Saturday, January 29, 2022

Using the THA Archetypes for Young Heroes


Detailed below are suggestions for how the archetypal characters from Treasure Hunter Adventures could be used to play kids similar to those in Finding 'Ohana and The Goonies. The chief modification to make is replacing the Archetypes' various Hindrances with Young (SWADE page 28), meaning that they must reduce one Attribute and two Skills. In fact, that's a good opportunity to reduce or eliminate Skills that might be inappropriate for a character of that age. Additionally, they'll need new starting equipment to represent their youthful possessions.


Types of Kids



Retrieval Specialist

Daredevil, Thief

These kids are quick and agile, and probably enjoy putting those qualities to the test. This could just be seeking thrills, or it might be to provide for oneself and others.

Pili is a good example of this, having honed her skills in competitive geocaching.


Big Kid, Athlete

Some might be big and strong for their age, while others are just older. Either way, they are good at moving heavy things.

Eoannes and Brandon both fit this role as the older brothers.



Farm Kid, Older Kid

While it might seem unusual, sometimes it's necessary to advance the plot. This could be a farm kid who learned at a young age because it was needed.

Hana argaubly plays this part, even if her skills aren't really put to the test.


Boy or Girl Scout

This kid knows all about the natural world, and feels quite comfortable being outdoors for long periods of time—even overnight.

Although Casper might initially seem more like a nerd, his knowledge of nature and reverence for Hawaii match up here.



Popular Kid, Natural Leader

Charisma is what helps this kid navigate life. This can play out like a fast-talker, a comedian, or someone who is sincere and idealistic.

Mikey, Mouth and Chunk all play this role in different ways. Mikey is idealistic, Mouth is convincing, and Chunk is funny.


Inventor or Nerd

This kid knows a lot about some specific topics, usually ones that are useful in regard to the storyline.

Data fits this role, especially with his gadgets such as bully blinders, slick shoes and pincers of power.

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Reading Again--The Sixth Gun: A Town Called Penance

 Here are my thoughts about this story arc. 


A Town Called Penance 18-23

This story arc ran for six issues, published from January to June of 2012. Here are my impressions:

  • The two towns called Penance are weird. Their people are warped by the presence of a Seal in the aquifer beneath them. This, for me, changed the tone of the story at the start of this series.

  • I would buy a book of well-drawn maps that represent major locations in this series, especially if one depicts the underground stronghold for the Knights of Solomon. The artwork in this series is, once again, awesome.

  • That stronghold, then, sets up more great action sequences, with a waterfall that breaks free of its mount, stalactites falling from the ceiling, and other such elements.

  • Here, too, there are numerous factions in play, with the inhabitants of the two towns, Becky and Drake, and the Knights of Solomon.

  • The oracles that the Knights use are creepy and effective.

  • The silent issue, #21, is a fun change of pace, having no dialogue or sound effects. This, apparently, is an homage to issue #21 from the original G.I. Joe series, which featured Snake Eyes and has a cover that clearly inspired this one. It raises interesting questions about limiting talk between the players at the table, when the situation is appropriate.

  • The epilogue leaves a plot device open for exploitation—the amulet that Kirby used to charm Becky, now in the possession of a lady in Memphis.

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Finding 'Ohana

 Finding 'Ohana was released almost one year ago, and I must apologize for being so slow in writing about it. I'll blame that on having a son who was born in March of 2020, who now is a toddler and makes it hard to find time for watching movies and writing. That, in fact, makes a good transition into the thoughts that I have about this film.

  • This movie has lots of references to The Goonies and Raiders of the Lost Ark, which I like. That even includes an appearance by the actor Ke Huy Quan.

  • In contrast to those movies, this one has a diverse cast of heroes. That is important.

  • Like The Goonies, this is a treasure hunter story. It has less of an edge, though, probably due to the lack of villains like the Fratellis.

  • The primary set of clues for this hunt is a journal—written first in Spanish, and then translated into Hawaiian. I think it works well for moving the action forward in this treasure hunt, and the character's interpretations of the text are quite amusing. What is more, I think this kind of device would work well in a treasure-hunting scenario for young players.

  • The movie makes good use of its natural setting, both with beautiful cinematography and in creating obstacles for the heroes to bypass. The narrow tunnel, the lava chamber and others would require player strategy and Trait tests, making for action that doesn't require violence.

  • This film also has a sense of reverence, both for the natural setting of Hawaii and as a sense of family and community. That is a refreshing change from stories such as Angels & Demons, about which I wrote earlier.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

I&I for T6G: Dr. Potter's Medicine Show by Eric Scott Fischl

Another novel that can provide plenty of inspiration for The Sixth Gun campaigns is this one. 


Doctor Potter's Medicine Show

This novel represents one of the reasons why I love having used book stores in the world. One day I was early for a dentist appointment, and so I popped into the nearby Half Price books to peruse the shelves. This novel was in the Sci-Fi Fantasy section and the title immediately caught my eye; otherwise, I might never have heard of it. Over winter break I finished reading the book, and here are my thoughts about it.

  • The premise is that a traveling medicine show is involved in searching for the Philosopher's Stone of alchemical fame, and so right away it involves plot elements that could work well, I think, in adventures and campaigns for The Sixth Gun.

  • There is a lot of swearing in it, which was off-putting for me. This was a stark contrast to, for example, Territory, in which most of the characters are pretty formal in their interactions.

  • The main antagonist is a really bad person. We're given a flashback to learn some of his story, but even then he is not a sympathetic character.

  • Along that line, because he does lots of bad things to people, the novel overall has a dark tone. It is definitely not for the squeamish.

  • The protagonists have their own flaws, one of which is drinking way too much alcohol. They do become likable, however, thanks in part to some nice and even tender moments between them.

  • There are also some real surprises, which do a good job of building up the conflict and thus making the reader root for the (relatively) good guys.

  • I'm not sure what I think about the ending, as it leaves some unanswered questions. It definitely provides some satisfying comeuppance, though.