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Daredevil (Marvel Comics)

Daredevil

(Matt Murdock)


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game
  • This entry is not a full profile, but an old, early set of benchmarking notes. The main point was to agree on numbers for Daredevil’s game stats to facilitate profiles for characters from his book.

“I’ve ruined him, he’s broken. A man without hope, without anything left to live for.” [Pause as he starts thinking beyond his own gratification]. ”And a man with nothing left to lose is a man without fear.”
– The Kingpin


Background

  • Real Name: Matthew Michael Murdock
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: Sister Maggie (Grace Murdock, mother); Jonathan “Battling Jack” Murdock (father, deceased)
  • Group Affiliation: None, although he briefly operated with the Defenders
  • Base Of Operations: Hell’s Kitchen, NYC
  • Height: 6’ Weight: 200lbs
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Auburn


Powers & Abilities

Daredevil’s senses are, with the exception of his absent sight, superhumanly developed, and he has one more sense : a 360 degrees radar “vision”. He can for instance determine the ingredients of something he tastes down to 20 mg, track somebody in the middle of a crowd by sense of smell, or “filter down” the sounds of an entire city to look for a specific conversation happening indoor several miles away.

With a perfect awareness of every moving and immobile object around him as well as incredible reflexes and agility, Daredevil can perform feats such as parrying bullets with his nightstick, ricochet his stick off three thugs and have it come back to his hand or perform acrobatics that would be difficult even for Nightwing.

Daredevil by CrissCross, using his billy club

Daredevil was taught the martial arts by what is possibly the greatest martial artist of the previous generation – he’s a master in several ninjutsu-related disciplines and has integrated numerous others martial arts, including boxing, in his technique. Daredevil normally makes a point of using only non-lethal and appropriate force. His analytical mind, smarts, lawyer training and remarkable streetwise – not to mention his uncanny senses – make him a remarkable detective.

Daredevil’s main “power”, however, is his dedication and lack of fear ; he’s been known to take on such vastly overpowered menaces such as the Hulk. While in many ways he is the archetypal “street-level hero”, he has a formidable ability to face the most harrowing problems without flinching, as Mephisto discovered to his dismay.


History

Matt Murdock is the son of a fighter: “Battlin’” Jack Murdock, a New York boxer who made his living in Hell’s Kitchen. A single parent, the elder Murdock took it upon himself to provide a better life for his son. As such, he began working as an enforcer for a local mobster to give Matt more than his winnings would allow.

However, he taught his son that fighting was not the answer to life’s problems and encouraged him to pursue his studies. Matt became a bookworm, mocked by his fellow students ; they teased him with the nickname “Daredevil.”

Vintage Daredevil in the yellow and black costume

Afraid his father would be disappointed by his weakness, Matt trained himself in secret to stand up to the bullies at school. Even then, Matt was a hero at heart. Walking down the street, he noticed a blind man about to get hit by a truck. He ran in front of the braking vehicle, pushing the hapless victim out of the way.

But the youngster paid a stiff price for his selfless act : the truck was carrying radioactive waste, and some splashed out onto Matt’s eyes. Ironically, he was now as blind as the man he had saved from certain death. At first devastated, Matt soon realized that the toxic sludge had mutagenically heightened his other four senses. But it was the warrior/teacher Stick who brought Matt full circle, coaching him in the use of his newly augmented senses and training him in the martial arts.

Matt attended Columbia University with Franklin “Foggy” Nelson, who became his lifelong friend. At Columbia, he met and fell in love with Elektra Natchios, daughter of a Greek ambassador. Matt first used his abilities to combat crime when he fought terrorists who had kidnapped Elektra and her father. The ambassador was killed in the struggle, and an anguished Elektra left school. She would return to Matt’s life years later in a new role : costumed assassin. When Elektra fled, Matt threw himself into his law studies.

To finance his son’s college education, Jack Murdock — now past his prime as a boxer — struck a deal with promoter Roscoe Sweeney, alias the Fixer. But the mobsters killed Jack when he refused to throw a fight as instructed, and Matt sought justice in vain. Grief-stricken, he finished his studies.

After graduation, he and Nelson opened their own law office. Matt still was determined to bring his father’s killers to justice, but could see no way of doing so through ordinary legal means. He chose instead to adopt the guise of a costumed vigilante — Daredevil, the name used to taunt him years before.

Daredevil in a dynamic Marvel pose

Matt gained a partner in his war on crime when Foggy tried Natasha Romanova, better known to the world as the Russian operative Black Widow, for criminal conduct. Natasha moved to San Francisco when the case concluded, and Matt joined her.

