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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

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I don't run supers games, but every time I've polled for a Star Wars game I'm facing five players who want to be Jedi.
Did they all want to play Luke Skywalker specifically? The equivalent to ‘everybody wants to be Batman’ isn’t ‘everybody wants to be a Jedi’ it’s ‘everybody wants to be Luke’. Jedi is just a category like superhero or wizard.
 

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Did they all want to play Luke Skywalker specifically? The equivalent to ‘everybody wants to be Batman’ isn’t ‘everybody wants to be a Jedi’ it’s ‘everybody wants to be Luke’. Jedi is just a category like superhero or wizard.

It varied. The issue has come up numerous times over the last 35 years.
 










MGibster

Legend
Seems to defeat the purpose in using settings like Batman or Star Wars. Who gets stuck playing a non-Jedi, or a non-Batman in Gotham City?
I don't think it defeats the purpose at all. I've played many, many Star Wars campaigns, and although I've almost always had players who wanted to be force users, I've never had someone specifically want to play Luke Skywalker. And there are plenty of players who don't want to be Jedi. They want to be someone like Han Solo, Chewbacca, or even Princess Leia (before she could use the Force). And when I used to play TSR's old Marvel game, for the most part we all made our own characters only rarely playing heroes like Iron Man, Spider-Man, or Wolverine. The fun with these games is being able to play in the setting. I'm sure some people will want to be Batman or Nightwing, but I think most people will want to make their own characters.

Edit: My apologies. I see now I was replying to a post that's a year old.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
A Gordon ie "the non-corrupt cop in a corrupt force centered game" would be so dramatically different than one centering on vigilantes.
 

I don't think it defeats the purpose at all. I've played many, many Star Wars campaigns, and although I've almost always had players who wanted to be force users, I've never had someone specifically want to play Luke Skywalker. And there are plenty of players who don't want to be Jedi. They want to be someone like Han Solo, Chewbacca, or even Princess Leia (before she could use the Force). And when I used to play TSR's old Marvel game, for the most part we all made our own characters only rarely playing heroes like Iron Man, Spider-Man, or Wolverine. The fun with these games is being able to play in the setting. I'm sure some people will want to be Batman or Nightwing, but I think most people will want to make their own characters.

Edit: My apologies. I see now I was replying to a post that's a year old.
Funny thing was, I never suggested Luke, only Jedi.
 


Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Funny thing was, I never suggested Luke, only Jedi.
A bunch of different Jedi ... various alien races and focused gifts to provide variation. There were video games that did that relatively well even but the online one they had to massively gatekeep being a jedi
 


Greg K

Hero
Here's the (WIP) Batman from the "Roi de Gotham" adventure
(the French preview adventure that was published a few months ago)

Bruce Wayne aka Batman, vigilante level 20
HP 82, luck 6
melee +10, range +9, DEF 19 (Batman) / 15 (Bruce Wayne), INIT 20
DM bare hands 1D10 +4
Paths and capacities :

  • Masked vigilante rank 5: alone against all, appearing out of nowhere, bodyguard, at the last moment, last chance
  • Sensei rank 5: the art of combat, iron hands, parade of projectiles, rain of blows, purity of body and mind
  • Infiltration rank 5: code breaker, bluff, on guard, low profile, superhuman discretion
  • Investigation rank 5: analytical mind, expertise (detective), quick research, eidetic memory, infallible flair
  • Wealth rank 5: standard of living, influence, luxury vehicle, relationships, down-to-earth
  • Danger rank 1: not even afraid
Equipment :
  • Bulletproof suit : DEF +4 (no DEX malus) RD 5
  • Batarangs : range 10 m ; DM 1D4+5
  • Explosive batarangs : range : 10 m on an area of effect of 2 m² ; DM 1d6
  • Grapple gun: +15 bonus on climbing tests (FOR) and moving in the air over a distance of about 30 m.
  • Bolas: range: 10 m; immobilizes the target if the ATD is successful. The target can perform a FOR test or of DEX diff. 10 to be free (limited action)
  • Blinding grenades: range: 20 m on a 5 m² effect area; characters in the effect area must succeed a test of CON diff. 15 or be blinded for 2 turns
  • Smoke grenades: range 50 m on an area of effect of 10 m²; releases a cloud of opaque smoke inflicting a malus of -5 to PER tests (inside the effect area or across) and giving a +5 bonus to stealth (DEX) tests (inside the effect area or across).
  • Tear gas grenades: see rulebook
  • Beacons: must be placed on a character or vehicle (melee vs. target defense or melee + stealth roll, DEX opposite to the target's PER). The beacon then appears on the Batmobile's radar and has a range of 15 km approximately.
  • Flashlight

