Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Batwoman: Marvel Heroic Role-Playing

Note: Here is my next post for the YAM Magazine LBGT Blogathon.  I am going to go over some of my favorite characters from TV, Books, and Movies and talk about how to use them in various games.

In some cases I'll also talk about why I picked the characters I did and why I paired them with the game I did.

Today I want to focus on a character I absolutely adore, but have not devoted many posts too.  The Kate Kane Batwoman.

Batwoman: Marvel Heroic Role-Playing

Batwoman is one of the more interesting characters to come out of DC's 52 comic from a few years back.  52 is also notable for giving us a new Question, Black Adam kind of sympathetic, and making Booster Gold actually kinda cool.  But it was Batwoman that made her debut here and the character has been crazy popular ever since.

This is not the old, original Bat-woman, set up only as a romance interest for Batman.  No. Not this one.

Kate Kane, is a rich heiress. A socialite. A member of the family that "owns everything else in Gotham that Bruce Wayne doesn't". But all of that is a façade.  Kate Kane is a lot of things. She is a daughter, once was a sister. She is soldier, she is openly gay and she it the Batwoman.

As an openly gay character in the comics Kate received a ton of publicity, and not just because of that, but because she was a "Bat".  The Batman family is royalty in the comics biz.  Do anything that close to the Batman and no matter what it is, it will be noticed.

While Kate of "52" seemed to be a somewhat closeted "lipstick" lesbian, Kate of the "Batwoman" series (one of DC's best selling female lead books) isn't.  She is openly out, she has tattoos, she is a former Army cadet with a promising career ahead of her till "Don't Ask, Don't Tell".  I talked about her backgroud a lot in my review of Elegy a while back.

One of the things I enjoy about this book is that her sexuality is part of person, not there to attract or tantalize readers. Look at the cover for the upcoming Batwoman #0.  Yes, she is very attractive, and yes you about about to get a boot to your face.  Kate is a soldier, first and always.

I choose to stat her up in Marvel Heroic Role-Playing for the same reasons I often choose this game. It is because it is a great comic-book game and a great tool for role-playing interpersonal drama.  Kate is great character and there is a lot going on in her life.  Her new relationship with Maggie Sawyer and her old relationship with Renee Montoya. Her strained relationship with her father.  Her significance to the Cult of Crime (who alternately want to worship her or sacrifice her).  Her relationships with the rest of the Bat family and here working with the D.E.O.  All of this stuff combines to make great character driven drama.  You could not for example simply replace Batwoman with Batman or Batgirl in these stories.   The are different stories.  In many cases Batgirl is too smart to get mixed up in same sort of cases and the Batman would punch out the bad guys and threaten everyone else.  Kate is not as strong as Bruce, or as smart as Barbara.  So she has to be more dedicated and more tenacious.

Here she is, in her Marvel Heroic Role-Playing format.

The Batwoman

"The bat they shine in the sky... civilians think it's a call for help. The bad guys think it's warning. But it's more than that. It's something higher. It's a call to arms... I've found my way to serve."

Name: Batwoman
ID: Katherine "Kate" Kane (secret)
Affiliations: Solo d10, Buddy d8, Team d6 (Currently she is solo, she has worked with father and Flamebird before. She is best though when she has someone to work with, even if she prefers to be alone)

Found my Way to Serve - Kate sees herself as a soldier in a war against crime. She applies all her discipline and training to this service.
Out Lesbian - while not out as Batwoman, this does affect her mental attitude. She had to stay true to herself, even if it meant costing her everything she had worked for.
Rich Heiress - what Kate does costs a lot of money. Also her "role" as the rich heiress is a good cover.

Power Sets
Next Level Training d8
Kate sees herself as soldier still, this is the next level of training for her.
Enhanced Senses d8
Enhanced Reflexes d8
Enhanced Stamina d8
Speed d6

SFX: Effort.  Spend 1pp to up a die in NLT power.
SFX: Second Wind. Before using a NLT Power move physical stress to Doom Pool and step Power up +1
SFX: Immunity. Spend 1 pp to ignore stress, trauma or complications of a physical nature.
Limit: Exhausted.

Uniform of the Bat d8
This is not a costume for Kate. It is her uniform, the ideals she believes in.  And the boots do not have heals on them!
Gadgets/Utility Belt d8
Body Armor d8
Batarangs (attack) d8
Swingline d8

SFX: Focus
SFX: Area Attack. Target multiple opponents
Limit: Gear

Acrobatics Expert d8
Crime Expert d8
Military Expert d8
Menace Expert d8
Combat Master d10

"I'm a Goddamned Solider!"
1xp when you first enter a mission.
3xp when your loyalties to those you serve with are called into question
10xp when you must abandon your loyalties for the sake of the mission or visa-versa.

My Past Haunts Me
1xp when you first interact with your Father, Cousin Bette/Flamebird or something to do with your sister.
3xp when a member of the Cult of Crime recognizes you as the Twice Named Daughter of Caine
10 xp  when you have to defeat Alice to accomplish the mission, or abandon the mission to save your Father or Cousin.

Compared to my Unisystem build I think this is rather nice.
I have done other builds for MHRP as well:

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