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A BATMAN RPG Has Just Been Announced

Play as vigilantes, criminals or Gotham City cops in the official Batman tabletop RPG! French publisher Monolith Edition has announced Batman Gotham City Chronicles: The Role Playing Game, to be powered by the d20 System. The company already produces the boardgame of the same name, which they successful Kickstarted for nearly $4.5M last year.

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It's not clear whether by "D20 System" they mean the d20 System (from the early 2000s) or if the game will be powered by the 5E ruleset; I'm guessing the latter. The announcement below does refer to it as a "fully adapted D20 System Rulebook". The game will be coming to Kickstarter, though the date has not yet been revealed.

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"Gotham City. This city can do things to people. Change them. I've seen it happen too many times. That's why I'm here. I've seen too many people become monsters."
- Batman - Gotham Knights #23 - Here Be Monsters

Let’s celebrate Batman Day by releasing exclusive news from Gotham City!

Monolith’s roleplaying game set in the Universe of the Caped Crusader allows you to dive into this imposing city in depth, defending Gotham as a vigilante or a police officer.

Remaining true to the essence of Batman, as portrayed in the comic books, was our overriding vision. It’s allowed him to survive 80 years as a Pop Icon, living through multiple media and platform transformations.

So, with that goal firmly in our minds we have assembled a team of Batman Universe Masters and roleplaying games Masters to bring you 5 Batastic books.
  • Gotham’s Heroes by François Verstraete - A fully adapted D20 System Rulebook -
  • Gotham City Guide by Xavier Fournier and Alex Nikolavitch, helped by François Hercouët, editor for the French publisher of DC Comics. A mighty reference tome, detailed and exhaustive, an insight into the City and the world of the Bat.
  • Gotham’s Chronicles by Nicolas Texier, Olivier Caïra and Mahyar Shakeri – A book of scenarios to test your resolve.
  • And, in order to provide the broadest roleplay experience possible, the remaining 2 books will be Campaign settings revealed during the Kickstarter campaign.

You can play as the city's well-known vigilantes and criminals, but also your own creations, or face the tough calls and grind as a Gotham City Police Department officer, who have much to be pitied for in a city like Gotham City.

It is an ambitious project and we’re looking forward to telling you more about it. International artists will be illustrating the books and here’s some teaser sketches for Gotham’s Map by Olivier Sanfilippo as well as rough sketches by Anthony Jean. Stunning!

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

You can imagine whatever after the events of Death Metal.

I wish them a great success but, I have said it many times, d20 system is a great challenge for DM about power level when there are firearms and modern tech, and beside that, the superpowers. Munchkin players will want something like a power armour (as the battle suit by Lex Luthor or the batsuit "rookie" by Gordon). And many Batman stories start with investigation as first step to find the criminal.

Do you think the next will the suicide squad or teen young titans?
 

EthanSental

Adventurer
I think Luis is on point about d20 and power levels. If they keep it to Batman and his rogues gallery it’s not as big of an issue but once the justice league and their villains enter the picture it would be difficult to balance that I think. I’ll be checking this out after starting with Mayfair games Dc heroes and marvel superheroes in the 80s and the various reboots cine then.
 


ugavine

Villager
As a DC and Batman fan I'm very interested.
Although I'm not sure D20 is be the best system for this. I tried DC Adventures and didn't like it.
Then there is Kickstarter. I don't like it when big name brands use Kickstarter.
And then there is Monolith. If this is priced anything like the ludicrously over-priced board game they can forget it.
 

I guess the most of batman villains aren't overpowered. We shouldn't worry about that too much.

I have thought about d20 system would need to establish three different pillars. The level of power, the level of knowledge (all learned by PC and keeped in the memory although she was nerfed, or mind loaded into a new body as in Altered Carbon or Eclipse Phase RPG) and level of opulence (when you are like a christmas tree because you have got too many magic item, or expensive gadgets as iron mar power armoured). If an nPC is more powerful thanks "special help", for example weapons, then the challenge rating/XP reward should be higher, like a creature with an added monster template. (I warn Killer-Moth also had got his own vehicles, for example a moth-car).

* What if this is only a test to know the reaction by the fandom, and later they dare to publish its own DC system? Today Warner also has got some links with Hasbro, and the TTRPG could be used to promote more forgotten pieces of the IPs, for example secondary heroes and villains.

* Will we see any podcast game-live show? I feel curiosity about the other members of the batfamily and the Gothan City from other parallel worlds, of the negative universe.

* Do you think this could open a door for a future TTRPG of other DC lines as suicide squad, teen titans, but also Green Arrow, Doom Patrol or Stargirl?
 



Could be interesting, although I am a die-hard Mutants & Masterminds fan. If the system flows smoothly and allows for minor street-level powers, it would present a nice alternative for street-level games.
 



This one isn't for me. As others have already said, the d20 system has some serious limitations with regards to this type of gaming. And if you were going to play a d20 superhero TTRPG, you can pretty much cover any type of genre and power level with Mutants & Masterminds.
 

MGibster

Legend
This one isn't for me. As others have already said, the d20 system has some serious limitations with regards to this type of gaming. And if you were going to play a d20 superhero TTRPG, you can pretty much cover any type of genre and power level with Mutants & Masterminds.

To me, a game focused on Batman style street heroics should have some serious limitations. And while I admit I'm rather out of touch these days when it comes to Batman comics, there's no need to worry about how to fit in a Wonder Woman as we're dealing with villains who are mostly human with the occasional super villain with minor powers thrown in.
 

