WIP: Barsoom 1960 – Cold War on a Red Planet for Troika!

I’ve been working on an entry for the TroikaFest! 2021 Game Jam over on itch.io.

I’ve decided to expand on Bad Barsoom, a micro-setting I created for a previous Troika! game jam.

It’s set on the Mars or (Barsoom) of Edgar Rice Burroughs. I’ve decided that during the mid-twentieth century, long past the time of John Carter, the nations of Earth came to Mars and started mucking about in local politics. Basically, the Cold War finds a new playground. There’s going to be corruption, proxy guerilla wars, and spies.

The tone I’m going for is this: what if Graham Greene wrote a Barsoom novel?

It’s currently a work in progress, but I thought I’d share some of the Backgrounds I’ve been putting together.

Great Green Hunter

The off-worlders have an unending appetite for the wild creatures of Barsoom for their zoos and menageries. You lead expeditions into the wild to bring back live specimens. Sometimes you will guide a foolish Jarsoomian into the wild to hunt the white ape or the Banth. Sometimes they even make it back alive.


  • Radium Rifle
  • Maps of the Wild
  • Rare White Ape Pelts
  • Traps & nets
  • Tranquilizer Rifle

Advanced Skills

  • Survival 2
  • Awareness 1
  • Rifle 1
  • Tracking 2
  • Trapping 1

Exiled Okarian Noble

When the Jarsoomians of the East landed in your domed city, you didn’t think very much of them. Their talk of brotherhood and revolution seemed ridiculous to you, but apparently your slaves found it compelling enough to overthrow the government and institute a “People’s Republic”. Those of your noble class who survived the revolution and the Carrion Cave gulags have made new lives for themselves in the stiflingly hot South. You’ve never forgotten your home, and will use whatever is left of your fortune to enact a counter-revolution.


  • Dwindling Fortune
  • Family Sword
  • Loyal Servant (possible Communist spy)

Advanced Skills

  • Etiquette 1
  • Riding 1
  • Fighting 1
  • Politics 1

Jarsoomian Expat

You may not be from Mars, but you’re not like those awful fat tourists from Jarsoom (that’s Earth for you squares). You eat Barsoomian food, wear Barsoomian harnesses, and can speak a bit of Barsoomian. You love it here. It’s just so…authentic, man.


  • Trust Fund
  • Local Guidebooks
  • Pretentious Novels
  • Skin Dye (Red, Yellow)

Advanced Skills

  • Languages (Jarsoom) 2
  • Languages (Barsoom) 1
  • Carousing 1

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s