Friday, June 30, 2017

Blue Ribbon Comics #2 - pt. 1

This is shaping up to be my least productive month on the blog in the past two and a half years! And we end this month, revisiting MLJ's second issue of their first comic book.

Hmm...according to Rang-a-Tang the Wonder Dog, dogs can make high jumps into second story windows. Or maybe I'm selling the "wonder" in "wonder dog" too short. Could this be the first dog superhero?

Hmm again...if you see unusual tire tracks, you can call the Rubber Manufacturers Association and they can tell you where the tires were sold? It seems implausible..and yet, players sometimes need really easy hints to keep them moving in the right direction.

Assuming this page is referring to the North Bay in Ontario, it seems very unlikely that Detective Speed is going to need a dog sled to get around. This would be an example of adding "local color" to a foreign scene by utilizing common cliches about it.

It seems unlikely that seeing the same tire tracks in Canada would signify anything, since Speed was already told that those tires were only sold in Canada, and hence would be more common there. This would be another example of keeping the clues really simple.

You heard Speed -- rifles way a lot and slow you down! No complaining about encumbrance rules allowed now.

Okay, think about this one. Dan Hasting's friend, Dr. Carter, wants to set Dan up with an assistant. First, he picks one with an obvious personal grudge against him. Then, he talks up what a "fine technician" he is, when Barnes is almost 50 and still just an assistant. The lesson here is -- if your Editor tries to set you up with a supporting cast member who seems suspicious -- ask questions. Check references. Your Editor could be setting you up for a trap later.

That's right -- if an atomic blast hits your spaceship, it's not the heat that will get to you -- it's the humidity. I love how clueless people were about atomic radiation in 1939. You can use this in your campaigns to have atomic radiation do any crazy thing you want it to. Humidity? Sure, why not!

This is Buck Stacey. Now, it's true that low-level Heroes and mobsters with low Hit Dice have a roughly 50/50 chance to hit something. Some people might think that seems low. I give you this page, then, as evidence of how hard it is to hit someone. That gunman is shooting at Buck as Buck rides away with his back to him, in a straight line, at short range -- and misses. Now, there is also the Hero's save vs. missiles to factor in here, but I believe a low chance to hit is still justifiable.

This is Scoop Cody, and Scoop is the guy in orange. That might surprise you, because the guy dominating this scene is the mysteryman in a suit and ski mask. The guy (his calling card says he's called Marvel) just wanders into the scene like a wandering encounter -- proving that Hero classes need to be featured on the wandering mobster tables.

This is Bob Phantom -- one of my favorite characters to make fun of about his name. You can tell Bob is low-level; here, Bob warns the bad guys not to kill this guy. But, hey, they've got Tommy guns, so Bob is just going to warn here where it's safe. Hey, he did warn them, at least!

(Read at Comic Book Plus.)

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Comic Pages v. 3 #6

After a long delay, I return to Centaur comics and the issue after the last issue of Funny Picture Stories.

And it begins with new character Lucifer, the White Devil. Lucifer is a British soldier and...well, it's unlikely his parents named him Lucifer (we soon learn his first name is Fred, so maybe his name is Fred Lucifer).  More likely it's a nickname he's gained from having a fearsome reputation in battle.

Here, Lucifer seems to have spotted something suspicious. It turns out, the native is wearing a ring that Lucifer thinks he recognizes. But the native doesn't appear to have walked anywhere near Lucifer. Maybe Lucifer is racist enough to think it suspicious for any natives to have nice rings. Or, perhaps, the Editor wanted the native to be a plot hook character, and just announced he looked suspicious. Perhaps Lucifer's player is lousy at altruistic or even reward-driven motivators, but is motivated better by curiosity.

Now this is interesting -- we've all seen the cliche of the rope bridge that falls apart as the Heroes are crossing it, but this time we see the rope bridge has broken before the Heroes reach it! This could be a good idea for handling all traps -- roll and there's a 1 in 6 chance of finding it already sprung and someone in need of help in the trap.

This is from His Highness. I only count eight different characters in those "crowd scenes", but there are supposed to be enough anarchists here to need an army to stop. The point is that, in foreign countries, expect to encounter anarchists in greater numbers.

Apparently, even a revolution can be stopped by just a single encounter reaction roll made in the right circumstances (maybe if the Charisma bonus is high enough?).

This is from Fury of the Foreign Legion.  I'm not sure what to make of Mary Desmon's assertion that she knows Paul/Michael so well that she can sense when he's being held against his will. A bluff? A psionic ability? Childhood friend as a supporting cast member type with a specific special ability?

This is from The Dopey Kits.  By my count, gangs of half-pints can be found in numbers up to 36. Note that some of the half-pints are wearing the costumes of Barry Finn, the Arrow, and what appear to be the Masked Marvel and the Shark, as well as costumes representing other genres Centaur had published.

(Read at Digital Comic Museum.)