What follows is the first post about the Friday night Primeval RPG campaign that started in February. This post may be somewhat long, but even if it's not, I've put it behind a cut so that folks who don't want to read any detailed rpg posts don't have to.
Note: If you're in my Sunday afternoon gaming group, you might not want to read the blog journal entries about the Friday night game. **SPOILERS AHEAD!**
Friday, March 2nd, 2007 AD
The first session of the game began with an introduction to the world of the Primeval Roleplaying Game, learning the basic mechanics of the game, and then proceeded through the Primevalverse Glossary. Following this, the player characters partook in several samples
of combat that taught them the basic mechanics of the game. I followed this up with a bit of material on Temporal Damage, Exposure, the use of Story Points once more, and some thoughts on the stuff of Deep Time.
The second game session saw the campaign of Primeval begin in earnest. The player characters are Amanda Tarrascon (Kathy Bauer), Robert Harrington (Steve Bauer), David Bannister (Nick Roberts), Captain Alexander Taylor (Tom Robinson), Jenny Hansford (Joanne Clarke), and Jessica Ransome (Angela Marsh).
The game starts with Professor Amanda Tarrascon, a zoologist with partial amnesia gained during an expedition in Africa. She is working at her office at the Institute for Zoological Studies (IZS) when her assistant, Kathy Blaine, informs her that there's going to be a funding cut due to her lack of serious field work the last few years. She tells Kathy that she's happy teaching courses at Imperial College, but that she does miss the field work. Kathy suggests that perhaps she should apply for a new grant and establish a new field research project, but Amanda tells her that she's sure something will come up in the near future.
At the office of Kensington Tours, Robert Harrington, whose interest in the natural world led him to a degree in Botany and Zoology, and then turned his life towards showing people the great outdoors and the beauty of the wilderness, is talking with Joanne Harper, his immediate boss, about the possible tours that he could escort over the next few weeks. Most of the tours are within the UK itself, several of them at various sites in and around London, and Harrington is not pleased. He tells Joanne there are several other tour operators that have been seeking his services, but she is unimpressed, and dismisses him. Robert heads out into downtown London, and decides to take a walk.
David Bannister, a London medic and Emergency Services man, is having a very busy day at work, as a rash of accidents and domestic situations have kept him and his partner, Christine Foster, quite busy. Bannister and Christine stop for a coffee during their hectic morning, and discuss their date the other day, and Christine says that she'd like to do it again. They are interrupted by a call for them, and head to the site of a small car collision. Treating the injured and wounded, David sees something race down a nearby alley but thinks no more of it, as his overwhelmed senses are playing tricks on his mind.
Captain Alexander Taylor, a military man married and with a child, who wants to find out what happened to his older brother, Arthur, who disappeared when they were teenagers, is spending his day going over several files about his personnel at his military base just outside of London. There are a pair of troublemakers, Donnegal and Hennessy, whom he calls onto the carpet, and has them remain with the unit on condition that they will not cause any further trouble. His assistant, Helen Wensley, informs him that his unit has been called out to some trouble in London. Taylor efficiently and without effort gathers his people together.
Jenny Hansford, a computer geek with some martial arts training, who is fond of fixing electronics and has a phobia of rats, is working in the lab at Masters Electronics, the firm she is employed by, when two of her fellow geeks, Charlie Harris and Dana James, approach her about going for early lunch. The three of them break away and head for Chelton Park, a large tract of woodland that attracts quite a crowd for a variety of purposes at times. Arriving at the park, the three do a bit of yoga, although Jenny is somewhat apprehensive about being in such a lush, woodland setting in the middle of London. The other two sneak off from her while she is momentarily distracted by how a leaf of an oak tree reminds her of a circuit board, and Jenny is furious.
Jessica Ransome, a former diplomat whose career crashed over an international incident, and is now working as a political analyst for one of Britain's tv's newscasts, is summoned to her superior's office. David Ford tells her that he received her request to take a more in-front-of-the-cameras approach to news, and Jessica tells him that she wants to branch out, to possibly become a news reporter. She says that she's grown bored with her life, and needs more adventure and excitement. He says that he'll consider the request, but for now she's to prepare the budget commentary for the next news broadcast, as advertised. Jessica heads off to her work.
