Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Man Who Falls

In honor of Halloween, here's a character build for my favorite creature of the night! (Using the d20 Modern ruleset as published by Wizards of the Coast.)

The BATMAN, BRUCE WAYNE
(circa modern continuity, 1987-present)
Male Human Legendary Strong Hero 7/Fast Hero 4/Smart Hero 5/Dedicated Hero 8; CR 27; LA +2
Medium Humanoid (height 6' 2", weight 210 lb.); Age early 40s

Init +8; Senses (core) Listen +12 (see below), Search +18, Spot +12 (see below); Senses (house) Listen/Spot +28 (see below), Search +29
Languages English, Arabic (speak only), Cantonese (speak only), Farsi (speak only), Filipino (speak only), French, German (speak only), Hebrew (speak only), Hindi, Italian (speak only), Japanese, Korean (speak only), Mandarin (speak only), Navajo (speak only), Russian (speak only), Sign, Spanish, Swahili (speak only), Swedish (speak only), Thai (speak only), Turkish (speak only)

Defense 30, touch 29, flat-footed 30; Defensive Martial Arts, Dodge (+4 Dex, +15 class, +1 equip)
hp 181 (24 HD); Mas 20
Fort +13 (+2 vs. sonic, +4 vs. light [binoculars only]), Ref +11 (+2 vs. falls), Will +16
Action Points 16

Speed 30 ft., Run (x5)
Melee unarmed +23/+18/+13/+8 (1d6+8 nonlethal/lethal, 19-20/x3) or
Melee unarmed +21/+16/+11/+6 (1d6+8) and
Melee unarmed +21 (1d6+6, two-weapon) or
Melee nerve pinch (provokes AoO) +22 (Fort DC 24, paralyzed 1d4+1 rounds) or
Melee by weapon +22/+17/+12/+7 or
Ranged batarang +23/+18/+13/+8 (1d4+7, 20, 30 ft.) or
Ranged by weapon +22/+17/+12/+7
Space 5 ft. by 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Base Atk +18; Grp +25
Atk Options Agile Riposte, Blind-Fight, Combat Expertise, Improved Disarm, Improved Trip, Knockout Punch, Nerve Pinch, Point Blank Shot, Power Attack, Two-Weapon Fighting
Special Qualities legend traits (14), mask

