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Nightwing by Jim Lee over a white background

Nightwing

(Dick Grayson)


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

Context

Dick Grayson was Batman’s original Robin. As he grew up and distanced himself from his mentor, he adopted the identity of Nightwing. Nightwing is famed both as the leader of several super-teams (such as the Teen Titans or the Outsiders) and as a solo adventurer.

He can reasonably be considered a major character. As Robin he had huge exposure both as Batman’s sidekick and as the leader of the Teen Titans (the latter were huge in comics during the 1980s). As Nightwing he’s been consistently able to have his own comic book.

This profile is about him circa the year 2000. It focuses on the era chronicled in the first 4 or 5 years 1996 Nightwing series, set in Blüdhaven – because this is when it was written. His game stats and equipment are for that time.


Background

  • Real Name: Richard John “Dick” Grayson.
  • Other Aliases: Robin I, Batman II, the Target.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: John and Mary Grayson (parents, deceased), Bruce Wayne (adoptive father).
  • Group Affiliation: Leader of the Titans ; member of Batman’s informal crew.
  • Base Of Operations: 1013 Parkthorne av., Blüdhaven.
  • Height: 5’10” Weight: 175lbs.
  • Eyes: Dreamy blue Hair: Black


Powers and Abilities

Dick Grayson is highly trained in a staggering number of disciplines – and he has been trained in most of them by the Batman himself.

He is a highly competent athlete, martial artist, detective, technician and vigilante, among many other things.

Nightwing (Dick Grayson) using a swingline, over a white background

Still, his main asset might be his jaw-dropping talent for athletics. Nightwing is one of the very best acrobats in the world, if not the best. He is one of the very, very few persons who can do a quadruple somersault, will casually accomplish 3 death-defying stunts before breakfast, and can move at an amazing speed along the “rooftop express”.

His speed and nimbleness are such that he is pretty much impossible to hit with a firearm. Literally tons of ammunition have been expended in his general direction without *ever* connecting, even from the guns of marksmanship experts like the modern Trigger Twins.

Tim Drake has often commented that, for the trained-since-birth Grayson, everything looked totally effortless when it came to athletics.

Nightwing (Dick Grayson) face and shoulders closeup

Since he benefits from the assistance of Oracle, Dick does not use his detection skill as much nowadays as he did when he was Robin. Besides, the cases he encounters tend to be more squalid and brutal than the convoluted murder mysteries of old.


History

An extensive profile written by Rebecca Salek can be found on Sequentialtart.com’s archives . We used to have a backup of the article here but it seems safely archived.

Evolution of Dick Grayson and his costumes

Nightwing came to Blüdhaven in 1996 as Batman asked him to investigate the corpses of Blüdhaven wise guys who floated to Gotham. Having spent decades decaying in the shadow of neighbouring Gotham, Blüdhaven was in a dismal state of decay. Grayson decided to establish himself there, where he could have a positive effect away from Batman.

The gangland killings were the result of the takeover of the local underworld by Roland Desmond aka Blockbuster. Nightwing and Blockbuster soon became bitter enemies, with numerous assassins hired by Desmond failing to kill Grayson.

Seeing how the massive police corruption was enabling crime, Grayson enlisted as a rookie policeman in his civilian identity. He served during the day in his blues and the during the night in his, well, other blues.

Nightwing (Dick Grayson) sliding in snow on the ground

This era and the struggle against Blockbuster were also marked by a short romance with the Huntress (Helena Bertinelli) and the delicate case of a copycat vigilante coincidentally named Nite-Wing (Tad Ryerstad).

Dick also continued to mend fences or reestablish contacts with Batman and his associates, including the new Robin (Tim Drake) or Oracle (Barbara Gordon). During a catastrophic earthquake in the area, Dick returned to Gotham and he and Barbara Gordon briefly became romantically involved.

However, things soon went sour in Blüdhaven.


Personality

Dick Grayson is a serious but easy-going young man in his mid-20s. He’s in a way the perfect big brother : the nicest, most popular hunk in college, only 5 times as gifted, 5 times as cool, 5 times as smart – and 10 times as dedicated.

He will approach everything with the confidence born of amazing talent and incredible training. Yet he manages to never seem pretentious in the slightest, always caring for others and being genuinely attentive.

Nightwing (Dick Grayson) jumping, over a white background

At times, a casual observer might think his Motivation is Thrill of Adventure. He finds rooftop acrobatics or driving the Nightbird just plain *fun*, gets an obvious sense of satisfaction from bringing justice and happiness to the people, and has always some light banter ready for combat.

Although he’s not a motormouth like Spider-Man, he usually seems very relaxed when doing the vigilante thing.

However, what actually makes him tick is a deep, burning desire to make the world a better, safer place where justice actually exists. Like the Batman, he wants no kid to ever suffer the losses he went through. Unlike the Batman he does not see the world as a cruel and harsh place, but remembers the wonderful childhood he had.

This profound difference in their memories of the time before the loss lets Nightwing fight for a better, safer world for honest people around him while his former mentor fight to crush evil. While Batman follows his own obsessive rules, Nightwing is actually sane and a part of society.

