Friday, January 30, 2015

Famous Funnies #19

Several new features debut in Famous Funnies with this issue, including reprints of Alley Oop. Alley Oop is one of those features, like Dick Tracy, where some hosting sites are comfortably sure they are in the public domain.  I'm not so sure, so I'm just going to link to it and talk about it here.

One of the most useful things about Alley Oop is that V.T. Hamlin did some research on dinosaurs instead of just making them all up, and many pages of Alley Oop bear an informative non-fiction panel showing an example. The lead page here shows Tyrannosaurus -- so synonymous with dinosaurs in popular culture that it was statted for Hideouts & Hoodlums as soon as Supplement I: National.  The page also shows an interesting trap for caging large dinosaurs, with cut trees rigged to fall into a cage pattern.  Too bad mobsters as massively large as Tyrannosaurs are automatically given the ability of wrecking things, as if Superheroes.

And the other big addition to Famous Funnies this issue is Captain Easy. Now, granted, this inaugural page is crazy racist by today's standards. And maybe, as a game Editor, you might not want to have natives make their morale saves just because of hearing a radio. But it does illustrate the handiness of carrying a few smoke bombs on one's person.  Smoke bombs are not on the starting equipment list, but are considered minor hi-tech trophies, so they should be fairly common in hideouts.

Now, confession time.  As any long-time H&H follower might know, this roleplaying game began as a superhero role-playing game.  Sure, there were rules for making fighters and magic-users as well, but the first draft of the rules were written specifically for emulating the earliest adventures of Superman.  H&H has been expanding ever since, but for a long time the rule was, comic books only. I was tempted to write-up Joe Palooka, a character I enjoy reading, for Supplement IV: Captains, Magicians, and Incredible Men, but he was a comic strip character, so I considered him off-limits. And, for the longest time, I considered June 1938 (cover date for Action Comics #1) as the chronological starting point for H&H.

It was Captain Easy who changed my mind, and specifically pages like this one.  Capt. Easy, and a single Supporting Cast Member, exploring the ruins of a lost city.  Danger around every corner.  Tigers picking off their pack animals (tigers are unfortunately missing from the selection of mobster types statted so far; something that will be resolved in the next edition).  Not just crocodiles, but gigantic 22' long crocodiles (actually, that's just large for a crocodile; I would modify their Hit Dice only up to 5).  Now this is adventure!

Another "new" reprint is Boots.  Boots is normally a romantic comedy, not an adventure strip, but the arsenal is sure to make any H&H player drool!  Knives, swords, rifles, bombs, a machine gun, and a gas mask are all on display in the gun room (knives, swords, and rifles are all considered starting equipment; machine guns and gas masks are common hi-tech trophies, statted in Book II: Mobsters & Trophies; this type of bomb is statted under the Anarchist entry in the mobsters section of Supplement I).  And, in the adjoining hangar, four planes for the taking!

Secret doors are normally assumed to be the size of standard hideout doors, but this secret door is a full-sized hangar door! Note that the Heroes can here either roll 1d6 for a random chance to find the secret door, or choose to try the big, obvious lever in the middle of the room.  Also note how the hangar entrance is concealed to look like the side of a hill from the outside.  Hideout concealment helps with placing them closer to populated areas.

Flying to Fame -- also not normally an adventure strip -- again features some great ideas.  Note how all three Heroes wear flashlights mounted on headbands -- not an item specifically for sale as starting equipment, but still something too readily available to be considered a trophy item. Nice Editors might allow their starting Heroes to wear these, to leave both hands free.

Also, there's a nice trick here for Editors, describing a pair of "glowing eyes in the dark" to players, that only turn out to be valuable rubies upon inspection.  Of course, just lying xp-worthy valuables around unguarded is something that should only be done sparingly.

And this page of Dan Dunn is full of clues to look for at crime scenes. Also note that, in the pre-Internet days, if you wanted to find out all the dirt on a public figure quickly, you needed a contact at the newspaper who could get you their file on that figure.

(Scans courtesy of Digital Comic Museum at

Thursday, January 29, 2015

More Fun #8 - pt. 2

The bandit entry in Hideouts & Hoodlums Book II: Mobsters and Trophies ignores this, but the bandits seen in comics, like this Jack Woods installment, are almost always stereotypically Hispanic. There are not a lot of actual game mechanics on display here, though notice the smart combat tactic of bottle-necking the bandits in that gorge before taking a stand with the rifle.