Abilities Str 19 (17), Dex 18 (17), Con 17* (18), Int 20 (18), Wis 19 (18), Cha 17
'(-)' indicate original ability scores based on the calling: Mantle of the Bat (see description below).
* Best recuperative result after a crippling back injury.
Allegiances justice, good, the Wayne family, "the night," law, Gotham City, the Bat family, GCPD, the Justice League; Rep +11 (+4 as Wayne); San 73
Feats Advanced Combat Martial Arts, Agile Riposte**, Aircraft Operation (helicopters**, jet fighters**), Archaic Weapons Proficiency, Armor Proficiency (light), Blind-Fight, Brawl, Combat Expertise, Combat Martial Arts, Combat Reflexes, Combat Throw**, Defensive Martial Arts, Dodge, Elusive Target**, Far Shot, Heroic Surge**, Improved Combat Martial Arts, Improved Damage Threshold**, Improved Disarm, Improved Initiative**, Improved Trip**, Iron Will, Knockout Punch**, Mobility, Nerve Pinch (see Future), Personal Firearms Proficiency, Point Blank Shot, Power Attack, Precise Shot**, Run**, Secret Identity, Sidekick (Leader score: 25+; see Past), Simple Weapons Proficiency, Surface Vehicle Operation (powerboat)**, Track, Two-Weapon Fighting, Weapon Focus (batarang)
** Bonus feats acquired from the Legend template.
         Note: As a member of the Justice League, Batman has chosen to receive special training with armored suits as his membership perk, allowing him to ignore armor proficiency penalties for any armor that requires only "light armor" as a prerequisite. For example, Batman can use medium or powered armor at no proficiency penalty (though, this does not automatically make him proficient in all the systems of said armor, or in heavy armor, for example).
Flaws Obsessive (Batman takes a –6 penalty on any interpersonal ability or skill check that doesn’t explicitly pertain to the objective at hand.)—Bonus Feat: Sidekick
Skills (core) Balance +10, Bluff +10 (+8 after 1 min. of study), Climb +10, Computer Use +10, Concentration +10, Craft (chemical) +10, Craft (mechanical) +10, Decipher Script +10, Demolitions +12, Disable Device +15, Disguise +15 (+8 to avoid ID), Drive +12 (+2 in Batmobile), Escape Artist +20, Gather Information +10, Hide +20 (+4 w/one-quarter concealment), Intimidate +15 (+8 when recognized only as Batman), Investigate +23, Jump +10 (+2 when running), Knowledge (arcane lore) +9, Knowledge (behavioral sciences) +12, Knowledge (current events) +10, Knowledge (earth and life sciences) +8, Knowledge (physical sciences) +8, Knowledge (streetwise) +15, Knowledge (tactics) +14, Knowledge (technology) +10, Listen +12 (+10 to avoid surprise), Move Silently +20, Navigate +5 (+10 in Batmobile), Pilot +10, Profession (industrialist) +8, Read/Write English, Read/Write French, Read/Write Hindi, Read/Write Japanese, Read/Write Sign, Read/Write Spanish, Repair +8, Research +17, Search +18, Sense Motive +12 (+8 after 1 min. of study), Sleight of Hand +10, Speak Arabic, Speak Cantonese, Speak English, Speak Farsi, Speak Filipino, Speak French, Speak German, Speak Hebrew, Speak Hindi, Speak Italian, Speak Japanese, Speak Korean, Speak Mandarin, Speak Navajo, Speak Russian, Speak Spanish, Speak Swahili, Speak Swedish, Speak Thai, Speak Turkish, Spot +12 (+10 to avoid surprise), Survival +10, Swim +10, Treat Injury +8, Tumble +12
Skills (house) Athletics +22 (+2 on Jump when running), Computer Use +12, Control +16, Craft (chemical) +10, Craft (mechanical) +10, Deduce +26 (+5 on Investigate, +3 on Search), Demolitions +12, Disable Device +15, Disguise +17 (+8 to avoid ID), Drive +12 (+2 in Batmobile), Escape Artist +24, Gather Information +10, Knowledge (arcane lore) +9, Knowledge (behavioral sciences) +12, Knowledge (current events) +10, Knowledge (earth and life sciences) +8, Knowledge (history) +8, Knowledge (physical sciences) +8, Knowledge (streetwise) +17, Knowledge (tactics) +15, Knowledge (technology) +10, Navigate +5 (+10 in Batmobile), Perceive +28 (+10 on Listen/Spot to avoid surprise, +8 on Sense Motive after 1 min. of study), Persuade +22 (+8 on Intimidate when recognized only as Batman, or +8 after 1 min. of study), Pilot +10, Profession (industrialist) +8, Read/Write English, Read/Write French, Read/Write Hindi, Read/Write Japanese, Read/Write Sign, Read/Write Spanish, Repair +8, Research +19, Sneak +31 (+4 on Hide w/one-quarter concealment, +2 on Move Silently), Speak Arabic, Speak Cantonese, Speak English, Speak Farsi, Speak Filipino, Speak French, Speak German, Speak Hebrew, Speak Hindi, Speak Italian, Speak Japanese, Speak Korean, Speak Mandarin, Speak Navajo, Speak Russian, Speak Spanish, Speak Swahili, Speak Swedish, Speak Thai, Speak Turkish, Survival +10, Treat Injury +9, Tumble +15
Talents (Strong Hero) Advanced Melee Smash, Extreme Effort, Improved Melee Smash, Melee Smash
Talents (Fast Hero) Evasion, Uncanny Dodge 1
Talents (Smart Hero) Savant (Investigate), Savant (Research), Plan
Talents (Dedicated Hero) Aware, Cool Under Pressure (Balance, Bluff, Disable Device, Escape Artist, Hide, Move Silently, Sense Motive), Empathy, Skill Emphasis (Search)
Starting Occupation (core) Dilettante (Intimidate as permanent class skill)
Starting Occupation (house) Dilettante (Persuade as permanent class skill)
Wealth Bonus +25 (+39, Wayne Enterprises)

Possessions (+1 CR; carried weight 27.5 lb.)
-cape (ultra-lightweight; slows falls [Ref DC 5 to reduce fall by 10 ft. and 10 ft. again for every 5 points by which the save surpasses the DC], glides [move at last achieved land speed –5 ft./2 rounds, no stunts, descend 15/30 ft. per round, Pilot DC 20 to descend 5/30 ft.]; integrated w/infrared-defeating latex outer layer [provides total concealment vs. infrared]; scalloped design w/weighted tips for defensive purposes [1d4 nonlethal damage, 10-ft. reach, may substitute for unarmed disarm attempts at –2]; combined w/cowl and suit offers equipment bonuses of +4 on Hide in at least one-quarter concealment, +2 on Move Silently, and +8 on Intimidate when Reputation permits recognition; PDC n/a [19], 1.5 lb.)

