Foreshadow wrote:Since impervious 18 (Superman) means with a normal full on Power Attack (not needing the effort or hero point or critical) Batman can force a save on superman it means Batman can physically threaten Superman
I just want to point out this mistake as I have seen it fairly often as of late: None of the maneuvers may more than double the bonus it affects. A character with a four strength cannot use the power attack maneuver to increase his damage bonus by five, no matter how much of an attack bonus he has to sink toward it.
If Batman were to use one of his other attacks that granted strength-based damage he could fully utilize his power attack advantage (He could also use Extra Effort to increase his strength bonus by +1, then power attack).
Here's the rule (Emphasis is mine):
M&M 3E Hero's Handbook- Action & Adventure- Maneuvers- p.198 wrote:When you make an attack you can take a penalty of up to –2 on your attack bonus and add the same number (up to +2) to the effect bonus of your attack. Your attack bonus cannot be reduced below +0 and the effect bonus cannot more than double. The changes to attack and effect are decided before you make your attack check and last until the start of your next turn. This maneuver does not apply to effects requiring no attack check or allowing no resistance check.
With that said, I agree with Foreshadow and the others who have stated that Batman's lower damage output should not disqualify him from participating in a game. I think hypervirtue provided a sensible breakdown of how characters in these situations (A human, no matter how dedicated or well trained, taking on a foe who is nearly- or in some cases completely- invulnerable to that human's options for dealing damage) should think beyond their gloved fists in order to survive.
Beyond that there is a good argument that when Batman is operating with the JLA the GM may allow him to make some changes in the equipment he has access to. This could be where Batman wears his armored batsuit (with a couple of ranks of protection to put him at his PL12 caps for dodge/parry and toughness), takes along his power-knuckles (may trade in some equipment ranks to make these as a device- just make them damage at rank eight with two ranks of the inaccurate flat flaw to keep him in his PL; note that I said to make them damage-8 not strength-based damage-8 - I don't think his power-knuckles rely that much on the force of his punch, but I could be wrong- at which point just make them strength-based damage-4 with the same two ranks of the inaccurate flaw). In a JLA game, Batman can get away with not having the batcave and vehicles on his character sheet because he won't be using them primarily; instead he uses the JLA's facilities. Should he need access to them during the campaign the GM can simply grant that the character has access to it; after all the GM is going to be responsible for limiting Batman's use of these items no longer on his character sheet.
I wouldn't get carried away with trying to swing Batman's effect ranks too far upward though for the very reason that Earth-Two_Kenn makes: Most of the JLA's villains aren't made to be put into slugfests with teams of heroes on the order of Wonder Woman and Superman.
Just using the power-knuckles against most of the JLA's foes puts the GM into a situation very similar to what the OP felt about having Batman participating with Superman and Wonder Woman: the GM is faced with a hero who is very difficult for most of the villains to hit and who can seriously harm the villain with little fear of getting hit in return.
-Ranged/ Key Blaster: +3/ +12
Batman, RAW, could use the defensive attack maneuver (with the advantage) to increase his own defenses to 29, making it very difficult for The Key to land a single hit. However Batman still has a +15 to land his own punches and a +9 to land his Batarangs against a foe who would then need to roll a 16 or 18, respectively, on his d20 to avoid any damage.
Doctor Light (Arthur Light):
-Area Affliction: -
The same can be said of Doctor Light, with the significant differences being that Light has a better Toughness and has access to a rank 11 area affliction effect (Which shouldn't worry Batman too much considering his high Dodge).
-Toughness: +8 (+3 w/o the suit, but that is unlikely to occur often)
-Ranged: +10 (most of his aresenal)
-Area damage: -
Black Manta is much closer to the Batman, RAW, than The Key or Doctor Light. Even so, Batman (again using the defensive attack maneuver) needs to roll a 7 to punch him (Black Manta needs an 11 on his d20 to avoid damage) and a 13 to hit with a batarang (Black Manta needs a 13 on his d20 to avoid damage). On the other hand Black Manta needs a 17 to land a punch against Batman (who needs an 15 on his d20 to avoid damage) or a 19 to land one of his ranged attacks (Batman needs a 17 to avoid the eye-laser or a 15 to avoid the torpedo). The disparity there is enough to keep Batman in good control of the fight against Black Manta. And once he has Manta on the ropes he could switch from using the defensive attack maneuver to the power attack maneuver to end the fight more quickly; Manta would still be having trouble hitting Batman- especially when the GM allows multiple maneuvers to be used simultaneously (Defensive attack for 2 while power attacking for 3 for example).
Overall I just don't see the need to put Batman's damage/effect rank up with Wonder Woman and Superman (or similarly high rank damage/effect characters). For one thing it diminishes those characters and seems like it will lead to the players with Batman (and similar characters) resorting to winning a combat by engaging in a slugfest rather than winning the day by using clever tactics to foil the villain(s)'s plan and therefor avoiding the slugfest (which the character ought to know is a more foolish approach for that specific character).