foe’s
with Reason to with Empathy to spot a character safety. with Cunning to battle plans.
shoot a rifle. avoid a blow. up to no good. seduce or insult.

john carter of mars

Attribute Tests Test Difficulties
In situations where a character attempts a task
and the outcome is unknown or uncertain, the NAME SUCCESSES EXAMPLES
character attempts an Attribute Test. A player
combines two of their attributes to create a AA Opening a slightly stuck door.
Target Number, and rolls 2d20. Each die that
0 AA Researching a widely known subject.
rolls equal to or under the Target Number (TN) AA Hitting a stationary ranged target during rifle practice.
scores one success, and each die that scores equal
to or less than the character’s weaker attribute AA Overcoming a simple lock.
scores 2 successes.
1 AA Researching a specialist subject.
Attribute Tests are assigned a Difficulty rating AA Shooting an enemy at optimal range.
by the Narrator, a value ranging from Simple
AA Overcoming a complex lock.
(Difficulty 0, or D0) to Epic (D5). The Difficulty CHALLENGING
2 AA Researching obscure information.
rating is the number of successes a player must
score using their dice pool to succeed at the task.
AA Shooting an enemy at optimal range in poor light.
Once players have rolled their d20s, they total up DAUNTING AA Overcoming a complex lock in a hurry.
the number of successes scored, and the Narrator (D3) 3 AA Researching basic historical information.
checks whether they have reached the Difficulty AA Shooting an enemy at Far range in poor light.
rating, and achieved their goal.
4 AA Overcoming a complex lock in a hurry, without proper tools.
AA Researching historical information in a deserted ruin.
Example: Zala Zors has a Daring of 7 AA Shooting an enemy at Far range, in poor light and heavy rain.
and a Might of 4. Zala Zors is attempting
to endure the dangerous heat of a forced
AA Overcoming a complex lock in a hurry, without the proper
EPIC tools, and in the middle of a battle.
march through the southern deserts. The
AA Researching historical information from the time of Seas.
Narrator calls for her player to attempt
a Daunting Daring + Might test, with a
AA Shooting an enemy at extreme range in poor light and heavy rain.
Difficulty of 3. Zala’s Daring is 7 and her
Might is 4, added together to make her
Target Number 11.

She rolls 2d20 which score a 5 and a 4 –
both worth one success – and the 4 is under
her lowest attribute (Might) scoring her a
third success – meaning she has powered
through the march, enduring the heat of the
Barsoom desert, and succeeded at the task.
Setting the Difficulty Complications Momentum
The Narrator determines the Difficulty level of a Whenever a result of 20 is rolled on a d20 in an It is possible to score more successes during
given task. Attribute Tests in combat often have Attribute Test, the Narrator immediately creates an Attribute Tests than are required by the Nar-
specific Difficulty ratings, but these are baseline dif- impediment or problem — called a Complication rator, and these successes aren’t wasted. Each
ficulties, and the Narrator should feel free to alter — for each d20 that scored a 20. The Complication is success scored in excess of the Difficulty gener-
those Difficulties based on the situation at hand. applied to the situation or the specific character that ates Momentum: points that players can use to
The Narrator may often assume an Attribute attempted the test. Complications are an inconven- increase the degree of their accomplishment.
Test starts at a Difficulty of Average (D1). This ient change of circumstances, like a route of escape Those points can then be used while the charac-
represents typical conditions for a task that isn’t being blocked or a loss of personal resources. ter resolves the current test, or saved for
a guaranteed success, but is still quite straightfor- They make things more difficult, more interesting, future tests.
ward to accomplish. If there are no other factors but they do not seriously harm important characters
influencing this task, the Narrator should leave or eliminate important opportunities. Complica-
the task at Average (D1). tions are independent of success or failure, and it Example: Volan Von is in hot pursuit of
Difficulty ratings are often modified by steps. A is entirely possible to succeed at an Attribute Test a rival spy through the dark back alleys of
test can become more challenging, increasing or while simultaneously generating a Complication. Zodanga who has stolen important arti-
decreasing in Difficulty due to the environment, If the Narrator can’t think of a Complication, facts from him. Volan’s Daring + Empathy,
situation, talents, or other modifiers. A Difficulty they may add 2 Threat to the Threat pool instead. gives him a TN of 10. The spy’s TN is also 10.
increased by one step, increases by 1 – e.g. an Due to the chaotic nature of the alleys and
Average (D1) test increased by one step becomes a limited light, it is a Challenging (D2) chase.
Challenging (D2) test. Example: Zala Zors’ companion, Haran Volan gets a total of four successes, but
Phel, is crossing the desert with her. Haran’s the spy is less fortunate, with only three
player rolls the same Daring + Might test, successes. Both achieve their goal but
gets two successes, but one of the dice results Volan is the clear winner of the Opposed
is a 20. Haran still succeeds, but the Narrator Test. After the Difficulty is met, Volan has
decides that Haran hurts his ankle trying to 2 Momentum and the spy 1 Momentum
cross a dried up creek in the desert. It doesn’t from their individual tests. The spy’s one
do any damage, but it is awkward and Momentum is subtracted from Volan’s

john carter of mars

causes him to walk more tenderly. Any physi- two Momentum, yielding Volan a total of
cal tests Haran attempts while suffering from one Momentum. Volan is now free to use
the limp will increase in Difficulty by 1 step. the remaining Momentum.

Opposed tests Luck Adding Threat
When two characters are in direct opposition to Spending a single Luck point adds one bonus d20 If there is insufficient Momentum available to
one another, each character involved in the task to an Attribute Test. However, bonus d20s bought spend on Create Opportunity, then a player has the
performs an Attribute Test related to that action, using Luck points automatically roll a result of option of adding to Threat to cover the cost. The
called an Opposed Test. Each character makes the 1, generating 2 successes. When Luck is spent the result is the same: each point of Threat the Nar-
same test, with the same Difficulty, and compares player should place a d20 with a result of 1 dis- rator gains is a single bonus d20 to an Attribute
their results. played in front of them. Test. This is freely available, and can be done at any
AA One player succeeds: the successful character If the character scores enough successes with time, but comes with the price that the Narrator
completes their objective. just d20s bought with Luck, the player may choose now has greater resources to empower Narrator
AA Both players fail: neither character com- not to roll any other dice, and thus not risk any characters, or otherwise complicate the charac-
pletes their task. potential Complications. Players can spend mul- ters’ adventures.
AA Both players succeed: both players reach the tiple points of Luck on a single roll, but Luck In the Narrator’s case, when buying bonus d20s
required number of success, and compare the points must be spent before the rest of the dice for Narrator characters, these latter two options
Momentum they’ve generated. The charac- are rolled. Dice bought with Luck count as part are identical. The Narrator spends points of Threat
ter with the higher amount of Momentum of the d20 pool, so if one or more Luck points are to add bonus dice to a Narrator Character’s
achieves their goal, but loses one Momentum spent, the maximum number of dice allowed in Attribute Test.
for each Momentum their opponent gener- the roll is adjusted accordingly.
ated. If any Momentum remains, it may be
spent by the successful player. The losing Teamwork and Assistance
player loses all the Momentum they gener- Assistance allows other characters to contribute a Dice Pool Limits
ated during this test. little of their effort and skill to a task. If the situa- A single player may not buy any more than
tion, time, and Narrator allow, several characters 3 more d20s for their dice pool, meaning no

