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Joker (Heath ledger in the Batman Dark Knight movie)

Joker

(Heath Ledger take)


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

This is the version of the Joker played by Heath Ledger in 2008 movie The Dark Knight.

Dark Knight was an awesome movie with Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker as the crown jewel that utterly stole the show. Sadly it was his last performance, which’s a real shame – or maybe not. Sometimes it’s just best that people go out on a high note and are forever remember that way.

The fact that the movie got a PG-13 and DIDN’T have buckets of blood forcing the viewer to actually imagine a lot of the sick stuff he did just made it all the scarier, which’s probably a lot of those watchdog groups repeatedly warned parents not to let their teenagers see the movie.

The fact that Jack Nicholson himself actually admitted that Heath played a better Joker also speaks in volumes, because by all accounts Jack did a damn fine job.

Besides that, this is writeups.org and I fail to see how there could NOT be a huge demand for more Jokerness.

Ever since the movie came out I’ve been getting tons of compliments saying that I actually look like Heath Ledger. Hmph must be the hair. Regardless of whether or not I do look like the guy it’s made my social life a hell of a lot easier. I guess my Halloween costume’s pretty much been decided.

And speaking of my favorite day of the year this wu comes out just in time for this occasion. So this’s Tom Eilers with a black cat on both sides sitting around his new apartment filled with arcane and other magic artifacts where everything is black with red covering, that he shares with his girlfriend, who claims she’s a witch, but for some unknown reason decided to go to Disneyland today, saying that there’s no way in hell that I could possibly NOT do this writeup (and NO, I only wish I was joking.)

This wu is loaded with S P O I L E R S . I’m assuming if you’ve come this far that you’ve seen the movie, but if you haven’t and choose to continue then you’re doing yourself a grave injustice because this wu nor any written word DOES not nor COULD NOT do the movie or the Joker’s character/performance justice.

That said just thought I’d warn ya. Anyway enough rambling and on with the carnival !


Background

  • Real Name: Unrevealed.
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: He briefly worked for all the mobs in Gotham, at once as well as amassing his own army of psychopaths.
  • Base Of Operations: Gotham City.
  • Height: 6’2″ Weight: 186 lbs.
  • Eyes: Dark Brown Hair: Dark Brown with green highlights


Video

A simple fan compilation of landmark Joker moments in the movie.


Powers and Abilities

Despite his admonition to the contrary the Joker is highly adept at plotting and scheming and excels in almost everything imaginable. He was able to take control of and command the criminally insane and turn them into a force to be reckoned with using excellent tactics and sheer charisma.

He may seem like a stark raving madman on the surface. But he tends to overplay his own insanity leading others to doubt his abilities and setting up plans to achieve his own twisted goals all the while.

It seems likely that he may have had a military background as well as a criminal given his expertise at plotting crimes as well as leading troops into combat using all manner of weapon and brilliant tactics. He also seemed to be highly proficient with demolitions and was also adept at pain management as well both ranged and hand to hand combat.

In short he’s the stuff that nightmares are made of.


History

Nothing is known about his past. Even the fingerprinting and DNA analysis came up empty when he was in incarceration. He apparently showed up one day in Gotham, thinking it would be fun to turn the entire city into his personal playground.

The Joker quickly established quite a reputation. His first documented caper was to rob a mob bank. He convinced four other small time criminals to help him while passing himself off as another small time criminal the entire time.

On the surface the plan was simple, but well planned and well-executed bank heist. The real truth was far more sinister. Each of the bank robbers had been instructed to systematically kill each other off one by one after they had completed their part of the job culminating with the Joker killing the last remaining guy (the bus driver) and driving off in a school bus with the all the cash.

Underworld games

After stealing from all the mobsters in the city he boldly walked into the next mob meeting, proceeded to berate all the mob bosses, and offered to kill Batman for half of the mob’s collective savings. One such mobster, named Gamble, grew agitated and put a price on his head.

The Joker responded by having a group of thugs bring his supposed dead body in a body bag to Gamble’s house. He then got the drop on Gamble and his enforcers and proceeded to kill the crime boss before continuing with his crime spree.

He then went public by torturing a Batman wannabe on tape before hanging outside the mayor’s window complete with Joker face paint and a calling card pinned to the chest. On the videotape he promised to kill more people unless Batman unmasked his true identity. He was even bold enough to leave clues to his next victims.

The police weren’t able to put the clues fast enough to adequately protect the current chief of police or a prominent judge. But Batman managed to save Harvey Dent because he was on the scene hosting a fund raiser for the renowned District Attorney as Bruce Wayne.

