Rule Changes for Dinosaurs (Discipline, Breeds, etc.)

You would have though v0.9 would be late in the game to change any rules significantly, and yet here we are! I just did some pretty major revisions around the rules for Dinosaurs.
This all started when I considered having dinosaurs ignore difficult terrain last week. I realized that they have some unique characteristics to differentiate a dinosaur from a human cowboy…but not really enough cool things about them. They were basically bulky melee fighters who had a lot of HP and could transport people.

With this in mind I changed two main features of Dinosaurs: Discipline and Breed. Before I get into those let me dazzle you with the new Dinosaur Type List from the updated rules:

Dinosaur Discipline
Bravery didn’t make a ton of sense with Dinosaurs because they hardly ever took over half damage from a single attack (like in the case of a 30+HP monster). I still wanted a way to show how controlled and trained a Dinosaur was, so I added the “Discipline” stat as a replacement. Instead of duplicating a description of this stat I’ll just paste an excerpt from the rulebook:

Discipline represents a dinosaur’s ability to perform in combat while suffering pain, surprise, fear, and other trying emotions of battle. A higher discipline means a dinosaur will be able to maintain a consistent pace and direction and obey any rider’s commands. A lower discipline means the dinosaur is more likely to circle in panic and stumble around in fear.

How to use Discipline
If a dinosaur suffers damage greater than or equal to their Discipline value from a single ranged or melee attack they will panic.
Mark them with a “Panic” token. Multiple Panic tokens can be placed on each dinosaur.
For example a Horned Dinosaur has a Discipline of 8. They are hit by a Rotary Rifle for 11 damage and are therefore marked with a Panic token. During the next Activation they are hit by a Bundle of Dynamite for a further 8 damage, so another Panic token is added.

Effect of Panic
When marked with one or more Panic token dinosaurs will use their Panic Movement, as recorded on the Posse Roster.
For example a Runner Dinosaur has a Movement statistic of 10 and a Panic Movement of D10. If they were marked with a Panic token they would have to roll D10 to decide how far they can Standard Move, instead of using the static 10 value.

Recovering from Panic
At the end of the dinosaur’s Activation remove 1 Panic token.
If the dinosaur is mounted remove an additional 1 Panic token.
For example a King Dinosaur (with two passengers) has 3 Panic tokens at the start of the turn. Eventually it Activates, rolls D6 for it’s Panic Movement with a result of 2. The King performs a 2″ Standard Move and then a rider fires. The King’s Activation is done, so 2 Panic tokens are removed (1 default with a bonus 1 removed because the King is mounted).

What this means is if a dinosaur takes damage >= Discipline they use Panic Movement instead, which is a random amount similar to their maximum static Movement (so a MV 6 dino gets D6 Panic MV). Nice and simple, and the idea of stacking multiple Panic tokens is fun because it really rewards pouring fire into a dinosaur. Plus it’s an elegant way to have an easy benefit if there is a rider present (as compared to having to manually modify the Discipline stat).
To support this I had originally aimed for Trained/Untrained as a choice you could make when buying a Dinosaur. Trained would give +1 DIS, -2 HP and Untrained would be -1 DIS, +2 HP. But then Kyles Games on The Forge forums pointed out that having a version that doesn’t modify stats at all would be nice. I instantly thought of the Bandit Allegiance for humans, and then I thought “Hey why not have Allegiances for dinosaurs!” After I had completed a preliminary sketch of those rules I changed the name from Allegiance to Breed, to once again distinguish dinosaurs that little bit more.

Dinosaur Breed
Again an excerpt from the rulebook is probably easiest for this:

Choose a Breed for the dinosaur (similar to Allegiance for a human) from the available four detailed below. Apply any modifiers to the default base values for each statistic.
When marking the Breed on the Posse Roster, circle the corresponding letter in the box to the left of the Dinosaur Name field (for example “T” for Trained).

Trained dinosaurs are born in captivity or raised in a human environment soon after birth and make ideal companions. They are disciplined mounts well versed in accepting a rider and carrying them safely through battle. However they are slightly gentler after having their primal instincts suppressed.

Effect: +1 DIS, -2 HP

Untrained dinosaurs have some exposure to humans but not enough to be fully broken into a saddle and harness. This majority of dinosaurs are this type of breed, and such an upbringing has no positive or negative effect on their performance.

Effect: None

Feral dinosaurs are wild and free and hunt through the jungles and deserts of the world. They tend to be tougher and less disciplined and think more with their stomachs than brains.

Effect: -1 DIS, +2 HP

Plains dinosaurs roam across the flat scrub land, desert, and dust bowls outside the volcanic jungle. As a result they are exceptionally fast and agile, but are less competent in a fight because of their tendency to outrun foes instead.

Effect: +1 MV, +1 MMC

After all these changes I also hugely cleaned up and edited the Dinosaur section in general to be clearer. I also had to update the Dinosaur Type List table to include Panic MV, Discipline, etc. as you saw above. And then of course the Posse Roster needed to be changed to handle all this new dinosaur info, which worked out great because it makes the Dinosaur section at the bottom just a tiny bit different looking…I’m going to laugh if later I go “Ugh these rules are ALMOST the same why don’t I just merge them?” and basically undo all my work.

But anyways here’s an example of the Dinosaur statline on the Posse Roster:

Now I’ll just playtest these rules and then you might see a v0.91 or v0.95 coming to a download near you :)

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