Thursday, June 6, 2013


An abandoned city in Barsoom’s South West hemisphere, that falls within the domain of the green Martian tribe of Torquas.  Aaanthor has a famous broad boulevard that leads to the central plaza known as the Avenue of Quays.

“He gazed about in bewildered astonishment. There indeed was a great city, but it was not Ptarth. No multitudes surged through its broad avenues. No signs of life broke the dead monotony of its deserted roof tops.  No gorgeous silks, no priceless furs lent life and colour to the cold marble and the gleaming ersite.  No patrol boat lay ready with its familiar challenge. Silent and empty lay the great city—empty and silent the surrounding air.”  (TMM III).

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Atmosphere Plant

  A square building located in the eastern hemisphere, its walls are 200 feet tall and 2 miles long!   The building in which I found myself contained the machinery which produces that artificial atmosphere which sustains life on Mars. The secret of the entire process hinges on the use of the ninth ray, one of the beautiful scintillations which I had noted emanating from the great stone in my host's diadem.

“This ray is separated from the other rays of the sun by means of finely adjusted instruments placed upon the roof of the huge building, three-quarters of which is used for reservoirs in which the ninth ray is stored. This product is then treated electrically, or rather certain proportions of refined electric vibrations are incorporated with it, and the result is then pumped to the five principal air centers of the planet where, as it is released, contact with the ether of space transforms it into atmosphere.

“There is always sufficient reserve of the ninth ray stored in the great building to maintain the present Martian atmosphere for a thousand years, and the only fear, as my new friend told me, was that some accident might befall the pumping apparatus.

“He led me to an inner chamber where I beheld a battery of twenty radium pumps any one of which was equal to the task of furnishing all Mars with the atmosphere compound. For eight hundred years, he told me, he had watched these pumps which are used alternately a day each at a stretch, or a little over twenty-four and one-half Earth hours. He has one assistant who divides the watch with him. Half a Martian year, about three hundred and forty-four of our days, each of these men spend alone in this huge, isolated plant.

“Every red Martian is taught during earliest childhood the principles of the manufacture of atmosphere, but only two at one time ever hold the secret of ingress to the great building, which, built as it is with walls a hundred and fifty feet thick, is absolutely unassailable, even the roof being guarded from assault by air craft by a glass covering five feet thick.”   (PM XX)



Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Carrion Caves

"consist of a series of twenty-seven connecting chambers, and present the appearance of having been eroded by running water in some far-gone age when a mighty river found its way to the south through this single breach in the barrier of rock and ice that hems the country of the pole.”

"That I should have lived to witness the reality of the fabled Carrion Caves!   If these indeed be they, we have found a way beyond the ice-barrier. The ancient chronicles of the first historians of Barsoom—so ancient that we have for ages considered them mythology—record the passing of the yellow men from the ravages of the green hordes that overran Barsoom as the drying up of the great oceans drove the dominant races from their strongholds.

"They tell of the wanderings of the remnants of this once powerful race, harassed at every step, until at last they found a way through the ice-barrier of the north to a fertile valley at the pole.  At the opening to the subterranean passage that led to their haven of refuge a mighty battle was fought in which the yellow men were victorious, and within the caves that gave ingress to their new home they piled the bodies of the dead, both yellow and green, that the stench might warn away their enemies from further pursuit.

"And ever since that long-gone day have the dead of this fabled land been carried to the Carrion Caves, that in death and decay they might serve their country and warn away invading enemies. Here, too, is brought, so the fable runs, all the waste stuff of the nation—everything that is subject to rot, and that can add to the foul stench that assails our nostrils.

"And death lurks at every step among rotting dead, for here the fierce apts lair, adding to the putrid accumulation with the fragments of their own prey which they cannot devour. It is a horrid avenue to our goal, but it is the only one."  . . .

"If it be true, and let us pray that such may be the case," I said, "then here may we solve the mystery of the disappearance of Tardos Mors, Jeddak of Helium, and Mors Kajak, his son, for no other spot upon Barsoom has remained unexplored by the many expeditions and the countless spies that have been searching for them for nearly two years. The last word that came from them was that they sought Carthoris, my own brave son, beyond the ice-barrier.

“The bones of dead men lay man high upon the broad floor of the first cave, and over all was a putrid mush of decaying flesh, through which the apts had beaten a hideous trail toward the entrance to the second cave beyond.  The roof of this first apartment was low, like all that we traversed subsequently, so that the foul odors were confined and condensed to such an extent that they seemed to possess tangible substance. One was almost tempted to draw his short-sword and hew his way through in search of pure air beyond.  

