Notes for Mars game.

Obviously any of this might change based on play-testing. However, here are my ideas for the game so far.

The setting will be Mars; not the Mars of reality, but that of science fiction, especially the five books of the John Carter / Barsoom series by Edgar Rice Burroughs that are in the public domain.

The first scenario will be as follows: the player’s character was on their way to get married in another city, when their flyer crashed into the desert. It turns out to have been sabotaged. The aim is to cross the desert, and work out who’s responsible for trying to kill them.

The game will be similar to d6 Shooters, but it’s intended to be a new game with similar mechanics, rather than a variant of d6 Shooters. The first draft will probably be closer to d6 Shooters, with new drafts adding or changing rules.

Similarities to d6 Shooters

  • The basic mechanic will be rolling a large number of dice, with a number of optional re-rolls, and working out what happens based on how many of each number you end up with.
  • The variables will be similar: number of followers (although I’m thinking of adding a ‘Willpower’ stat as well), food, trade goods (although not themed as gold), information.
  • The theme will be completing a dangerous journey in a limited time.


  • There won’t be a board. You’ll keep track of how far away you are as a number, and roll for encounters as you go.
  • Events and cities will be rolled into one: that is, finding a settlement will be a common type of event.
  • Combat will be considerably changed, with more options and with combat tending to be more deadly. The rules for this will be inspired by this.
  • More possible events, and more choices in those events. This is the biggest single area that I want to work on. Most events in d6 Shooters don’t involve any player choice. I want all events in my game to involve at least one meaningful choice. Events will be handled using a ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’-like system of paragraphs.
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