Monday, August 10, 2015

Detective Comics #9

Speed Saunders sees three hobos on a park bench and gets an unexplained hunch that only one of them is suspicious. What just happened?

Well, if this was a Hideouts & Hoodlums scenario, there are a few possible explanations. One, if the Editor wants to control the scenario, he could just tell Speed's player that one of the three hobos looks suspicious. If the Editor wants to let the player control the scenario, then Speed's player decided one of the three was suspicious-looking and the Editor just went along with it. There's also the possibility that all three of them were suspicious, and each served as a different plot hook. Leaving it to chance, the Editor rolled 1 die, with a 2 in 6 chance of Speed noticing the suspicious-ness of each hobo, and he only got lucky once.

It's also hard to determine how this scene would be handled in H&H. That incorrigible prankster, Speed Saunders, could probably have defeated this slick hoodlum, hobo, and corrupt politician from under the table any number of different ways, but elected to tie all their feet together instead. It's hard to imagine how an Editor would justify making his player roll to attack in order to tie each foot to the next one. More plausible is that the Editor rolled for surprise and let it work because of a lucky surprise roll. It's also justifiable for the Editor, in this scene, to make a saving throw vs. science for each mobster to see if he fell down, or managed to keep his balance.

This is Larry Steele, who's pal happens to have a gun on him still, missed by their captors. So what's happening there, if this is a game of H&H?  A freebie from the Editor? Or did the player suggest it and the Editor allowed him a save vs. plot to have an undiscovered weapon left on him?

This is Buck Marshall, and I'm half-tempted to add a "crease the skull" rule to the game, since it seems to occur so often. It does seem that weapons can sometimes leave victims unconscious for only short periods of time. Perhaps, when someone rolls maximum damage for a weapon attack, there should be a 1 in 10 chance of it temporarily rendering the opponent unconscious for 1-6 minutes?

I'm not going to show it this time, but I'm going to tell you about the Slam Bradley pages from this issue. One page shows Slam scaling down the side of a skyscraper at a dizzying height. Originally, climbing as a special skill was assigned to the Mysteryman class, but Slam is definitely a Fighter, not a Mysteryman -- strengthening the argument for making stunts available to other classes in the next edition.

Also, Shorty is caught in decent, if not overly original trap. A pressure plate in the floor in front of an obviously-placed safe causes a cage to be dropped over that spot from above (though how the cage was concealed in the ceiling isn't clear). The cage can also more of a delaying, or inconveniencing trap, since it can simply be tilted up/lifted off.

(Scans courtesy of Comic Book Archives)

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