Lab warping

I enjoyed Lab a Day quite a lot, as I think most of us did. I did notice that everyone seemed to see a Lab Warping score as a uniformly bad thing. I would swear that Canon states that lab Warping is not as a rule harmful, and creates benefits about half the time. Perhaps a chart like unto the old D&D wand of wonder would be helpful? And perhaps another look at the various means of Integration? Because it seems to me that a high Lab Warping score should be quite helpful when it comes to bending the rules of magic........

The warping rules direct us to the side effects table and the modified effects table on page 109 of the core book. Of the twenty options for die roll results on these tables, (I don't think you can get a result of 11+ on the modified effect table from a lab warping score) on only two of the die rolls do things that are likely to be beneficial to the magus occur; rolls of 6 or 9 on the side effects table.

As a rule, harmful.

I don't see why you wouldn't. Lab Warping sure seems to fill the role of risk modifier. As to numbers, SE : 1, 4, 5, 6, 8 9 look neutral or beneficial to me and ME : 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11 look neutral or beneficial to me, and even 7 and 8 could be useful. "Oh, my fireball doesn't work on animals".......

The warping problem is that if you have to roll you get about a bold 50% chance of not getting what you wanted... per season. Now I don't know how your magi are, but our own ones get into the lab only to invent these spells they need and aren't canon to learn from someone else's lab text. And these spells use to involve several seasons of lab work: you need time to get the good stuff. A lab warping of 2 means that if you spent one full year in the lab you get a 60% chance of getting at least one roll to see if things go sideways and so about 30% of chances of having your project ruined.

But if your lab warping Score is 3, chances for 4 seasons are a 75% of at least one roll. And I'd seen a Merinita with a lab warped to 5, which means that in 4 seasons your chance of going as planned are just a 6.25%.

There's probably room for a Criamon concept who deliberately makes his lab as warped as possible, on the grounds they'll gain interesting insights from the results. The result is likely to be rather skewed by the resulting lab's personality trait, of course.

I think, by a strict reading, that a "warped" spell or item is a new one, yes? I know that's a weird phrasing, but that could be very helpful for Ancient Magics and Original Research. Find a Runic torc say, study it for a discovery, try to recreate, get something unexpected, study that for a discovery, repeat?

No, I see nothing to indicate that. Life is hard enough on magi with positive warping score labs, let's not make it worse for them. Although the lab personality can be used to modify the roll. So I suppose if one had an antagonistic storyguide or one possessed with a strong desire to introduce a story hook at the expense of a season of work one could get that "completely different effect" result

I looked over the results again. Some of the effects might me neutral depending upon how the troupe decides to implement them but nothing there looks generally beneficial except the two side benefits results on the side effects table.

modified effects table:
lower parameter is likely to make a spell useless
A higher parameter makes a spell harder to cast and reduces penetration
restricted effects would, more often than not, fail to work in the caster's favor
Modified effects give the magus something they want less than what they were trying to do (otherwise they would have been doing that instead).

Side effects table (aside from the two results that provide benefits):
Increased wizard's sigil, not typically a benefit
minor flaw- self explanatory
Minor side effect - if it weren't neutral it would be a benefit or a flaw
major flaw
major side effect as minor
fatal flaw

I'm not seeing a motivation for magi to embrace labs with warping scores.