I love it when plans come together

The Joker’s next target was the mayor. He and his crew kidnapped several police officers, stole their uniforms and impersonated them. During the funeral for the recently deceased police chief the Joker and his turned their guns on the mayor, who was narrowly saved by the ever-watchful Gordon, who seemingly perished, sacrificing his life for the mayor’s.

The Joker (Heath Ledger) face closeup

Under extreme pressure that he could not adequately protect the citizens of Gotham City, let alone his loved ones, Bruce Wayne decided to turn himself in. However, Harvey Dent stepped in and confessed to being Batman first on television. As Dent predicted the Joker went after the armored convoy transporting him.

The Joker’s army of madmen utterly decimated the convoy. They would’ve killed Dent if not for timely arrival of Batman. Batman managed to disable most of the Joker’s thugs, but crashed the Batmobile in the process. Just when he thought he had won the Joker was arrested by Jim Gordon, who had faked his death and had gone into hiding to protect his family.

While in custody and being interrogated by Batman (read getting the crap kicked out of him) it was revealed the Joker’s men had kidnapped both Dent and Rachel and placed them at separate locations forcing Batman to choose which one he would save. Batman chose Dent over Rachel, but Dent had half of his body severely burned in the ensuing explosion.

Going after Dent again

While Batman was saving Dent the Joker managed to escape and go on his next spree of terror. He then burned his half of the money and killed the Russian mob boss and claimed both his dogs and his men for the next part of his plan.

Later Reese, one of Wayne’s former employees, was just about to reveal Batman’s secret identity when the Joker called in and threatened to blow up a hospital unless Reese was killed within an hour. All hell broke loose as the Gotham Police rushed to evacuate the hospitals and Wayne rushed to save Reese.

Amidst the chaos the Joker infiltrated Gotham General Hospital were Dent was being treated. His performance was enough to push Dent’s sanity over the edge and convince him to go on a killing spree of his own.

Panic in Gotham

Many of the citizens tried to flee the next wave of chaos that the Joker promised to unleash upon Gotham City. But the Joker had anticipated this and set up his own twisted social experiment.

Two ships sought to flee Gotham City, one carrying innocent citizens and the other carrying Arkham Asylum inmates. The Joker had rigged them both to explode and giving them both the detonators to the other ship. If one ship had not been blown up by midnight then the Joker promised he would trigger the explosives himself.

Batman tracked him down and went in before the SWAT Team. The Joker had ingeniously taken hostages and disguised them as his men, which forced Batman to intervene so that innocents were not killed in the SWAT strike.

After taking care of that Batman confronted the Joker. The Joker initially had the upper hand, but Batman surprised him with his new wrist mounted projectiles, which caused the Joker to fall off the building.

Batman saved him, but the Joker taunted him saying that he would be back eventually and that he had corrupted Harvey Dent forcing Batman to leave post haste to deal with the fallen DA.


Description

The Joker typically dresses in a purple suit with a green vest. His hair is also dyed green. He wears traditional clown makeup that has been rather sloppily applied. His most memorable feature, other than the wild look in his eyes, is the fact that his face has been carved into a permanent grin.


Personality

The Joker seems to have strange symbiotic relationship with his own inner demons. He knows he is a sociopath, openly admits that he is a sociopath, and revels in any opportunity to spread chaos and cause corruption.

He does NOT walk the fine line between genius and insanity. He has one foot firmly planted in each province. His special insight into both genius and insanity as well as his awe inspiring charisma allow him to easily bend other criminally insane to his will and even corrupt some of Gotham’s most noble people, such as Harvey Dent.

Simply put, he is a chess master of crime. He’s able to pull off seemingly impossible capers to further his own agenda of chaos and corruption. Yet just after everything’s gone to hell in a hand basket and couldn’t possibly get any worse, he manages to aggressively take his own twisted game to the next level.

It then becomes clear that his brilliantly laid calculated moves have been in motion for a while and come to fruition just when he plans them.

In short the Joker could turn almost any area, no matter how stable, into a living hell that would get progressively worse within days of his arrival and revel in every second of it.

An historical parallel

One particularly striking point in the portrayal of the Joker by in The Dark Knight is how close he is to one of the great figures of crime novels – Fantômas . Much like the early-XXth fictional criminal icon, the Joker is an agent of bloody, surreal chaos driving people to their limit – yet remains without an identity.

He is an insane, disruptive genius of great charisma but without a past. He comes from nowhere and though there are vague hints as to a past, it nearly always turns out to be smoke and mirrors that further his over-the-top, inspired baroque plans of death and chaos.

