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Author Topic: The Implications of Embracing Dinosaurs in the Campaign  (Read 1008 times)

SHARK

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The Implications of Embracing Dinosaurs in the Campaign
« on: April 28, 2021, 07:11:33 PM »
Greetings!

Dinosaurs often feature prominently in GONZO campaigns, with little attention paid to verisimilitude and all that. However, assuming you are running a standard campaign, with only flavorings of GONZO added into such in a limited degree, what are some of the implications that you might consider with Dinosaurs being not necessarily globally dominant, but still regionally prominent? Mixing with more animals and mammals, and also the effects on human societies, as well as communities of humanoids?

Semper Fidelis,

SHARK
"It is the Marine Corps that will strip away the façade so easily confused with self. It is the Corps that will offer the pain needed to buy the truth. And at last, each will own the privilege of looking inside himself  to discover what truly resides there. Comfort is an illusion. A false security bred from familiar things and familiar ways. It narrows the mind. Weakens the body. And robs the soul of spirit and determination. Comfort is neither welcome nor tolerated here."

"Courage is not the absence of fear, but is doing what you have to, in spite of the fear."
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Jam The MF

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Re: The Implications of Embracing Dinosaurs in the Campaign
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2021, 07:22:31 PM »
Sword & Sorcery style setting, with a remnant of Dinosaurs still present.  Not so many, that they would dominate the setting.  Random encounters from time to time.
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jhkim

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Re: The Implications of Embracing Dinosaurs in the Campaign
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2021, 07:47:18 PM »
Dinosaurs often feature prominently in GONZO campaigns, with little attention paid to verisimilitude and all that. However, assuming you are running a standard campaign, with only flavorings of GONZO added into such in a limited degree, what are some of the implications that you might consider with Dinosaurs being not necessarily globally dominant, but still regionally prominent? Mixing with more animals and mammals, and also the effects on human societies, as well as communities of humanoids?

From the title about embracing, I was picturing something more like this:



:)

In terms of realism, I think dinosaurs are unlikely to compete well with mammals. In our imaginations, bigger is better and so of course huge dinosaurs would win out over smaller creatures -- but evolutionarily, land animals have mostly been getting smaller.

If they could survive, I think they'd have a similar effect on societies as elephants and bears - respected and painted about - but still hunted and killed.

Pat

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Re: The Implications of Embracing Dinosaurs in the Campaign
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2021, 08:14:57 PM »
In terms of realism, I think dinosaurs are unlikely to compete well with mammals. In our imaginations, bigger is better and so of course huge dinosaurs would win out over smaller creatures -- but evolutionarily, land animals have mostly been getting smaller.

If they could survive, I think they'd have a similar effect on societies as elephants and bears - respected and painted about - but still hunted and killed.
I think your "realism" is just class bias. Dinosaurs competed with mammals for about 150 million years, and mammals never even got a foothold in any of the niches held by dinosaurs.

Also, it's not true that animal have been getting smaller. There were huge dinosaurs in the late Jurassic as well as in the Late Cretaceous, separated by almost 100 million years. Probiscideans are the largest terrestrial mammals throughout the following Cenozoic, and were truly huge by 20 million years ago (deinotheres), but most of the largest species were from the last few million years, including perhaps the largest land mammal of all time (Palaeoloxodon namadicus). Not to mention that the largest animal of all time exists today (the blue whale, and a dozen other extant species are spectacularly huge as well, even by the standards of their cetacean ancestors).

You're probably thinking of the size shift between the Age of Dinosaurs and the Age of Mammals. Which is real, but seems to be related to reproductive strategies and biological limits, not a trend toward smallness. There are limits on how big you can get, when you give birth to live young and provide extensive parental care. That's why newborn elephants, giraffes, and whales are big. Contrast that with 100 ton sauropod dinosaurs, who hatched from eggs smaller than an ostrich's.

SHARK

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Re: The Implications of Embracing Dinosaurs in the Campaign
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2021, 08:15:39 PM »
Dinosaurs often feature prominently in GONZO campaigns, with little attention paid to verisimilitude and all that. However, assuming you are running a standard campaign, with only flavorings of GONZO added into such in a limited degree, what are some of the implications that you might consider with Dinosaurs being not necessarily globally dominant, but still regionally prominent? Mixing with more animals and mammals, and also the effects on human societies, as well as communities of humanoids?

