I don’t know how it happened, but I got this idea for a campaign setting in my head recently that wouldn’t go away. The basic premise was Pride and Prejudice meets Jurassic Park. I just had this image of a parasaurolophus pulling a slightly steampunk carriage through Victorian London. This is a London where regular animals have died out and genetically resurrected dinosaurs have taken their place, both as pets and in the wild.
I envision prim and proper ladies drinking tea with “fancy dinosaurs” on their laps, and gentlemen having a flutter at the gallimimus track. I imagine a tyrannosaurus rex or spinosaurus or some huge predator stalking an English wood nearby the upscale mansions.
I don’t know how much traction the concept has, but I wrote a few snippets of conversations overheard in this world. If this inspires you to run a Victorianasaurus game I’d love to hear about it.
“Did you hear the news regarding, Mr. Jameson’s cousin, Mr. Boothridge? Terrible news, just terrible. Word is that Mr. Boothridge is involved with some rather unsavoury business. It turns out that he has a most loathsome taste for deinonychus pit fights. Reprehensible! Some say he even organises the wretched events!”
“Petunia has won best in show for the last two years running. She is quite the specimen. New breeders often believe that the crest is the key to success. Now, while Petunia has a magnificent crest, I must say that it takes more than that to make a champion parasaurolophus. Grooming is important and training must begin straight out of the shell if one is to be truly successful. But colour, colour is the real secret. It takes years of careful selective breeding to get just the right texture and a dignified yet striking complexion of greens and browns punctuated with brighter spots of orange. Petunia’s pink stripe is particularly special and there are more than a few competitors of mine who would pay dearly for one of her eggs”.
“I spent my childhood on a farm, you know? It was quite a different life, but a good one. Crisp air and rolling hills. I remember feeding the compsagnathus flocks each morning. Dozens of the little things would gather around the edge of their run, leaping and slashing at the wire fence. I would throw scraps of meat from the feed bucket and laugh as they scrabbled amongst themselves eagerly eating up their breakfast. Sometimes after a storm the run would be tipped over and they would escape into the triceratops paddocks. We lost more than one calf from the herd to starved flocks of escaped compsagnathus. Still, it was a good life and I do miss those times.”
“Velociraptor hunting is the quintessential coming-of-age activity for any young man of note. It allows one to bond with other men, for one thing. But the thrill of racing off after the deinonychus as they pick up the scent of the quarry, leaping fallen trees and pounding through the forest astride your own utahraptor – nothing matches that. It is exhilarating!”