System Agnostic: Dinosaur Hunter


[this is an expanded version of a post from my other blog – Karavansara]

The postman delivered today my Halloween gift1, Steve White’s Dinosaur Hunter, freshly pressed by Osprey Publishing.
Yes, that Osprey Publishing – the one that had me spending extravagant amounts of money on marvelously-illustrated, authoritative books about pirates, samurai, assorted World Wars and what else.

Described as The Ultimate Guide to the Biggest Game, White’s book is basically a handbook for, well, big game hunters interested in bagging themselves a dinosaur.

The book – which comes in a backpack-friendly 200+ pages thick paperback – is essentially the orientation manual for those lucky individuals that have passed the preliminary selection for a Mesozoic hunting license.
Mesozoic Hunting Corporation (C) provides the gear and the means of transportation.

The book offers survival tips, hunting strategies, detailed files on the most important dinosaurs for 5 different locations, corresponding to five times (from Triassic to Late Cretaceous) and different faunas.
And case histories, and of course, customer endorsements.
Everything’s presented “in character”.
The lot is illustrated with pleasant sketch-like images of the dinosaurs themselves.
And the paleontology – for what I’ve seen so far – is correct and up to date.

This is a very nice little book, and it intersects practically all of my interests
. I can put it on my paleontology shelf
. certainly there’s little out there that’s more pulp-style than dinosaur hunting
. and this is a wonderful, “system agnostic” handbook to go with any good RPG System – Savage Worlds comes to mind, and of course the excellent Hollow Earth Expeditions.

The modern-day/near future style of the handbook does not allow, alas, to adopt this as a ready-made handout for Hollow Earth Expeditions – but on the other hand makes for a great foundation for some home-brew gaming.
Adding a generic system (the already mentioned SW, Fate or BasicRPG) is pretty straightforward.

Required documentatio for such a game includes Lyon Sprague De Camp’s A Gun for Dinosaur, which was adapted as a radio drama, and here it is…

And yes, this one works great as a handout.
Have fun!

  1. yes, I give myself gifts at Halloween, so sue me. 
Categories: Anything Else, Pulp Games, Reading for fun and gaming | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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