An Image of Batman Maintained on the web on,
copyright Warner Brothers The
(almost) all Batman(tm) game based on an idea that may have originated with
Don Ross


By Lee Rosenberg, Sharon Tripp, and Scott David Gray. But based on an idea that may have originated with Don Ross.

The (almost) all Batmantm game based on an idea that may have originated with Don Ross is a Live Action Role Playing (LARP) game. Each player in the game is given a character to portray. Each character has her/his own goals and personality. In this game there are no winners or losers. Though some characters may have 'goals', actual success at attaining the goals is no reflection on the player's ability. (For example, an actor is playing Shakespeare's Hamlet rather poorly if by the end of his performance the tragic prince is still alive....)

The (almost) all Batmantm game based on an idea that may have originated with Don Ross is based on a simple premise. It is an evening in Gotham, and there are many many characters all in the same place who happen to be dressed up as Batmantm.

The villains in Gotham City have promised that tonight they will kill Batmantm at the Penguin's "Iceberg Lounge" Casino. Expecting that their favorite hero would willingly walk into such a trap, many citizens of Gotham decided to protect the dark knight by coming to the Iceberg Lounge dressed at Batmantm themselves, so the villains don't know who the real Batmantm is. Well, in order that they not stick out, the villains are dressing up as Batmantm too.

Read Today's Gotham Gazette for more information.

If you know that you want to play, you should:

  1. Fill out a casting questionnaire so we have a better sense what role to give you.
  2. Make, obtain, or fake, some costuming appropriate to your character. Note that name badges will consist of a picture of the costume that your character is wearing. So if you don't have the time, money, or inclination to come in full cape and cowl, don't worry -- just wear all black.
  3. Review the combat rules, below to understand that part of the game.
  4. Read today's Gotham Gazette for more information.
  5. Be sure to come to the game on time with your costuming. If you learn that there is any chance that you may be unable to attend after all, please inform us as soon as possible.

Please fill out this questionaire if you are interested in playing one of the Batmentm or other characters in The (almost) all Batmantm game based on an idea that may have originated with Don Ross.

Mailing Address: 
Be sure to commit to a run, or the GMs won't take your questionnaire seriously!

Rank each of the following statements from 1 (disagreement) to 10 (agreement).
I am good at making up extemporaneous rhymes / songs.
I prefer to have my character's goals set and spelled out.
I prefer to be involved in dramatic or emotional scenes.
I prefer problem-solving and intellectual challenges.
I prefer acting, and realizing the subtle aspects of a character -- possibly at the expense of dramatic scenes or problem solving.
I enjoy foiling other characters (backstabbing allies, or foiling rivals).
I like characters with split personalities or dual identities.

Say the phrase "I'm Batman" looking at yourself in the mirror. How did it feel?

Which character(s) from the DC universe would you like to portray, and why? The why part of this question is very important!

Given that your character may be of either gender, and any would-be liaison may be of either gender, how would you feel about a romance plot?

Which of these sound effects?

Which of the Batmantm legends are you familiar with?
The 1960s TV show
Batman(tm) the Animated Series
The Batman(tm) Movies
The Comics
Popular Myth
One or more of the
Batman LARPs
Batman(tm)? Huh? What's that?

What else would you like us to know before assigning your character?

Basic Combat

Each player has an envelope containing combat cards. Combat cards include combat moves (such as Biff!, Kapow!, or Thwack!) and lose cards (identifiable by the little swirling stars, and the fact that they say "loses" on them).

When a combat is initiated, the attacker plays a combat move against his target. (In order to initiate a combat, you should be within five feet or so of your target.) Combat consists of a series of moves and countermoves. You must trump your opponent's attack, then he must trump yours, and so on, until one of the combatants finds he cannot trump the attack played against him ? at which point he must play a "lose" card.

The attacker is the person making a combat move. The target is the person whom the combat move is being played on. Note that who is the attacker and who is the target will be constantly shifting as the battle goes on.

Example: Jana decides to attack Zan: she Biffs him. Zan, the target of the attack, must then play a card which beats that move, or be defeated. Zan pulls out a gun and responds to Jana's Biff with a Bang (which, according to his card, beats a Biff). Now the tables are turned, and Jana is the target of Zan's attack. She must counter with a move that will trump the Bang, or be defeated.

When you play a card, it is discarded and cannot be used again in that combat.

Combat is fast-paced. It should not take more than 30 seconds to choose your response to an attack (and generally should take considerably less). If you take an excessive amount of time to choose a card, your opponent or a wandering GM may require you to play a card or forfeit.

One-on-one combat is simple; the combatants simply trade off attacks, until one of them discovers he has no counter for the other's move. Whose "turn" it is is self-explanatory. When multiple combatants are involved, this can get confusing, however, so we instead describe the progression of combat in terms of rounds.

Group Combat

In the first round, the person starting the combat declares whom he is attacking, and plays his initial move against his target. If there are other people around, they may also involve themselves in the combat. If you are in the room where a fight takes place, and not currently a combatant:

  1. You may join in the existing fight by countering a combat move.
  2. You may attempt to leave the room, at a normal walking pace.
  3. You may intercept someone attempting to leave the room, again, at a normal walking pace.
  4. You may initiate an attack against someone not currently being attacked.
So, if you wish to engage in combat, you might do so by intervening in an existing combat, attempting to trump an attack that's being made against your ally. Or, you may initiate a new attack against someone who is not currently engaged in combat.

If multiple people attempt to counter an attack, the target's defense automatically takes precedence over that of any ally's. The move attempted by the ally is not expended, and simply goes back into his hand.

In order to join in a combat, you must be in the same room as the combatants when the fight first breaks out. No one new will be allowed into the room until after the fight is over. While someone may flee a location where a fight has broken out (assuming no one stops that person), he won't be able to return with help until after the fight is over -- oftentimes with the combatants having disappeared, only the evidence of a fight remaining.

Example: Zan and Jana are facing off against Raven, Lark, and Jay.

Round 1: The cocktail waitresses, having been tipped poorly, start the fight. Raven attacks Zan with a Biff, and Lark attacks Jana with a Crash. Jay hangs back, as there is no one for her to attack; both of her potential opponents are already engaged.

Round 2: Zan counters with a Biff of his own. Jana counters with a Bam.

Round 3: Raven counters Zan?s Biff with a Bang. Lark, however, has no defense against the Bam. Fortunately for her, Jay does, and jumps into the fray, countering Jana?s Bam with a Kapow.

In Round 4, Zan will have to counter Raven?s attack, whilst Jana will need to counter Jay?s. Lark meanwhile bides her time, waiting for a future opening to attack either Zan or Jana.

After Combat

A combat is over once no one makes any further moves to attack. At that point, players should gather all their expended combat cards back into their hands.

Anyone defeated in combat is knocked out, and at the mercy of the final victor(s) of the battle. Once the combat is over, the victor can do what he will with the loser -- such as hauling him off to jail, putting him in a death trap, or drawing silly pictures on his face.

If you have been knocked out, and your ally wins the fight -- well, that could mean you're free and clear, or it could mean that you'll end up in a death trap yourself, depending on the trustworthiness of said ally....

For more information on Batmantm

Other links that you may wish to review

This game is a Subterranean Homesick Games production.

Batman is a registered trademark of DC Comics. But this game is satire / parody, so we can make use of DC's intellectual property here. So nyah.

Don Ross was not consulted about our use of his name. We don't even know if this idea originated with him. But his name seems to draw players (at least in the North East). Besides, this remains satire. See above note.