This past weekend I got the chance to play Predation again for the first time in a long time. The session was fun and I was reminded about how interesting the setting was. I was also reminded how the characters each have a dinosaur companion and how each player at the table role-plays the companion for another player.
After the session I got to thinking about how the companion mechanics were fun, but...
That but really got me though. But, it was sometimes tough to juggle two character sheets. But, it was difficult to remember who was playing which character and which dino (this was exacerbated by using Zoom so it wasn't as easy as just looking to ones left or right). But, I was having a lot more fun with the dino companion than I was with my human character.
Lots of buts. That last one was the kicker tho. I really did have more fun playing a prehistoric chicken than I did playing my (checks papers) Creative Osteon who Crafts Unique Objects.
I wonder if there is any reason why one could not instead split your players roughly into two groups and have half of them play people, and half of them play dinosaurs. Give the dinosaurs actual types and foci to make them more fully realized characters. Problem solved?
Well, doing this would make play a little easier as you wouldn't have to try and play two characters at once. It would also mean less to track for the GM and other folks at the table. It would allow players to get more fully into character since they wouldn't have to worry about the companion dino for another player, or for their primary human. Best of all it would allow for a lot of role-play between players at the table. Imagine the player-player relationship between a "Disobedient t-rex" and an "Uptight scientist," or between a "stealthy warrior" and a "clumsy brontosaur"! By cutting the number of characters in half and allowing the dinosaurs to be more fully realized I think you could gain some really interesting role-play at the table that would otherwise often be minimized during play.
Of course, if you prefer Predation as it stands right now you should keep enjoying it, but I think if I run a game in the future I may consider this as an option to allow the players to choose before we start.