How to Play

So you're ready to try playing HIDEOUTS & HOODLUMS, but not sure how?  For starters, there are a couple of H&H message board-based campaigns you can follow online (and are linked to from the sidebar).  Lurk there and see if you can follow how it's being done.

Then, if you want to play H&H at home, get together a group of your friends.  RPGs are always more fun when played with friends.  Just have an informal chat about comic books.  Talk about what comic books you've enjoyed and why.  Then bring up that you know this new (well, new-ish) RPG called HIDEOUTS & HOODLUMS that you want to try with them.  See if, during the course of this discussion, you or one of your friends comes up with a storyline they'd like to try using as a scenario to play through.  It can be original or a favorite one from an old comic book.  If no one has a scenario in mind yet, then someone will have to volunteer to be the Editor and try to come up with an idea for a scenario later.

Discuss what time period you want to game in.  If you picked up H&H, your interests probably run Old School and hopefully your friends do as well.  H&H is optimally geared towards gaming in the span of 1939-1941 and may need more tweaking the further you get from this window in time.  With just minor tweaking, it would probably support a campaign set anywhere between 1933 and 1960.

At this initial sitting, start thinking about what comic book characters you like and what concepts for comic book characters you think it would be fun to play with.  You can make your characters now or wait to roll them up at a later sitting, after people have had more time to think it over.  Make sure you have at least one copy of Book I: Men and Supermen to pass around and show everyone.

At this point, you should also have paper for taking notes.  It also wouldn't hurt to have copies of the HIDEOUTS & HOODLUMS HERO RECORD (see below).

Roll up your characters.  To keep things Old School, don't move numbers around if you can avoid it, taking the challenge of playing your hero as-is.  If it's too difficult to make the character you want with the rolls you have, then consider swapping points between scores.  If your scores are too low, the Editor may agree with you that the scores are unplayable and allow re-rolls.  All of this is spelled out in Book I.

A well-balanced party should have at least one Fighter, Magic-User, Superhero, and Mysteryman in it and at least one alien or half-alien.  An article about getting the most out of your heroes was written for The Trophy Case #3, "Tips for Success with Low-Level Heroes", and is reprinted here.  Aviators and Cowboys would be good additions to any party, so long as their genres are appropriate for the scenarios the Editor is already envisioning running.

The Editor may make up a scenario from scratch or based on a published story.  The Editor will find most of the work already done for him if he uses one of the prepared scenarios already published, either "Temple of the Rooster God" in Supplement II or FS1 Sons of the Feathered Serpent.  Of course, it would help if the Editor has read these scenarios and the rest of the players have not.

A series of short, raw scenarios are currently being published in new issues of The Trophy Case, with the series being known as "Heinous Hideouts".  Heinous Hideouts was originally planned as an anthology of such adventures ("raw" in the sense that mobsters and trophies are suggested, but not placed for you in the setting).  The introductory material written for that anthology can be found here.
Scott Casper,
Sep 8, 2011, 1:26 PM