4E Batman

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Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

I am thinking of trying to come up with the best Batman analogue that 4E allows.

Here are the requirements that I think is core to Batman that should be in the character:

Stealth
Melee Combat effectiveness (preferably hand to hand, but weapon is fine)
Gadgets (obvisouly this is either magical items or an array of effects that can be RP'd as gadgets)
Intelligence (trained skills that would match the World's Greatest Detective: Perception, Nature, Religion, Arcana, Dungeoneering, Insight)

So I was thinking either Monk or Rogue as one half of a hybrid and then trying maybe Wizard or Artificer or Sorceror as the other half?

Any advice would be helpful. Thanks.

Gotta go with a monk/wizard MC rouge. Beyond that, idk.
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Is there a way to cut down on taking opportunity attacks as a wizard? If I wanted to be in melee all the time, for instance.
staff expertise.

also i don't know if you've seen Erik Scott de Bie's recent novels but he has a character in them that's very 4e batman. i think he uses an avenger build of some sort.
hmm...to me monk/artificier makes more sense than monk/wizard, possibly with the monk's unarmed strike and leather armor profiecency considering he wears body armor
The concept of Batman has him filling a great deal of areas, so I suppose its really about which type of batman you are envisioning.  

Monk/Ranger makes a perfect highly mobile crowd controlling/annihilating spandex/leather wearing batman who excels at both unarmed attacks (takedowns) and ranged attacks (batarangs).  Though this batman can't take many hits, he can take down minions and villains alike.  Dex/Str/Wis/Int/Con/Cha.  

Blackguard/Rogue makes an excellent fear-inducing batman who focuses heavily on combat advantage and demoralizing enemies.  Though this batman is slightly less agile,  his advanced armor and additional hp allow him to take a bit more punishment that batman is known for being able to take.  Str/Cha/Dex/Con/Wis/Int

Or really, any hybrid/mc combination of those 4 classes work well.  They are all based on str/dex/wis/cha on some level, and generally have high mobility/stealth.  The blackguard adds to this with some combat flare.



One of the biggest problems with being a Samurai Ninja Saviour of Gotham, is that all of Batman's physical abilities are balanced.  He KO's tons of enemies (mostly minions), almost always dodges attacks, and can withstand attacks from Bane, Croc, Amazo, etc.

Likewise, being the "World's Greatest Detective" who is excellent at diplomacy and intimidation (not to mention bruce wayne's charm), I would also consider all of Batman's mental abilities to be balanced as well.  


However, any form of charop might clashes with batman's well-rounded traits.  Here are some things to take into consideration thematically:

- Batman is often communicating with Alfred, Robin or the Oracle for information.  He even sometimes directly streams data from the batcomputer.  Metagame:  Batman's intelligence can be slightly lowered if he is able to have access to these NPC's.  Also, you can take skill feats to represent batmans all encompassing knowledge.

- Batman often attacks from darkness, and performs fast, agile attacks.  As well, he is trained in various jutsus, meaning he understands attacking with energy and finesse can be as powerful (and in some cases more powerful) than simply using raw strength.
Metagame:  Batman's strength does not need to be optimized, depending on your build.  Dex/Wis or Dex/Cha powers can help compensate.



 
Awesome post. This gives me a lot to think on.
staff expertise.

also i don't know if you've seen Erik Scott de Bie's recent novels but he has a character in them that's very 4e batman. i think he uses an avenger build of some sort.



Never read them. Quick Google tells me the character's name is Gedrin Shadowbane, a former rogue turned paladin. Are the books any good? A rogue turned paladin is interesting, although a bit light on the "gadget" flavor.
staff expertise.

also i don't know if you've seen Erik Scott de Bie's recent novels but he has a character in them that's very 4e batman. i think he uses an avenger build of some sort.



Never read them. Quick Google tells me the character's name is Gedrin Shadowbane, a former rogue turned paladin. Are the books any good? A rogue turned paladin is interesting, although a bit light on the "gadget" flavor.



they're great, some of my favorite forgotten realms novels actually.
I still see artificier in there for all his gadgets, but we could always use assassin for his combination of intimadation, stealth and fighting power
Any character good at the Thievery skill (which includes lockpicking and trap-disarming) can be considered to be a tinkerer with various gizmos.  They need not be magical in nature; he is the god-damned Batman after all.  You could also give him the alchemist theme for an added scientific flair without going full artificer.
Any character good at the Thievery skill (which includes lockpicking and trap-disarming) can be considered to be a tinkerer with various gizmos.  They need not be magical in nature; he is the god-damned Batman after all.  You could also give him the alchemist theme for an added scientific flair without going full artificer.



hmmm...good point, maybe an assassin with the alchemist feat could do the job. Possibly with that feat in dragon magizine 404 that gives you the monk's unarmed strike considering that batman isn't really all about killing.
good point, maybe an assassin with the alchemist feat could do the job. Possibly with that feat in dragon magizine 404 that gives you the monk's unarmed strike considering that batman isn't really all about killing.


