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2-5 pirates looking for treasure and fighting off natives, cannibals, and dinosaurs with muskets, cannons, and swords.

Originally, Pirates vs. Dinosaurs was created by my son, a five-year old who wanted to design and produce games like his dad.  He had some dinosaur toys and some Fisher-Price pirates, lined them up, and rules and everything.  And it dawned on me--no one's made a game of pirates fighting dinosaurs!  I tried, but couldn't get the feel right.  I turned to Frank Branham, a game designer, but he didn't have luck.

Along came Origins 2010 and Richard Launius.  Richard wondered about doing a game for Jolly Roger, and said if I could give him a unique theme, he'd see what he could do.  I told him the idea and the story of my son, and within three months, the first prototype was in my hand.  At that point, I knew this was going to work out.

When you're playing, the first thing you do is outfit your captain and crew.  There are cards for that--this is what a player mat looks like with the cards on it (the pirate is only a silhouette because of one of the donor levels):

Pirates vs. Dinosaurs is a game for up to five players.  You play pirate captains looking for buried treasure, but you only have a couple clues--so that means you have to go find the landmarks mentioned on your scrap of treasure ma in order to dig for the gold.  The catch is--this island is the land that time forgot, inhabited by cannibals and...dinosaurs and other prehistoric beasties.  In the game, these are Encounter cards that you play on other pirates--that's right...you don't randomly run into T-Rex.  Your friend's going to sic him on you!

When that happens, you roll the dice and see if you drive the dino off or if he ate some of your crew.  It's tiresome to have to go back to the ship for more men, but sometimes, that's the breaks.

The T-Rex card up above rolls six dice, so he can eat up to six crewmen.  In defense, you roll dice depending on whether you are armed with pikes, pistols, or even a cannon.  You need to roll more hits on the dino than he does to you to avoid losing cre--crew are really important because you have to have someone alive to carry the treasure...fewer crew means fewer goodies at the end of the game!

This is the map.  You can see the areas to search--the swamp, beach, fields, mountains, and forest.  In the bottom left, that's where lost crewmen go.  The bottom right is where you go to bring more crewmnen along from your ships.  The top right--that's the treasure site where you dig, and the upper left shows the problems of digging up the wrong things.  Each curse unleashed moves the island one step closer to sinking and ending the game.

You're looking to match the fragments of the treasure map that you own with landmarks on the island.  Those tokens look like:

On the board, the markers you're searching look like:

Once you match the landmarks, you head for the treasure site.  There, you draw a treasure once per turn--you can do this as often as you want, but the catch is that hidden in the treasures are ghosts who will drive off your crew (and you need them to haul treasure) and the cause the island to sink.  It is volcanic after all.  How long do you push your luck?  That's up to you.

The game plays in an hour and it works great with kids, not just adults.  I've been asked for a comparison, and what comes to mind is Richard's classic design, Arkham Horror.  The difference is that Pirates vs. Dinosaurs is a faster game, more accessible to casual gamers, and a game meant to be played sometimes with kids (because it's great to hear the laughter when your child's dinosaur eats half your pirate crew...or the chomp, chomp, chomp) sounds they make.

It is best with 4-5 because of the interaction, weakest with 2.

PLEDGE LEVEL SHOWCASE # 1: Make a Dino!

 $350 or more. “You receive a “Limited Edition” copy of the game and get to work with Jolly Roger and Richard Launius on the design of an Encounter card and its effects featuring your favourite dinosaur or prehistoric creature.”   So what's this Pledge Level all about?

This is a super fun one. In the game, there are a lot of cards in the deck that are Dinosaur Attack cards. You play them so that the dinosaurs trample or eat opposing crews. The many different dinosaurs in the game have various Strength levels, appear in different Zones of the game board, and some of them have special powers too.

