Wednesday, June 13th, 2007
Amanda (Kathy), David (Nick), and Harrison (David) each manage to dodge the charging dinosaur. As the dinosaur races past them, into the dense foliage, the characters hear a gunshot! Amanda says that it's not the ceratopsid, it's a herbivore, and she thinks it might be a Dryosaur. Telling Hennessy and the two SAS soldiers to remain behind, Amanda, David, and Harrison cautiously make their way through the undergrowth, and come upon the creature - crippled, keening and thrashing about in shock. David races up to the dinosaur, heedless of Harrison's shouted warning. At that moment, Roger Smith and three of his followers emerge from the foliage to see the creature on the ground. With a shout, he aims his shotgun at the creature once more, as David stands protectively in front of it.
Alexander (Tom), Jenny (Joanne), and Jessica (Angela) and the three SAS soldiers confront the creature, obviously a predatory dinosaur. Jenny whispers that she thinks this might be a ceratopsid of some sort. Jenny sees that the creature has recently fed, and that is might be more territorial than predatory at the moment. Very carefully, Alexander leads the characters as they back off with Morris into the underbrush near the GCL survey campsite. The juvenile dinosaur moves off into the forest. Following a hunch, Jessica tells the other two that they need to follow the dinosaur.
Roger tells Amanda, David, and Harrison that it's the Westbury Monster, and threatens to kill it. He accuses the player characters of covering up the whole thing, and again blames them for the attack on his nephew. David goes closer to the creature, and tells Roger to look closely at the creature; it couldn't really have bitten Henry, as it's got no real teeth. Amanda points out that it uses its head to butt opponents, not to bite them. Convinced, Roger backs off, and David proceeds to try and treat the dryosaur. Roger tells them that he's going to find the Westbury Monster that did this to the Henry Smith, and he and his three friends head off into the woods again.
Alexander, Jenny, and Jessica follow the juvenile dinosaur's winding trail and arrive at the Anomaly, deep into the forest. Several trails have been blazed to and from the Anomaly. They watch as the juvenile predatory dinosaur goes through the Anomaly, home where it belongs. Alexander, Jenny, and Jessica head back towards the GCL campsite, along with Morris, who starts asking questions of the two women about what the "funky light show" was all about. Once away from the Anomaly, Alexander has Jessica walkie-talkie to the others about what they've found, and asks the other group to meet them at the campsite.
David has Amanda tell Jessica and the others that he's not going anywhere - he's got to try and tend the wounded dryosaur. Unnoticed by him, David gets the dryosaur's blood all over himself. Before anyone says anything else, there is a terrible roar, and a huge specimen of the dinosaur predator enters the area where the wounded dryosaur is writhing on the ground. Jessica shouts "Where are you?" into the walkie-talkie, and Amanda tells her, even as Alexander, Jenny, and Jessica start to run in that direction, the soldiers close behind.
Hennessy orders his men to open fire at the huge dinosaur, as it lumbers towards David and the wounded dryosaur, the EMT frozen in fear at the approaching creature. The gunfire has little effect, but serves to cause the creature to move towards the soldiers, Hennessy adding his fire to his men's. As Hennessy's men back off, the creature moves straight for the dryosaur. The soldiers head straight into an area full of the purple ferns...and they explode with spores, causing the soldiers to have hallucinogenic experiences. Followed by the predatory dinosaur, which Amanda tentatively identifies but doesn't share with her friends, the creature is blinded by the cloud of spores temporarily. Alexander grabs David, telling him he can't save the dryosaur from the creature; David is unwilling to abandon it, but Alexander cold cocks him one, and slings the unconscious medic over his shoulders, as he and Amanda flee into the woods. With the more appetising meal of the dryosaur before it, the creature doesn't pursue them.
Alexander tells the recovered David (who hasn't forgiven him) and Amanda to get to the campsite described by Jessica. When asked, he tells Jessica that he's going after his men. Alexander easily finds their trails, but is only able to find one of his men still alive. One has died, seemingly of convulsions, but he is unable to find the other, as he realises there are a couple of the predatory dinosaurs lurking around. He makes his way back, and attempts to rejoin Amanda and David.
A breathless group of characters, minus Alexander, are reunited at the site of the GCL survey campsite. The five player characters give a quick, gulping recap of their adventures since they split up, but Hennessy wants to know where his captain is and the other SAS soldiers. Amanda tells him what happened, and Morris (who is introduced to the player characters) tells them that he had noticed that the purple ferns were hallucinogenic after what happened to several of his fellow scientists. Amanda smiles, and tells them she might have a plan; she asks Morris if there are any large concentrations of ferns, and he tells her about the pickup truck with the load of them near the access road. Amanda says it might work.
The returning Alexander asks what might work? While the characters are glad to see him, David is rather curt with him, something sensed by Jessica, but when she asks him about it David refuses to talk to her. Amanda questions Morris about the purple ferns and their effect, but learns little more from him about it, although Alexander offers his opinions about Josephs, who's been affected by them. David reminds Amanda about the fact that Henry Smith acted as if he were sedated and drugged, and Amanda tells him that she does; she says that that may have been a mild case due to the fern material being on the dryosaur's teeth when it bit him. She surmises that the dryosaurs are immune to the fern's hallucinogen. When Alexader asks if humans are, Amanda merely points at the clearly hallucinating Josephs. Amanda starts to tell them her plan, and her concerns with said plan...
