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Now Is the Perfect Time for a Jurassic Park TTRPG

Jurassic World Dominion shows fans what the world might be like if dinosaurs and humans had to co-exist, but what would that look like in a TTRPG?

Dinosaurs have always held a certain fascination with humans, and that is the emotion upon which the Jurassic Park series has aimed to capitalize. The movies and the novels wanted to give an idea of how people would react to these creatures being reintroduced into our world. This concept doesn’t only make for interesting films, it also works for video games as well. Jurassic Park has been adapted into several games in a variety of genres. However, there is one type of game from which Jurassic Park has kept its distance: tabletop RPGs.

The newest entry in the movie franchise, Jurassic World Dominion, was recently released in cinemas. The film takes the series to its logical conclusion, with the dinosaurs escaping into the modern world. This stirs up a whole new way of life on Earth, as humans and their prehistoric predecessors must learn to co-exist. This concept would be perfect for a tabletop game for several reasons.

Related: Jurassic World Dominion’s Most Unexpected Return Was [Spoiler]

One of the most important aspects of any TTRPG is the enemies that the players will fight, and Jurassic Park has one of the best collections of opponents available. Ideally, enemies should be varied and offer players different levels of challenge. Dinosaurs certainly fit into that category. The creatures can be small and fast, massive and powerful, or a combination of these traits. This variety could make every conflict different and force players to change how they face each foe. For instance, a battle against a horde of velociraptors would be a very different experience than fighting a T-rex.

The methods players can use to battle these creatures are also important. Jurassic Park isn’t a series where humans have access to powerful skills and abilities. There are no spells or mystical weapons. Instead, players would have access to technology, guns, and their wits. This could mean that players would need to find ways to block or evade many of their opponents. A great example of this is in the first Jurassic Park movie when two children have to evade and trap a pair of velociraptors in the kitchen. They don’t have the option to fight but can make use of sounds and distractions to trap the raptors inside a fridge and make their escape.

Related: Jurassic World Dominion Wastes the Perfect Opportunity to Kill the Dinosaurs Again

A campaign is more than just fighting though — it is a journey with different classes of heroes helping each other to survive in a hostile world. These classes all need to have strengths and weaknesses to make the game interesting and fun. Jurassic Park could look to the characters it has seen in its films and make use of those specific classes. For instance, a player could be a paleontologist like Alan Grant and gain a bonus to wisdom checks relating to dinosaurs. They could be a handler like Owen Grady, hunters that are strong in ranged combat and laying traps. Such a class could even have certain dinosaurs as companions.

While characters and combat are important, they are nothing if the scenarios are not entertaining. Jurassic Park has a wealth of variety to draw from, each giving its own experiences to players. For instance, the players could take the role of park guests and staff trying to escape the breakout in Jurassic World. This could focus more on trapping and running to survive, and be more horror-themed. Another option could be having players form a capture team moving to bring in dinosaurs with a focus on combat and tracking opponents. The variety available could allow DM’s to create interesting and exciting campaigns for their parties to explore.

Related:Jurassic World Dominion’s Main Villain Had a Vile History

One concept that could certainly add to a Jurassic Park TTRPG is that of a cinematic campaign. The idea of a cinematic campaign is to take a short campaign and focus it to be more fast-paced and objective-focused. It also aims to make the adventure more of an immersive experience for players. This is done using several factors such as music and diegetic sounds. The music and roars from the movies are well known to many fans and can instantly connect the films to the game in players’ minds.

Jurassic Park is one of the rare series that has the potential to adapt itself to any medium it chooses. The fact that there has never been a TTRPG based in the universe is odd and should be fixed. There is potential for many interesting stories to be told on a tabletop and Jurassic World Dominion is arguably the best of the series to implement this process.

Josh is an English-born writer based in smokey old London. He spends most of his walking dogs, playing games and working on his writing.

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