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Carnivore Confusion / Tabletop Games

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  • AD&D Planescape Kings of the Wild accessory: The creatures of the Beastlands (a heavenly realm, also known as the Happy Hunting Grounds) hunt and eat each other—c'est la vie. Because the possibility of being devoured by Owl is just part of what it means to be Mouse. Moreover, to kill an animal without subsequently eating it is "the ultimate insult" to the whole species (and possibly all other species under the same Animal Lord's rule). "Predators Are Mean" was invoked once, and this ultimately was the stupid mortals' fault. Initially at least the Animal Lords themselves (who can assume humanoid form) were exempt from the menu, but times changed. On the other hand, the Mouse Lord, being the ultimate "sneaky rodent", is so good at hiding and escaping that only the Owl Lord can hunt him down.
    • Unknown if it's been retconned since or not, but the Beastlands had a sort of "Valhalla-esque" vibe—anything that died there (whether eaten or not) would revive the next day. Thus the Mouse Lord being eaten by the Owl Lord isn't so much utterly destroyed as inconvenienced for a few hours, maybe a day. Well, eaten alive then inconvenienced for a few hours.
  • Subverted in the Ravenloft setting's domain of the Wildlands, where all the Talking Animals have a mean streak regardless of ecological niche.
  • Also AD&D Example but not involving animals, it's quite common for Always Chaotic Evil Races to eat anything not their race, like Giants, Orcs or Goblins. On a more horrifying level, Illithids even breed and enslave Anything That Moves as tasty snacks and workforce. Also in one novel it's stated that humans make bad slaves for drow, because they are way too prone to rebelliousness, but they are quite useful for trade connections or if you run low on other food...
  • The Lunar Exalted in Exalted have the innate ability to assume the form of animals. They acquire new forms by killing an animal of the appropriate species (presumably after hunting it down themselves) and drinking its fresh blood in a very literal case of "you are what you eat". And given the right charm, they can use this trick with humans as well...
  • GURPS Furries has a sidebar on the subject listing several options: "Funny Animal" (the Roadrunner Vs Coyote dynamic, where the predators are defined by wanting to eat the herbivores, but never succeed in doing so and never starve as a result); "Furry vs Animal" (a Furry Confusion setting where non-anthro animals are food); "Vegetarian Carnivore" (Exactly What It Says on the Tin, ignoring biological restrictions on this); "Institutionalized Predation" (a world like Kevin & Kell, where intelligent carnivores eat other intelligent animals, but there are rules); "Sufficiently Advanced Technology" (where artificial food is provided for obligate carnivores); and "Law of Nature" (where intelligent carnivores eat other intelligent animals, and there aren't rules).
  • Averted in the "furry RPG" Ironclaw, where only mammals and birds are anthropomorphic, leaving reptiles (lizards, dinosaurs, dragons) as the beasts of burden and livestock.
    • Later editions retconned this because it was unfair to people who liked reptiles and birds and wanted to play as them and it ended up playing the trope straight. Now the world is split between "Standers" who are sentients that run all over the Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism (Mammals are always anthro, with birds and reptiles being closer to Kung Fu Panda in body shape where birds have wings used as arms and snakes don't have any limbs) and "Ferals", who are nonsentient game animals and are okay to eat.
    • This is still played with in the new lore however, certain creatures with Blue-and-Orange Morality like certain kinds of insects may still eat or threaten to eat people. The Baskinist religion primarily worshiped by reptiles and other coldblooded animals also has being branded "Mistaken" as their most severe punishment, which effectively is a surrender of a person's rights to be treated as a Stander and makes them open to being treated like just another feral, which includes lawful killing, skinning, and eating.
  • Explicitly addressed in the Wonderland No More Supplement for Savage Worlds - There is a difference between Animals (with a capital letter, such as Cats or Owls) which are intelligent and animals (with a small initial, cats and owls) that aren't. While it is perfectly OK to eat the latter, eating one of the former is a serious social faux pas - even though some Animals cannot help just smelling too tasty (as per a disadvantage).
  • Wanderhome resolves the tension between predatory and prey animals by having insects be the Fantastic Fauna Counterpart. Whether herbivore animal-folk partake in eating insects, that is up to the table to decide.