This is a rare first glimpse of magic at work in a comic book. Note that the way things like powers and spells work in H&H is that they measure the effects of the spells, not necessarily the form the spell takes. So, while it appears that the Black Magician is casting something like a Wall of Fire spell, note how the effect of the spell is that it only holds three people in one spot, and does not seem to be harming them. So this is very likely a Hold Person spell in action.

Similarly, the spell that appears to be something like "Summon Flood" is actually just negating the Hold Person spell. So, mechanic-wise, this is most likely Dispel Magic being cast. Now, maybe one could argue that, because of the fire component described in the Hold Person spell, that a water-based spell could cancel it out. This would be a judgement call for the Editor to make.

The Planet Saro continues to be a gold mine for new mobsters. Or is it?  It's hard to say what to do with that "Sea Beast".  Is it the 15 Hit Die sea monster, from Book II?  I'd like to think Don's Editor isn't that cruel.  And yet, Don does have a very powerful raygun at his disposal, so maybe that's supposed to even the odds.

Mobsters do not always have to have the Hit Dice they are statted with in the books. This Sea Beast, for example, might be a young sea monster with "just" 8 HD.

Also worth noting is, dangling from a rope like that, Don should be at least at a +2 bonus to hit for the Sea Beast, and will not get any Dexterity bonus to Armor Class (assuming that rule from Supplement I: National is used).

Meanwhile, the Doctor Occult page continues his very first adventure, against Vampire Master. So far, the Vampire Master appears to be a Mad Scientist (statted in Book II), who uses hypnotism (via a machine generating the 1st-level power, perhaps?), as well as a simple portcullis trap.

I'm...unsure about the legality of sharing the early Dr. Occult material, so I'm going to only refer to it here, and you can always check me yourself by following the citation link the follows...

(Scans courtesy of Comic Book Plus at

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

More Fun #8 - pt. 1

This issue starts out with a doozy of a trap -- or a doozy of a name for a trap.  Welcome to the Dungeon Well and the Balcony of Doom!  The trap is actually very simple.  A one-way door opens onto a balcony overlooking a vertical shaft with water at the bottom.  However, the level of the water in the shaft can be controlled by a levers at the top of the shaft, and the water can be raised all the way to the top of the shaft.  Shortly, anyone on the balcony drowns, floats off, and is flushed out to sea when the water level is dropped back down. Of course, one-way doors are no match for a Superhero's wrecking things ability, but Sandra of the Secret Service and her pals don't have that luxury...

A goat again!  Yes, I'm glad I statted goats already.  For some reason (mabe because it's funny), goats seem to be treated as fearsome antagonists. Maybe I should make them 1-1 Hit Dice!  This page also illustrates how useful they are for goat milk.

Things look grim here for Captain Grim!  Natives are statted in Book II: Mobsters & Trophies and I've already talked about jumping and falling as game mechanics, but here we have the added danger of a roof on fire!  Should Capt. Grim be taking damage each turn?

The flames certainly seem to be crowding right around Capt. Grim, though perhaps that is just artistic license. If the fire was in the same 10' square as Grim, then yes, Grim should be taking some damage each turn, from heat and smoke inhalation, if not the flames themselves.  I would recommend 1d6 damage, though a generous Editor could allow a saving throw vs. science each turn to avoid the damage. Of course, perhaps Grim is taking damage every turn, but he's just got so many hit points that it isn't bothering him yet!

"Non-Superhero wrecking things" at work, a mechanic squirreled away at the back of Book II.  An Editor could easily give a penalty to the item saving throw if a battering ram is used.

Aw, the apparitions we encountered last time with Slim Pickens turned out to be men in disguise.  Shades of Scooby Doo!  This time, Slim surprises us again by solving an encounter with a dangerous ape (statted in Book II as having 3 Hit Dice), not with combat, but by recruiting it as a Supporting Cast Member!  The original SCM rules were unclear on this, but a later clarification in a Q&A column of The Trophy Case ruled that, yes, you could recruit animal Supporting Case Members.

Mountain lions were statted in Supplement III: Better Quality, only called cougars.

Aboard the yacht, Barry O'Neill and Legrand encounter a trap combined with a trophy -- the statuette not only contains a radio transmitter that allows Fang Gow to talk to them, but the statuette is also a disguised raygun that combines the effects of a paralysis ray with hypnotism!  To be fair, I would allow one saving throw for both effects, rather than force the player to make two successful ones.

