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Digital Subscriptions > Tabletop Gaming > February 2018 (#15) > Batman: Gotham City Chronicles

Batman: Gotham City Chronicles

After hacking and slashing its way through Conan, Monolith is taking on the Caped Crusader and pals in Batman: Gotham City Chronicles. It’s going to be Batfantastic…


Words by Matt Jarvis Main illustration by Anthony Jean All components shown are work in progress

For the first time since Arnie punned his way through Batman & Robin as Mr. Freeze, the worlds of Conan and the Caped Crusader are colliding. And this time, it promises to do the Dark Knight justice. Behind the unlikely reunion is Monolith, the French games studio that made a splash in early 2015 with its Kickstarter for a tabletop adaptation of Robert E. Howard’s barbarian warrior. Monolith’s debut game, Conan ended up making more than $3 million on the crowdfunding site and quickly found an audience with its fiuid translation of Howard’s action-packed short stories to a innovative gameplay style dubbed the Tactical Homeostatic System – or THS for short.

Central to THS was a pool of energy gems for each character that could be spent to perform a variety of actions, from moving and fighting to using special abilities or granting a reroll. Characters only recovered a certain amount of gems each turn until they rested, giving a sense of fatigue and encouraging the group of players to work closely together to optimise their moves.

The next evolution of this framework powers Batman: Gotham, Monolith’s upcoming take on the legendary comic-book superhero. But there’s a world of difference between Conan’s bruising battles and Bruce Wayne’s riddle-solving, shadow-skulking alter-ego, which the team has been keen to get across in the gameplay.

“Let’s say that it’s 80% to 90% close to Conan in the fact that the gem system is the same,” says Gotham City project manager Adnane Badi. “But we’ve made a lot of improvements to the system. First of all, to match universe, because you cannot tell stories about a hacking, slashing Cimmerian and a Dark Knight in Gotham City – you have to adjust your mechanisms to match this. So we have a sixth characteristic that appeared, which is intelligence, which will allow us to play more with solving riddles, finding clues; things like this Batman universe.

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About Tabletop Gaming

Batman: Gotham City Chronicles: As the makers of Conan prepare to take their superhero extravaganza to Kickstarter, we check in and see what’s in store for the Caped Crusader and his sidekicks How Minis Are Made: From sculpting to casting, we follow the entire process of making plastic and metal miniatures and find out how they make it onto your table Masks of Nyarlathotep: One of roleplaying’s greatest adventures is back with a new edition for horror RPG Call of Cthulhu and an Eldritch Horror expansion. We look at the history of the revolutionary campaign and see what’s planned for its return The 7th Continent: Co-creator Bruno Sautter talks to us about the epic choose-your-own-path card game and asks if it’s the end of the adventure Hearthstone: The digital card game with Magic: The Gathering in its sights is taking on the dungeon-crawler in its latest expansion. But can an app really live up to the physical world? How We Made: A Handful of Stars: Martin Wallace looks back on the creation of the final chapter in his deckbuilding trilogy Educating with Evolution: University professors and students consider the brain-boosting benefits of board games Reviews including: Charterstone Battle for Rokugan Pandemic: Rising Tide Fallout Gaia Project Genesys RPG Legacy of Dragonholt Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle Fog of Love A Game of Thrones: Catan – Brotherhood of the Watch First Martians And much, much more!
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