“It was not until we had passed through seven caves of different sizes and varying but little in the power and quality of their stenches that we met with any physical opposition. Then, within the eighth cave, we came upon a lair of apts.
“A full score of the mighty beasts were disposed about the chamber. Some were sleeping, while others tore at the fresh-killed carcasses of new-brought prey, or fought among themselves in their love-making.  Here in the dim light of their subterranean home the value of their great eyes was apparent, for these inner caves are shrouded in perpetual gloom that is but little less than utter darkness. (WM VIII)

Artwork by the master, Joe Jusko
Map by Neal McDonald

Monday, June 3, 2013


The Cult of Issus has been  “foisted upon a credulous humanity. She works through the Holy Therns who are as ignorant of her real self as are the Barsoomians of the outer world. Her decrees are borne to the therns written in blood upon a strange parchment. The poor deluded fools think that they are receiving the revelations of a goddess through some supernatural agency, since they find these messages upon their guarded altars to which none could have access without detection. I myself have borne these messages for Issus for many years. There is a long tunnel from the temple of Issus to the principal temple of Matai Shang. It was dug ages ago by the slaves of the First Born in such utter secrecy that no thern ever guessed its existence.

"The therns for their part have temples dotted about the entire civilized world. Here priests whom the people never see communicate the doctrine of the Mysterious River Iss, the Valley Dor, and the Lost Sea of Korus to persuade the poor deluded creatures to take the voluntary pilgrimage that swells the wealth of the Holy Therns and adds to the numbers of their slaves.

"Thus the therns are used as the principal means for collecting the wealth and labour that the First Born wrest from them as they need it. Occasionally the First Born themselves make raids upon the outer world. It is then that they capture many females of the royal houses of the red men, and take the newest in battleships and the trained artisans who build them, that they may copy what they cannot create.

"We are a non-productive race, priding ourselves upon our non-productiveness. It is criminal for a First Born to labour or invent. That is the work of the lower orders, who live merely that the First Born may enjoy long lives of luxury and idleness. With us fighting is all that counts; were it not for that there would be more of the First Born than all the creatures of Barsoom could support, for in so far as I know none of us ever dies a natural death. Our females would live for ever but for the fact that we tire of them and remove them to make place for others. Issus alone of all is protected against death. She has lived for countless ages."   (GM XIII)
Artwork from Thomas Yeates

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Dead Sea Bottoms

These low altitude regions are home to the numerous savage tribes of Green Martians.  The dead sea bottoms compromise about 70% of the Northern hemisphere and 30% of the Southern Hemisphere of Barsoom.

     “I found myself lying prone upon a bed of yellowish, moss like vegetation which stretched around me in all directions for interminable miles.  I seemed to be lying in a deep, circular basin, along the outer verge of which I could distinguish the irregularities of low hills.  It was midday, the sun was shinning full upon me and the heat of it was rather intense upon my naked body, yet no greater than would have been true under similar conditions on an Arizona desert. Here and there were slight outcroppings of quartz bearing rock which glistened in the sunlight . . .  No water, and no other vegetation than the moss was in evidence.”              (PM III)

“We traversed a trackless waste of moss which, bending to the pressure of broad tire or padded foot, rose up again behind us, leaving no sign that we had passed. We might indeed have been the wraiths of the departed dead upon the dead sea of that dying planet for all the sound or sign we made in passing. It was the first march of a large body of men and animals I had ever witnessed which raised no dust and left no spoor; for there is no dust upon Mars except in the cultivated districts during the winter months, and even then the absence of high winds renders it almost unnoticeable.”   (PM XV)

“Neither Woola nor I had eaten since the previous day, but in so far as he was concerned it mattered but little, since practically all the animals of the dead sea bottoms of Mars are able to go for incredible periods without nourishment.”  (WM II)

Miniatures from

Saturday, June 1, 2013


These ancient constructions are now haunted by white apes and nomadic green Martians.
“Among them all was no city that the red men did not shun, for without exception they stood amidst vast, waterless tracts, unsuited for the continued sustenance of the dominant
  race of Martians.”  (TMM IV)


Important buildings were “constructed from gleaming white marble inlaid with gold and brilliant stones which sparkled and scintillated in the sunlight…well  lighted by a number of large windows and beautifully decorated with mural paintings and mosaics, but upon all these seem to rest that indefinable touch of a finger of antiquity.”   (PM IV)

