Obscure? Here at The Big Blog o’Fun we love obscurity! (And by “we” I mean “me” because this is essentially a one man show. Get yer own soapbox on a different corner, kid.). In the previous two blog posts we’ve all been enjoying the adventures of an obscure, somewhat goofy, 1940’s character named The Deacon who made his four color home in the pages of Cat-Man Comics. It was only natural that I’d want to stat out The Deacon for use as a character in the Hideouts & Hoodlums roleplaying game, itself something of an obscurity (and very undeservedly so, as it puts a whole new twist on old school RPGs. Instead of yet another elf/dwarf/magic fantasy retro-clone, H&H explores a whole different, completely unique concept: what if The World’s First Roleplaying Game Which I’m Not Allowed To Legally Mention By Name had been based on Golden Age comic books instead of the Tolkeinesque fantasy genre?).
Last year I had a hand in writing a supplement to Hideouts & Hoodlums. That book, officially and somewhat long-windedly titled Supplement IV: Captains, Magicians, & Incredible Men: Pt. II – Harvey-Timely, contains several dozen characters from the pages of Golden Age comics, completely statted out and ready for use in any H&H campaign. I had a lot of personal favorite characters which would likely have been overlooked for inclusion in Supplement IVb due to their relative obscurity (there’s that word again), so I kicked in some time and effort to actually read all of their adventures through a December 1941 cover date and then stat them for use in the game using the official guidelines provided by the game’s creator, Scott Casper. (That phrase is italicized for a reason. There is at least one game “designer” writing and selling Golden Age character profiles/stats for RPGs who I know for a fact does not read the source material beyond [maybe] a single period comic story supplemented by a few Internet profile pages. One may not always agree with my stats, but at least you’ll have to admit that mine are based on actual research. Just sayin’.)
Had I been familiar with The Deacon’s adventures when I was working on my contributions to Supplement IVb, I’d likely have submitted him for inclusion in that book (since Holyoke Publishing’s characters appeared in that volume). But that’s the cool part about writing a blog about comics and gaming: I can always add new game material and distribute it online to players whenever I want.
First Appearance: Cat-Man Comics #1 (May, 1941)
Appearances to date: Cat-Man Comics #1-5
A young criminal, member of a small-time gang in Midway City, is appalled by his boss’ latest robbery scheme which involves the murder of a security guard. The hood tips the police to the scheme in an effort to prevent the murder. The gang boss, enraged by the betrayal, shoots the hood but just wings him. Pursued by his angry former cohorts, the hood takes refuge in the abandoned Marshland Church where he finds (and dons) the former (absent) minister’s suit. When the gang finds him, the ex-gang member defeats them all in a knock-down drag out fight, then dumps them off at the nearest police station along with a note cryptically signed by “The Deacon”. The former hood renounces his life of crime and instead aids the law in his new identity as The Deacon.
The Deacon dresses in a plain dark suit, fedora, and clergyman’s collar, and carries no weapons. He’s aided in his crusade by a former street urchin named Mickey Mathews, whom The Deacon appears to have adopted. The pair make their home and headquarters in the Marshland Church, the basement of which has been converted by The Deacon into a medical laboratory.
Supporting Cast Member:
Mickey Mathews (sidekick) – Level 1 half-pint
SPECIAL RULE: The Deacon’s tales often ended with a moral in the form of a lecture delivered by The Deacon to Mickey, to the reader, or both. If a player controlling The Deacon provides an in-character soliloquy presenting “the moral of the story” at the end of an adventure (or a session of play, at the Editor’s discretion), The Deacon receives an additional 100 experience points.
Have fun! — Steve
Copyright 2014, Steven A. Lopez. All rights reserved.