Friday, May 8, 2015

Western Picture Stories #2

100th post!

Unfortunately, it's not a big one, as I don't have more than a portion of this issue available to me to read.

It starts out with our second of many Will Eisner stories I'll be looking at.  This one starts with a map!  There's not much to it, but it might help with a Mythic West-themed campaign.

Like the killer handed a canteen at the edge of the desert, a Hero might -- in hopefully very rare instances -- wonder how long he can get by without food or water. As an Editor, I'm not overly comfortable with the thought of making Heroes die of thirst...but if I was going for realism, I would probably make Heroes save vs. science each rest-turn to avoid dehydration in extreme conditions, with failure meaning becoming fatigued. After that, a missed save would make the Hero too weak to fight.  After that, a missed save would make the Hero too weak to move unaided.

Now, in the average Hideouts & Hoodlums scenario, if a bad guy draws two pistols on you, your first inclination may not be to surrender.  He still has to roll to hit, only has a chance to hit with one of them, and then you still get a save vs. missiles to dodge, right?

And yet, Heroes surrender at odd times in stories all the time. Sometimes it's because the writer needs the main character to sit still long enough to hear some juicy exposition.  Sometimes it's to add suspense to the story with a deathtrap.  Sometimes it's just to draw out the story longer.

The first two of those three reasons are legitimate excuses for an Editor to ask for a save vs. plot from Heroes to avoid surrendering.  Some players might balk at this, but it is VERY comic book-ish.

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