This profile is the second half of an article, which is part of a series, which is part of a series.
So you should first check our guide to Batgirl character profiles.
Stephanie is exceptionally fit.
Her lean build leaves little room for body fat. But her occasional grumbles about not having enough of a chest can only make sense in a world of super-idealised bodies.
The Batgirl suit includes a lavender-coloured body stocking worn under the costume. This presumably prevents chafing from the armour, but is also designed to be flattering.
Stephanie is an intense and driven person. But not in the sense of being a brooding, coldly analytical angry loner hyperfocused on being the night, on being vengeance.
Her drive is both strong and complex. She doesn’t understand all of it herself. It’s a mix of every Motivation in the DC Heroes TTRPG.
She loves the Thrill. She just cannot sit there as she feels she has a Responsibility. Her instincts are to help and Uphold The Good even if it comes at a great personal cost. She has a deep-seated need to Seek Justice to compensate for the actions of her father and prove that she isn’t like him. Etc..
On occasions her Motivation was romantic. For a while she mostly was Spoiler to be close to Robin (Tim Drake).
As Batgirl, her main Motivation has become to serve and protect.
It emerged organically as Stephanie determined what sort of woman she was – and what her priorities were.
Furthermore, Stephanie has far too much invested into being a vigilante. And she has been through too much pain, too much training, too many tragedies and too many fights to stop. It’s now in her blood.
The main characterisation hooks for Batgirl are :
Stephanie Brown may feel that she doesn’t do too many things right. But there’s one thing that she can’t do at all – giving up.
She’s more stubborn than any mule ever born. And her heart is set on being a heroine and doing good.
No matter the horrors and setbacks, no matter what everybody tells her, no matter the judgements passed on her abilities, and no matter what she promised in moments of weakness, she’ll be out there fighting.
While Stephanie wasn’t around when Barbara was Batgirl, the Batgirl identity is very important to her. She considers its mystique — especially its spirit of independence — as the most important thing she has been entrusted with.
Barbara Gordon is the only person who eventually believed in Steph’s ultimate potential. This made Brown even more determined now that she bore the name once used by her mentor.
Barbara is harder, older, smarter, more charismatic, more everything than Stephanie. And she’s used to being obeyed and being in charge.
Yet Stephanie insists on doing her own thing.
Which makes Steph the truest inheritor to the “Batgirl” identity as Barbara defined it during the 1970s.
Despite having been used as a chew toy by fate, Stephanie makes a big deal of generally being an upbeat, optimistic, positive super-heroine. That’s whom she wants to be.
And though she occasionally falters Batgirl is totally a smiling, enthusiastic — even cheerful — adventuress.
Brown has a constant internal monologue running in her head. It’s commenting on everything, jabbering about everything, overanalysing everything.
This leads to “outer voice” issues. That is, she says what’s running in her head without thinking. Or even without realising that she’s talking.
The realisation that she actually spoke out loud (or that she said something inappropriate, or blurted out something stupid, or isn’t projecting the image she’d like to have, etc.) will always hit her a second too late.
Her inner monologue is like a high-pressure hose, making it difficult to think before she talks.
Young Stephanie is concerned with controlling her image, looking socially acceptable, coming across as smart and funny and cool and attractive, etc..
Her inside voice issues therefore often leave her mortified – and feeling hopelessly dorky.
The absence of a brain/mouth filter has a positive side. Steph spontaneously comes up with snappy banter, funny remarks and bad puns.
However, she tries not to sound too dorkish and ditzy when in costume. Because Batgirl should be awesome.
These traits are also shared to some extent with Barbara Gordon. Babs has an endless inner monologue running – and liked cracking wise back when she was Batgirl.
Stephanie is certainly not daft. But she’s not one for sophisticated pondering either.
She’s a woman of action, incapable of standing still, hating to waste time sleeping since she could be out there doing stuff, and seeking to jump in the thick of it.
Which leads to stupid. Such as wondering what is the weight limit and elasticity of her de-celSpecific rope tech allowing for super-hero urban acrobatics. line *after* she jumped off a skyscraper while grabbing two of her opponents. Or only discovering that her suit is strongly insulated after she gets hit by lightning.