There, the two grew into more than just a crimefighting team : they became lovers. The affair ended when Matt returned to New York City and Natasha stayed in San Francisco. However, the two remain friends and frequent partners.

The Kingpin, the most powerful figure in East Coast organized crime, has proven to be Daredevil’s greatest adversary.

Matt ultimately came to oppose Elektra when she entered the Kingpin’s employ. As the gangster’s chief assassin, Elektra clashed repeatedly with her ex-flame. Finally, she was contracted to kill Foggy. When he recognized her, Elektra realized she could not carry out the contract and spared his life.

Soon after, the psychotic criminal Bullseye – who would become‘ Daredevil’s recurrent nemesis – determined that the only way for him to regain his status as the Kingpin’s chief assassin would be to kill Elektra. He impaled her on own sai, and she died in Matt’s arms. The death and eventual resurrection of Elektra, the woman Matt still greatly loved, had a tremendous emotional effect on him that continues to this day.

A turning point in Daredevil’s crimefighting career came when a teen mother left her newborn daughter in his charge, claiming angels had told her he would keep the baby safe. However, a mysterious elderly gentleman named Nicholas Macabes attempted to convince him the infant was the antichrist ; he succeeded in causing Daredevil’s estranged girlfriend, Karen Page, to believe she was dying from AIDS, the result of a promiscuous past.

Daredevil by Joe Quesada

Macabes hired Bullseye to kidnap the baby — whom Matt had entrusted to his mother, Sister Margaret — and injure the child’s guardian devil. When Karen attempted to cover Sister Margaret’s escape with the baby, the assassin impaled her on Daredevil’s billy club.

Ultimately, Macabes revealed himself to be the illusion-casting super-villain Mysterio and confessed he had targeted Daredevil because they both were “second-stringers.” When Daredevil defeated Mysterio and rescued the baby, the villain killed himself.

Like Elektra’s death, Karen’s murder is a heavy burden on Matt’s shoulders.


Description

Matt Murdock dresses like you’d expect from a successful public lawyer – impeccable, nice clothes but nothing too ostentatious. He always wears black shades and a white cane, of course.


Personality

Daredevil is a truly Christian superhero, motivated by charity and love for the people. One of the main themes in his life is sacrifice ; in fact, he can be viewed as a modern saint, walking among the downtrodden and sharing his coat (in that case, his legal knowledge and crime fighting abilities), all the while attempting to save/redeem the lost or innocent (such as Elektra).

He is not a missionary – he was born in Hell’s Kitchen and has lived in New York City for almost his entire life. He is a man of the people and is very close to the street, with most of the skills of a veteran beat cop. He has a profound love of justice and the justice system, and works hard at making it work better rather than just scrapping it.

However, as the vigilante Daredevil, he often has to work outside the law which has created some conflicts for Matt – being both a street vigilante and a part of the justice system is rarely easy.

Daredevil composite image by Djurdjevic

Art by Marko Djurdjević‎.

While those themes are rather heavy, Matt/Daredevil generally behaves with a witty, amusing and lively way and almost seems to be more in his late 20s or very early 30s. His occasional partnerships with Spider-Man are full of one-liners and flippant dialogue.


DC Universe History

Murdock, a man blind from birth, was a part of the short list with Hal, Guy and John when time came to choose a Green Lantern. He never wanted to wear the ring as he wanted to stay close to the people in New York City instead of patrolling space.

However, when Hal died and the GL corps was destroyed, the last Guardian offered him the ring (yep, *not* to Kyle Rayner) and he felt this time he had to accept.

The current Green Lantern is thus Matt Murdock, and works along with the JLA, his ring providing him with a Lensman-like Perception to compensate for his blindness. His values and morals, however, have led to serious friction with the Guardians of the Universe. His force constructs tend to be very abstract and oddly beautiful – they are shapes imagined by a blind man.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Daredevil

Dex: 09 Str: 04 Bod: 05 Motivation: Uphold good
Int: 11 Wil: 07 Min: 09 Occupation: Super-hero, lawyer
Inf: 08 Aur: 06 Spi: 11 Resources {or Wealth}: 005
Init: 033 HP: 130

Powers:
Analytical smell/tracking scent: 12, Detect (Lies): 10, Directional hearing: 12, Extended hearing: 13, Hypersensitive touch: 06, Sonar: 05, Super-hearing: 04, Thermal vision: 01

Bonuses and Limitations:
Detect (Lies) only works on beings whose metabolism change as they lie (heartbeat, breathing, etc.)