Improving the Odds can work together as a team when attempting to

perform a task. When more than one character is
more than 5d20s may be rolled by a player for
an Attribute Test. Players who are assisting
While succeeding at most common tasks is a involved in a task, one character is designated as others cannot buy additional dice and Luck
straightforward matter, even the most skilled the leader and the other characters are designated points count towards the total of five dice.
character cannot succeed at the most difficult assistants. The Narrator may decide that only a cer-
tasks without effort, opportunity, or assistance. tain number of characters may assist or can apply
To truly triumph, a character needs to find some other limitations.
other way of improving the odds. Each assistant rolls one d20 using their charac-
There are a number of ways to improve the odds, ter’s own attributes to determine if any successes

such as buying more d20s to roll or spending Luck. are scored, with additional successes from Luck or
other talents applied. If the leader scores at least one
Create Opportunity success on the roll, any successes generated by the
Players may spend Momentum to Create Oppor- assistants are added to the leader’s total. If the leader
tunity (see p. XX), to obtain additional dice. Each does not generate any successes, then any successes
point of Momentum spent adds a single bonus scored by the assistants are lost and the effort fails
d20 to an Attribute Test. utterly due to poor leadership and coordination. 5
Momentum Upon succeeding at an Attribute Test, the player
should set aside or otherwise take note of the
that task can impact what happens next.
Some Momentum spends can be used freely
amount of Momentum generated. Importantly, as soon as they are required, rather than waiting
the player does not have to determine what the for a successful Attribute Test. These spends are
Momentum and Narrative Momentum will be used for at this point. A player referred to as Immediate.
Momentum evokes the heroic, scientific determines what Momentum is being used for Repeatable spends can be made as often as
romance of Barsoom and John Carter. Carter only when it is spent. desired, so long as the Momentum is available,
often finds that one success leads to another, Some talents, items, and circumstances grant and at the discretion of the Narrator.
allowing him to achieve incredible, some- bonus Momentum, which is added to the total
times next-to-impossible feats of achieve- Momentum generated by a successful Attribute
ment. However, Carter also finds himself Test. The bonus Momentum doesn’t come into Example: Kale Singh is scaling the side of
trapped by circumstance, an indicator that existence until after the test is successful. a tower to reach a kidnapped companion.
Threat is ever-present, a force challenging His test to climb the sheer wall generates
him to his utmost as he strives to succeed. Saving Momentum 4 Momentum. Kale uses his Momentum
Players have the option of saving Momentum to make it harder for the Okar warriors
rather than spending it on their successful test. trying to climb up after him to scale the
This saved Momentum goes into a personal pool. tower. However, he cannot spend this
Generating Momentum The maximum amount of Momentum that Momentum to retroactively add more dice
As already noted, successes scored beyond the can be saved in this pool is equal to the char- to the test he just made, that opportunity
Difficulty of an Attribute Test become Momen- acter’s lowest Attribute. Any points of excess has passed.
tum. Specifically, each success scored above that Momentum are discarded, but with the Narrator’s
minimum threshold becomes a single point of permission, players can contribute Momentum
Momentum. Characters can spend Momentum to to a fellow players’ pool, but the total still cannot
achieve greater effects, obtain useful bonuses, or exceed the owning character’s lowest Attribute. Create Obstacle
make future actions easier for themselves or their Saved Momentum can be spent at any time (Immediate, Repeatable)
teammates. Momentum is never generated with a alongside Momentum generated during a sub- Make things more difficult for an opponent by
failed test, only when there are successes in excess sequent test. At the end of each scene, or each creating problems. This increases the Difficulty of a

john carter of mars

of those required by the Difficulty. full round in an Action Scene, 1 Momentum is single Attribute Test by one or more steps. Individ-
removed from every character’s pool. ual steps of Difficulty increase must be purchased
separately: it costs two points of Momentum to
Example: Haran Phel is trying to scale a cliff Common Uses for Momentum increase the Difficulty of a test by one step, four
quickly in pursuit of an assassin. The test is The most common uses for Momentum are listed points for a second step, and six points of Momen-
Challenging (D2) and Phel generates four suc- below. However, players are also encouraged to tum for the third step. No individual test can have
cesses with his roll, two more successes than be creative in their use of Momentum. An excep- its Difficulty increased by more than three steps
he needed for the test. These extra successes tional success should spur the player to think in this way. The increase lasts only for a single test,
translate into two Momentum, one for each outside of the box in terms of how that superb regardless of whether the test was passed or failed.
extra success. performance can be reflected, in either the result The decision to increase a test’s Difficulty must be
6 of the immediate task, or in how the outcome of made before any dice are rolled on that test.
The Threat Pool
Obtain Information
(Repeatable) Threat All Threat comes from the Threat Pool and all
Momentum allows a character to learn more Narrator characters draw from Threat instead of a
about a situation. Each point of Momentum spent Using Threat personal Momentum pool. Threat is also spent to
can be used to ask the Narrator a single question Threat can be used by the Narrator in exactly the win ties. Normally a player character wins ties in a
about the current situation, item, object, struc- same way as Momentum. When a Narrator charac- contest but a Narrator may spend 1 Threat to have
ture, creature, or character present in (or relevant ter wants to improve their odds, they spend Threat a Narrator character win instead. Advice on how to
to) the scene at hand. The Narrator must answer instead. If any Talents call for Momentum to be spend Threat can be found within the adventure.
this question truthfully, but the Narrator does not spent, the Narrator spends Threat instead.
have to give complete information and it must be Generating Threat
the kind of information that a character might The Narrator begins each session with Threat
uncover while performing their Attribute test. Example: Jack wants to give his main equal to the total number of Luck points (see
antagonist, a villainous jeddak, a boost Luck on p. 8) of all the player characters.
to an attack. He spends 2 Threat to give The Narrator generates Threat through player
the villain a bonus of 2d20 on their next Momentum spends that add to Threat instead,
attack, rolling a total of 4d20 for this test, and adding to the Threat pool instead of creating a
as the evil jeddak takes aim at one of the Complication for a character.
player characters and presses the trigger AA Whenever a player pays for a Momentum
of his pistol… spend using Threat, the Narrator adds that
number of points of Threat to their pool.
AA If a 20 is rolled on a d20, it creates a Complica-
tion. If the Narrator would rather add 2 Threat
to their pool, instead of creating a Complica-
tion for a character, they may do so.
AA If a Narrator character rolls a 20 on a die, they
may spend 2 Threat to avoid the Complication.

