Thursday, June 28, 2012

Dungeons & Dragons: Ace Attorney (Part 1)

As a gamer of many stripes, I have played a lot of different games.  I have been doing so for the better part of thirty years.  As I have been creating characters for Dungeons & Dragons: Encounters, I have tried to think of iconic, interesting, or just damn awesome figures from games that deserve representation within the framework.  Sometimes, I come up with one, like Leisure Suit Larry, and I find a way to work it into the D&D framework in a way that seems to fit.  In other situations, I sit for months trying to find a way to get it to work, often to no avail.  Occasionally, though, months and months of sitting manifests in ways I never would have imagined.

I started playing Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney before going to law school.  I used to always insist that I was "training" for my big days as a lofty attorney.  I would never have believed that somebody could make a classic adventure game out of comical parody courtroom drama, but they did.  The characters were ridiculous, entertaining, and all around awesome.  As I fell knee deep into Dungeons & Dragons character development, I felt like I wanted to find a way to capture some of those characters into the D&D game.

The challenge proved harder than I anticipated.  Making Phoenix Wright proved more difficult than I had imagined.  What I wanted was some sort of psychic, ranged defender.  I wanted to find a character that felt like he did what Phoenix Wright did so the re-skinning would be simple.  After months of struggle, I gave up.  But, in that time, something else came to mind.  There was a character, easily captured within the game rules, that I could make.  From that, I began to work.

The fabled "Devil Prosecutor," Miles Edgeworth.
Former student of Manfred von Karma...
When I thought "Miles Edgeworth," I immediately went to "Infernal Pact Warlock."  After a little look at that, I thought that I could do better.  I wanted something that would feel like it came out of the game.  Setting people on fire did not capture the Miles Edgeworth I had hoped for.  As I flipped through the Warlock options, though, I came across the Dark Pact and the Sorcerer-King Pact, both options that could be easily adapted to serve as my favorite prosecutor.  [Author's Note: I did spend two years working at a prosecutor's office and, although I do adore the character Miles Edgeworth, I actually seriously question his effectiveness as a prosecutor.]  After toying with both, the Sorcerer-King Pact seemed like a simpler option for new players and an easier way to capture it into the "Edgeworth" character.

Warlock aficionados will likely detect that I have broken up the Warlock's Curse power into *four* different abilities on the card.  Honestly, that was done to make the Warlock's Curse power more digestible for new players.  It is a huge block of text that is quite confusing for players new and old.  In this format, I had hoped to present it in a way that was functional and easy to understand.  Of course, as I had chosen the Sorcerer-King Pact, I had to introduce a way to track "fell might."  It did not take long to develop and system, though, and from that Miles Edgeworth was born into the world of Dungeons & Dragons.

[Note: I posted an "alternate image" version that matches better with the other Ace Attorney characters presented on this blog.]

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