Thursday, January 7, 2016

Famous Funnies #50

Hard to believe we're up to issue 50 of any title already. I'm thinking, of course, from today's perspective and how few titles reach 50 issues these days!

Let's start examining this issue with Hairbreadth Harry.  Now, Harry's adventures are usually pretty dubious, and this one is no exception -- but, there are two useful points to take away from this. One, it doesn't hurt to cut open the occasional dead animal to see if it swallowed anything useful. Two, hunting dogs can be particularly useful to bring along with your Hero -- not so much for attacking, but for spotting things for the Heroes. Of course, bringing hunting dogs into a hideout puts them at risk, so weigh the pros and cons accordingly.

I've prefaced things with "I never thought I'd need to" before, but I never thought I'd need to show Big Chief Wahoo in these pages until now. Big Chief Wahoo is the Indian version of Popeye, needing to swig some moonshine (or whatever that is) to get super-strong. As such, he's one of the prototypes for the Superhero class.

I've been grappling recently with the 1st ed. rule that Superheroes need to be in costume to earn XP as Superheroes, and whether or not this needs to exist in 2nd edition Hideouts & Hoodlums. In most cases (Superman, Captain Marvel, etc.), it makes a lot of sense, but then there are obvious exceptions like Popeye and Big Chief Wahoo. And if you had any doubts (like I did) that Big Chief Wahoo was a superhero -- in that last panel he's either using the 1st-level power Raise Car or No Encumbrance (which I might wind up merging into just one power).

Smashing through a locked door is a surprisingly complex game mechanic. If Tubby was a Superhero, he would make a wrecking things roll. Because Tubby is a Fighter, though, the door makes a special kind of saving throw vs. non-Superhero wrecking. At least that's where things stand now.

I'm wondering, though, if bashing open locked doors shouldn't just be a skill that all non-Superheroes get a 1 in 6 chance to do.

"Two shots ring out almost at once" is the most telling evidence so far that, when two parties roll the same number for initiative, it should be treated as simultaneous initiative instead of re-rolling.

This is Oaky Doaks. I'm not a fan, but it does seem to demonstrate that anyone, even people not very bright, should have a chance at tracking.  I may have to make that a general skill for all classes to use too.

Scorch Smith here demonstrates the Aviator stunt, Improved Take-Off/Landing.

As I move away, in 2nd ed., from one-use stunts to skills that always have a chance of success, it begs the question of what to do with the Cowboy- and Aviator-specific stunts. The solution I'm considering is to keep the Cowboy and Aviator as sub-classes that anyone can switch to when in those environments. For instance, when a 3rd-level Magic-User gets in the pilot's seat of a plane, he transfers his XP to the Aviator class temporarily and picks out his aviator stunts accordingly. There won't be room for this in the 2nd ed. Basic book, though.

Examples of the Aviator stunts Coast on Fumes and Deadstick (all Aviator stunts from The Trophy Case vol. 1 nos. 6-7).

Goat joke #16!

(Scans courtesy of Comic Book Plus)

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