-2 climbing boots (reduces the penalty for climbing w/o gear to –2; 1.5 lb. each)

-cowl (lightweight; contains Starlite night-vision lenses [equivalent to low-light vision 120 ft.]; directional microphone in ears mounted on telescoping antennae wired w/fiber-optic cable [reduces Listen penalty to –1/40 ft.]; audio processor w/noise reduction speaker [+2 on Fort vs. sonic effects]; universal communicator [see Future] w/belt-boosted range of 5 miles (Int based); built-in inertial navigation unit [prevents disorientation/nausea during aerial acrobatics, +2 on Ref to prevent/during falls]; w/integrated HUD [Future]; provides +8 equipment bonus on Disguise to avoid ID; PDC n/a [23], 0.5 lb.)

-batsuit (light armor, as a “flight suit/helmet” w/integrated “survival suit” [both see Future], nomex biweave construction [acid/fire resistance 5], & booby trapped w/special one-shot stun bolt/taser [auto hit on touch, 1d4 damage, Fort DC 15 paralyzed 1d6 rounds then stunned 1d4+1 rounds], confers a +1 equipment bonus to Defense, no armor check penalty; PDC 35 [Mil +3], 3.5 lb.)

-2 gauntlets (as ultra-lightweight “brass knuckles”; +2 on disarm vs. bladed/hafted/poled weapons; PDC n/a [11]; 0.5 lb. each)

-high-frequency bat signaler (puts out an ultrasonic blip at specific intervals calibrated to attract bats at 10-mile radius; stored in sole of right boot; PDC: n/a [20])

-lead-encased kryptonite ring

-utility belt (ultra-lightweight; secure storage compartment, can hold up to 16 Small items/25 lb., PDC 19, 1 lb.; contains the following standard gear: 11 Small, 1 Tiny, 1 Fine, 18 lb.): 6 batarangs (lightweight, compact [free action to ready]; alternate weapon boomerang/shuriken, returns to user on miss, range 15 ft., designed to benefit from melee smash talents; PDC n/a [18], F, 0.25 lb.), binoculars (ultra-lightweight, w/conventional, infrared & ultraviolet imaging, light amplification [darkvision 120 ft., –2 on Spot/Search], "boom suppression" [+4 on Fort vs. light effects], holographic lensing/digital-zoom combine for 60x magnification [reduces Spot penalty to –1/60 ft.], still-frame photographic capture; PDC 21, S, 1 lb.), climbing claws (w/boots negates climbing penalty w/o gear; D, 0.5 lb.), CO2-propelled grapnel (miniaturized; can lift up to 500 lb., fully deploys as part of attack action when fired, retract speed 150 ft./move action, 30-shot supply, range 150 ft.; PDC 18, T, 2 lb.), crime scene recorder (as “deluxe evidence kit,” compact/ultra-lightweight; free standing multi-spectral high resolution camera, micro gas chromatograph, sample/blood drying bags, fingerprinting dusts/cyanoacrylate adhesive, & direct-link software to forensics hardware in bat-suit, Batcave, and Batmobile; PDC 23, S, 2 lb.), fingerlight (as “penlight”; w/touch-sensitive white, red, and infrared radial LEDs at focused or wide-angle collimated 10,000 micro-candela beams), gas mask (ultra-lightweight; w/extra filter canister; PDC 19, S, 1.5 lb.), 6 gas pellets ("Ver-Sed" [Fort DC 16, paralysis 1d4 min./unconsciousness 1d3 min., victim also suffers amnesia of the last 2d4 min. post-recovery, only fills 5 ft. area, Craft DC 25], and/or CS [as tear gas, except +1 DC, lasts twice as long, only fills 5 ft. area, Craft DC 19]; F), handcuffs (25 zip-tie; D, 0.5 lb.), medical kit [miniaturized, ultra-lightweight; PDC 24, T, 2.5 lb], micro GPS tracers (1 in boot; also 27 mm. "burr" and 22 mm. rubber-edged "throwing" nanobeacons w/500-mile range and digital pulse radio relays to belt [see Future]), minicomputer (fully collapsible 86% standard keyboard w/cutting edge CPU, DOS & non-DOS chip sets, secure-signal cellular phone, digital fax/modem, GPS receiver, & disc player/burner, w/detachable remote system controller for Batmobile; PDC 27, T, 0.5 lb.), 2 monofilament de-cel jumplines (as “duracable” [Future], compact, ultra-lightweight; 150 ft., integrated w/grappler tags, can be combined w/batarangs or CO2-powered grapple gun; PDC 17 [Res +2], S, 2 lb.), palmtop communicator (liquid crystal display, USB plugs and connectors, voice-activated microphone, touch sensitive keypad, uses encrypted cellular phone and email communications via secure-linked global WayneTech satellite transmissions; PDC 17, D), rebreather (as miniaturized “aquaconventer” [Future], except only 15 min. filter; PDC 13, F), 2 smoke bombs (as “grenades,” ultra-lightweight; S, 1 lb.)