“We also found in this building real sleeping apartments with ancient beds of highly wrought metal swinging from enormous gold chains depending from the marble ceilings. The decoration of the walls was most elaborate, and, unlike the frescoes in the other buildings I had examined, portrayed many human figures in the compositions. These were of people like myself, and of a much lighter color than Dejah Thoris. They were clad in graceful, flowing robes, highly ornamented with metal and jewels, and their luxuriant hair was of a beautiful golden and reddish bronze. The men were beardless and only a few wore arms. The scenes depicted for the most part, a fair-skinned, fair-haired people at play.” (PM XI)

 Art work from   
Frank Frazetta

Friday, May 31, 2013


Worn by therns that are  members of the nobility, this is an ornamental head piece;  in the center of the circlet of gold upon the brow of Lakor proclaimed him a Holy Thern, while his companion, not thus adorned, was a lesser thern, though from his harness I gleaned that he had reached the Ninth Cycle, which is but one below that of the Holy Therns. (WM III)

  Of all the holy of holies which the thern venerates and worships none is more revered than the yellow wig which covers his bald pate, and next thereto comes the circlet of gold and the great diadem, whose scintillant rays mark the attainment of the Tenth Cycle.  (WM IV)

Thursday, May 30, 2013



“Hereditary enemies were Duhor and Amhor, but (their Jeddak) Jal Had came disguised into the city of Duhor, having heard of the great beauty of the only daughter of Kor San, Jeddak of Duhor, and when he had seen her (Valla Dia) he had determined to possess her.  Returning to Amhor, he sent ambassadors to the court of Kor San to sue for the hand of the Princess of Duhor; but Kor San, who had no son, had determined to wed his daughter to one of his own Jeds, and so the offer of Jal Had was declined.

“This so incensed the Amhorian Jeddak that he equipped a great fleet and set forth to conquer Duhor and take by force that which he could not win by honorable methods.  Duhor was at the time at war with Helium and all her forces were far afield in the south, with the exception of a small army that had been left behind to guard the city.  Jal Had, therefore, could not have selected a more propitious time for an attack.  Duhor fell, and while his troops were looting the fair city, Jal Had, with a hand picked force, sacked the palace of the JJeddak  and searched for the princess; but the Princess , Valla Dia had no mind to go back with him as Princess of Amhor”   (MM V) 

Valla Dia fled the city and was later captured by agents of Ras Thavas and had her brain transplanted into the hideous body of Xaxa, Jeddera of Phundal.  Duhor is nestled within  the snow-peaked Artolian Hills.  Located in Barsoom’s NE hemisphere, Duhor is an ally of Ptarth and entered diplomatic relations with Helium when Valla Dia married Captain Ulysses Paxton of WWI's US Army (MM XIV).

Artwork from
Michael Whelan

Wednesday, May 29, 2013



 A mighty red Martian nation located in Barsoom’s Northwest hemisphere; it has a navy of about 4,000 battleships. Their Jeddak is the cruel and unscrupulous Nutus, who is father to the cowardly Prince Astok.  A friend of Ptarth, Dusar has an uneasy truce with Helium.

 “For many years Dusar and Ptarth had been at peace with each other. Their great merchant ships plied back and forth between the larger cities of the two nations. Even now, far above the gold-shot scarlet dome of the jeddak's palace, she could see the huge bulk of a giant freighter taking its majestic way through the thin Barsoomian air toward the west and Dusar.”  (TMM I)

Miniatures from

Tuesday, May 28, 2013



“These rules are strictly fantasy. Those wargamers who lack imagination, those who don’t care for Burroughs’ Martian adventures where John Carter is groping through black pits, who feel no thrill upon reading Howard’s Conan saga, who do not enjoy the de Camp and Pratt fantasies or Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser pitting their swords against evil sorceries will not be likely to find Dungeons and Dragons to their taste. But those whose imaginations know no bounds will find that these rules are the answers to their prayers.”