Note that the secret door the Yellow Peril Hoodlums (statted in Book II) use is a simple sliding panel.  Secret doors do not need to be complicated.

(Scans courtesy of Comic Book Plus at

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

New Comics #3

Once again I cheat -- I don't have direct access to New Comics #3, but I have this and, if both truthful and taken literally -- offers some insight for Hideouts & Hoodlums.

From "The Train Robbery" serial, we learn that robbers and thugs sometimes work together.  They are statted separately in Book II: Mobsters and Trophies, with thugs being roughly twice as tough as robbers, but with robbers more likely to carry firearms.

The "Sir Loin of Beef" serial centers around the comical use of a slingshot. Because slingshots are so common in comics, the sling will remain a prominent weapon in H&H.

In the "Billy the Kid" serial, Billy learns to fence. Some roleplaying games incorporate mechanics for spending game time learning skills, but H&H belongs to the school of game where you only improve by doing, not by learning.  Not that I am, in any way, anti-education, but this is a game focused on action and adventure, so by pursuing those do you improve your Hero.

The "Knife Ambush" serial centers on following a treasure map. Treasure maps are featured prominently on the trophy lists and make valuable plot hooks as well as trophies.

In "The Secret Cruise" serial, Joe searches the captain's quarters for a map.  Joe has a 2 in 6 chance of finding that map per turn. Watch out for wandering encounters, Joe!

In the "Sons of the Red Cormorant" serial, Wing Walker either secured a plane temporarily by using the aviator stunt of Fly, or actually found a trophy plane that he can keep permanently.

I have seen a little more from this blog. In 17-20 on the Black, Jim uses his surprise turn to hear noise, rather than attack.  Sometimes information is more important than an easy victory.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Popular Comics #1 - pt. 2

Look out, Connie!  Good thing that guy shooting at you is a lousy shot; the side of that plane is only going to serve as soft cover for you.  I'm guessing you don't have much of a Dexterity bonus to speak of, so that means that guy only has to hit an Armor Class of 8 to hit you!

Hard to say how to play Terry's move there, as it's somewhere in between a trip and a tackle.  If I had to choose, I'd call that a trip attack.  Then there would actually be one turn between panels where they grappled the guy while he was prone.

There's no real game mechanic to highlight here, but that's a pretty slick trick that Skull Man pulls on Pat there.  Try it in your hideouts!

Can you blame that "hoss" for missing its morale save?  Bears get a daunting 7 Hit Dice in Book II: Mobsters & Trophies, making them one of the toughest encounters a basic-level Hero is likely to encounter (good thing they're not always hostile!).  They might get toned down slightly for the next edition.

  I talked about game mechanics for tightrope walking before here.  Falling damage in Hideouts & Hoodlums is 1d6 per 10', with no official damage cap.  If Little Joe is right and that canyon is really a mile deep, he's looking at 528d6 damage! No Editor should feel guilty for just saying Little Joe went splat at this point and not even bother rolling dice.  Nor should the Editor feel guilty for having placed a mile-deep canyon there, since he gave Little Joe's player no reason to cross it, only the opportunity.

Toonerville Folks is not going to make it onto this blog often, but here the idea of Heroes just going out and randomly digging for treasure struck me as noteworthy.  Why not?  If the Editor fails to entice them with plot hooks worth nibbling on, then just grab a shovel, head outdoors, and enjoy...oh, maybe a 1% chance of finding something interesting buried there. Then you can wonder about how it got there.  Maybe that will turn out to be a plot hook!

(Scans courtesy of the Digital Comic Museum at

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Popular Comics #1 - pt. 1

We've reached February 1936 and our first Dick Tracy!  I'm not as convinced as the people at Comic Book Plus and Digital Comic Museum that the Dick Tracy pages in Popular Comics are really public domain, so I'll just link to this one here.  The trap -- rigging a firehose so that it sprays down a flight of stairs is more of a "slow you down so I can escape" trap than a lethal trap.  I would say anyone could make a half-move up the stairs safely, but every 5 ft./turn faster than that and you'd have to make a save vs. science with a -1 penalty for each 5 additional ft. or fall on the stairs and take 0-3 (1d4-1) points of damage.

Origin of the dead stick stunt for Aviators that was listed in The Trophy Case v. 1 no. 6 and detailed in no. 7.