-Yanomami blow-gun (1 piercing, range 10 ft., with 4 "Anaconda"-anesthetic tipped darts [Fort DC 14, unconsciousness 4d4 hours, Craft DC 25]; stored in left boot)

Optional utility belt gear (can select up to 6 lb./10 items additional or swap out as needed): aerosol sprays (foaming explosive gels [as “C4/Semtex” via radio controlled detonator caps; includes 4 lb. compressed; PDC: 18 [Mil +3], T, 0.5 lb.], & super-cooled electronic device freezers [4-use canister, causes computers, control panels, keypads, hand-held devices, etc., to become inoperative for 2d6x10 minutes; PDC: 18 [Mil +3], T, 0.5 lb.]), air pistol (see Urban Arcana; fires microtransmitters or tranquilizer darts; S, 2 lb.), antitox injector (see Future; D), bat-bolas (Urban Arcana; S, 2 lb.), chemicomp sensor (Future; D, 1 lb.), 2 detonator caps (lightweight, radio controlled; F), digital micro-camera (D), disguise kit (lightweight, miniaturized; T, 2.5 lb.), flash seal (Future; T, 1 lb.), grenades (concussion/blast [lightweight, w/3-sec. to 40-min. delay, radio controlled or bungee-prima cord detonators, 4d6 concussion; T, 0.5 lb.], flash-bang [lightweight, target becomes dazed and deafened; weighs 0.5 lb.], "pellet" [w/contact or 5-sec. delay fuses, 3d6 slashing; D], & thermite [lightweight, w/contact or 5-sec delay fuses, 6d6 fire; T, 0.5 lb each]), 4 microtransmitters (Urban Arcana; in case, amazing quality, outfitted w/grappler tags for use w/air pistol; F), solvaway sprayer (Future; D), sporekill injector (Future; D), syringe gun (see Dark*Matter; S, 1 lb.), tranquilizer darts ("super"-atropine injection, Fort DC 15, 2d6 Dex/2d6 Str, Craft DC 20]; F), universal tool (as “demolitions kit,” “electrical tool kit,” “lock release gun,” & “mechanical tool kit”; w/rechargeable mini fuel cells, includes cutters and strippers, electro-lockpicking device, as well as 'torx', 'box', and 'star drive' tool points, w/tap, jumper lines, broadband HDTV jack, multiline analyzer, CPU breakout box, RS-232 logic-controlled breakout box, EPROM reader/writer, USB jack, oscilloscope/vector scope display, & electronic probes; S, 3 lb.), wall-penetrating grapnel (4-shot 180-degree directional dart magazine, fires preloaded 300 ft. of jumpline, range increment 150 ft.; PDC: 15 [Lic +1], S, 6 lb.)

