Saturday, November 12, 2016

Mystery Men Comics #3 - pt. 1

I've talked before on this blog about feeling free -- as many Golden Age comic book writers did -- to mine classic literature for story ideas. Here, The Green Mask borrows heavily from Oliver Twist.

The Green Mask seems to "suddenly appear". It is likely that he merely achieved surprise when encountering them, though he might have used the move silently skill to sneak up on them, or even (in 2nd edition) burned a stunt to perform it extra well.

"Talk up!" seems to have been a common way of saying "Speak up!" back in 1939.

More evidence of 1) how easy it needs to be for Heroes to climb. If there's less than a 50% chance of scaling nine stories to that window, then Green Mask here -- who can't be higher than 2nd level, tops -- would find this a very dangerous fall. And 2) it's ridiculously easy to knock someone out from behind. I have added a combat rule about this for 2nd edition, but it's only good during a surprise attack, not during regular combat.

Okay, now that's just silly. Pushing their guns into their chins is just going to make them look at you funny, not knock them out. Sometimes players get bored with their normal combat options and try new things like this. Well, not exactly like this, but it reminds me of the old "Can I stab him with my arrow instead of shooting it?" question.

I've talked about this before on the blog too, weapons that aren't really weapons, and having them do 1-3 points of damage instead of a full die.

Where did that air pocket come from? A freebie from the Editor when the player seemed stuck? A random encounter? The player asking for something to happen, and using asking the Editor to allow the save vs. plot mechanic to determine if it happens?

Also note the handwritten letter from Green Mask, now in police custody. Golden Age Heroes don't have to worry about anyone being able to trace their identity from even fairly obvious clues.

It's amazing how prescient Dick Briefer was about watches being able to make phone calls, and then how goofy he was with the cone-shaped planet. Don't be afraid to mix stuff we know now makes sense with stuff that we know now is just plain crazy talk.

I'm sharing this page because I love that crazy ship design. Spaceships designed like giant shovels -- why not? It reminds me of TSR's Spelljammer setting. I wonder if H&H will ever have a supplement like that someday...

Although the last panel calls those things "creatures", the next page reveals them to be more spaceships. Perfect Spelljammer fodder.

Yeah, don't worry, players, I'm not including a 150' giant in the 2nd ed. basic book. The story only ever calls it a "beast" or a "monster".  I'd probably call it something like a "gargantuan" to distinguish it from a normal giant.

Chen Chang's men are consistently called bandits in this installment of Chen Chang, but stat-wise they seem more like nomads.

(Scans courtesy of Digital Comic Museum)

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