The jerks at Penny Arcade (not actually jerks) reminded me of something I’d completely forgotten.
Transdimensional TMNT was the first RPG book I ever bought. It’s only a supplement and pretty much useless without the core book, but how could a ten year old hope to deny that cover?
It had The Turtles, a T-Rex, and a Giant Robot at the same time. As if that wasn’t enough, and it was, it was a book about time travel, a subject I’d been 100% gay for since 1985. Hell, it’s still one of my favorite covers (of anything) and probably my all time favorite RPG book because the intervening twenty years have done nothing to reduce my fondness for The Turtles, a T-Rex, Giant Robots, or time travel.
My favorite picture in this favorite book is that of the Saurinoid. See, you could play as different kinds of dinosaurs. I mean, this is a setting where turtles can become ninja. Introducing dinosaurs into this process is surprisingly logical. Anyway, the Saurinoid was a catch-all dino for Dromaeosauridae, only this was back in 1988 so they looked more like Jurassic Park than a parrot. What was particularly fascinating about it, though, was that he was wearing clothes.
It blew my dumb 10 year old mind. Here’s this dinosaur and it’s wearing clothes. Suddenly, every other dinosaur in the book nude. Thus, I was immediately aware of what clothes meant. They were no longer merely a statement of utility or fashion. They were a statement of personhood.
That Robo has always worn clothes in his every iteration is a direct descendant of that revelation one Sunday afternoon twenty years ago.
Dr. Dinosaur, one of the Robo’s more active protagonists in the modern era, is a clothes-wearin’ time-travelin’ tribute to that plucky Saurinoid.