Bos'n Hal, Sea Scout is not particularly Hideouts & Hoodlums-specific, but that semaphore guide is pretty handy and could be a great resource for a nautical game session.  H&H hand-waves languages, allowing that everyone everywhere knows and speaks English to varying degrees of success. But -- if I did switch to requiring languages, I would definitely include a semaphore language.

It's interesting that almost this exact same "trick" happened in the Seaweed Sam page we just read a few days ago.  If it's not the "magic cape" that is responsible for Sandy disappearing and Punjab is casting a spell, then it might be a lot like the D&D spell Rope Trick, in that the target is transported to an extra-dimensional space. As of now, it's not written up for the next edition, but it may be...

Definitely a cowardly or superstitious hoodlum.  Cowardly hoodlums were statted in Book II: Mobsters and Trophies.  Superstitious hoodlums had to wait until Supplement II: All-American.  Truthfully, I've never been satisfied with the superstitious hoodlums as I statted them.  Maybe they'll get improved someday.

The combination of cowardly and superstitious hoodlums, of course, comes from Bruce Wayne's famous announcement that criminals were a "cowardly and superstitious lot".

Definitely a magical trophy this time.  Annie's "magic whistle" must be bonded to a guardian who will appear immediately after blowing the whistle, even if located miles away.  I would limit the range to 10 miles and make it useable once per day.

Punjab also seems to be giving the injured man a magic Potion of Healing, though we can't see it so we don't know for sure...

Rattlesnake.  Glad I already statted that on the blog.

(Scans courtesy of the Digital Comic Museum at

Friday, January 23, 2015

Famous Funnies #18 - pt .2

Source for the giant crab statted in Hideouts & Hoodlums Supplement I: National (though this is just a large crab -- a giant one would be much bigger!).

Corrupt politicians are so common in comics that they were statted right away in Book II: Mobsters and Trophies.  Note how disheveled Dan looks in the last panel, but it's his missing his hat and coat that makes the policemen think something is wrong!  Clothes really did make the man in the '30s.

(Scans courtesy of the Digital Comic Museum at

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Famous Funnies #18 - pt. 1

Connie is more of a talky sleuth than an action-adventure sleuth, but this installment shows the value of seeing through disguises.

There are two different game mechanics for disguises in Hideouts & Hoodlums.  The first was requiring a saving throw vs. plot to see through a disguise.  The second, introduced with the Villain Class in Supplement II: All-American, gave a percentage chance per level of fooling people.

The Villain Class will likely not carry over to the next edition.  Further, like with Connie, it should be incumbent on the viewer to see through the disguise, rather than incumbent on the disguised to fool the viewer.

This panel from the "Flight" feature is of particular interest to me, since in my previous H&H campaign, the Heroes had to travel by air to China and I had to research this route on my own.

 Ah, Seaweed Sam!  How did I ever ignore you before?  Here we're treated to a new spell, or is it a new magic trophy?  My guess is the latter, so here we have the Shawl of Temporal Relocation.  Each time it is used to cover a living thing, that being is transported back in time (the example here is 1,200 years, but let's say the Shawl sends people back a random 1d6+6 centuries instead).  There should also probably be a saving throw vs. spells to resist, though given how powerful the Shawl is, the save should probably come with a hefty penalty, say, -5 to the roll.

This snippet from Hairbreadth Harry features a trap (chloroform concealed in a bouquet of flowers) and a deathtrap (the cliche of being tied to the railroad tracks).  The distinction between a trap and a deathtrap is that the trap is passive, triggered by the victim interacting with it.  The deathtrap is actively put into motion by the villain.

This snippet from The Nebbs demonstrates why Half-Pints should be treated as combatants (and are statted as such in Book II: Mobsters and Trophies).

From Flying to Fame, here we have our first constrictor snake (also statted in Book II).

This installment of Hairbreadth Harry brings up an element left out of H&H to date -- the weather.  Extreme weather conditions are here shown to cause damage, like weapons, only perhaps more temporary.  The next edition may include some notes like this.

We also get a good idea for a using snow to replace a grappling hook.

Since Harry did not knowingly initiate a grappling attack on Rudolph, Rudolph is not technically pinned.  Rather, the fall probably did enough damage to Rudolph to subdue him.

The next edition should have a note in it about how cushioning a fall like this both lessens damage to the faller and transferring damage to the cushion.

