Friday, September 11, 2015

New Adventure Comics #23

The Adventures of Steve Conrad includes, if not the first, at least one of the first dives off a balcony to swing on a chandelier in comic books. As much as a staple as this is of the action genre in general, I almost hate to attach any game mechanics to it. A roll, perhaps a save vs. science, could tell you if the jump-and-swing was carried off with aplomb or not.

Nothing says "Run for your lives!" quite like having turtles chasing you. Granted, these "army-turtles" are large in size (and look more like tortoises, really). I might be generous and assign these 2+1 HD, a 9 Move, an AC 4, and have those beaks do 1-8 damage.

Bob (from Captain Jim of the Texas Rangers) here gives us a demonstration of what constitutes a concealed door vs. a secret door.  A trap door that is covered by something that can easily be moved is a concealed door. A door in the ceiling, made to look like a riveted metal plate, is a secret door. The fact that Bob has to search for a means of opening it clinches that it is a secret door.  Concealed doors should be easier to find than secret doors.

Here, from the serial Monastery of the Blue God, is a textbook example of Heroes beating up mobsters and then searching them for loot to keep as trophies. They are so clearly excited about a star sapphire on a gold chain because it is probably worth considerably more XP than the mobsters themselves were worth.

This is from Robin Hood.  Literary adaptations will rarely be the focus of this blog, but this page brings up the interesting question: can a single arrow that does 1d6 damage kill a stag? By combat rules, unlikely. A stag, as a combatant, would have about 3 HD, 10-11 hit points on average, and do about 2-8 points of damage in a charge -- stats that should give any archer pause. However, if the archer was firing from far enough away that the stag could not possibly reach the archer soon, or the stag immediately missed a morale save and would not be fighting, the Editor could rule the stag is a noncombatant, and so the killing can be described with flavor text.

Illumination can be tricky to referee as the Editor; when you're imagining the scene, you're trying to picture everything. Dim or no illumination at the scene then requires you to filter out detail from the scene as you're describing it to the players, creating an extra step for you to keep track of.

Another thing to keep track of is the number of things that shed light that can be seen at great distances away. Here, we're reminded that even cigarettes may give your opponents away at a half-mile range.

Sandor's player asks us, "Can I have Sandor pick up a guy, toss him into a group of other guys, and knock them all down?"

As a general rule of thumb, you should not allow Fighters to make any kind of special attacks that they would gripe about you using on them. Would they complain if one mobster could knock over all the Heroes with one well-placed attack?

Note that Superheroes could buff themselves with Multi-Attack or Flurry of Blows and pull off this stunt.

As common as leopards are becoming (this is the third time I've discussed them here), they really need an entry in the mobsters section of the next edition.

Lastly, we have Detective Sergeant Carey of the Chinatown Squad, who encounters an unusual trap. It's a tripwire trap that sets off explosives -- but it's not meant to harm the intruders; the explosives are set off further down the tunnel, destroying any evidence there before it can be found.

(Scans courtesy of Comic Book Archives)

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