New Vehicle Batmobile (sports coupe)
Crew: 1; Pass: 1; Cargo: 350 lb.; Init: –1; Man: +2; Speed: 266 mph [465 (46); 0-60 in 2.4 sec, 1500 hp jet/turbine, gasoline/ethanol mix (16s/25h mpg), 6-speed manual]; Def: 8; Hard: 15; hp: 48; Size: H; Purchase DC: n/a (45); Res: Mil (+3)
Accessories: adhesive trap foam gun (as "sticky foam sprayer," see Urban Arcana; 1 mounted both sides, 3-round discharge); aerosolized regurgitant sprayer (as "tear gas"; 1 mounted both sides); auto-engaged twin auxiliary fuel tanks (+30 gallons, 45 total); barrier/chain cutters (as "huge chainsaw/bolt cutter," 3d8 damage, ignores 4 points of hardness; 1 mounted front); CO2-propelled grapnels (2 mounted front, 45-degree range of fire, range increment 60 ft.); gel-filled tires; infrared camcorder (1 mounted front); internal computer (on-board WayneTech GPS navigation unit [provides +10 equipment bonus on Navigate]); police scanner; satellite datalink connected w/batsuit, Batcave, etc.; sensor baffling; storage compartment; variable polarization windshield; voice recognition system)

Design Notes
1) “Lightweight” and “ultra-lightweight” are terms that I prefer when referring to the Reduced Weight gadget option found in d20 Future Tech. Lightweight indicates a weight reduction of 25%; ultra-lightweight is 50% or more.
2) Modifications to existing and unique equipment was done using the “Gadget System” guidelines given in d20 Future.
3) The base PDC and weight for the cape are those of an “overcoat” from the core rulebook.
4) Ad-hoc rules governing cape-gliding adapted from D&D flight maneuverability and simple geometrics.
5) Cape PDC calculated as follows: 9 (base) + 6 (2/integrated feature: latex coat, scallop design, equip bonuses) + 4 (weight reduction)
6) The base PDC and weight for the cowl are those of “display glasses” from d20 Future.
7) Cowl PDC calculated as follows: 12 (base) + 9 (integrated HUD) + 2 (weight reduction)
8) Batsuit PDC calculated as follows: 10 (base) + 18 (integrated survival suit; I allow integrating one type of armor into another because the flight suit is typed as “tactical” armor, whereas the survival suit is “concealable,” able to be worn underneath existing clothing, etc.) + 7 (booby-trapped; I made an ad hoc addition of +1 to the booby-trap PDC modifier because this gadget is normally only available to weapons)
9) The base PDC, weight, and capacity for the utility belt are those of a “tool belt” from the core rulebook.
10) Determining the exact size limitations for the belt required that I first take stock of everything the character might need on a typical outing, then affix the belt’s capacity based on that assortment rather than force myself to work within a limit. Exchange rate for size differences is 1:2 (1 Small = 2 Tiny, etc.) Belt PDC calculated as follows: 9 (base) + 5 (1/added storage compartment; each application of this gadget provides storage for 2 additional Small items, and I reasoned a standard tool belt can hold 6 Small items; likewise this increases the belt’s weight bearing load by 2.5x) + 4 (weight reduction) + 1 (ad hoc to prevent the belt from spilling items during acrobatics)
11) Constructing a batarang involves combining elements of a boomerang with shuriken using the “Alternate Weapon” gadget. The process of “forging” the two together is accomplished through use of the Craft (mechanical) and Repair skills: first a simple Craft check allows the objects to be disassembled, and a complex Repair check recreates a new item from what was two. Using his shop in the Batcave, Batman can take 10 on both checks and build a new batarang in 2 hours. Batarangs count as archaic weapons, have the base size of a knife, do boomerang damage (bludgeoning/piercing [provided by the shuriken]), have the base weight of shuriken, take the median range between the two, and retain boomerang miss rules. Batman can choose to deal either bludgeoning or piercing damage when attacking with batarangs.
12) Batarang PDC calculated as follows: 10 (base; boomerang plus shuriken cost) + 4 (alternate weapon) + 2 (compact; batarangs fold in half for storage) + 2 (weight reduction). Design advantage to damage added during build process (Craft [mechanical] DC 20).
13) The base PDC, size, and general characteristics for the CO2-powered grapple gun are those of a “grapple-firing crossbow,” while the weight is that of a “flare gun,” both from Urban Arcana. Slightly better range due to more accurate design.
14) CO2-powered grapple gun PDC calculated as follows: 12 (base) + 3 (miniaturized) + 3 (ad hoc for lifting power/speed)
15) Ver-Sed is a type of gas attack Batman once quoted as using in a comic. I don’t know if there is any real-world equivalent, but neither do I care. The name always stuck with me, and so here it is. From his lab in the Batcave, Batman can take 10 to synthesize either gas in 2-4 hours (though Ver-Sed requires a roll, an action point, or an aid on the check). Using the “Making Poisons” section of the core rulebook web enhancement, I determined the Craft DC as follows: 5 (base, halved due to 1/2 area dispersal; this is a type Batman was shown to use up close and personal, not artillery style) + 4 (10 for paralysis effect, reduced 65% [3.5 rounded up] for lessened duration, average time 7 minutes to 2.5 minutes) + 6 (12 for unconsciousness effect, halved due to lessened duration, hours to minutes) + 6 (DC 16 save) + 4 (ad hoc, amnesia effect)
16) Monofilament de-cel jumpline PDC calculated as follows: 4 (base) + 7 (integrated grappler tags) + 2 (compact) + 4 (weight reduction)

