[Let’s Study: John Carter of Mars] Part 5: Experience and Renown

Evolving a character in the John Carter RPG comes in two forms: Experience and Renown. Experience is a means of tracking internal character growth, while Renown is how you’ll track how much they affect the setting.


On average, a Character gains 1-3 experience points per session, with a higher end of story arc experience rate of about 3-5. Experience spends are used to do the following:

  • Add a Talent (at 5xp per Grade)
  • Change a Flaw
  • Increase an Attribute (up to three times)
  • Add a piece of core equipment


Renown is a resource that represents the social impact of a character and is spent to buy allies, titles and other perks relating to their fame.

Renown is used to measure the reputation and fame of the character, making them easier to recognize (a troublesome feature if you want to do things without the attention,) and also for leveraging your reputation to get favors and allies.

Allies and Titles are called Accolades, and are the key source of Renown spends. Allies represent specific friends or general allies you can call on for help or assistance. Depending on the scale of this assistance or Title, the Renown costs go from meager to significant.

But is it worth it? Heck yes. John Carter has always been a setting that has heavy focus on the Titles that the titular character bore, and the friends he made throughout his adventures and I’m glad that it works this way in the game as well.

Thoughts on Experience and Renown

Overall the Experience and Renown systems are neat additions that compliment the tone of John Carter. A lot of player characters are very isolated, self-contained one-man armies that tend to never really bother with the society.

Not so with the characters here in John Carter. Given that you’re practically superhuman, it’s not surprising that you’ll end up getting not just attention, but the ranks that happen when people of authority start awarding you for your daring deeds.

Next up, we’ll be taking a quick look at the setting chapters of the book!

If you’d like to check out the game, you can get it in PDF over a DriveThruRPG!

Physical copies are best ordered through the Modiphius Webstore, where you can find everything including some splendid miniatures you can use!

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