Friday, October 4, 2013

The G*ddamn Batman (Batman Year One via FAE)


This post is inspired by DT Butchino’s (aka. “Sketchpad’) masterful examination of FAE’s character progression using Luke Skywalker as an example, viewable from the link below:
Here I am using this same idea to explore the idea of Batman Year One (Miller, Mazzucchelli, Lewis: 1986-87) as a Fate Accelerated campaign to demonstrate how character progression might work in this system...and maybe poke a bit of fun in process. ;-)

***

Francis has been GM’ing his friend Rich in a single-player play-by-post game called ‘Gotham Nights’ set in Francis’ home-brew setting, the corrupt and decadent Gotham City. 
Dave has been following the posts fervently, enjoying the adventures of Rich’s character Lt. James ‘Jimmy’ Gordon as he tries to do right in a city complicit in corruption, where even the cops are on the take at the highest levels. 
So Dave approaches Francis about the idea of playing a single player game in the same setting; maybe even crossing paths with Dave’s character on occasion as well. 
Francis gets started with some suggestions: 
“Maybe you could play a union boss, trying to protect his boys as they skim shipments coming into port...” 
“Ah....not my style”, counters Dave. “How about I play..umm...some super rich guy who wants to clean up the city with his money and influence?
“Hmmm..”, Francis ruminates. “Gotham runs on violence and intimidation. I don’t see that working well.”
“Ok!”, says Dave, unphased. “Then I will play a rich guy who fights crime on the streets! An eye for an eye!”
Francis: “...you know this supposed to be kind of gritty, right? Why is he fighting crime anyhow rather than like, just giving money to charity and things?”
“Because..a mugger killed his parents when he was a kid! He’s left, and vowed to return to the city when ready to clean up the town so that can’t happen again.”
Francis still has his reservations, but is rather intrigued by the idea of an overprivileged vigilante on the streets of Gotham.
If Dave’s character is going to be fighting crime hands on he will need an aspect granting permission to do so, and he convinces Dave to word his aspect ‘Trained by kickass kung-fu guys’ with the more on-brand ‘I’ve trained a lifetime for this’.

Dave is ready to make his character, Bruce Wayne:

Bruce Wayne
  • Aspects
High Concept: Billionaire playboy by day, crime-fighter by night
Trouble: I lost my childhood in Crime Alley
Other Aspects: I’ve trained a lifetime for this
  • Approaches
+3 Flashy
+2 Quick, Clever
+1 Sneaky, Careful
+0 Forceful
  • Stunts
- Because I am the Heir to the Wayne Family Fortune, I gain +2 to Flashily Create an Advantage when my wealth and good looks might be of help.
  • Refresh: 3
  • Stress: OOO
Consequences:
  • Mild (2):
  • Moderate (4):
  • Severe (6):
  • Extras
Mansion on the edge of the city, Hot sports car

***
  • 1st Session - March 11
Dave’s first session as Bruce Wayne: Crime-fighter does not go as planned.
Bruce goes into the red-light district and challenges a small-time pimp, resulting in being taken out and put into a police car as a concession (after an exchange with a named NPC ‘Selina’).

Bruce manages to escape back to his mansion by taking out the two cops. In a bizarre flourish, Francis has a bat crash through the window of Bruce’s study to confront him with his greatest childhood fear.
Dave creates an aspect for Bruce’s butler ‘Alfred’ to assist with his injuries (addressing his Moderate Complication).

Although his first foray as a ‘crime-fighter’ ended poorly, Dave is strangely enthused at the end of the session, and tells Francis he has some ‘cool ideas’ for the character for the next session coming up.
***

Dave arrives at the next session all fired up. He has passed a Minor Milestone by completing the last session, and has arrived having created two new aspects (one in session, one new, and changed one existing), one new stunt, and has switched his Flashy and Sneaky approaches. He also has a new drawing as well as a new name for his character concept:

The Batman
  • Aspects
High Concept: Billionaire playboy by day, crime-fighter by night
Trouble: I lost my childhood in Crime Alley
Other Aspects: I shall become a bat!; Alfred is always here for me; The best gadgets Waynetech money can buy
  • Approaches
+3 Sneaky
+2 Quick, Clever
+1 Flashy, Careful
+0 Forceful
  • Stunts
- Because Criminals are a Suspicious and Cowardly Lot, I gain +2 to Sneakily Gain an Advantage when dealing with criminal types in darkness.
- Because I am the Heir to the Wayne Family Fortune, I gain +2 to Flashily Create an Advantage when my wealth and good looks might be of help.
  • Refresh: 3
  • Stress: OOO
Consequences:
  • Mild (2):
  • Moderate (4):
  • Severe (6):
  • Extras
Mansion on the edge of the city, Fast black motorcycle

***
As GM, Francis is less-than-sure about this new direction: “Wait....so he dresses up like a bat now?” 
“Yeah!”, responds Dave, enthused. “Remember the whole ‘bat through a window’ thing last session? That’s what he uses to scare the bad guys now- he’s like bat through the window that punches you in the face! Plus, he has like little bat-shaped razors and boomerangs and cool gear, since he has lots of money to buy stuff.” 
“Umm...OK”, says Francis. “So is he always in the bat-suit now?” 
“No, silly!”, Dave replies. “Just when fighting crime. Daytime he’s Bruce Wayne still..when he’s not sleeping or dating supermodels.”
***
  • 2nd Session - April 9 to May 14
The Batman takes out some low-level criminals using his new stunt, and manages to break up drug-deal overlooked by a corrupt named character, Detective Flass.

