Justice League campaign - How can I have Batman compete?

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Re: Justice League campaign - How can I have Batman compete?

Postby Elana » Wed Dec 18, 2013 12:42 am

A Variable 10 isn't much help for the build, unless you already know what to use the 50 points for(in which case it is just far too expensive)

Some quick helpers to get him up to equal power levels
Note that the utility Belt augments the equipment based one
Armored Costume (Protection 6) 6 points
Utility Belt(Array 24 Points)
- Sleep gas pellet Ranged Affliction 12 (Resisted by Fortitude) (Fatigued, Exhausted, Asleep) - 24 Points
- Ice CapsuleRanged Affliction 16 Resisted by dodge (Vulnerable, Immobile), Limited to two degrees -1Point
- Explosive Batarang strength based Ranged damage 10 - 1 Point
- Power Knuckles Strength Based Damage 6 - 1 Point

To get the 33 points it is easiest to remove the bat vehicles as those would not come up within a justice league game anyway.
(That gives you even a few points to spare)

And of course things like the Power Knuckles have not been seen all that often, but I do remember at least one occasion when Batman tried those against Darkseid(wasn't that great of a help ;) )


Of course instead of going with the power set above, you could make Batman later in his career and give him the Suit from Batman Beyond. Still only costs 46 points, and would also get his PL to 15(Maybe with a few tweaks)
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Re: Justice League campaign - How can I have Batman compete?

Postby Doresh » Sun Dec 29, 2013 6:13 am

Narsil wrote:Add the following effect as a power;
Batman: Variable 10 (skills, feats and equipment of a 'Prepared' descriptor) • 70 points


Well played XD

Though on a less insane note, more Protection can't hurt. And make his Utility Belt a device. He's Batman.

Speaking of the belt, this should be his primary method of attack in high-PL games. He might be able to hurt Darkseid with gauntlets and such, but I don't think Batman wants to get close to such a heavy hitter. He should instead multiattack special batarangs like there's no tomorrow.
If you really want him to punch Darkseid, turn him into the Iron Batman.

That said, mixed PL battles can work. Have Superman keep Darkseid in check while Batman tries to stop the Joker.

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Re: Justice League campaign - How can I have Batman compete?

Postby reb8er » Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:06 am

Luck control: Force Reroll but say its tactics. Batman can anticipate the actions of the villains he fights.

I made a feat called 'Master Plan' that allows the character to roll an Expertise: Tactics check for additional Luck Points( still limited to half PL total). The DC is 15 and for every 2 successes gets another LP. So if he rolls a 30 that's 2 LP. But if he has time to prepare (at least 10 mins) I give him a LP for every success, so a 30 would be 4 LP. I also subtract the Expertise Tactics of the opposing leader if he has it.

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Re: Justice League campaign - How can I have Batman compete?

Postby hypervirtue » Sun Dec 29, 2013 9:46 am

Okay, advanced warning here... I have REALLY strong opinions on this. I am going to be very blunt and I apologize in advance if it seems rude.

The first problem is that you are doing it wrong.

Batman doesn't AND SHOULDN'T hit as hard as Superman, the Manhunter, or Wonder Woman.

Batman shouldn't run up and punch Darkseid in the face and do any damage.

Batman fights smarter. The league is a team. You need to work as a team. There is no I in team.

As Batman you don't swing and hit to brawl with the big leagues. If you want to do that then you don't want to play as Batman. You want to play someone calling themselves Batman.

Lemme give you an example:

(Will be a follow up post...)
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Re: Justice League campaign - How can I have Batman compete?

Postby Earth-Two_Kenn » Sun Dec 29, 2013 10:07 am

Actually, there is an "i" in TEAM. Look at the negative space. The "i" in team is the a-hole.
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Re: Justice League campaign - How can I have Batman compete?