AA Perform an Additional Conflict Action:
Luck During combat, a player character can usu-
Regaining & Awarding
Player characters have access to a special type of ally only perform one Conflict Action on his
resource called Luck points. These points reflect the turn. By spending a Luck point, the player Luck points
fact that the game’s heroes have ambition and deter- character can perform a second Conflict The Narrator awards Luck points to players
mination above and beyond most people — such Action, with no penalty. The player charac- for particularly noteworthy actions — per-
individuals shape their own Luck by will alone. ter may only gain one extra Conflict Action haps one player came up with the perfect
Luck points can be used to pull off exciting in total. plan to thwart the enemy, made a bold
stunts, provide an edge during dramatic situations. AA Second Wind: A player character can catch sacrifice for the benefit of the group, gave a
Each player character begins each session their breath and restore one Stress pool to memorable in-character speech, or perhaps
with Luck points equal to their weakest Attrib- full by spending a Luck point. uttered a funny quip that diffused the ten-
ute and cannot have more Luck than this at any AA Overcome a Weakness: A player character sion and made everyone at the table laugh.
time. Any excess points must be immediately may spend a Luck point to ignore the effects Other times, the Narrator may choose to
spent, or they are lost. of, but not heal, all Afflictions for a single award Luck points to all the players based
Conflict Action. on their progress in a campaign, or during
Luck Spends AA Influence the Story: A player may spend a the transition between key scenes. Luck
AA Add a Bonus d20 to an Attribute Test: A player Luck point to introduce a fact or add a detail points make excellent rewards when char-
can add a bonus d20 to any Attribute test for to the current scene. Such story declarations acters reach a certain narrative milestone,
one Luck point. The extra die is assumed to can have both narrative and mechanical defeat an important villain, solve a mystery,
have already rolled a result of 1, and automati- effects. Story declarations should be plausi- or survive a tense encounter. They can also
cally generates successes as if it were rolled as ble, and the Narrator has the final say over be spent immediately, and thus provide
part of the Attribute test. Dice purchased this whether a suggested fact or detail is valid. instant gratification.
way still count towards the normal limit of The Narrator may also declare that particu- For this adventure characters shouldn’t
three bonus d20s. If the use of Luck generates larly large or significant declarations may regain any Luck points but should any of the
enough successes to pass an Attribute test, the cost more than one point of Luck. players perform extraordinarily well Luck
player may choose not to roll any other dice, Players are also encouraged to come up with new points can be awarded as the Narrator sees fit.
avoiding the possibility of Complications. ways Luck can be used in a campaign.

john carter of mars

In chaos of armed combats and violent encoun- The following list describes the various ways char- Turn Order
ters it is vitally important to clearly understand acters can gain an extra Conflict Action per turn. Normally, a player character acts first each
what is happening, to whom, where, and in what AA Luck Points. A player may spend a Luck point round. This character begins the turn and must
order. These encounters are called Action Scenes. to allow the character to perform an addi- resolve all the actions they wish to take before
tional Conflict Action. another character can act. Play then passes to
Turn Sequence Swift Action Momentum Spend. By spending
2 points of Momentum from a prior Attribute
a new player character, who performs all their
actions for the turn. Once all the player characters
In an Action Scene, time is structured into rounds Test (even one from a Reaction), the charac- have taken their turns, all the Narrator characters
and turns. Every round, each character present in the ter immediately gains an additional Conflict take their turns.
scene takes one turn. Once all characters have taken a Action. The Difficulty of any test associated with After all player characters and Narrator char-
turn, the round ends, and a new one begins. that extra Conflict Action increases by one step. acters have taken their actions in a round,
Rounds have no specific duration. In a furious that round is over. One point of Momentum is
clash between small groups of warriors, a round removed from the combined Momentum pool (if
may represent seconds while a battle between ships any) and a new round begins.
may track several minutes of time between rounds. A character may exchange a Conflict for a Players choose who goes first among them and
In a character’s turn a character can perform Movement action, if they need to cover more then the active player chooses who goes next. If
each of the following: ground. Outside of the character’s turn, a the scene continues after this turn, the player who
character can defend in Opposed tests and went last has the option of going first next round.
MOVEMENT ACTION take Counterstrike Actions if they can pay the
A character can move to any point within Away Momentum cost, and take no other actions.
range as a Movement Action. A player can take one
Movement Action per turn, before Momentum Seizing Initiative
spends. Movement Actions do not require Attribute At the start of the round before anyone has
Tests unless there is a Danger. SPOKEN ACTIONS acted, or at any time immediately after a
In a character’s turn, they can say a short comment player has finished their turn, the Narrator
CONFLICT ACTIONS to one character or a single sentence to multiple can spend 1 point of Threat to interrupt the

Conflict Actions are the focus of Action Scenes and characters. The Narrator has full discretion as to players’ turns and allow a Narrator character
take up most of a character’s attention and effort. when a Spoken Action overreaches its bounds at to immediately take a turn. Once this turn is
Most Conflict Actions require an Attribute Test. A which point it becomes a Conflict Action even if over the players may take the next turn, and
character can perform one Conflict Action per turn, no test is needed. It’s a Spoken Action that allows a the interrupting Narrator character must
but there are a few ways a character can perform an character to make a memorable quip as they kick wait until the next round to act again.
additional Conflict Action. However, a character an opponent. A character may make any number of
cannot take more than two Conflict Actions a round. Spoken Actions, at the discretion of the Narrator. 9
Movement, ate for making melee attacks. Characters who
are not being hindered, blocked, or obstructed Characters and Zones
Range, and Zones can move into Immediate range to attack a
target in melee while they are already Near.
To help players visualize their characters’
places in an encounter, the Narrator may
In battle, knowing where everyone is can be of AA Away: Places a target apart from others. This wish to use something extra to help remind
vital importance and determining both absolute includes both long distance and closer places everyone of which character is where like
position (where you are on the battlefield) and that can only be reached by dramatic actions using a sketched map, tokens or miniatures,
relative position (how far you are from a given such as leaping and climbing. Thus, the other and moving them around as required.
friend or foe) is important. Rather than track eve- side of a small valley might be Away, but so
rything in precise distances, however, ranges are would a high cliff or a nearby airship with fifty
measured in four categories and one state: feet of Martian sky between it and a character.
AA The state of Immediate is when an object or AA Far: Reachable only by the most long-distance
character is within arm’s length of the acting attacks or methods of interaction. Most fire- Distance and Perception
character. Immediate isn’t a specific range, arms have a range of Far, and this generally The further away something is, the harder it is
but rather is something that the player can covers the furthest a character can see. to notice. In game terms, this means that char-
declare when the character is moving, so AA Too Far: Targets that are Too Far may be able acters and objects in distant zones are harder
when a character moves Near to an enemy or to be seen or otherwise perceived, but they are to observe or identify than those nearby. When
object, the player may declare that the charac- beyond the ability to interact with physically and trying to notice creatures and objects a character
ter is moving into Immediate contact. Moving communication requires special technology. increases the Difficulty of tests by at least one
out of Immediate range of an enemy may be step for every increment beyond Near. A creature
risky, as it can leave a character open to attack. Distance and Communication attempting to hide makes the test more challeng-
AA Near: Not immediately next to but close Characters can converse normally with anyone Near ing by making the test an Opposed test. Crea-
enough to reach a target easily. Characters can to them. A character can communicate with some- tures or objects that are particularly noticeable
shoot at, speak with, and generally interact one at Far range but only at a raised volume, beyond — Piloting a flier, roaring beasts, or a fast-moving
with anyone Near. Some creatures are big and this, a character can shout to draw attention, but or brightly-colored object — may reduce the
fast enough to be able to treat Near as Immedi- conveying any depth of meaning is unlikely. Difficulty further.
Movement and Terrain Example: Jack has created a Danger for
Characters who reasonably have some way
to lessen their fall can attempt an Average (D1)
Under normal circumstances, moving does not an adventure – an area of sand where Might + Daring test (plus 1 step for every category
require an Attribute Test. Moving to anywhere vibrations set off explosive gas pockets of range beyond Near). Success avoids 1 of
within Near range takes only a Free Action. hidden underground. He decides that damage. Additional Momentum can be spent to
Moving to anywhere within Away range takes a walking carefully (or running to outrace reduce the damage further at the cost of 2 Momen-
Movement Action. Moving to anywhere within Far the explosions) is a Challenging (D2) test tum per avoided.
range takes a Conflict Action. with a Danger rating of 3. If a character
Moving through Dangers may require an
Attribute Test. This is an Attribute Test, typically
fails to overcome the Danger, they will
take 3 dice of damage — equal to the Making an Attack
using Daring. If movement requires an Attribute rating of the Danger. There are multiple ways a character can attack
Test with a Difficulty of Average (D1) or higher, a target. Blades and bullets merely scratch the
then it takes a Movement Action, regardless of the surface of the variety of ways a creative character
distance moved. can harm another. A character might engage in
Falling ferocious arguing, make barbed jests at a charac-
The distance a character falls determines falling ter’s expense, or wield weapons of extravagant
damage and a falling character may suffer addi- super science. Regardless of the method used, the
Example DIFFICULTY INCREASES tional damage should they fall on a Danger. Con- process for attacking remains the same.
sult the table below for how many to roll. AA The attacker picks a single target within range.
TERRAIN INCREASE AA The attacker attempts an Average (D1)
Opposed Test determined by the type of attack:
City street or Martian Sands 0 steps AA Melee attack (Immediate range):
DANGER RATING Cunning + Daring
The rocky wastes 1 step AA Pistol attack (Near range):
Near fall 1 Cunning + Reason
Spires and Mountainside 2 steps AA Rifle attack (Away range):
Away fall 2 Cunning + Reason
Sandstorm 3 steps Far fall 4
AA Social attack (Near range):
Cunning + Passion
Too Far fall 8 AA If the attack is made outside of its range, then
increase the Difficulty of the attack by 1 step for