E Gary Gygax, 1 Nov 1973
miniatures from

Friday, May 24, 2013


Farms upon the Red Planet are located adjacent to the Martian waterways or canals.
“There were many trees, methodically arranged, and some of them were of enormous height; there were animals in some of the enclosures, and they announced their presence by terrified squealings and snortings as they scented our queer, wild beasts and wilder human beings.”  (PM XVI)    

“The concrete buildings I had been hammering at in the early morning were occupied only by stock and farm produce, the house proper standing among a grove of enormous trees, and, like all red-Martian homes, had been raised at night some forty or fifty feet from the ground on a large round metal shaft which slid up or down within a sleeve sunk in the ground, and was operated by a tiny radium engine in the entrance hall of the building. Instead of bothering with bolts and bars for their dwellings, the red Martians simply run them up out of harm's way during the night. They also have private means for lowering or raising them from the ground without if they wish to go away and leave them   . . .   

“The water which supplies the farms of Mars is collected in immense underground reservoirs at either pole from the melting ice caps, and pumped through long conduits to the various populated centers. Along either side of these conduits, and extending their entire length, lie the cultivated districts. These are divided into tracts of about the same size, each tract being under the supervision of one or more government officers.  Instead of flooding the surface of the fields, and thus wasting immense quantities of water by evaporation, the precious liquid is carried underground through a vast network of small pipes directly to the roots of the vegetation. The crops upon Mars are always uniform, for there are no droughts, no rains, no high winds, and no insects, or destroying birds.”  (PM XXI)

Thursday, May 23, 2013



 Gathol:    This is an exceeding wealthy city state located in the NW hemisphere thought to be the oldest inhabited city upon Barsoom.  

"Your ancient history has doubtless told you that Gathol was built upon an island in Throxeus, mightiest of the five oceans of old Barsoom. As the ocean receded Gathol crept down the sides of the mountain, the summit of which was the island upon which she had been built, until today she covers the slopes from summit to base, while the bowels of the great hill are honeycombed with the galleries of her (diamond) mines. Entirely surrounding us is a great salt marsh, which protects us from invasion by land, while the rugged and ofttimes vertical topography of our mountain renders the landing of hostile airships a precarious undertaking . . .

 "Our natural barriers, while they have doubtless saved us from defeat on countless occasions, have not by any means rendered us immune from attack," he explained, "for so great is the wealth of Gathol's diamond treasury that there yet may be found those who will risk almost certain defeat in an effort to loot our unconquered city; so thus we find occasional practice in the exercise of arms; but there is more to Gathol than the mountain city. My country extends from Polodona (Equator) north ten karads and from the tenth karad west of Horz to the twentieth west, including thus a million square haads, the greater proportion of which is fine grazing land where run our great herds of thoats and zitidars.

"Surrounded as we are by predatory enemies our herdsmen must indeed be warriors or we should have no herds, and you may be assured they get plenty of fighting. Then there is our constant need of workers in the mines. The Gatholians consider themselves a race of warriors and as such prefer not to labor in the mines. The law is, however, that each male Gatholian shall give an hour a day in labor to the government. That is practically the only tax that is levied upon them. They prefer however, to furnish a substitute to perform this labor, and as our own people will not hire out for labor in the mines it has been necessary to obtain slaves, and I do not need to tell you that slaves are not won without fighting. We sell these slaves in the public market, the proceeds going, half and half, to the government and the warriors who bring them in. The purchasers are credited with the amount of labor performed by their particular slaves. At the end of a year a good slave will have performed the labor tax of his master for six years, and if slaves are plentiful he is freed and permitted to return to his own people. . . 
 “Gahan laughed. ‘We are a vain people," he admitted, good-naturedly, ‘and it is possible that we place too much value on personal appearances. We vie with one another in the splendor of our accoutrements when trapped for the observance of the lighter duties of life, though when we take the field our leather is the plainest I ever have seen worn by fighting men of Barsoom. We pride ourselves, too, upon our physical beauty, and especially upon the beauty of our women.”  (CM I)

Miniatures from

Wednesday, May 22, 2013



A skill is the ability to do something well that arises from finesse, adroitness, and experience.  There are 20 basic skills available to characters.     Not all skills are available to every character vocation, and your game master (GM) might allow or create skills not described in this chapter.

Total number of skills acquired by a character may not exceed the average of his current level and his intelligence score. All skills require time for training (about four weeks for swimming and one year for scroll) whether formal or self-taught.

A character’s skill rank in a known skill is based upon his current level within his vocation or class regardless of when he acquired the skill. Admittedly, this is not a realistic approach, but this method greatly facilitates ease and speed of play.   Skill checks and saving throws are made against a Difficulty Class (DC) whose value is determined by the GM; often  DC = 10 + current encounter level.