Postby hypervirtue » Sun Dec 29, 2013 10:46 am

So Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman square off against Darkseid:

Power Levels:
Superman - 15
Wonder Woman - 15
Batman - 12
Darkseid - 16

Inits:
Batman - +11
Wonder Woman - +10
Superman - +2
Darkseid - +2

So lets assume the init ends up in that order for ease of argument:

Batman charges Darkseid and slides past him, spinning quickly to drive his foot into the back of Darkseid's knee (Batman spends a Hero Point to gain the Improved Trip advantage, then makes a Trip Attack (+20 unarmed attack, vs Darkseid's +12 Parry) Batman is very likely to hit. Batman then makes an Acrobatics Check (+15) against Darkseid's Acrobatics (A whopping +2)) and knocks the Lord of Apokalypse on his Apokalyptian buttocks.

Next moves the Amazon Princess as Wonder Woman flies across the battlefield and leaps on top of her downed foe wrapping her arms around the neck of her downed foe tying to use her leverage to pin the Apokalyptian ruler. (Wonder Woman spends a Hero Point to gain the Power Attack advantage, then makes a close attack against him using a full 5 points for extra effect on her grab attempt. She can do this safely because she's getting a +5 circumstance bonus from Batman's earlier trip attack. She uses All Out Attack for good measure, though she can only get a +2 bonus, giving her a +16 attack, and a +21 to Darkseid's difficulty check to resist her. He has a +18, but she is still likely to get one degree of success, which further keeps the Apokalyptian ruler down.)

Finally in comes Superman, he bellows out, "Darkseid!" as he dashes in at the pinned and downed foe. Bringing his mighty fist back the Man of Steel lashes out with an overhand right. (Superman uses a full out Power Attack on Darkseid, who is vulnerable and prone. His defense is a 2 at the moment. Superman has a +11 (after dropping 5 from his attack, which he gained due to Batman's trip) and drives his fist into Darkseid's jaw, hitting the lord of Apokalypse with a whopping +24 damage (DC 39) which Darkseid must resist with his 19 Toughness. Requiring a natural 20 to resist fully. However on anything less than a 16 he is dazed, which is likely in this case.) Dazing the New God.

(It is possible that Superman won't act before Darkseid, however Superman can also spend a Hero Point to go first and delay until after Wonder Woman's action.)

-----

You are limiting yourself AND Batman by focusing on "How much damage" can be done. Batman has all kinds of things he can do that don't involve dealing damage. Heck in my above example only Superman even tried to deal damage. Meanwhile the ONLY reason anyone else could do what they did was because Batman lead off with a trip attack to gain a tactical advantage.

If you want to be Batman, then be Batman. Batman doesn't care if he knocks the bad guy out, Batman quarterbacks the play. He doesn't just have to deal with Parademons, he just isn't going to be a front line damage dealer.
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Re: Justice League campaign - How can I have Batman compete?

Postby hypervirtue » Sun Dec 29, 2013 11:03 am

Now, just to use my above example again, that looks like Batman.

People sit back and ignore everything that isn't damage. Batman is capable of shifting the tide of a battle without knocking someone out.

In our tabletop game I played a superhero named Soulfire.

I wasn't the toughest.
I wasn't the most damaging.
I was absolutely the hands down scariest thing at that table.

We beat so many enemies simply because *I* knew what I was doing. The number of times I pulled things like Tricks, or Feints with Set Up, or the number of times I used "non-damage" powers to shut enemies down so that others could flatten them was INSANE.

When you play someone like Batman you need to play to your enemy's weaknesses.

You need to be smarter. You need to be better.

Now, wanting to just throw down is fine. I'm totally down with that concept. However don't try it as Batman. It just isn't fair to the character.
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Re: Justice League campaign - How can I have Batman compete?

Postby saint_matthew » Mon Dec 30, 2013 12:22 am

hypervirtue wrote:People sit back and ignore everything that isn't damage.