This is another Minor Milestone, so Dave decides to take a third stunt:

- When I have access to my Utility Belt, I gain +2 to Sneakily Attack opponents in physical conflicts using my gear.

***
Rich: “Wait...so, Dave is playing a vigilante in a bat costume? In MY campaign?” 
Francis: “It’s not YOUR campaign, Rich. It’s mine. And....yeah. It makes sense when he explains it. Honestly, it’s been pretty fun.” 
Rich: “Dave. Synnibarr Dave. He has a dude in a bat-suit, in Gotham: your ‘gritty’ campaign setting.” 
Francis: “He kicked Flass’ ass really good.” 
Rich: “OK...I will admit that part is awesome. But still....not in my town, Francis.”
****

  • 3rd Session - May 19 to June 5 
Dave really has fun here. The Batman manages to scare the wealthy and corrupt patricians of Gotham, as well as ‘take out’ the major crime boss The Roman (since Dave has decided that The Batman ‘doesn’t kill’, he just leaves his enemy tied up and vulnerable).

The GM counts this a Significant Milestone (since he took out a major villain), so Dave raises The Batman’s Sneaky approach by one (+1), he also re-words his ‘Heir’ stunt to be based on a Sneaky Approach. He also gains the favor of Harvey Dent, so he decides to broaden his Alfred aspect a bit to cover new allies:


The Batman
  • Aspects
High Concept: Billionaire playboy by day, crime-fighter by night
Trouble: I lost my childhood in Crime Alley
Other Aspects: I shall become a bat!; My allies are always here for me; The best gadgets Waynetech money can buy
  • Approaches
+4 Sneaky
+2 Quick, Clever
+1 Flashy, Careful
+0 Forceful
  • Stunts
- Because Criminals are a Suspicious and Cowardly Lot, I gain +2 to Sneakily Gain an Advantage when dealing with criminal types in darkness.
- When I have access to my Utility Belt, I gain +2 to Sneakily Attack opponents in physical conflicts using my gear.
- Because I am the Heir to the Wayne Family Fortune, I gain +2 to Sneakily Create an Advantage when my wealth and good looks might be of help.
  • Refresh: 3
  • Stress: OOO
Consequences:
  • Mild (2):
  • Moderate (4):
  • Severe (6):
  • Extras
Mansion on the edge of the city, Fast black motorcycle

***
  • 4th Session - June 6
Francis decides to do a dual session with both Jimmy Gordon and The Batman, complicated by the fact that Jimmy’s player is dedicated to taking out The Batman; only a last-minute compel and the complication of the Gotham Swat Team entering the fray avoids a full PVP conflict.

The Batman uses his Waynetech aspect to avoid disaster. This is counted as another Minor Milestone, so Dave decides to have The Batman reduce refresh by one and take a fourth stunt:

- Because I am the Goddamned Batman, I gain +2 to Cleverly Overcome mooks in a conflict of any kind.
***
  • 5th Session - September 2
James Gordon attempts to confront Bruce Wayne (Batman) on his home turf, in a Challenge; he fails, due to The Batman’s Heir to the Wayne Family Fortune stunt (from before the first session!).

This is a Minor Milestone for The Batman, but he decides to stay where he is... Dave is pretty happy with the character he has built thus far.
***
  • 6th Session - October 2 to October 12
A lot of things happen during this extended session.

The previously established NPC ‘Selina’ becomes the costumed anti hero Catwoman, the villain The Roman is neutralized, and The Batman saves Jim Gordon’s son from certain death, bringing James and his player over to his side.

The GM counts this as a Major Milestone for The Batman, allowing for +1 to any Approach and +1 to Refresh. He is also able to update his High Concept.
***

This brings us the end of Year One, and to a more experienced Batman/Bruce Wayne ready to take on greater challenges:

The Batman
  • Aspects
High Concept: Dark-Knight detective disguised as a billionaire playboy
Trouble: I lost my childhood in Crime Alley
Other Aspects: I’m the goddamned Batman; My allies are always here for me; The best gadgets Waynetech money can buy
  • Approaches
+4 Sneaky
+3 Clever
+2 Quick
+1 Flashy, Careful
+0 Forceful
  • Stunts
- Because Criminals are a Suspicious and Cowardly Lot, I gain +2 to Sneakily Gain an Advantage when dealing with criminal types in darkness.
- When I have access to my Utility Belt, I gain +2 to Sneakily Attack opponents in physical conflicts using my gear.
- Because I am the Goddamned Batman, I gain +2 to Cleverly Overcome mooks in a conflict of any kind.
- Because I am the Heir to the Wayne Family Fortune, I gain +2 to Sneakily Create an Advantage when my wealth and good looks might be of help.
  • Refresh: 3
  • Stress: OOO
Consequences:
  • Mild (2):
  • Moderate (4):
  • Severe (6):
  • Extras
Mansion on the edge of the city & The Batcave; Access to bat-themed vehicles