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Old 10-21-2018, 11:40 PM   #1
Minuteman37
 
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Default Alfred Pennyworth, Batman's Ally or a function of his incredible Wealth?

Alfred is instrumental to Batmans success as a crime fighter and serves as his closest confidante and a surrogate father figure, but unlike the Robins, Commissioner Gordon or Barbara, Alfred is paid.

This raises the question, how exactly does one stat Batman in regards to his loyal buttler when regardless of his special set of skills it doesn't take much imagination to envision such an incredibly wealthy individual obtaining such good help. Batman having at least Multimillionaire 4 and all.

The question is two fold.
1. With just a plain reading of the rules what would you as a GM have a Batman PC do to obtain his Alfred?
2. As a GM what would you ultimately decide regardless of a strict interpretation of the rules?
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Old 10-21-2018, 11:51 PM   #2
mr beer
 
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Default Re: Alfred Pennyworth, Batman's Ally or a function of his incredible Wealth?

Alfred is an Ally IMO since he is so loyal. Most interpretations have him as occasionally useful but a small fraction of Batman's total CP. I would use the rules from one of the DF series for tiny value allies. It should cost 1 CP total for Batman to have an Unfazeable uber-butler Ally.
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Old 10-21-2018, 11:51 PM   #3
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Default Re: Alfred Pennyworth, Batman's Ally or a function of his incredible Wealth?

It really could go several ways but I would stat him as an Ally with a low frequency of appearance.
  1. He is Extremely loyal and capable, beynd most hirlings
  2. He does go into the field sometimes to rescue, deliver or otherwise aid batman
I would still pay him out of Cost of Living and that handles his more mundane appearances with the Ally Appearance rolls being only exceptional circumstances.
I might also just han him as a stand in for Serendipity instead of Ally.
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Old 10-22-2018, 01:16 AM   #4
Kelly Pedersen
 
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Default Re: Alfred Pennyworth, Batman's Ally or a function of his incredible Wealth?

I'd definitely make Alfred a "friendly NPC" advantage, rather than just being a function of wealth. However, rather than Ally, I'd make him a Contact. Specifically, I'd use the wildcard Contacts! rules from Supers (p. 65), which actually explicitly reference Alfred as an example.

He's not, in my opinion, active enough in the field to qualify as an Ally - I'd expect an Ally to come along on pretty much every adventure where their frequency of appearance came up, even if they were lower point-value than the PC. Instead, he's usually a source of information, advice, and moral support for Bruce, which are all much more in a Contact's area of speciality. And when he does go out in the field, he's typically there briefly, to rescue Bruce or provide just one favor, rather than as an ongoing presence. All of that says "Contact" to me.
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Old 10-22-2018, 04:00 AM   #5
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Default Re: Alfred Pennyworth, Batman's Ally or a function of his incredible Wealth?

He doesn't go in the field much but the variety of help and the loyalty make him an ally to me. In my Batman Continues I actually statted him out before I decided he was dead and he was 255 points. Batman was 1020 so not a small fraction. Bruce's total was a bit lower then it would have been when he was younger, the Continues part was that this was the 80s and Batman had been around since 1929 so he was 70. Which was why the PCs were the third generation and were just starting out.
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Old 10-22-2018, 08:57 AM   #6
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Default Re: Alfred Pennyworth, Batman's Ally or a function of his incredible Wealth?

I would definitely treat Alfred as an Ally. He has been known to get involved with undercover operations from time to time in most continuities, occasionally putting his own life on the line. That's a bit more than a "Contact" IMNSHO.

Mind, Alfred's salary comes out of Bruce's CoL for his Status (which I peg at Status 6+ after factoring in Wealth and Merchant Rank), but Bruce has Multimillionaire 4+ (being one of the three richest men in the DCU universe; the other two are Lex Luthor and Steve Dayton (Beast Boy's adopted father)), so he can afford to keep Alfred at a Filthy Rich wage. :)
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Old 10-22-2018, 09:15 AM   #7
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Default Re: Alfred Pennyworth, Batman's Ally or a function of his incredible Wealth?

Bear in mind that beyond his Savoire-Faire, Cooking, and Housekeeping skills, Alfred is an experienced combat medic, mechanic, actor, and disguise artist.
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Old 10-22-2018, 09:38 AM   #8
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Default Re: Alfred Pennyworth, Batman's Ally or a function of his incredible Wealth?

Definitely an Ally.
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Old 10-22-2018, 09:40 AM   #9
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Default Re: Alfred Pennyworth, Batman's Ally or a function of his incredible Wealth?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly Pedersen View Post
He's not, in my opinion, active enough in the field to qualify as an Ally - I'd expect an Ally to come along on pretty much every adventure where their frequency of appearance came up, even if they were lower point-value than the PC. Instead, he's usually a source of information, advice, and moral support for Bruce, which are all much more in a Contact's area of speciality. And when he does go out in the field, he's typically there briefly, to rescue Bruce or provide just one favor, rather than as an ongoing presence. All of that says "Contact" to me.
I think the RAW Contact rules are a bit limiting to properly define Alfred, particularly the "one use per day" limit. And I don't think all Allies explicitly have to be with you all the time to function as an Ally- the Punisher's Micro is a similar example.

In fact, for these kind of "support" Ally, I think it'd be easier to make a new Ally Limitation to describe their general reluctance to join you in the field, than try to shoehorn how they work into the Contacts write-up.
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Old 10-22-2018, 09:54 AM   #10
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Default Re: Alfred Pennyworth, Batman's Ally or a function of his incredible Wealth?

I don't know that Alfred is reluctant to come along so much as Batman doesn't want to risk him coming along since he's an old guy. Any time he's needed and called on, he always seems to show up as a driver / paramedic to help get Batman out. "Appearance" doesn't really cover "only appears during combat missions" like the sidekicks or "only appears for medical treatments" like Alfred or that doctor lady.
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