 

 There ARE duplicate dinosaurs in the deck, and a lot of cool dinosaurs out  that we didn't include in the game. So, we thought we'd give you guys the chance to create your own Dinosaur Attack card starring your favourite dinosaur! Here's a list of the dinosaurs that already have Dinosaur Attack cards in the game:

If you pledge at this level:

  • You get to decide which dinosaur (or other prehistoric creature) you want on your card. This choice will be first-come-first-served and we can’t do duplicates—if someone else picked Ankylosaurus before you got to it, you’ll have to pick something else—so pledge today!*
  • You get to work with game designer Richard Launius to figure out the Strength Level, the Zones it appears in on the game board, and any special powers your dinosaur will have.*
  • You get to work with artist Josh Cappel to create an illustration concept for the card, which he’ll render to match the other art in the game.*
  •  The card will bear a “Card Concept by Your Name” tag at the bottom so that your friends will believe you.

Just remember, we have to reserve the final say-so to make sure the game stays balanced and all that other stuff.  Only six of these can go in the game!!

(Want to know about the pledge level with relics?  Check out the updates!)

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If the game funds, KICKSTARTER SUPPORTERS ONLY, will receive a set of bonus cards.  Included in those cards are the following...yup, ninjas and a primate destined to head to New York someday...

AND--if the project funds, all supporters will receive a PvD t-shirt (though they can't be larger than Adult XL)

 

Stretch Goal #1: $25,000.  If we reach 25k, we'll add the components necessary for a sixth player.  It'll delay release by a little bit because it will require  editing of the rules, the map, etc--but nothing horrible.  I promise!

Stretch Goal #2: $30,000.  Richard agreed that if we reached this plateau, he'll add something new to the game--pirate ships.  The pirate ships would be selected before the game, each with a unique ability for a pirate captain to use during his island adventure.

 

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

The issue is simply waiting for the custom art based on donors and then clearing customs/actual production issues. The groundwork of the game is complete--everything's done otherwise.

Just as big a challenge is making sure the game reaches its funding goal. The price was set with the cost of the game in mind. If the goal's reached, everything's taken care of--there's no need to worry. We'll keep putting updates and status reports until the game reaches our warehouse!

FAQ

  • Yes. They'll be posted in and around the updates and as time permits, within the 'story' section of the project. We have not set the level yet, but one of the stretch bonuses will be including the pieces for adding a 6th player to the game.

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  • We're going to (most likely) put 13+ on the box...because the game has dinosaurs eating pirates and stuff like that. In terms of complexity? I think that with an adult to teach the rules, Pirates vs. Dinosaurs can be played by anyone 8-up.

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  • A great resource for all boardgames is boardgamegeek.com. More information is at http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/73472/pirates-vs-dinosaurs --that includes a ton more art, etc.

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  • NOOOOOO!!! The game is a lot more than a deck of cards. :) The game comes with:

    1 Gameboard (Divided into Zones to search—Beach, Grassland, Jungle, Mountain, Swamp—plus the Dig Site, Lagoon, Lost & Mutinied space, Volcano Track, and other areas). This will be 22x34 or larger.

    5 Pirate Mats (For players to keep track of their assets, exploration time, and Upcoming Encounters)

    100+ Island cards (Including Encounter cards and Pirate Fate cards)

    7 First Mate cards (Each First Mate grants a special ability)

    35 Item cards (5 decks of 7; each item grants a special ability)

    10 Crew Weapon cards (5 decks of 2; for fighting dinosaurs and natives)

    8 Relic cards (each Relic grants a special ability)

    10 Landmark tiles (will be randomly placed in the board zones)

    10 Map Fragments (Players try to find the Landmarks that match their own Fragments)

    60 Treasure Tokens (Including Treasures and Hazards—Volcanoes, Ghosts, and Attacks)

    5 Location markers (For noting which Zone you’re exploring)

    5 Time markers (To show how close you are to completing exploration of a Zone)

    85 Crew tokens or mini-meeplespawns (Each pawn represents 1 pirate in your party)

    1 Giant T-Rex pawn (Shows where the Giant T-Rex is)

    15 Envoy tokens (Indicate how many times you’ve sent for replacement crew)

    15 Curse tokens (Indicate how many times you’ve disturbed the Ghosts)

    5 special dice (For resolving many game events. Each die has two Skull faces, two Swords faces, and two blank faces)

    1 rulebook (color, with playing examples)

    Last updated:
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  • Pledge $2 or more
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    10 backers

    For $2, you will be thanked in the Pirates vs. Dinosaurs rulebook as a "Deckhand". After all, a lot of grunt labor is necessary on a pirate ship!

