Thursday, January 5, 2017

Speed Comics #2 - pt. 2

It seems like this page is full of story filler, but actually, Shock is just wandering around town, looking for random good deeds he can do for extra experience points.

Speed flies. Interesting, because earlier in this same story he was swimming and climbing everywhere. This is more evidence -- no, not of poor writing -- that superheroes can prepare a different group of powers each day. Today Speed prepared one of the Fly powers, and yesterday he didn't.

The story switches yet again, with Shock hastening to the rescue at this Aztec stronghold. However, the stronghold is only window dressing in some backgrounds, with the combat taking place at an outdoor ceremony.

The Aztecs would be statted as natives.

This is from the next installment of Crash, Cork, and the Baron (a Three Aces rip-off so obvious that it even used "The Three Aces" as a tag line). Here, they're trekking through Bolivia.

I'm interested by what "fighting insects and undergrowth" would be like, game-wise. A few wandering encounters with giant insects would be the literal interpretation, and could have been exciting. I suspect, though, that insects and undergrowth only created negative modifiers to their travel time -- which is also interesting, because I can't think of a game where bugs slowed overland movement before, as plausible to me as that sounds.

Also note the cliche of the rope bridge. Gotta have one of those at least once in a campaign!

That story was...really racist, so we're skipping ahead to Biff Bannon of the U.S. Marines. Here's another example of a surprise head blow being able to do more damage.

But what I really like about this page is how it shows the way to disarm a gunman. Years ago, I read a Johnny Quest comic book that showed this exact same method. Glad to see it again!

Similarly, this page is the best description I've ever seen of what keelhauling is like. It always gets talked about in pirate stories, but now I see how it works so I could use it in a story better.

I can imagine a lot of scenarios where a Hero might want to use a "friction brake" to avoid taking falling damage. I think I would rule that this only works with sails...and maybe really tall curtains or tapestries.

"Keel haul me will you?" I laughed out loud at this page. Biff Bannon doesn't take guff from anyone!

There's really no game-related lesson here, though; I just wanted to share I was really digging this story.

This is Smoke Carter racing out into the street to save the girl. I would roll for initiative between Smoke and the fire engine racing towards her. If Smoke won the initiative, he would get one attack roll to "hit" the girl and scoop her up. If she was, for some reason, unwilling to be scooped, she would get a save vs. science to resist.

There's really no game reason to have the fire engine swerve and crash; it seems like flavor text the Editor added to ratchet up the tension.

(Scans courtesy of Comic Book Plus.)

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