Monday, July 9, 2018

Marvel Mystery Comics #3 - pt. 3

In American Ace, Wade Perry rescues a girl and gets a new mission from this plot hook character -- deliver her to her sister, 60 miles away, so she can tell her sister their parents are dead. It turns out to be a super-easy trip, as his plane is fast and they make the trip too quickly for the Editor to roll up any wandering encounters along the way.

Instead of speeding off on another scenario, though, Wade spends a whole week of down time just hanging out with the girls and their grandparents on their farm. Now, maybe Wade's player is just playing it smart...figures a war scenario is too dicey, so he's safer just hanging out here, earning some XP for including supporting cast members in the story, and hoping for more chances to rescue them for more XP. Or maybe his player just really enjoys role-playing.

But eventually, regardless of which it is, he tires of his character having no action here and decides to leave. Now the Editor gets that wandering encounter check he'd been waiting for!  He rolls up three enemy fighter planes.  Three-to-one odds are tough for low-level Heroes and are too much for Perry. Luckily, he survives, and revenge is a good motive to get players into more dangerous scenarios.

The third "episode" of the Adventures of Ka-Zar the Great provides a map showing us that Ka-Zar's adventures are firmly planted in the Belgian Congo. Again, Ka-Zar demonstrates an ability to speak with animals, which either must become a special ability of an explorer class, or just written off as part of the jungle/Tarzan genre.

This is a different adventure for Ka-Zar, as there is no "villainous" person or animal in it. Steve Hardy is a rival explorer, collecting animals for zoos. Ka-Zar is at cross-purposes and wants to free the animals, but without harming Steve. By waiting until nightfall, Ka-Zar only has to gain surprise against one guard and simply open all the cages. Of course, had the dice rolls gone against him, the guard would have woke the whole camp and Ka-Zar would have been quickly outnumbered. Sometimes, the result of just a few dice rolls can determine if a whole scenario is going to be easy or hard.

The wild animals released include a hog, a stork, a leopard, and an elephant. Boars, leopards, and elephants have all been statted for H&H, and storks...probably don't need to be. Curiously, Steve never just follows the tracks of the missing animals. Ka-Zar must have swept all evidence of tracks away?  When Steve goes hunting a rhino (also statted already), Ka-Zar attacks Steve's native porters and makes them all fail a morale save.

Ka-Zar is using a bow and arrow in this scene and manages a wounding shot, being careful not to kill the porter. I've not considered doing this before, but maybe H&H could allow Heroes to set a maximum damage they want to do. Or maybe that would just work with non-firearm damage. It bears more thought.

On his way home from that adventure (presumedly because the artist had another page to fill), Ka-Zar has a wandering encounter with a hostile leopard (apparently not the same one he'd saved earlier).

(Read at Marvel Unlimited.)

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