|This is a /co/ related article, which we allow because we find it interesting or we can't be bothered to delete it.|
Batman is a comic-book superhero with a chiropteran theme. He was once Bruce Wayne, child of wealthy philanthropists, but while his family were out and about (in the crime-ridden city of Gotham, which is totally not New York City), his parents were killed by a mugger. Heartbroken, he traveled the world, studying criminology and martial arts; when he returned to Gotham, he used his inherited fortune (and/or company, depending on the era) to develop tools to become a ninja-esque crime-fighter. Knowing from his studies that criminals are generally a superstitious and cowardly lot, he developed the costume and persona of the Batman, a creature of the night who brings terror to the wicked.
In addition to the usual ne'er-do-wells and low-level criminals of a major city, Batman regularly fights with a "Rogues Gallery" of equally costumed villains -- the Joker (the insane and self-styled "Clown Prince of Crime"), Catwoman (a cat-burglar who flirts with Batman as frequently as she fights with him), and Mr. Freeze (a scientist-turned-criminal from an accident caused by an amoral business rival) are among the most widely-known.
 Sort of true, by the way; while New York is the most notable model for Gotham, Chicago's corruption, Philadelphia's bad policing, and Boston's strong history have all also been used as models by various writers to mold Gotham into something more Gothic. A favorite game of Batman writers is to make Gotham a city where dressing up as a bat and acting as a Vigilante is a valid and reasonable solution to the problems posed by Gotham.
Batman Miniatures Game
The Batman Miniature Game, by Knight Models, is a skirmish game in which players create bands based on major characters and factions. They attempt to take objectives, or just knock out everyone on the opposite team.
Appearance in Other RPGs and Board Games
There's been more than one attempt to adapt the "DC Universe" into a tabletop RPG or board game. Guess which hero shows up in just about all of them? And then there's the many, many, many Batman clones in "original" Superhero RPG Settings (Superman has more clones, but only because he's the most iconic Superhero).
Other /tg/ Relevance
- There exists a meme that "Batman could take anyone, with enough prep time" (in the comics, among other places, he's defeated a mind-controlled Superman several times). Thus, among other things, the "Batman Wizard" of Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition, who had a spellbook large enough to have a spell for every situation... presuming he had time to prepare spells.
- Responsible, almost single-handedly, for players wanting to play "a guy without superpowers who can fight on par with the guys with powers" in Supers RPGs.
- Notable for having many, many continuities and versions, each with their own interpretation of the character, to the point that a D&D Alignment chart exists, filling in all 9 positions with different versions of Batman. (Pictured right)
- Superman, Batman's most frequent non-"Bat-family" butt buddy.
- Konrad Curze, Primarch of the Night Lords. The living (for a while, at least) answer to a question what if Batman and Punisher had a lovechild. Very much in favor of terrorizing enemies to soften them up (or even drive them to kill themselves).
- Sentinels of the Multiverse, being a loving tribute to all manner of comics, features the Wraith, a stealthy gadget-based superheroine who is both close friends with the local legacy equivalent and fighting like a ninja. Really, the major difference between the two is that Maia is a hot chick rather than a manly slab of beefcake and that the Wraith is perfectly willing to kill people if they're actually dangerous serial killers the law can't easily deal with.