The Skeptics Gland

By quarkstomperquarkstomper


The Story

I was running a Golden Age Supers campaign in which the players ran existing heroes active during that era. My brother Steeve decided he would be Doc Savage, the Man of Bronze. That was cool, and he did a good job of playing that character.

I once ran a session which involved Doc's "Crime College." Doc Savage would never kill a criminal if he could at all avoid it; but he didn't turn them over to the cops either. He would Take them up to a private sanitorium he owned in upstate New York where he would perform brain surgery on them making them into honest citizens. I decided this "treatment" might make the subjects more susceptible to hypnotism, and so I ran a plot in which a criminal mastermind had gotten a hold of the Crime College's records and was brainwashing it's "graduates" into robbing banks.

The other members of the team were unaware of the "Crime College"; so when they were called upon to investigate this mysterious string of bank robberies, Doc had to explain it. The other players, with modern day sensibilities, were naturally horrified. "You give them lobotomies???" "No," my brother explained in his calm, authoritive Doc Savage voice; "I simply remove their Crime Gland, thus eliminating their criminal tendencies."

Russ, another player who was running the Golden Age Atom, scruntched up his face and said "There's no such thing as a Crime Gland!!!" Russ had a relentlessly logical mind and although he was happy to accept a certain amount of Willing Suspension of Disbelief, he insisted that plots be internally consistant. If something didn't make sense to him, he had no qualms about calling it out.

Steeve turned to Russ in that same benevolent tone and said, "You know, Atom, the Skeptic's Gland is right next to the Crime Gland. I could take care of that for you. You'd be much happier…"

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