Nightwing (Dick Grayson), Alfred and Robin in the Batcave - painted art

Like the Batman, he has a very strong “nobody dies on my watch” code.

Nightwing’s courage is amazing. He has faced so much danger and monstrous opponents straight from a nightmare since his early teens that he seem to be fearless and take physical pain in stride without much of a shock. To him it’s a mere part of his job, and he can actually defy physical or mental torture with a smile.

Even when badly hurt, he’ll still act in a stalwart and generous way, saving innocents and bearing little grudge. Likewise, although his life has been a terrifying emotional grinder, he’s outgoing, gentle and well-adjusted.

Bat-Squad

Nightwing cares a lot for Tim Drake. Though he never treats him as a kid, he knows Tim is the closest thing to a little brother he will ever have. He enjoys teaming up with him, and will help to train him when he can, usually running Tim through old training routines the Batman devised for the first Robin. They have clear chemistry and respect between them.

Dick, on the other hand, is haunted by the ghost of Jason Todd. It seems to be an echo of his great guild over not having preventing the murder of his parents, and of having generally mishandled this period.

His relationship with the Batman is rather complicated. Bruce Wayne simply does not have the tools to express how much he cares for his the young man who is for all intend and purpose his son. Nightwing will never be free of the shadow of his formidable ’father‘.

They tend to be awkwardly and silently defensive toward each other, with a lot of things left unsaid – although they will fight along with each other in a heartbeat. Dick was much more at ease in his role as a leader for the Titans.

Despite being a huge hit with the ladies with his attractiveness, confidence and boy next door charm, his romantic life keeps turning into a minefield through little fault of his own. He keeps trying, though and has an easy, flattering, gently flirting manner.

Nightwing (Dick Grayson) posing in front of a thunderbolt, painted art

In Blüdhaven, Nightwing is learning to work alone. Before that, he had always been half of a duo or the leader of a full team. While it flatters his confidence and his need to get out of the Batman’s shadow, he doesn’t seem entirely at ease with the solo gig. He often relies on Oracle’s ideas and investigation. While he knows he’s very smart, he’s also quite aware Barbara is a genius.

Albeit he’s an excellent detective, he’s not really into the “plans within plans within plans within paranoia” genius of the Batman. He tend to go with the flow and try various approaches instead of obsessively taking intellectual control of any situation.

Lately, Dick has taken more and more Batman-like qualities. Operating alone in a rotten situation, he has driven himself more and more harshly to live up to his impossible responsibility, becoming colder, more tired and more driven. The consequences of Blockbuster demolishing his life are still unknown at the time of this writing.

Nightwing does not really have distinctive dialogue. He speaks fairly normally for a super-hero, without exceptional wit or special patterns of patter. He’s relaxed and natural that way.


Quotes

“When Batman sent me down here I though I’d solve one case and book. But then I realized… If I could make a difference here – well, that’d be something…”


Description

A broad-shouldered, handsome hunk that has most of the girls raving about how dreamy he is. Nightwing, when out of costume, usually dresses in simple clothes with a general sportive feel – running shoes, jogging pants, etc. He previously had a queue, but it got hacked by a knife blow when he started investigating in Blüdhaven. Since it wasn’t fashionable anymore anyway, he now just wears his hair to shoulder length.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Nightwing

Dex: 08 Str: 04 Bod: 05 Motivation: Seeking Justice
Int: 08 Wil: 08 Min: 09 Occupation: Policeman, vigilante
Inf: 08 Aur: 07 Spi: 08 Resources {or Wealth}: 009
Init: 028 HP: 100

Skills:
Acrobatics (climbing, athletics, dodging): 11, Artist (actor): 07, Charisma (persuasion): 09, Charisma (Interrogation, intimidation): 07, Detective*: 08, Evasion (Ranged only): 11, Gadgetry: 06, Martial artist (EV, RV): 07, Martial artist (AV, OV): 09, Medicine (first aid): 06, Military science: 07, Scientist: 06, Thief: 08, Vehicles (Air, Land, Water): 06, Weaponry*: 08

Advantages:
Area Knowledge (New York City, Gotham City, Blüdhaven), Attractive, Credentials (Blüdhaven police Dept, Low), Iron Nerves, Leadership, Lightning Reflexes, Schtick (paired sticks), Sharp Eye.

Connections:
Batman (High), Oracle (High), Robin III (Tim Drake, High), Alfred Pennyworth (High), Dr. Leslie Thompkins (High), Wayne Foundation (High), Huntress (Helena Bertinelli, Low), Haley Circus (High), New York Police Dept (High), Commissioner Gordon (High), Blüdhaven Police Dept (Low), New Titans (High), Street (Low), Superman (Low).

Notes:
Nightwing prefers to avoid using his connection with the Batman. Since the breakup, he’s also quite reluctant to use his Oracle connection, asking Tim Drake instead.

Drawbacks:
Mistrust (Blüdhaven only), Secret ID.