Stephanie sees her impulsiveness and spontaneity as a strength. Her experience is that she is at her best when improvising. But of course, that’s circular reasoning…
The first time Batgirl vanquished a clearly superior foe through analysis and planning, she therefore launched into a touchdown dance.
Stephanie doesn’t have much of an ego. Aside from her sheer determination and her physical skills, she has little going for her.
- She’s not wealthy.
- She’s lower-middle-class, if that.
- She doesn’t feel particularly intelligent or charismatic.
- She has but a mediocre high school education. And is not doing well in college.
- She’s not a member of any prestigious in-crowd.
- Her life is littered with failures, setbacks and strokes of horrible luck and suffering.
Ms. Brown thus contrasts with most bat-heroes. She lacks the aristocratic, simply-born-superior quality these have – and had to follow the hard path all the way.
Despite being volubleTalking a lot and with enthusiasm. and amusing, Brown doesn’t have much of a personal network. Her life has sucked too much for that, and she never had a lot of opportunities to make lasting friendships.
She also regularly comes across as being weird, dorky and awkward. Because of her outside voice issues, but also because she’s trying too hard.
She thus feels lonely, and her few friendships are important to her. But they tend to be all super-heroes.
After her buddy Cassandra vanished without an explanation, Stephanie came to develop a friendship with another super-heroine of her age, Supergirl (Kara Zor-El). Kara also felt lonely and did not fit in well.
Stephanie does perceive the irony that the persons closest to her are traumatised super-ninjas, space aliens, or Britons.
Still seeking acceptance
With her lack of academic success and poor fit with most social environments, Stephanie sees being a rooftop vigilante as the only thing she can do well in her life.
Being accepted as Batgirl, having her skills recognised, working with the rest of Batman, Incorporated and other signs of acceptance are thus super-duper important to her.
For the first time in her life, Stephanie feels that she’s achieving something and being recognised. As Batgirl, she finally feels useful, confident, productive and accepted.
Brown would also like to obtain some level of acceptance and popularity by the public. But she realises that this is unlikely to happen as a nocturnal urban vigilante.
Stephanie is classified as a geek in college. She doesn’t actually have particularly nerdish interests, but she’s not playing the usual social games and is something of an outsider.
Though Stephanie is now 19, she retains certain traits she developed as a teenager.
Her lack of advanced people skills, her self-consciousness and her stubbornness occasionally result in social situations she can’t quite handle.
In those cases, she’ll revert to childish tactics. All the way to crossing her fingers behind her back while making a promise. She lacks the skills to convince others and argue her position.
She also retains a fear of being alone. She needs to hear a voice, and will routinely talk to herself if nobody’s nearby. Having Oracle or Proxy over her radio is important for support, but it’s almost as important to have her know that she’s not alone.
Stephanie almost never admits to, alludes to or discuss her fear of isolation.
Only the lonely
Having a good relationship with her mother is crucial for Stephanie. Mrs. Brown is her only family, but they’ve been through years of upheaval and suffering.
Stephanie reached a point where she and her mother have a fairly normal relationship, and that is important for them both.
Stephanie continues to operate with a childish, counter-productive mental model. Wherein nobody likes her because she’s a dork. But she might win them over because she’s a good person inside and they’ll come to see that in time.
She’s thus visibly happy when people she likes are forced by circumstances (or even Brown’s own actions !) to spend time with her and work with her.
Despite the juvenile moments, Stephanie is now making adult choices about her life. Or at least she will when she finally decides about her major.
She also started unconsciously replicating a number of attitudes, expressions and gestures of her mentor Barbara. Neither seems to realise it, since this is as much a result of similarities in their personalities than of spending time with each other.
Thus Stephanie occasionally has surprisingly aloof, serious, sarcastic and penetrating moments and remarks. For a handful of seconds.
Likewise Barbara can have brief moments and quipping, impatience and enthusiasm when working with Steph.
Stephanie is kind.
She’s had a hard life, and is under no illusion that some persons — such as her father — aren’t hopelessly worthless and/or toxic. But she doesn’t like writing people off unless they’re known murderers or the like.
She will give them multiple chances, reach out and try to be nice (if a tad clumsy and unsubtle). Even with Damian Wayne. This is in part because this is how she’d like to be treated.
