Thursday, April 23, 2015

Popular Comics #13

Nebbs reminds me that, when I statted half-pints for Hideouts & Hoodlums Book II: Mobsters & Trophies, I should have given them some natural climbing ability.

Maw Green's pearls of "wisdom" usually just annoy me, but this installment has some useful 1930s pricing information:  prunes – 10 cents a can, bananas – 15 cents a bunch, soup – 7 cents a can.

Dick Tracy runs into more "gangland trickery" -- a car with a concealed machine gun under the hood that shoots through the radiator grill. This is a good example of combining two hi-tech trophy items to create a new item.

Gasoline Alley features a map to a gold mine that you can read over Mr. Bat's shoulder and use in your home campaign.

This page of Tom Mix would take some explanation to fit H&H. First, he is hearing noise, as if at a door (with the same 2 in 6 chance of success).

The chance of the floor crumbling is a trap (perhaps a 2 in 6 chance of crumbling each turn 180+ lbs. remains on it).

Falling and landing on an opponent and damaging the opponent has been covered previously. Falling and landing on two opponents -- that's just a freebie from the Editor.

Here's another freebie -- apparently, the Editor rolled for surprise after Tom fell and gave him a free surprise turn to act. Normally, if the Editor felt the situation warranted a surprise roll, the mobsters could only be surprised long enough for Tom to get back on his feet, not to move as well.

The firefight in the dark is tricky too. Tom is in complete darkness, so the gunmen are at a -4 to hit penalty against him. But, the gunmen are in dim light -- a charitable assumption by muzzle flashes alone -- so Tom still has a -2 to hit them. That Tom hits them all with rocks before they shoot him is quite lucky.

I'm not sure, but remain skeptical that H&H needs a game mechanic to cover pinning someone's clothes to the wall. It seems more like flavor text to me...

Now, Don Winslow might be making sense -- I helped you against a rampaging jaguar, now you help me -- right? For a one-time favor, an Editor could easily hand-wave the encounter reaction roll and rule by common sense. However, if Don was looking to recruit those natives long-term, or to put them in mortal danger, then the Editor would still be right in rolling randomly for an encounter reaction.

Bos'n Hal learns that the U.S. Navy decided in the 1930s that dirigibles were obsolete, so they became available for sale (the police dirigibles on Batman: The Animated Series were probably Navy surplus dirigibles). However, given their limited availability and a presumedly high price, I still plan to keep them off the starting equipment list.

And, lastly, Skippy makes me think I may have underestimated how many hit points half-pints have. Or are these 3rd-level half-pint fighters?

(Scans courtesy Digital Comic Museum)

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