Also like Fantômas, the Joker hints at the existence of a colorful and deadly underworld existing invisibly amidst major cities, full of bloodthirsty and talented men and women sharing his nihilistic, murderous terrorist tendencies.

Like the apaches  of the turn-of-the- century macabre mastermind, the Joker can find a seemingly endless number of skilled psychopaths nobody had noticed before – who always appear at the right place to conduct the right actions with the astounding precision and robustness that characterizes the incredible plans of their master.

Much like Fantômas, the Joker is a bloodstained metaphor for the destructive absurdity of a world at war, for the chaos of progress, for the anonymity and lack of a past of major cities, for human motivations accelerated so much by events that they stop making sense and become a terrifying grand-guignol that may well break society.


Quotes

“Wanna know how I got these scars ?”

Manager: “Oh, criminals in this town used to believe in things. Honor. Respect. Look at you ! What do you believe in, huh ? WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE IN ?”
Joker: [leans down and sticks a grenade in the manager’s mouth] “I believe whatever doesn’t kill you, simply makes you…” [takes off his mask] “…stranger”.

[To Batman] “Come on, I want you to do it, I want you to do it. Come on, hit me. *Hit me !*”

Lau: “Now, obviously, no one except me can know the location for now. But rest assured, your money is safe.”
[From outside comes the sound of loud, fake laughter. The mob bosses turn and see the Joker enter]
The Joker: “And I thought my jokes were bad.”

Joker: “Come here. Hey ! Look at me. So I had a wife, beautiful, like you, who tells me I worry too much. Who tells me I ought to smile more. Who gambles and gets in deep with the sharks… Look at me ! One day, they carve her face. And we have no money for surgeries. She can’t take it. I just want to see her smile again, hm ? I just want her to know that I don’t care about the scars. So… I stick a razor in my mouth and do this…” [the Joker mimics slicing his mouth open with his tongue] “ …to myself. And you know what ? She can’t stand the sight of me ! She leaves. Now I see the funny side. Now I’m always smiling !” [Rachel knees the Joker in the groin ; he merely laughs it off]

(To Batman) “Oh, you. You just couldn’t let me go, could you ? This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. You are truly incorruptible, aren’t you ? Huh ? You won’t kill me out of some misplaced sense of self-righteousness. And I won’t kill you because you’re just too much fun. I think you and I are destined to do this forever.”

“I took Gotham’s white knight and I brought him down to our level. It wasn’t hard. You see, madness, as you know, is like gravity. All it takes is a little push !”

“Do you want to know why I use a knife ? Guns are too quick. You can’t savor all the… little emotions. In… you see, in their last moments, people show you who they really are. So in a way, I know your friends better than you ever did. Would you like to know which of them were cowards ?”

“The only sensible way to live in this world is without rules !”

“See, I’m a man of simple tastes. I like dynamite, and gunpowder…” [The Chechen watches, appalled, as Joker’s thugs pour gasoline on his mountain of cash] ’And gasoline ! Do you know what all of these things have in common ? They’re cheap !‘

“Tonight you’re all gonna be part of a social experiment. Through the magic of diesel fuel and ammonium nitrate, I’m ready right now to blow you all sky high. Anyone attempts to get off their boat, you all die. Each of you has a remote… to blow up the other boat. At midnight, I blow you all up. If, however, one of you presses the button, I’ll let that boat live. So, who’s it going to be: Harvey Dent’s most wanted scumbag collection, or the sweet and innocent civilians ? You choose… oh, and you might want to decide quickly, because the people on the other boat might not be so noble.”

“You have nothing, nothing to threaten me with. Nothing to do with all your strength.”

(To Batman) “Don’t talk like one of them. You’re not ! Even if you’d like to be. To them, you’re just a freak, like me ! They need you right now, but when they don’t, they’ll cast you out, like a leper ! You see, their morals, their code, it’s a bad joke. Dropped at the first sign of trouble. They’re only as good as the world allows them to be. I’ll show you. When the chips are down, these… these civilized people, they’ll eat each other. See, I’m not a monster. I’m just ahead of the curve. You have all these rules, and you think they’ll save you.”

“No, there’s only minutes left, so you’re gonna have to play my little game if you want to save one of them.”

“How about a magic trick ? I’m gonna make this pencil disappear.”

