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The Justest Men


Darren Watts
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The All-Stars game for 2014 is inspired by a failed proposal Steve Englehart once sent to DC called "The Tragedy of Batman, the Prince of Denmark." We have little else beyond that to go on, but the mere existence of the title wormed itself into my brain until I had a What If? adventure positing that the iconic Justice League had all been created by William Shakespeare. Here, for example, is Prince Bruce of Gotham, whose father was mysteriously killed and then his ghost reappeared to him (as a bat in part of the vision, as a bone-white figure in a green cloak for the rest) to press him to solve his murder and avenge him. His mother, Queen Martha, remarried while Bruce was abroad, to a portly lord named Sir Oswald of Cobblepot. Bruce has begun his search by terrorizing the underworld of Gotham while dressed as a bat.

 

[cs]Prince Bruce of Gotham, aka “The Bat”

Val          Char       Cost       Roll         Notes

20           STR         10           13-          Lift 400 kg; 4d6 HTH damage [2]

20           DEX        20           13-

20           CON       10           13-

20           INT         10           13-          PER Roll 13-

20           EGO       10           13-

25           PRE        15           14-          PRE Attack:  5d6

 

7              OCV       20

7              DCV       20

3              OMCV   0

3              DMCV   0

5              SPD        30                           Phases:  3, 5, 8, 10, 12

 

8              PD          6                              Total:  14 PD (6 rPD)

6              ED           4                              Total:  12 ED (6 rED)

8              REC        4

40           END       4

13           BODY     3

40           STUN     10           Total Characteristics Cost:  176

 

Movement:        Running:              12m/24m

                                Swinging:             16m/32m

 

Cost       Powers END

10           Bat-Sword: HKA 1d6+1 (2-1/2d6 w/ STR) (OAF)                  2/4

5              Bat-knives: HKA 1/2d6 (1d6+1 w/ STR), RBOStr (+1/4); OAF (-1), 10 ch. (-1/4)                       0/2

8              Bat-Rope: Swinging 16m (OAF)

6              Bat Costume: Resistant Protection (3 PD/ 3 ED); OIF (-1/2)

4              Perching: Clinging (20 STR); Only To “Perch” (-1/2), Requires Climbing Roll (-1/2), No Resist (-1/4)

 

                Martial Arts: Fencing (Weapon Element Rapier is free)

                Maneuver           OCV       DCV       Notes (Damage Assumes STR)

3              Cut                         +2           +1           2.5dK

4              Disarm                  -1            +1           30 STR Disarm

4              Parry                     +2           +2           Block, Abort

3              Trip                        +2           -1            5d6 Strike, Target Falls

4              Void                       -              +5           Dodge, Abort

 

                Martial Arts: Brawling

                Maneuver           OCV       DCV       Notes 

4              Escape                  +0           +0           40 STR vs. Grabs

3              Grapple                                -1            -1            Grab 2 Limbs, 35 STR to hold

4              Pressure Point  -1            +1           2-1/2d6 NND

4              Strike                    +0           +2           7d6 Strike

4              +1 DC with Brawling

 

                Perks

15           Filthy Rich

5              Contact: Gordon 11-

5              FB: Prince of Gotham

5              Base: Cave beneath Stately Wayne Castle

 

                Talents

6              A Handsome Fellow: Striking Appearance +2/+2d6

6              Combat Luck (3 PD/ 3 ED)

 

                Skills

16           +2 HTH

6              +2 with Concealment, Shadowing and Stealth

3              Acrobatics 13-

3              Acting 14-

3              Breakfall 13-

3              Charm 14-

3              Climbing 13-

3              Concealment 13-

3              Contortionist 13-

3              Deduction 13-

3              Disguise 13-

3              Eavesdropping 13-

3              Fast Draw 13-

3              High Society 14-

3              Interrogation 14-

3              AK: Gotham 13-

3              KS: The Underworld 13-

3              Lockpicking 13-

3              Paramedics 13-

3              Persuasion 14-

3              PS: Prince 13-

3              Shadowing 13-

3              Stealth 13-

3              Streetwise 14-

2              WF: Common Melee

 

Total Powers & Skills Cost:  199

Total Cost:  375

 