Batmobile
STR +4, AGI +5
DEF 18, HP 40, RD 15

  • Radar: +10 in observation and localization tests
  • 4 anti-tank missiles
  • 2 heavy machine guns
  • Alarm system (hook diff. 25)
  • Self-destruction system (DM 6D6 in a 50 m² area; DEX diff. 15 test to dodge)

Bat-Plane
AGI +10
DEF 18, HP 30, RD 5

  • 4 air-to-air missiles DM 4D10
  • 4 ground-to-air missiles DM 4D10
  • 1 gun DM 4D8
Note : the asterisks after "DEX 20 / +5*" "PER 18 / +4*" mean that rolls involving those attributes have advantage (that is, roll two d20, keep the better one)

As you can see, all skills/powers/spells/whatever are abilities earned thanks to 5-level "Paths".
IIRC, PC's earn 2 ranks per level, except 4th and 5th ranks cost cost double, as do advanced paths.

Here are two of the Batman's paths (WIP, they are new ones not to be found in Chroniques Oubliées - Contemporain rulebook)

Path of the Masked Vigilante
1. Alone against all : When the character fights alone against several opponents or when his team is outnumbered (at least double), he earns a +2 bonus to his defense per rank acquired in this path.
2. Appearing out of nowhere: The character benefits from an INIT bonus of +1 per rank acquired in this path, in the first round of the fight, provided he passes a stealth test beforehand.
3. Bodyguard: Once per combat, if he has not yet acted in this round, the character can receive an attack aimed at another character. He must declare the action before the Game Master makes the attack roll. The attack takes place as if the character had been targeted.
4. At the last moment...: once per battle, if an attack should inflict DMs on the character, the character can spend a luck point to cancel the attack.
5. Last chance: once per game, if the character is unconscious or at 0 HP, he can get up for 2 rounds during which he will act normally before falling unconscious again at the end of the second round.

Path of the Sensei
1. The art of combat: At the beginning of each round of fighting, the character chooses DEF or melee. At the end of the round, he earns a +1 bonus per rank gained in this path to his melee or DEF against contact attacks.
2. Iron hand: The character's bare-handed melee inflict 1D6 DM (plus STR Mod), 1D8 from rank 3 acquired in this path, then 1D10 to rank 5 acquired in this path.
3. Projectile parry: Once per turn, and if he is able to see his attacker, the character can try to parry a slow projectile (knife, shuriken, etc.) or seize it in flight. The action is successful thanks to a DEX test (bonus of +1 per rank acquired in this path) whose difficulty is equal to the range score reached per attacker (all bonuses and MOD included).
4. Rain of blows: Instead of performing his classic attack, the character can choose to carry on a single target a number of melee attacks equal to the number of ranks acquired in this path. Attack rolls are then made with a D12 ; each successful melee attack inflicts DMs reduced by half, rounded down.
5. Purity of mind and body: The character permanently acquires +2 in two of the following characteristics: STR, DEX, CON or CHA.


(translated bt DeepL and superrficially edited, sorry for the style)
I love super rpgs and DC comics including Batman, but based on the above, I am already out. I already see many of the same mechanical issues that plagued every class/level based D&D influenced supers systems including Heroes Unlimited and the d20 supers system Foundation: A World in Black & White.
 

Greg K

Hero
I'm constantly surprised how people think that d20 can't do something like this when we have games like d20 Modern, Silver Age Sentinels d20 and Star Wars d20/Saga (as just a few examples).
I am familiar with Silver Age Sentinels d20, a d20 Modern supers game (by a designer whose other d20M work I respect and still recommend), and the d20 Star Wars games. All of them were, in my opinion, terrible for recreating licensed media/characters.
 
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Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I am familiar with Silver Age Sentinels d20, a d20 Modern supers game (by a designer whose other d20M work I respect and still recommend), and the d20 Star Wars games. All of them were, in my opinion, terrible for recreating licensed media/characters.
I can't speak for the first two, but Star Wars Saga was excellent.
 

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