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  • Pledge $5 or more
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    2 backers

    Bartholomew Roberts was the greatest pirate of the earliy 1700s. With a $5 pledge, you'll be thanked in the rules alongside the famous Welshman.

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    2 backers

    Penned by Rafael Sabatini, Captain Peter Blood terrorized the Spanish main through three novels. For $10, we will thank you in the rules alongside Errol Flynn's greatest movie role! We will also send you a random 8x11(probable size) sheet of the game's art as stickers...good for all little kids at heart!

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  • Pledge $30 or more
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    1 backer

    Not sure you want a game--but you think the art's cool? Great. For $30, you can support the project and get a t-shirt with the game's cover on it as the artwork. (This will be limited to sizes S-XXL...if a larger size is necessary, we'll do it, but contact me directly on here to work out the details!)

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    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $55 or more
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    184 backers

    For $55, you will receive a copy of the game as soon as it arrives from the factory. The $55 includes domestic US postage.

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  • Pledge $70 or more
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    98 backers

    Not everyone lives in the United States. For $70, you will recceive a copy of the game with international postage paid.

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  • Pledge $100 or more
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    8 backers

    For $100, you will receive a "Limited Edition" copy of the game, certified as such by the designer and Jolly Roger Games. Postage is paid at this level whether in the United States or in the rest of the world.

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    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $100 or more
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    10 backers

    By request--are you looking to conserve money? Then this is the level for you. For $100, you can receive two copies of the game--with Jolly Roger picking up the US postage.

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    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $135 or more
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    3 backers

    For international supporters wanting two copies, this level will do just that--with postage paid.

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  • Pledge $150 or more
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    1 backer Limited (24 left of 25)

    For $150, you'll receive a "Limited Edition" copy signed by game designer Richard Launius.

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  • Pledge $220 or more
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    8 backers

    Two requests have been received asking, "Is there a way to get a bigger bundle of games?" Here it is!! For this price, you receive one case (6 copies) of the game with US postage paid.

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    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $225 or more
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    2 backers Limited (4 left of 6)

    Pirates are renowned for their weapons and treasures. At this level, receive a "Limited Edition" game and have your name put on one of the eight pirate relics captains claim at the start of the game. We'll even make sure the name sounds pirate-y!

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  • Pledge $275 or more
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    2 backers All gone!

    You receive a "Limited Edition"copy of the game and one of the game's five Pirate Captains will be named for you in suitably pirate style.

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  • Pledge $275 or more
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    3 backers

    By request--this level includes six copies of Pirates vs. Dinosaurs and includes the necessary postage for mailing to Canada and Europe.

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  • Pledge $350 or more
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    4 backers Limited (2 left of 6)

    You receive a "Limited Edition" copy of the game and get to work with Jolly Roger and Richard Launius on the design of an Encounter card and its effects featuring your favorite dinosaur or prehistoric creature.

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  • Pledge $500 or more
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    3 backers All gone!

    You receive a "Limited Edition" game. In addition we will name a Pirate Captain after you and if you send a photo, we'll make sure it serves as inspiration for the final artwork of that character in addition to making the name all pirate-y sounding!

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  • Pledge $600 or more
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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    "Limited edition" unsigned. Why so expensive? Because we're going to air mail it to you directly from the factory--you'll get the game before anyone else. You'll be getting your copy even before the designer or the publisher!

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  • Pledge $800 or more
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    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    You receive six "Limited Edition" copies of the game and Jolly Roger will pay for you (and up to four friends' badges for Origins 2013, so that you and them can play a private game of Pirates vs. Dinosaurs with Richard Launius, the designer.

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  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    0 backers

    Recieve a "Limited Edition" copy of PVD and a print of the game cover. The print will be signed by the artist, and the prints will be limited to ONLY those purchased at this level If you'd prefer a different piece of art from the game, a print of that can be made of that instead. So that you don't have to play with the limited edition copy, we'll also send two normal copies of PVD for you to play with!

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