Sunday, July 24, 2016

Crackajack Funnies #13

This is Red Ryder and...hmm...that's one impressive panel. I wonder if I shouldn't consider a cattle stampede a save or die situation...

Wash Tubbs and Captain Easy are lucky to defeat a single mobster and win a boat as a trophy item.

The "ghostly ruins of an old plantation" is an atmospheric location for a hideout. That there's only building on the island makes it easy to find the hideout.

The hideout is under the ruins -- a common place for hideouts. The entrance is a concealed trapdor and has to be found, though. Luckily, the Editor rolls a wandering encounter and gives them someone to question.

Also note that time of day affects what the mobsters are doing in the hideout; they aren't just static stat blocks, frozen in place until encountered.

The first thing Easy does in the hideout after knocking out the lone guard isn't to slit the throats of the sleeping bad guys, but to sneak around and take all their weapons. And this is the behavior of a Hero who can probably be defined as Neutral rather than Lawful.

Yes, leaving his prisoners alive does sometimes lead to complications. But how exactly did that mobster left on the beach get free? It seems editorial fiat created that complication. In game play, this would only discourage Heroes from leaving their prisoners alive.

It's interesting how Roy Crane, normally such an attentive artist to detail, just said "forget this!" and stopped drawing the background to panel 1 in mid-panel. This is sort of like what hideouts are like for your players when you stop adding dressing to the hideouts. Describing the brickwork, placing random barrels in hallways -- these are the things that remind players that their characters are in a physical place and helps them visualize it.

Extra guns under beds is another good dressing detail, and handy for the bad guys.

Yes, secret doors can have alarm systems hooked up to them now. No need for Magic Mouth spells!

This stage money brings up the topic of recognizing forgeries. I had written up more on the subject under the spy class (in The Trophy Case), but basically the only mechanic you need here is save vs. plot -- succeed, and you recognize the bills for what they are. Disguise works the same way, and what is a forgery but a disguised bill?

(Scans courtesy of Comic Book Plus)

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