Monday, June 6, 2016

Action Comics #12

Superman is one year old! To celebrate, Superman declares war on reckless drivers. This is the kind of proactive playing most game referees just dream about, though it is admittedly hard to prepare for if the players just start a campaign like this off the cuff.

Superman does a lot of wrecking in this story -- wrecking his way through a brick wall, wrecking cars and trucks, and the machines in a factory. He uses his alien abilities of leaping, running super-fast, and naturally nigh-invulnerable skin, and the powers Raise Car and Dig. He probably uses Feather Landing too.

Remarkably, Superman is shown capable of being knocked over by a speeding car when he's not braced for it, or perhaps just because he doesn't have the right powers buffing him.

Scoop Scanlon was seriously injured in last month's segment. A month passes in story time while he convalesces. That's a long, slow rate of hit point recovery!

When Pep Morgan is stuck in a South American country ("Latara" -- I can't even guess what that is code for), he does the smart thing my Monday night group did when they were in Cairo -- seek out help from an American consultate. In this case, Pep can wire home for money and get a few pesos to tide him over (the latter as the result of a high encounter reaction roll?).

Pep escapes from being tied up by exerting "super-human strength." Umm...I don't think that's really Pep's thing. Maybe the rope wasn't very strong?

Zatara is in an explorer's club in San Francisco -- he really gets around looking for plot hooks!  A scientist friend approaches Zatara, for the man has invented a portal to the fourth dimension and wants Zatara to explore through it.

The fourth dimension is a gonzo sandbox setting, with prehistoric flora and fauna, including a saber-tooth tiger (these were statted in Book II). It is also inhabited by green humans who live in nations called Thrule and Arren. The humans of Thrule are masters of biology and have learned how to recreate species from various times in Earth history, like the tiger. They are not good with weapons, though, as the leader of Thrule has nothing but throwing daggers to defend himself with. The people of Arren have weapons that can vaporize people, so it seems a decidedly lopsided war between them. One wonders how Thrule is not yet conquered...

Soon, Zatara is flying a winged horse, but it isn't clear if he made that, summoned that, or was given it for his use by the leader of Thrule. Zatara does cast a spell that reflects missile weapons back on the thrower (Missile Reflection? Maybe a new 4th level spell?), Polymorph himself into a vulture, turns Invisible, uses ventriloquism (a spell, or a skill?), and then Polymorph again to turn a woman into an ugly hag (for a change, all but the first of Zatara's spells were in Book I!).

(Superman read in Superman Action Comics Archives vol. 1, select pages were read at the Babbling about DC Comics blog, summaries of the rest read at DC Wikia)

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