Reworking experimentation - a good idea?

It seems to me that lab experimentation is set up so that you can either stay safely within the box, or you can take one foot outside the box, and immediately enter something like one of thost '80s Choose Your Own Adventure games, where the author is trying to see how many 'hilarious' ways he can kill you off or otherwise give you a bad ending. I mean, there's even text in the corebook that tells you not to experiment on anything important(your familiar bond, specifically).

Here's the thing. In Verditious Lab Tricks off of Durenmar(although you have to go a ways back on the Wayback machine to find it), every time a Verdi uses some Verdi hedge-wizardry, he gets to roll an instability die. If he uses a lot of tricks, he rolls a lot of instability dice and adds them together, but if he only uses one or two, even bad side effects tend to be manageable.

I think something like that is how I'd prefer to have Lab Experimentation work. You decide how much to push things, and if you're only taking minor risks you can usually get away with it without getting burnt too badly, but if you decide to take big chances there are big rewards scattered among the hilarious failures.

(One other thing is that you could then say that trying something 'exotic' in the lab brings a lot of risk, but if you have the appropriate Virtue that risk is reduced or eliminated. So that any magus can attempt Alchemy, but only properly Virtue'd alchemists can do it safely.)


I've never liked the story option truth be told. 10% chance as a GM that a player will do something truly bizarre?