300         Matching Complications (60)

15           DNPC: Queen Martha

10           Hunted: Watched By King Oswald

20           Psych Comp: Seeks Justice (Particularly His Father’s Killer) (Com, Tot)

15           Social Comp: Secret Identity (Freq., Major)

 

Total Complications Points:  60

Experience Points:  75

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Perhaps the king was murdered by Yorick, the albino court jester who dyed his hair green, at the behest of Sir Oswald. Prince Bruce's confidant Pennyworth witnessed the ghost with him. Sir Oswald enlists the aid of Prince Bruce's school friends, Bullock and Montoya, to convince him to settle down; things do not end well for them. The Chancellor at Wayne Castle is Lord Gordonius, whose daughter Lady Barbara had a crush on Prince Bruce; when he rebuffed her she attempted to drown herself; she failed but was left crippled. Her brother, Sir Jason the Odd, is incensed and seeks revenge on Prince Bruce. Faraday, newly crowned King of Norway, is visiting Gotham with his army.

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Fearing for his son's safety, King Henry entrusts the infant to be secretly raised by his most loyal retainer, the Earl of Kent. Unaware of his true heritage, the boy Hal falls in with a bad crowd of bandits and prostitutes, including the dissolute Sir Perry Whitestaff, formerly the king's herald who fell to disgrace. When Hal learns of his true heritage with his father's death, he must put aside his delinquent ways to lead the nation. The revelation of this previously unknown heir thwarts the ambition of the bald Lord Lancaster, who swears enmity against him.

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Years ago, on the summer solstice Queen Hippolyta of the Amazons dallied with King Theseus of Athens under the influence of the faerie queen Titania. As compensation for her entertainment, Titania granted the resulting daughter, Princess Diana, abilities beyond those of mortal women. Titania's jealous husband, the dwarf like King Oberon, granted magical powers to Scott Freeman, a liberated serf, who became known as the Master of Miracles. Oberon and Titania wage proxy battles of one - upsmanship through their respective champions.

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Duke Zataro of Milan had been deposed and exiled to a magical island with his young daughter Zatanda. Zataro wrested control of the island from the sorceress Tala, Queen of Evil, and learned magic (which he also taught to Zatanda). The duo were served by two magicallly-bound spirits: the angelic Zauriel, whom Tala had bound into a cloven pine, and the demonic Etrigan. Zataro retires back to Milan to reclaim his throne, but the naive Zatanda seeks out the Justest Men to learn more of this brave new world. She is accompanied by Zauriel and Etrigan, who are forced to obey her but have agendas (which naturally conflict with each other) of their own.

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I eagerly await your writeup of The Hulk: The Moor of Venice. Nobody acts prematurely like the big green guy. :D

I think there are some similarities between Dr. Bruce Banner/Hulk and Dr. Jeckyl/Mr. Hyde. In some incarnations Hyde even has superhuman powers.

Granted in most incranations Hyde is pretty much total evil, but still a point to start with. If it fits the whole idea of Mediaval Justice League Writeups.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hark--to the heavens turn thy gaze!

There be a sight that doth amaze!

Be it a bird, taken to its wing,

Or mayhap a falling star from the firmament doth fling?

Nay, 'tis a spectacle more like to overwhelm:

Tis Superman, strange visitor from a distant realm!

Swifter than a musket-ball in flight,

Stronger than a siege-engine's might.

Yet, unbeknownst to man or child

doth he affect a manner surpassing mild;

better thus to fight without surcease

to uphold Veracity, Honour, and England's peace!

 

 

 

post-12678-0-40865200-1391480261_thumb.jpg

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Fearing for his son's safety, King Henry entrusts the infant to be secretly raised by his most loyal retainer, the Earl of Kent. Unaware of his true heritage, the boy Hal falls in with a bad crowd of bandits and prostitutes, including the dissolute Sir Perry Whitestaff, formerly the king's herald who fell to disgrace. When Hal learns of his true heritage with his father's death, he must put aside his delinquent ways to lead the nation. The revelation of this previously unknown heir thwarts the ambition of the bald Lord Lancaster, who swears enmity against him.

 

Hal turns to God and the Bible for the courage to change his life and lead his country, and is inspired by the story of Samson. He devoutly prays to God for the strength to defend the people, and takes the vows of a Nazirite like Samson. God answers his prayer by bestowing the might of many men upon him.

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