DM Screen 4 – Raptors All Up in the Kitchen

Alright, and we’re on to our next chapter of dino-fights! I’m now regretting the fact that I didn’t name any of the Jurassic Park episodes “Dino-Fights.” Ah well, live and learn.

As I mentioned previously, the events of this episode were originally intended to take place during episode 3, but episode 3 went long, so this ended up being its own episode instead. I really wanted to drive home the feeling of being in Jurassic Park, so I made sure to include as many of the iconic dinosaurs as I could (in this episode, dilophosauruses and velociraptors), as well as some of the iconic locations and images (Dennis Nedry’s jeep stuck in the mud, the Jurassic Park visitor’s center).

The heroes come across a crashed gray and red jeep with the Jurassic Park logo on the sides and hood. The jeep is on top of a muddy hill and has a metal cable on a winch tied around a tree—inside is the decaying body of a portly man who had a lot of his soft tissues viciously devoured. The jeep will start fine, but it is stuck at a weird angle and the tires can’t get purchase in the muddy ground. All the while, the heroes occasionally hear a strange, almost birdlike hooting noise from the darkness. The heroes can react to this in whatever way they’d like, but eventually they’ll be approached by several small and rather cute dinosaurs—cute, that is, until one, then all of them, rears back, opens bright flaps around their heads, and their cute cooing turns into a horrific roar.

Dilophosaurus (8)
F          A         S          E          R         I           P
Ty        Gd       Pr         Ty        Fb        Fb        Fb

Health: 26

Poison Spray: Agility to hit, target is blinded for 1d10 rounds

Ultimately, whether in a jeep or on foot, the android’s signal leads them to a long, low building built in three wings radiating from a central point. The design is obviously supposed to evoke a mix of styles, with modern-looking concrete combined with tiki-style roofs. There’s an obvious entrance in the front, sitting at the top of a short concrete stairway, but from the looks of it, there may be an entrance in the very rear of the building, at the end of one of the wings.

There are velociraptors lurking in and around the building; they are in the shadows of the front entrance hall, as well as in the kitchen just through the rear entrance. They will attempt to lure away the heroes and will use wolf pack tactics to ambush isolated prey.

Velociraptor (6)
F          A         S          E          R         I           P
Ex        Ex        Ex        Ex        Fb        Ty        Fb

Health: 80

I enjoyed the way this fight played out in the actual episode. The obvious takeaway is that Stitch adopted one of the raptors, who would eventually be named Lace (after Old Lace from Runaways). But this fight ended up being pretty brutal, particularly for Archer, who got ganged up on and took lots of damage. This emphasized the lethality of the setting, and caused Mordin to have to use up more of his dwindling supply of Medi-Gel. Jurassic Park as a setting is a pretty unique combination of survival horror and crazy action/adventure, so I wanted to make sure that both elements of the setting had some emphasis.

The heroes can proceed into the building once they get past the raptors. This building is obviously a visitor’s center; if they enter through the front, they’ll pass through a welcome area, cafeteria, and several displays (featuring a colorful anthropomorphized DNA strand) that illustrate how this facility cloned several species of dinosaurs. From the abandoned and wrecked look of the building, however, something has clearly gone awry.

Eventually, the heroes will find the main control room, which appears to have been barricaded from the inside. Any attempt to enter—or any knocks—will cause the door to open a crack, and the heroes will see that a woman with a bow is aiming an arrow directly at them. She looks over them briefly, then asks in an upper-class British accent, “Are you from the League, then?”

The woman is athletic, with long brown hair tied in a braid that has begun to grow messy from the intense physical activity she’s engaged in on the island. Her clothes, from her green tank top and brown shorts to her hiking boots, are spattered in mud and torn in several places. She wears a pair of round dark sunglasses and has several holstered pistols, though she’s pointedly using a recurve bow at the moment.

She lets the heroes in once they have confirmed their credentials, then shuts and locks the door behind her before pushing a heavy metal desk in front of it. The room is filled with numerous desks, each topped with 90s-era desktop computers, though one of the desks has been cleared off to make room for another member of the League. This is an unconscious man—his age is hard to place as he is deeply tanned from many long days in the sun, but he is perhaps in his 30s or 40s. He has short brown hair and is wearing an outfit reminiscent of a cowboy: brown trenchcoat, brown shirt, red bandana, denim jeans, and boots. His breathing is visibly labored and he sports several cuts, the worst of which extends diagonally from just under his ribcage to the top of his pelvis—some basic first aid has been performed, but he’s not in great shape.

Standing near the unconscious man is a second figure. This one wears bright, advanced-looking armor colored red, white, and black, including a dramatically horned helmet with a blue crystal in the center and long blonde hair that flows past his knees. Most immediately apparent is the fact that it looks as though his left arm was ripped off below the elbow, exposing wires and a mechanical endoskeleton.

“I’m Lara Croft, that’s Zero over there, and our less talkative friend is Roland Deschain. I don’t believe we’ve met.”

Once introductions are done, Lara asks them how they figured out they needed help. When they tell her about Demona, both Lara and Zero scowl. “Demona turned on us,” she says. “I don’t know if she’s been infected by Phyrexia or is just a damn coward, but she waited till we were surrounded by some of those dinosaurs, stole our device from us, and took off. Roland took a nasty hit to his abdomen and Zero had his arm torn off. It was all we could do to fall back here. We should get back to base and make sure Demona isn’t planning something even worse—if she is infected, she could be trying to disrupt our whole operation.”

Zero speaks up. “Lara, we can’t abandon our original goal here.” He faces the heroes. “We originally came to this world because Phyrexia was obviously interested in it, despite the fact that it was well off their normal path of conquest. We investigated and found that they’re after something on this very island. We think there’s something here that could turn the tide of this whole conflict—if we get it, we can finally start pushing back against them, but if they get it, there could be no stopping them.”

The two are at something of an impasse—this is clearly a discussion they’ve been having for a while now.

The heroes can attempt to repair Zero and heal Roland, who will regain consciousness after a few moments of being treated. In the end, they’ll have to figure out how they want to handle this: do they go back to Eternia to catch Demona, or do they continue deeper into Jurassic Park in search of what Phyrexia is after? Roland, if conscious, will suggest that he, Lara and Zero take the DDC and head back to Eternia while the heroes try to beat Phyrexia to the punch.

Of course, in the actual play session, the heroes decided to team up with the other three League members and travel en masse deeper into Jurassic Park. Because no one returned to Castle Grayskull to check up on Demona, this gave her more time to enact her evil plan, which would take shape much later. Yay unintended player consequences!

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