Dinosaur Planet: Broncosaurus Rex – System Mastery 62

Broncosaurus Rex S

It’s become apparent over time that there are a few archetypes of bad games.  You’ve got Vision of a Madman, as seen in Synnibarr or Skyrealms of Jorune.  Fun-Hating Deathslog, as seen in any number of heartbreakers and serious business games.  Then there’s Boring Trifle, a catch-all category that covers any game that is too boring or derivative to hold the imagination.  Today’s game is a category we think of as the One Weird Thing, which is a game that would be perfectly serviceable, except the author has this one weird thing.  What’s the one weird thing about Broncosaurus Rex, a game that sounds like it’s probably about cowboys riding space dinosaurs?  Well if you guessed a ludicrous amount of Confederacy apologia, give yourself a prize and then ask yourself why that was your first guess.

29 responses to “Dinosaur Planet: Broncosaurus Rex – System Mastery 62

  1. Hey, Jeff Minter lives in Wales. He shouldn’t be shunned.

    And, um, the stereotype isn’t that they _eat_ sheep….

  2. Article 1 Section 9.(4) of the Constitution of the Confederate States of America: No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves shall be passed.

    So I’m not sure how President Lee freed the slaves by himself.

  3. The fact that the Confederates went from enslaving people to intelligent dinosaurs could be a really interesting in a “history repeats itself” kind of way. That could even be a great setting where the PCs are dino freedom fighters or dino abolitionists fighting cool future versions of Civil War battles. But instead the author is shit.

  4. It feels like this was based on the early 3.0 rules. It was definitely an issue in 3.0, carried over from AD&D, that most classes stopped getting new things around level 8; but that was one of the things they addressed with the 3.5 edition.

    I have no idea where they got +1 to a stat as a racial bonus, though. Even from the start of 3.0, they knew that +1 to a stat was worthless, so everyone had +2 and -2.

    • In all fairness, most games never go past level 10. Although I don’t know if the designer was lazy or he just wanted to push multiclassing for characters past level 7.

      Probably lazy.

      • I need some listener to do the math here. The DC to tame a rideable T-Rex (the only thing worth doing in this game) is 40 to 43. Bronco-riders add half their class level to Handle Animal checks and the skill is a class skill. There’s also about +4 of bonus dinosaur taming available in feats. At what level does this game become worth bothering with?

      • At level 8, a typical Bronco-rider would have +11 ranks, +4 from feats, +4 from Charisma, and +4 from half-level. It’s enough to tame a T-Rex on a roll of 18-20.

        Of course, it also takes two months to make the attempt, but it only takes a week or two to heal up from near-death. You would need to start at level 8 and have a GM just say that’s okay, or you would need to take a year off from the campaign while you made several attempts.

      • Yeah, I am just kidding. Joe Goodman (who write that thing) is a nice guy. I met him at Strategicon in LA when he was play testing the crazee fun OSR-like Dungeon Crawl Classics game. Soft spoken fellow. As Big Bird said, “everyone makes mistakes.” Oddly, it won some accolades at the time of its release.

  5. Well, to be honest all alternative history based game I have read were absolutely ridiculous, so I don’t see how this weird-ass Southern extravaganza is worse then, say, Shadowrun.
    Ah well, I guess it’s American thing: Would still play as a very not amused by this situation dinosaur though

    • Shadowrun wasn’t an alternate history game when they created it. It was pure speculative fiction, and it was as plausible as anything else up until 1992 or so.

      But time marches on, and what-used-to-be-the-present is now in the past, so it’s unintentionally turned into an alternate history. Only in retrospect does it seem weird that we wouldn’t have wireless internet by the year 2020.

      • Speculative science fiction always seems to guess that we go right into wartime development on day 1 tomorrow. Which is why in Shadowrun people are still faxing things to each other and stealing disks but they have monofilament weapons and cyber-armor. It’s great because it tends to make older works of sci-fi adorably quaint. Honestly it’s also a reason to love Back to the Future, which is a story about a future where technological development developed similarly to ours, not in the specifics, but in the fact that most of the cool new technology is shit that lets middle class consumers waste more time.

      • Umm, I was not referring to retro-tech per se ( I love retro-futurism it’s very decade dependent as opposed to culture dependent, someone ought to write a PhD on that),

        I was referring to the social attitudes. Like you know, the idea that Ireland will go all elfy on people, while South Americans will start to perform blood sacrifices.
        It makes about the same amount of sense as random romanticized Southerners being heroic freedom fighters in the alternative future.

      • Ah, I see what you’re getting at. It’s not really a social attitude thing, though; it’s just different magicky people going magicky in different ways, based on what they know from mythology.

        Socially speaking, everything is corrupt and cynical, because it’s cyberpunk. Even when the Confederacy reforms, their society is shaped way more by the cyberpunk ethos than by the fact that it’s the South.

        That could mostly be a difference in quality, though. The Shadowrun writers have had decades to work on their setting, and they could actually afford some decent writers, so maybe they’re doing the same sort of shenanigans and it’s just not as terrible. Tropes Are Tools, after all.

  6. hey guys, just wanted to let you know that your latest episodes have been totally on-point. I really love the less-long-tangential-gags, more focused style (Because you guys are naturally funny, you don’t have to force it. Also because with a lot of these games – this one esp – the theme and mechanics of the game are so ridiculous that even talking about it normally is super entertaining.)

    Anyway, awesome work!

    Also, do you have any plans to do Torg?

  7. Jupiter is big, but you’ve overestimated how big– it has 11x the radius of Earth, which translates to 121x the surface area. You could drive all the way around Jupiter (if it were solid) in about 200 days of driving at 60mph, since it’s only 279,000 miles.

  8. Have you guys taken a look at Wisher, Theurgist, Fatalist and Weaver of Their Fates by Jenna Moran? It’s bizarre and possibly a joke. I’m not entirely sure it’s reviewable, but you should at least take a look.

  9. Couldn’t publishers have saved valuable typesetting room by replacing “to members of the opposite sex” in descriptions for seduction or charm abilities to “no homo”? I mean, seems to be the attitude they’re conveying to me.

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