Tag Archives: Batman

The First Wave RPG in draft

I think I’ve made it pretty obvious that I’m a fan of DC’s First Wave comic series.  Well, I’m a pretty big fan of the concept because I am such a lover of the hero pulps.  The series itself wasn’t executed that well.


The Doctor is in.

I’ve previously posted write-ups of Batman and Doc Savage using the Savage Worlds core rules and the Thrilling Tales RPG.  When I created them, I just picked the abilities that felt right for that particular incarnation of the character.  Upon doing the math, they would be well in to Legendary rank which would not reflect how they are written in the comics.  I then re-created them using the rules from the Super Powers Companion and I was much happier with the results.  However, I didn’t care for how the extra levels of Attributes, Skills, and Edges that were bought are actual powers (with appropriate training type Trappings).  Not a big deal really but I would like a cleaner way of doing it.


He’s got powers.

The First Wave universe doesn’t have any major super powers (I’ll get to that later) so I have decided to go with the term Build Points.  Build Points are a pool of additional points used to purchase Attributes, Skills, and Edges. The newly purchased Traits are added directly to the character sheet for a much cleaner look.

A player would create a character the standard way via the core rules and Thrilling Tales, then use the builds points to further increase his Traits.  Build Points are spent just like Power Points from the Super Powers Companion.  This gives the feel of a ‘non-powered superhero game’.  This front loads new characters with greater abilities and still makes advancement worth something.

There are some characters in the First Wave universe that have minor super powers.  The first that springs to mind is The Avenger with his face molding ability.  If the GM allows it, a player can have pulp appropriate powers by purchasing the Arcane Background (Super Powers) Edge.  The power to cloud men’s minds and the previously mention face molding ability are suitable to a pulp campaign but should be very rare.  A power like flight wouldn’t fit the campaign (unless it’s a piece of gear like a rocket pack) nor would most other innate super abilities.  Work with the GM to determine what would fit the feel of the campaign.

How To Create a First Wave Character

  1. Create a hero using the rules from the Savage Worlds Deluxe Edition and Thrilling Tales RPG.
  2. Determine how many Build Points you get (WORKING ON IT).
  3. If powers are wanted, work with your GM.
  4. Purchase new Traits (and/or powers). The cost listed are the same as the Super Powers Companion. 2 pt’s per advancement for Attributes, 1 pt per level of Skill and 2 pt’s per Edge.
  5. If purchasing powers, use the Super Powers Companion and appropriate Trappings.


And that’s pretty much it.  The only thing I need to figure out is how many Build Points to assign.  The Super Powers Companion says 15 points for Pulp level and 30 for street level.  Since most points won’t be spent on powers, I’m thinking about splitting the difference and giving players around 22 Build Point.  Also since there are these added points I wouldn’t want a power gamer to jump in and max out his Attributes at d12, so a limitation of no more than one Attribute at d10 max at character generation is allowed.

I’m going to re-build my previous Batman and Doc Savage write-ups using the Build Points and see where that gets me.

As always, a work in progress.

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The Batman – First Wave Write-Up (Thrilling Tales/Savage Worlds RPG)


Real Name: Bruce Wayne

Base of Operations: Gotham City (near Los Angelas, CA)

Occupation: Businessman/Investor
Height: 6’2″
Weight: 210lbs
Eyes: Black
Hair: Blue
Marital Status: Single

Group Affiliation: None


Attributes: Agility: d10, Smarts: d8, Spirit: d12, Strength: d10, Vigor d10

Charisma:+2 , Pace: 6, Parry: 8, Toughness: 7

Skills: Climbing: d8, Fighting: d10, Intimidation: d10, Investigation: d10, Lockpicking: d12, Notice: d12, Pilot: d10, Shooting: d10, Stealth: d12, Streetwise: d10, Swimming: d6, Tracking: d10.

Edges: Alertness, Attractive, Block, Bring It On!*, Charismatic, Connections, Combat Reflexes, Filthy Rich, Investigator, Thief, Two-Fisted.

* Denotes an Edge from Thrilling Tales

Hindrances: Heroic, Vow (….)


M1911’s (x2)
Range: 12/24/48  Damage: 2d6+1  RoF: 1 Shots: 8+1  Notes: AP 1, Semi-Auto

Utility Belt
Smoke Capsules: MBT (-6 to sight based rolls)

Grapple Gun:
Bat-line (As per Swinging, Ensnare)



Bat Cycle:

Hang Glider Cape:


Still a work in progress!

I decided to not use any superhero genre rules and to go with a strictly hero pulp style write up using the Thrilling Tales 2nd Edition (Savage Worlds) by Adamant Entertainment.  The Edges and incapacitation rules presented in this supplement are fantastic and capture the feel of the hero pulps that First Wave is based on.

This is a young, somewhat inexperienced Batman who is still mostly unknown by the general populace.  Even as a new hero Batman has high traits and plenty of Edges.  He isn’t quite as dark as his Earth-1 counterpart and most notably uses twin .45’s like many of the heroes in pulps do.  He also doesn’t have an over abundance of gadgets.  No Batarangs, Batmobiles or even BatGyro’s make an appearance, just his .45’s, a smoke grenade and a couple frag grenades(!).  He has no qualms with shooting back at the bad guys or using one as a shield to protect himself from enemy gunfire.  His attitude on killing is much like his very early Golden Age appearances.


DC’s First Wave written up in Two-Fisted Tales RPG

I love pulp, comics books and role playing games!  When I created my Classic Site back in the early 90’s it was to showcase my character write-ups and house rules.  Being a huge comic book fan, 99% of those write-ups were superheroes using a superhero based RPG system.  DC tried getting into pulp comics in 2010 using their street level heroes as well as licensing some popular pulp characters.  I thought I would try to do what I’ve done in the past and showcase them as write ups but using a pulp based rules system instead.

First Wave #2

I was happy to see DC make an attempt at getting pulp comics going with their First Wave series but sadly the spin off books were quite bad and they neglected to launch a pulp Batman one!  Still the Batman/Doc Savage Special and the original First Wave mini series were a lot of fun to read.

The concept of DC’s pulp world has no super powered beings in it and uses a blend of licensed pulp characters like Doc Savage and the Avenger along with Batman, The Blackhawks and even Will Eisner’s The Spirit.  The time period it took place in was just as blended.  Dirigibles and 1940’s looking cars were seen along with cell phones and flat screen TV’s.

Brian Azzarello wrote the special and the mini series to set the world in motion.  Sadly First Wave ended before it uh, ended…  In other words it was pretty much cancelled before the last issue came out.

World's Finest

This World's Finest

The Two-Fisted Tales RPG by Precis Intermedia Games is an ENnie nominated Role Playing Game made for the pulp genre.  It features an easy to learn, fast paced rules system that scales perfectly with DC’s First Wave.  My goal is to create character write-ups using the Two-Fisted Tales rules set for Batman, Doc Savage, The Avenger, The Spirit and others.  This will be a work in progress so stay tuned.