View Full Version : DC Deck-Building Custom Set: Gotham Knights!

06-20-2017, 10:56 AM
*Protected under Fair Use, as a non-profit, drafting and prototyping, educational experience for an aspiring content creator.

The list is an entire base set, designed with a more Attack on Titan DBG rule-set, but set in Gotham, where the bat family rules the night. It's not a re-skinning though. Im going to reveal small previews at first--probably even smaller than my previous Justice League Dark set, as we're still very early in testing. But overall, here are set notes.

Id love for any of you to try it out and give your feedback. As I said, we're very early on in this, but I know those of you who've played both AoT and DC versions of the Cryptozoic games will have some of the best feedback.

Location Cards
Locations are used in the set, but are laid out to "Move" to in a row of 4 Locations that are randomly selected at the beginning of the game. Some amount of tweaking to the strength and complexity of the card text of each of these is still going on, but overall it's working nicely.

Hidden Objective Cards
The Hidden Objectives from my Justice League Dark custom set were very popular with any of the groups we've played with. Theyre fun, and don't add complexity into the turn to turn mechanics of what's going on. This is one of the biggest pulls to this kind of card. You can sort of have it in the back of your mind and glance over them when you have a moment during a game just to recalibrate on a strategy you're going for, or evaluate what you've been doing so far during the game, then tell yourself "Hmm. Okay, I could use some more of that card, or I'd better look out for this card or protect that card." I'm leaning towards letting each Super Hero have all 3 to start. Whichever ones' they're able to achieve, they gain VP for.

Card Traits
This set includes Traits on each card--keywords that can be referred to outside of the typical card types of Hero, Villain, Equipment, Super Hero, Super Villain, Location and Skill.

Skill Cards
I went with a new card type in this set, Skill cards, over Super Powers. With the types of cards I wanted to include in the set with all these non-Meta humans running around in Gotham, I felt like Skill was a better descriptor. Ultimately, it wasn't a huge change, a more for flavor than anything.

We replace Weaknesses with Wounds in this set. No Super Hero may control more than 1 Wound or they are buried (killed/ko'd/removed from game). (I'm going to have to refer you to the Attack on Titan ruleset to explain a good chunk of this, otherwise I may have to put together my own rulebook).

Mobility Starters
Rather than use Vulnerabilities, this set uses 3 Mobility cards to start with. These provide 2 Move so that our Super Heroes can move around to the different Locations in Gotham.

Grapple Guns
Grapple guns replace Kicks, and only cost 2. Like the Attack on Titan version, they can be returned to the Grapple Gun stack for an extra Move and Power bonus for the turn.

06-20-2017, 11:00 AM
Today's Preview!
Let's start things off with the reveal of the 8 starting Super-Heroes in the set.

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06-20-2017, 11:02 AM
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I've no specific commentary on these, other than the fact that some of these are my favorite DC characters ever. I hope you like how it's coming together so far, and I'll have more to post tomorrow!

06-21-2017, 09:12 AM
Today's Preview!
Skills, ya'llz? Yep.

I don't know about you, but some members of my family have Forensic Files or CSI or all kinds of crime procedural shows on all the time. I liked the idea of fitting a lot of those procedures or skillsets into the Skill cards. After all, Batman is the world's greatest detective.

I will say though, these are super utilitarian in what they do, so of all the cards, if I have a need, these along with some of the Hero's that are still unfinished, will be ones that are easy to change to fill a game play gap.

Cyber Forensics - Track down money trails, hack into security, be tech savvy. This card lets you uncover all sorts of information -- or cards.

Digital Pathology - The bat clan has all sorts of tech to allow them to solve the cause of death, and track down killers via their victims. Card flavor: as you move to find clues, you'll uncover what you're looking for.

Forensic Symbology - Why do villains and secret societies always need branding? Track them down by deciphering their symbols and heraldry.

