Implements of Wizardry

This “Hack” is a way to allow mages to use implements or tools to perform magic with, there are several ways to do this depending upon the goal of the hack.
(1) Implements as Flavor: Do Nothing, just let your mage players describe what they are using
(2) Implements as Optional Useful Devices: For an more magic item endowed world, Having the proper item grants an advantage when in use.
(3) Implements as Depend Upon Items: Mages gain an advantage with one and suffer a disadvantage without one.
(4) Implements as Optional Depend Upon Items: Mages who choose to take the Die Trait (example “Wand Wielder”) are forever dependent upon their wand. They gain a +1D when using it, but suffer a +1Ob without it. If broken, lost, or stolen, they must replace it. (Enchanting or Sorcery tool resource test) The new wand must then be attuned to its new owner (used perception aptitude times) before the advantage is restored. Using an unattuned wand can alleviate the disadvantage only. (Enchanting your own wand attunes it to you automatically)
(5) Implements as Required Sorcery Tools: All Sorcrry type skills become Tools: YES a mage without his wand, staff, rod, whatever suffers a double obstacle penalty without one. If a mage enchants his own he can gain a +1D for using it. Attuning any wand you did not make for yourself is similar to practicals

1 is fine, 2 strikes me as grossly excessive, 3 is honestly still pretty excessive, and 4 is, as I have said, a Dt with a huge benefit. I’d be very, very wary of playing with it, and that would be if not having a wand prevented sorcery entirely, not just sorcery at +1 Ob. I’ve played with 5, but without attuning and with no sorcery at all possible without a staff, mostly to enforce the flavor of the wizard with a staff (with a knob on the end).

Sorcery has enough dice. Sorcery has more than enough dice. Giving an easy +1D is too much for sorcery, particularly starting sorcery when you don’t have a lot of dice to throw around. From my experience with requiring a staff, it’s not something that you can balance by giving it consequences with teeth. Sure, on failure you can take away implements, but that gets very old very quickly and becomes persecutory. But don’t take away the implement and you just have a really souped-up wizard, which will be most of the time, which strikes me as a big problem.

I didn’t see it as a suped up wizard kind of thing, but then, that’s why I ask. Does a +1D really make things that suped up? If so, drop the advantage. There are times that drawing your wand will slow you down, just like drawing or preparing any other weapon or implement would (2 actions in Fight). In most fiction I’ve read or seen that involved implements, they were used by the young mage to help control his power, and the elder mage to help direct his power. The power still resides within the mage, the implement just helps to control and direct it. Option 5 could be used to represent that quite well as a neophyte without his wand would hardly be able to count on casting spells at double obstacles, let alone surviving the tax for trying. Where as a proven mage could still manage to cast and be taxed on his lower obstacle spells without the use of staff or wand (just remove the advantage die and need to attune the implement)

Of course the other way to use implements in burning wheel is to depend upon character B.I.T.s, plot hooks, artifacts, and enchantments. (Standard BWG stuff) although the enchanting skill can still get out of control. (After some experimenting I suggest that new enchantments not only go through a trait vote, but you get the forum’s suggestions on it first. What seems reasonable to your group can be a huge red flag to the folks on forum) Most of all have fun and enjoy!

I’m probably going to mostly echo Wayfarer here.

This thing you said is precisely correct:

Of course the other way to use implements in burning wheel is to depend upon character B.I.T.s.

In this way, the 3rd or 5th option sans advantage dice are actually a little interesting. (You have to remember that Sorcery dice are always open-ended. The greater number of dice you roll, the greater the chance that one of them will be a 6. It’s not always gonna help you, but it’s a much bigger boon than you think.) This is because the removal of the wand on occasion is somewhat advantageous because it affords harder tests, which everyone needs for advancement. In this case, you could simply modify the Gifted Trait to say tools: yes.

Here’s another idea which feeds directly off the “wands aren’t magic, they just control magic” idea and that gets at the dark and gritty feel BW tries to go for: every sorcerous test made sans tools should role a Die of Fate for a failed casting independent of the results of the test. So there’s a chance you could accidentally summon a Balrog even if your Wyrd Light spell worked just fine.

All that said, neither of these are going to play well in the long run unless the idea is something the player says they want by baking it into some sort of Belief or Instinct so there’s Artha to be gained. Even then, Wayfarer is right that, even if Artha is available as a prize, if you keep trying to take the wand away from the wizard’s player, that’s gonna get old real fast. So it would require some GM restraint to go smoothly.

I had dropped my earliest suggestion on this as I thought it was too powerful but as it was based upon a die trait I’ll put it out anyways.
Implements are used to agument the trained sorcerers power. They are rare, expensive items that require exotic antecedents to make. Possession of an implement is only the begining as it must be attuned to its owner (like learning a new spell) then the mage can use it to grey shade his sorcery while using it (just like chosen one grey shades faith).
This could have a few connections to burning wheel already established.
(1) A 5 point trait can already be used to shade shift a magic like stat (chosen one to faith)
(2) A 5 point trait can already be used to purchase an artifact (family heirloom can purchase almost any artifact)
(3) By combining these into one die trait we have a trait that provides the gifted on an implement that shade shifts his sorcery to grey whenever he uses it. Without it in hand, his sorcery shifts back to black.
I rejected this idea after playing with grey sorcery for a little while as I thought it was too much power. (I think there would be more wizards with wands than priests with chosen one. (A grey shade wand sounded more like the Elder Wand from Harry Potter so I scrapped it)

My general advice would be to just hack the rules of magic as a whole to suit your particular campaign. Pick a set of constraints for what we’re playing right now and don’t worry about how to make each and every option coexist together.

If you want a game where wizards use wands, make 'em use wands. All of 'em. Either you can’t use magic at all without an implement, or you face the double-Ob “no tools” penalty. BW’s not the kind of game where you need to offset this with a bonus or anything.

Standard sorcery with possible abstractions for spell casting, astrology, alchemy, enchanting, summoning, spirit binding, death art, and blood magic are all possibilities (the latter two carry heavy penalties as they are considered to be illegal). I expect that some implements will be coming into play in the form of an astrologists crystal ball (grants a +1D to astrology, sustaIner for wIsdom of the ancients, caster gaIns possessed dt whIle usIng), and a summoners control rod (rod of suffering grants +1D and no named obstacle for summoning a minor corporal spirit called “suffering” if rod is ever broken “suffering” gets to permanently possess its last user)