Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Keen Detective Funnies v. 2 #3 - Part 1

There are a couple of things I can point out from this page of Corporal Merrill of the Northwest Mounted.

One, I love a Hideouts & Hoodlums scenario with some mystery to it, because that can challenge a player no matter what level their Hero is. Coming up with a good mystery can be as simple as coming up with a provocative question -- like, why would an old man walk 50 miles if he has three horses?" -- then coming up with an answer, and plot out two or more routes by which the players could arrive at that conclusion (with appropriate clues on each route). Your players may stump you by coming up with additional routes you hadn't considered (my players were coming up with all kinds of ways to track down a business owner I hadn't considered last Monday night), but the more routes you planned, the more you might be able to cobble together something from parts of those other routes.

Two, don't make it too hard to figure out what a clue is. Unless the Heroes have ready access to a forensics lab, just let them guess those are bone shards mixed in with the tree needles, don't make them wait to have them analyzed if that's going to just needlessly slow down the story.

And my third point would be that I'm thinking again about making snipers a mobster-type. They don't seem to be any better than ordinary mobsters at hitting Heroes, but they are extra good at remaining in hiding while shooting at range, and (in other stories, not here) seem to have a really good chance of shooting their own allies just before they can talk to the Heroes.

I always like when players try to use strategy in a fight instead of just going in punching or shooting and trusting to luck. But strategies should usually make sense. Rolling a boulder at an enemy camp as a diversion could be a good strategy, if you were then to engage the enemy from a different direction.  Or maybe Merrill meant the boulder roll to be his surprise attack, but missed, and chose to charge into melee on the first regular turn of combat.

That Dean Denton is one smart cookie, figuring out who The Conqueror is by what seems like a slip of the tongue (or an Editor who simply hadn't thought the implications through of who knew about The Conqueror). But be careful -- sometimes the Editor will simply slip up and say something that reveals something he hadn't meant to. Fair players should always give the Editor a chance to redact something said in character that doesn't fit the scenario.

It's awful handy that this robber (robbers are statted in Book II) happened to be a wandering encounter showing up just when he did -- or the Editor placed him there because everyone was low level and he was afraid they would all blow their saving throws.

Being able to identify poisons makes a case for the Scientist class (found in Supplement III) being kept around. Though, as of now, it's looking like it will not be in the 2nd ed. basic book.

Taking antidotes before going into a hideout does seem like a really good precaution. If my players ever think of that, I'll probably give them a +4 bonus to saving throws vs. poison while in the hideout.

I like this trap, of having a room filled with poisonous gas that you have to pass through to get to the rest of the hideout.  If you think too hard about how the gas stays in one room and never gets out...then you might be thinking too hard for a comic book RPG.

I'm heavily favoring giving all Heroes a chance at ventriloquism (maybe a 1 in 6 chance). So, take that, Dean Denton -- you're not so special now, are ya?

I like this -- the old "disguise yourself as the bad guys" trick actually failed this time!  Must have been the Hero missed his save vs. plot.

If Dean's player was trying to get me to "monolog" for the henchmen to give stuff away -- unless I did want him to know what those things that look suspiciously like voting booths are -- I might make him roll his own encounter reaction check to see if they feel like telling him.

And lastly, I'm wondering what that mirror trap is going to be...

 ...but now I'm decidedly underwhelmed. Is there a point to it, other than to try and confuse Dean?  It seems like The Conqueror could just as easily have been bulletproof glass between himself and Dean and been sitting in front of the same room, instead of a neighboring room.

This is TNT Todd, Ace G-Man. Yes, he's climbing a wall. Maybe he's more of a Mysteryman than a Fighter and that's not an issue. No, want I want to call your attention to is that he loses his gun while climbing. Why? It wasn't in his hand. It got somehow knocked loose from its holster while he was climbing, I guess. Should there just be a random chance per turn of losing your weapon in hand?

Here, Pedro is knocked unconscious and won't recover for hours. Maybe everyone should get a save vs. plot and, if they succeed, recover 1-6 hit points in 1-6 minutes. If they fail, then they heal 1 hit point back per 4 hours of rest...

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