Like her friend Cassandra, Stephanie is here to save lives, not punish evildoers.
While she’s not as… uniquely fixated as Cass, she tries real hard — and takes huge risks — to save people. Limiting loss of lives is her clear priority.
She’d also like to set a positive example and have a message of hope and self-actualisation. But Steph doesn’t know how to do that part.
So she usually end up spouting well-meaning platitudes while pretending that she’s being totally cool and ironic and stuff when she says that.
Not being a planner or strategist, what counts for Stephanie is not to deploy a grand crime-fighting scheme. It’s to help people here and now, especially if she knows them. Minor victories are just fine as far as she’s concerned.
Blonde on blonde
Some readers have compared Batgirl to Buffy.
Much of it is superficial similarities. Young blonde woman with superior martial and athletic prowess and a nerdy sense of humour. Yet there is a common ground of determination, pluckiness and strong emotions fuelling her resolve and exploits.
Stephanie is more approachable than Buffy, though. Not an everywoman either, but more relatable and with her heart on her sleeve.
Big thug: “I ain’t afraid of you. What you weigh ? Like, 100 pounds ?”
Batgirl: “Thank you.”
“My name is Stephanie Brown. I’ve been a Robin. I’ve been Spoiler. And now I’m… I’m seeing something through. Which is kinda a big deal for me.”
“I am a dutiful college student, a devoted daughter, and a magnet for trouble. Among other things.”
Oracle: “Can you handle yourself for a few hours ?”
Batgirl: “I’m almost 50% sure that nothing could go wrong.”
“This isn’t rejection-hedging. I *know* rejection-hedging. He’s hiding something.”
(Berating herself under her breath) “Way to go, Steph — don’t even ask how [Tim]’s been holding up since Bruce died. Classy.”
“I know, right ?” (recurrent catchphrase)
Batgirl (cinema trailer narrator voice): “’Can two former…‘ whatever we were…‘put their differences aside to save the day ?‘”
Red Robin: “You know that’s not your head voice, right ?”
Batgirl: “I can do things on purpose every now and then, you know.” (singsong voice) “You’re going to need my help.”
“For the first time in my life, I’m fighting this fight… I don’t know… not even for me.” (gestures at the Gotham skyline) “I’m doing this for all of them.”
(To herself, after failing to come across as foxy as she hoped) “Way to sell it, Dork Knight. Way to sell it.”
“Just make sure my mom doesn’t find out if I get shot, okay ?”
Detective Gage: “I’m all out [of ammo]. What do ya got ?”
Batgirl: “A utility belt full of crap, and a positive outlook ?”
(Probably out loud, after jumping down a condemned elevator shaft and painfully crashing into a series of wooden beams) “…and it was only then that young Stephanie truly realised gravity would forever be her enemy.”
Det. Gage: “Here, your boomerang…”
Det. Gage: “You realise that sounds more ridiculous, right ?”
Batgirl: “Ridiculously awesome.”
Stephanie: “Proxy has lots of abandonment issues and none of my…” (starts counting on her fingers) “…can-do, devil-may-care, Pollyana…” (realises she has no idea of what she was about to say) “… un… sinkable…”
Barbara: “You get a little lost in there ?”
Stephanie: “You shoot from the hip, you don’t always hit the mark.”
Harmony: “I can hear your heartbeat, little girl. I know you aren’t dead yet.”
Batgirl: “I’m a real pain in the ass like that.”
(With awkward cheerfulness, after thrashing a pack of hoodlums trying to kill her) “Don’t do drugs !” (hesitates, waves goodbye, leaves in a hurry).
“Here we go !” (recurrent battle cry)
DC Heroes RPG
|Dex: 07||Str: 03||Bod: 04|
|Int: 07||Wil: 06||Min: 06|
|Inf: 04||Aur: 04||Spi: 06|
|Init: 022||HP: 040|
Bonuses and Limitations:
Systemic antidote is Form Function.
Acrobatics: 08, Artist (Gymnastics, pianist): 04, Artist (Sewing): 03, Martial Artist: 06, Medicine (First Aid): 04, Scientist (Research): 04, Thief (Stealth): 06, Vehicles (Land): 06, Weaponry (Batarangs): 08, Weaponry (Other thrown weapons): 06
- Credentials (Oracle’s Network, Medium – now defunct but replaced by Low Credentials with Batman, Inc.).
