Sunday, April 8th, 2007
Captain Alexander Taylor (Tom), Amanda Tarrascon (Kathy), Jessica Ransome (Angela), Kathy Blaine, and Travis Donnelly go in the direction that Jessica leads them, and they arrive in the isolated courtyard. Amanda immediately goes over to the two bodies, while Alexander organises things. Amanda, accompanied by Kathy, sees that their injuries have been caused by beak and claw attacks, and suggests to Kathy and then Alexander that they're looking for a very large bird-like dinosaur perhaps. Donnelly returns from a recce and informs Alexander that he's found the Anomaly. Amanda's friend, Kathy, says that she's found some prints, but isn't sure what to make of them. Amanda says they look like large chicken or ostrich prints, but something about them that she can't identify is off. Before the characters and NPCs can do anything else, there is a squawking cry and a large, ostrich-like creature with a small head, toothless beak, large eyes, long neck, short arms, and long tail appears around the corner of a stone wall. It looks about 2-1/2 metres tall, and weighs a good 300 kilos. The creature regards the characters and NPCs menacingly, and Kathy Blaine faints!
Back in the main building of the Feldenham Retirement Home, David Bannister (Nick), Jenny Hansford (Joanne), and Harrison Williams (David) attempt to calm the situation down, as several of the retirees have been hearing strange things about events at the retirement home. Owner Andrew Ferguson expresses annoyance at the SAS people, and but Harrison is able to assuage his concerns somewhat. Meanwhile, Jenny and David hear several strange stories about mysterious noises and lights in the retirement home area over the last few days. David learns a bit more about some of the mysterious noises (chirps, squawks, and other bird-like noises) from one of the retirees, James Connor, who's described later by Andrew Ferguson as a bit of a night owl himself. David informs the others of what he's learned, all the while Christine Foster casting an admiring glance or two at him while he goes about his job rather matter-of-factly, given all that's going on.
Back in the vacated courtyard, Amanda draws her pistol, and stands protectively over the down Kathy, while Alexander and Donnelly interpose themselves between the ostrich-like creature and the rest of the player characters. Donnelly is about to take a shot at the creature, but is snapped at by Alexander, and the ostrich-like creature uses that opportunity to dart back around the corner it came from. Jessica says she'll keep an eye on Kathy, and leaving Donnelly behind as well, Alexander and Amanda dash after the creature. They sprint around the corner, and see the beast dash through a large arch and into what appears to be a hallway. Following it in that direction, they find themselves at the Anomaly in a large area that must have functioned as a garden. Even as they spot the ostrich-like creature disappear through another archway, they see there's another creature there as well, and it appears to be injured. Alexander gets on the horn, and calls Marie Dommanis. Meanwhile, Kathy opens her eyes to find Jessica worriedly looking down at her, and the two chat. Jessica tells her that she fainted, but she's all right now.
Back in the main Feldenham building, Dommanis hears what Alexander has to say, and goes to summon David. She tells him that Captain Taylor is requesting his medical services, but when David asks what it's about, Dommanis is somewhat coy and hesitant (no doubt due to the civilians mingling about). Christine tells David she's going with him, as she's a pretty good paramedic herself, and he offers her no resistance. The two set out in the direction that Dommanis told them to follow, wondering what they're going to find.
The two arrive at the scene where Jessica and Kathy are talking, the latter showing no residual affects after fainting. Jessica is explaining to her that they've taken on various creatures from the past before, and Kathy wants to know why David didn't tell her about this, given their relationship. "What would you say to your significant other if the situation was reversed?" Jessica says, diplomatically. "'Hi, honey, I've been dealing with dinosaurs today. How was your day?'". Christine and Jessica talk some about the matter, with David doing his best to win Christine over. Donnelly arrives back on the scene, and tells David that he's got a rather large patient to deal with. Christine says that she's coming with him, as she's not going to let him leave her out of things now. He agrees, somewhat reluctantly, and the two set off with Donnelly.
Back in the main Feldenham building, one of the security guards reports to Andrew Ferguson that he's just seen something weird over by the annex. Jenny and Harrison tell them that they'll go and check things out, as it might be related to what their teammates are dealing with. Private Bill Trainor, the third SAS soldier, wants to accompany them, but they tell him they'll call him if they need him. They learn that the annex is one of the building additions being worked on, but that work has stopped for over a week due to lack of supplies at the builder's warehouse. The two head over to the annex, Harrison taking his pistol with him and both equipped with torches. As they arrive at the annex, Jenny steps in something squishy. Harrison identifies it as animal dung of some sort, but he can't tell what though it might be bird-like. The two work their way through the ceiling-less structure, but are suddenly menaced by what seems to be a large, ostrich-like creature. As the two debate what to do, the creature squawks rather raucously, and then charges towards them!
The game session of the Primeval RPG was quite a fun one, with the player characters doing equal amounts of running away, making plans, hiding, and some fighting as well. When the session ended, the players told me that they've been really enjoying the game, and were quite surprised to learn how long they've now been playing the Primeval RPG for. "All that, and without an actual published rulebook to use to run it!" Joanne said, smiling. If she and the others (not to mention the Sunday gaming group) only knew...
Something else the players commented on is how the Primeval RPG combines so many different elements in terms of how players have to deal with basic scenario situations. While there is the fighting aspect, this is not something that is encouraged per sé, as Primeval isn't a roleplaying game where dinosaurs are relatively easy to take down, such as Hollow Earth Expedition and games of a more Pulpish feel, as killing the dinosaurs does have consequences as seen in the tv show, and the game has mechanics that address this matter. When you add the investigative, public and media relations, scientific, social, and other elements that the game brings into the mix as well, the Primeval RPG game has so many other dimensions to it, that players can sink their teeth into the game quite nicely. And if the players really want to have their characters fight the dinosaurs, well...they'd better be prepared to deal with the consequences, and the potential body count. That's one of the things that the game emulates rather nicely, the fact that in the Primeval tv series, characters - and some of them leading cast members - die. That said, the game doesn't have to be run with that attitude and style and feel in place, but it's good that the game mechanics lend themselves to being able to do stuff like that.