Letter from the Staff
A disclaimer about references
There are many Jurassic Park references in this background guide, but please keep in mind that they are just nods to one of our favorite cinematic universes. You do not need to research the Jurassic Park or Jurassic World universe, or be familiar with any worldbuilding material outside of this background guide (although we do recommend these movies, because they are a fun watch).
HISTORY OF THE CONFLICT
Dinosaurs. They’re back. It’s 2075, and California has broken off from the rest of North America. Extreme seismic activity triggered this cataclysmic event back in 2040, and California has established itself as an island country in the eastern Pacific Ocean. The Californian president, David Kasipidis, has formed a committee of leading scientists, activists, industry giants, and politicians—all of you—to discuss the human-dinosaur conflicts that have arisen as a result of the introduction of them into our world. In 2065, a team of scientists went on a reconnaissance mission to assess the fragile state of our shrinking North Pole. What they found among the deteriorating snowmelt, preserved in an ancient mudpit, astonished climatologists and ordinary citizens alike: dinosaurs. Their bodies were so perfectly preserved in the “ice-mud,” as scientists called it, they had not fossilized and contained salvageable DNA. This led to a shocking realization: dinosaurs could be the solution to humanity’s losing battle with climate change. The rest of the world, while still populated here and there with struggling and isolated communities, lays mostly in ruin. It was abundantly clear that factory farming was the leading cause of global warming, and these huge, nutritionally diverse creatures could easily and efficiently be made into superfoods. By only breeding carnivorous species, there would be no risk of decimation of the already dwindling crop cycle. They would do far less damage to the atmosphere than methane-producing cows.
In 2070, after years of trial and error, the first cloned dinosaur baby was born. It was the first of thousands to be born at DinoCore Labs, then shipped off to the newly incorporated Yum-A-Saurus Farms for processing and distribution. It was a miracle—within the first year, temperatures had dropped by an average of 1° C. Five years later, people are wondering if there are other uses for these mysterious relics of a bygone age. Could they be burned for energy? Could they be therapy animals? Maybe the past can bring us into the future.
But there’s another issue on the rise—these powerful animals have begun to realize that they don’t have to be our prey. Farming escapees have been wreaking havoc on the everyday lives of California citizens, particularly among the more zealous species. But to complicate matters further, certain local populations have found ways to live with the giant lizards. They’ve domesticated and even befriended some of them, and many feel strongly that these beautiful animals should be protected from the California government and corporations like Yum-A-Saurus Farms. Others question if it was ethically sound to create them in the first place, and promote their extermination for the good of both human- and dinosaur-kind. There is no question that the reanimation of these animals has changed the fabric of our world, with impacts on education, religion, and the very soul of the nation of California. But the question remains: do we explore the other uses of these anatomical powerhouses, do we kill them off and return to our old ways of living with climate change, or do we somehow make our peace with them? It’s up to you to decide.
Karl Masrani is the founder and religious leader of The Church of Dino, a spiritual group created as a reaction to the reanimation of dinosaurs. Their teachings, in simplest description, state that dinosaurs were fated to return to earth and will outlive us all. They believe that humans only exist to bring dinosaurs back, and that our existence is merely to serve them. They believe that they are the true inhabitants of our planet, and will rule it again.
Masrani promotes these ideals by preaching the sanctity of dinosaurs, and recruiting more members to protect and worship them. 20% of the California population belongs to The Church of Dino, so Masrani has a lot of influence on the decisions made by this population.
David Kasapidis is the President of California. He organized this committee to seek the help of his nation’s other leaders and people of importance to find a solution to this crisis. California is a representative democracy, so Kasapidis must maintain the public’s support to remain in power. His decisions should be made with this in mind.
During his two years so far in office, he has watched the nation slowly unravel with no easy fix. He believes that everyone’s voices must be heard so that peace can be found. His goal is to mend the nation of California and carry it into the coming future.
Morgan Malcolm is the lead news anchor on CaliPremier News Network. They started the network back in 2040, when California broke off from North America, and have been informing the public on issues such as climate change, dinosaur control, and international politics ever since. They have always been independent—they’ve never made any deals with politicians or collaborated with any other news sources. Above all, Morgan’s goal is to make sure the truth survives.
Lazarus Grant is an iceberg scientist at DinoCore Labs (the organization) originally known as Arctic Explorations. He led PolarRecon65, the team that discovered the first dinosaur remains back in 2065, and he’s done a lot since. DinoCore Labs wields the scientific knowledge that makes breeding dinosaurs possible, and so far they are the only ones with access to this information or technology.
Arctic Explorations was originally an organization dedicated to climate research, and they have maintained this value in the process of transitioning to their new business: dinosaurs. As the company has changed, so has Grant’s role; he is now the CEO of DinoCore, and the architect behind the dinosaur program. His goal is to preserve the role his research plays in California today, and to keep this monumental project running.
Ian Lewis is the president of DinoTech Industries, a corporation which manufactures dino control products such as harnesses, microchips, collars, heat-sensing cameras, remote controls, and pepper spray. This company dates from 2070 and has been under scrutiny ever since. Their intended users are the researchers at DinoCore Labs, who depend on them to keep their test-subject dinosaurs in check, but they are also used by civilians who want to take dino eradication into their own hands, such as those involved in the Dino Extermination Black Market and the human rights organization SkinNotScales.
Dino rights activists, like those at SauroSave, criticize Ian Lewis for creating tools that make dinosaur abuse easier and more accessible on a day-to-day basis. Lewis maintains that his products are intended for the greater good of humanity, and will continue manufacturing them if it furthers life-saving scientific research.
