WARRIORS OF MARS (1974): A Rare Lost Cousin of D&D

Wayne's Books

Warriors of Mars released the same year as the original Dungeons and Dragons. In 1974, TSR – back when it was known as Tactical Studies Rules – published this set of miniatures rules set on Barsoom, the setting of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter pulp fiction series.

Gary Gygax noted in his foreward to Warriors of Mars:

The essence of Barsoom — the fearless warriors, the men, the monstrous animals, the geography of Burroughs’ Mars, the social customs, the weaponry — has been formalized into rules which permit the creation of whole new sagas.

The tale can be as simple as a minor skirmish between two swordsmen, or it can be as complex as the interactions which arise between several of the Barsoomian city-empires. It can be the lone adventures of a hero pitted against the harsh realities of Martian wilderness, or it can be the epic tale of a…

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