Gebeji

Explorer
So, it appears to be based on a French-language derivative of 3.5 d20 called "Chroniques oubliées Contemporain" (roughly "Contemporary Forgotten Chronicles".
Exactly, so, to paraphrase B5 "it's d20, but not from d20" ;) I've been checking this out the last couple of months on a Comicbook & Supers MeWe group, and i'm reposting here my attempts to explain the system so you have a better idea what it'll look like and hopefully answers questions/concerns people have about it (and btw, the KS is scheduled for March 2021)

"For those interested, i've read the rules for the french game which will be the basis for the new Batman Gotham City Chronicles rpg and i'll sum it up:

Character creation 6 stats like DnD (max 21) with Perception replacing Wisdom, mainly used to get a modifier to your rolls (+5 max) 1 Trait, either from Action list (Acrobat, Brawler, Huge...) or Reason list (Expert, Nerd, Rich...) 1 Profile (Job) from either Action (Bodyguard, Pilot, Criminal...), Adventure (Spy, Thief, Reporter...) or Reason (Artist, Writer, Scientist...) that will define your hit dice (d10, d8, d6), starting Paths and basic HTH and Ranged attack bonus as well as more luck for adventurers and more abilities for Thinkers (Reason) 2 rank 1 abilities from your available Paths (Firearms, Investigation, Corporation...), which are feat-like, each having 5 levels of abilities (Firearms has Aim, Nice shot, Precise Hit, Fast Hit (L) and Sniper)
Levelling up means +1 to either HTH or Range attacks (max +6), +your HD on even levels, +your CON bonus on odd levels up to level 10, +2 ability points (rank 1-2 abilities cost 1 pt, rank 3-5 cost 2 pts each)
Rules Tests are d20 + stat bonus vs difficulty (easy 5, diificult 15, almost impossible 25) with critical and fumble possible. Using a Luck point gives you +10 on that roll
Combat starts in initiative order (based on Dex) and you can do either 1 limited action (L class abilities), 1 Move and 1 Attack or 2 Moves (some action are free) rolling against your target's DEF (10+Dex bonus+other bonus) as the difficulty. Damage rolls can explode (reroll if you get the maximum on the dice)

The preview adventure, King of Gotham, is three short interlinked stories, introduce five new (WIP) game specific Paths (Masked Vigilante, Sensei, Gadgeteer, Crime Genius and Elasticity) as well as stats for Batman (lvl 20), Vicky Vale (lvl 3), Mr Freeze (lvl 12), Joker (lvl 15), Black mask (lvl 13), Clayface (lvl 14) and some minor thugs, as well as their "equipment" Hope this helps give you a better idea of what's coming, i'm also keeping an eye on this as it progresses ;)"

Q - How will do characters of different levels work together? Are there special abilities and/or gear like grapple guns and Batmobile?

"Well, since levels only give you more hit pts, attack bonuses and access to your Path abilities, which shouldn't overlap too much between PCs, then working together should only be a question of letting the best character for the job at hand do it while the others help out with the roll (there are also rules for this). It's also a Gotham City Rpg, so, no Superman here (in the preview adventure, only Mr Freeze and Clayface have +8 bonus to STR and respectively 33 and 78 HP, while Batman has 82 and Joker 50)
There are gears and stuff (Freeze cryogun does 3d6 dmg, his armor add +6 to his DEF, Joker hand buzzer does 1d8 dmg and force a CON roll vs difficulty 10 to avoid being stunned next trn, Batsy grappling gun add +15 to climbing tests and allow air movement on 30m while explosive batarangs do 1d6 dmg to a 2m squared area and the Batmobile gives +4 STR, +5 DEX, has 40 HP, DEF 18 and comes equipped with radar, missiles, machineguns, alarm system and autodestruct ;))
And just so you know, the batplane's missiles do 4d10 dmg ;)"

Q - Does the Freeze cryogun have a freeze feature at all? What are Path Abilities like? Are Goons/Mooks/Minions level 1-ish? I ask because it feels like a batarang should be able to take out a Mook. How much does a Batman punch do?

"The cryogun and armor gives him access to the Path of Frost, which has the following abilities:
Rnk 1 Fridge (reduce cold damage taken by 5 and if you hit a target it's slowed to 1 action/trn from the cold)
Rnk 2 Icy Zone (L - covers 5m radius where everyone uses 1d12 for their rolls instead of 1d20 unless they can make a CON 15 test or get out of the zone)
Rnk 3 Hail storm (L - inflict 3d6 dmg to everyone within 10m)
Rnk 4 Ice Dart (L - 3d6 dmg and slowed as rnk 1, on a critical encased in ice block for 1d6 trns)
Rnk 5 Ice Armor (L - +5 DEF, -10 fire dmg reduction, immune to cold dmg for 1d6 trns, targets are slowed for 2 trns on HTH attacks)
As for Mooks, the Pulp rules state that any NPC one quarter the lvl of a PC is considered minor (ordinary people usually have 4-6 HP anyway) and can be taken out on a critical, and for 1 Luck Point on that critical, you can even lay down 1d6 of them ;)
Oh, and Batsy does 1d10+4 dmg in HTH ;)"
 




this could be very, very interesting. but the d20 system? seriously? i think that this would be awesome, d20 is my favorite ruleset. but as has been mentioned early and often in this thread, the power fluctuations in d20 make integrating street level supers (batman) with god level supers (superman, wonder woman) problematic at best. a system based on 5e seems much more logical, i haven't played as much 5e as 3.5e/d20 but 5e seems much more toned down with not as many fiddly, abusable parts. it just sort of 'feels right' for the batman.

i've heard good things about mutants and masterminds but have never played that system or even read a source book. i'm sure they had some kind of meta-system that let the GM define the power level beforehand and let the players design roughly the same power level of characters. maybe they can add a similar system to this game, if they really are going to be using d20.

i really, really hope that this game is good. i really, really hope that it is actually d20!!
 



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