DC                       Description   

 8                          Easy
10                        Routine
12                             Hard                         
15                           Challenging
18                        Impressive
24                         Formidable            
30                         Preposterous
       40              Impossible              


            When rolling skill checks, ADD character’s Key Ability modifier, skill rank,  and Armor Penalty and other GM/ situational modifiers to the die result.     


To succeed with a skill throw; the result of your die throw plus skill rank plus key ability modifier must exceed the assigned DC.   


If the total is exactly equal to the assigned difficulty level, the character succeeds at the task, but with minor reservations as determined by the GM (usually you drop an item/ piece of equipment; aka evidence).  


If this total is less than the assigned difficulty class, the character fails at the attempted task without injury or negative consequences.

A newly-generated 2nd level PC selects one    (two skills iff criminal) skill allowed to his vocation.  AFTER each game session, a skill may be increased either randomly or by player choice as determined by the Experience Table (p.19).  If a character rolls a skill that he already possesses, the character may opt to be cross-trained.


 Cross trainING allows a character to select a skill not usually allowed to his class (p.45).  Skill rank is calculated in the usual manner; however, cross-trained characters roll d12 instead of d20 when determining skill resolution. To distinguish between class OR RACE skills and cross-trained skills on the character sheet use Capital and small letters, respectively.

            Certain races have an natural aptitude with certain skills as indicated on Table 6.1.  To reflect this natural or innate ability, when that character is cross-trained with the designated skill, he rolls d20 for task resolution.  One still rolls d12 for task resolution with a racial skill when making an untrained check.

            A character’s skill rank is zero for those skills in which he has received no training. Regardless of whether a skill belongs to a character’s class or racial allotment; if a character is attempting to use a skill which he is not trained with, then to determine outcome; roll d12 ADDing  appropriate Key Ability modifier, and Armor Penalty and situational modifiers to the die result, but skill rank equals zero.     


concentration:  If a character allots sufficient time (1 xat), removes his helmet, and acts in a prudent manner, roll 2d10 instead of the d20 for skill resolution.  If using a cross-trained or untrained skill, then the character would roll 2d6 instead of d12 when concentrating.  If character is injured during the same time period he is attempting a skill throw, then DC is increased by the number of hit points of damage received while attempting the task or skill.

     Red Planet has greatly simplified character generation; therefore, there are no modifiers to skill throws based upon species.  The character’s race and class determines which skills are available without the cross-training penalty (d20à d12).  There is no need for multi-classed characters or switching classes as it is easy for players to customize their player characters (PCs).
miniatures from REAPER
painted by MidwestMiniatureGuy

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Alchemy, Appraise, BeastMaster, Climb, Craft



ALCHEMY is the skill of making potions, elixirs, oils or balms that have wondrous or magical effects that duplicate spells.   It is a routine (DC 10) alchemy check to identify the nature or contents of a bottle or flask as most potions are labeled in Barsoomian hieroglyphs.  Common examples and purchase price of potions are listed in parenthesis in the table.

In order to concoct a potion, a character needs the necessary material components and access to a proper (1000-4000gc) laboratory.  The GM will tell the PC how much time is required for manufacturing a potion, elixir or balm as well as availability and cost of components.  In general, DC is based on the power of product desired.


12    for 1st level (cure light wounds, remove fear; 50gc),
15       for 2nd level  (haste, spiritual weapon; 100gc),
18  for 3rd level (cure disease, water breathing; 250gc),
21  for 4th level (negate poison, remove curse, 500gc).

  “None of us had come through the conflict unscathed, but the marvelous, healing salves of Barsoom had sufficed, overnight to make us good as new.”   (WM VI)


APPRAISE skill is used to estimate the quality, craftsmanship and value of gemstones, jewelry, artwork, furniture and ornamental items that are ‘liberated.’    If the appraising character is using a magnifying glass (3gc, ½#), he gains  +2 circumstance bonus  on the die  roll.   

It takes a DC 10 appraise skill throw to ascertain the value of prized ores or weapons.  It takes a DC 12 appraise skill to estimate the value of gems.        It takes a DC 14 appraise skill to estimate the value of utensils or jewelry.  It takes a DC 16 appraise skill to estimate the value of paintings, artwork or antique furniture. 

When determining the success of appraise skill throws, the GM (not the player) rolls the die. A successful check means the character correctly estimated the item’s value.  If the character failed his appraise skill throw, the GM informs him that he is stumped (if exotic or rare item) and covertly rolls d20 then multiplies by 10% of item’s true value and gives the PC that ‘estimate.’

