Saturday, May 28, 2016

Adventure Comics #37 - pt. 1

Poor hippo!  I hate this cover...

Barry O'Neill and Fang Gow definitely hate each other. Ol' Fang has Barry in a familiar death trap --  "the 'Water Cure' - drops slowly fall on his forehead, which will eventually cause insanity, then death."  I have never understood how that would actually work, but it's enough of a genre staple that it must at least work in Hideouts & Hoodlums. But how, exactly? Since it's obviously not an impatient man's trap, I'd say the victim would have to save vs. plot every four hours to avoid going temporarily insane. Then the victim would have to save vs. plot every four hours to avoid going permanently insane. Then the victim would have to save vs. plot every four hours to escape death.

Fang Gow's followers are described as bandits.

Cotton Carver and Volor the Dwarf are overwhelmed by the "reed men", so called because their skin is green like reeds. In situations like this, when "new" mobster types are clearly just "reskinned" humans, I do not plan to give them their own stats; reed men sound an awful lot like natives to me.

The bigger issue is, how to overwhelm foes with superior numbers in H&H?  If, say, 100 natives all try to pile onto a Hero, do you only roll to attack for the 9 who can immediately surround him, or take the collective pushing force, weight, and mass of the whole crowd into account? I here propose rolling to attack for all of them, and giving the Hero a -1 penalty to save vs. science for every hit after the first to avoid being pinned. Even high-level Heroes will have to avoid confronting huge mobs now!

Steve Carson of Federal Men is being led out into a field by three gunmen who plan to shoot him down. No slow death trap, no source of cover -- it looks like Steve's Editor has either decided to stop going easy on him or is ready to end the solo campaign! But Steve's player is smart and comes up with a good plan, to ask the hoodlums which is in charge and get them to fight each other. Given the life-and-death nature of the situation, I might just give him a win and let the trick fool the hoodlums, to reward him for his creativity. But if I was feeling less merciful, I might roll a save vs. plot for the hoodlums to determine if they fall for it or not.

Tod Hunter runs afoul of a jealous wizard with a new magic potion -- Potion of Suggestion (makes him vulnerable to everything said to him, as if the Suggestion spell) -- and a new spell, Life Link. I'd say this spell has to be maybe 7th level, as it's pretty powerful; the Magic-User links his life to someone else and if one dies, the other dies too. Tod gets Dispel Magic cast on him too.

Dale Daring seems a little useless in her scenario; she's surrounded by a company of fighters of up to 4th level (F4 = lieutenant). Still, every good die roll can be important in a scenario, and Dale is able to make the listen check that everyone else fails and allows her to hear the poachers coming.

Captain Desmo is hidden world-exploring and encounters a "prehistoric crocodile."  I'm not sure how big it looks in the comic book, but prehistoric crocodiles could weigh up to 8 tons -- we're talking maybe a 30 Hit Die crocodile here. I'm guessing the author had something less dangerous in mind -- maybe a giant crocodile should only go up to 15 Hit Dice? Regardless, Desmo and Gabby wisely run from it.

The human natives need Desmo's help against giants called the Mudas -- and the summary writer wasn't kidding when he called them giants. One of them apparently picks up Desmo in his hand! So we're talking frost giant size here, if not cloud giant size. And yet...the natives manage to bring these giants down with mostly spears? Something seems amiss here to me. I would probably stat the Mudas as hill giants to make them more killable. And I do plan on weeding out some of the giant types from H&H, so it'll be important to watch how many I recognize here in the blog.

Tom Brent, in a rare stand-alone captured by an old man with a shotgun and misses out on most of his own scenario, as the local police catch the smugglers who threatened him. If you ever have a session of H&H that goes badly for you, you can take some consolation if it didn't go Tom Brent-level bad.

(Summaries read at DC Wikia)

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