Here we see even a domestic situation can turn into an action-adventure story, thanks to a hostile terrier. Although watchdogs are statted in Book II, that type of dog is likely a 150 lb. mastiff.  For a 30-40 lb. terrier, I would assign it only 1-2 hp, with the ability to bite for just 1 point of damage.

Terriers and mastiffs are likely to both become notes under one entry for Dogs in the next edition.

(Scans courtesy of the Digital Comic Museum at

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

More Fun #7

Actually, this entry is a cheat.  I have nothing to say about More Fun #7, as I don't have access to it -- but I did find some content from its predecessor, New Fun #6, yesterday, online, here.  And, since I had skipped over #6 when I passed through October 1935 days ago, I thought it only fitting to talk about it here.

More Fun #6 is notable, of course, for the debut of Dr. Occult, the Ghost Detective.  The page reproduced at that link is interesting because we not only get the first vampire created for comics, but we see Dr. Occult clearly turning it with a magic symbol.  As I mentioned before, undead turning is finally making its long-needed comeback in the next edition of Hideouts & Hoodlums.  In fact, this is a perfect example of undead turning; the first time, Dr. Occult's player makes his undead turning roll, but the second time he fails.  What seems arbitrary looking on the printed page looks more like game mechanics at work behind the scenes.

But there is another issue here too, and one not so easily solved.  If Dr. Occult is a new Hero, he should be a 1st-level Magic-User. And yet here he is, turning a 7 Hit Die vampire as if he was at least a mid-level Hero.  There are a total of five explanations for this I can come up with.  They are:
  1. Dr. Occult has more XP and levels than we would assume for a Hero we are seeing for the first time.  This is the easiest, but most arbitrary and least satisfying of the explanations.  
  2. Dr. Occult has extra levels.  The concept of "brevet ranks" came up in The Trophy Case v. 2 no. 7.  This way, Dr. Occult could still be starting out at 0 XP, but with more Hero levels.
  3. Dr. Occult is holding a magic trophy -- a Magic Symbol +3, perhaps, that allows someone to turn undead as if three levels higher (Editors should not be encouraged to drop such powerful trophies into the hands of starting Heroes, of course).
  4. Vampires are weaker, or at least more easily turned, in H&H than in the game it emulates.
  5. The most radical explanation would be making undead turning work completely different. Instead of becoming progressively harder by type of undead, it becomes a flat random chance to turn any type of undead, regardless of type or level.  This neatly solves the problem of this page of Dr. Occult from a game mechanic perspective, but eliminating the "by level" improvement component takes away a reward for leveling in the game.
So, which of those would you choose?  Or do you have another idea?  Leave me a comment.

7/15/2017 update: Two and a half years later, I've finally found a scan of More Fun #7 at Comic Book Plus (though maybe it's been here for ages and I just overlooked it).

In it, we see Sandra of the Service going a little trigger happy, trying to shoot her way out of the Gavonian embassy. This is early evidence that the Fighter class should be exempt from one of my favorite rules -- the save vs. plot to shoot someone in cold blood.

Brad Hardy battles the Black Magician, who can Polymorph Self into a giant constrictor snake, or cast a Wall of Fire spell.

Don Drake on the Planet Saro borrows a page from the Kraken myth, replacing the Kraken with a more generic dragon-like sea beast.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

New Comics #2

It's 1936 now, still 2 1/2 years before Superman!  Like New Comics #1, I don't have access to the contents of this issue.  However, if this source is to be believed, then the Steve Carson, Federal Men serial here features the first appearance of a corrupt beat cop (an evil 1st-level Fighter).

I still don't have access to the whole issue, but I found this blog that gives me a whole lot more to go on.  Yes, Steve Carson does go up against a corrupt beat cop -- the first in comics -- in this story.  He also talks an accomplice into changing sides. The mechanic for this would be an encounter reaction roll, though in some circumstances a morale save might be more appropriate.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Famous Funnies #17

This installment of Flight includes information about a flying boat (more like a flying yacht!) that would make an ideal trophy for mid-level Heroes.  The route for the French Trans-Atlantic Service could be handy for Heroes looking to make a quick getaway from Europe, too.

Hairbreadth Harry is shown here to have a Supporting Cast at least as large as seven, which means he must have a Charisma score of 18 (unless he is paying some of these Half-Pints, in which case they do not count against his SCM total).