Needle like spines +1 every range outside the weapons normal use.
Cooling lava +2 AA The defender resists with Daring and another
Dangers Attribute appropriate to the defensive action.
Unless Dangers are avoided with a suitable Attrib- Next to bubbling lava +4 AA If the attack hits, then the attacker rolls 2
ute test, they cause damage. Each Danger has a and inflicts damage as described in Damage
Into an active volcano's caldera +10
rating which is equal to the number of damage dice and Recovery. If the attack misses, then no
it inflicts should a character fail to cross it safely. damage is applied. 11
Remember to treat each attack and defend test as Counterstrike to move, speak, or make regular MOVE FURTHER: Cost 1 (Immediate)
separate before successes are compared. This is Attribute Tests that are not Opposed. Characters Move an additional range band.
because, in many cases, the attacker and defender defend against a Counterstrike as normal but
may not have the same Difficulty for their tests. cannot spend Momentum to make their own Coun- IGNORE OBSTACLES: Cost 3 (Immediate)
terstrike. Once the Counterstrike has been defended Move an additional range band, ignoring Obstacles
against, Initiative passes to the next character.
Example: Jane Porter is shooting with a EXTRA DAMAGE DICE: Cost 1 (Repeatable)
rifle at a Warhoon raider who is charging Each point of Momentum allows a character to
her companions with weapons drawn. The roll an extra damage dice.
Narrator informs Jane’s player she will need Selecting Attributes
to use Reason and Cunning for this attack. The rules often suggest particular default DISARM: Cost 1 or 2
The target is at Away range, so there’s no Attributes for tests, however, they are not set Knock an enemy’s weapon to their feet, or for 2
increased Difficulty for distance, however in stone. Narrators should be open to inter- Momentum, send an enemy’s weapon flying to
there is a large amount of smoke and dust in esting combinations of Attributes for various where an ally might get it.
the air from a recent airship crash. The Narra- actions and players should feel free to suggest
tor rules this increases the Difficulty of Jane’s them. A character who wishes to “take it on KILL MINION: Cost 1 (Repeatable)
attack by 1. The Warhoon is defending with the chin” might even defend against an attack Each point of Momentum spent when attacking
Daring and Reason as it attempts to see the with Might, describing it at striking him but minions will dispatch an additional minion.
path of Jane’s shot, but has nothing to increase with no effect. Or a brilliant character might
the Difficulty of his action. Jane generates 4 be able to use Reason to strike an opponent RECOVER STRESS:
successes on her D2 test while the Warhoon they have been watching closely for weak- Cost 1 (Immediate, Repeatable)
generates only 2 on his D1 test. Despite the nesses. Narrators are encouraged to allow For each point of Momentum spent, recover 1
tough shot, Jane hits the Warhoon, and gener- such variations if they don’t slow down play point of Stress of any one damage type.
ates 1 Momentum! or result in characters only using the same
one or two Attributes for every test.

What About Cover?


john carter of mars

Counterstrike John Carter of Mars specifically avoids

Outside of their turn, the character can attempt the idea of cover as seen in other popular
Counterstrikes as a part of an Opposed test. Action Scene Momentum Spends roleplaying games. Cover is factored into
A character can spend 3 Momentum once they The following list provides several additional the momentum driven damage system (see
have successfully defended against an attack. This options available to a character generating p. 13). While characters are expected to take
grants the character an immediate Conflict Action. Momentum in Action Scenes. These are in addi- cover when they come under attack, there
The character can perform any Conflict Action as tion to the normal uses of Momentum and any is no special benefit that this universal
if it were their turn but cannot save or donate any others that players or Narrator create them- activity grants, nor is there any penalty to
momentum gained during this test. The character selves. Momentum lists are never exclusive and be gained.
taking the Counterstrike can only take Conflict both Players and Narrators should be creative in
12 Actions against their attacker, but can use the making new spends as needed.
Damage Types and Stress
Damage and Recovery There are three types of damage: Confusion, Fear,
When a character is successfully hit by an attack and Injury described on the table below. Stress DAMAGE STRESS AFFLICTION
during combat, the attack inflicts a certain indicates which two Attributes determine the
Empathy or
amount of damage. Some environmental effects total Stress of that Damage type, and determines Confusion Madness
can also inflict damage, such as falling from a the two Attributes which are penalized when a
Daring or
great height, being set on fire, or encountering character takes an Affliction. Fear Trauma
something terrifying.
AA Basic Damage: Each source of damage Confusion Injury
Cunning or
inflicts a minimum of 2 of damage. Damage inflicted upon the mind is Confusion.
AA Momentum: A player can spend Momentum Confusion represents a character’s determination,
when making an attack to add more to and their ability to handle stress, control emotions,
that attack. Each Momentum spent adds 1 and resist the stresses of life. Characters whose
to the damage (Repeatable). In addi- current Confusion is low are weary, less certain, A character can only withstand so much damage
tion to this, Creatures with the Minion rule and less able to cope with challenging situations. A of any one type before being unable to fight further.
can be dispatched entirely for 1 momentum character’s Confusion Stress is equal to the highest Each damage type has a Stress value, as above,
(Repeatable). attribute between Empathy and Reason. which is the total amount of Stress a character can
Once any damage dice have been bought, the receive, of one type, before suffering an Affliction.
player making the attack rolls all the . This is Fear AA A character can suffer three Afflictions, with
called the damage roll, and the final score is the Damage inflicted upon the will is Fear. It might each instance imposing a cumulative 1 step
amount of damage inflicted. be caused by panic, despair, and sudden shocks, Difficulty increase to related Attribute Tests.
such as a near miss with a blade. Fear represents a AA A character suffering four Afflictions of the
character’s bravery and willingness to take risks. same type is incapacitated, unable to take any
Characters whose current Fear is low are weary, Actions or Reactions without first spending a
less certain, and less able to cope with challenging point of Luck.
situations. A character’s Fear Stress is equal to the AA A character suffering five or more Afflictions
1 1 damage highest attribute between Daring and Passion. of the same type is blacked out, unable to take
any more actions.
2 2 damage Injury
3 0 damage
Damage inflicted upon the body is Injury. Blades, Inflicting Damage
radium bullets, or exposure to dangerous sub- When a defender makes their Attribute test,

