Neophytes Spell Book

How much should a beginner’s spell book cost? (Both, in character burning and as a resource test). The idea is for a sorcery primer and begining spell book combination that the neophyte would receive from his mentor upon completion of his training. It would contain simple spells like Magic Whistle and useful spells like Wyrd Light for the young one to learn. (Similar to really old dnd where every 1st lvl mage had a spell book with read magic, detect magic, an offensive, defensive, and a utility spell) I’m not trying to duplicate that system, just thr idea of a young mage with spells to learn. (Trying for a two lifepath character, so sorcery is restricted, ergo the instruction book).

That is an excellent question! It depends somewhat on the idiom of the game and how common you want spells to be.

Here are some options:
[li]Half the RP cost of knowing the spells. You save money but you have your work cut out for you learning the things. Base the Resources Ob on similar RP-cost things.
[/li][li]The same as a mentor who could teach the spells would as a relationship, probably 5 RP. Which would make it a very low-Ob thing to get your hands on, probably 2.
[/li][li]Treat it exactly like a toolkit. A fairly exotic one.

Learning spells is slow and painful enough that I wouldn’t try too hard to jack up the cost.

A while back, I considered making an illiterate sorceress who would start play with a spellbook of powerful spells that she didn’t know how to read. I eventually ended up going with a different character concept, though.

Yeah, I thought about reversing the apprentice & bodyguard idea on page 96, by paying 10 points for the relationship and actually playing the apprentice of a four lifepath wizard. But that idea lost its appeal rather quickly.

The Spell Books as Tool Kits has merit, (although it would suck to roll a DoF 1 result after learning your first spell), as does the 5 point mentor relationship (needed that anyway). Perhaps the Spell Book should act like a circle or resource test for spell instruction, (that would make higher Ob spells harder to find, but I prefer it for locating spells through research). Lots to consider.

The Elves have a Resouce called the Tome of Lore which cost 20 points in character burning. It grants a +1D to all Elven academic skills, skill songs, and appropriate wises.
The Spell Book wouldn’t give any bonuses, just sorcery instructions and spells for first readings.
I would prefer that such spells fall into the 1 to 4 obstacle range as that’s what range you would need to test to improve Sorcery once it was opened. (Can you do First Readings with beginner’s luck?) This would be so much easier if you could use general points to buy Sorcery in character burning, but I’m sure that if they had wanted apprentices to have it, it would’ve been on the lifepath.

I’m pretty sure you can spend general points on Sorcery. The cost of being a novice is that you have to spend general points on it and can’t use them for other things. I think it’s one of the very clever little adjustments between BWR and BWG.

I’m pretty sure that all the wizards in our games have been Neophytes who spent their general points on Sorcery (so their Sorcery has always started off low / very low).

It’s worked out really well for them so far (with 1 more Neophyte Sorcerer starting in our new game in 3 weeks’ time).

BTW, Larkin, with the idea of spell book as tool kit, you don’t roll the DoF the first time you use it - only from the second (BWG p253). Also, tool kits can be replenished, which, in this case, could be a cool adventure of its own…

Well if Sorcery can be purchased with general points that makes half of my problems go away! I really like the spell book/tool kit idea. I was thinking that the cost might be 10 resource points in burning (half the cost of an elvish tome), it should have spells that would help the neophyte increase his sorcery skill (help to earn tests). Maybe have it set up like the “Universal Library” except that instead of just calling spells to mind, you check to see if it is in your spell book. If it isn’t, you can still run across it some other way. If it is, you still have to go through first reading, practicals, and second reading (no small feat). After each spell is listed in your book you would then check DoF, on a roll of one you hit blank pages (which you can fill in by other means) and since you can open sorcery with general skill points, you can still buy other low cost spells too.
I’m still not completely sold on this and would really like some feedback on it.

Maybe it should be a hack instead (something like The Spell Book Option). Same idea as The Universal Library Option from MaBu except that it only offers up first reading spells, you can still try to find spells that are not in your book, and your book has a finite number of spells (DoF roll). Spells may or may not be creepy living things based on your magic idiom.

To Mark: Thanks for that, I always took it to mean that you roll DoF after your first use of the expendable tools (first use is guaranteed, roll afterwards to check supplies). Does this mean that both the first and second use of expendable tools is guaranteed then? Or are we rolling after the first use, before the second use to check supplies? (That’s the way I always read it.) Either way, I agree that searching out new spells to add to your book would make for great storyline complications.

You may buy any skill with general points that is not restricted to your character. Sorcery’s only restriction is that only Men or Roden may purchase it during character burning.

As to the spell book, that would be a fairly valuable item. Almost certainly more than 10 points.

Burning Wheel suggested retail price ?
Or limitations to keep it affordable for the two lifepath neophytes out there ?

Taking wayfarers suggestion of half price for first reading spells and the standard BW guide of 2xOb spell cost (4x Ob with caret), each spell book could be priced by
contents since we can buy sorcery with general points no need to figure that in, but just in case, add 1 point per added skill instructions. Keep in mind that if you fail first reading you either muck up your spell or can never learn it at all, and you are only getting instructions to study towards your first sorcery type skill, you still have to put in the time to study and even then only qualify for your first beginners luck test.
Any thoughts or suggestions are greatly appreciated!