[Dinoblast] An rpg among dinosaurs and laster blasts

Started by celledor, April 21, 2012, 08:28:47 PM

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I have several rpg project and now I need some feedback...
So I post a link to one of them here: http://www.veus.se/Dinoblast.pdf, it is only 19 pages long and the rules are simple.

I hope someone here can read and and tell me what they think.
I have found an illustrator that will do a cover page and I will update the pdf now and then.

The game is about humans 250 million years into the future where dinosaurs once agian live on earth. It is highley inspired by Dino Riders so there will be lots of laser weapons.


Hello Celledor,

I took a quick look over the game and will give you my first impression: both good and bad. First off your layout is quite good. I'm assuming you have some graphic arts background or a natural gift. The premise is an interesting one but I felt that the game had a lot of raw ingredients tossed into a bowl and not blended or baked yet. Spelling and some sentence structure needs more attention.

The four classes reminded me immediatly of white box D&D ergo Fighter/Fighter, Science Officer/Magic User, Medical Officer/Cleric and Ranger-not so much-Thief. The damage and armor looked to be good with the 1-2-3-4 used throughout. Figuring out the costs for beasts/dinos requires a calculator. Never do anything that requires a calculator unless it is Classic Traveller. "Droid" is Star Wars, enough said.

The cities remind me of cryptic alliances of Gamma World. This is not a bad thing and gives a multi-faceted background for characters and places to have adventures in. Two cities look like they will be at eternal war due to their different world views. A map or a dozen maps would help in seeing the world and the relation of the cities to each other.

Big Complaint!!! there is next to nothing for the game master i.e. it looks like a players handbook. My personal theory on game master/player ratios in a stand alone game is a minimum of 2/3rds of the book is useful to the game master, 1/3rd for  the players.

Dinosaurs are cool but with cybernetics they should be enhanced so they can carry larger wings so they can carry a man. Alkysaurs and tricerotops could have cupolas for sheltering a human or even be a travelling rv. Power packs could be implanted subdermally to allow for enhanced speed, strength, endurance or what ever.Genetic modification should allow for some cool enhancements for game play.

My biggest advice is to think through the things you have in the game and figure out how to integrate them more to a complete whole.

I have a few suggestions for things to read and view that may help with some of the ideas and how to integrate them.

Cadillacs & Dinosaurs graphic novels by Marc Schultz see if you can pick up a copy from www.budplant.com
BBC  Walking with Dinosaurs series:

Walking with Dinosaurs
Walking with Prehistoric Beasts
Walking with Monsters

A & E has: The Future is Wild

Find the game of cowboys & dinosaurs I think it is called: Brontosaurus Rex or something along those lines

Good Luck and keep us updated,
Idea men are a dime a dozen--and overpriced!


Thank you for taking the time and for good feedback.

I have no graphic arts background but I do have several diffrent projects and play around with photoshop now and then as needed.

You are right that there are a lot of diffrent ideas mixed together and the more I work with this project the more focused and coherent things will become.

Spelling and all that will come when all other things are more or less done (I can't write and think of grammar at the same time).

I do agree that Droids are starwars, and I think I used the word robot or android in other parts of the text.

The cities are there to be a base for conflict and places to return and regroup and I will probably add some more depth and detail to each.

About text for game master you are right, I will see what I can add. To this point I have wanted to keep it as simple as possible but there might be lots (of needed info) I can add without making it to complex and long.

Cybernetics, genetic manipulaton might come in a modul but will only be mentioned as most factions want to make as small changes to the world as possible and keep the evolution natural. At this point I don't want it to be a big part of the game, but perhaps it fits for some factions to use it.

Perhaps one with only natural dinos + gear.
One with cyper enhanced dinos and other augmentations.
And one that don't really use dinos but mostley robots and normal vehicles.

May I ask if you have anything to say about the rules for combat, skill using etc?

Thanks for the read and view tips, I will look into them when I get the time.
And thanks again for the feedback, will try to update soon.


I'm a big fan of mixing dinosaurs with anything, especially lasers.

In terms of the rules PDF you posted I agree that it's laid out very well, especially the futuristic font used for headers. I like the use of consistent scale images for each of the dinosaurs as well, and the blank hexes on the character sheet for tracking damage and experience.

In terms of the rules themselves I get a generally...conflicted? feel from them. What I mean is in some ways your game appears like it wants to be complex / involve a lot of math (ie: plethora of skills, armor calculations, etc.) but then other areas seem almost TOO simple (combat, mainly). It's like you're stuck between a fully narrative game and a more traditional D&D style RPG. I'd recommend choosing one path or the other and sticking to it, instead of muddying the waters by trying to settle for a middle ground.
For example damage, where you basically replaced numbers with levels of damage. So Light maps to 1-4 damage, etc. This feels like a compromise where you aren't really removing complexity (since players still have to track values) and actually make the game a bit more confusing. It's sort of like mapping Damage and Megadamage in GURPS, especially when the Giraffatitan can suffer 20 Light...at that point you're basically counting Hitpoints.
Personally I prefer a more tactical approach, so keep that in mind with the feedback I've given.

An issue I struggled with in my own dinosaur genre bending game was making dinosaurs "cool" and mechanically unique. As it stands it looks like your dinosaurs play pretty much like humans with more hitpoints, unless I missed something. How would they play out in combat? How would they be interesting enough to excite the imagination?

Anyways Dinoblast looks interesting for a first draft, and I think with a bit of time and effort you can tighten up the focus, background, and rules.
Author of the Dinosaur Cowboys skirmish game.


Oh and I forgot to say that "The Future is Wild" series Keith posted looks neato. A couple of other areas of media with genre mixing that might interest you:

The comic series Cadillacs & Dinosaurs was based on:

Time travellers hunting dinosaurs for food:

Probably already heard of Turok:

The Lost World and Journey to the Center of the Earth are both great books with dinosaur + human interaction:

Dinotopia is terrific simply for the artwork:

The previously mentioned Broncosaurus Rex D20 RPG:

Old GURPS Dinosaurs book with TONS of dinosaur stats, which could be inspiring:

Computer game Paraworld:

More recent browser game Dino Storm:
Author of the Dinosaur Cowboys skirmish game.


Well I actually want to find something in the middle...

A fully narrative game isn't what I want (not my type of games) and a traditional D&D style RPG usually have to many and to complex rules.
I want a few simple rules that allows a fast but "structured" gameplay... but I'm not there yet.

You are true that the combat/health system needs more work and I have already made som changed.
I found that if on had a Giraffatitan with heavy armor it would take a huge amount to take it down so I also need to change how armor works.

I think the idea for make the rules more tactical is a good thing.

And you are probably right about the dinosaurs that they on a "rule level" should be cool.
Thanks for the feedback and the links, I will look through them.


It sounds like a tough balance to strike but I wish you luck. I think going for a middle ground just ends up being not narrative enough for the narrative crowd and not crunchy enough for the math crowd, but maybe you can find the right amount of each for your group.

Anyways I'll be interested to see how it progresses!
Author of the Dinosaur Cowboys skirmish game.