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Old 10-23-2018, 11:22 PM   #21
jeff_wilson
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Default Re: Alfred Pennyworth, Batman's Ally or a function of his incredible Wealth?

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Originally Posted by Phantasm View Post
Bruce can probably hire a butler with the same general skill set, true, but there's a level of trust involved with Alfred, who Bruce views as family, that Bruce could never allow himself to have towards any other butler, regardless of background or skill set.
I think most versions of Batman can still form something like healthy relationships with new people - the various Robins are examples. I could see Alfred declining with age to where another confidante must be relied upon, and eventually, a replacement would be found. The difficulty would be arranging for Alfred's successor to somehow have sufficiently strong emotional ties to Bruce to put up with him.

OR, someone with ties to Alfred, and have them bond sufficiently with Bruce that they stay around after the immediate crisis is over.
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Old 10-23-2018, 11:36 PM   #22
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Default Re: Alfred Pennyworth, Batman's Ally or a function of his incredible Wealth?

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Originally Posted by Minuteman37 View Post
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.
Alfred's status depends on who's writing the comic.

In some Golden or Silver Age stories, he's an employee with no special abilities or particular emotional connection to Batman. At best, he's a Dependent.

More modern interpretations of the character make Alfred much more impressive, with a much closer emotional relationship to Bruce Wayne/Batman, and a much greater knowledge of the Caped Crusader's secrets. (e.g., his characterization in the Gotham TV show, where he's a retired SAS commando who serves as young Bruce Wayne's guardian, sensei/sifu, and mentor, in addition to running the daily affairs of Stately Wayne Manor). In those cases, he's an Ally.

In a setting where Batman's powers are maxed out, and where Alfred is still useful but isn't that impressive a person in his own right, so that he's worth less than 25% of Batman's point total, I'd treat him as 1-point Ally and a Dependent with a low frequency of appearance. Roll once for each trait to determine which role he plays in that adventure. If he appears as both an Ally and a Dependent, he somehow manages to fulfill both roles at different times.

In any case, Alfred might benefit from Batman's Sense of Duty (Gotham and its citizens).

The same situation applies to the various Robins. If they're wimpy enough to be less than 25% of Batman's character point total, they count as Dependents as well as being weak Allies. In any case, Bruce Wayne has a Duty (albeit probably at Quirk level or folded into the Dependent disadvantage) to act as the Robin-of-the-moment's legal guardian. That includes the usual costs of raising a child at Bruce's level of Status, as well as the hassles of explaining to CPS just how Dick/Jason/Tim/Stephanie/whoever got all those bruises and rope burns. ;)

Last edited by Pursuivant; 10-25-2018 at 09:08 AM.
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Old 10-24-2018, 12:04 AM   #23
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Default Re: Alfred Pennyworth, Batman's Ally or a function of his incredible Wealth?

CPS just isn't a big issue for certain groups.
I'm horrendously clumsy and spent my childhood covered in minor injuries. People whispered but no one reported anything, almost certainly because my father was a cop.
It would require a named antagonist on a crusade to make it a real issue for a comic book billionaire, I think.
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Old 10-25-2018, 09:08 AM   #24
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Default Re: Alfred Pennyworth, Batman's Ally or a function of his incredible Wealth?

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It would require a named antagonist on a crusade to make it a real issue for a comic book billionaire, I think.
I was being silly/sarcastic, since some interpretations of the Robin character make little sense even using comic book logic.

I should have put an appropriate emoticon at the end of my post.

My apologies for potentially driving this thread into the weeds.
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Old 10-25-2018, 04:48 PM   #25
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Default Re: Alfred Pennyworth, Batman's Ally or a function of his incredible Wealth?

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Originally Posted by Pursuivant View Post
In any case, Bruce Wayne has a Duty (albeit probably at Quirk level or folded into the Dependent disadvantage) to act as the Robin-of-the-moment's legal guardian. That includes the usual costs of raising a child at Bruce's level of Status, as well as the hassles of explaining to CPS just how Dick/Jason/Tim/Stephanie/whoever got all those bruises and rope burns. ;)
Bruce: *to CPS* "Private martial arts tutor. I'll have Alfred forward you his number. Perhaps you know him? Ted Grant."

If Bruce could hide the fact he broke his back the same time Batman got his broken by Bane by getting Alfred and Tim to intentionally crash one of his fleet of cars into a tree, despite no hospital records indicating he was ever admitted, he can explain away the injuries taken by the current Robin through his network of allies and contacts.

(At least until his son was killed by the Joker.... but he got better.)
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Old 10-25-2018, 06:20 PM   #26
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Default Re: Alfred Pennyworth, Batman's Ally or a function of his incredible Wealth?

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Bruce: *to CPS* "Private martial arts tutor. I'll have Alfred forward you his number. Perhaps you know him? Ted Grant."
That would be a legitimate explanation, sometimes kids who are seriously into acrobatics, dance, martial arts, and/or extreme sports will have bruises and other injuries which can look like abuse. That's why mandated reporters are trained to look for other signs.

But, to steer the thread back on track, it potentially interesting roleplaying if the GM makes the guardian/parent of a Dependent child had to do some of the things that responsible parents have to do, like parent-teacher conferences or attending school plays. Same thing with other Dependents. A Dependent's appearance in an adventure doesn't necessarily mean that their lives are at risk, but that there are serious consequences if the player character doesn't deal with the Dependent's situation.

There are plenty of stories where a superhero with a secret identity has to be in one place, but their mundane alter ego has a pressing social engagement elsewhere. That puts a time limit on resolving the main plot.
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