Introducing the Batman Irregulars

Our heroes have been sent by Batman to investigate tales of a Vampire stalking the streets of Metropolis, and Superman is nowhere to be found. They heroes are reserve members of Batman Incorporated, and eager to prove their worth in their first mission as a team.

This is a one-shot adventure to test the waters in the world of DC Adventures. The current Batman Incorporated storyline is a perfect starting point for what might become an ongoing campaign. In our version, Batman has set out to appoint representatives in each major city to operate as a part of the Batman franchise. In addition, he has created numerous reserve squads of Batman Irregulars that are made up of superheroes who are on probation, or who don’t have any particular ties to any one city or location. These are used and sent wherever they are needed, as required.

Each member of Batman Incorporated gains access to a network of training, resources & information, and in return Batman gets to boss them around and show up whenever he feels like it. A pretty sweet deal, all in all.

But first, we need some characters. I talk the players into trying out the Quickstart Random Character Generator from the GM Kit, and it’s a hit. 25 minutes later we have five characters ready to play, each one entirely random and utterly unique. To put this into context – this is Mutants & Masterminds, a system that rates pretty high on the crunch-and-complexity scale. Chargen usually requires a couple of hours with a laptop in a darkened room, in full expectation of a lifetime of tweaks and revisions down the line. Don’t get me wrong – I love M&M character generation as it’s an endlessly fascinating mini-game in its own right – but 25 minutes for 5 characters start to finish is comparable to rolling up an old school D&D party, not a bunch of Mutants & Masterminds superheroes!

For this post I’ll outline each character in turn with the keywords created by the GM Kit in bold. Each one of these turns into a fragment of the character sheet that steadily fills in before your eyes. The end result is a perfect Power Level 10, 150 point character every time. All the players had to do is add a name and choose two Complications, and their freshly squeezed hero was ready to play. I’ll reveal their full character sheets over the next few blogposts as I write more about the game session. Consider this a foretaste…….

Doc Pliable is a Shapeshifting Stretcher who (like Reed Richards from the Fantastic Four) stretch his limbs into extraordinary shapes and lengths. Unlike Reed though, he’s no genius but an Everyman kind of guy, a Smart Alec Explorer and Researcher who ate the wrong vine leaves whilst on an expedition in the Amazon Basin. His explorer streak means he is motivated by Thrills and he has picked up at least one Enemy (another explorer, no doubt) along the way. Appearance: Plastic Man in a pith helmet and safari suit.

Overclock is a Gimmick-based Gadgeteer and Tinkerer who is obsessed with getting the absolute most performance out of everything – including himself. His body is laced with wires, chips and random copper tubes that are part of his self-inflicted Biological Overclocking experiments, and he is equiped with a personal Force Field and Energy Protector Device that he is constantly tinkering with. As a Polymath and Investigator, Overclock acts as the brains of the team. He is motivated by his Research, but can come across as remote and distanced, almost inhuman. Appearance: Steampunk cyborg.

Rough Diamond is an Ex-Military goon who gained the attention of the Advanced Weaponry Division thanks to his Quick wits, Sharp Mind and Team Player nature. Their experiments Mutated him into a diamond encrusted beast who can turn into a Solid Form of pure diamond. He has Super Stamina, Thick Skin and Life Support, and his rough carapace is like Hitting a Brick Wall (anyone who punches him takes damage too!). He can hit the ground causing a Shockwave or Foot Stomp to create a tremor in a line. He yearns for Acceptance, and feels Prejudice because of his appearance wherever he turns. Appearance: The Thing from the FF, made of diamond.

Johnny Cool is study in opposites. He is a Hotheaded Energy Controller with Cold Energy Control. He can coat himself in ice, fire shards of ice or wield one as a weapon, absorb heat from the surroundings or create an area of intense cold, and even use objects at sub-zero temperature (such as telephone cable in winter) as teleport conduits. He is naturally Aggressive, outgoing and Popular yet in the thick of battle surprisingly Disciplined. Johnny is motivated by Recognition, but suffers Power Loss in areas of intense heat. Appearance: Iceman from X-Men wearing shades

Mudpuppet is the nickname (which she hates) of Sally Hill, Ritualist with the ability to shape and summon earth creatures to do her bidding. She is a Summoner who can call a huge shambling golem-like mound of earth or mould the ground into crude objects and walls. She suffers Power Loss when there is no natural earth up to 100′ beneath her, and possesses a dark Secret that is yet to be revealed. Appearance: Drab browns and greens with sticks in her hair and mud on her face.

There you have it. One team: The Batman Irregulars.

I like ‘em.

What do you think?

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4 Responses

  1. Neil Ford says:

    I love random superhero generation, and it seems that the system here has produced some really cool characters. Looking forward the the follow up posts.

    If I didn’t already have too much on my gaming plate, I’d br tempted to look at DC Adventures based on this.

    – Neil.

    • greywulf says:

      From what we’ve seen so far, the characters aren’t as random-crazy as you could get with Classic Marvel RPG. Your hero will generally have a consistent power-set, attitude and skill-set but the occassional oddity is bound to crop up.

      I guess that’s why we’re finding it works particularly well with the DC universe where things tend to follow a more logical pattern, with just the occassional curve ball being tossed in for good measure.

  2. Sayge says:

    Now I am really curious about this generator if a bit of randoms and some imagination can come up with characters like that. But I still find it difficult to fully embrace M&M3e.

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