- Familiarity (Oracle’s files on criminals, Surveillance).
- Financial Backer (Bruce Wayne).
- Headquarters (Expansive – Firewall).
- Lightning Reflexes
- Language (Basic Swahili).
- Oracle (Barbara Gordon) (High, Powerful).
- Batman (Richard Grayson) (Low).
- Dr. Leslie Thompkins (High).
- Proxy (Wendy Harris) (Low).
- Det. Nick “St. Nick” Gage of the GCP (Low).
- Commissioner Gordon (Low).
- Batman (Bruce Wayne) (Low, Powerful).
- Red Robin (Tim Drake) (Low).
- Supergirl (Kara Zor-El) (Low).
- Knight & Squire (Cyril Sheldrake and Beryl Hutchinson) (Low).
Secret ID (chiefly from her mother).
College student, vigilante.
- BATGIRL COSTUME [/BODY/ 06, Blunting: 05, Cold immunity: 01, Extended hearing: 04, Flame immunity: 03, Lightning immunity: 13, Radio communication (Encrypted): 08, Sealed systems: 07, Thermal vision: 09, X-Ray vision: 05, Ultravision: 09, Bonus: Radio communication also includes full life sign monitors and a smartphone, Limitation: X-Ray Vision can be Combined with Thermal Vision or Thermal Vision, but is blocked by any good thermal insulator (+0)]. Still no iPod port, though.
- Bat-line [BODY 07, Snare: 05, Bonus: Snare has the Swingline Bonus].
- Binoculars [BODY 04, Telescopic vision: 05, Ultra-vision: 10, Note : the Binoculars can relay video through the COSTUME’s Radio communications].
- Collapsible stick [BODY 09, Enhance (EV): 01 (cap is 09), Miniaturisation: 02, Schtick (Unfettered Fist), Descriptor: Bludgeoning].
- RICOCHET [STR 04 BODY 06, Running: 07, Vehicle (Self): 04].
- THE COMPACT. Stats unrevealed.
- Batarangs. Batgirl carries and liberally uses an arsenal of trick batarangs, which are colour-coded based on their payload. She has so many that she rarely hesitates to take advantage of their Dart Bonus.
- Black batarangs (x15) [BODY 06, EV 03, Gliding: 01, Dart Bonus, Limitation: Gliding to arc back to the thrower boomerang-like, which may allow for Blindside Attacks]. A solid bat-shaped throwing weapon, which can somehow act as a blunt weapon or an edged weapon as necessary.
- White-and-red batarangs (x10) [BODY 04, Ice production: 07, Dart Bonus, Grenade Drawback, Limitation: Ice production is limited to encasing targets in ice. Note if there’s a lot of water in the air this may enhance the APs of Ice Production as it gets frozen as well.]
- Grey batarang (x10) [BODY 04, Fog: 06, Grenade Drawback].
- Orange batarangs (x12) [BODY 03, Bomb: 07, Dart Bonus, Grenade Drawback]. Concussive charges.
- Burgundy and white batarangs (x6) [BOY 03, Cling: 01, EV 08, Grenade Drawback]. Slap-on remotely-detonated demolition charges.
- Grey and yellow batarangs (x9) [BODY 03, Lightning (No Range): 10, Dart Bonus, Grenade Drawback].
- White and green batarangs (x9) [BODY 03, Snare (No Range): 06, Dart Bonus, Grenade Drawback]. The ’gooperangs’ release a green goop that ensnares and immobilises the target.
Batgirl later received an industrial press to make her own batarangs – see the Powers & Abilities section in part #1.
Most of her equipment’s specs is a mystery. The stats for the gear thus include a fair percentage of guesswork.
The Artist and Medicine Skills are inherited from previous writeups, not being demonstrated during this span. Ditto for the Language.
DC Adventures RPG
Batgirl (Steph Brown) — Averaged PL 9.8
Batgirl costume ● 25 points (Removable)
– Bullet- and stabbing-resistant — Second Chance 2 (Sharp Impact).
– Insulated — Protection 4 and Enhanced Fortitude 4 (both Limited 2 to Heat/Cold), Immunity 5 (Electricity).
