I should have loved Batman: Arkham Knight, but I didn’t.
A few days ago I wrote about how I’m looking to build a new gaming group. I threw out a handful of ideas of games and scenarios I’d be interested in, all of which focused around elements of Lovecraftian horror. The next day I published an article about all the different Gotham games I’ve run in the past. I wrapped up the article with a brief bit about a game called “Gotham County” which blended Batman and Lovecraft. Clearly, I’m not the only one with this mashup in my head. Today, I saw this video:
This has got my brain working a bit more on running a Gotham City game in the style of True Detective. More than just introducing Lovecraftian elements to Gotham City I think the mantra of ambiguity presented in True Detective is one that could be very well translated into Gotham City. There are a lot of fantastical elements in Batman Mythos, but what if we approached things through a lens similar to the one that True Detective looked at the King in Yellow.
Another thought that has rattled around in my brain is using Clinton R. Nixon’s Paladin system and how unhappy I was with the pitch I presented in my earlier article. Sure, a Blade Runner game would be fun but I was more looking for something interesting to do with Paladin and less interested in that specific setting. When my brain started clicking on the World’s Greatest True Detective idea I came back and started thinking about Paladin again. There is a setting presented called “The Badge of Justice” which provides rules for non-supernatural powered characters. I think it wouldn’t be hard to adjust that for Gotham City.
With these ideas and thoughts I wanted to create a new pitch for my potential gaming group, one that I’m dubbing True Gotham. The concept is to have the players investigating the crimes and characters to uncover who they are. For example, when Poison Ivy shows up there are rumors that she can control plant life and emit pheromones that fogs the mind. The players will then be forced to investigate her crime scenes, dig into her past, and search for answers to these supernatural elements of the Batman mythos. And like True Detective, the goal is to never prove or disprove these strange phenomena, but simply present the mythology.
Setting: Gotham City
Continuity: Starting towards the end of Year One, shortly after Batman’s arrival.
Pitch: The GCPD has put together a Batman Task Force. Authorized to investigate any and all crime scenes contaminated by the Batman. The cases that they see are, at times, beyond belief. Members of the task force will have to separate the truth behind these characters from the myth that being built around them.