Sunday, January 11, 2015

New Fun #5 - pt. 1

Although lacking access to New Fun #3-4, I have read #5 and can comment at length on its applicability to the Hideouts & Hoodlums roleplaying game, starting with the cover story.

Jack Woods here demonstrates the Cowboy stunt of tracking. One could argue that he also demonstrates the Mysteryman skill of climbing, although that roof is pretty low and we don't actually know that he didn't just step up on a rain barrel to reach the roof.  One could also make an argument for keen hearing being a stunt from this page.  Normally, all Heroes have the same chance to hear noise, though.

I have had players who meticulously keep track of their number of shots fired, and other players who would just like to wing it. Personally, I feel I have enough things to keep track of during combat besides keeping track of ammo, so I came up with the optional rule that ammo only lasts a random number of combat turns. Either way you play it, it doesn't affect Jack, who can't act on that knowledge until the following turn anyway.

This has got to break a speed record for fastest pacing on a comic book page.  Don Drake is kept awful busy here, killing the Hideous Thing, which saves the Midget-Men of Zetruria and the Women Riders of the Winged Death, turning them both into his allies, only to get plucked up by a Giant!

The Winged Death is a peculiar-looking creature, worthy of a mobster entry in H&H.  It appears to be part giant insect and part giant bird. Other than that, there is little to go on in providing them with stats here. No doubt the installment in New Fun #4 would have yielded more clues, if I had access to it.

Too soon to say what kind of stats that Giant should have.

Trophy-wise, Barry O'Neill is surrounded by a treasure trove, if he survives long enough to start collecting loot. Since we last saw him, he's traded up from a patrol boat to a seaplane. Now he's being attacked by a fighter plane with two machine guns and a motor launch with a machine gun. And, assuming that top panel is honest and Fang Gow is really in China, then there is a very powerful radio receiver waiting for Barry to pick up in Paris.

Machine guns are fearsome weapons, but in the hands of a 1st-level Fighter they have only a 50% chance of hitting the average AC 9 target, and given the rules for vehicular combat they should be suffering a penalty to hit depending on how fast the vehicles are going. As originally statted in Book II: Mobsters & Trophies, machine guns give four attacks per turn, which does make the odds of a hit on Barry's plane substantially higher. More likely, the Editor here is using the revised artillery rules from The Trophy Case v. 1 no. 5, which allows a machine gun to hit up to 8-10 different targets, but only 1 hit vs. each target. While neither version may be entirely accurate to reality, the later revision at least keeps the weapon from becoming an instant kill vs. mid-level Heroes, while playing up its usefulness in mass combat.

A misthrown stone knocking out an Indian           makes much more sense using the original weapon damage for H&H, where every non-trophy weapon does the same 1d6 points of damage.  Using later revisions to weapon damage, the stone would probably be downgraded to 1-3 points of damage -- which still makes this scene possible, if the Indian happened to have low hit points.

There is no game mechanic that would account for a tomahawk falling on a gun and setting it off; this would clearly be a freebie thrown to the player by a generous Editor.

The Indians are unlikely to be surprised in the game mechanic sense of surprising an opponent, since they must know the campers are there. Rather, "surprise" is probably indicative of their emotion when they fail their morale saves during the first turn of combat.

Humor strip Slim Pickens seemed an unlikely source for any H&H goodness, but here Slim is, exploring a haunted house in true H&H fashion. I have a sneaky suspicion that the Screeching Thing will turn out to be a man in disguise in the following issue, but the way its bony hands go for his throat reminds me of the Apparition from AD&D's Fiend Folio. Hmm...

(Scans courtesy of Comic Book Plus)                                              

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