How would you write up Judge Dredd as an Ars Magica Magus? I have seen the movies but not read the comics, and have done a quick wiki read up on him this evening.
Here are some quick thoughts I invite folks here to correct me on:
Concept: Uncompromising Lawman
Tribunal: Any Tribunal struggling with enforcement and/or a peripheral code that strongly empowers Quaesitors suits Dreddicus best. Perhaps: Stonehenge, Hibernia, Loch Leagan, Novgorod, Levant, or Iberia.
Starting Virtues & Flaws:
-3 Driven (Uphold Hermetic Code in all circumstances)
-1 Infamous (Order of Hermes: Punishing Quaesitor)
-1 Higher Purpose: Serve the Greater Good for the Order of Hermes
-1 Weak Enchanter
-3 Enemies (Various Magi or Mundanes who feel wronged by Dreddicus's form of Justice)
-1 Deleterious Circumstances (Must wear a Helmet that obscures his face, or faces halved Hermetic casting totals)
Driven - Seems obvious.
Weak Enchanter - in the comics/movies Dredd uses equipment made for him by others
Infamous - No one wants to hear that Dreddicus is investigating them
Higher Purpose - Does terrible things for the Greater Good
Enemies - in the comics and movies there are always people who want him dead.
Deleterious Circumstances - In the comics his helmet never comes off, so this gives a reason in game why he doesn't like to take it off.
+3 Improved Characteristics
+1 Independant Study (HoH: MC, pg 85 - adds bonus xp to Practice or Adventure Xp. Dirus spends most of his time in the field.)
+1 Hermetic Prestige (House Virtue)
+1 Piercing Gaze
+1 Puissant Ability (Awareness)
+1 Puissant Ability (Code of Hermes)
+1 Puissant Ability (Folk Ken)
+1 Puissant Ability (Bows)
+1 Self Confident
Improved Characteristics - because base Ars is stingy with Characteristic points.
Independant Study: This is a Magus who rarely is in the lab.
Piercing Gaze: Seems to fit the concept well.
Puissant Abilities - Dreddicus is good at solving crimes, assessing guilt and dispensing Justice physically.
Self Confident: The extra confidence points will help him get out of various spots of trouble.
I see over time Dreddicus may join a Mystery Cult to gain access to further Virtues in his quest for Justice. A Minor or Major Magical Focus in Justice or Truth seemed a bit broad and unweildy to me.
May organically gain virtues/flaws like:
Disfigured (alluded to in the comics, apparently)
Social Contacts (Informants) who feed him information about crimes
Further reputational changes/increases, depending on his actions
Comments: Presence and Perception seem like no brainers, the others are.. eh? Not sure on.
Keeping this part a big vague... Though I do see good abilities scores for physical combat, Code of Hermes, Awareness, Folk Ken, & Bows, specifically. Leadership to intimidate opponents. Athletics & Brawl seem part of the concept. Probably local mundane laws of the region of the Tribunal as well. This would also allow him to ascertain Mundane Interference more accurately as well.
This part I'm unclear on. Likely Intellego spells to ascertain crimes, and spells to enhance his physical abilities to dispense Justice.
Signature Mask - could be enchanted over time, perhaps as a Talisman
Armor: Part of the theme.
Crossbow - In the movies/comics this is a gun, but in Ars Magica an enchanted Crossbow fits best. Likely enchanted (by a Verdituis, commissioned to do so?) with Hermetic Bow Analogues to the following bullet types:
Standard execution - A standard arrow.
Heat Seeker or Hot Shot - Heatseeker arrows lock onto the target's heat source.
Ricochet - A bullet coated with rubber. Ricochet arrows can bounce off solid surfaces while retaining enough kinetic energy to penetrate flesh. This enables the Judge to, for example, kill a perp that is using a human shield, bouncing their shot off a back wall and hitting the target from behind.
Incendiary - A napalm round.
Armour Piercing - Useful against armoured opponents.
High-Explosive (Hi-Ex) - Self-explanatory.
As well as the usual six rounds listed above, a stun shot has also been depicted in the comic, and a variety of other rounds have been shown in the films.