Dinotopia for Fate, Part 3

Today I’m back with more stuff about a Dinotopia RPG, following up on the two original posts about Dinotopia for Fate. As a modular system, we’ve already got everything we need to run a Dinotopia campaign but if you’re aiming to try it then here are a few NPCs to get the ball rolling!

Nameless NPCs

Human Villager (Average)

Aspects: Keeping My Corner of the Island Healthy

Skills: Average (+1) Crafts, Average (+1) Traditions

Much of the landscape of Dinotopia is dotted with small settlements: farming communities in the Northern Plains, cliffside artisan colonies in the eastern canyons, fishing villages in Blackwood Flats, and so on. The people in these villages are usually born there and they live quiet, unassuming lives in friendly communities. This is not to say that conflict doesn’t enter the picture, of course, just that they try to handle it reasonably and then get back to the more important parts of life.

Adaptation: There are just as many dinosaur villagers (maybe more) in Dinotopia and these skills and aspect work just as well for them. Just add another specie saspect to draw from to distinguish these members of the community.

Hungry Predator (Good)

Aspects: You’re in My World Now, Skilled Hunter

Skills: Good (+3) Fight, Fair (+2) Stealth, Average (+1) Physique and Notice

While most species on Dinotopia get along, the predatory species of the Rainy Basin are more violent. They may attack and kill other species to slate their enormous hunger, though they can often be bought off with offerings of fish or other meat. Caravans traversing the jungles of the Rainy Basin always travel prepared but a small group or even a lost, lone traveler could be in real danger.

Adaptation: These stats are good for a predator close to human size, such as a deinonychus or herrerasaurs. For larger species, such as tyrannosaurus and spinosaurus,  include the appropriate Skill modifiers to reflect their size.

Sauropod Traveler (Fair)

Aspects: Between Here and There, Well-Traveled Diplodocus

Skills: Fair (+2) Travel and Contacts; Average (+1) Traditions, Athletics, and Physique; and Poor (-1) Stealth and Notice.

Many denizens of Dinotopia travel long distances for adventure, to see friends, or just to find good weather. The champion travelers, though, are the sauropod families who move constantly and frequently travel the length and breadth of the island in short order. These giant walkers can be a helpful contact on the road or provide transportation to those willing to ride on their backs.

Adaptation: The “Diplodocus” part of the species aspect can be switched out freely for any of the gigantic sauropod species. This NPC could also be another sort of dinosaur or human traveler with a different species aspect and some Skills adjustments: the Skills above have been adjusted to reflect the gigantic size of a diplodocus, but you can change Athletics, Physique, Stealth, and Notice for smaller sizes too.

Dinotopia - Streets of Chandara
Image © James Gurney

Skybax and Rider (Fair)

Aspects: Bonded Pair, Seen the World from the Clouds

Skills (Skybax): Fair (+2) Athletics and Notice, Fair (+1) Empathy

Skills (Rider): Fair (+2) Athletics and Rapport, Fair (+1) Contacts

The skybax riders are an important facet of Dinotopian culture, carrying messages across the island, searching for lost parties, and making sure that any new arrivals are quickly met and helped. It’s a demanding and dangerous profession since mistakes can mean a dramatic plunge to the ground, but those who excel at it rarely think of doing anything else.

Supporting NPCs

Bigtusk and Morraine, Habitat Partners

Aspects: Guardians of the Mountains, Used to High Places, Devoted Mammoth (Bigtusk), Six Mothers French (Morraine)

Skills (Bigtusk): Great (+4) Physique, Good (+3) Travel, Fair (+2) Rapport and Athletics, Average (+1) Lore, Poor (-1) Stealth

Skills (Morraine): Great (+4) Rapport, Good (+3) Travel, Fair (2) Will, Average (+1) Traditions

Stunts: Alpine Expert. Gains +2 bonus to Travel and Notice checks in mountainous terrain.