06-21-2017, 09:15 AM
Impression Detection - Good ole following the footprints/bootprints/shoe patterns/hoof marks. You'll be rewarded with an extra card once you encounter the Hero/Super Hero/Villain you're Moving after.

Lithologic Discovery - The knowledge of stonework and geology can help out too. Just keep digging and hunting through the rubble. You'll figure it out.

Metalurgic Examination - Like stonework, different metals can tell a tale too when examining artifacts and Equipment and such.

These aren't all the Skill cards, but a nice little family of them. Hope you dig 'em!

06-22-2017, 02:22 PM
Today's Preview!

First batch of Heroes! I thought I'd show how some of the new Traits on each card are being used in the set, starting with these guys.

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Police Detectives - These 3 primary detectives in Gotham each have their own flavor. They count as Police traits, and you'll notice the Detective trait also, and how those will interact with some of the other cards.

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There are 4 copies of each of these, and both work well with all of these Police trait cards. GCPD Officer is one card I changed after initial testing, as it just did less damage to a Super-Villain, similar to the SWAT. Now, we have another way to help protect Locations on a one time basis. I could've added Sack Lunch or something to go with Bandages (which is an Equipment that destroys wounds in deck or discard pile), but this way feels very flavorful and definitely works differently, but with the same purpose--prevent damage to Locations or prevent Wounds.

06-23-2017, 10:08 AM
Always love seeing your stuff, man!!
Who are you thinking for the Super Villians?

Here's some unique ones that aren't already in the Super Villians of the game:
- Hush
- Bloom
- The Wrath
- Bane
- Black Mask
- Phantasm

Do you have an email address so that I could email you?

Great work, man!!

06-23-2017, 10:11 AM
Also, love the wounds feature!!

I have a great idea for "Starter Decks" that I've seen from a game called Hero Realms that I think would definitely be great for DC Deck Building.

06-23-2017, 04:02 PM
Today's Preview!
After yesterday's reveal of the Police trait Heroes, today I've got a chunk of Equipment to show you.

Bandages - I'm not actually sure how many "Food" are in AoT (if anyone knows, please let me know), as I haven't seen a list. I've got 4 Bandages in the set right now. These are super useful for removing Wounds.

Batarang - This version has the Gear trait, and some other cards refer to Gear, otherwise the classic 2 for 2.

Batcycle - A speedy little way to help move around.

Batman's Gauntlets - Debated whether to put the Weapon trait on, but haven't had a need yet. Old Batman's ability with a little damage to the face of a Super-Villain.

Batmobile - Another Vehicle used to help move Super Heroes around in defense of the Locations in Gotham. This one lets you bring a friend. I found it interesting when the most critical need for Move cards was--right near beginning of mid game when your deck is getting large enough that your Mobility cards just aren't enough on their own. That's in my experience so far. I'd say my first few playthroughs didn't have enough Move cards, so I've upped them now some (along with Non-Wound destruction cards too).

06-23-2017, 04:03 PM
Bat Signal - I did try to keep these base set classic pieces of Equipment similar to their original counterparts, but with some interesting options since I was going to have to add the traits on the template anyway. You'll notice this one has the Police trait, so the Hero cards above that reference this are affected by Bat Signal too.

Batwing - I refuse to call this the "Batplane". Haven't seen many Super-Villains at the same Location, considering you only seed 4 into the Main Deck. I may need to adjust this so it does damage to a Super-Villain at each location it moves to during the turn. Sort of a strafing run flavor concept.

Fenrir Suit - Originally I had several more Batsuits in the set, but it was a bit much. I settled on the two in today's update, even though the "Scrapper" used in Court of Owls I left out.

Infrared Lenses - Cool stuff.

Recovered Funds - I tried to include the right number of "Finance" cards in this to accomplish a few different things, but ultimately I think the 4 copies of this I started with are too many. Dropping the number down and trying again.

06-23-2017, 06:06 PM
So far I like it, but I don't know if you should add "skills" in lieu of superpowers. I get what your doing thematically, but I think your traits could serve as a better mechanic than creating a new card type which limits its incorporating with other sets.

