Friday, July 24, 2015

Famous Funnies #39

One of the challenges Editors like to put in Heroes' way, when running Hideouts & Hoodlums, is environmental challenges. Can the Heroes navigate safely from one side to the other of a treacherous creek? True, an alien could just leap over it, an aviator might fly over it, but there are other races and classes that, with limited resources, might be challenged by even so simple a scenario.

Here we see that the best route for non-powered, non-magical Heroes is to only risk one Hero in the crossing and have him post a guide rope for the others following. The first Hero would still need to make a save vs. plot or science (depending on which is easier, or harder, which in turn depends on how treacherous that stream really is), but the Heroes who follow would not need to roll.

Tetra-nitro-cellulose, as we see here in Skyroads, is one of those nonsense-word explosives so common in comics. It's apparently intensely powerful -- able to vaporize a man who's clearly missed his saving throw vs. science. But note the small size of the blast crater; bear in mind that, in comics, the intensity of an explosion tends to have little bearing on its blast radius.

We haven't spent as much time with Hairbreadth Harry lately as we used to spend in the early days of this blog, but here his outer space adventure continues. Aliens were, until this point, usually drawn to look like ordinary humans in just funny clothes. This might be the first distinctly nonhuman, though still humanoid, alien I've yet seen in the early comics.

Sarians are, apparently, potbellied dwarfs with pointy ears and advanced technology; the ray-rod is capable of making any object it hits disappear.

Dickie Dare's climatic battle with the Black Panther ends with the pearl everyone's been fighting over winding up in the maw of a giant devil ray (that is, a giant manta ray). This is a story trope I've used in my own games, where the "macguffin" item the Heroes are questing for is actually too valuable or too powerful for you to want them to be able to keep it, so it's lost to a bigger and badder adversary the Heroes should not be able to beat (or catch). Of course, that might not stop them from trying and -- if Dickie and Dan's players are that dead set on hunting down the ray...maybe the Editor should just relent and let them catch it.

Giant sting rays were statted in Supplement II: All-American. I daresay, now, that I was a tad conservative. I would likely put a giant devil ray at 7 Hit Dice, of the d8 variety.

Meanwhile, it's a good idea to have a Supporting Cast Member around to tie up the bad guys for you, while you're busy beating up still more bad guys.

By the size of them, these should be "ordinary" 2 HD robots, but the scenario calls for some dressing to be added to these robots. They've been given the ability to wreck things (probably as a 2nd level Superhero), and they seem intelligent (though not too intelligent).

An upgraded mobster should always be worth more Experience Points, probably as if 1 Hit Die higher in this case.

For a strip about aviators, we've seen Scorchy Smith engage in very little dogfighting, until now. Here we see him using the stunt Tight Circle to counter the stunt Find Blind Spot, exactly as they are described in The Trophy Case v. 1 no. 7.

Scorchy Smith's player might have a case for his Editor being out to get his Hero. The armored cars pictured here are close to the light tanks statted in Supplement I: National. Let's hope Scorchy makes lots of saves vs. missiles!

(Scans courtesy of Digital Comic Museum)

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