4 0 damage stances cause Injury damage. Injury represents the two Attributes determine where most of
a character’s endurance, stamina, and ability to the Damage will fall. The defender consults the
5 1 damage, 1 Effect ignore minor injuries such as cuts, scratches, Damage Types table, above, and finds the possible
6 1 damage, 1 Effect bruises, and abrasions. A character with low Injury Damage types from the Attributes they have used
is tired and unable to avoid serious harm. A char- and chooses any one of these Damage Types to
acter’s Injury Stress is equal to the highest attrib- take damage and reduces the relevant Stress from
ute between Cunning and Might. their Confusion, Fear, or Injury. 13
If 5 or more damage is inflicted or the target’s
Stress is reduced to 0 by the attack, then a single Example: Kale Singh is struck by a mighty Blacking Out
Affliction is inflicted on the target. If the target Thark's sword blow. He defended against If a character suffers 5 Afflictions of the
applies damage to a Damage type that has 0 Stress the blow with his Cunning and Might. same type, they black out for the rest of the
before the damage roll was made, then the target As both Cunning and Might are linked scene. When they return to consciousness
suffers a single Affliction. to Injury Stress he must take Injury Stress all Momentum is gone, and one Affliction
If multiple of these conditions apply — such as a from this attack. His attacker rolls 2 of each type is removed. This is a simplifica-
character suffers 5 or more damage and is reduced and scores two 1s. This scores 2 damage, so tion of the rules found in the Corebook.
to 0 Stress — then each condition inflicts a single Kale’s Injury Stress is reduced by 2 points,
Affliction. At the Narrator’s discretion, damage but he hasn’t suffered an Affliction and can
in multiples of 5 can also cause additional Afflic- now take his turn.
tions with 10 damage causing 2 Afflictions and 15
damage causing 3 afflictions etc. NPCs and Damage
NPCs are split into three categories. Villains, Mon-
Madness Recovering from Damage sters, and Minions. Villains are full characters just
Confusion the Afflictions are called Madness. A character recovers all lost Stress — Confusion, like a PC. They have all the stress trackers that a PC
Madness increases the Difficulty of Attribute Tests Fear, or Injury — at the end of an Action Scene. has and work in the same fashion. Villains include
using Empathy or Reason. A character suffering This is automatic, requiring only a brief rest. any important lieutenants who might recur
4 Madness is barely coherent, overwhelmed by The only time this should not happen is if the throughout a campaign as well as particularly pow-
fears and doubts. A character suffering 5 Madness next scene is set immediately after the prior, erful beasts and any overarching nemesis characters
counts as Blacked out and is either catatonic or with the characters having no time to recuper- that might be defeated at the end of a campaign.
fleeing as best they can. ate. During Action Scenes, characters can Monsters are somewhat weaker than Villains
spend actions to try to recover their own or an but represent greater adversaries than standard
Trauma ally’s Stress during an Action Scene. These treat- minions. Monsters have only a single Stress tracker
Fear Afflictions are called Trauma. Traumas increase ment actions are described in the damage Type which consists of the sum of their lowest and high-
the Difficulty of Attribute Tests using Daring or (see p. 13). est Attributes. They also have a Menace rating that
Passion. A character suffering 4 Traumas is barely AA Recovering Stress from Confusion requires reflects how many Afflictions they can tolerate. A

john carter of mars

coherent, overwhelmed by fears and doubts. A char- an Average (D1) Empathy + Reason Monster whose Stress is reduced to 0, or suffers more
acter suffering 5 Traumas counts as Blacked out and Attribute test. Afflictions than their Menace, is dispatched but not
is either catatonic or fleeing as best they can. AA Recovering Stress from Fear requires an necessarily dead. Usually the character taking out
Average (D1) Daring + Reason Attribute test. the monster picks what happens to them although
Wounds AA Recovering Stress from Injury requires an some NPCs may have a talent that dictates their
Injury Afflictions are called Wounds. Wounds Average (D1) Might + Reason Attribute test. final moments.
increase the Difficulty of Attribute Tests using Cun- AA Treating another character, by default, uses Minions are weaker again and usually only show
ning or Might. Characters suffering 4 Wounds are so Empathy + Reason unless you have a Talent up in packs. Minion packs vary in size from two to
badly injured that they are barely capable of moving. which says otherwise. five and any attack that deals damage will dispatch
A character that has taken 5 Wounds counts as AA Healing an Affliction is a Challenging a minion while extra Momentum can be used to
14 Blacked out and is unconscious or writhing in agony. (D2) test. dispatch additional minions with a single attack.
Quickstart Adventure
This short adventure is designed to allow play-
ers to take the role of various heroes from the
John Carter of Mars stories as they encounter example attribute tests
situations on Barsoom common to the writing
of Edgar Rice Burroughs, as a way to try out the Combat
rules in this quickstart. AA Ride a steed through an enemy line or
Attack with a sabre (Cunning + Daring)
What You Will Need AA Shoot a pistol (Cunning + Reason)
To run this adventure, you will need, at least: AA Parry a sabre (Daring + Empathy)
AA 5d20 dice AA Duck for cover (Empathy + Reason)
AA 5 six-sided dice (or Modiphius custom AA Leap from one airship to another
d6 from Conan: Adventures in an Age (Daring + Might)
Undreamed Of or Star Trek Adventures) AA Scare opponents with a display of physi-
AA The pre-generated characters at the back of this cal power (Passion + Might)
quickstart, printed off, one for each player AA Scare opponents with a display of sharp-
AA 5 tokens per player for Momentum shooting (Passion + Reason)
AA 5 tokens per player for Luck AA Open a barred or blocked doorway
AA 30 tokens for Threat (Might + Reason)

