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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Dinosaurs and AD&D

When I started playing D&D in the early 1980's dinosaurs were regular fixtures. Now we rarely ever see them. I got to thinking about this when I read through Lands of Ara today and I think it's because we got older and quit using toys for minis. Now maybe as teenagers we didn't want to be seen playing with little kids toys, but I am not sure there. We used to ride triceratops's like horses all the time in Tim's campaign. A concept that became AD&D canon with this picture:

There were certainly modules that supported the idea of Dinosaurs and D&D, X1 The Isle of Dread, an old favorite of mine has a Godzilla looking Tyrannosaurus Rex on the cover. See:

Later replaced by the less awesome, but more T-Rex looking, 2nd cover pictured here:

Why did we all seem to stop using dinosaurs at roughly the same time? I am thinking circa 1986, but that is probably because it coincides with Tim going into the army and us losing access to his large collection of plastic dinosaurs that we used with our miniatures. It's odd though really, considering the Dinosaurs get their own section in the Monster Manual. Maybe we had become miniature snobs and there weren't enough cool dinosaur minis out there. I don't know, but I do know that I can change this trend in my campaign. I vow to make an adventure that features dinosaurs prominently. Maybe I'll even stat out some that didn't make it into the Monster Manual. Do any of you use dinosaurs in your D&D games?