Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Adventure Comics #41 - pt. 2

Anchors Aweigh starts with a wandering encounter instead of a plot hook -- a known spy just happens to walk by! But it's to lure Lt. Com. Don Kerry and Red into a trap. It's a goofy sort of trap, though, as they run into a glass wall that somehow knocks them unconscious. How fast were they running?

Don and Red wake up in a deathtrap an hour later. Sin Yen, the spy, has them in an arena where they'll have to fight monstrous beasts until Don tells Sin what he wants to know. The first opponent is a large ape; at 7' tall, the ape should be 4 or 4+1 HD (being halfway in size between an ordinary ape and a prehistoric ape). Other opponents include a spider-snake (it's a huge spider with a snake tail, I guess, not sure what the advantage of that combination is!), and an octo-dile (a crocodile with eight tentacles -- new version of a carrion crawler, anyone?).  Further complicating the trap is more traps within the trap, including spiked pit traps, and a glass wall that slides down so one half of the arena can be flooded with water.

Skip Schuyler is given an interesting scenario to problem solve his way through: hi-tech cattle rustlers are using planes to make cattle stampede away from ranches, and then rounding the cattle into trucks, and guarding the trucks with machine guns. Interestingly, Skip doesn't even try to stop all the rustlers; he considers the pilot the weak link and goes after the rustler's plane. He engages the pilot repeatedly in a recklessly dangerous game of chicken with a plane of his own and causes enough failed morale saves that he forces the pilot to land. Then Skip hits the pilot with a rock and ignites the gas in the plane so the rustlers can't use it anymore. Skip is apparently fine with letting the local law handle the guys with machine guns...

In Rusty and His Pals, Rusty and his pals are lost at sea and spend three days drifting until a ship bound for Liverpool passes them and picks them up. Plot contrivance, or random encounter? Could the Editor have planned for several options, or even just rolled randomly between a choice of ports? Or was the next adventure pre-set for Liverpool?

I suspect the last option, as there's a bad guy waiting for them in Liverpool with a connection to their last adventure. Indeed, it's often a good idea to have at least one bad guy per scenario with a connection to the last adventure, as it helps keeps the adventures linked into an overarching campaign.

Cotton Carver meets a priestess who takes him through a secret door from the Shrine of Dagan to an underground river and a magic boat that travels on its own with just a command. They reach a magic gate that also opens when a command word is spoken (should I treat that as a trophy item too?). Elara the Priestess takes Cotton to a castle and a tomb where she gives him a magic sword called "Malar". Malar is the only weapon that can kill the Scarlet Seeress -- and that is the quest she gives him! She also gives him a "good luck" bracelet (a luckstone?).

Cotton journeys through an underground forest (how does that work? Is this a hollow world setting?). He is caught in a trap (a giant glass jar) and ...hypnotized? Charmed? ... by the Scarlet Seeress. The Seeress just leaves then to go lead her army towards world domination. Later, an old man uses a magic divining plate (like a crystal ball) to show Cotton where his sword went to while he was asleep, then offers to drive Cotton after the Seeress in his magic flying ...car?

I don't know what to make out of the "dark horde" the Seeress leads. Dark-skinned men? Demons? It's so hard working from summaries!

(Read as summaries at DC Wikia.)

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