Alternative rules for Vis in Studies and Lab Work

Hi all,

I'm wanting to tweak how vis can be used to advanced magi, and thought I'd run this by everyone for ideas/problems etc.

For context, I'm using 2d6 instead of d10 for general rolling (double 1 is a botch, no explosions).

Studying from Vis
You can study from a number of pawns of vis in a season (of the same Art) limited by your magic theory as usual. Each pawn spent provides 1d6 of experience for the Art. Each 1 on a d6 inflicts 1 point of warping. The Aura modifier adds its value to total XP gained.

My reasoning; Vis should actually be quicker than books, but be more risky at the same time. Even avoiding the risk of twilight by using a single pawn of vis, utilising vis in this manner only provides benefit to a single individual, instead of improving the covenant overall (by purchasing a book for the entire covenant to use for generations). And you have a 1/6 chance of picking up a point of warping, the real clock against your longevity. And if you are greedy and spend a few pawns of vis within a magic aura, resisting that twilight check is that much harder.

Boosting Lab Totals
You can improve a Lab Total by spending the matching Form or Technique vis (remember your total seasonal limit of vis). Each pawn spent solely for this purpose adds +3 to your Lab Total. For each pawn spent in such a manner, roll a d6. Each 1 rolled inflicts 1 point of warping.

My reasoning; I feel this provides a different angle on experimentation. I can imagine Flambeau cracking open pawns of Ignem vis to help him develop new Ignem based Formulaic spells. I imagine the early generations of Hermetic Wizards having far shorter life spans as they quickly acquired warping from mixing vis into their lab activates to develop the high level rituals the order still utilises in 1220.

Boosting Casting Totals
More for context really
When casting a spell, you can spend matching Form or Techqniue vis to improve your casting total. Each pawn spent adds 1d6 to the casting roll. Limits on using vis in spellcasting changes to Art/5

More for context to frame the other two options, but I also utilise this rule, hoping to make vis more attractive for use while adventuring. Any botch on a casting roll (2 or more 1s rolled) inflicts a number of warping points equal to the spell magnitude (minus mastery). So throwing a handful of vis (and therefore d6s) into the spell allows for potentially huge penetration totals, but there's a good chance you'll botch and pickup even more warping points and a check for twilight.

Overall, I hope these changes provide more individual strength for magi willing to take the risks, but also that it might reduce the power creep of the Order as a whole, as less books and shorter lifespans means the era of Founder's isn't so widely different from the power level of the 13th Century. Using these could also bring into focus more sharply the issue of dwindling vis sources, if your troupe wanted to explore that 'metaplot', as vis is far more useful, I hope.


I like the vibe of this a lot. I've been idly pondering on a way to do something similar to this for an otherwise RAW d10 system. I'll have to see if I can make use of what you've done here.