When it comes to batman's equipment, I'm sure you could just reword some of the flavour text to suit your needs.  The last campaign I led took place in the future, where one of the players played a cybernetic.  Rather than his lightning bolts being made of arcane magic, he had an augment which allowed him to do it.

Maybe instead of having actual smoke pellets, you have an encounter power which allows you make a stealth check even when being viewed.


That said, another good build would be a reflavoured Avenger/Monk.

Avenger is Wis/Dex/Int, and is essentially a Rogue with a Paladin's righteous/divine flavour (the righteousness is perfect for batman, and the int works well for the detective part you're interested).
Centered Breath Monk is Dex/Wis, and gives you the multi-target combat and movement that batman can pull off.

Reflavour the divine powers you choose as being tech based powers.  Instead of Avenging Shackles, you have a Bola or something.  The alchemist feat also works well, alot of good tools and potions can be found there.  Flashbangs, smoke pellets, blast patches, etc.
Ninja executioner with attack finesse and the alchemist theme (For his bat shark repelant).  Refluff the short sword as his fist/bracers, the shiruken as his batarangs, and the kusari gama as his grapling gun.  Done.

You have a stealthy, dexterous fighter, who uses gadgets, always has what he needs on hand, and can take down a great number of people easily.  (As long as most of them are minions. ;) ) 
If you can envision daggers and wrist razors as batarangs and bladed bracers, you could do it up as a dagger master rogue with the Alchemist theme and a MC monk feat.  Rogue lets you build a SAD character with solid ranged and melee attacks, so you could crank whatever stat you wanted to satisfy your detective requirements, and being human (and taking a MC feat) give you the extra skill training you'd need.
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My first thought was Avenger, but Batman shouldn't be a "singlemindedly track down a single target" guy.  He can beat one guy up, but he's especially good at taking on crowds (or at least, that's the version in my mind.  YMMV, as in all instances of building existing, nuanced characters in a limited system).  If you built him as an Avenger, Retribution seems appropriate, since it would punish the boss for trying to surround him with hordes of thugs, although not having high Dex seems like a shame.

I like the Executioner idea if you can make him strong enough to actually work well... it would be a shame to be gimpy, low damage Batman.  Monk and Rogue both sound like good options, and a Centered Breath monk could be the easiest flavor.  The Starblade Flurry feat would give you a perfect batarang throw, and as a CB monk it'll even slide an enemy around some.  Striker sub controller feels very Batman-y to me, and I'd suggest Rogue MC for a skill, one sneak attack, and possible a power swap.  The attacks you get out of Rogue have good flavor, and can help jack up your single target DPR for when Batman needs to go toe to toe with someone big and scary... 4e Bane would take lots of hits to drop.  But Kaganfindel's rogue idea is simpler and probably more optimal as a striker.  And Monk (or Thief, for that matter) has plenty of mobility tricks that will always get him right where he needs to be.  Heck, even the monk U2 that gives you one turn of flight makes a great dramatic drop from the shadows/grappling hook to high ground, and the monk at will that gives you a buffed jump for your movement is highly appropriate.

I really don't like Artificer for Batman.  It's got minimal melee support but generally wants to stay back, not much physical skill selection, most of its powers are more about manipulating energy than playing with gadgets, and it's a heavy buffing leader, which is about the last role I'd think of for Batman.  He can work in a group, certainly, but if he makes his allies do a better job, it's by distracting and unbalancing the bad guys, which rogue (and to some extent monk) powers are better for.
I was trying to make batman the other night with the character builder.

I think I ended up going Rogue|Ranger with Hybrid talent for Extra sneaky Rogue Style. the Scholar Theme to pile on the knowledge skills and multiclass wizard for rituals, to be his "prepared for anything" ability. Rogue powers focused on melee, Ranger powers are ranged, so he could focus on dex and mix it up. 
Needs a fair amount of re-flavoring, but would a Seeker/Monk work well? Being able to throw weapons and use them in melee seems a fit. In addition, you gain the control aspect of slowing, immobilizing, and limiting enemies as Batman often does as the police roll in to the bad guy tied up in the corner of an alley.

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How about hybrid Avenger/Monk with the Alchemist theme and enought Int to MC artificer and get the feat that lets you make alchemical items that are higher than your level. Might even be a little bit optimal actually. I'll look into it...