Saturday, November 19, 2016

Smash Comics #3 - pt. 2

I first discovered John Law the Scientective while researching for Supplement IV: Captains, Magicians, and Incredible Men.  He was not the first scientist hero in comics (Dean Denton might have been first), but he's a favorite of mine.

I'm not sure if the induction alarm was a real thing back in 1939. Of course, motion sensors are commonplace today, as are remote-controlled lights. One of the nice things about running a campaign set in the past is that you don't have to come up with super-science-y gizmos all the time, as modern day stuff would have been advanced science back then too.

John's nemesis, The Avenger, uses a pretty dastardly tactic here, forcing an innocent victim to bring a ball of poison gas to John. This way, no matter what John did, the ball would likely wind up getting broken. Lucky that John has a gas mask so handy, especially considering that I don't plan to make it a starting equipment item.

Antidotes, like gas masks, are trophy items. The scientist class from Supplement III: Better Quality -- which John probably would qualify for -- can make stuff like this, but the scientist won't be in the 2nd edition basic book.

Bombs are a natural trophy item, but the damage they can do is highly variable and even the triggers for a bomb can be just about anything -- like this one, that is triggered by air pressure. I'll probably have just one entry for bombs in the trophy section with a short list of suggestions.

Really, John? X-Rays? You couldn't just shine ultraviolet light on their hands? It does seem like the general public, in 1939, was pretty ignorant about the effects of radiation, but a scientist should have known.

The manager is shot by a sniper, also known as an assassin (and statted as such) in 2nd edition.

This is Wings Wendall of Military Intelligence. My players are rarely so subtle as to use distractions, but if they did, I would have the guard save vs. plot or fall for it. As Editor, you could decide to always let a clever idea for a distraction work automatically, the first time, and then use the save vs. plot mechanic always after that if they repeat it.

It's hard to believe that any bad guys were so dense to need a chart explaining that simple plan, but it made for an awful handy clue for Wings to find.

Lastly, having dim light make it difficult for people to recognize Heroes is a factor the game mechanics don't directly deal with. I guess, if the player was directly asking if the dim light could hide his identity, then you would treat it as a disguise attempt.

Editors don't need to go this easy on their players. How dumb is this bad guy, to already suspect Wings of being a spy, but putting him on a crucial work detail on the sub without a guard anyway?

That said, this is pretty cool, dressing up like the bad guy in order to fool all his underlings.

This is Hugh Hazzard and His Iron Man and...this trophy item is a goofy one. Apparently, the super-seper-iconoscope can pick up a radio signal and convert it into a television signal, as if the scene heard was being filmed. The sheer impossibility of that working makes my head hurt. But that's the Golden Age!

Here's a familiar issue -- are the bullets bouncing off because Bozo's Armor Class is so low, or because the robot has a power like Imperviousness? The robot clearly has the wrecking things ability here. I would treat wrecking planes as if they were (perhaps ironically) robots.

(Scans courtesy of Comic Book Plus)

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