Saturday, August 11th, 2007
Harrison (David) is just barely able to dodge the leaping cat [he spends 2 Story Points to do so], and the cat leaps past him and turns on the group of characters. Three other cats of similar size stalk menacingly towards Alexander (Tom), Jenny (Joanne), Jessica (Angela), and Olivia (Ellie), and the three adults form a defensive perimeter to protect Olivia, who picks up a stout branch her own body length. Two of the cats leap at them, and both Jenny and Alexander fire their weapons at the creatures. Harrison grabs a stout plank, and swats the cat as it leaps at him again. One of the cats strikes at Jenny, and in a fit of anger at it, Olivia swings her branch at it, distracting it from the computer geek. Alexander fights off the cat with sheer brute strength, using his gun as leverage [he spends 2 Story Points to do so], and the injured cats decide that discretion is the better part of valor. The player characters lick their wounds, and decide to head back to the base camp near the bridge, as two of the women have been severely clawed. Jenny thanks Olivia for her help, and the child is quite pleased about being able to hold her own.
Amanda (Kathy), David (Nick) and the five SAS soldiers are wary of the cats, and as the beasts stalk them, two of the soldiers panic despite Corporal Harry Morris ordering the rest not to do so, and they fire at two of the cats. The ferocious prehistoric creatures instantly attack, though one of the beasts goes down. Amanda hunkers down as best she can, and reluctantly fires at one of the cats. She misses completely, and the cat launches itself at her, almost mauling her quite badly [she spends 2 Story Points to prevent this], though she takes a serious gash in the left arm and shoulder. Two of the other SAS men gun the creature down before it can do any more damage to her. David dodges behind a tree, but the cat's agility despite its size places him in danger. One of the soldiers, Parker, throws himself in front of the EMT, and kills the creature while suffering mortal wounds himself. The cats, having taken losses and some severe wounds, flee into the forest. Morris radios Alexander about what has occurred, and the two groups agree to meet up.
Appalled at what has happened to the two groups, Alexander radios the base camp and learns that the SAS soldiers he left there have evacuated the Kensington Tours bus back to Nottingham. He tells them that he wants them to get more men from London as quickly as possible, as they've got some "clean-up" to handle. Jenny, Jessica, and Olivia tell him they can travel, and he informs Amanda and David that he and his will rendezvous with them, and they're to stay relatively put. David says they can do that, as Amanda is hurt quite badly, and he's going to try and treat her injuries as best he can.
Several hours later, the player characters are resting back at the Home Office base camp near the High Hill bridge. With their wounds having been treated by Dr. Martha Elwood, one of the best staff doctors working for the Home Office on the Anomaly problems, the player characters are more chipper and somewhat more healthy. The entire area has been cordoned off, and the player characters are debating their options for how to handle the situation and the cats. Amanda, Harrison, and the others discuss the situation, and Amanda tells them that she has an idea. She tells Alexander that they'll need to bring in some "raw materiels" to use for the purpose she has in mind - they're going to lure the large cats back to the Anomaly, using their base instincts to do so. However, Alexander says that they need to wait until morning, as they can't operate to do this in the dark. He will, however, send for the raw materiels she requested as soon as possible.
The next morning, the 12th of August, dawns warm and sunny. Dr. Elwood tells several of the characters, noticeably Jessica and Amanda, that their wounds need more time to heal, but the two are insistent that they are part of the business at hand. The player characters go back into the forest, hunting down the large cats, which Amanda was able to research and learned were Dinofelis; they were found from the Pliocene to the Pleistocene. The shipment of a large quantity of raw steak and other choice meats (at the Home Office's expense) arrived early in the morning from Nottingham, and thus Amanda's plan can be enacted.
The group splits up into small groups, each of which is accompanied by a group of four SAS soldiers. Each group of characters has a quantity of meat that has been laced with catnip (Amanda guessing that it might affect primeval cats, despite their large size, the same way it affects modern day cats). Amanda and Jenny and David head deep into the woods to the site of the Anomaly. They find four adult dinofelis, and a pair of kits, which are immediately attracted by the quantities of meat the player characters are carrying. Amanda and David, nimbly aided by the soldiers, manage to lure the dinofelis back to the Anomaly, and throwing the meat through are gratified when the creatures plunge through the shimmering time portal back to the other side.
Harrison, Alexander, and Jessica with their contingent of soldiers head back to the site where another of the attacks on the player characters occurred, and find a group of six dinofelis attracted to the tantalising scent of the meat. The player characters lead them a merry chase, although Alexander is forced to wound two of the dinofelis as they try to attack Jessica [she has the Fresh Meat Bad Trait]. Eventually, the player characters and the soldiers reach the Anomaly, and are able to use the same trick that Amanda, David, and Jenny were able to use to lure the creatures through the Anomaly.
Both groups of characters are relieved when the Anomaly implodes in on itself, vanishing without a trace, but Jenny expresses concern over the Gigantopithecus Blacki. Amanda tells her that she thinks the creature has lived in the woods of Nottingham for some time, as it's become part of the myth and legend of the place, and that it certainly can take care of itself. And it likely won't be seen unless it wants to be. Besides, she doesn't believe that it comes from exactly the same time period as the Dinofelis.
As the player characters head back to Nottingham proper, Jenny asks Harrison, "So what's the tour of the Nottingham bridges all about?" Harrison looks at her, and starts laughing. Pretty soon the entire group of player characters, and the soldiers are having a good laugh about the matter.
Friday night, the players continued on with their Primeval RPG campaign, and had a pretty good time of it. The players had a tough time of it at first with their characters, fighting for their lives in a couple of serious skirmishes against the prehistoric beasties of the scenario, but actually revelled in it quite a bit. Nick said when it was over that it was the first time in a bit where they actually felt like their characters' lives were seriously in jeopardy, and it was thrilling for them. (His words, not mine.)
David commented that the session's combat sequences really highlighted how well the game system and combat mechanics work in the Primeval game, but that the system also offers some wonderful non-physical social and psychological aspects to conflict as well. Kathy's Amanda Tarrascon, the zoologist, suffered a serious injury in this one that she wants to turn into a turning point in her life, and she'll be adding a new Bad Trait to the character's list, wanting to take the Slow Runner to account for what happened to her character. This session marks the end of an adventure that I had a good time running, largely due to the players and their investment in the action and all.
Looking forward to whatever next week's game session brings.