Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Detective Comics #15

This is Speed Saunders ordering a Tom Collins, which brings up the issue of what is appropriate subject matter for a Golden Age comic book role-playing campaign. Heroes can drink. Heroes can kill, though it should not be their first choice. These are things we see in the comic books.

Heroes do not cuss. Heroes have girlfriends, or even fiances, but appear to have chaste relationships. Which is not to say these things don't happen in a comic book world -- non-Heroes occasionally let out the occasional "*&#@!", and sex is clearly happening behind the scenes, or there would be no children in the campaign world.

Drugs is another subject we can touch on here. Marijuana and opium are known dangers in the comic book world. Heroes may have to navigate their dens, but would never think of sampling the wares themselves.

Also from Speed Saunders, this is one of the earliest instances of the phrase "master criminal" in comic books. Master criminal is, of course, a statted mobster type in Book II: Mobsters & Trophies.

It's rare to see a Hero screw up this badly in comics, getting knocked out and needing some non-Hero who comes along to save the day in his stead -- but this can be a common occurrence in a RPG, particularly for lower level Heroes who are more vulnerable. The Editor should either keep a flexible timeline for these scenarios, or always have a Plan B for what happens if the Heroes fail.

Hideouts & Hoodlums treats weapons as abstractly as the rest of the game mechanics, and doesn't make a fine point about things like bullets -- are x bullets compatible with y gun?  The only time it would likely come up is as a clue, as Buck Marshall finds here.

(Scans courtesy of Comic Book Archives)

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