Tuesday, August 25, 2015

New Adventure Comics #21

I'm still playing catch-up on this title, so this is actually the issue of New Adventure Comics from November 1937 and, hopefully, I'll be able to review December 1937 next.

Captain Jim of the Texas Rangers shares a little history lesson for you on how common it used to be for men to write their names in their hats. A good clue if your Heroes happen to find a hat at a crime scene!

Note that the cowboy here is surprised, but his horse isn't. Normally, the Editor only rolls surprise once for each side, but if a Supporting Cast Member (particularly an animal SCM) has extra-keen senses, then that could be reflected in a second surprise roll for that side.

In the Golden Dragon serial, Reilly is frustrated that he can't find a secret door. Actually, he knows the secret door is there -- he just saw some mobsters open and shut it on the previous page. What he can't find is the way to open the secret door. Of course, if there is no opening mechanism on this side, no number of search rolls will find it.

Instead, Reilly could choose to try non-Superhero wrecking, but a stone door would have a very good saving throw and he is probably wary of attracting wandering mobsters for however long that could take.

This month's Federal Men is again devoted to the Junior Federal Men Club (J.F.M.C.). This installment makes crime-fighting look like easy employment; no sooner have the police taken their prisoners then Steve Carson of Federal Men telegrams them congratulations, and another telegram promises them a $500 reward. This system could level up Heroes fast!

There are arguments for and against keeping track of ammo in a H&H gunfight.  A quick argument against: mundane "bean counting" runs counter to the fantasy elements of comic book action; a quick argument for: Cal n' Alec, counting bullets to know when their opponent's gun is empty.

Nadir has a magic crystal ball with an interesting limitation -- it can only be used between 3 am and dawn!  Time restrictions, race restrictions (like, only a merman can operate it), and items that can only be activated by destroying other items (like draining the magic out of lesser magic items) are all more inventive ways to keep a powerful trophy item from being too powerful, without saying it can only be used once per day, or it only has x number of charges.

What's this?  Nadir, Master of Magic, using guns! That's a big no-no for Magic-Users. But he's not really using them, is he? He's just holding them and, perhaps, planned to bluff his way through an encounter holding them, but wouldn't be able to hit the broad side of a barn with them.

I had a similar situation in an earlier H&H campaign, where a player wanted his Magic-User to carry a bow and arrows. He accepted that he would have no chance to hit with them in combat; he just wanted them for how he envisioned his character.

Another magic item, and this one's a new one -- Nadir apparently has a Ring of Alertness, that keeps him from being surprised.

Sandor encounters a lion here who treats him as if he already knew him. It's possible, actually, that Sandor had encountered this lion before and recruited it as a SCM, either behind the scenes or during some earlier installment I've forgotten or never got to read. An Editor can also, at his discretion, allow a player to make up SCMs from his backstory. The Editor must be careful, though, to consider the implications and how the Hero might benefit. Having a lion for a friend could be an unfair advantage over the other Heroes.

(Scans courtesy of Comic Book Archives)

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