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Tabletop Game / Terra Primate

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Terra Primate is a roleplaying game by Eden Studios Inc, the makers of the Unisystem.

Published in 2002, Terra Primate is similar to AFMBE in that it is an "open setting" RPG, relying on a key concept for GMs to build their own game worlds around. In contrast to All Flesh Must Be Eaten, which revolves around zombies, Terra Primate revolves around the concept of man interacting with intelligent apes — Planet of the Apes is a major inspiration to the game.

Unfortunately, this relatively niche concept was the line's downfall; unlike AFMBE, only the corebook was ever created for Terra Primate. It did, however, feature some sample Apeworlds.

  • Dominant Species: Directly inspired by the Planet of the Apes series, an Iron Age setting in which intelligent, but bestial, chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans rule a world in which man are little more than Stone Age savages.
  • Apeopolis: The player characters discover a hyper-advanced city in the Antarctic ice fields, inhabited by a race of highly intelligent human-like gorillas.
  • Heart of Africa: A pulp setting in which the players venture to a lost temple claimed by unusually cunning, savage, carnivorous gorillas, a reference to the film Congo.
  • Majestic Apes: A medieval setting in which intelligent gorillas, chimpanzees and orangutans form the ruling castes over a caste of equally-intelligent but socially inferior human serfs.
  • Invasion of the Apes: A modernistic setting in which Earth comes under attack by militant apes from a parallel reality. One of the few settings to include intelligent gibbons as well as the "classic trinity".
  • Island of Dr. Monroe: A setting based on The Island of Doctor Moreau, where the player characters wind up on the mysterious island retreat of a Mad Scientist who has been trying to create newer and more intelligent chimpanzees and gorillas...
  • Apepocalypse: A post-apocalyptic setting in which humans, the intelligent apes they engineered before the big blast, and horrific mutants must try to survive in a ruined world.
  • Simians and Sorcerers: A fantasy setting in which the Evil Overlord Valak has enslaved three once-peaceful races of intelligent apes and has turned them into living weapons with which to conquer the world.
  • Primal Apes: A Stone Age setting in which rudimentary cultures of four species of intelligent apes are developing; chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans... and humans, or, rather, "Aquans"; in this world, humans have evolved from an amphibious ape species.

This tabletop RPG provides examples of:

  • Alliteration & Adventurers: Simians and Sorcerers is a nod to Dungeons & Dragons.
  • Artistic License – Paleontology: Dinosaurs and other prehistoric reptiles share the planet with apes in Primal Apes. Handwaved because it's an alien, parallel Earth, not our own world.
  • Eternal Recurrence: Careful reading of the fiction pieces scattered throughout the book hints strongly at this, with human and ape civilizations constantly rising, falling, and coming into conflict with each other over centuries or even millenia. The possibility of Time Travel could mean that it's all a very long, convoluted Stable Time Loop.
  • Fantastic Racism: Built into many of the sample settings, in homage to Planet of the Apes. Invasion of the Apes also has prejudice against the intelligent gibbons among their own world, and discusses the possibilities for inter-ape prejudices in the rules.
  • Frazetta Man: One way of portraying the intelligent ape species.
  • Killer Gorilla: Apes are more often than not antagonistic in the setting.
  • Psychic Powers: The "special ones" of the ruleset, analoguous to the Blessed of All Flesh Must Be Eaten, are the Powered, those who use psychic powers. Comes in several different flavors.
    • Bioenergetics: The ability to psionically heal wounds and cure poisoning or disease. The most powerful psychics with this power can even bring the recently dead back to life. A very fatigue-inducing power.
    • Clairvoyance: The ability to see things beyond visual reach and to receive uncanny flashes of insight as to important events.
    • Cognition: The ability to see the past and the future through mental power.
    • Domination: The ability to seize control of the bodies of others and make them obey your will.
    • Mind Probe: The ability to read the thoughts of others.
    • Telekinesis: The ability to move objects with the power of the mind.
    • Telemagry: The ability to generate mental illusions of various levels of "reality".
    • Telepathy: The ability to communicate through the mind alone.
  • Shout-Out: All over the place. The Ape Man archetype is clearly one to Tarzan, the Savage Girl archetype is somewhere between a Distaff Counterpart to the Ape Man and a shoutout to the female protagonist of One Million Years B.C., the Astronaught is clearly derived from the recurring main characters of Planet of the Apes...
    • Telemagry is explicitly stated to be devised from the psychic illusion powers demonstrated by the Mutants in Beneath The Planet of the Apes and the Underdwellers from Return to the Planet of the Apes.
    • Apeopolis is a clear shoutout to Gorilla City from The Flash; the only thing lacking is that the Gorillas in Apeopolis don't have psychic powers.
  • Science Marches On: Lampshaded Trope. A deliberate comment is made early in the start of the book that Planet of the Apes was quite mistaken about its ape roles and that we know now from our studies of primates that something like chimpanzees as soldiers, gorillas as lawmakers and orangutans as "hippy-stand-ins" would be more accurate. It goes on to use them in much the same way as Planet of the Apes did because, well, it's classic. invoked
  • Tech Levels: Social tech levels are given at the end of chapter five in the list of Stone Age, Iron Age, Gunpowder Age, Steam Age, Space Age, and Future Age. The classic Planet of the Apes film is noted as being a weird mix of Iron and Steam Age tech, combining rifle-like guns with no other apparent higher forms of tech.