He is aiming for a unified MT. A more limited goal might be to aim for a unified Magic RESISTANCE skill: hedge parma. Bonisagus achieved both and it was Parma, not the unified MT that created the OoH. An even more limited goal might be a shell that suppresses the effects of the Gift on those protected (parma minus its MR).
You could aim for those sequentially. it makes for a good system and they have synergies between them. Suppress effects helps in collaboration that helps in joint investigation, that helps develop Parma and this generates trust since you do not find the other magician creepy and he cannot blast you out of the face of earth right away. Etc etc. This is the process that created the OoH IMO. Partial achievements that escalate to a grand total.
Having him accumulate points a little bit faster (up to 45 as you say) might help his apprentice or a pair of them to get to the 120 points, so you can see this mid saga even if they are NPC. I find that attractive
Yes. In a certain way he is a kind of mad scientist. He wants everything, so he´s not content with easy peasy partial successes. "Just don´t bother me with your boring tales about the siege before our door, there´s work to be done in my laboratory! One day you all will be grateful for what I´ve done!"
Also, remember that in-character Ádham doesn't know how many breakthrough points are required. He may be certain that the breakthrough he needs is just a few experiments away.
Alternatively, he may suspect, and be totally happy with, the idea that he will not live to see his goal completed. For example, many cathedrals in Mythic Europe were built over several generations. The masons, parishioners, clergy were totally happy with the idea that they would not live to see the completion.
As the one who suggested you hadn't done the math sorry I meant no offence. I far prefer an author who puts thought into how a hook is as a story starter over how probable the hook is in the game. I at least enjoy working the hows and why's out for myself.
Aaaand on that note. After looking at the probabilities it's not so hard to believe Ádham's gotten as far as he did with only 1% chance at a breakthrough. Given the effects he's working on are probably around 7-8 magnitude it means he's only made and stabilized two discoveries. If I'm doing my math right (Not a small if. This math might be a little out of my league) then the chance of getting exactly two discoveries over the course of say 50 experiments is like 7-8%. Not that bad all things considered. I didn't figure in the odds of stabilizing but given that you are considerably more likely then not to stabilize a discovery the odds are still pretty close. (In fact given one of those weird probability paradoxes it may be even more likely to get exactly two breakthroughs over the course of 50 experiments if you add in the potential to fail the stabilization roll. But that math definitely is way out of my league)
Still I would love to see a virtue like that show up in cannon. Even if I'd probably still prefer applying luck somehow.
Not at all. None taken. There are real-life people on the internet discussing something I was fortunate enough to contribute to the line... That's hugely gratifying. That you guys are putting so much thought and time into it is incredibly humbling.
As an aside... I'd forgotten that I'd also mentioned him in passing in Antagonists. So as a little Easter Egg or game, can you find the material in both Grogs and in Hermetic Projects that links directly to my scenario in Tales of Power?