NEW Template: The Legend

CREATING A LEGEND
Only living, sentient, non-deity beings may become legends.
Legends are not born, they are made. Therefore, a character must possess at least 10 HD or character levels before acquiring the Legend template. The more natural talent a hero possesses the less experience is required to raise them to that of legend. If any of the character’s ability scores are less than 14, that character may not acquire the template until possessing at least 14 HD. If any three of the character's ability scores are 18+ (maintaining the above), that character may then acquire the template once possessing only 8 HD. Legends must also be known outside their own circle. The Legend template cannot be acquired until the character's base Reputation bonus is at least +4 (+1 if the character has the Renown feat). Lastly, the hero must complete a number of GM-approved quests beforehand as a kind of final passage into the pages of legend.
Challenge Rating: Same as the base creature +1 per 5 character levels attained as a legend.
Size and Type: The base creature’s size and type remain unchanged.
Hit Dice: As the base creature.
Defense: As the base creature.
Attack/Full Attack: As the base creature.
Damage: As the base creature.
Special Attacks: As the base creature.
Special Qualities: A legend retains all the base creature’s special qualities and gains those listed below.
          Epic Level: Only legends may take class levels beyond 20. Track the number of levels the character has attained as a legend (marked as a part of the tag that identifies the character as a legend, under "Special Qualities," for example).
          Never Say Die (Ex): A legend cannot be killed unless the damage dealt to the legend exceeds the legend's massive damage capacity plus the character’s level plus his or her current action points at the time of "death," (i.e. legends who are dying due to hit point loss automatically stabilize at –9 unless the damage dealt to them previously exceeded their Mas + Lvl + AP). Legends can still die by failing saves (e.g. against spells, poisons, drugs, or powerful weapons, etc.) which would otherwise prevent death or other fatal effects (e.g. ability point loss, etc.). Legends may willfully die from normal damage if they choose to do so.
Abilities: As the base creature.
Skills: As the base creature, except legends receive twice their Intelligence modifier for skill points on every level gained after acquiring the template (i.e. not the first level for which the character qualifies as a legend). Upon becoming a legend, the character ignores cross-class restrictions when buying skill ranks regardless of what class the character takes levels in, and those that the legend mentors, if any, ignore cross-class for each level they attain under the legend's tutelage as well.
Feats: As the base creature, except for every level gained after acquiring the template, a legend may freely select one (1) bonus feat from any list (prerequisites for these feats must still be met).
Reputation: As the base creature +2.
Action Points: As the base creature +2 per character level attained as a legend.
Organization: Any, though usually only one legend can exist in any one group, organization, specific location, or time period, as befits the campaign.
Allegiances: Any.
Advancement: By character class.
Level Adjustment: Same as the base creature +1 (+2 for characters beyond 20th level).

Design Note: This template was created mainly as a “cheat” to create the kind of Batman that I felt most closely resembled the modern iteration of the character as presented in the comics (1987-today), and also as an example of a robust build that the d20 ruleset can be made to fit. Since d20 Modern doesn’t support rules for characters beyond 20th level, I decided to work a fairly difficult-to-achieve template as a means of padding out heroes like Batman and Superman. Without the template, characters truly deserving of the epic treatment are left to never quite realize their full potential. Of course, the template is ultimately only limited by hit dice and the GM’s permission, it might not be a bad idea to quantify the limits on legends further by stating that there can only by one legend in any given area (be it a city, region, state, country, planet, what have you), and before new legends can rise up in their place the old legends must first die or pass on.

