WoM Review Jun 23, 2007 8:35:23 GMT -6
Post by Finarvyn on Jun 23, 2007 8:35:23 GMT -6
Here is my Warriors of Mars review as I posted it on Dragonsfoot.This book is 56 pages in length, and of a 6.5x8.5 size; the same basic format as BOOT HILL, D&D, and other TSR creations of that era. The artwork is very similar to brown-book D&D; I assume the same artist. All of the interior art is black & white, line art.
First of all, keep in mind that WARRIORS OF MARS is a miniatures rules set, and not really a RPG. It details combat between armies, combat between fliers, some crossover between armies fighting fliers. One bizarre problem addressed in the rules is trying to match scale with humanoids and fliers – since a flier can travel at 100 mph or more, they can move from one end of the map to the other in one turn, which really messes up a good miniatures battle. The solution is simply to avoid crossover as much as possible.
In many ways WoM reminds me of CHAINMAIL, which should be no surprise since Gary Gygax was associated with both games. Movement is given in inches. A lot of space is devoted to morale and terrain effects. There is a giganto master combat matrix where various animals and humanoids are matched against each other. (The chart is more complex than CHAINMAIL, however, because WoM allows for wounds and panic and not just kills.) There are rules for sieges.
The part I like best is the part that deals with individual adventures, because I would like to assemble an “official” list of Barsoomian monsters in brown-book D&D scale. Characters are rated by level from 1-13, but really the range is smaller than that because level one is “female” only and level thirteen is “John Carter” only. (This works well with brown book D&D, which tops out somewhere around level 10-12 anyway). Each level gets “level plus one” wounds before death, and I think that this translates pretty closely to hit dice. If this is the case, the D&D hit dice for Barsoomian monsters might look like this:
White ape = 6
Apt = 6
Banth = 7
Calot = 5
Darseen = 4
Orluk = 6
Plant Man = 6
Sith = 10
Thoat = 5
Zitidar = 9
There is no real mention of “Armor Class” but most Barsoomians run around half nekked anyhow, so perhaps it’s a non-factor.
Overall, I really like WoM and wish that it was not killed by the ERB estate. It’s a decent miniatures rules system and a good read for fans of the books.
Someday I hope to create a better WoM-D&D conversion. If I do, I'll be sure to share it.