Sunday, December 11, 2016

Popular Comics #44

Today's lead feature is Gangbusters!  Here, we're reminded that electric drills might make a good mundane trophy item, slot machines are worth $80, and might have $60-$80 in them on a good night (that's pretty impressive, considering these were apparently nickel slots). We also know police cars can hit 70 MPH...

This is a reminder to myself that I haven't statted look-outs yet. This mobster type would have a better chance of surprise and a lower chance of being surprised.

I have no intention of getting rid of the hit point mechanic. But, if I was, I might consider damage categories, as evidenced here in this first panel. The police officer is shot and receives a "bad wound". A bad wound apparently leaves him able to attack, but not move. But then he bleeds out some more and the bad wound becomes a "critical wound", leaving him unconscious and dying.

The dearth of specific makes and models of guns in early comics made me rethink how specific the 1st ed. Hideouts & Hoodlums equipment list was, but the true crime genre might prove I was right the first time. Here we get a .38 Colt revolver, a 7.65 German Mauser, and a 12 gauge shotgun.

The Masked Pilot is in another dogfight. Second edition is going to allow Heroes to wing their own stunts, which gives them greater flexibility, but it doesn't allow for a list of stunts with set game mechanics. Aviator dogfights need mechanics. Here we have the popular Power Dive stunt and, although it goes unnamed, the Masked Pilot countered with Find Blind Spot.

Here we see two more aviator stunts -- Improved Take-Off/Landing and Repair Plane Damage. There's probably another one here I hadn't thought of before -- Blind Flying.

Plane crashes have, pretty obviously, a high chance of death involved (save vs. plot or die?). Because of that, Heroes' planes don't run out of hit points and crash -- they accumulate complications instead, like the blinding oil spray on the previous page.

Note how the enemy pilot rolled so low to hit that the Masked Pilot's gunner didn't even need to duck or anything to get missed...

There seems to be a "Big Two" kinds of gems that are highly sought in the early comic books, diamonds and -- as here and on another recent post -- star sapphires. Making a gem "priceless" -- as happens here in Mr. Wong -- may be useful for a plot hook, but it's not good news for if your Heroes ever manage to lay claim to it (unless you rule that priceless, technically, means no XP or $ values).

Ha -- "As senior officer of this ship and a government mail pilot, I am, by virtue, an officer of the law!" I wonder if there's any truth to that or if Tommy is totally bluffing with these folks...

Tex Thorne's hunch about the "trick" could be explained by the result of opposed surprise rolls coming up in Tex's favor, but it also could have been a smart player asking for a head count of the outlaws in front, realizing there must have been more, and guessing correctly where they might have gone. Players making the right calls should be able to trump game mechanics sometimes (as I've talked about in the past about searching in the right places).

(Scans courtesy of Digital Comic Museum.)

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