This game is fantastic. Excellent PbtA one-shot system with some great ideas that I've pinched for use in other games. If anyone's interested in reading a transcript of a complete game, I wrote up a 'replay' that's available here:
Escape from Dino Island
A downloadable game
Welcome to Dino Island
Escape from Dino Island is a thrilling adventure game about intrepid heroes trapped on an island overrun with creatures from a lost age—dinosaurs!
Players take on the role of everyday people who are brave and competent, but also in over their head. The game is designed to help you create the kind of stories that are full of action and suspense, but in which fighting is rarely a good option.
Will you escape with your life? And what kind of person will you become in your quest to survive? There’s only one way to find out…
3-6 players. 1-2 sessions, 3-4 hours each.
Powered by the Apocalypse.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Please download the playsheets even if you purchase the game — they're important for actually playing Escape from Dino Island and contain additional information and tools that aren't in the game book!
We're Sam Tung and Sam Roberts, two similarly named friends who've been collaborating and gaming together for years. Coming out of the film and television industry, we're suckers for adventure stories that blend survival, mystery, and intrepid heroes — like Jurassic Park, Lost, and Half-life — and we're excited to bring them to our — and your — gaming tables.
In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $10 USD. You will get access to the following files:
Support this game at or above a special price point to receive something exclusive.
We want everyone to be able to play Escape from Dino Island, which is why we're offering community copies for those who cannot afford to pay the full price for the game. Please don't hesitate to grab one of these copies for whatever price feels right (even, and especially, free) — no questions asked — and enjoy the game!
We'll be adding more community copies periodically, so if you don't see any available, check back soon or just shoot us an email.
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Thanks for the kind words!
And also: Wow! I haven't had a chance to read the whole recap yet, but I'm 20 pages in and it is great so far. Highly recommend it to others, both from a "This is how Escape from Dino Island can play" POV and from a more general "This is what good play looks like" POV.
Love the way you used the prompts as inspirations rather than IRONCLAD REQUIREMENTS — it always makes us happy to see players making the game their own.
Selfishly, I'd be curious to know what ideas you're pinching for other games and how they work out!
The mechanic that I use the most is the group action one--the character with the lowest stat (or riskiest position) rolls, everyone else automatically succeeds unless they choose to fail. Really elegant and quick and great, especially since PbtA often falters a bit when it comes to multiple characters doing the same thing. I've also used 'tell a story' a few times when things are quiet but I don't want to introduce anything heavy, so I'll just give players the option of telling a quick story and give them +1 forward or let them mark XP depending on how it goes. The other mechanic that I liked but haven't had a chance to use elsewhere is dividing a one-shot into distinct sections, which is very smart and dramatic and good. I also greatly appreciated having a pic of each dinosaur, with a human for scale, along with instincts and moves and so on. That combined with the locations + prompts made running it a breeze.
I'm busily setting up a Roll20 game to play Escape from Dinosaur Island and I've run into a few questions. I thought that I'd throw it out to everyone here as before long I'll want to have players to test out the game play. :-)
So far I've got the character sheets, map, doomsday clock and rumors implemented. I'm planning on a mix of pop up handouts and 'cards' for the remaining things.
1) is it intended that the players always travel as a group, or should tokens be ready for the players to split off on their own?
2) Should the doomsday clock be hidden until it is running, or is it okay to show it off before hand?
3) should I have a set of tokens ready to be brought in so that the players can make up new places on the map?
Thanks for for your input! Feel free to message me at senjak <a> comcast dot net if you want to look at my current progress.
Assuming there aren't any physical copies still available?
Actually, there are! If you're interested, email us at escapefromdinoisland [a] gmail dot com!
This looks very cool. I was introduced to the game by a friend who wanted to play it on Roll20 and was showing off the game to me. So I purchased a copy and dived into HTML and CSS.
8 hours later I have a Roll20 compatible character sheet based upon the Powered by the Apocalypse character sheet. All the bits (other than equipment) get swapped in and out depending upon which character you choose.
Please let me know if you want to add a community sheet for Escape from Dino Island to the Roll20 collection. You are welcome to the changes I made. Let me know.
Hey dude! I like the whole idea of a HTML/CSS made sheet. Is it open to public? I am probably making some sessions soon, so it would be great to have it.
Here you are! These were the most up to date version I came up with. It is aimed at Roll20, so there is likely to be some weirdness from their stuff. Please note that I don't really know HTML and CSS, but I can fake it with Google! Also, I didn't drop all of the translations from the HTML, so you'll likely need to either incorporate the translations or edit them out.
Hey there! Sorry I missed this.
Neither Sam nor I really use Roll20, so we don't know much about what it means to add a community sheet to the Roll20 collection, but if it helps people play online, then we are absolutely in favor of it.
If you wanna chat more about it, also feel free to email us at escapefromdinoisland [a] gmail.com.
Had two wonderful sessions playing The Docto. Great fun, no GREAT FUN!!! Planning to play this again and again and more than worth the price tag.
A very well made game. I am amazed by it.
Excellently written, wonderfully illustrated and very replayable. Forgive me for indulging in crass commercialism, but this game is well worth the $1o price tag.
I only downloaded the free playsheets and I'm looking through them, but I must say I'm impressed with the move The Best-Laid Plans. It's an ancient roleplaying tradition and it makes me happy to see it officialized and put so succintly.
Just had to say I'm incredibly impressed with this game. Dino Island is now in my PbtA, one-shot quiver alongside Zombie World & Bluebeard's Bride. The structures and tools you provide to tell a satisfying story are top notch. Looking forward to running this a couple times over the holiday season.
I particularly love the "tell a story" mechanic. Such a brilliant way to introduce backstory / character development into the natural flow of the game. Already thinking about how I can hack this into other games.
Also, I'm recommending this game to players in my group who want to try out GM/MCing (Dino Mastering) for the first time. I think the game does such a good job setting the MC up for success.
Thanks for the kind words! Definitely let us know how your holiday games go, and if you end up hacking the story mechanics.
I just purchased the pdf yesterday and realized that Escape from Dino Island was not yet listed on RPGGeek.com. I submitted the entries to the database, maybe you would like to add some images over there :)
Entries can be found at https://rpggeek.com/rpgitem/284647/escape-dino-island (item entry for the pdf, could use a cover image) and https://rpggeek.com/rpg/56910/escape-dino-island (RPGGeek usually uses Logos as representative images, so maybe the "Escape from Dino Island" lettering could be added there?).
Really looking forward to trying your game soon. I was searching for a dino themed game forever, and I already like PbtA games like Dungeon World. Your game seems like a match made in heaven ;)
Cool — thanks for submitting them! We'll definitely give 'em a nice polish with some art.
Hope you enjoy the game when you give it a shot. Thanks for purchasing!
This is possibly the best example of short form theme first pbta I've ever seen. Love it. Will be playing at the nearest opportunity!