Knight in Shoddy Armor
PLOTEver since the incident with Robin, Batman worked alone. That's how it'd been for the last several years. Time and again, he collaborated with James Gordon and the Gotham City Police, but when it came to crime fighting, the bat was a solo act. Alfred often told him that it didn't have to be this way, that what happened wasn't his fault. But Bruce was as stubborn as he was rich. Once he'd made up his mind, there was little that could change it.
But one night, Bruce just pushed his luck too far. In a battle with longtime foe Bane, the bat was broken. His spine was practically snapped in two. Initially, Bruce held out hope that he would be back in action within a few months, maybe a year tops. But reality sank in within the first week. The damage was done and irreversible. Bruce Wayne was paraplegic. His days as Batman were effectively over.
Gotham's reactions varied. Civilians were crushed; the police, Jim especially, were dismayed; the criminal element celebrated. Without the shadow of Batman hanging over their heads, crime rose again and the police have been stretched thin. New measures have been taken by district attorney Harvey Dent to combat the crime wave, including founding and funding the Special Crimes Unit, an elite task force that specializes in dealing with the supervillains Batman used to keep in check.
But even with this new branch of law enforcement, Gotham is struggling to stay afloat. There aren't nearly enough police to answer the rampant violence that has infected the streets and mounting casualties have only complicated things. Entire sections of the city have been closed off by police into "condemned zones", where crime rates and violence are so high, they rarely venture into them unless absolutely necessary.
But the time has come for a different hero to take on the cowl. The legacy of Batman must continue, to instill fear in crime and give the city hope again. That person's name is Barbara Gordon.
This takes elements from various Batman properties, like Beware the Batman, Batman Beyond, some of the Arkham games, and even non-Batman properties like Condemned. Bruce Wayne would play the same role to Batgirl that he did to Terry in Batman Beyond, staying behind in the bat cave and feeding her advice. Since he's a paraplegic, he can't go out and fight crime again, but he does have wisdom and experience he can impart on a protege. Additionally, Batgirl can have a different approach to solving crime than Bruce. After all, her father is Commissioner Gordon, so maybe she takes after him more in terms of idealism and how to approach investigation. Gordon continues doing this job because he believes it's the right thing to do and nobody else will. Batman inspired her costume, but Gordon inspired her as a person. Honestly, that's such a good line from her in Harley Quinn's second season, it was the primary basis for this idea. It lends room to how Batgirl can differentiate herself from Batman.
Now, I do have an "opening arc" of sorts roughly panned out, which details Barbara's transition into Batgirl in this universe, how she meets Bruce, and so on. We can still put our noggins together and conjure up new details as we go, but when it comes to the general idea, I think I've got something solid.
For Batgirl's initial career, I think it would be best that she faces off against some obscure or lower tier Batman rogues, such as Professor Pyg, Victor Zsasz, and Anarky. As she gains more experience, she can go on to face the big names. After all, she has to start small, you have to learn how to walk before you can run. In her case, she has to learn how to deal with normal opponents before squaring up against supervillains. There will be some reimagining of characters here and there, but rest assured they will be the characters you recognize them to as.
Now, to get some quick guidelines out of the way:
- You're going to have to be 18 and up. I am more comfortable roleplaying with those who are in the same age range as me.
- This is a casual to advanced roleplay, so I will need at least one paragraph from you. Three to five full sentences should be sufficient space to write out something that I can work with. Likewise, I will be sure to write out enough so that you can work off it, too. I will set the scene, enhance the atmosphere, go into depth on how characters are feeling, what they're thinking, all that good stuff roleplayers love to read.
- We can roleplay via thread or PM, whichever you prefer. Unfortunately, Discord isn't exactly ideal for roleplays involving paragraphs, because of the rather low character limit. So, I'm afraid Discord's not in the cards!
- This doesn't have to be all doom and gloom. Yes, the setting I've described above is dire and quite depressing, but that doesn't mean it can't have some charm or humor to it. Plus, nonstop dark and gritty induces apathy, and nothing kills a roleplay like apathy! Take shows like Harley Quinn or even Batman: The Brave and the Bold. They embrace fun, humorous tones to balance the more serious stuff. To put it simply, it's serious when it needs to be, but there's room for some light hearted fun, as well. Even if it's of the black comedy variety.
- Will there be OCs? Short answer, no. Long answer, this is strictly canon only. All of the characters will be established characters who have appeared in some form of Batman or DC media. They might have slight alterations as all different versions of characters do, but they will be established characters nonetheless.
- Crossovers? Again, no. I like a Batman story to strictly be a Batman story. So, there will be no cameos from Superman, Wonder Woman, the Justice League, or any of their own villains for that matter.
- Is this long-term? This can, indeed, be a long-term story. However, I like to roleplay with an arc structure, which allows us to tell several stories that can conclude on their own, but may also have a long-running story within them. That way, if we do end up stopping for whatever reason, there's a higher chance we can finish an arc, then leave it at that. But if we want to continue, we can start another adventure. So, an episodic feel.
- I don't much care if you're a guy, gal, or whatever you identify as in real life. But I am looking for someone to play Batgirl in this, since she is the character who will be exploring this setting and you'll be following the story through her eyes. I'll play several characters like Bruce Wayne, Alfred, Gordon, Harvey Dent, and so on. I have ideas for plenty of them, but if there's some else you want to play, we can talk it out in the planning stage!
- This may be obvious, but you'll have to be comfortable with writing action sequences. This is a Batman story, after all, so no one is expecting the villains to just talk things out! Unless you're Hugo Strange and really want to prod someone's head.
- To comply with site rules, any young characters will be aged up. Barbara's age varies from version to version, but for the sake of making this easy, she'll be eighteen here.
- Character development is a huge deal here. Bruce Wayne is jaded, cynical, and a man who has lost a lot of his old self. He has to learn to accept his current position and embrace the prospect of a successor. There are plenty of story beats that have yet to be explored. What exactly happened with Robin? Will Harvey Dent become Two-Face? Where's the Joker in all of this? Well, you won't know unless you go into the story!
- Also, this is another pretty obvious rule, but one I will state anyway, no god modding. Yes, it has happened before and yes, it's irritating when it does. Being perfect and invincible all of the time doesn't make for good tension and doesn't feel good for the one on the receiving end of it. I will make every attempt to be fair with you and I ask that you extend the same courtesy!
- There will be no sudden snatching control from other characters. While there is a general storyline that we will follow, I won't dictate what your character does every step of the way and how they should feel. Likewise, I don't want you to do the same to me, so no Bruce Wayne suddenly becoming chummy and walking on his own two feet, as amusing and miraculous as that sounds. That being said, we do have to keep characters, well, in-character. It's a balance we have to strike.
CONCLUSIONAlright, I think that covers everything! If you're interested in diving into this rabbit hole Gotham has become and wish to embark on a different kind of adventure, feel free to DM me and we can discuss things further! In the meantime, thank you for reading and have a pleasant day!