However, Almost half his rolls started with either a '0' or a '1' - so either a potential botch or an exploding die. I saw him do this with multiple different dice, including other people's dice. It was ... uncanny.
Heh, dice is a difficult mistress to please for sure...
Long time ago we had a player in D&D that was rolling an absurd amount of critical hits with his greatsword for a solid 1 & 1/2 years, the longest I have ever see a player roll so consistently well. Since then however...He just rolls below average to put it in nice terms.
The pedant in me wants to point out that all infinite sequences of fair die rolls have vanishing probabilities, not just exceptionally useful ones. A loaded die has not identically distributed face values.
So keep the vis cost the same and instead add the form bonus to the die roll for learning from vis. Stress Die + Form Bonus. Someone better in an Art can learn more than someone not as good. Taking the Magic Aura out of the equation makes all locations equal.
Some might say that it’s too much XP, but it really isn’t all that much more than studying in a high aura and it’s a boon to specialists that doesn’t slow their advancement curve all to much.
But then again, he doesn't gain much from that change, does he? From what I remember his covenant already has an aura of 7 or so, that would probably be better for Magi other than him, whose covenants are near cities, etc.
No, it doesn’t change his circumstance, much. It would however be huge for characters who live in a low or no aura location. There enough other benefits from living in a high aura location.
Also, I would argue that the vis is consumed in a single event and the event is contemplated for a season to extract knowledge and experience from it. So the limit of vis that can be used for learning from vis is the Form score, not 2x Magic Theory. See the rules for adventure XP for a similar handling of a short event over a season.
That was always my reading of studying from Vis. Which also makes studying from vis much easier if you have Study Requirement and/or Study Bonus, you don't have to be flying in the middle of a tempest for a whole season.
I don't think this is different from enchantments. When you enchant an item, there is probably one particular step of the process where the vis is fused (consumed) into the item, and the rest of the season is spent shaping the power to your needs.
I do not particularly object to making the art score the limit in this particular case. I think it makes a lot of sense, but rather in spite of RAW than because of.
I beg to disagree. The point of the study bonus/req is that you draw inspiration from the elements. This inspiration is surely at least as valuable when you digest your observations, and reflect and contemplate in order to learn. Just in the moment when you burn off the vis, you probably do not need such inspiration, simply because you have enough with the vis.
Personally I think you need to find a “natural” example except for arts where that’s impossible, like the scrying device example for Intellego. You could maybe sustain a natural storm but if you create it that seems like a poor thing to gain insight from.
Only one I could possibly see as contradicted is the Intellego one but in that case it isn’t, IMO, the scrying but the shear amount of information all those scrying devices have brought to your fingertips.