Note:
Daredevil’s radar sense work much more like Sonar than the rulebook’s Radar Sense.

Skills:
Acrobatics: 11, Artist (Actor, pianist): 05, Charisma*: 08, Detective (Clue analysis, police procedure): 07, Detective (Law, legwork): 09, Gadgetry: 04, Martial artist*: 09, Thief (all save Forgery): 10, Weaponry (Melee, missile): 10

Advantages:
Area knowledge (New York City), Iron Nerves, Lightning Reflexes, “Sharp Eye”, Misc.: being blind, Daredevil is immune to many sight-based attacks

Connections:
Lawyers (Low), Street (High), Spider-Man (High), Press (Low), Black Widow (Low), Black Panther (Low)

Drawbacks:
Catastrophic Physical Restriction (Blind), Secret ID, Attack Vulnerability (sensory overload, -1 CS OV/RV), Misc.: see the “Total eclipse…” box below

Equipment:
Billy club (x2) [BODY 10, EV 03 (05 w/STR, 10 w/Martial Artist), Stretching: 02, Limitation: Stretching does not allow fine manipulation or defense (-3) ; Bonus : +1CS Bonus to be used in Trick Shot involving ricochets, lowering Trick Shot penalty to 1 CS ; Notes : can be thrown, has a 4 APs line]


Fall from Grace gear

During that story arc, Matt wore full body armour made from material similar to a spider’s web [BODY 12, Skin armor: 03, Limitation: Skin armor only against edged and piercing attacks (-2)] and used a weapon, that could quickly be reconfigured as a bo staff, a nightstick or a nunchaku [BODY 10, EV 03 (05 w/STR, 10 w/Martial Artist), Bonus : +1CS Bonus to be used in Trick Shot involving ricochets, lowering Trick Shot penalty to 1 CS ; Note : can be thrown]


Nelson and Murdock

Foggy Nelson has Detective (Law): 09, like Matt, as well as Charisma (Persuasion): 06 (with a special FC -2 modifier : only when he has worked on the case and has a file ready, and only in calm circumstances). Both Nelson and Murdock are recognized as ace lawyers, but are said to be unstoppable when they team up – they will often Team Attack using their law and oratory skills when defending a client.


Total eclipse of the heartbeat

Captain America and Crossbones, who have a metabolism at the peak of human power, both receive a +1 CS bonus to their AV and OV against Daredevil as “reading” their body overwhelms DD.

This is an obscure vulnerability and not a very coherent one, as Daredevil doesn’t normally experience similar problems when pitted against individuals with superhumanly powerful bodies. Perhaps Cap and Crossbones are right at a sweet spot where reading their body is confusing, but is still necessary to locate them with sufficient precision whereas a superhuman is “noisy” enough to be sensed without focusing on their metabolism.

Daredevil over a black background


Game Stats — DC Adventures RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Daredevil — Averaged PL 11.2

STR STA AGL DEX FGT INT AWE PRE
03 03 08 05 09 05 06 03

Powers

Super-senses ● 25 points ● Descriptors: Physiological, mutation
– Enhanced Advantages 5 (Precise Attack (Close, Concealment and Cover; Ranged, Concealment and Cover), Uncanny Dodge)
– Detect Lies — Enhanced Insight 10, Limited [3] to sensing lies from physiological changes
– Enhanced Senses — Enhanced Perception 6 Linked to Senses 15 (Accurate and Extended 2 Auditory [x100], Analytical and Acute Touch, Analytical and Acute Scent, Tracking 2 [full-movement, scent], Ultra-Hearing)

Staff and stick fighting ● 3 points ● Descriptors: Skill
Enhanced Advantages 5 (Improved Critical 2 [billy club], Improved Disarm, Improved Trip, Weapon Bind), Feature 1 (may attack one target twice with a staff or stick weapon with a Damage bonus less than 4), Limited only with staff or stick weapons

Devices

Billy clubs ● 7 points (Easily Removable -2)
– Disguised — Feature 1 (Can be disguised as an ordinary cane)
– Swingline — Movement 1 (Swinging)
– Array

  • Club smash — Strength-based Damage 3, Split Attack (2 targets)
  • Throw club — Strength-based Ranged Damage 3, Diminished Range (30/75/150 ft.), Ricochet 2
  • Trip Line — Move Object 4, Diminished Range (30/75/150 ft.), Limited (Grabbing, binding, tripping, and disarming only)