New Calling: Mantle of the Bat
Scarred by a traumatic period in one’s early life, those who take up the mantle of the Bat are bound by the fate that it demands. The mantle of the Bat is not merely a totem to which the bearer subscribes, but a calling to which the hero that bears it must answer. Those who wear the mantle of the Bat are forever after tasked with a life dedicated to the cause for its existence, forsaking personal happiness and allegiances to anything other than that which serves to meet the needs of the cause. In preparation to meet the needs of the cause, the hero must be able to travel the world and engage in at least one major test or quest on each continent (or as determined by the GM). Only after death or the absolute certainty that the needs of the cause for the mantle’s existence have been met may the mantle be put to rest. In some ways, the mantle’s demands may conflict with the hero's desires, and thus the mantle may be looked upon as a curse by those who do not understand it. The mantle of the Bat demands nothing less than the unmitigated devotion of the hero's mind and body until all its tasks are complete.

Benefits: To aid in accomplishing the above, the mantle of the Bat bestows the hero with incredible physical and mental acumen, granting the hero two sets of exceptional ability scores: a set of three 18s, and a set of three 17s, each score arranged as desired. Furthermore, the hero receives Secret Identity as a bonus feat so that the wearer of the mantle can operate from a position of relative anonymity.

Why Batman is Lawful Good...
1) He doesn’t kill. Not even his most vile, repulsive, and deserving-of-death foes. To ignore this simple fact is dismissive and comparatively flawed. If we were to apply this same stricture against other similarly themed literary figures, we’d find out exactly how delineating a point this can be. Take Robin Hood or Zorro for example. Both of these characters are shown to kill their adversaries on occasion, and yet they are Goodly aligned, though certainly not Lawful. Batman would be compelled to risk his own life to save a foolish person who wandered into the forest and came across a hungry bear. Robin Hood or Zorro might look at the same person and call it poetic justice. Life is precious to Batman; nay, life is sacred to Batman. “Thou Shalt Not Kill (Or Allow To Be Killed)” is foremost among his life’s commandments.

i. The essential moral theme here is redemption. Evil may be destroyed, but evildoers should be reformed or rehabilitated. Take what darkness life gives you (i.e. the death of one’s parents, the evil that men do, etc.) and make it work for the good of all.

2) He strives to live in a very ordered world. Within the Batcave his word is law. How often have other subordinates of Batman’s chafed at living under his rule: most if not all. Rigid, unwavering, almost totalitarian in his private pursuits; he is a driven taskmaster. He often denies himself the means to a happier life because fighting crime is his duty.

3) He is in every way diametrically opposed to the Joker, his archenemy. The Joker is the epitome of Chaotic Evil.

4) He upholds the system he fights alongside even if he operates outside of it. Succinctly, he must operate outside of it. Man’s laws are in some ways inadequate to a higher, more holistic law. Lawful Good sometimes demands disobeying an unjust/unfair system when it doesn’t do what is necessary. (In the early days, Batman’s only ally was James Gordon, himself a Lawful Good character. Two Lawful Good men trapped in the Chaotic Neutral/Evil world of Gotham.)

5) Batman’s mission is often described by himself and others close to him as a quest or crusade against crime. This is very Lawful Good language in nature.

6) “If Batman is Lawful Good, what is Superman then?” Superman is LG as well! Batman is the LG manifestation of the night. Superman is LG born of the day. They simultaneously work well together, seek to achieve the same ends, and chafe at one another because they are so similar is this way. (Batman and Superman fighting in Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns is a reflection of what could be, not of what is.)

7) “What about Batman’s willingness to break and enter, use intimidation tactics, fight dirty, etc?” To Batman, if villains and criminals do not hold even the smallest laws to be sacred then they forfeit their right to the others. It’s who he is as a “masked vigilante,” an expression of his anger, not a form of punishment. He seeks to strike the fear of God into his enemies. Evil deserves no quarter, and you fight fire with fire.

8) He would put down the cape and cowl if he was sure he was truly no longer needed. A willingness to surrender one’s quest if certain conditions are met shows a sign of restraint typically associated only with the very honorable; a LG trait. (Paradoxically, we know this can never be.)

9) He would fight a worthy foe (e.g. Râ’s al Ghûl, a Lawful Evil character) on even terms (i.e. hand-to-hand, or sword against sword), and defeat such a foe on those terms rather than take an unfair advantage. 

10) Lawful Good vs Neutral Good vs Chaotic Good: Lawful Good means you live by the strictest (highest) standard life has given you. Neutral Good means you live by whatever standard causes the least amount of strife. Chaotic Good means you live by whatever standard suits you best without infringing on others. Thus, Batman is Lawful Good.