No they don't. the accurately point out that in a game about combat, in which combat is going to happen, combat is going to happen... An when it does happen, having a Batman build so under stated that a PL 10 character can take him down easily, is just all round bad design.

hypervirtue wrote:Batman is capable of shifting the tide of a battle without knocking someone out.


yes, comic book Batman can.... You however are not comic book Batman, you aren't even the writer of the Batman comic.... You are a person trying to replicate the genre conventions of a comic book without the advantage of
A. Being the only person involved.
B. Being the one in charge of the lions share of the narrative.
C. Being in a comic book.

In a comic book Batman can do all sorts of shit, because he's being written by exactly the same person who is writing the antagonists, the plot & the oppositional tactics. That Batman as he appears in a comic book has Writers Fiat on his side, something you don't have as a player, playing any kind of interactive medium be it table top RPG or computer game.

Even in the computer games eventually it comes down to combat, no matter how much you think "Batman is capable of shifting the tide of a battle without knocking someone out." Eventually you are still going to have to throw down, there is no way around it. An when you do, having a PL 13 character in a PL 15 game is already going to be a bit of a stretch, but when its a PL 13 character who can easily be taken out by a PL 10 character its over: No amount of Batman fan-wankery is going to make those numbers not be a death sentence.
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Re: Justice League campaign - How can I have Batman compete?

Postby hypervirtue » Mon Dec 30, 2013 6:14 am

saint_matthew wrote:
hypervirtue wrote:People sit back and ignore everything that isn't damage.


No they don't. the accurately point out that in a game about combat, in which combat is going to happen, combat is going to happen... An when it does happen, having a Batman build so under stated that a PL 10 character can take him down easily, is just all round bad design.

hypervirtue wrote:Batman is capable of shifting the tide of a battle without knocking someone out.


yes, comic book Batman can.... You however are not comic book Batman, you aren't even the writer of the Batman comic.... You are a person trying to replicate the genre conventions of a comic book without the advantage of
A. Being the only person involved.
B. Being the one in charge of the lions share of the narrative.
C. Being in a comic book.

In a comic book Batman can do all sorts of shit, because he's being written by exactly the same person who is writing the antagonists, the plot & the oppositional tactics. That Batman as he appears in a comic book has Writers Fiat on his side, something you don't have as a player, playing any kind of interactive medium be it table top RPG or computer game.

Even in the computer games eventually it comes down to combat, no matter how much you think "Batman is capable of shifting the tide of a battle without knocking someone out." Eventually you are still going to have to throw down, there is no way around it. An when you do, having a PL 13 character in a PL 15 game is already going to be a bit of a stretch, but when its a PL 13 character who can easily be taken out by a PL 10 character its over: No amount of Batman fan-wankery is going to make those numbers not be a death sentence.



I just outlined, without a single piece of Batman fan-wakery mind you, how Batman could compete with a team of Superheroes against Darkseid. I outlined it 100% by the rules of the game. Is Batman having to work harder than Superman or Wonder Woman? Sure. He's Batman. He's supposed to.

Batman isn't meant to take on people like Darkseid or Mongul.

Batman is meant to struggle against the likes of the Joker or Bane.

Also, M&M isn't about combat. Its about Superheroes. That isn't always combat.

Have you ever even read Batman comics? Batman, in the comics, usually has a hard time beating up larger minions, and his "villains" aren't exactly peak fighters. Yes, he does have characters like Bane, who is a low level superhuman who... Oh right... Broke the bat.

Batman relies on stealth, and on detective work. That is Batman. A game using Batman should not step outside of his mold because some people think all Superheroes can do is throw a punch.
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Re: Justice League campaign - How can I have Batman compete?

Postby Doresh » Mon Dec 30, 2013 8:12 am

Indeed. Batman isn't really about "Clobberin' Time!". I'm not a hardcore comic geek, but from what I have read so far (Year One, Hush, The Long Halloween, The Killing Joke, other stuff), Batman seems to have less than one fight per issue. The rest is about mystery, detective work and atmosphere.
Last edited by Doresh on Mon Dec 30, 2013 8:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Justice League campaign - How can I have Batman compete?

