Buy | Submit | TRMGS1 | TRMGS2 | TRMGS3 | TRMGS4 |TRMGS Main | Heliograph Main


The Complete Canal Priests Of Mars is now available!

The original publication of Canal Priests Of Mars cut slightly over a third of author Marcus L. Rowland's manuscript to fit GDW's adventure format. The Complete Canal Priests Of Mars restores the cut material, features all new artwork by Paul Daly, and adds many useful player handouts. Enjoy the "author's cut" of a classic Space 1889 adventure, or experience it for the first time!

See our Buy It! page for more information!

Old news is still available on the News Page.

101 Uses for Liftwood

by Mark Clark

Well, we don't really have 101 uses for liftwood, but the following suggestions should give you a good start on your own list. After all, not all that liftwood lying around on Mars is going to be used for aerial ships, don't you think? Especially if imaginative player characters are anywhere to be found...


If there is any problem the average adventurer complains about more than the encumbrance rules, I don't know what it is. It seems that there is always that one piece of equipment Vital To The Mission that had to be left behind because it would be the straw that would break the camel's back.

Well, now you can do something about those complaints -- the Liftwood-Assisted Backpack. You can stuff things in to your heart's content, and never leave that crucial item behind again

Of course, you'd better make sure it stays vertical -- if you get those liftwood panels out of line the weight comes back. It's a feedback system, after all -- the farther you lean over the heavier it gets.

This leads, of course, to the New And Improved Liftwood-Assisted Backpack Mark II. It comes complete with trim controls and a trained monkey to operate them. You'll never have to worry about bending over to tie your shoes again. Monkey food extra, of course...


All of the liftwood-based weapons in the book are big and bulky -- not much fun if your player character isn't rich enough to buy a cloudship. So, for those players, how about a liftwood-buoyed hand grenade? You can throw it farther, and it can be packed with more high explosive without straining your wrists.

For those with time on their hands, why not train a pigeon to pull the liftwood-buoyed hand grenade along, homing on your target? This is clearly a fire-and-forget weapon, unless it turns out that the pigeon has taken a liking to you and does not want to leave.

Finally, what can we do for those real PowerGamers® in your campaign who always want to carry the biggest gun they possibly can (and insist on taking it everywhere -- the bathroom, to church, to bed with them...)? Now there is a solution -- a liftwood stock for that really big rifle so your player won't get so tired carrying it. Explosive ammunition extra.


If you are planning an expedition to the Martian polar regions, you'll appreciate liftwood snow shoes -- every step is just that much easier, speeding you on your way to The Ice Caves Of Death And Dismemberment®.

On a more cheerful note, have you ever fallen out of an aerial flyer? Didn't that just ruin your whole day? Never fear, the solution is at hand -- the Liftwood Life Vest. For skyship deck crew (or for NPCs who annoy the player characters so much they get thrown overboard), the trim of these vests is normally set to be non-buoyant. If you fall overboard, a simple twist of the handle and you touch down light as a feather. The vests are also useful for helping transport an overland expedition's wounded (say, for example, folks who have visited the Ice Caves Of Death And Dismemberment®).

For paranoid players who fear being knocked unconscious and then falling out of an aerial flyer, backup systems are available (or should we say "backpack systems?"). Remember that trained monkey? He'll pull that lever for you, at least if you've kept him well supplied with bananas.

High Places

Liftwood flyers are not the only places for player characters to get the ground. Seems those pesky villains are always hiding somewhere like the top of Really Tall Jagged Mountain.

Never fear, our liftwood engineers have developed liftwood-assisted rope ladders with grappling hooks. You can use them for mountain climbing, for siege escalades, or loan them to the fire department so that they can get kittens out of trees.

For those big tall buildings in Martian cities with no way to get to the top floor, Liftwood elevators are now at your service. They are perfect for exploring all of those abandoned Martian towers. Just be sure to take along some treats for the trained elevator operator -- he looks rather spiffy in his tight little monkey suit (though he could use a shave).

The Fine Arts

Can't bear to be parted from that portrait of yourself? A Liftwood frame is just the thing you need -- makes art as portable as canned beans.

And it's not just paintings -- with liftwood paper you can take along all those novels, maps, and reference books you had to leave at home before. Just think, for the first time you'll be able to properly call for help when that exotic beast is chewing on your leg, instead of shouting incoherently something like "Get that unknown thing off me, aaargh..."

For The Ladies

We cannot forget the ladies, especially those left at home while their husbands are out Saving The Empire.® So, fellows, why not please them with a little something from our laboratory -- liftwood kitchen counters. You can save space underneath by doing away with all those terribly disruptive supports. And if your wife doesn't like where they are, she can just give them a push and move them somewhere else, or adjust the trim and make liftwood cupboards. Hopefully it will keep her so busy she won't notice you've left again to Save The Planet From Unspeakable Horror.

If you do decide to bring the wife along, why not get her our lovely Liftwood-Ribbed Sunshade? You just tether it, and it floats over you to protect from the harsh sun in the Martian desert skies. Only if it's not too windy, of course -- for those conditions we recommend the New And Improved LiftWood-Ribbed Sunshade Mark II equipped with...what was that you said? You're tired of that joke? Okay, we won't mention the M-word again? Happy? Good, I guess you can put that cricket bat away.

Anyway, we do have one other device the ladies will love, especially those afflicted with Roleplaying Game Female Body Shape Syndrome (you know, where it looks like they're trying to smuggle large cantaloupes under their shirtwaists?). To ease the inevitable lower back pain, we offer liftwood stays instead of whalebone for corsets. They lift and separate, which is more than we can say for the alternatives.

The Dark Side

The second biggest problem with being an Evil Genius (the first of course being the high cost of hunchbacked assistants) is finding a reliable energy source to power the Big Diabolical Machine That Will Enslave The World And Make A Good Dry Martini. At last, we have the device that answers the many requests we have received from World Crime League's board of directors.

Yes, that's right, it's the Liftwood Perpetual-Motion-Machine Motor. The motive force is provided by having the panels on one side of a rotating wheel toggle into lift position and on the other move to neutral buoyancy. The Canal Priest of Mars used one -- why not your favorite bad guy?

Of course, to work the machine properly you need a trained operator, preferably a monke...Hey, stop that, let me go! I'm not finished with all 101 uses y.....

P.S. Many thanks to all those on the Space 1889 email list ( who contributed their ideas.

Posted Monday, 04-May-2009 19:51:16 EDT

Return to Main Page

Comments to

The material on this page is Copyright 2000 under the author or artist's name unless noted otherwise, and cannot be used without permission. This presentation Copyright 2000 by Heliograph, Inc. Space:1889 is a registered trademark of Frank Chadwick, all rights reserved, and is used with his permission. Most other game, movie, or book names may be trademarks of their respective holders, and use of a trademark at this site should not be construed as implying the sponsorship of the trademark holder, nor, conversely, should use of the name of any product without mention of trademark status be construed as a challenge to such status. Heck no! We love those guys.