“Can we make up a story Dad?” I love it when that happens. Ruben wants to make up a story and he knows exactly what he wants his character to be.
“A T-Rex. A robot T-Rex. With four arms. For his two swords and two shields. And he’s got a tail he can grab things with. And he lives in a castle, next to a volcano.”
Wow. I asked a few questions and learned a bit about the world where this dinosaur lived. It was a world full of Robot Dinosaurs. There were no people, but it was a bit like the past, with castles and knights.
Was there ever a prehistoric age of the Transformers, when there were only dinobots? I was thinking of something a bit like that.
As we were making up Ruben’s character – named Tyranosneak – I googled pictures of a T-Rex, because they’re hard to draw. And I looked up a page of scary dinosaurs which would turn out to be very helpful.
So, in ten minutes we had a character and a world. The character is
Tyranosneak – king of the robot dinosaurs
- Chomping (D12)
- Tail Grab (D10)
- Sneaking and Climbing (D8)
- Running and Jumping (D6)
We agreed that ‘Chomping’ would cover all Tyranosneak’s fighting moves. Now all I needed was a story seed. I thought for a minute and wrote down:
‘The triceratops children have run away. Twist – they’ve been kidnapped by the evil Spinosaur ‘Spikor’ and taken to his cave lair’.
King Tyranosneak was relaxing in bed with a large glass of oil-beer. Suddenly ‘Bloop! Bloop! Bloop!’, it was the dino-alarm! King Tyranosneak leapt up, and grabbed his swords and shields. Then he headed outside to see what was going on.
He hadn’t got far when a clearly upset Triceratops ran up to him. “King Tyranosneak” she cried “My baby robotops have run away. They’ve gone into the big forest and I can’t find them. Can you help me?”
Tyranosneak agreed that he could help and headed for the forest.
A quick discussion with Ruben revealed that trees in the forest are really huge and made of metal. We decided they have solar panels for leaves and that dinosaurs can use them to get energy.
Tyranosneak began to search the forest for baby Robotops. Being a giant robot T-Rex he did this by grabbing trees with his tail and lifting them up to look for clues.
[Rolls tail grab, succeeds]
This tactic soon paid dividends. Tyranosneak spotted a trail of footprints leading further into the forest. He followed these for a while. Suddenly the footprints stopped and a new trail began, a single line heading in two directions. King Tyranosneak decided the Robotops must be shuffling their feet in a funny manner and followed the trail further, it headed into a swamp.
[Rolls sneaking and climbing, fails]
So intent on following the trail was Tyranosneak that he waded too deep into the swamp. Suddenly he realised he was sinking. To make things worse, he could hear something moving in the swamp. Tyranosneak used his tail to grab a nearby tree and began to haul himself out of the swamp. As he was pulling himself free a vast metal snake with laser eyes slithered into view. It was Titanoboa!
[Rolls tail grab, succeeds]
Tyranosneak jumped in the air and tried to squash Titanoboa beneath his mighty metal feet. But he missed, and Titanoboa’s coils wrapped around him and started to squeeze. King Tyranosneak could hear metal bending and popping as the snake’s coils got tighter and tighter.
“Ha King Tyranosneak” hissed the snake “You are no match for me here in the swamp. Now you will never find the Baby Robotops!”
[Rolls Run and Jump, fails]
In a fury King Tyranosneak sank his massive metal teeth into the side of the snake and bit. Sparks flew and motors whined. Tyranosneak shook the metal snake free as it writhed in his jaws. Then he tried to take hold of it with his tail for a finishing blow, but the snake used its laser eyes to cut down a tree, which fell on top of King Tyranosneak, pinning him down.
[Rolls crush, succeeds. Rolls Tail Grab, fails]
“And now, King Tyranosneak, I have won” hissed the snake, as it prepared to laser KIng Tyranosneak to pieces. “Not yet!” yelled Tyranosneak, and hurled one of his swords straight through the snake’s eye. Then he used his mighty tail to lift the tree and bludgeoned the snake to pieces.
[Rolls chomp, succeeds, rolls tail grab, succeeds]
Realising a little late that Titanoboa might have been able to tell him what had happed to the baby robotops King Tyranosneak climbed a tree to see where the trail went next. It headed into the distance and then into the ocean.