Equipment:

  • COSTUME [BODY 06, Blunting: 06, Flame immunity: 01, Misc. Advantage : provides a +1CS to OV/RV of spotting the wearer in the dark due its colour scheme].
  • MASK [BODY 05, Radio communications: 05, Shade: 02, Ultra-vision: 04, Area Knowledge (inertial navigation system)].
  • Wingdings (x12) [BODY 07, EV 02 (03 w/STR), Gliding: 02, Limitation: Gliding only to extend thrown distance, Advantage : Dart bonus, note : can tow a BODY 12, 4 APs long line. The wingdings (small modified batarangs) are normally used as a very fast, very efficient grappling hook for the line – but Nightwing has occasionally tied three together to form a bola (BODY 12, Snare: 06), and they can be of course used as thrown weapons].
    Specialty wingdings include Edged Wingdings (x3) [BODY 08, EV 03, Sharpness (EV): 01, Gliding: 01, Limitation: Gliding only to extend thrown distance. Note : Those are extremely sharp, and Nightwing occasionally uses them as knives to cut objects open)] and a Knockout Gas Wingding [BODY 04, Knockout gas: 04, Grenade drawback].
  • Escrima sticks (x2) [BODY 11, EV 03 (05 w/STR, 09 w/Martial Artist), Note : in dorsal sheaths].
  • Backup telescopic sticks (x2) [BODY 08, EV 03 (05 w/STR, 09 w/Martial Artist), Note : collapsed in his utility wristbands].
  • BODY TASER [BODY 03, Lightning (No Range): 12, Ammo: 01].
  • UTILITY WRISTBANDS & CALFBANDS [BODY 06, Security system: 10, Bomb: 05, Limitation : Bomb is a self-destruct system. Security systems seem to vary – and do not always use the Bomb power as a countermeasure. Known example include triggering the Body Taser for a Lightning (no Range): 02 discharge, which doesn’t eat the Ammo of the Body Taser ; and a similar effect but with a Lightning (Area of effect 2 APs): 06 effect, which expends the Ammo rating of the Body Taser].
  • Nightwing also keeps a Bat-rebreather [BODY 04, Sealed systems: 06, Limitation : only protects against inhaled gases] on his person.

Previous equipment

Before Knightfall, Nightwing (wearing the yellow-and-blue costume) used a different set of equipment which included:

  • A combat disk [BODY 07, EV 04, Gliding: 04, Limitation : Gliding only to increase throwing distance].
  • Stun bombs (x5) [BODY 02, Bomb: 05, Grenade Drawback].
  • WRIST ROCKETS (x2) [STR 05 BODY 05, EV 05 (Lethal), Range: 04 – normally used to two and embed a line 4 APs long].
  • For a time the yellow “wings” of his costume even allowed for actual gliding : COSTUME [BODY 06, Blunting: 05, Flame immunity: 01, Gliding: 04].

The Nightbird

While Nightwing would rather move via the “rooftop express” (traffic in Blüdhaven is horrible anyway), the Batman told him he would need a set of wheels. Sure enough, was proven right in the next few days. Nightwing then bought and old, isolated garage so he could built his dream street machine.

The result is an aluminium composite chassis with 640hp MacLaren engine which does 0 to 60 in 5s, and reaches 100 in 4 more seconds. A series of car bodies can be quickly fit and clamped on the chassis, allowing the car to quickly change appearance once in Nightwing’s garage.

Known bodies include an old rust bucket American car, a red muscle car body, a taxi, a police car and a truck cab. All the bodies are reinforced with ceramic coating and Nomex windshields that will take anything up to heavy machinegun fire and prevent dangerous ricochets.

Known gadgets include a powerful onboard computer with wireless connection and scanner, a caltrop dispenser, and an advanced security with tear gas dispensers.

NIGHTBIRD [STR 04 BODY 09 INT 02, Chemical attack: 06, Flash: 05, Radio communications: 07, Recall (computer memory): 12, Running: 08, Security systems: 12, Hardened Defenses, Insta-change, Limitations : Chemical Attack has Ammo: 04 and No Range, Flash only for steady illumination, “Insta”-change requires to stay a Nightwing’s garage for 8 APs of time ] w/ CALTROP DISPENSER [BODY 04, Glue: 10, Ammo: 04, Limitation : Glue has No Range and only works against wheeled vehicles with puncturable tyres (-3)].

Nightwing also owns a muscle boat with a sophisticated auto-pilot : [STR 04 BODY 06 INT 01, Swimming: 05*, Vehicles (itself): 02, R#02].

For a time Dick didn’t use his traditional motorbike, but he finally built a new one shortly before breaking up with Barbara Gordon. The full capability of the bike are unknown at the time of this writing – but Nightwing has referred to gadgets and armaments derived from the Batmobile’s.

Known stats are [STR 05, BODY 03, Flash: 05, Running: 08, R#02, Limitation: Flash only for steady illumination].

Nightwing (Dick Grayson)'s Nightbird car


Do the loco motions

Note that although Dick has several different levels of Martial artist (not all of his Subskills have the same efficiency), he still only has one Martial Artist skill, and can only substitute for one of AV, OV, EV or RV in a given Phase. Just clearing any potential misunderstanding. 🙂


By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: DC Universe.

Helper(s): Danielle Mendus.

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