Monday, August 24, 2015

More Fun Comics #27

Sandra of the Secret Service encounters one of the first gas guns in comics, well before the debut of the Sandman. Gas guns are a trophy item statted in Book II: Mobsters & Trophies.

This issue's Dr. Occult story is a tricky one. We have seen Dr. Occult (although he was called Dr. Mystic at the time) travel through other planes before, but here the implication seems to be that Dr. Occult can follow "trails" through the spirit world to places he doesn't know. This would seem to combine ethereal travel with a spell like Find the Path, which sounds like it would be powerful enough to at least be an 8th level Magic-User spell. Since I doubt even Dr. Occult should be high enough in level at this time to be casting spells of that level, there must be something else going on here.

I propose, then, a new spell called Improved Locate Object, or something like that, which not only tells you where something is, but allows you to get there twice as fast you can normally travel. The story doesn't actually support that Dr. Occult knows an object from the crime scene, but perhaps there is more going on there that is behind-the-panels. Also, travel through the spirit world could be a flavor text description of how you travel at x2 speed to your destination.  The range would have to be pretty good for this as well, at least twice the range of a normal Locate Object spell.

Dr. Occult battles a new mobster called the snake-god.  It appears to be a giant constrictor snake, but is intelligent and able to hypnotize with its gaze. I'd give it at least 5 HD, and possibly as high as 7 Hit Dice.  The death convulsions of a snake-god are particularly vicious, so that anyone in 10' would have to save vs. plot or take 1d6 damage from being smacked by a dying snake.

 Dr. Occult also casts Enlarge (or Enlargement) on himself, which definitely should increase strength and give a damage bonus in some way.

Moving on, we have this page from the Fang Gow serial, showing Barry O'Neill lassoing a rooftop and crossing that rope hand-over-hand. Lassoing has been talked about before here; what I wanted to bring up was when and when not to require saving throws.  At first, Barry is not threatened or under any pressure to hurry while crossing the rope. He has no encumbrance weighing him down. I would not make him roll any dice to determine if he makes it across safely.  Only once he is threatened -- in this case by the rope being cut -- would I consider requiring a saving throw vs. science to keep a hold on the rope.

This page of Pirate Gold, with its whipping scene and improvised weaponry, strikes me as a solid case against all weapons doing the same 1d6 damage.  If a whip could do 1d6 damage per lash, not many people would get past the first lash!  I also have trouble accepting that a thrown rock and an auto pistol do the same range of damage -- but maybe that is an example of comic book logic that I should not think about so much!

Brad Hardy has been facing a lot of weird underwater threats for awhile now, but this one is a giant barracuda! Curiously, the barracuda looks like a swordfish in the last panel. I would make a giant barracuda 12' long, weigh 800 lbs., and have 4+1 HD.

In The Yucca Terror, we see the Cowboy stunt Summon Posse at work.

(Scans courtesy of Comic Book Plus)

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