Also, if I read the AoT rule, will I better understand this "move" mechanic or is that going to be explained later? Keep up the good work!

06-24-2017, 05:05 PM
So far I like it, but I don't know if you should add "skills" in lieu of superpowers. I get what your doing thematically, but I think your traits could serve as a better mechanic than creating a new card type which limits its incorporating with other sets.

Also, if I read the AoT rule, will I better understand this "move" mechanic or is that going to be explained later? Keep up the good work!

Yeah, the Move mechanic is totally explained. In fact, I'll post the AoT Rulebook pdf when I have a sec, right here.

06-26-2017, 03:55 PM
Today's Preview!
Here's another small handful of Hero cards for the day.

Vicki Vale - Reveal all those facts. What a good reporter.

Alfred Pennyworth - Your wish is my request, Master Bruce. I'll be there in just a moment.

Lucius Fox - You need tech for what? I'll get right on that.

Talia al Ghul - You never know what this crazy lady's gonna do. She's Damian's mother, but Ras al Ghul's daughter. Volatile is a trait I use for this sort of thing. And her card exploits that trait.

Selena Kyle - Another volatile woman in Bruce's life.

06-26-2017, 05:20 PM
I understand the risk of using SKILLS instead of SUPER POWERS. But I like it. Yes, you won't necessarily be able to incorporate them into other decks, but one things that people don't like about the DC game is the fact that it's not thematic. This is a nice set the really makes you feel like you're in the Batverse. :)

06-27-2017, 12:46 PM
Today's Preview!
... contains Villains! Unfortunately, my group is no longer interested in testing this set. It's too cooperative, and maybe they're a wee bit casual to grasp the more complex ruleset. I'll continue to post the rest of the cards though and see what happens.

Catwoman - Hmm. As always, Selena can be both helpful and harmful at the same time.

Deadshot - The strongest Villain here. Keep your head down while you're moving or you're bound to get shot.

Flamingo - I actually did want more of the newer Villains like this cannibal flamboyant assassin, but then I realized the amount of Villains is tighter in this type of set. I even included more than what are in Attack on Titan, I think. I didn't want too many though or you'd have to seed in Villain cards along with the Super-Villain cards, and there's already a slight uptick in setup time due to that.

Harley Quinn - Don't you just want to Punch her? Eh.. yeah, me neither, but still, it might be the only way to put her down.

Killer Croc - Still figuring out if this is too weak for a 4 cost. Pretty variable I guess.

06-27-2017, 12:51 PM
Poison Ivy - I showed this above. It's one of the only cards that references the gender trait: Male. I like the flavor of it. I can imagine her plantlike allure affecting all the dudes and putting you in danger because of it.

Scarecrow - Works similar to my Line-Up ongoing version of Scarecrow. Weakens you. Kicks you when you're down. That sort of thing.

Talon - Alexander Staunton

Talon - Henry Ballard

Victor Zsasz - My love of this guy went way up due to his depiction in Gotham, the tv series.

06-28-2017, 04:36 PM
Today's Preview!
So this is just the first batch of Level 1 Super-Villains (of 4 Levels) (See the Attack on Titans rulebook for how to seed the Main Deck). So only 4 Super-Villains sit in the Main Deck, waiting to arrive. I thought it was a good starting point to show these few.

You'll notice HP or Damage the Super-Villain must take, before you can attempt to defeat it based on it's Cost. Each round (end of all players turns) they will do 2 damage to the Location they're in, unless a Super Hero at the same Location decides to take a Wound instead (or some other effect, like the GCPD Officers). Locations can take only 2 damage before they're overtaken and removed from the game.

King Owl - There's really only 3 other potential Talon cards that could be revealed here, in the set. I had hoped to do more, but the tightness of the Villain quantity sort of pulled that back. I may just change it to "Villain". I had originally thought I might completely make the set based on the Court of Owls, and Night of the Owls storylines, but ultimately ended up expanding. There is plenty to cover those storylines though if I was to ever do that.

