Whilst you are still learning a spell via second reading but after you have finished with the practicals what do you test?
It looks like the Ob penalty from the will aptitude has gone away and you cast at the proper number of actions.
Succeeding the second reading gives no additional benefit and imposes an action penalty for failure. I don’t see what the second reading is meant to do.
Once you finish Practicals, you can’t cast the spell again until you finish Second Reading.
How do we explain that within the fiction? It looks like it’s quite contrived to me.
Consider the difference between being able to follow and understand a walkthrough proof of Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem, and being able to repeat the proof at will, from memory and understanding. It takes study, and some proofs are just beyond some people.
That still doesn’t make sense to me.
Lets say the player has Philosophers Perch and is has done the practicals. He’s found 5 game legitimate tests so far and failed 4 of them.
Another game legitimate situation comes up and the player wants to use philosopher’s perch again. What is stopping him? He’s done it before. He’s been getting better at it.
Because I can’t see the connection between mechanics and fiction I won’t have the confidence in this rule to enforce it in play.
Looking through it, what I would suggest is treating the base casting time as if they had utterly failed the second reading if they haven’t done it yet. Until they figure out how to whittle down the actions via the second reading it’s a slow ponderous spell. Or for a slightly more variable approach each practical cast increases the time by 1 as the sorceror adds in more syllables in an attempt to stabilise the spell without any certainty as to what is required, you’re managing to make the spell work better, but slower. Then the second reading serves as intended to strip out the excess verbage.