Instruction, Sorcerous Skills, and my Campaign

I am gearing up to run a game I would describe as “Wizard School”. Basically, I’m telling the story of how a Wizard happens. My characters (haven’t been burned yet) will be made with three lifepaths, the only requirements being that they need to come out of the process with the Gifted trait.

I am designing courses around skills which will be useful to Wizards, like Alchemy, Enchanting, Demonology, etc. Since this campaign is about becoming a Wizard, the characters won’t begin play with them. I’ve read the rules for Instruction, and it’s great that players don’t actually have to roll for these tests, but I’m concerned it will take too long to get things moving at this pace.

My thought is that each assignment will require them to use other skills, like gathering alchemical ingredients while they earn this test.

However, they will be enrolled in several courses at the same time, potentially making advancement even slower.

Thoughts, suggestions are much appreciated.

Edit: I went back and read the section and noticed that only the first test has to come from instruction. That solves a lot of the potential issues I was worried about. Still, feedback on this general concept will be very useful!

Also, remember that helpers log tests, too. Expect lots of group projects undertaken for the purpose of accumulating challenging tests.

Oh, absolutely. I imagine the group will work together to accomplish most of these tasks. Basically, everyone enters the school with the Gifted trait. I’m allowing, and encouraging, that everyone open the Sorcery skill but no advancements are allowed to be made. Each player may purchase one spell.

The classes they are enrolled in provide assignments. Sometimes, this is just research and just gets logged as practice/instruction. But the actual gameplay unfolds when they involve more focused action. For example, their first Alchemy assignment is definitely going to be collecting ingredients. The next step is going to be preparing them for use. Afterwards, they will attempt to make their first alchemical substance.

How does that work with their Beliefs?

How is it challenging them?

They haven’t written beliefs yet. They haven’t even burned characters (that’s tomorrow). I’m going to borrow the Mouse Guard mechanics of getting a mission and have the players write goals about it for these assignments. I think two-part belief will work really well in regards to the specific subject they’re studying. “Alchemy is X, therefore I must. . .”

For other beliefs, I’m recommending something about The Gift or the school.

I wouldn’t plan to much about the game before you have the Beliefs.

The Mouse Guard Mission system also doesn’t neccesary work in Burning Wheel.

It will in this instance, since the class is their immediate situation. For the first session, prompting them with an assignment and giving the pm a few minutes to write an assignment feels right. I know that once actual play begins, this mechanic may or may not be a good fit.

But seeing as they will likely write beliefs about the nature of their gift and/or their placement I the Wizard school, a belief about that immediate situation is more than appropriate.