“Wanna know how I got these scars ? My father was… a drinker. And a fiend. And one night he goes off crazier than usual. Mommy gets the kitchen knife to defend herself. He doesn’t like that. Not-one-bit. So – me watching – he takes the knife to her, laughing while he does it ! Turns to me, and he says, “why so serious, son ?” Comes at me with the knife… ”Why so serious ?” He sticks the blade in my mouth… ”Let’s put a smile on that face !” And…” [looks sidelong at Gambol’s thug, watching the whole thing in horror] “Why… so… serious ?”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

The Joker

Dex: 06 Str: 03 Bod: 05 Motivation: Psychopathic Thrill Seeker
Int: 08 Wil: 08 Min: 08 Occupation: Criminal
Inf: 10 Aur: 07 Spi: 09 Resources {or Wealth}: 006
Init: 028 HP: 075

Skills:
Artist (actor): 06, Animal Handling (dogs): 03, Charisma: 10, Gadgetry: 06, Martial Artist: 05, Medicine: 04, Military Science: 08, Scientist: 04, Thief: 06, Weaponry: 06, Vehicles (land): 04

Bonuses and Limitations:
Charisma (persuasion) may only be used on someone who is incredibly stressed, traumatized, or insane.

Advantages:
Area Knowledge (Gotham City), Iron Nerves, Gift of Gab, Leadership, Local Hero (criminally insane), Omni-connection, Scholar (logistics, planning, psychology), Shticks (My Play Ground My Rules, Preternaturally Streetwise, THE Connection).

Bonuses and Limitations:
Local Hero (criminally) insane isn’t so much based on the Jokers reputation as much as it is his uncanny understanding of insanity and how to manipulate them to suit his needs. After all who else could organize a bunch of murdering psychopaths into such a formidable force ? At the GM’s discretion he could reasonably even have the same influence over sane people that have recently been traumatized, such as he did with Harvey Dent.

Connections:
Arkham inmates (High), Street (High), Underworld (High).

Drawbacks:
MIA (telling false origin stories), CIA (causing chaos and dueling worthy opponents), MPI (sociopath), Minor Rage.

Equipment:
The Joker was seen wielding everything from knives all the way up to a rocket launcher and quite a few things in between. Assume that he’ll be packing whatever he needs for the occasion.


Army of Psychopaths

Dex: 03 Str: 03 Bod: 03 Motivation: Psychopath
Int: 02 Wil: 02 Min: 02 Occupation: Criminal
Inf: 02 Aur: 02 Spi: 02 Resources {or Wealth}: 01
Init: 008 HP: 003

Skills:
Vehicles (land): 02, Weaponry (firearms, melee): 04

Drawbacks:
SIA (some obsession), SPI.

Equipment:
Any reasonable street level weaponry should be fine.

The Joker had no shortage of these at his beck and call. Most of them are either former Arkham Asylum inmates or likely soon to be. Most of them were probably as much of a threat to themselves as they were to others, but under the Joker’s leadership they became frighteningly efficient and were able to infiltrate one of the local mobs, Gotham PD, and utterly decimate an armored convoy.

They likely would’ve been able to repel the SWAT Team assault at the end of the movie were it not for the intervention of the Batman. Note that it is highly likely that some of them possess other skills – most notably Military Science (demolitions): 04, but other specialties are possible as well.


Design Notes

Some skills are highly speculative. A lot of them are not specifically demonstrated in the movie, but it is assumed that he is a very very capable guy since he has all of Gotham running in circles for the duration of the entire movie.


New rules – THE Connection

Writer: Tom Eilers
Designed for: The Joker from Dark Knight

A character with this advantage is able to gain all the benefits they would from Omni-connection at half price. Obviously Omni-connection is a prerequisite to having this shtick. This advantage also grants the character the extra bonus of being able to come one step more specific to the type of characters that they are seeking out.

Example: If a character is pulled over for speeding by a police officer then he cannot automatically use Omni-connection to know the officer detaining him, but he can use Omni-connection to know someone working at the same police department, whom the officer may know of, but not know personally, but with THE Connection it’s likely to be someone in the same squad the officer in question has somewhat regular dealings with.

With this advantage The Joker was able to get top secret information from Gotham’s Special Crimes Unit, which was supposed to be tightly knit and working closely under Gordon’s supervision all because he knew a few of them were on Maroni’s payroll.

A character with this advantage can literally seem like they know everyone and everything of importance.

By Tom Eilers.

Source of Character: The Dark Knight film (2008).

Helper(s): Kal el Vigilante (for the Batman Begins wu. Even though it’s still a beta is was still very helpful for stat comparison.) Sébastien Andrivet, Capita_Senyera, Adam Fuqua, Frank Murdock, Alan Wilkinson (for stat suggestions), Darci (for editing), IMDB.com (quotes).

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