Bad Barsoom: a micro-setting for Troika

I’ve made a last-minute entry in the Great Troika Pocket Sphere Jam, a game jam over on in which designers make a small Troika! setting that will fit into a PocketMod – small booklet folded from a single piece of paper. My entry is called Bad Barsoom

Bad Barsoom on

My initial idea was to just do a straight adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Barsoom, but as I started writing it up, it gradually grew a little weirder and cynical.

It ended up being a future version of Barsoom, where John Carter was long dead. Modern Barsoom is ruled by Cathoris XI, a distant, corrupt descendant. He is widely, and correctly, seen as a puppet of Jarsoomian(Earth) powers, who support him with military “advisers”

The Tharks have given up their nomadic lifestyle, and some have become gangsters in the city of Cartertown (formerly Helium).

Red Martian princesses are mostly spoiled social media influencers, who fake their own kidnappings for attention.

A cult of Issus has cropped up in the Thern ghettoes. Some violent sects of the cult use plant-men as weapons of terror.

It was a lot of fun to write. I may expand on the setting in the future.

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