Is such a thing even possible?
I'll be honest, I really want to play as a dinosaur.
Holy shit my childhood.
I'm going to be honest, I don't remember a damn thing bout it because my mom read it to me at bedtime.
Fuck me, but I loved it for the pictures of people riding dinosars.
Map of Dinotopia if anyone is interested.
There's a lot of opportunities to be had in logistics. I recall people flying around on pteranodons and such, delivering messages for example. There weren't any real strife between organized groups as I recall, mostly it was man and dino (and mammoths etc.) vs. elements and predators.
It is portrayed as a Dinosaur/human Utopian society.
All i know off the top of my head there were at least a few nations with only two major nations, Dinotopia and the Chandran Empire.
One thing between the two countries is its is heavily implied that both Dinotopia and Chandra have zero relations and if one wants to think differently, a low intensity cold war with a imaginary DMZ where everyone is like "dun go there, ppl be strange"
I think like, explorers or traders moving through the rainy basin would be cool.
You and your best friend an armored Saltasaurus holding off a carnosaur while the caravan circles its wagons and gets its proper defenses ready.
I may or may not have daydreamed about this as a child.
Did anyone else read the Dinotopia children's series?
Dinotopia is a neat story setting, but low on the RPG style threats. To make for interesting play above the kid/new role-player level level would risk doing grave damage to the setting itself.
Holy shit yes. The one with the underground troudon city kept me up at night. Defeating the "villain" through storytelling, hot damn was that fun to read.
I also remember a dinotopia pirate novel with people in a hot air balloon kidnapping people or something.
I completely support the idea of using Dinotopia as a setting or as the basis for a setting. Those books and the worldbuilding that went into them were some of my earliest creative inspirations.
Thought: You could play a pretty interesting Shadowrun-style game set on the city-island of Poseidos in Dinotopia's ancient past.
Cribbing from the original picture books, the children's readers, the novels and the other bits and pieces of Dinotopian media, I think there's a lot of potential here for different sorts of games and campaigns:
>Playing as the earliest Dinotopians who found shelter from the meteor-strike that killed off the dinosaurs elsewhere in the World Beneath.
>Fighting in the various armed conflicts and altercations that arose between the various superpowers during the continent's ancient "warring empires" period.
>Dinotopians of a time period more contemporary to the books, traveling across the land, seeking out adventure and self-discovery far, far away..
>Any number of shipwrecked people from any number of nations throughout the world, finding themselves in a friendly but extremely alien place with way to go home again.
>A what-if scenario in which Dinotopia was discovered by the outside world at large, exploring the changes, opportunities and dangers that came along with such a discovery.
While there might not be any organized threats in the Dinotopian setting as it exists in the books, I still think that there's a lot of fun to be had. There are always man/saurian vs. nature conflicts as you've mentioned, but you could also run a campaign that is socially-oriented rather than combat-oriented. Not everyone's cup of tea, but many do find those sorts of games fun.
I wonder if Ryutama would be a good Dinotopian system.
>I don't recall there being any kind of organized threats to the social order
Things grimdark'd a bit in Journey to Chandara. There were apocalyptic cults, an increase in bandits and highwaymen (as only Dinotopia could do them), and Chandara had armed forces.
>One of the later bad guys points out precisely that point
Actually Le Crabbe points it out in literally his first appearance, but then Le Crabbe is an asshole so his saying that has roughly the same impact as trying to say that history is sexist because it's a contraction of "his story."
Protip: it's not.
Hot damn I loved those books as a kid, and yeah that Troodon city one was awesome.
Setting aside the open warfare of the continent's past, there are conflicts and troubles in Dinotopia. The key is that these conflicts and troubles are usually solved non-violently, so that any campaign set there would have to be very, combat-light by necessity.
Just because the game wouldn't be combat-focused doesn't mean that it wouldn't be fun.
That picture gives my inner urban designer nightmares.
You mean to tell me that's long-term viable? Water wearing and damage will tear the whole thing to hell, and God help anyone crossing a bridge.
Tell me that's a ruin, and that those poor bastards don't have to hangglider commute every day. Jesus can you imagine teaching your children to hangglide there?! There's no margin of error that's survivable.
I believe it's mentioned in one of the books that the river is diverted every hundred years or so to inspect and repair the foundations of the city. Also, while most of those hang gliders are daredevils, there is a larger "taxi service" glider piloted by professionals that takes passengers from the cliffs to the city. The majority of travelers enter the city by ferries crossing the lake.
While unrealistic, it all makes for a pretty memorable fantastical city of adventure.
I love how Dinotopia (as an IP) exists at all because James Gurney was a seriously talented artist, but he didn't want to paint boring landscapes or boring ol' people. He wanted to paint dinosaurs.
So he wrote Dinotopia expressly as an excuse for him to paint dinosaurs.
Where did you find this map? Is it official? It has a lot more towns, cities and points of interest than I remember from the original books. I look at it and I see a great opportunity for a GM with a worldbuilding inclination to go wild.
I think it's the official map, updated after all the Dinotopia books have added to the original. Could be wrong, though.
Here's a blank PNG of Dinotopia should you desire that, too. Could be useful.
That's pretty awesome. I remember reading the picture books and it being so immersive, with little notes and asides on the culture of the place.
As a response to there being little action in the setting, there is still plenty of narrative room.
Pic related, it's all about helping people and slice of life adventures.
Now imagine that, but with dinosaurs and fantastical architecture.
OP here, let's list what we need in terms of mechanics and game structure.
What's a good model for a game like this? One that focuses on social interaction, exploration, and self discovery.
Obviously a combat simulator like DnD wouldn't work so well, souls we make a GURPS Dinsosaur Suppliment?
One Anon above suggested We use Ryuutama. From the little I know about it, it seems to be a system that favors traveling, adventuring and storytelling over combat and intrigue. Does anyone else know more?
Okay, spitballing here, but maybe this would be better as a roleplay-board game, like Betrayal at House on the Hill or Above and Below.
What I mean is there is the ridged format of a traditional board game combined with the "never the same twice" setup that feels like an organic narrative. Each turn the players should be making personal/moral choices as they encounter new territory.
While a much bigger undertaking than a rules and splat book, it could be much more suited to the themes and pacing of the source material.
Not just heavily implied, a later book (Journey to Chandara) outright states that the capitalist Chandaran empire and the communist/utopian Dinotopian country have little to no interaction, and the main character's visit there is a unique event.
OP here, I see this thread sinking to page 10. So I'll give some time to think about the idea and come back in a bit with what I come up with.
I like the idea of combing Betrayal with some sort of worker placement mechanics.
>tfw you used to love looking at the pictures as a kid but never got around to reading it
>tfw you can't find your copy of it anywhere around your parent's house now
>tfw your mom says she might have given it to the kids down the block after I moved out
Fuck. As a kid, I had less interest in carnivorous dinosaurs. The idea of living with sentient, friendly, gigantic lizards. Dinotopia is doppppe.
A flying lizard strong enough to bear you on his back - basically a flying dolphin.
A plated behemoth, large enough for a wide mount, a horn in front of its face, carrying some friends or clients from place to place. He chats over his shoulder to the passengers, talking about his favorite new grass bar.
A lizard at your waist in height; a youngling. You get to see how it grows and learns. A four-legged creature that learns to speak English. Probably already 400 lbs.
>dat rand mcnally design
>green and blue
Though, roads would be useful. Though if I remember, they use the rivers a lot for transit. Wait, were there plesiosaurs? So awesome.