From the title about embracing, I was picturing something more like this:



:)

In terms of realism, I think dinosaurs are unlikely to compete well with mammals. In our imaginations, bigger is better and so of course huge dinosaurs would win out over smaller creatures -- but evolutionarily, land animals have mostly been getting smaller.

If they could survive, I think they'd have a similar effect on societies as elephants and bears - respected and painted about - but still hunted and killed.

Greetings!

Very nice drawing there, Jhkim! ;D It made me laugh. I like it. I also love T-Rexes, so there's that.

*laughing* "Respected and Painted about"--nice, too. I agree. I think lots of people would eagerly eat dinosaurs!

Semper Fidelis,

SHARK
"It is the Marine Corps that will strip away the façade so easily confused with self. It is the Corps that will offer the pain needed to buy the truth. And at last, each will own the privilege of looking inside himself  to discover what truly resides there. Comfort is an illusion. A false security bred from familiar things and familiar ways. It narrows the mind. Weakens the body. And robs the soul of spirit and determination. Comfort is neither welcome nor tolerated here."

"Courage is not the absence of fear, but is doing what you have to, in spite of the fear."
"Let Death and Fire Be Their Portion!"
"Delenda Est Parthia!"

GeekyBugle

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Re: The Implications of Embracing Dinosaurs in the Campaign
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2021, 08:26:15 PM »
Dinosaurs often feature prominently in GONZO campaigns, with little attention paid to verisimilitude and all that. However, assuming you are running a standard campaign, with only flavorings of GONZO added into such in a limited degree, what are some of the implications that you might consider with Dinosaurs being not necessarily globally dominant, but still regionally prominent? Mixing with more animals and mammals, and also the effects on human societies, as well as communities of humanoids?

From the title about embracing, I was picturing something more like this:



:)

In terms of realism, I think dinosaurs are unlikely to compete well with mammals. In our imaginations, bigger is better and so of course huge dinosaurs would win out over smaller creatures -- but evolutionarily, land animals have mostly been getting smaller.

If they could survive, I think they'd have a similar effect on societies as elephants and bears - respected and painted about - but still hunted and killed.

Greetings!

Very nice drawing there, Jhkim! ;D It made me laugh. I like it. I also love T-Rexes, so there's that.

*laughing* "Respected and Painted about"--nice, too. I agree. I think lots of people would eagerly eat dinosaurs!

Semper Fidelis,

SHARK

Only the breast, I don't really like the wings, drumsticks or anything else from the chicken thank you. Well except the eggs, I love eggs.
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SHARK

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Re: The Implications of Embracing Dinosaurs in the Campaign
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2021, 08:34:45 PM »
Dinosaurs often feature prominently in GONZO campaigns, with little attention paid to verisimilitude and all that. However, assuming you are running a standard campaign, with only flavorings of GONZO added into such in a limited degree, what are some of the implications that you might consider with Dinosaurs being not necessarily globally dominant, but still regionally prominent? Mixing with more animals and mammals, and also the effects on human societies, as well as communities of humanoids?

From the title about embracing, I was picturing something more like this:



:)

In terms of realism, I think dinosaurs are unlikely to compete well with mammals. In our imaginations, bigger is better and so of course huge dinosaurs would win out over smaller creatures -- but evolutionarily, land animals have mostly been getting smaller.

If they could survive, I think they'd have a similar effect on societies as elephants and bears - respected and painted about - but still hunted and killed.

Greetings!

Very nice drawing there, Jhkim! ;D It made me laugh. I like it. I also love T-Rexes, so there's that.

*laughing* "Respected and Painted about"--nice, too. I agree. I think lots of people would eagerly eat dinosaurs!

Semper Fidelis,

SHARK

Only the breast, I don't really like the wings, drumsticks or anything else from the chicken thank you. Well except the eggs, I love eggs.

Greetings!

DINOSAUR OMELETTE!!!! ;D

That would be pretty cool, thinking about it. Imagine roadside taverns serving up Velociraptor egg omelette. Also made with cheese from the local dairy!

BRINGING BACK BITE TO BREAKFAST! ;D

Semper Fidelis,

SHARK
"It is the Marine Corps that will strip away the façade so easily confused with self. It is the Corps that will offer the pain needed to buy the truth. And at last, each will own the privilege of looking inside himself  to discover what truly resides there. Comfort is an illusion. A false security bred from familiar things and familiar ways. It narrows the mind. Weakens the body. And robs the soul of spirit and determination. Comfort is neither welcome nor tolerated here."

