Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Jumbo Comics #8

We rejoin Hawks facing 20 to 1 odds on board an enemy vessel -- and those are not good odds for a 3rd-level Fighter with no armor and armed with a sword, even if he does get to combat machine these guys. Luckily, a quick-thinking supporting cast member creates a trap for the opposition by turning a sail into a net. Nets seem to be particularly effective in comic books. Whatever the size of the net, half that space below it will be covered in net and all in that area must save vs. science or be trapped underneath for 1-3 turns (you can see the two who made their saves here).

I'm less charitable to the use of the cloak during the fight; I really don't see what game mechanic advantage to give to someone fighting with a sword in one hand and a blinding cloak in the other. Hawks' player is going to have to choose between the two each turn. On turns Hawks uses the blinding cloak, his opponent will, if he's hit, have to save vs. science or lose his attack that turn. It's not an effective attack, but more of a delaying move, really.

This is not the first, nor will it be the last, time I see a half-pint kicking a mobster in the shin and disabling a grown man. Half-pints might need a special power of getting a +1 to hit mobsters in the shin, requiring a save vs. science if they hit or the mobster is stunned for 1 turn.

This is a special feature related to the World's Fair. Frank Buck reminds me that cobras and pythons need to be statted for Hideouts & Hoodlums 2nd ed. Pythons were not singled out by name in 1st ed., but there were stats for regular constrictor snakes. 2nd ed. will have stats for both regular and giant constrictor and poisonous snakes. I might include a note about how cobras can be caught in a sack, if you beat them in initiative and successfully hit them with the sack.

Is Wilton taking a risk, bringing Snorty back to town to see a doctor, or is he close to leveling and looking for that 100 XP good deed award for fixing up Snorty? Plus another bonus for including a supporting cast member in the story?

Ignoring the fact that Doogah looks more like a Muppet than a real person, this page is worth pointing out for the new trophy item -- the language chair. Anyone putting on the attached helmet and sitting in the chair will immediately learn the language of the next person to speak to him.

Here is an Editor at work trying to balance the challenge level of this scenario. Knowing that he plans to put Sheena and Bob up against a machine gun, he makes sure they have access to grenades to even the odds.

In this instance, Bob is not rescuing Sheena for a good deed XP award, since it does not count towards saving fellow Heroes. Instead, Bob is just playing smart and working to keep his comrade-in-arms alive.

That Bob is able to rush into the line of fire of the machine gun, pick up Sheena, and run out either means the Editor has rolled horribly for that machine gunner, or he's being too merciful to his players and deliberately unbalancing his game.

(Scans courtesy of Comic Book Plus)

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