Friday, April 27, 2012

Thun'da, King of the Conga/Congo [Comic Mockery]

It's time for another look into the wonders of old jungle comics with a Thunda story posted at The Comic Book Catacombs (for all your old jungle comic needs, one convenient location on the world wide web).

OK, first and foremost, Thun'da is a dude. Name ends with a vowel, immediately I'm thinking a jungle girl, but no, it's a jungle boy. Naturally, he has a jungle girl (every Tarzan needs a Jane). This episode is about Jungle Killers (i.e. killers in the jungle, as opposed to people who kill jungles).

I wonder what the berber's "% in Lare" is?

This scene, killing an elephant with one blast of a gun, does bring up a shortcoming of D&D combat, namely that for a single gun shot to take down an 11 HD elephant, it needs to do about 11 dice of damage (or maybe 6, if we're allowing for double damage on some sort of critical hit). You could make 10d6 damage elephant guns in D&D, but if you let the monsters have them, the players are going to be pissed.

Well, maybe that last elephant just rolled shitty for hit points, because Muka is only annoyed at the little lead pellets, an annoyance he demonstrates by tossing around the Arabs.

What the heck is Pha doing in that middle panel? She's either distressed at the sound of gunshots or swooning over that dreamy Thun'da, the Frank Sinatra of the Conga.

"Drops like a falling stone" does not really paint Thun'da's dexterity score in the brightest light.

You know how great it would have been if they misspelled "Flee" in that last panel?

The adventures of Thun'da, Jungle Veterinarian. "That mud will draw out the pain, and introduce a host of bacteria into the wound."

Meanwhile ... Pha Pha Pha Phooom. Thun'da done alright for himself in the jungle. Ain't it just like a female sidekick, though - you tell them to stay, and they always wander in just in time to be attacked by the one bad guy that got away from you. Sheesh.

Ooo! Ooo! Gold pieces! He said gold pieces! At least we're dealing with an economy I can understand.

Also ... SMATTT? Nice sound effect. Not exactly up to Batman quality.

Hours after days, Thun'da makes his Tracking check and finds the caravan. He then fails his Spot check and is apparently unable to see the guns they're carrying - those same guns they were carrying on the last page (hours and days ago).

Now Thun'da goes into guerrilla mode - the picture of the impaled dude is actually pretty badass. This brings up a though ... how often have your players ever used guerrilla tactics against goblin and orc tribes?

Of course, then Thun'da decides to pick on the African bearers, who are already being whipped and beaten by the Arabs and I lose all respect for the jungle douche.

Oh, I take that back. By jumping on his back from a tree, Thun'da only meant to warn him, not hurt him. It's like the time a warned a friend about the dangers of bricks by throwing one at his head.

So he gets rid of the bearers, leaving the Arabs with useless ivory (not sure why it's useless ... they may have to carry it themselves, but it will still fetch a pretty penny ... er, gold piece ... in Djibouti.

Oh, and for those who don't get the geography involved ...

These knuckle heads are traveling 4,300 miles to grab ivory and slaves in the Congo (or Conga, depending on the page) and deliver them to the markets of Djibouti. No, the map's not perfectly accurate, but close enough for government work. Given the terrain involved, this could be a 2 year trip on foot. Methinks the writer was not acquainted with the immensity of Africa.

I like the last panel. Just in case being shot in the head and tied to a post had taken Thun'da mind off the problem at hand, Pha provides some helpful exposition.

Just when things look their darkest, Thun'da remembers an old trick he learned watching Tarzan movies, and summons his faithful elephant and sabretooth tiger to kill everyone. Which, of course, begs the question ... why not summon those two to begin with?

So after saving Muka from the Berbers, he sends Muka to his death against the Berbers. Nice. But it's not a total loss, as Thun'da finds an alternate route home. You know, for when the jungle is crowded around rush hour. Interesting that the Elephant Graveyard appears to be within sight of the city of Shareen, and yet its existence was a complete surprise to the King of the Congo.

Oh - and love the look on the one guy's face in the upper right hand panel. Looks like he has a serious noogie coming.

Time for stats!

Thun'da will use have levels in the beastmaster, a variant druid class in Blood & Treasure (yes, I'll release it pretty soon - give me a break, one guy working on a 400 page RPG book in his spare time). The beastmaster is a druid who loses the shapechange abilities and armor use of a druid, but gains the unarmored AC bonus and speed bonus of a monk and the favored enemy and tracking ability of a ranger. I'm going to be a bit on the brutal side with this guy, given that he's kind of an ass.

9th level Beastmaster
Neutral (cause he just ain't that good)

STR 16 (+2 bonus)
DEX 10 (would have been higher, but the whole "fell like a stone" thing didn't help him)
CON 16 (+2 bonus)
INT 7 (-1 bonus)
WIS 13 (+1 bonus, and only because he needs it to qualify)

Hit Points: 36 (9d6+18)
Armor Class: 14 (10 + 4 for unarmored AC bonus)
Saving Throws: Fortitude 7, Reflex 12, Will 8

Skills: Survival [8], Tracking [8]

Special Abilities: Druid spells (6/5/4/3/2/1), move through undergrowth (Lvl 2), leaves no trail (Lvl 3), +2 save vs. spells of the fey (Lvl 4), immune to poison (Lvl 9), establish stronghold (Lvl 9; we'll say his city of Shareen is his stronghold), armor class bonus (+4 at Lvl 9), speed bonus (+20 ft. at Lvl 9), favored enemy (double damage vs. Berbers)

Gear: Short bow, 20 arrows, spear

Henchmen: Sabre (smilodon), Pha (total babe)


  1. > Methinks the writer was not acquainted with the immensity of Africa.

    Or indeed anything about Africa that did not have Johnny Weissmuller in it.

    Great find! I think Fantoma would eat Thun'Dra for breakfast though.

  2. Could be a fun Google + game for Mystery Men! Jungle Fight Club - stat up a jungle boy or girl and pit that against one another.

  3. I really like the Beastmaster -- it's a common archetype in literature but one that the traditional Druid class can't easily replicate. It's great that you're filling in this gap.

  4. But friends! Frank Frazetta illustrated at least a few Thun'da stories: well worth a google image search.

  5. Good call - although I think the art above is pretty good as well - not Frazetta good, but pretty decent.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...