The tradition of Habitat Partners appoints pairs of guardians, one human and non-human, to look after each of the distinct biomes on the island. Habitat partners exist for the forests, the deserts, the freshwater areas, and the savanna, as well as the skies (typically the lead Skybax rider and their partner) and beaches (the dolphins). The last area looked after are the alpine regions of Dinotopia and those are the purview of Bigtusk and Morraine, two stalwart travelers who walk the length of the island’s mountain ranges looking for trouble. They might be the source of an adventure if they find a problem they need help in addressing or they could be a lifeline to a party of travelers lost in the Forbidden Mountains with a snowstorm coming in.

Kalyptra, Dryosaur Babysitter

Aspects: Gentle Guardian, Confident Dryosaur, Great with Humans

Skills: Great (+4) Rapport, Good (+3) Empathy, Fair (+2) Traditions, Average (+1) Travel

Stunts: Devoted Warder. Notice skill isn’t affected by environmental conditions like darkness, rain, or wind.

Attentive and patient, Kalyptra is a favorite in Treetown for parents of adventurous children. Dinosaurs and humans often play together when they’re younger but older dinosaurs can have difficulty since they’re stronger and less fragile than young humans. Kalyptra is a natural, though, who knows just how to temper her natural strength. She also has a wealth of knowledge about the forests of the island and is also a fantastic teacher of natural skills.

Melanie, Young Girl

Aspects: Curious Young Human, I Can Name All Of Those Flowers

Skills: Good (+3) Lore, Fair (+2) Rapport, Average (+1) Notice

This little girl is the darling of Treetown, a precocious child who loves flowers and wanders all day with her guardian Kalyptra. Although Melanie is more likely to enter a story as someone in need of rescuing, if the characters need to find a rare plant or important location around Treetown they could certainly use the help of young Melanie.

Arthur Denison and Bix - Dinotopia
Image © James Gurney

Main NPCs

Arthur Denison, Curious Explorer

Aspects: Learned Human Scholar, American Dolphinback, Protective Father, Friends in Every Library, Adventures in the World Beneath

Skills: Great (+4) Lore; Good (+3) Notice and Empathy; Fair (+2) Crafts, Will, and Investigate; Average (+1) Athletics, Travel, Fight, and Contacts.

Stress: 3 physical boxes, 3 mental boxes

Stunts: Historian. +2 to all Lore rolls relating to history. Strength From Determination. Use Will instead of Physique on any overcome rolls representing continuing through harmful environments. Well-Read. Spend a fate point to use Lore in place of any other skill.

Washed ashore with his son Will, Arthur Denison became instantly enamored with the island of Dinotopia and has made friends across the island as he strives to make new discoveries and advance life in Dinotopia however he can. His many inventions unveiled in Waterfall City, his new home on the island, have been met with both amusement and amazement. At the same time, Denison’s expeditions to the World Beneath and Chandara have meant dramatic shifts in the way that the learned of Dinotopia view their home. Whether Denison’s next adventure stirs up trouble or creates amazing opportunities, it will certainly involve some people in the right place to be swept up into the adventure.

Bix, Protoceratops Translator

Aspects: Empathetic Guide, Talkative Protoceratops, Family in Canyon City, First to Meet the Denisons, Always Up for a Trip

Skills: Great (+4) Rapport; Good (+3) Empathy and Contacts; Fair (+2) Travel, Notice, and Traditions; Average (+1) Crafts, Deceive, Will, and Lore.

Stress: 2 physical boxes, 3 mental boxes

Stunts: Ear to the Ground. Whenever someone initiates a conflict against You in Waterfall City, Canyon City, or Sauropolis you can use Contacts instead of Notice for being tipped off in time. Nose for Trouble. You can use Empathy instead of Notice to determine your turn order in a conflict when you talk to those involved for a bit. Translator. +2 to all Rapport rolls relating to translation.

The translator Bix knows everyone… Well, she knows a lot of people all over the place and is always ready to make new friends. Fluent in many different languages, including plenty of human ones, Bix isn’t afraid to get her feet dirty in the service of Dinotopia or her friends. She was the first to meet Arthur and Will Denison when they arrived on Dinotopia’s shores and she has been instrumental in many important events in recent years. For those pursuing adventure she might just be the contact they need to get out of trouble or to find it.

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