Following Morris's directions, the player characters find the pick-up truck. The flatbed is half filled with the purple fern-like plants, the truck parked at the end of an overgrown laneway. Jessica and Jenny are alarmed when the truck starts rocking back and forth as the characters approach, but they burst out laughing when a small dryosaur pokes its head out of the back, its duck-like beak crammed with ferns. Alexander grudgingly admits that Amanda was right - the ferns are one of the creatures' favourite foodstuffs. The player characters pile into the 4x4 pick-up truck. Harrison notes that the trees are widely spaced enough that they can drive the truck where they want to go. "Anomaly Ho!" shouts Jessica. With David driving and Alexander riding shotgun, the pick-up truck races for the Anomaly.
What follows is a harrowing, danger-fraught journey across the forested area. As soon as the characters set off in the pick-up truck, the motion of the vehicle dislodges spores from the ferns. Amanda looks back and says it's working - the trail of purple dust the characters' vehicle is leaving in its wake attracts more dryosaurs out of the forest undergrowth. The herbivores sprint alongside the truck, eager to scrabble on board and get some more of their favourite purple food. Alexander is forced to kick several of the creatures in order to prevent them getting on-board and slowing the vehicle down, but they rebound pretty quickly and continue to pursue the vehicle.
David struggles to control the pick-up on such a treacherous course through the forest at such speeds. The chase is made all the more harrowing as, attracted by the dryosaurs' squealing, there is a massive roar, and two of the huge predatory dinosaurs explode out of the forest, their pounding feet causing the ground to shake. The herd of dryosaurs scatter, but the two predators fixate on the dryosaur on the truck - and the player characters. Alexander takes a couple of shots at the leading dinosaur, but the swaying of the vehicle as David struggles to drive it without causing it to overturn or worse causes him to abandon that pursuit. In the process, Alexander gets a partial snoot full of the purple ferns, and begins to suffer hallucinations. He begins to shadow box, dropping and losing his rifle in the process. With heroic effort, Harrison and Jenny work their way out of the vehicle and attempt to restrain him. They are barely successful at doing so. Coupled with the predators' rams against the pick-up truck that make it shake, rattle and roll, David is able with desperate resolve [he spends 6 Story Points all told] to keep the vehicle under control. Jenny and Harrison nearly lose their balance and tumble from the pick-up truck, but Jenny's limberness and Harrison's agility and strength stand them both in good stead [well, that and 4 Story Points!].
David shouts that they are approaching the Anomaly, fast. There's no time to abandon ship, so in a flurry of speed and light, the pick-up truck runs straight through the Anomaly! As David executes a quick u-turn in the Jurassic, Amanda climbs out of the truck, and tosses two of the small dryosaurs out of the back of the vehicle [spending 3 Story Points]. In a flurry, Jessica scrambles out of the vehicle on the side runner, and manages to get rid of the final baby dryosaur [she spends 3 Story Points.] Amanda inhales some of the spores, and is prevented from leaping out of the vehicle into the Jurassic period by Harrison's strong arm. As the player characters' pick-up truck vanishes back through the pulsating Anomaly, there is a roar as the two predators launch themselves after the various dryosaurs fleeing into the primeval forest.
Two days later, the player characters are once more sitting in a conference room at the Home Office. A very pleased with himself Archibald Lowrie is congratulating Amanda, David, Alexander, Jenny, Jessica, and Harrison on a job well done, notably Jessica for the spin job that she managed with this one. She has managed to convince most of the people who've witnessed dinosaurs (notably Roger Smith and his friends as well as Morris Carter) that they were hallucinating. However, the ferns have spread throughout the forest and are beginning to encroach into the surrounding countryside. Lowrie tells the characters that the Home Office will be devoting much of its scientific endeavours for the next little while on how to control the ferns and possibly eradicate them from this time period. The player characters have a good laugh reliving the memory of what the fern hallucinogen did to those characters affected by it, but the mood isn't lightened by David's antagonism towards Alexander. While David can't forgive Alexander for making him abandon the wounded dryosaur, he tells the others that he understands why it was necessary, but doesn't like it. He's come to see that Alexander really is just a military man. Alexander comments curtly to this before excusing himself. Harrison talks to David afterwards, and says that sometimes it's necessary to do what had to be done in this instance. But if he had been there, Harrison insists, he would have knocked Alexander's block down a notch.
The players continued the Friday night Primeval RPG game campaign, and had a pretty good time of it. The Primeval RPG continues to amaze me with its simplistic seeming rules, the way it seamlessly doesn't interefere in the roleplaying aspects of the game, and the way that action scenes always unravel in such a rapid, unscripted manner. I don't find that players who've watched the series have any real advantage over players who haven't, as the game and the situations that players' characters find themselves in means that everyone reacts in game character; sometimes, those who've watched the series may be at a disadvantage, since they think they know what the creature they're dealing with or what's going on. That's the fun of the game, and one of the most enjoyable parts of the game for me as GM.
Last night's session was a pretty good game session of around 4 hours give or take. It had a bit of everything in it once more, though two of the player characters were seriously at odds with one another about some of the stuff going on. All of the players agreed that it was one of the best sessions of Primeval RPG that they'd played so far, and that it was a terrific way to end the 2012 year's gaming.