Postby saint_matthew » Mon Dec 30, 2013 8:13 am

hypervirtue wrote:I just outlined, without a single piece of Batman fan-wakery mind you, how Batman could compete with a team of Superheroes against Darkseid. I outlined it 100% by the rules of the game. Is Batman having to work harder than Superman or Wonder Woman? Sure. He's Batman. He's supposed to.


What you just did right there is exactly Batman Fan-Wankery. Any excuse for why Batman can do impossible things that ends with "Because he's Batman" is Batman fan wankery.

As for how he can do it inside the rules, no he can't. You are seriously over valuing how useful tricking & feinting are in actual play. But if you would like a demonstration of how much you are over valuing it, I'm quite willing to let you use either Batman or Soulfire in a little PVP, in which I will hand you your arse as you try to "trick & feint" your way to victory.

I actually wrote a much longer spiel on that last reply but it felt like I was smacking a puppy on the noes with a rolled up copy of the rules, but since you want to press the point, i'll demonstrate using the actual rules why you are over valuing trick.

Tricking is based on deception, attempting to trick someone into damaging themselves is fun, but its also likely to backfire & when it does backfire (by someone making the counter check), you end up vulnerable (halve all active saves). This makes you easier to hit & if you have defensive roll in your toughness it halves its value.

So lets say that Batman tries to trick Black Manta (who is PL 10). For whatever reason Black Manta succeeds at his counter skill check, Batman now has a defence of 16, meaning that Black Manta only needs to roll a 6 to hit.... An Batmans defence is now a not so mighty 6. With any of Black Mantas 10 damage effects Batmans player now needs to roll a natural 19 not to take the hit.

That's a PL 12 character getting his arse kicked by a PL 10 villain... up the power level to JLA levels & Alfred better hope that Dick Grayson lets him continue to live in the Wayne Manor because Bruce Wayne is a slightly greasy smear on the wall.

Its true that tricking can be a lot of fun, however you've seriously over valued its stopping power. an that's not even taking in to account factors like how easy it is to have a high insight or deception in your villain build (which completely nullifies the trick tactic).

hypervirtue wrote:Batman isn't meant to take on people like Darkseid or Mongul.


Sure he is: In fact in Justice League books that exactly what he does. Heck we are talking about Batman who once took the leg off of a full charged Amazo robot, with a single explosive Batarang.

An that's what the OP asked how to do: He asked how to bring Batman up to the level of other members of the JLA as part of a JLA game.

So your solution of "oh well you need to be clever, because Batman" does not work. You can be as clever as you like, you can be clever until the sun burns cold & Dan Didio decides to reboot it, but at the end of the day you cannot outsmart the mathematics that make up the system.

The solution to how do I make it so Batman can be in my JLA game isn't "stick with the handicapped version & just be more Batman, because Batman," the solution is "rebuild the character to be the JLA, Superman/Batman comic version of the character."

hypervirtue wrote:Also, M&M isn't about combat. Its about Superheroes. That isn't always combat.


Anyone who tries to tell you that the genre isn't about combat is trying to sell you a faulty bill of goods.

hypervirtue wrote:Yes, he does have characters like Bane, who is a low level superhuman who... Oh right... Broke the bat.


An how did he break the bat exactly? Come on, you seem to be proud of your Batman knowledge, how did Bane break Batman?

Yeah, that's right, Bane knew he couldn't take him in a fair fight so he released every single villain in batmans rogues gallery & threw them up against him (even equipping some of them with Venom), waited until Batman had thrown every resource he had at recapturing them, waited until he was at his lowest physical ebb, waited until Batman was mentally & physically exhausted before attacking him in his sanctuary, where he had none of his toys. THATS why Bane broke the Batman.

hypervirtue wrote:Batman relies on stealth, and on detective work.


No he doesn't. Batman uses those, prefers those, but he doesn't rely on them, especially not in the JLA comics he's in, which was what the OP was asking about. In his other book appearance he relies on a combination of technology & martial arts: This is the version that ripped the arm off the shaggy man, with a pair of Batarangs and that's simple enough to model in M&M 3E.

