Wizard Flowers of the Tristmuth

For anyone familiar @Fuseboy’s Trilemma Adventures there’s a Wizard flower which I seek to add to Burning Wheel here.

The Concept:

Wizard Flowers are a concoction of crushed gemstones that a wizard imbibes with the intention of it recrystalizing within their brain. When it is new the wizard should then meditate on it’s function and if successful the crystal within their head should then be able to sustain the spell or confer some other benefit.

In the setting all wizards are assumed, perhaps incorrectly, to be using this technology so wizards may be targeted and murdered for the precious gems within their skulls. Ambitious wizards also seek wizard flowers for their use in the construction of spell engines. Even the most novice of students with the Gift can cast like a master when they use a spell engine!

The Hack:

Preparation:
You need materials of the highest quality. An Ob 5 resources test is required for suitable gemstones. Jewellery can be acquired with an Ob 4 resources test but then it must be further dissected to ensure it is suitable. An alchemy test follows, as it is to become part of the brain the obstacle would be 4 for distilling a component of blood. This step may be used as a linked test to the meditation phase.

Recrystallisation:
The wizard flower occupies a space within the brain. The parts otherwise unused. A Burning Wheel Character has a maximum of exponent 10 with typical caps of 8. A wizard flower occupies the highest mental exponent. A wizard with 3 flowers would have them occupy exponents 8, 9 and 10. And their Will and Perception would therefore be capped at 7.

Meditation:
While the wizard flower is new it must be meditated upon. The result of the meditation should be recorded in a trait.

For a preparation flower the wizard must pretend to cast their spell by running all the steps of casting it. See Coup de Magie. The Will test is instead made at a +1Ob penalty for the meditation and the fakeness of the casting. Success allows the caster to use the Coup de Magie rules for that spell with no required tests.

For a sustaining flower the wizard must pass a Will test with a set Will obstacle and a +1Ob penalty. Following a successful test the wizard can freely sustain any spell with the casting difficulty equal to the Will obstacle they set.

For an aid flower the wizard must pass a Will test equal to the difficulty of the the spell or other sorcerous task they wish to undertake. On future castings the Flower grants a +1D bonus to that spell or dicipline. Other sorcerous disciplines are those such as Death Art, Enchanting and Spirit Binding.

For a resistance flower the wizard must put his body through the stresses of casting. Make the Forte test for tax at a +1Ob penalty. If passed then future tax tests that are equal to or less than the the base Forte test obstacle are granted a +1D.

When a meditation test is failed a distracting thought has entered into the brain and crystallised into a recurring pondering, your inner voice ever distracting you. When you make a sorcerous skill test roll a die of fate. If the result is less than or equal to the number of failed wizard flowers you fail the test regardless of the test result. In addition you do not log the test for advancement.

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That looks really fun, @Totally_Guy !

I really like how you’ve broken this out into 4 flower types (Preparation, Sustaining, Aid and Resistance).

Oh, and the Recrystallisation lowering your Mental exponent cap is perfect.

Do please let us know how this ends up working at your table.

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This is pretty dope, for real!

To clarify, this,

Indicates that a flower occupies Exponent 10 first, then Exponent 9, yeah? So with two flowers, a wizard doesn’t lose anything (unless/until they get a trait or something that ups their cap)?

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Yes the first two are effectively free with just the failure consequence to worry about. I’m not keen on my interpretation of the failure. Nothing else halts advancement like that.

I’m sure that some players will still see it as a sacrifice of potential even though it’s potential that’s very hard to reach.

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I like the “halts advancements” of 2 stats (Perception and Will).

It feels like it neatly reflects the crystalisation of one’s thoughts, where you’re trading flexibility and potential growth for Raw Magic Oomph.

With regards to the Consequence of Failure you’ve listed for the Meditation test, what’s your thinking behind how you’ve structured it?

What are you looking to achieve / drive for / represent with the Consequence of Failure?

What are you looking to achieve / drive for / represent with the Consequence of Failure?

The source material says:

There were drawbacks: the crystallizing process was irreversible, and any slip of concentration during the ritual would fix the meandering thought as a permanent feature. Acolytes that pushed beyond their abilities would develop rigid, inflexible personalities, becoming unable to adapt to the slightest changes around them.

So there’s distraction and inflexibility. These would typically be Character Traits but that feels toothless. It also sounds fun to fix aspects of a character’s beliefs but to fix beliefs in a game about developing those beliefs would be stupid. I want something like a Failed First Reading from the Sorcery chapter which is where I got the DoF idea from.

To me, it sounds like having someone else rewrite a Belief or Instinct and then locking that BIT permanently. Which is fucking cool. (I know you talked about issues with those options; I’m mostly meaning to reaffirm your reading.)

Another thought is to have someone else twist one of your Beliefs into an Instinct and then you have to choose an Instinct to be replaced.

Or, you might do a trait with value equal to the MoF of the test: MoF 1, Fear of Cheese (1pt Cha); MoF 2 Terrified of Chedder (2pt Die; gotta make a Steel test when in the presence of chedder cheese.); MoF 3, Turophile (3pt Die; up Resource maintenance test by 1 as the connoisseur is obsessed with acquiring the finest cheeses in the land.); MoF 4, Cheese Mage (4pt Die; the wizard has tied his use of magic so strongly to his love (and fear) of dairy delicacies that he cannot bring himself to cast a spell without first consuming at least a bite of the stuff (two actions in Fight!) or making a Steel test against Fear at +2 Ob. Failing the steel test means the mage must cast away all cheese on his person and flee the dread foodstuff post haste.)

For instance.

I see nothing wrong with this. Consistency is a hobgoblin and all.

Doesn’t a wound do that as of the Anthology?

I think Guy means the mechanic where if you fail, you have to roll a DoF on any Sorcerous test and may fail the test and not log advancement.

EDIT: This one:

It seemed like you thought Guy meant reducing the stat cap; is that right?

Misunderstood!

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