Prelude Non Combat

The Narrator should allow the players to converse, AA Play a game of Jetan (Cunning + Reason)
roleplay, and get used to their characters and the AA Work out how a strange machine is
game for a short time before the action starts. activated or Heal an Injury
Maybe two characters will have a friendly duel (Empathy + Reason)
or play a game of jetan, a Martian game much AA Calm a savage beast (Empathy + Passion)
like Earth chess. These activities can be either AA Seduce a person for wealth (Cunning +

described by the players or resolved using Attrib- Passion)
ute tests and challenges. AA Spot a hidden door or hide yourself
While the GM can call for any combination of from a foe (Empathy + Reason)
attributes the following are fairly common exam- AA Fly an Airship or slowly ascend a moun-
ples. Just remember that Talents can sometimes tainside (Daring + Reason)
overrule the GM's selection of attributes. AA Run a race (Daring + Might)
The default time period for this adventure Scene One:
is shortly after the bulk of the events of A
Princess of Mars and the decline of Helium’s Flags Over Mars
long time rival, Zodanga. During this period, Read the following aloud:
Carter stays for years in Helium with his
beloved Dejah Thoris, but few of his adven-
tures during this time are described in Bur- You are enjoying each other’s company
rough’s work. and relaxing on an flier frigate flying
As the adventure starts, Carter is traveling under Helium’s colors. The flier is outfitted
with Dejah and several friends and allies more for exploration and diplomacy than
by flier to meet with a delegation from a conflict, though it sports some deck guns
minor Red Martian kingdom, Voninka, that and a compliment of troops. How are you
is seeking alliance with Helium. Voninka passing the time…?
was a small satellite nation of Zodanga
until the nation’s recent defeat at the hands
of Helium and John Carter. It now seeks
new allies among Helium and its jeddak, a Allow the players to converse, roleplay, and get
young but respected leader known as Corlan used to their characters and the game for a short
Nim, has requested a diplomatic meeting time before the action starts. Maybe two charac-
with representatives of Helium—the player ters will have a friendly duel or play a game of
heroes and their crew. jetan, a Martian game much like Earth chess. Try
Unbeknownst to our heroes, the Jeddak resolving these actions using some Attribute tests,
of Voninka’s brother, Kama Nim, seeks to with a Difficulty or 1, to get a feel for how the basic
ambush Carter and his allies, capturing rules work. There are sample attribute tests to give
them as part of a plot to incite war with you ideas on the previous page.
Helium and replace his brother on his king-

john carter of mars

dom’s throne. He believes if he can capture AA Pick an Attribute combination that

the heroes, especially Dejah Thoris and the best fits the action that player
famed Carter, he can draw support to him. is attempting
AA Ask them to roll 2d20 and compare the
results to the two Attributes added
together (this is their Target Number.)
AA If they score 1 success, they have
succeeded at the test.
AA If they score any Momentum, allow
them to bank it.
Ramming Speed!
If the players are on deck, ask for an Average
(D1) Reason + Cunning test to see the shadow As the ships collide, the prow of the attacking ship SKY RAIDER LIEUTENANT
of an unknown flier descending on them from rams into the heroes’ ship, smashing the upper
out of the sun. If they succeed, they may raise the decks before pulling up and allowing a boarding CUNNING: 5 MIGHT: 5
alarm, allowing them to go first in the coming party to rappel down on ropes to the damaged
conflict. Any Momentum generated by this roll deck as it passes. DARING: 8 PASSION: 5
will be useful in the coming conflict as well. Ask each player to makes a Challenging (D2)
Unfortunately, there is no time to move the flier Cunning + Might test to react in time and hurl EMPATHY: 4 REASON: 4
out of the way before their ambushers open fire. themselves to safety as the airships collide. Failure
If they fail to notice the attack before it starts, means they are caught in the great impact as the
the heroes will certain notice it once it begins. ships collide and take 2 damage to either Fear TALENTS
Read the following aloud: (Cunning) or Injury (Might). After this test is EVASIVE: Sky Pirates gain +1 Momentum to
resolved, combat will begin as a mob of screaming avoid attacks with ranged weapons.
raiders will land on the decks, ready for a fight. MENACE OF THE SKIES: Roll 1 extra dice and
The enemy flier’s deck guns shake the flier Read aloud: substitute Daring for any other attribute
with fire, damaging it and killing several when piloting. This will usually make tests a
crew members. If the heroes raised the Cunning + Daring test.
alarm, the damage and loss of life is notice- The deck is overrun with raiders. These EQUIPMENT
ably lessened, though the ship and crew are are all red Martians, but without any Harness and cape, Sabre (Sharp, Effects cause 1
still in peril. identifying items or clothing that sug- Injury in addition to normal damage), Pistol
The enemy flier is smaller than yours, but gests what kingdom they hail from. Your
it possesses a reinforced prow for ramming
and several grapples for boarding. The
flier’s crew is scattered from the impact,
many of them are injured or dead. It is SKY RAIDER
raiders fire on you as they rush to close with up to you to deal with this first wave of
your flier and then board it quickly… . As attackers so the remaining soldiers can CUNNING: 4 MIGHT: 5
the ships collide, the prow of the attacking rally and help drive them off. There is also
flier rams into the heroes’ flier, smashing the a companion flier to the crashed raider DARING: 7 PASSION: 4
upper decks before pulling up and allowing vessel, and it can be seen maneuvering
a boarding party to rappel down on ropes to fire upon your now-heavily damaged EMPATHY: 4 REASON: 4
to the damaged deck as it passes. Their ploy Helium flier.
would likely succeed if it weren't for the

presence of the heroes.
EVASIVE: Sky Pirates gain +1 Momentum to
avoid attacks with ranged weapons.
If the PCs fall to the initial onslaught, they will
be taken prisoner and the rest of the crew will be EQUIPMENT
If the heroes raised the alarm, the damage and killed or left to go down with the airship. Harness and cape, Sabre (Sharp, Effects cause 1
Injury in addition to normal damage), Pistol
loss of life is noticeably lessened, though the flier There are six raiders and a more skilled raider
and crew are still in peril. lieutenant attacking in this scene. If there are 17
fewer than three player characters in this scenario, Dejah’s status as the Princess of Helium. If the the Quickstart rules) for the purposes of moving
reduce the number of raiders by two. If there are player heroes try to determine if one of them is across it as fires and wreckage make the flier now
more than four player characters in this scenario, a target or actively notice during the scene the a dangerous place to move and fight. Further-
increase the number of raiders by two. With the raider’s focus, have them make a Challenging more, the flier will be too damaged to move
scene set, the battle begins! (D2) Cunning + Reason test. Success means they further after this fight is over and will begin to
If the player characters raised the alarm, they discern the goals of these raiders are more than fall from sky as its engines are first damaged and
take their turns first. If they did not raise the alarm, mere piracy and they clearly intend to kidnap any then ultimately fail.
resolve all of your Narrator characters’ turns first. important characters they can for use in some sort This also turns the deck into a Difficulty 1 and
Remember that characters can Seize the Initiative by of larger scheme. Danger 1 Terrain (see the Quickstart rules) for the
spending Momentum, to take a turn out of order. You should run this fight for two turns before purposes of moving across it as fires and wreckage
The raiders and their lieutenant will need to moving on to the next part of the Action Scene make the ship a dangerous place to move and fight.
be defeated by the player characters before they using the rules provided earlier in this docu- The enemy flier is currently too distant for even
overrun the deck, murdering the scattered crew, ment. During this time the player characters Carter to leap onto, and handheld weapons won’t
and taking over the flier. If the PCs' player charac- stand alone, unable to rally the wounded and do much to it, at least in the timeframe provided.
ters fall to the initial onslaught, they will be taken scattered soldiers on their flier to drive off You should also use Threat to make the fight
prisoner and the rest of the crew will be killed or the invaders. tough and remind the players they can add Threat
left to go down with the flier. and use Momentum to augment their own rolls as
Given the confines of the flier’s deck, everything The Second Flier well. To bring on any reinforcements, spend 1 Threat
on the deck is either Immediate or Near ranges. During the fight on turn two, a second raider flier per minion, and 2 Threat for any more lieutenants.
All raiders are armed with swords and pistols. appears, moving into attack range. The flier will One of the deck guns on the heroes’ flier can be
The raiders are trying to defeat the heroes and fire on the player characters' flier, striking the brought to bear and fired at the enemy flier. How-
kidnap them. They are particularly interested in deck and killing many soldiers of Helium and ever, it is damaged. It can be repaired with a Dire
kidnapping Dejah Thoris if she is present. This making it impossible to rally. This also turns the (D4) Reason + Daring test. Only one character can
suggests this raid is politically motivated given deck into a Difficulty 1 and Danger 1 Terrain (see work on the gun at a time, but one other charac-

