Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Comics #9

Ah, Dell. By August 1938, only some of its titles still contain great comic strip reprints, but as the line expanded pages had to be filled with lesser work. The Comics was a title filled with lesser work. Still, even lesser work can serve as inspiration for Hideouts & Hoodlums!

I have no idea where the trope of the organ grinder's monkey as pickpocket comes from, but it's an old one and we see it here. Monkeys were introduced, as a new animal-mobster type, in Supplement V: Big Bang, but I wonder if a more specific type called an organ grinder's monkey would not be more appropriate; one with a chance to pilfer equal to a low-level Mysteryman.

Half-pint Heroes don't have to be played dumb! Davey outwits a crew full of mutineers by luring them into the foc'c'sle with the promise of treasure, then locking them all inside.

When players come up with plans like this, Editors must remember that it is not their job to "win" by outwitting the players. Introducing complications into their plans is one thing, but if a player comes up with a good plan, it should be given a fairly good chance at succeeding.

Almost a year and a half before Hawkman debuts, Rod Rian takes to the sky with an "aero belt".  The belt must contain the controls for the flying device, because it seems that the cylinder on Rod's back must power the device, and the wings surely serve as stabilizers. It's clearly a hi-tech item version of magical Wings of Flying.

The gravity raygun is an example of an over-sized machine, as most of the rayguns described in Book II: Mobsters & Trophies are.  The ray has a long range (200-300'?) and can easily pull 400 lbs. of weight towards the raygun (We never see an upper limit, but it surely has one. Maybe 1,000 lbs.?).  We could speculate that the ray can be thrown in reverse too and repel objects.

I'm always keen to share useful maps on this blog and, while this is not technically a map of the Island of the Living Dead, there is an unusual amount of topographic detail here that could inspire an Editor.

We have seen many examples so far of prices in the 1930s, and some research and digging could turn up what prices were like in the late 1800s (or we could cheat and borrow a RPG from that period). But what about the Mythic West, that land comic book stories fall into that is part modern day and part Old West? What are appropriate amounts of money to throw around in those games?  Here, we see a rodeo with a $3,000 prize for the winner and a high stakes poker game with $500 stakes. The next page (not shown here) mentions a $1,000 reward for an outlaw.

In a prehistoric countryside that could never have existed, single examples of dinosaur species that lived millions of years apart happen to stroll past each other. The tyrannosaurus rex and the triceratops made it into H&H as early as Supplement I: National. The stegosaurus was discussed here on this blog.  Corythosaurus would have had 16 HD (with 12-sided HD). Euhippus would have been 1/2 HD, like giant rats (only horse-rats). Pteranodons were statted in Supplement II: All-American, but pterodactyls were much smaller and would have had only 1 hp.  A paleoscincus might have 14 HD (using 10-sided HD).  If I was one of those half-pints, I'd wish it was was the pterodactyl chasing me!

Hit points are part of the abstract nature of combat in H&H and do not, usually, represent actual physical wounds on a 1:1 ratio. However, if the tone of your stories is light enough, hit points could work that way, as they do here in Deadwood Gulch.

Also note the commonness of cigarettes.

This is Cap'n Cloud, finding out that modern technology can make it very difficult to just sneak into an enemy hideout. Hidden dictaphones can tell the bad guys what the Heroes are planning, where they're going, and what room they are in at all times -- unless the Heroes are magically masking their noises (Silence 15' Radius spell?).

Manhunt gives us a map!  It's not particularly creative, and the scenario you would use it for seems awful grisly, but I think we could come up with better ones. What sort of deal was made at Deal Lake to give it its name, and does that have anything to do with the missing child/ren from the nearby school...?

(Scans courtesy of Digital Comic Museum)

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