Thursday, April 13, 2017

Jumbo Comics #11 - pt. 2

Well, that was a two week, unscheduled vacation from blogging!  Let's see where we left off...

Oh, that's right, in Jumbo Comics!  This is a page from Spencer Steel and, here, we see a car chase going on. I'm still in the early stages of formulating some car chase mechanics in my head which may or may not make it into the 2nd edition basic book, so it's worth saving this example of evasion during a chase. How do the hoodlums turn the corner so fast that Nora misses it? Is evasion a skill, or a chase-based mechanic that would have to be rolled for each turn?

It's also worth pointing out that Spencer and Nora marry before this story, making them the second married couple in comic books after Bart and Sally in Spy.

The driver has hard cover from the car. Because the car has not had time to get up to speed since turning around, there would be no penalty to hit for moving too fast. In a chase, there should always be a chance of a complication, like a crash. Though this is not a chase, as soon as the driver of a vehicle is incapacitated, the vehicle should move straight to crash complication.

The episodic nature of this installment leads me to think it was originally a UK comic strip, or was planned to be released that way.

The idea of placing a deadly gas inside glass vials, and then concealing the vials were they would be easily broken by accident, is a good trap.

Is Nora still a Supporting Cast Member? With her upgrade to married partner, I wonder if a player took over the SCM rather than roll up a new Hero. If Nora is still a SCM, then the Editor should not be using her to give away vital clues; that should fall to the players to find them.

For those not keeping track, Stuart Taylor was just the SCM in The Diary of Dr. Hayward, before being cast back in time and becoming a sort of "Yankee in King Arthur's Court"-type character, only in a generic fantasy version of medieval Europe. That's all the explanation you need to understand how Stuart has mini-grenades, or why he's the only character with a modern name.

Stuart doesn't feel so bold when it comes to five-to-one odds, but he also is Lawful enough not to murder them with a grenade just for doing their job.

The pit trap has the additional wrinkle of a stone slab sliding shut over the opening. Though it might be worse, depending on how thick the cover is, I would have that wreck as if a generator for superheroes trapped beneath it.

The pit trap is further complicated by apparently dropping them into an arena where a lion can be released to attack them. More portcullises block other exits from the arena, including one portcullis blocking a curiously small door.

100 xp for whoever can figure out the real life geographical analogues to this map. Chesterland sounds decidedly English, which would make the Island of Dono a substitute for Ireland. But none of that explains how Mongolia is right next to them.

That's actually not bad strategy -- enter the villains' hideout in disguise, slip them a fake map and plans, and watch them follow it into a trap.  Not bad, ZX-5!

(Scans courtesy of Comic Book Plus.)

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