Sunday, January 22, 2017

Wonderworld Comics #7 - pt. 2

Let's look at what spells Yarko the Great is casting today. Some sort of untying spell? Floating through the bars might just be a generous interpretation of the Knock spell, or maybe Yarko is really showing off and cast Passwall on the gate. And what has he done to to the rifle -- melted it? Bent it with Telekinesis?

And then we get some more great Eisner room layouts. Good enough to use as a player handout!

Here, Yarko uses some sort of Teleport spell. Like Telekinesis, Teleport is a high-level spell that needed a low-level alternative for Hideouts & Hoodlums, as these sorts of spells get cast all the time in comics. A lower-level Teleport would only have teleported the tortured person a short distance, like to the next room.

The next spell is very clearly Hold Person, and other uses of the spell have set a precedent for the magic-user being able to allow the held victim to still speak.

Here's a puzzle, though -- Projected Image should be visible to everyone; why is Yarko making his image only visible to Burke? Another lower-level version, like a Message spell that only reaches one person (but is still visual to that person)?

Burke's "much persuasion" must have been multiple encounter reaction rolls -- though if Burke is a supporting cast member, then the Editor could just choose to hand-wave the rolling for this scene, as no Hero is actually present.

There is also evidence here of spells having random duration that magic-users cannot always predict.

So it turns out that approaching the ruins normally is a suicide run without large numbers, great stealth, and maybe magic or powers as there's large open space with no cover around the ruins and multiple concealed machine gun nests inside. Heroes just trying to waltz up to the front door would face a frightening amount of potential damage if not bulletproof, making this a challenging scenario for even mid-level Heroes.

Shorty Shortcake walks an interesting line between being a humor strip and an adventure strip. Some of it isn't appropriate for H&H, like suggesting that a pin to the butt would do enough damage to distract a hardened fighter. But other things ring true, like trying to grapple with an opponent from behind and slap handcuffs on him. I've had the same technique tried in some past H&H sessions.

Similarly, there are both things appropriate and inappropriate for H&H here. A chair that misses your target should not break and bounce back in your face -- it would make sense if H&H had a fumble mechanic in combat. Fumbles are funny, and some players like them, but I don't think it's a good fit for H&H despite pages like this.

Using pepper to stun opponents is appropriate and has been talked about on this blog before. It would require a successful attack roll and a missed save vs. science.

The chandelier coming down seems a lucky coincidence. However, the Editor would be in his rights to consider the weight of the Hero and the quality of the chandelier and judge that a save vs. plot is in order. Or, the player could ask for a save vs. plot to see if the chandelier comes down or not.

The mayor falling through the ceiling feels more like a wandering encounter to me.

This is the original meaning of "thug" -- professional murderers with skills like hiding in shadows and climbing walls. These will be called assassins in H&H, to distinguish them from hoodlum-thugs.

One of the earliest appearances of slings in comic books. It can, surprisingly, do enough damage to take down Dan, who should be at least a 2nd-level fighter by now.

But what the heck is up with Dan's long, luscious eyelashes? Has he been dressing up as a woman lately?

How this is going to work from now on is that, after being knocked unconscious, if Dan makes his save vs. plot, he'll recover with 1-6 hit points back in 1-6 turns. Here, it seems only one turn has passed and the Editor has, generously, decided to still keep this in melee turns even though there's no fighting left.

The Editor's generosity has its limits, though, as he has five yellow peril hoodlums jump a Hero with no more than 6 hit points.

(Scans courtesy of Comic Book Plus)

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