Captain Taylor and his team, including Donnegal and Hennessy, arrive on the scene of the situation, and determine that there is a wolf loose in the city, near the area of Chelton Park. The Captain orders several of his men to collect any information he and his people can gather, and he along with Donnegal and Hennessy, move off to follow the creature from its last known position. Based on several quick sightings and descriptions that they have of the creature, Taylor comes to realise that the beast is not a wolf at all, but something else. By the late afternoon, he and his men determine that the beast has gone into Chelton Park.
In the early evening, the various player characters find themselves in Chelton Park, just taking a break from the grind and routine of the day. Amanda is jogging through the park, keeping to proper trails, and getting her exercise. Robert is sitting on a park bench, deep in the woods, listening to the sounds of the people around him. David is walking through the park, thinking about his relationship with Christine, and debating with himself what he saw earlier in the day and whether it was a stress-induced hallucination. Returning to Chelton Park, he jogs through the park intending to head deeper in, when he stumbles over what appears to be a human leg bone, bleached clean. His outcry alerts one of the park's intendants, who immediately calls the police. Jenny returns to Chelton Park to clear her mind and avoid her two friends. She is wandering through the vegetation when she finds what appears to be several packs from hikers in the park. One of the packs has deep scratches, as if made by some large animal. She goes in search of a park intendant, and finds the one that has encountered David and the bone.
Jessica is walking in the park when she comes across Robert, and the two get to talking. She starts to think that his wilderness guide stories would make a good feature for a human interest television report, but before the two of them can discuss it more, they hear movement in the forest off to one side of them. Thinking that it might be someone who's lost or injured, Robert calls out, but his only answer is a gutteral animal sound. The two are taken aback when a creature steps out into the clearing near their bench - a small, carnivourous biped, 3m in length and around 40 kilos, with four digits, large eyes, a long neck and elongated head with curved, blade-like teeth. Frozen with terror, Jessica can only watch as the creature screams at them, and rushes towards them!
Amanda arrives on the scene of the intendant dealing with the bone that David has found, and looks at it. While she can identify it as a human femur, she is puzzled by the marks on the bone that indicate a large animal of some sort had clawed it to the point of leaving the marks in the leg bone itself. David and Amanda are drawn together by the mystery about the claw marks, and confer for several moments, as the police arrive on the scene. Several of the officers find other bones in the loam nearby. The constables question everyone about the matter, though they learn little; no one knows what has happened. However, the forensic specialist, Edward Ferne, says that the two characters are right - something clawed the person in question, and extremely deeply. Jenny snaps a photo with her digital cameral before a policeman can stop her, and then there is a scream off to the right of where the people are grouped around the human remains. As a medic, David's first thought is to check out what made the sound, and he and Amanda follow the sound, along with two of the police officers.
Meanwhile, Captain Alex Taylor and his three fellow soldiers, Donnegal and Hennessy, have tracked whatever it was they saw to Chelton Park, and enter the park in search of the beastie. Following what appear to be a trail of some sort of animal, though he can't identify it, Taylor and the others proceed deeper and deeper into the forested area. Spotting a light of some sort up ahead of them, Hennessy draws Taylor's attention to it, and the group set off in that direction. They emerge in a slightly less forested part of the park, to find a swirling, shimmering yellowish-white circle of light...
This game session was one of the last that I would play with Steve Bauer, who died in early March of this year. As you can see, the game was in pretty rough form and to be honest, I did a lot of improvising (as did the players) about certain things. That said, the players said that they enjoyed the first session of the Primeval RPG campaign, and found that the rules were very simple to learn and pretty easy to use. They did find some of the rules were somewhat different from those in the Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space game, but that they definitely reflected that Primeval is a different rpg beast.
The next journal entry will follow when I get some more free time. :)