Firstly you remove the utility belt & replace it with an equipment version. Likewise drop most of the other equipment such as most of the vehicles if the game is going to be focused on the team efforts rather than the singular efforts of Batman in Gotham.

This it the version of Batman who the JLA computers refer to as a Class 12 fighter (Karate Kid being a class 15 fighter) & that too is easy to model. Simply make a martial arts array based on a strike & fill it with nerve pinches & cluster strikes.

hypervirtue wrote:A game using Batman should not step outside of his mold because some people think all Superheroes can do is throw a punch.


Oh dude, come on that's a false dichotomy & you know it. No one is saying that Batman shouldn't be able to do anything but punch people to death. The inclusion of actual combat abilities does not invalidate any other aspect of the build, nor does pointing out that as he's built he's severely handicapped in a JLA game.

Because this problem always crops up when someone says "I'm playing Batman." To which the answer is always the same: "No you are not playing THE Batman, you are playing A Batman, now pick which Batman you want to play, because you can't play them all." An that's always been the problem with the books build.... It won't pick a Batman it wasn't to be & so does them all poorly.
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Re: Justice League campaign - How can I have Batman compete?

Postby Monolith » Mon Dec 30, 2013 9:00 am

saint_matthew wrote:So lets say that Batman tries to trick Black Manta (who is PL 10). For whatever reason Black Manta succeeds at his counter skill check, Batman now has a defence of 16, meaning that Black Manta only needs to roll a 6 to hit.... An Batmans defence is now a not so mighty 6. With any of Black Mantas 10 damage effects Batmans player now needs to roll a natural 19 not to take the hit.

That's a PL 12 character getting his arse kicked by a PL 10 villain... up the power level to JLA levels & Alfred better hope that Dick Grayson lets him continue to live in the Wayne Manor because Bruce Wayne is a slightly greasy smear on the wall.

If Bats rolls a 1 on his deception check he gets a 16. Manta has a 2 awe (insight). If Manta rolls a 20 he would get a 2nd degree save: 22-16=6, giving him a second degree save. So he would need to roll a 20 on his save to make Bats vulnerable.

But even if he did roll the 20 Bats still has a 17 dodge/parry against Manta's 10 attack. And this is assuming Bats didn't use defensive attack going into the combat; which he can easily do and still easily hit Manta: Bats can easily go 5 defensive attack and 4 power attack and still have 11 attack value.

This concept is not as one-sided as you're trying to make it seem. But even if Manta rolls the 20 and then manages to roll above average to hit Bats, all Bats needs is an 11 toughness save to come out of it just bruised and dazed. And all of that's assuming Bats doesn't just re-roll his initial roll of 1 on the tricking.

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Re: Justice League campaign - How can I have Batman compete?

Postby hypervirtue » Mon Dec 30, 2013 9:30 am

saint_matthew wrote:What you just did right there is exactly Batman Fan-Wankery. Any excuse for why Batman can do impossible things that ends with "Because he's Batman" is Batman fan wankery.


And would 100% work by the rules. You just don't like it because it isn't damage.

As for how he can do it inside the rules, no he can't. You are seriously over valuing how useful tricking & feinting are in actual play. But if you would like a demonstration of how much you are over valuing it, I'm quite willing to let you use either Batman or Soulfire in a little PVP, in which I will hand you your arse as you try to "trick & feint" your way to victory.


Bring it on.

Seriously. However in this case Batman gets Superman and Wonder Woman to back him up and Soulfire gets the Sentinels of the Windy City on his side. The point isn't that these characters can take Darkseid 1 on 1. The point is that these characters can roll with higher PL heroes and not be useless.

Sure. Soulfire would get his buttocks handed to him in a one on one fight against a superior opponent. He's an idiot if he walked into one.

You want to PVP a player who knows how to use the rules? Be my guest. I want Monolith to moderate it though.