Combat Advantages

Accurate Attack, All-Out Attack, Defensive Attack, Defensive Roll 3, Evasion, Improved Critical (Throw club), Improved Defense, Improved Disarm, Improved Initiative, Improved Trip, Power Attack, Precise Attack (Close, Concealment and Cover; Ranged, Concealment and Cover), Takedown, Uncanny Dodge, Weapon Bind

Other Advantages

Benefit 1 (Famous New York City lawyer), Connected, Instant Up, Second chance (Fear/Intimidation)

Skills

Acrobatics 8 (+16), Athletics 10 (+14), Close Combat (Billy club) 7 (+16), Close Combat (Unarmed) 6 (+15), Deception 6 (+9), Expertise (Lawyer) 9 (+14), Insight 7 (+13/+23), Intimidation 9 (+12), Investigation 7 (+12), Perception 6 (+12/+18), Persuasion 8 (+11), Ranged Combat (Billy Club) 11 (+16), Sleight of Hand 9 (+14), Stealth 6 (+14), Technology 3 (+8), Technology 6 (+11; Limited 2: Only for Security Systems)

Offense

Initiative +12
Unarmed +15, Close, Damage 4
Billy club +16, Ranged or Close, Damage 6 (Critical 18-20)
Trip Line +16, Ranged, Move Object 4

Defense

Dodge 13 Fortitude 8
Parry 13 Toughness 6/3*
Will 14

* Without Defensive Roll

Complications

  • Disability (Blind) Daredevil is blind but his senses mostly compensate for that. However, he can’t typically see details such as color.
  • Secret Identity (sometimes) Daredevil’s true identity, Matt Murdock, has an interesting relationship with his dual identity. He has it exposed, disproved, exposed again, borrowed to Iron Fist and then obscured once again.
  • Relationships (Men) Matt Murdock has been a friend and ally of Spider-Man’s for many years. His closest friend and partner is Foggy Nelson.
  • Relationships (Women) Matt Murdock has been involved with a number of beautiful and troubled women among them Black Widow, Elektra and Karen Page.
  • Vulnerability (Sensory Overload) Sensory attacks (except for sight-based attacks naturally) have a +5 bonus to their save DC due to Daredevil’s enhanced senses.

Power levels

  • Trade-off areas Attack/Effect PL 11, Dodge/Toughness PL 10, Parry/Toughness PL 10, Fort/Will PL 11
  • Point total 210 Abilities 80, Defences 20, Skills 58, Powers 28, Devices 7, Advantages 17. Equiv. PL 17.

Notes

The Second Technology skill is based on the average of his Thief and Gadgetry using the Gadgetry skill table, with a bit of fiddling to get it to the right points per rank. Enhanced Perception bonus based on the highest of his relevant senses power (Analytical smell/tracking scent) and cross-referencing that with the general skills table; used the Insight table for his total ranks for Detect Lies.


Fall from Grace gear

During that story arc, Matt wore full body armour made from material similar to a spider’s web and used a weapon, that could quickly be reconfigured as a bo staff, a nightstick or a nunchaku. This raised his averaged PL to 12.2

  • Devil Armor ● 2 points(Removable -2) ● Descriptors: Technology, armor
    Protection 4, Limited to Sharp Impact
  • Modified Billy club ● 11 points (Easily Removable -6) ● Descriptors: Technology, weaponry
    As the regular billy clubs but with an additional AE — Staff Configuration: Strength-based Damage 3, Reach (5ft)

Total eclipse of the heartbeat

Captain America and Crossbones, who have a metabolism at the peak of human power, both receive a +3 Circumstances Bonus to their defenses against Daredevil as “reading” their body overwhelms DD. Their attacks against Daredevil also receive a +2 Circumstances Bonus.

This is an obscure vulnerability and not a very coherent one, as Daredevil doesn’t normally experience similar problems when pitted against individuals with superhumanly powerful bodies. Perhaps Cap and Crossbones are right at a sweet spot where reading their body is confusing, but is still necessary to locate them with sufficient precision whereas a superhuman is “noisy” enough to be sensed without focusing on their metabolism.

By Sébastien Andrivet

Source of Character: Marvel Universe

Helper(s): http://daredevil.dreamhost.com/main.htm – without it I almost missed a few key points. Marvel.com provided the History section. Also Phil Dixon, Jackson, David Johnston, buzzstud2002, Frank Murdock, Azraelfl, Pawsplay ; John Colagioia and Jay Myers for a bit of DCU History. DCA stats by Mister O.

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