john carter of mars

ter can assist. Any raiders still alive are going to
attempt to stop them and unless at least 1 player
Interrogating a prisoner is an Average (D1)
Opposed test with the player hero’s Might + Pas- Scene 2:
character is actively fighting the raiders, they will
gain an additional bonus die to roll against any
sion against their targets Empathy + Daring. Suc-
cess reveals that the raiders work for Hama Nim, Out of the Flying Ship…
player characters they attack who are performing the brother of the jeddak they travel to meet. The Regardless of the outcome of the battle, both the
the maintenance on the deck gun. Obtain Information Momentum could reveal the heroes’ and enemies’ ships are damaged and need
If the player characters fail or don’t bother to fix following pieces of information: repairs before it can continue, so the flier must land.
the gun, then the flier is hit by a direct hit from Below the battle is a suitable landing spot near
the raider vessel in the fourth round, causing it to the ruins of some small ancient outpost. This is
begin to sink quickly to the ground as its engines AAKama Nim seeks to violently overthrow the best place to land to affect repairs, and the
are heavily damaged. At this time spend Threat for his brother. heroes can attempt to land the damaged craft by
the other raider vessel to come around and land AA He also seeks a war with Helium, hoping making a Challenging (D2) Daring + Reason test.
more raiders, who offer the player heroes a chance various Zodangan satellites will rally to Let the players Succeed at Cost, meaning that even
to surrender. If they refuse, the raiders attack and his cause. if they fail the test they still land the flier, but it’s a
try to take them out. AA Kama Nim has a small army of panthans rough landing and you can add 2 to your
(mercenaries) and loyalists ready to die for Threat pool.
Deck Cannons Fire! his cause. Many are former soldiers Regardless of how the heroes get to the ground,
Once the deck gun is fixed, it can be fired by of Zodanga. they have a moment to rest, attempt to heal their
taking a Movement Action to load and aim, and wounds, and assess the damage to their flier.
a Conflict Action to fire. This is a Challenging Assessing the damage to the flier is an Average (D1)
(D2) Daring + Reason. Success strikes the flier, Reason + Cunning test, revealing the following:
causing it to veer off and retreat. Momentum Information should be provide based on what
generated on this test can be used to further questions the heroes ask during an interrogation.
damage the flier if desired (1 to seriously damage If they are interrogating a captured lieutenant AAIf the second enemy flier was hit by the
it, 2 to cause it enough damage for it to retreat, (raising the Difficulty of their test by 1 step), they repaired deck gun, the damage is tem-
3 to damage it badly enough to cause it to sink may also learn the following: porary and after a few hours of work the
and crash). If the gun misses, it can be fired up to flier can be airworthy again.
three times before the makeshift repairs cause it AA If the second enemy flier was not hit by
to malfunction again, this time without the abil- AATo serve his ends Kama Nim wants the repaired deck gun it was able to do
ity to repair it. the heroes as hostages and plans to frame more damage to the heroes’ flier, and it is
his brother for the act, prompting a brutal too damaged to fly without major repairs.

conflict he can exploit. The heroes will have to somehow secure
If the raiders are defeated, the player heroes will other transportation.
hear sounds of their crew rallying and beginning
to drive the raiders off other parts of the flier. The
raiders are run through, shot, or pushed over the If the heroes are defeated they be knocked uncon-
railings as the heroes and their followers turn the scious (if they aren’t already) and will wake up in the After the damage has been assessed, read the
tide and finally take prisoners. hold of the enemy’s flier in time for the next scene. following aloud: 19
You hear a great roar coming from the direc- WHITE APE OF MARS Optional Scene: Escape!
tion of the nearby ruined outpost. Within If the heroes were captured, they awaken
seconds, you can see several large white CUNNING: 7 MIGHT: 10 as their enemies’ flier crash lands. They are
shapes appear out of the ruins moving locked in the flier’s brig guarded by two raid-
quickly towards your crash site. The white DARING: 5 PASSION: 4 ers (see above stats). They have recovered
apes of Barsoom are attacking! their Stress lost from the last scene and the
EMPATHY: 4 REASON: 4 raiders have treated their wounds, remov-
ing any one Affliction they suffered. They are
without their weapons or gear, which are
The White Apes of Mars STRESS: 14 stowed in containers outside their cell. How-
There are several white apes attacking: one ape THREAT: 3 ever, the impact of the flier bends and dam-
plus one additional ape for every two heroes (e.g. ages the brig’s door, popping its lock. They
a group of 5 heroes will face 3 apes.) During this MIGHTY BEAST: You can always use Might to can now attack the two Raiders (unarmed)
battle, Heroes can spend Momentum to repre- attack in melee, or through intimidation. and attempt to overpower them. Once they
sent surviving crew or raiders getting in a minor do so, they can rearm themselves. While
but effective attack on the White Apes. For every HARD TO KILL: You can spend 3 Threat to they are doing so they hear a great roar and
2 Momentum spent on such attacks, a player’s remove an Affliction without the need of crash above deck…
attack can be assisted by a member of their crew. rest or healing.
Roll 1d20 for them, using a Daring of 7 and Might
of 4, and if they player scored one success, add any PREDATORY INSTINCTS: You gain 1 bonus
successes you scored to their total. Also remember d20 when seeking prey or food.
White Apes are Monster ranked characters and
as such can take more damage than Minion types DRAMATIC RETURN: During combat with the
like the raiders they fought previously. Apes you can spend 5 Threat once to have an
If the heroes defeat the apes, they will be safe for otherwise dispatched ape return and attack
the time being. They can either repair their flier a character. This ape is considered to have 2

john carter of mars

or gather supplies and leave the area on foot. In Afflictions but gains +1d20 on this attack.
either case, this ends the adventure. You can con-
tinue these adventures with the rules provided if MASSIVE ROCKS: If an Ape throws a rock at a
the group wants to carry on. character it will usually miss but when it hits
This is a tough fight and if the heroes lose it they the weight and power of the throw makes
will find themselves dragged back to the lair of the for a dangerous weapon. All thrown attacks
white apes to be devoured later. They can attempt are at +2 difficulty but gain 3 momentum for
to escape or battle the remaining apes, though both damage if they hit. Rocks count as technol-
these conflicts are outside the scope of this adven- ogy for the Apes making this a Daring +
ture. However, you can use the statistics and mechan- Reason test.
20 ics provided in this quickstart to run these scenes.
13 5
5 9 4
Princess of Mars When encountering an enemy or rival,
Dejah Thoris can spend a Luck point
to make a Challenging (D2) Empathy
+ Cunning test. Success means the
13 5 enemy or rival sees Dejah’s value as
a hostage, prisoner, or potential ally
11 5 and will not seriously harm her. This
doesn’t prevent the character from
9 4 imprisoning or otherwise hindering

