I will lay out the setting then the question. The covenant has a flat Aura of 6 in the general area extending beyond the covenant walls, and yes it warps the people of the coastal village that serves us. It is on the island of Nisyros which has a magic aura of 3 across the whole of the island so the 6 is not that crazy. Not to mention it has a ruin temple dedicated to the Titan Themis so the aura benefit has been know for a very long time. Some history, Nisyros is the island that Poseidon tossed onto and trapped the giant son of Gaea, and said giant is basically the origin of a regio and a magic aura of 7 within that regio.
Here is where it is complicated. The regio is located within the dream of Polybotes, and while it does overlap the covenant (which half is within the cliffside and half is exterior buildings) the "world" of this regio is not always static. Being the dream of Polybotes it can and on occasion does change if the giant stirs from his very deep sleep. The former magi of the winter covenant that took advantage of the 6 aura with a regio 7 aura had an arrangement with Polybotes to not only sponsor their Theban covenant, but also maintain the higher aura, for as long as the magi did the required service. ( every seven years they take a person down into the labyrinthian caverns of this volcanic island, drug them, and lay them on a altar that physically rests on the body of Polybotes. This person then gives Polybotes their dreams and uses the freedom of creativity of a person with a soul to continue to distract Polybotes from waking up. If the giant awakens fully, not only will the aura and regio vanish but the earthquakes, eruptions, and crushing tidal waves radiating out will begin again for the first time in centuries if not millenia.)
The original magi died. The new magi, our PCs, took over the winter covenant, but there is a catch. The former magi (two being arch-magi actually) still exist as ghosts within the regio of Polybotes' dream. They are bound to this dream because of lengthy story reasons, but they are, mechanically speaking, ghosts from which you can learn and use as a source for teaching as per the Covenant rules pg 102 of Covenant book, Knowledge library. Now I am well aware of how complicated a story feature this is that I created, and I myself love it immensely, however there is one problem. It may not appeal to one of our players to enter the regio to learn from the magi. This was horrible to find out because it means there is a entire feature of the Covenant which now a player will avoid and not make use of. And while, yes, it is their choice as a player to have their character not take advantage of it's use, it seems unfair that the player must suffer a in-character loss for out of character reasons.
So here is the question: In your opinion, dear reader, do you think we should hand-wave mechanics to make it possible for the ghosts to leave the regio, for a period of time everyday, to teach this person if they want to make use of the build points for the ghosts?
I know there are mechanics for ghosts being able to move about, to leave the area of power, or the person or place to which they are attached, but I am not certain that they can do so for a entire season. I really feel buffoonish for asking others to fix my problem but I am at a loss. I feel there should be a penalty for learning from the magi and that penalty is being at the mercy of a dangerous, mythical being's dream, as well as sleeping 12 to 14 hours a day during the season of learning. But am I, as I suspect, just being over-protective of a story feature that I made and adore? oops two questions... feel free to ignore this last one.
This I do not understand. Do you mean really, that the player does not approve of the setting, while her magus character would love to go into the regio and learn from the ghosts? Why would she play such a character then? Anyway, in this case you need to come to terms with the player, and tinkering with the ghosts doesn't look like a solution.
In case that the setting was agreed upon with the troupe, but a magus character will not enter the regio to learn, you can look for an in-campaign accomodation for this character. Nisyros needs contacts to the outside world and other covenants for sure, and its magi cannot all the time just sleep/learn in the regio. So one magus character keeping up friendly relations with perhaps Aegaea (TSE p.81ff) - interested because of Poseidon's creation of Nisyros - and Favonius (TSE p. 83ff) might improve the campaign and find other sources to study than the ghosts.
It is rather complicated, but I think the player doesn't like the mechanic though I could be wrong. I they play their character to not want to go into the regio because of player bias, so that is why I feel kinda bad. I don't want someone feeling left out of a game that we all created. They deserve better as do we all, and that is why I was trying to find a "hack" around the limitation that I myself created.
I just don't know if in the end you should change story features for non-story reasons. I figured I would put it here on the board to let broader minds with a lot of game experience to offer opinions and points of view that I may not have considered.
You could always say that the ghosts need to possess someone in order to get out of the regio. That inflicts Warping on the possessed individual if done over the long term (a season) and the ghost needs to rest for some time (one or more season) to resplenish its energies. And they must return regularly to the regio or they begin to fade away.
You might also have a mundane scribe go into the regio so that the ghosts can dictate books on things they know. It will be lower level then studying directly from the ghosts, but may still be good enough.
Or one of the crazy magus may experiment with some way of anchoring the ghosts to a magical items.
I do like many of these suggestions. I had not thought of the scribe option and the experimenting idea is definitely a path of eventuality. Actually to get the ghost to teach you requires bargaining with them and is entirely roleplaying based between the PC and the ghost. The ghost desire different things which I think will lead to very interesting stories.
However I think striving to come up with some breakthrough of magic to allow the ghosts to exit the regio would work. I was thinking just now how interesting it would be if the ghost are bound to a book that contains no writing, however when you wish to study something specific from them they cause a very detailed essay or commentary to form on the pages. This way you read the book like a normal source of labXP.
There are a few instances of "may" that are not fully a "will"
I am okay with people having an in game consequence of a player action, the player directs the character, if he or she does not want to take risks with the character, the character will not reap the rewards that go with it.
There are many ways to learn, I had a maga that could not read, she went out into the world to learn magic from experience and negotiating with the faeries assosiated with it, a magus in our current covenant has something similar. I can't remember the virtue we made for it though. That character could do something similar, or have a deal with either a magus or other magical creature whose purposes may prove nefarious in the future.