Friday, July 3, 2015

More Fun Comics #22

This isn't so much a playing tip, but this page of Sandra of the Secret Service amused me, reminding me of my new players in a game of Hideouts & Hoodlums, and how tying people up and hiding them in closets was their go-to plan for a significant portion of our first session...

Hey, look! It's another villain, pushed backwards off a cliff and dies!  As often as I'm seeing this, I'm thinking that a "push back" or "bull rush" combat mechanic isn't the solution here. What this needs is an -

Official for H&H: The Falls off a Cliff and Dies Rule

Any time a Hero is about to get killed because of unlucky dice rolls, and you don't want it to happen (because it will spoil the narrative of the story, send a player home unhappy, etc.), you are free to have the Hero's opponent fall off a cliff and die. It is preferable, but not essential, that a cliff actually be present in the scene. 

The bad guy has the drop on our Hero, Wing Brady, his gun pointing right at him. The Hero's intention is to spin around, pick up a stool, and throw it at the gunman before he can pull the trigger. Our Hero is toast, right? Then you haven't read enough comic books. This is precisely why, instead of a realistic initiative system, we need the abstraction of 2 dice rolls, higher roll goes first.

I have no idea what giant vats of boiling oil were used for in 1930s laboratories, let alone futuristic ones. Regardless, they apparently make for good hideout decor.

Now, immersion in boiling oil could be handled in one of two ways by the Editor. One is random damage (1-6, or higher, depending on how hot the oil is) per turn until the immersed is rescued, and the other is a straight save vs. poison or death. The choice might say a lot about what kind of campaign mood the Editor is going for.

The ease with which a panther is killed by one of the Bradley Boys with just a knife is a good argument for going with same damage for everything, and not scaling to an expanded weapon damage system that penalizes the "lowly" knife.

As common as cannibals are in Golden Age comics, I've shied away from using them as a distinct mobster type. Instead, I've lumped them together with other racist portrayals under "Natives" in Book II: Mobsters & Trophies.

Here Brad Hardy encounters some kind of underwater dragon. The real lesson here is, as long as you can count on your players never to turn around and fight, you can throw encounters as big and spectacle-worthy as you like at them. Of course, then it's beholden on you, the Editor, to provide someone else to do the fighting for them.

Hence, mermen with underwater lightning guns.

In a page of Doctor Occult, not shown here, Jerry Siegel shows off his talent for cleverly playing with science fiction motifs again (as we have already seen him do in Federal Men). In the last issue, Dr. Occult was killed. In this issue, a scientist brings him back to life, ala Frankenstein's Monster, only here the mad scientist is more obviously the villain and the "monster" is more obviously the Hero.

The trophy item used to bring the Doctor back must be a mad science raise dead machine.

Proof that cowboys can climb walls. It's not just a Mysteryman skill anymore!

And lastly, a page of Johnnie Law, included here because it's actually an example of good detective work -- using a clue to narrow down a smaller list of suspects, and then meticulously tail each of them.

(Scans courtesy of Comic Book Plus)

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