Harry might have at least one less kid loyal to him after this stunt (interestingly, I once played a game of Dungeons & Dragons where the same thing was done with a halfling, but that was over a body of water instead of a canyon).  To throw the boy just across the canyon to the tree, I would ask for a roll to hit from Harry's player and make a save vs. science for the poor kid.  To throw him hard enough to wrap around both Rudolph and the tree is too fanciful for the kind of game I run, but maybe I would allow it if either of the above two rolls was a 20.

Tightrope walking is normally a skill reserved for Mysterymen (I would use their climb skill). However, in a game with no one playing a Mysteryman, I could see going easy on the players and allowing this after a successful save vs. science.

The serial Flying to Fame is usually too talky to warrant any Hideouts & Hoodlums discussion here, but with this installment the strip takes on some adventure genre elements. It's worth mentioning here because of their healthy respect (and avoidance) of crocodiles. Statted in Book II: Mobsters & Trophies as alligators, any 1st-level Heroes should know to avoid combat with these 4 Hit Die beasts.

Despite how common rattlesnakes are in comics, they have never been statted for H&H yet. I would give them 1-4 hit points and a mildly poisonous bite, but clearly with the ability to spook other animals and provoke morale saves.

I never thought Seaweed Sam would warrant another mention on this blog, but sure enough this seems to be the very first dragon ever created for the comic books. Metallic dragons were late arrivals to the game H&H was based on, but here we have a purple iron dragon. I would guess a dragon that size must have about 6 Hit Dice, have a bite attack that can do at least 3d4 points of damage (with maybe even a chance of swallowing whole!), plus a hot steam breath weapon.  It has a special vulnerability to pepper.

Note the goat isn't even phased by this.  I might have sold goats short when I statted them before!

Guards were statted in module FS1 Sons of the Feathered Serpent, but these could just as easily be some type of hoodlum (wimpy or cowardly, most likely).  Note how, because Dan's player is playing solo, he uses information learned about the hideout to avoid encounters in it as much as possible.

(Scans courtesy of Digital Comic Museum at

Sunday, January 18, 2015

New Comics #1

We're at the end 1935 and New Comics #1!  I don't have direct access to it, but if this source is trustworthy then I know something of its contents.

In the "Vikings" historical serial a holy symbol of Odin is able to turn wolves away.  Undead turning was left out of the Hideouts & Hoodlums rules, or rather the game mechanic became the basis of the Superhero's wrecking things ability. Undead turning will be making a comeback as an optional rule in the next edition and, with the magic trophy item Holy Symbol of Odin, it will work on wolves as it does here.

There is also Oliver Weed, inventor of the first hi-tech time machine originating in the comic books.  I don't have any details yet on how that time machine operates, but I hope to by the time I cover New Comics #2!

Ah, that was then, but this is now!  I finally have access to this issue, thanks to the Comic Book Archives website.  And I can say, first and foremost, that I misinterpreted what I had read about the Vikings. It was not a physical symbol that was being referred to, but a manifestation or sign of Odin's will.  See for yourself --  

More interesting is this page from "Wing" Walker, the first aerial dogfight drawn for comic books.  Here, we see the Japanese Aviators use the stunt Shoot Gas Tank, and Wing using the stunt Dead Stick to fool them into thinking he's about to crash.

This page of Cap'n Spinniker features the first submarine and the first whale made for the comic books.  Submarines (or at least small ones, like this) were statted for H&H in Supplement I: National.  I never did bother statting whales, though.  When, I thought, would you ever wind up in a fight with a whale?  Well, when they're attacking your submarine, obviously. 

However, sperm whales are ridiculously massive for a game where the mechanics do not scale up exponentially.  Doing a quick combination of number crunching and guesstimating, for a 56+ ton animal, I figure a whale would have 70 Hit Dice, with each Hit Die being rolled on d20s!  Best to run away when you see a whale coming...

I also seem to have been wrong about The Strange Adventures of Mr. Weed.  Mr. Weed is just a historian and serves as the everyman hero; the real inventor of the first time machine made for comic books was Uriah Mowcher, the scientist.  There are yet no details about how the bathysphere-like time machine functions.

Don't get too excited -- that's not a giant ram you see; rather, the artist of Peter & Ho-Lah-An seems to have had some problems with perspective. I'm skeptical of the need to have rams statted for H&H, but just in case...I would make them 1+1 HD and allow half-pints to ride them over short distances.

(Scans courtesy of Comic Book Archives at