Dejah, nor will it work on beasts and
12 4 NAME: DEJAH THORIS similar monsters.
8 4 Passionate Scientist Dejah Thoras is a passionate scientist,
12 4 RACE: RED MARTIAN when she investigates a scientific
mystery she gains +1d20 to the test and
10 4 can always use Passion + Reason.
13 5 Argumentative Dejah Thoras is prone to having
Discovery discoveries click when in the presence

8 12 4 of a beloved, arguing for what’s best for

her people, or other similar events. If a
12 4 character she has called beloved makes
a Passion + Empathy test to support
16 8 her, she receives an additional Momen-
14 6 tum or +1d20 towards making a test to
investigate a scientific mystery. This
9 4 bonus die is on top of any dice gained
from the supporting character through

4 8 4 other means.

12 4 Scientific Prodigy Dejah Thoras is capable of understand-

ing any scientific discovery. When
12 4 out of an Action Scene she can spend
a Luck point to make a Daunting (D3)
10 4 Passion + Reason test. If successful
the Narrator must explain the general
13 5 understanding of any discovery she
comes across.
8 12 4
16 8
12 4
14 6
11 5
10 4
6 14 6 Jewelled Finery, Dagger (Sharp, Effects
cause 1 Injury in addition to normal
10 4 damage)

14 6
11 5
6 15 6
Warlord of Mars Carter has faced countless challenges
on Barsoom and triumphed through
Cunning, will, and force of arms.
When facing an enemy in a duel or
11 5 when standing alone against six or
more opponents, make an Average
11 5 (D1) Cunning + Daring test at the
beginning of the fight. Any Momen-
13 6 tum generated by this test is usable in

your upcoming fight.
16 7 True Companion When acting to aid his allies or beloved
Dejah Thoris directly, John treats his
12 5 RACE: EARTHBORN Passion as if it were +2 higher than its
normal rating (Passion 7 instead of 5).
12 5
TITLE: WARLORD OF MARS Fighting Virginian Carter is tenacious, and his Earth-born
11 5 strength and years of experience gives
him a substantial edge in battle. In

5 12 5 melee combat, he can always use Cun-

ning + Might for defense.
14 5
Leaps and Bouds As a Jarsoomian, Carter can leap great
10 5 distances. For 1 Momentum, he can
10 5 immediately move up to Away (Imme-
diate to Near, Near to Away) ignoring
15 6 normal Obstacles and terrain but not
complete barriers such as enclosed

9 16 7 structures. He can do this as part of an

attack action if desired. He may also
14 5 leap into battle at the start of a fight,
closing to Immediate range with any
14 5 foe who would otherwise be Near (or
Away if he spends a Momentum).
14 5
11 5
5 12 5
10 5
14 5
10 5
11 5
12 5
5 10 5 Harness, Cloak, Sword (Sharp, Effects
cause 1 Injury in addition to normal
14 5 damage), Pistol (Fearsome, Effects
cause 1 Fear in addition to normal
10 5 damage), Dagger (Sharp, Effects cause 1
Injury in addition to normal damage)
11 4
7 15 7
Jeddak of Tharks Tars may always use his Cunning when
interacting with his fellow Tharks or
those who know and respect his posi-
tion as Jeddak of Tharks in Conflict
11 4 Actions. This includes formal duels
among his people.
11 4
Mighty Warrior Tars is fierce and powerful, using the
14 7 height and strength of his Thark war-

rior’s build to his advantage. When
11 4 NAME: TARS TARKAS fighting in melee, Tars may always use
15 7 Might+Daring to attack.

11 4 RACE: GREEN MARTIAN Four -Armed

Trained to use his multiple arms in
battle effectively. When armed and
11 4 attacking with 2 or more weapons,
11 4 The Meaning of Tars considers his Passion and Empa-
Friendship thy to be +2 higher than normal when

4 10 4 interacting with or acting to protect

his dear friends and loved ones such
12 4 as John Carter, Dejah Thoris, and
his daughter, Sola.ny discovery she
8 4 comes across.
8 4
16 7
8 14 6
12 4
12 4
12 4
11 4
4 10 4
8 4
12 4
8 4
11 4
10 4
4 8 4 Harness, 2 Swords (Sharp, Effects cause
1 Injury in addition to normal damage),
12 4 Thark Rifle (Fearsome, Effects cause 1
Fear in addition to normal damage)
8 4
12 6
6 11 5
Helium Jedwar Kantos Kan may always use his Reason
when interacting with fellow red
Martian guards. His ambition and
understanding of psychology ensures
11 5 that he stands out when its beneficial
to him.
13 6
Cunning Warrior Kantos Kan instinctively takes cover
13 6 when needed. He may always use

Reason+Daring when defending him-
13 6 NAME: KANTOS KAN self against physical attacks.
12 5 Swift Reflexes Kantos Kan never misses an opportu-
12 5 RACE: RED MARTIAN nity to snap off some shots at enemies
while seeking cover. If while defending
14 7 Kantos Kan spends momentum to
TITLE: JEDWAR counterstrike this damage is increased
12 6 by +1 . This is in addition to any
momentum spent to gain the conflict

6 13 6 action needed to make an attack.

11 5
11 5
13 6
11 5
5 12 5
11 5
10 5
12 5
11 5
5 12 5
11 5
10 5
12 5
13 6
14 7
7 13 6 Harness, Cloak, Sword (Sharp, Effects
cause 1 Injury in addition to normal
12 5 damage), Pistol (Fearsome, Effects
cause 1 Fear in addition to normal
12 5 damage), Dagger (Sharp, Effects cause 1
Injury in addition to normal damage)
14 6
6 12 6
Four-Armed for War
(Grade 1)
When you generate Momentum
while attacking with a melee
weapon or rifle, gain an extra
13 6
Strength of Compassion When acting to protect or help
12 6 (Grade 3) a loved one or someone in your
charge, you gain a bonus d20 on all
10 4 relevant actions and you can always

use Passion and/or Empathy as
12 4 NAME: SOLA part of the test. This talent doesn’t
10 4 allow for attacks, but can be used if
defending on behalf of another.
Woman of Thark You gain on additional Momen-
10 4 (Grade 1) tum from any successful test that
involves survival skills (creating
14 6 weapons, finding food, etc.).

8 12 4
14 6
15 7
14 6
12 6
6 10 4
14 6
13 6
12 6
13 6
7 11 4
15 7
13 6
13 6
12 6
10 4
6 14 6 Harness, Thark Rifle (Fearsome, Effects
cause 1 Fear in addition to normal
12 6 damage), Dagger (Sharp, Effects cause 1
Injury in addition to normal damage)
13 6