Saturday, June 18, 2022

Blood & Treasure

I am posting the trailer for this series. It looks like the first season ran on CBS starting back in 2019, but it is currently available on Amazon. I'll post my thoughts about the episodes as I watch them. 


Blood & Treasure

Friday, June 17, 2022

Reading Again: Shadow Roads--Birthright

If the image that accompanies this post looks the same as that from the last one, then that's because it's the one from the trade paperback collection of the two arcs, which are at the time of this writing the last ones in the Shadow Roads line. 


Birthright 8-10

Another short arc, these issues were published in June of 2019 and then, following a delay, in July and September of 2020. Here are my impressions:

  • This is very much a Henry story, and that's a good thing. I think this new storyline allows the authors to focus on one character for a bit, and then come back to the whole group.

  • In an RPG campaign, I think that could look like running a side mission for one or more players. On the other hand, the GM could also just make sure to incorporate elements of the background stories that players have for their characters, to give adventures and the campaign as a whole that personalized feel.

  • The scene in which Henry unlocks some of his power is quite well done.

  • The final scene really makes it feel like the authors have more stories to tell in this setting, even if we haven't seen a new issue in almost two years.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Reading Again: Shadow Roads--The New World

 Here are my impressions about this short story arc.


The New World 6-7

This short arc was published in February and May of 2019. Here are my impressions:

  • These two issues both clarify the nature of this new (old) world, and open new possibilities. In Issue #6 we are told, “The Six are gone forever. But, their power—their magic—was not destroyed. It was scattered...”

  • At the outset we find Abigail in a place called Purgatory 13, but Kalfu tells us that a group known as the Court of Order has decided to let her return to the world, to prevent the scattered magical power from falling into wicked hands.

  • Rat Port, Arkansas is another great location, even though we don't see much of it.

  • Mizadori is an intriguing villain, and his hotel, which changes in order to confuse visitors, is a cool location for exploration.

  • There are numerous lingering questions, such as, “What is the Shadow Constitution?”

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Reading Again: Shadow Roads--The Crossroads

Here are my thoughts about this arc, the first in the new(ish) series. 


The Crossroads 1-5

This story arc, which kicked off the new series titled Shadow Roads, ran for five issues, published from June to November of 2018. Here are my impressions:

  • Issue #1 snuck by me at first. I'd first spotted Issue #1 of The Sixth Gun as a Free Comic Book Day offering back in 2010, grabbed it, read it and loved it. I didn't make it to FCBD in 2018, in part because I had no idea that Issue #1 of Shadow Roads would be there.

  • The series (re)opens a whole new world. It is the same world of The Sixth Gun, but without the sixth. As is described in this series, the elements of magic have been scattered throughout the world, and there are unnatural things that threaten life. That's a great setup for an RPG campaign setting!

  • A new series brings new characters. Whereas in The Sixth Gun they were introduced slowly over a number of arcs, here we meet a whole bunch of them in the first few issues. I like Barry as a comical contrast to the series Henry, and Isabella as a sassy counterpart for Ghost Eyes. One character is even a werebear!

  • There are still a few old, familiar faces, too. The reader knows, I think, what happened to Gord/Kalfu, and it's nice to see Buzzard Wife again. Just how Abigail Redmayne is still here remains a mystery.

  • There are lots of new places, too! This time around we have action taking place in England and Mexico, along with the American southwest. The end fight also gives glimpses of the Louisiana bayou, the Himalaya Mountains and the Forbidden City in China. It's fun to imagine the possibilities of where this series could go.

  • How could a GM create stats for the Hunter? One idea I had is that the character gains an Advance each time he hunts down a foe who has a Trait that is higher than his own, or an Edge or special ability that he lacks. In that way, he grows in power because of his hunting.

Monday, June 13, 2022

Modifying More Treasure Hunter Adventures Scenarios for the Raiders Time Period

Presented here are tips for using more recent releases for Treasure Hunter Adventures in the more pulpy time period of the 1930s and 40s.

  • Into the Shadows: During the time period for Raiders of the Lost Ark, not much time has passed since the Mexican Revolution; lingering conflicts from that event could come into play.

  • Skulduggery: Not much changes for this scenario, which takes place in the western United States, except for the makes and models of the vehicles involved. Instead of intercepting a text message sent to Rutger von Blum, however, the heroes probably find evidence of a telegram.

  • Training Program for the Office of Special Services: There's a lot that was frustrating about the movie Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, but this is not the time or place to share those gripes. One thing that I really liked about the film, however, was how it worked serving in the O.S.S. into Indy's story. The vignettes presented in this scenario could be used to represent the training that he and others underwent during that time.

  • Seekers of Wisdom and The Wreck of the Skylark: The stakes in both of these scenarios are raised if they are set during the reign of the Nazis in Europe. In that case, rather than having a band of mercenaries pursuing the heroes, it could be Nazi agents themselves!

For suggestions regarding other scenarios and supplements, please refer to last year's posts.

Using Elements from the THA Supplements

Using Elements from the THA Scenarios


Sunday, June 12, 2022

Indiana Jones and Elliott Ness

Last summer I posted a series of nine articles on this blog to mark the fortieth anniversary of Raiders of the Lost Ark being released in theaters. This year I'll post just one to mark the day, June 12th.


Indiana Jones and the Mystery of the Blues is a feature-length TV movie set in Chicago in 1920—told as a flashback while an older Indy and his friend Greycloud are working to recover a pipe this is sacred to Greycloud's people. That business serves as a frame, then, for Indy's story about how, while attending the University and working as a waiter, helped investigate the murder of his employer, “Big” Jim Colosimo. In this tale Indy reveals that his college roommate was none other than the up-and-coming crimefighter, Elliot Ness. This is nine years before Ness and his associates would manage the arrest of gangster Al Capone, as depicted in the film The Untouchables among other places.

All of this came to mind recently while I was paging through a little book called Lost Treasures of American History, a little hardcover book by W.C. Jameson. The final chapter of the book tells the story of the gangster “Dutch” Schultz, who accumulated millions of dollars' worth of cash, bonds, jewelry, diamonds and gold through his criminal enterprises throughout the 1920s and 1930s. The story goes that—as the authorities and his criminal rivals were closing in on his operations—he and an associate, Lulu Rosencranz, buried an iron chest containing much of this wealth outside the town of Phoenicia, Connecticut. Eventually the rivals caught up to both of those men and gunned them down in cold blood; they took the secret location of the buried loot to their graves.

With all of this in mind, it's fun to imagine how Indy and Ness would go about hunting for that cache of loot—and to wonder which crime bosses would send their minions in pursuit of it, too.

Sunday, June 5, 2022

Developments for the National Treasure TV Series

While the development by Disney of a TV series based on the National Treasure movies (2004 and 2007) is not news, I think a couple of recent developments are noteworthy. For one, Disney recently released a first image of the cast members, who seem to have run into some legal trouble.

A second bit of news is that actor Justin Bartha will be reprising his role as Riley Poole from the films.

This certainly helps create continuity between them and the TV series. What is more, the fact that his Poole wrote a book, The Templar Treasure and Other Myths That Are True, begins to open up a whole world of possible adventures. Such a book would definitely be a useful plot device for an RPG campaign. It will be interesting to see how the series develops that world, using the long-form pacing that is possible on TV as opposed to the big screen.