So here's my deal:

You get Darkseid. (PL 18)

I get Superman (PL 15), Wonder Woman (PL 15), and Batman (PL 12)

And I will wipe the floor with you stock standard from the book.
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Re: Justice League campaign - How can I have Batman compete?

Postby saint_matthew » Mon Dec 30, 2013 9:54 am

Monolith wrote:If Bats rolls a 1 on his deception check he gets a 16. Manta has a 2 awe (insight). If Manta rolls a 20 he would get a 2nd degree save: 22-16=6, giving him a second degree save. So he would need to roll a 20 on his save to make Bats vulnerable.


That would be the "for whatever reason" part of the statement. I'm only using Black Manta because the H&V books are in the other room.

But just as an FYI if we were doing it properly Batmans player would use intimidation rather than Deception, since he has the Startle Advantage. I was purely using it to demonstrate that the trick while its useful is no substitute for a properly build character.

Monolith wrote:But even if he did roll the 20 Bats still has a 17 dodge/parry against Manta's 10 attack.


which means he only needs to roll 7 to hit.... That's 7 to hit a character that is PL 12, by a character that is PL 10, in a game that the OP wants to run in a game where one is playing the JLA.

Tell me, do you think a character whose best trick backfiring handicaps them to the point a PL 10 character needs only a roll of 7 to hit, is going to cut it in a high powered JLA game?

So as you can see, its exactly as one sided as I'm telling you it is. Even if it succeeds your best bet is to hope you can run your opponent into something that will do damage for you & honestly in real play how often is that going to present itself? sure occasionally you'll be able to trick a villain into running into an airlock, but what then? What's the next trick once you've done it the first time & it fails to take the villain out? What's the next trick for the guy next to him? Because as impressive as a solidly executed trick is, its not a maneuverer you can be sure is going to be ever present, ever useful or even desirable.

Trick is no substitution for actually being able to do damage on your own: Yes trick is an option, but its not a solution.

Monolith wrote:all Bats needs is an 11 toughness save to come out of it just bruised and dazed.


Exactly. Batman is now in a slightly worse condition then he was before, and with exactly as few options as he had before, except now the GM is applying circumstance modifiers against you if you try to trick immediately again.

The better solution, one that is an actual solution is rebuild Batman, build a JLA Batman, as seen in the JLA comics & frankly if it were me doing it I'd build it around the utility belt as a device & the main part of the array as the Batarang in all its comic book glory. Chuck in a variable descriptor extra to explain how it can do things like take off the arm of the shaggy man & the leg of Amazo.

Then I'd pad out the armour as a device, complete with night vision lenses, glide membrane wings, that double as a defensive roll style barrier (why can't I shoot you? Oh because I'm shooting at where I think you are because of the cape).

Finish it off with a martial arts array based on strike, with the flaw "half effect on non-organics & non-terrestrials." Add in a couple of pain based cluster punches such as crippling nerve strikes (snare), or even a deafening strike, or blinding strike (dazzle) & complete it with the lesser killing blow of Lady Shiva (weakness Stamina).

Now you've got a JLA ready, PL 13 Batman, one that's not get owned by a PL10 character, one that doesn't cripple himself when ever he fails the one trick he's come to rely on.
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Re: Justice League campaign - How can I have Batman compete?

Postby saint_matthew » Mon Dec 30, 2013 9:59 am

hypervirtue wrote:The point isn't that these characters can take Darkseid 1 on 1.


I'm not sure how you are equating "can hold his own with characters above PL10" with "can take on Darkseid 1 on 1." This is another one of those false dichotomies. The question has always been & will always be how can you make Batman compete on the same level as the other JLA characters for a JLA game & the answer is you rebuild him, to be of a comparable power level. what that has to do with going 1 on 1 with darkseid I do not know.

hypervirtue wrote:The point is that these characters can roll with higher PL heroes and not be useless.


I'm sure CHARACTERS can, but the Batman build can't & that is all we are talking about here. Any other advice you are giving is straight up bad or unrequested advice.
Last edited by saint_matthew on Mon Dec 30, 2013 11:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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