Wednesday, December 23, 2015

New Adventure Comics #29

Anchors Aweigh! picks up where it left off last issue, with our Don Winslow-clone investigating El Diablo. El Diablo has somehow slipped poison slips of paper to Don Kerry's prisoners and the chief suspect is an old friend of Don's. This is a good position to put your players in -- do they stand by their Hero's supporting cast, or turn on them when things look bad?

Later, Don and Red are listening to clues from a nearby group of sailors in a joint, but one of the sailors notices them listening. Hideouts & Hoodlums definitely has a game mechanic for hearing noise, but not for the reverse -- and it does not make sense to simply reverse the mechanic (it should be easier to hear noise through a door, for example, than to hear someone listening through a door). The Editor may have to play this one by ear -- are circumstances right to be observed listening? -- and then resolve it with a save vs. plot for the Hero.

This story also gives us an explanation for why not to have hoodlums immediately use guns in a fight -- for fear that the sound will bring the police.

Don overhears the name of a ship captain who might be in league with El Diablo. But how to find the ship captain? Don asks around, claiming to have a message for the captain from El Diablo. It's a clever and daring plan -- exactly the kind that Editors should give a good chance to work.

Tom Brent's adventure has a crew mutiny, two jewel thieves, a diamond worth $50,000, and a suspect who turns out to be a police inspector doing his own secret investigation. I particularly like this last wrinkle. Could it be a cure for Heroes who shoot first and ask questions later?

The next adventure of Steve Carson of Federal Men is an unusual one in that it takes place just before a Presidential inauguration ceremony -- which means it took place two years earlier in 1936 or two years later in 1940!  Time can be a fluid thing in a roleplaying campaign -- it can take place over days or it can take place over years, but generally campaigns follow sequential time. This does not always need to be the case, as I wrote about in Supplement V: Big Bang.

Nadir, Master of Magic, continues to show an aversion to actually using magic. He gets through a locked door, not with a spell, but with a skeleton key. He gets around by "powerful sedan" instead of by spell.  Instead of turning invisible, he hides behind curtains. He does cast a Detect Thoughts spell.

Captain Desmo starts this new adventure by flying overhead when he sees travelers being attacked. Luckily he has two grenades for his sidekick to toss over the side of his plane. Then Desmo and Gabby use the oldest trick in the book, disguising themselves (in this case wearing Arabic robes, even though this is supposed to be India) so they can get in to see the big boss. The boss is guarded by a fighter who must be at least 9' tall (I would stat him as an ogre, then).

In Tod Hunter, Jungle Master, the primitives we met last time are called tribesmen here (a better name than natives or savages, maybe?). From the arena we observed last time, the prison cells are only reachable via an underground stream that requires Tod and crew to travel by raft. Past the stream is a maze of tunnels that seem to go on for miles. And yet, the trip back to the throne room seems to take no time at all -- perhaps they find a shortcut back. In the throne room are large urns, axes and spears mounted on the walls, hanging masks, and statues -- including a giant statue of the tribe's bald, fanged god that must be at least 30' tall. Tod is able to climb the statue and find a secret door leading through the statue's arm. The statue (I believe we learned it was wooden last time) is hollow and can be navigated inside by ladder. There is a secret room in the head where a crazy old man with a scimitar can speak through amplifiers and imitate the god.

Dale Daring's boyfriend Don is able to conceal a sub-machine gun under a cloak.

In The Golden Dragon, it's very unclear if the men are attacked by undead skeletons, or men dressed to look like skeletons, Scooby Doo-style. Regardless, a woman present is so frightened that she is paralyzed with fright. I'm thinking that everyone, even Heroes, will have to make morale saves when first encountering the undead, and non-Heoes will have to make morale saves when first encountering people pretending to be undead.

(This issue can be read at Comic Book Archives)

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