Riddler - If you don't follow around his riddles and be clever about taking him down, you won't be able to defeat him. That's the flavor of the card, anyway.

Two-Face - Reminiscent of the Base set Two-Face, but he can be dangerous and directly inflict wounds on Super Heroes at the Location he's placed at.

06-28-2017, 06:22 PM
So do you think you will complete the set if your playgroup is no longer interested?

06-28-2017, 06:50 PM
So do you think you will complete the set if your playgroup is no longer interested?

Certainly the current draft of it. The matter is refinement of the cards. If any other playgroup wants to give it some good testing (I'll make the print sheets available at least and possibly actual card box printing), I'm all for making the updates, for sure.

07-06-2017, 09:02 AM
Today's Preview!
Here are the Level 2 Super-Villains for the set. In the main deck, you'll have 1 of each Level Super-Villain, but each game can be pretty different depending on the Super-Villains randomly selected.

Penguin - Unless you use bribery or law enforcement to stave him off, the Penguin will take all that you have.

Mad Hatter - Uses others to do his dirty work via mind control. Not sure if I need to specifically state what happens if you've not defeated a Villain yet, but essentially nothing. The 2 Wounds any Super-Villain inflicts each turn is more than enough to drive you mad anyway.

Scarface & Ventriliquist - I'm in love with this image. So much scarier than the Scarface back in Batman the Animated Series. He moves in with his drug ring and quickly destroys everything in town. This will also attract other Villainous elements, because they get placed at the Location with the fewest buyable cards.

Might be a double post today. We'll see how I feel later! I will say that so far, there hasn't been a lot of interest in this set. No critique or feedback of any kind (barely any likes even), like my Justice League Dark set. I'm not sure if it's because of the AoT ruleset, or the Batman theme has too many old elements. Really not sure.

07-06-2017, 09:04 AM
Bonus Preview!

Here are the Level 3 Super-Villains for the set!

Mr. Freeze - He turns the whole place to a frozen wasteland, making it difficult to move around, and wrecking cards in the immediate area.

Bane - The man who broke the bat is quite a deadly adversary. Ruining locations with his crime racket, and breaking those without the Skill to defeat him.

Deathstroke - This guy makes sure that either you face him, or he'll ruin your friends and relationships with other Heroes if you're at other Locations. And then there's that healing factor.

07-10-2017, 08:16 AM
Today's Preview!

The Level 4 Super-Villains!

As I've mentioned, there's this balance between competitive/selfish play and cooperative play, and this ruleset leans much further towards the cooperative side than say, my Event cards in Justice League Dark did. Specifically the amount of damage that must be dealt before a Super-Villain can be defeated. That's a lot of cooperative investment for an individual to end up getting all the VP (8-12 VP). The Event cards had a similar detriment to everyone when they were out, forcing you to want to get rid of it, but for a much smaller investment in cooperation you could take out an Event for a smaller VP reward for the one who actually got it (usually around 3 VP).

So I risk messing up the nice cooperative ruleset balance Matt's put together, by trying to make it semi-cooperative and rewarding enough for those who want the VP win. I could probably do it with one, or a combination of 3 different things (1. Lower HP and Cost, 2. VP split for defeat, or 3. Harsher penalty to those players who aren't attempting to speed the Super-Villain towards their defeat), but it'll take some significant testing, and as I just said, I can't.

So, I'll just roll forward showing what I have left of the set, and see how things fall out!

Black Mask

Court of Owls

Ra's Al Ghul


07-11-2017, 03:15 PM
Alright, here we are with a link to the print sheets! Rather than repost here, I'll just give you the link to my Board Game Geek thread and let you get them there.

Play to your heart's content, and feedback welcome!


Here is a link to the overall set list and stats on the set:

In addition, here's a link directly to where Dekan posted the rulebook for Attack on Titan (the ruleset to use with this game) on Board Game Geek as well.