IntroductionEver since I obtained my copy of Adventures in the Lost Lands, I've been intrigued by the idea that we could play as the animals as well as humans or proto-humans. Finally I got to try this out on an unsuspecting group of gamers at the Helensburgh Games Club. This is what happened...
Also, I did request that the players only communicate with each other by using barks, growls or whining. One of them very sensibly pointed out to me that the wolves should be able to understand each others language, so I relented and instructed them that they could communicate in English - but only with single words at a time.
I made up individual character cards for each wolf in the pack. All of them had some minor variations from the standard profile that I use for dire wolves:
- Alpha is the leader: REP5, plus the Inspire attribute.
- Fang is an up-and-coming challenger: REP5, plus ferocious.
- Rex is a fast, strong young animal: REP4, plus Athlete.
- Scar is past his prime: REP4, Slow
- Fleabag is a low-ranking pack member: REP4, Clumsy
- Fluffy is an adolescent at the bottom of the pack: REP4, Runt
The Dawn Patrol
|Rex marking his territory|
They jogged along joyfully from tree to tree, marking them as they went. The animals spread out, so as to cover the ground better.
And what of the other wolves, during this titanic struggle? Rex was still running around and marking trees, oblivious to the pack leader's demands for assistance. I suspect that he would be severely chastised afterwards. And Fleabag was roaming the woods, looking for squirrels!
Bringing Home the BaconFor our second game of the evening, we reset the terrain a bit, shuffled the players around and reinstated Fang ("Son of Fang"?). This time, the wolves were hungry and there was a lot less marking of territory. The pack had a grim and determined air about them as they moved through the land.
FinallySo, this was different, but the players really enjoyed it. Indeed, some of them demanded to run the PEFs and encountered creatures, even though these all used programmed movement.
The animals involved are mostly from very different eras and geographical regions. But that's OK - it's a Lost World, where dodos can live alongside sabretooth cats and primitive horses! I suppose I could try to model just one time period and location, but that wouldn't be as much fun, would it?
One change that I should have made was to restrict the number of kills that the pack could make. It seems likely that real predators would have settled down to feast, rather than continuing to run after fresh prey (yes, Alpha, Fang - I'm looking at you!) Still, this was the first time I've run a scenario like this.
From the positive reactions of the players, I will probably do this again sometime. Maybe I could split the gamers into teams (opposing packs)? Or have some players as the prey, with different goals? Or introduce my Neanderthal figures?