Lex Muldoon runs the dino extermination black market. It was very difficult to get Muldoon to this committee, as their identity has been a secret from the public until now. Even still, not much about them is known to protect their operations.
As of right now, it is not technically legal for a private citizen to kill a dinosaur, except in self defense. This is meant to deter mass killings of the creatures by those with political motivations, not safety ones. Because of this, Muldoon’s organization has to operate under the radar (reportedly using equipment purchased from DinoTech Industries, though DinoTech has no active cooperation with Muldoon). When they receive complaints from clients wishing for rogue dinosaurs to be removed from their land, or their neighborhood, Muldoon and their team will hunt down and exterminate the unwanted dinosaur. As the issue of rogue dinos increases, the government of California has less and less interest in prosecuting Muldoon. Instead, Muldoon was invited to provide some insight on their experiences. Muldoon’s goal is to keep their vital operation running, while simultaneously cooperating with the committee.
Dennis Wu is the head of the dino rights organization SauroSave. Considered to be one of the most radical groups out there, SauroSave has come under fire for prioritizing dino welfare over human safety, but Wu insists that SauroSave’s mission is to find a safe and humane place for dinosaurs in human society.
In recent years, SauroSave’s efforts have included dinosaur sanctuaries, dino awareness campaigns, and regulations as to the quantity and types of DinoTech Industries products that DinoCore Labs can use. These laws have not yet been passed, but Wu is on a nationwide mission to garner support for them and similar legislation.
Ellie Dodge is the head of human rights organization, SkinNotScales. They believe that dinosaurs must be eradicated in order for humans to survive, even at the expense of losing the benefits that these creatures bring. They cite the recent dino attacks as evidence of the need for their cause, and have publicly accused DinoCore and Yum-A-Saurus of negligence and irresponsible handling.
The mission of SkinNotScales is to protect human life from dinosaurs at all cost, and they are willing to go to great lengths to negotiate their goals. Dodge is prepared to lead this fight, no matter what happens.
Hannah Hernandez is the head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and is one of the most powerful environmental decision-makers in the nation of California. The biggest concern of the EPA lately has been the possibility of converting dino fat into fuel, but they are also engaged in conversations about Yum-A-Saurus farms and Polar Recon65.
Hernandez has said on record that she’s “neither team human nor team dinosaur, but team California.” Her top priority is to make sure that the nation remains a suitable place for any species to live in.
Sattler Goldblum is the head of Anthrodinopology Labs (AL), the leading experts on human-dino relations. The Labs are dedicated to social science experiments between human volunteers and dinos provided by DinoCore Labs. Many corporations, including DinoCore Labs, SkinNotScales, SauroSave, and DinoTech Industries, depend on AL’s research for their operations.
Still, Sattler Goldblum has his critics, who say that his experiments are unethical because the dinosaurs cannot opt out of participation. Goldblum responds that his methods are not whatsoever harmful to either species, but rather further the overall wellbeing of both. He believes the social strife between humans and dinosaurs is the most pressing issue the nation faces today.
Murphy Nedry is the wealthiest private citizen of California. Described as a billionaire and self-described as a philanthropist, his investment fund NedryFund has a stake in nearly every large corporation in the nation. If it makes money, you can bet Nedry has a stake in it.
As of now, Nedry’s financial interests span across all corners of the dinosaur debate. He has not pulled funds from any projects, even as the dinosaur issue gains footing, but that could change at any time. He came to this committee to be convinced, whatever that may mean, and his goals are simple: make more money.
Alex Ramachandran is the lead scientist at UnFossilFuel, a lab that is developing a fuel made out of dinosaurs. Their findings so far are secret, as they don’t want to risk idea theft from competitors. They are not affiliated with DinoCore, and they don’t work with live dinosaurs, instead purchasing meat in bulk from Yum-A-Saurus.
This could be the future of fuel, and a new horizon for environmental progress. It is also an argument for keeping dinos around. Ramachandran’s goal is to protect their research, and pave the way for this exciting new resource.
Nico Sembène is the creator of the Triassic Park Theme Park. It sits on the plot of theold DisneyLand, though it has surpassed it in fame and success. The Park features typical attractions like rollercoasters (such as the massive Stegosaurus Slide) and bumper cars (Velociraptor Vehicles), but it also has more interactive exhibits, like the Dino Petting Zoo and the Dino Selfie Booth (where, yes, you take a selfie with a dinosaur).
The close human-dinosaur contact in such a loud, high-energy environment as an amusement park has led to some incidents of violence. Dinosaurs, feeling overstimulated and panicked, have attacked humans, some of whom have attacked back. In short, the Park has had a few bloody days in the past couple of years. Sembène’s main interest remains fostering friendship and understanding between the humans and dinosaurs at his park, which has been evident in the long-lasting relationships that Park employees and frequent visitors have formed with the Park’s dinosaurs. Sembène wants to preserve this interspecies connection above all else.
Zara Grady is the CEO of Yum-A-Saurus, the company that processes dinosaur meat for distribution and consumption. They have a direct relationship with DinoCore that allows them this direct supply of dinosaurs to raise for meat. At this time it is believed that the escaped dinosaurs are coming from their fields.
Grady, a scientist earlier in her career, runs Yum-A-Saurus with the precision of one. She has stated publicly that the escaped dinosaur issue deeply dismays her, but that she believes the positives outweigh the negatives when it comes to the distribution of resources that her company provides. Her goal is to keep the supply of dinosaur meat running strongly.