John Carter of Mars
Warriors of Mars: The Warfare of Barsoom in Miniature
Dungeons & Dragons: Warriors of Mars
Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Mars: Shadows of a Dying World (An OGL Guide to Monsters, Races, and Beasts)
Heroes of Mars
A Dream of Mars
Lords of Mars
Warriors of the Red Planet
Revelations of Mars
Cavaliers of Mars
***UPDATE – Almost forgot, the original D&D, specifically Book 3 – The Underworld & Wilderness Adventures does include an encounter table for Mars, for both animal and human encounters
I’ve gotten a bunch of suggestions from Reddit and elsewhere. Thanks to everyone for the suggestions
Rocket Age – Blood Red Mars
Rocket Age’s Mars is clearly Barsoom-like with an ancient, dying Martian civilization.
Suggested by roninnemo from Reddir/rpg
Thought Lords of Mars
This one looks out of print as far as I can tell. I think it’s a supplement for John Harper’s Danger Patrol
Suggested by omnihedrom from reddit/rpg
Adventures on Dungeon Planet
A supplement for Dungeon World that helps to create a Sword & Planet like world. Easily adaptable to Barsoom
Suggested by J_Standberg on Reddit/rpg
Jarkoon – Adventures on Planet X!
An OSR game for Sword & Planet
Suggested by Simon W at gamingtavern.eu
Swashbucklers of Mars
A Searchers of the Unknown hack available for free at
Suggested by RedwoodRhiadra at reddit/rpg
Under the Moons of Zoon
This is its own light RPG system, with a strong Burroughs influence on the world.
Suggested by RedwoodRhiadra at reddit/rpg
The Pathfinder supplement Distant Worlds lists some of the other planets in the Pathfinder universe. One is Akiton, clearly a take on Barsoom.
Suggested by high-tech-low-life on Reddit/rpg
Update *** 01/21/2020
Found this one. It’s a free add-on to the man-to-man tactical game Swordplay. It’s more of a wargame than a RPG, but it’s close enough.
It’s called John Carter For Swordplay (free PDF)
Update *** 2/13/2020
Goodman games put a series of adventures for Dungeon Crawl Classics called the Purple Planet series. It’s set on an dying alien world, with a clear Barsoom influence.
Suggested by hodaza on Reddit/rpg
Update *** 03/29/2020
Planets of Peril: The Sword & Planet Role Playing Game
This is Keith Vaughn’s sword & planet adventure game – much of it is Barsoom-inspired.
Suggested by the author in the comments below.
Update *** 6/6/2020
Iron Lords of Jupiter
A D20 Modern setting published in Dungeon Magazine – issue 101
Update *** 6/14/2020
John Carter, Warlord of Mars
A RPG put out by Heritage Models, Inc. in 1978. It’s currently out-of-print, and I don’t believe there’s a PDF available anywhere.
Update *** 06/18/2020
Sword & Planet: An Old School Roleplaying Game of Planetary Romance
This is an OSR game by Jason “Flynn” Kemp designed for general Sword & Planet adventures, but the core rules are designed around Barsoom.
You can get a free rough draft version at https://flynnwd.blogspot.com/2012/03/fantasy-friday-sword-planet-rpg-first.html
Update *** 06/28/2020
Deserted Cities of Mars (article)
Not a full game, but an interesting article in the August 1975 edition of the Strategic Review, the gaming fanzine TSR put out before Dragon magazine. Its called the Deserted Cities of Mars by Jim Ward. It’s got a description of the ancient cities of Barsoom, along with some generation tables.
Update *** 10/11/2020
Pulp Triumphant: Red Planets & Dark Jungles
Knight Owl Publishing recently put out Pulp Triumphant, a pulp adventure RPG. It has several settings, including one called Red Planet. It’s clearly Barsoom, even using the same names for cultures and creatures.
Update *** 04/06/2021
Bad Barsoom: A setting for Troika!
Here’s one I actually created – Bad Barsoom. It’s a short setting for the Troika! role playing game. It’s set on Barsoom in a future age, after the death of John Carter and Dejah Thoris. It’s not entirely serious – Cathoris XI is the corrupt Jeddak-For-Life, propped up by Jarsoomian military advisors. Tharks have become gangsters. Most Red Martian princesses and princes are social media influencers who fake their own kidnappings for sport. It’s a PWYW booklet in the PocketMod format. I’m thinking of expanding on the world into a full Troika! supplement.
I’ve updated and expanded my Bad Barsoom setting to a full Troika! supplement:
Life on Barsoom
Here’s a free adaptation of Barsoom for the Advanced Fighting Fantasy system by Alessandro Viola
Life on Barsoom PDF (Link to PDF on Arion Games website)
suggested by user gruelove on Reddit
John Carter: Warlord of Mars
This 1979 game from SPI is a lot closer to a wargame than a RPG, but I believe it has enough RPG-like elements to count. In addition to running armies, players can play individual heroes, get invloved in treachery and romance, and rescue princesses.
Warlord of Mars (Board Game Geek site – PDF files are available for download)
Suggested by Neal Sofge in comments
11 thoughts on “Gaming on Mars: a (mostly) complete list of Barsoomian role-playing games”
Checkout Lords of Mars:
Thanks, but I think I’ve already listed that one.
Oh, so weird. I read the article and did a search for it. How did I not see it?
Anyways, great post!
Doesn’t Night Owl also have a Mechanized Men of Mars? Yup, just found it as PWYW here: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/182983/Mechanized-Men-of-Mars
There was also a Barsoom Glossary that I know DMs found helpful, the HTML page is here, but there’s a PDF linked maybe half-way down the page that I have: http://erblist.com/abg/index.html
Great project! Good luck,
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I believe Mechanized Men is an adventure for the already listed Warriors of the Red Planet. Thanks for the glossary link. That’ll be useful.
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Great and thorough list. I’ll remember this if somebody is thinking to run a Barsoom game.
Years ago I put up one on rpg.now called Planets of Peril: The Sword & Planet Role Playing Game. It’s brought in several hundred dollars to me so it’s had some success. It’s more of a generic planetary romance game but one of the moons to adventure on was modeled on barsoom/mars
Thanks. I’ll add it to the list
Not sure if it would be considered a full rules system, but a list this comprehensive should also include the Grim Tales/d20 sourcebook Slavelords of Cydonia
What about the SPI John Carter Warlord of Mars game? It’s a unique concoction of wargame technologies attempting to coalesce into an RPG-like thing. Way, way out of print but someone’s recreated the components for download on BoardGameGeek.
Interesting. I thought that was entirely a wargame, but looking at the rules, you’re right – it does have a lot of RPG elements. I’ll add it to the list. Thanks.