Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Batman Day - And Week

A celebration of Batman for his 75th anniversary, coming some months after the actual 75th anniversary, just to confuse matters. (And surely it should be Batman Night?)

But for me, it will be BATMAN WEEK.

Since his first appearance in 1939 he’s been through a lot of variations and adaptations and there’s always space for more - since I wrote that he was on the big screen this year as a terrible boyfriend made of Lego.

He even got his own roleplaying game! A cutdown version of Mayfair’s DC Heroes, a system designed to have Jimmy Olsen and Superman playable together by having stats rise exponentially from the human average of 2 to the human maximum of 4 to Superman being able to move planets with Strength 50, which gets really grainy and odd at the human-plus-a-power-or-two level Batman usually works in.

I will say I liked the introductory adventure, though - the Joker puts Batman on trial for apparently accidentally killing an innocent bystander in one of their fights.

Batman is, like Wolverine in the Marvel universe, an archetype for a “lone wolf” character who keeps working with partners and teams - which is one key bit that players of lone wolf PCs often miss in their keenness to be the solitary hero at the table while four other players are also sitting there.

He’s got the classic angry orphan background too. DARKNESS! NO PARENTS! Replace criminals with orcs and you have approximately 40% of fantasy PCs, especially those played by players who don’t want social ties.

There are Batman expies in pretty much every superhero universe including RPG settings, and quite a few other settings as well. Westeros has Darkstar for the style, and arguably Arya for the development. And Batman is something of a Zorro expy with a chunk of movie serial The Bat himself.

Does your game have one, and is it one of the PCs?

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