– Built-in shotgun mike, and cowl lenses — Senses 6 (Extended hearing 1, Ultravision, plus Infravision w/Penetrates Concealment), Quirk (Penetrates Concealment doesn’t work through good thermal isolators)).
– Radio — Communication 3 Subtle 1.
– Integrated life signs monitor, integrated smartphone — Feature 2.
– Bat-rebreather — Immunity 2 (suffocation/gasses), Activation (Standard).
Bat-line ● 3 points (Easily Removable)
– Swingline — Movement 2 (Swinging).
– Grab-line — Move Object 1 (Limited Direction – only toward Batgirl).
Binoculars ● 2 points (Easily Removable)
Senses 3 (Extended vision, Darkvision), Feature 1 (can relay video through the costume’s Communication.
Collapsible stick ● 4 points (Easily Removable)
– Strength-based Blunt Damage 2, Power Attack, Improved Critical 1, Improved Smash.
– Feature 1 (Fully collapsible).
Ricochet ● 14 points
Size M Strength 1 Speed 7 Defense 10 Toughness 9, Feature 2 (autopilot, GPS).
Ridiculously awesome batarangs Array ● 20 points (Removable)
- Black batarangs — Ranged Autofire Blunt Damage 1.
- Black batarangs (edged) — Ranged Autofire Slashing Damage 1.
- White-and-red batarangs — Ranged Affliction 6 (Hindered/Immobile/Incapacitated), Resisted by Dodge and breakable by Strength/Damage ● Descriptor : Encasing block of ice.
- Grey batarangs — Ranged Cloud-Area Visual Concealment Attack 4 ● Descriptor : Smoke.
- Orange batarangs — Ranged Burst-Area Blunt Damage 6 ● Descriptor : Explosives.
- Burgundy-and-white batarangs — Blunt Damage 7, Feature 1 (Slap-on adhesive, remotely detonated) ● Descriptor : Explosives.
- Grey-and-yellow batarangs — Ranged Electrical Damage 9.
- White-and-green batarangs — Ranged Affliction 5 w/Extra Condition (Fighting Impaired and Hindered, Fighting Disabled and Immobile, Paralysed), Resisted by Dodged and breakable by Strength/Damage ● Descriptor : “Gooperang”.
Agile Feint, Close attack 3, Defensive Attack, Defensive Roll 2, Evasion 1, Grabbing Finesse, Improved Defence, Improved Initiative, Improved trip, Instant up, Move-by Action, Quick Draw, Ranged attack 3.
Benefit (Insider in Oracle’s Network ; later Batman, Inc. agent), Contacts, Well-Informed.
Acrobatics 7 (+12), Athletics 8 (+9), Close combat (Unarmed) 2 (+11), Close combat (Baton/staff) 2 (+11), Deception 2 (+3), Insight 4 (+6), Investigation 1 (+2), Perception 6 (+8), Persuasion 1 (+2), Ranged combat (Batarangs) 4 (+12), Stealth 6 (+11), Vehicles 6 (+11).
|Unarmed +11, Close, Damage 1|
|Baton/staff +11, Close, Damage 3, Crit. 19-20|
|Batarags +12, Ranged, payload varies|
* Without Defensive Roll
- Identity During this era Steph continues to have a secret identity, mostly from her mother.
- Relationship Reestablishing familial relationships with her mother, occasional fights against her father, fear of the Batman’s judgement, complicated relationship with Tim Drake, mentoring by Oracle, etc..
- Responsibility Steph is huge on being Batgirl and having Batgirl be an exemplary, positive heroine.
- Quirk Various social quirks such as outer voice issues and general dorkiness.
- Trade-off areas Attack & Effect PL 11, Dodge/Toughness PL 8, Parry/Toughness PL 8, Fort & Will PL 9.
- Point total 184. Abilities 46, Defences 24, Skills 25, Powers 0, Devices 68, Advantages 21. Equiv. PL 13.
Source of Character: Batgirl volume 3 (2009-2011) and contemporary appearances (DC Universe).
Helper(s): Batgirl fans on rpg.net’s Tangency Other Media, Darci, Salinea, Frank Murdock, Pawsplay, Murkglow.
Writeup completed in August of 2011.