"Courage is not the absence of fear, but is doing what you have to, in spite of the fear."
"Let Death and Fire Be Their Portion!"
"Delenda Est Parthia!"

S'mon

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Re: The Implications of Embracing Dinosaurs in the Campaign
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2021, 02:34:52 AM »
but evolutionarily, land animals have mostly been getting smaller.

Only since humans appeared and started killing all the big ones.
Usually, being the biggest is a good strategy. Just not when there are humans.

David Johansen

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Re: The Implications of Embracing Dinosaurs in the Campaign
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2021, 09:22:36 AM »
There was the time in a Chivalry and Sorcery third edition game when the GM said, "you come around the corner and there's a fucking tyranosaurus rex."  We said, "We back away quietly, he probably wants his privacy."  The GM just stared blankly, as we snickered, he had no idea what he'd just said.
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GeekyBugle

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Re: The Implications of Embracing Dinosaurs in the Campaign
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2021, 11:41:50 AM »
There was the time in a Chivalry and Sorcery third edition game when the GM said, "you come around the corner and there's a fucking tyranosaurus rex."  We said, "We back away quietly, he probably wants his privacy."  The GM just stared blankly, as we snickered, he had no idea what he'd just said.

A smart decision mixed with a double entendre and a pun... I salute you. 8)
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jhkim

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Re: The Implications of Embracing Dinosaurs in the Campaign
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2021, 02:29:52 PM »
Pat and S'mon had some criticism of a short comment I made - but I think it's being misinterpreted.

I should explain what I'm arguing against. Many people truly subscribe to a premise of the Jurassic Park and Jurassic World stories -- that if only dinosaurs were re-introduced into the world, that they would take over and become dominant again, possibly even pushing out humans. It's not my field and I can't definitively disprove it. However, I think that most people believe that for unscientific reasons - that dinosaurs are cool and big and rawr!

Personally, I think it's highly likely that if dinosaurs were re-introduced into the world, that they would be ill adapted to current conditions and would mostly go extinct again. I would note that there has been plenty of time for lizards and/or birds to evolve to larger size since the time of the dinosaurs, but they haven't. Large land-based birds have mostly survived only in small niches like on Australia.


In terms of realism, I think dinosaurs are unlikely to compete well with mammals. In our imaginations, bigger is better and so of course huge dinosaurs would win out over smaller creatures -- but evolutionarily, land animals have mostly been getting smaller.

If they could survive, I think they'd have a similar effect on societies as elephants and bears - respected and painted about - but still hunted and killed.
I think your "realism" is just class bias. Dinosaurs competed with mammals for about 150 million years, and mammals never even got a foothold in any of the niches held by dinosaurs.

Also, it's not true that animal have been getting smaller. (...) You're probably thinking of the size shift between the Age of Dinosaurs and the Age of Mammals. Which is real, but seems to be related to reproductive strategies and biological limits, not a trend toward smallness. There are limits on how big you can get, when you give birth to live young and provide extensive parental care.
but evolutionarily, land animals have mostly been getting smaller.

Only since humans appeared and started killing all the big ones.
Usually, being the biggest is a good strategy. Just not when there are humans.

Pat and S'mon -- you each claim I'm wrong because there was only one shift downwards is size -- but you cite different shifts. So there are at least two trends downwards in size since the Age of Dinosaurs -- with the rise of mammals and the rise of humans. And there is no shift upwards in size that I know of. I'm not saying that every era always has smaller animals than the last, but two shifts down and none up is notable.

The point on topic is -- what would happen if dinosaurs were around? Do you have thoughts on that?

Omega

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Re: The Implications of Embracing Dinosaurs in the Campaign
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2021, 03:13:40 PM »
From the title about embracing, I was picturing something more like this:



:)

In terms of realism, I think dinosaurs are unlikely to compete well with mammals. In our imaginations, bigger is better and so of course huge dinosaurs would win out over smaller creatures -- but evolutionarily, land animals have mostly been getting smaller.

If they could survive, I think they'd have a similar effect on societies as elephants and bears - respected and painted about - but still hunted and killed.

Same here.

