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Here is the next session of the Primeval RPG campaign featuring the Sunday afternoon gaming group. This session dates back to January 29th, 2012. You can read about the previous session of the game in this journal entry. This post is somewhat long, and I've put it behind a cut so that folks who don't want to read any detailed rpg posts don't have to.

Eighth Session
Friday, March 24th, 2007

Most of the prehistoric rhinos move off towards the denser vegetation and start to graze. The remaining one close to the player characters starts to stomp. Gwen (Tammy) and Jennifer (GM NPC) talk, as Jennifer continues to attempt to ID the creatures. They are obviously from the Late Cretaceous period. Gwen tries to determine how to get away from the creatures safely, but sees no viable exit strategy. Caroline is totally frozen in fear. Gwen tries to talk Caroline calmly into slowly backing up, but Caroline screams in fear, and starts running back towards the Estate. The creatures react and bellow, and the alpha male and the other two males start to thunderingly run after her. Gwen and Jennifer struggle to keep their footing, and by the time they have recovered, the three prehistoric rhinos have gone past them. Jennifer tells Gwen not to move, as the latter sees the rest of the herd starting to pursue the leading male and his two followers. They pick up speed, and head directly towards Gwen and Jennifer.

Back at the Estate, Tim (SteveR) enters the area where the body has been found, and is met by Cartwright with a deprecating greeting. He and Jimmy (Douglas) go and look at the body, and Tim realises the victim had dragged himself into the building from the rear. They go out through a pair of mahogany doors, and find themselves at the rear of the building in the open, ornamental garden. Their attention is drawn to some prints in the sod, which seem to be tri-clawed and 1/4 mm deep. The tracks appear to lead to the forest off to the northwest. Tim says that they need to find whatever it was. Cartwright, who has followed them outside, says that's an excellent idea, and summons over two of the SAS soliders, Larson and Jones. They'll accompany Tim and Jimmy to find the wild animal that's on the loose. The decide to grab a few things to take with them, and agree to meet by the doors in twenty-five minutes.

Jennifer stands her ground while Gwen is barely able to stand her own. The ground shakes as the creatures thunder past. Jennifer wipes her face of the sweat, while Gwen stands there shaking with fear-induced adrenalin. She's surprised that she's still alive. Having had a much closer look, Jennifer tells Gwen that the creatures are Pachyrhinosauruses, ancestors of the rhinos from the Late Cretaceous period. She doesn't know how or why they are here in the present. Jennifer says that they have to follow the herd and find Caroline, but Gwen is slow to recover her senses, but finally agrees to do so, and the two women start to follow the Pachyrhinosaurus trail. They come upon seven of the herd, munching away on bushes with white flowers at the edge of a copse of woods. There is no sign of Caroline or the other prehistoric beasts. They look around and hear the sound of automatic gunfire. The herd is not being affected by the sound, so the two women run towards the noise.

Jennifer and Gwen come upon the scene of Caroline, curled up by a tree, where she is being covered by Denby and Jombers, the crumpled body of Gordon lying nearby. His chest has massive gouges in it, and it has been caved in. Some twenty metres away, a Pachyrhinosaurus is munching away at some of the tough grasses. Jennifer and Gwen approach with caution; they sadly discover that Gordon is definitely dead. The other two SAS men are protecting Caroline. Jombers is crying, bubbling that Gordon didn't mean to shoot it...and now he's dead! Jennifer and Gwen approach Caroline, and hear her mumbling that he's dead, and that it's all her fault.

Tim, Jimmy, Larson, and Jones continue to follow the trail that leads off to the west. Jimmy spots the body of a bear in a nearby copse, and they go to investigate. Tim discovers that the bear has been eviscerated. They decide to continue to follow the trail, which seems to have multiple sets of tracks, and realise that there is more than one type of beast. They follow the trail to the edge of the forest. Jimmy spots what appear to be a herd of rhinos, but also sees what seems to be a mirror-like effect in the distance]. They reach the edge of the trees, and decide to call in the rest of the SAS squad.

Jennifer slowly approaches the Pachyrhinosaur and begins to study it avidly. Gwen learns from the two SAS men that they were sent out to bring her and Jennifer back to the Estate; one of the guests has been killed. Jennifer says that she needs Gwen's help to ge the Pachyrhinosaur back to the herd; she works with fossils, not living animals. Denby has Jombers help Caroline, while he goes to take care of Gordon's body. Gwen studies the creature munching away, and realising what sort of plants it seems to like, she goes and gathers a few similar plants from the nearby copse. With Jennifer handing her individual plants, she manages to lure the Pachyrhinosaur back to the herd.

Tim, Jimmy, and the SAS men enter the forest. They feel closed in, quarters are close, and the wood has an oppressive feel to it. The SAS men grumble that they can't stay as close together as they would like. The characters are taken by surprise and ambushed by a pair of raptor-like dinosaurs, and five of the SAS soldiers are slaughtered. During the confusion, Tim trips over one of the dead SAS men. He realises the man was killed the same way the guest was back at the Estate. Tim discovers that he's covered in blood.

One of the raptor-like dinosaurs charges out of the foliage at Jimmy, and he swings his cricket bat to deflect the bite and strikes it in the head [using 2 Story Points, and inflicting 8 damage!]. The wounded raptor gets his scent, and flees back to the rest of the pack. The various raptor-like dinosaurs go back into the forest proper, and the player characters and the surviving SAS men retreat back to the safety of the woods' exterior. Jimmy manages to haul Tim out of the forest. One of the soldiers near the edge of the forest is attacked by one of the theropods, raking him with its talons. Jimmy beats it back with his cricket bat, knocking it down, and an enraged Larson kills it with his SA-80.

From the point of view of the game itself and the player characters and their actions and roleplaying, I have to say that I'm pretty pleased with the scenario so far, and this session of the Priemeval game. Tammy is doing a good job with Gwendolyn ("Gwen") Thorpe, her tour guide, and is getting the feel of the game quite nicely. spross is struggling somewhat with his geophysics graduate student, but part of this may be my own biases now that that I've nearly finished my Geology 101 class. Still, spross very rarely plays scientists and that sort of character well, so we'll see how he develops. Doug's James "Jimmy" Black, on the other hand, has surprised me. I was afraid that the character would come across very much like his character Green Harry in the Airship Pirates rpg game sessions that I was running, but his ex-con butcher has been a pleasant surprise, and is not as one-dimensional as I expected him to be. Cricket bat, indeed! :)

From the plot point of view, the adventures I've run so far have been quite decent I think, but as with any game based on a show such as Primeval, there is always the struggle to balance roleplaying with the action. I like to think that I'm doing a decent job of this so far, and will definitely try to maintain that element of the game. Hopefully the players are finding that element of the Primeval game all right, as well. I'm also trying not to give them too many beasties at this point that are overwhelming for the player characters to deal with, especially as none of them have really good combat skills (i.e., Fighting and Marksman), and so far, so good. However, I've got to introduce some decent predators for them to take on sooner rather than later. In addition, I've got to come up with a few future beasties for them to encounter, since I can't just keep focusing on creatures from the past. (If anyone has any ideas, I'm all for hearing from you in the Comments section below.)


John Kahane

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