[Rolls sneaking and climbing, succeeds]
Another quick discussion about the world. We agreed that the ocean is made of molten metal, but that it’s no more dangerous to the robot dinosaurs than normal water is to us.
King Tyranosneak reached the ocean and plunged in, stomping his way across the bottom. Checking his radar he discovered something big and mighty was nearby. Tyranosneak decided to hide and see what it was.
[Rolls sneaking and climbing, succeeds]
Ruben announced that Tyranosneak had sensors, and we agreed that they could spot things and tell him how mighty they were.
Swimming majestically through the molten ocean came Robo-Megalodon, a vast shark with deadly under-fin missiles. Tyranosneak decided to try dialogue
“Are you a goody or a baddy?” he demanded
“King Tyranosneak!” the mega-shark did not seem happy “I am the ruler of the ocean. And I am tired of all these trespassers. What brings you here?”
“I am the king of my castle, and I am looking for baby robotops.”
“Well, you shouldn’t be so careless as to lose them. Why should I help you, foolish Tyranosaur?”
Eventually the two came to an agreement. Robo-Megalodon would tell Tyranosneak what he knew, and Tyranosneak would agree never to return to the ocean. Megalodon explained that the baby robotops had been carried west to an island by Titanoboa. It seemed things would end amicably…
“And if I see you in the ocean again I shall devour you!”
“No. I will chomp you to pieces.”
“It would be a mighty battle, but your confidence far exceeds your skills”
“I have two swords and two shields!”
Yelled King Tyranosneak, but Robo-Megalodon was already swimming into the deep ocean.
King Tyranosneak followed the shark’s directions and did indeed find an island. His scanners revealed three small and not very mighty things, and one very big, very mighty creature.Cautiously he climbed out of the water.
On the island someone had built a fortress. It was covered with radars and scanners and laser turrets. Somewhere inside were the baby robotops.
King Tyranosneak activated stealth mode and crept forward. He scaled the walls as stealthily as a giant robot tyranosaurus could and looked down. Inside were the three baby robotops, imprisoned in a cage of lasers. And – Doctor Robo-Spinosaurus, King Tyranosneak’s greatest enemy!
Reaching out with his tail King Tyranosneak tried to grab the keys for the laser cage. But it slipped and dropped on the floor with a clang. Doctor Robo-Spinosaurus span around
[Rolls tail grab, fails]
“It’s King Tyranosneak! Robo machines, attack!”
Missiles and lasers shot through the air. King Tyranosneak leapt forward, missiles exploded on his shield and he chomped one out of the air with his massive jaws. Undeterred by the defences King Tyranosneak reached Doctor Robo Spinosaurus and pinned him to the wall.
[Rolls chomp, succeeds]
“Argh! You might have defeated me King Tyranosneak, but you can’t save the robotops!” gurgled the evil Doctor. Tyranosneak looked and saw the lasers of their cage were closing in on the baby triceratops. With a cry of rage he released his foe and sprang toward the cage controls, shutting it down just in time.
The robotops were free, but King Tyranosneak’s triumph was spoiled by the sound of Doctor Robo-Spinosaurus’ escape pod whooshing off into the sky. He would have to be defeated another day.
And that was that. King Tryranosneak, rampaged about the secret base till nothing was left, then built a boat from the remains. Using the boat meant he could keep his promise to Robo-Megalodon while returning the baby robotops to their grateful mother.
Notes – Phew, the whole story, from Ruben’s request to the final resolution took about an hour. It had a very different feel to the other stories we’ve made up, but if that had been a kids TV show when I was five I’d have watched it to death. I suspect this isn’t the last we’ve seen of King Tyranosneak and his amazing world of dinosaurs. I’ll have to work on my dino-drawing skills.
I think the most interesting part of this game was the discussion with Robo Megalodon. I’d been assuming we’d just have three epic fights (Titanoboa, Megalodon, and Spinosaur) to pad out the adventure, but the news that Robo-Megalodon had missiles seemed to make Ruben think twice about the fight. It was also very important to him to establish whether or not Robo-Megalodon was a goody or a baddy, but it wasn’t really that simple.
And we never found out why Doctor Robo-Spinosaur (I wish I’d remembered to call him Spikor like I did in the story seed, it’s a lot easier to type) was kidnapping triceratops in the first place. Something for a future episode I guess.