As for bigger vs smaller. Keep in mind that for millions of years everything seemed to be going bigger and bigger. If recall right the reason for smaller and smaller in mammals is one of environment.  And keep in mind even mammals spent time getting bigger and bigger before that started changing.

If recall right, areas where food is scarcer tend to cause the wildlife to get smaller over time as a larger body just cant be sustained. And as one gets smaller usually others follow along the food chain.

oggsmash

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Re: The Implications of Embracing Dinosaurs in the Campaign
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2021, 03:16:58 PM »
Dinosaurs often feature prominently in GONZO campaigns, with little attention paid to verisimilitude and all that. However, assuming you are running a standard campaign, with only flavorings of GONZO added into such in a limited degree, what are some of the implications that you might consider with Dinosaurs being not necessarily globally dominant, but still regionally prominent? Mixing with more animals and mammals, and also the effects on human societies, as well as communities of humanoids?

From the title about embracing, I was picturing something more like this:



:)

In terms of realism, I think dinosaurs are unlikely to compete well with mammals. In our imaginations, bigger is better and so of course huge dinosaurs would win out over smaller creatures -- but evolutionarily, land animals have mostly been getting smaller.

If they could survive, I think they'd have a similar effect on societies as elephants and bears - respected and painted about - but still hunted and killed.

   Well the main reason they got smaller was oxygen content in the air right?  bigger animals need "richer" air.  Not because they could not compete, that and world ending disasters have been triggers to the downsizing of animals whether dinosaurs or mammals  (less sunlight - less plants - less oxygen in the air and less food for herbivores- etc).  But if the competitors are in the dino environment (plenty of sun and Oxygen in the air) I am not so sure mammals get the foothold they were able to get by being more adaptable to a changed environment.   No mammal foothold, no people.

 

S'mon

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Re: The Implications of Embracing Dinosaurs in the Campaign
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2021, 03:27:31 PM »
The point on topic is -- what would happen if dinosaurs were around? Do you have thoughts on that?

1. The big ones would have trouble breathing - there's less oxygen in the air than during the Cretaceous. A lot of big land animals went extinct as modern humans expanded worldwide, but yes I think upper size limits are currently lower.
2. They certainly wouldn't take over the world. I guess humans would try to preserve them from going extinct again.

jhkim

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Re: The Implications of Embracing Dinosaurs in the Campaign
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2021, 03:55:35 PM »
Well the main reason they got smaller was oxygen content in the air right?  bigger animals need "richer" air.  Not because they could not compete, that and world ending disasters have been triggers to the downsizing of animals whether dinosaurs or mammals  (less sunlight - less plants - less oxygen in the air and less food for herbivores- etc).  But if the competitors are in the dino environment (plenty of sun and Oxygen in the air) I am not so sure mammals get the foothold they were able to get by being more adaptable to a changed environment.   No mammal foothold, no people.

I hadn't known about this previously, but from search, it seems the high oxygen content is a partly outdated theory. Higher oxygen does support larger animals, and increasing oxygen may help explain the rise of dinosaurs compared to earlier ages. However, it is just one among many factors and it doesn't explain the fall of dinosaurs since oxygen levels are apparently higher today. This was from 2013:

Quote
The results of this comprehensive study suggest that atmospheric oxygen during most of the past 220 million years was considerably lower than today's 21 per cent.

"We suggest numbers between 10 and 15 per cent," said Tappert.

These oxygen concentrations are not only lower than today but also considerably lower than the majority of previous investigations propose for the same time period. For the Cretaceous period (65 to 145 million years ago), for example, up to 30 per cent atmospheric oxygen has been suggested previously.
Source: https://www.firstpost.com/tech/news-analysis/atmospheric-oxygen-during-dinosaurs-time-much-lower-than-assumed-says-study-2-3641691.html

And an update from 2019:

Quote
“We tested rocks from the Colorado Plateau and the Newark Basin that formed at the same time about 621 miles (1,000 km) apart on the supercontinent of Pangea,” said Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Professor Morgan Schaller, lead author of the study.

“Our results show that over a period of around 3 million years, the oxygen levels in the atmosphere jumped from around 15% to around 19%. For comparison, there is 21% oxygen in today’s atmosphere.”
Source: http://www.sci-news.com/paleontology/elevated-levels-oxygen-rise-north-american-dinosaurs-07521.html