A DC 10 appraise skill will recognize a   gadget but will NOT identify the nature and power of the technology or magic.  Mere appraisal of certain items (swords, shields, rings) as magical or special is sufficient in many circumstances to allow usage, as these items often require no special procedure or command words to activate or deploy. Any fool can wield many enchanted weapons, just pick up and attack; however, the PC/ NPC must appreciate the item as a valuable item before he sets aside his familiar mundane weapons, tools or implements.



Beastmaster skill is used in the capturing, training, handling, feeding and breeding of the various domesticated and wild animals found upon the Red Planet. This skill does not allow the character to parley or converse with wild or feral beasts.

“In the course of a few days my thoats were the wonder of the entire community. They would follow me like dogs, rubbing their great snouts against my body in awkward evidence of affection, and respond to my every command with an alacrity and docility which caused the Martian warriors to ascribe to me the possession of some earthly power unknown on Mars.”          (PM XIII)

The time required (3- 8 weeks) to train an animal depends on the intelligence and disposition of the beast.  Obviously, herbivores are easier to train than predators (+4 DC) and insects are to be avoided!  Animals that have been befriended can be trained for a specific task or role:

9        for           pulling or hunting,
12       for       carrying or riding,
15  for            tracking or fighting,
18  for            guarding or performing.

            “While panthans are well paid, they are also great gamblers and notorious spenders, with the result that they are almost always without funds and often reduced to strange expedients for the gaining of livelihood between engagements; a fact which gives plausibility to our possession of a trained ape.”    (MM IX)

Trained animals or beasts may execute some tricks (DC 12); such as ‘post’, ‘fetch’, ‘down’, ‘heel’, ‘sak’ or ‘attack’; however, DC is increased by one for each point of damage that the animal has received.   

My experience with Woola determined me to attempt the experiment of kindness in my treatment of my thoats. First I taught them that they could not unseat me, and even rapped them sharply between the ears to impress upon them my authority and mastery. Then, by degrees, I won their confidence in much the same manner as I had adopted countless times with my many mundane mounts. I was ever a good hand with animals, and by inclination, as well as because it brought more lasting and satisfactory results, I was always kind and humane in my dealings with the lower orders. I could take a human life, if necessary, with far less compunction than that of a poor, unreasoning, irresponsible brute.”                                (PM XIII)



CLIMB skill is used to traverse vertical or rough surfaces.  Climbing characters move at slow pace; however, possession of a climber’s kit (50gp, 5#) grants a +2 circumstance bonus.
With a successful climb check, you may ascend, descend or move sideways 1d6” per action (p.26).       A tie result implies the climber has dropped something, but has successfully moved. If character rolls a natural ‘1’, or fails a climb skill check by 10 or more, he falls (damage from falling is dN per ad fallen, where N is the character’s size score, p.3)   

DC                 Example

 9           elaborate building or ship’s rigging 
12          ruins, mountain, beanstalk, tree
15          wall of dungeon or fortress
20          brick wall or inclined cliff
  25     polished or smooth surface

 +5                   if surface is wet or slimy                    


“Martians are at best but poor climbers.  Upon the entire surface of that ancient planet I never before seen a hill or mountain that exceeded four thousand feet in height above the dead sea bottoms, and as the ascent was usually gradual, nearly to their summits they presented but few opportunities for the practice of climbing.  Nor would the Martians embraced the opportunities as might present themselves, for they could always find a circuitous root about the base of any eminence, and these roads they preferred and followed in preference to the shorter but more arduous ways.”                 (GM II)


CRAFT skill represents a variety of vocations or trades such (d12) as blacksmith, bowyer, carpenter, farmer, mason, miner, merchant, potter, shepherd, tailor, teamster, or vitner.  Craft skill is specific for the chosen occupation or trade.  There is usually no cross relevance; i.e, skill as a wood worker (carpenter) does not apply to traveling in wagons (teamster).

            Craft skill is often used in game situations where characters would like to repair or construct something.  The assigned DC is based upon the tools at hand and the scale of the desired project.  A laborer earns 1sc a day for his toil, while a character with craft skill earns 2-4 sc per 4 zode work day.

            Black pirates may substitute cross-train if they happen to acquire the Craft skill as  “it is criminal for a First Born to labour or invent.”        (GM XIII).

Artwork from
Thomas Yeates