First, the skill is described in the text; it’s just really boring
That’s funny, I totally missed that! Here’s the original rule:
Wizardry, the magical art of spellcasting.
• When you Recover, Regroup & Prepare, you can choose as an option to
resettle an unsettled spell.
• Wizardry is also a prerequisite for all the endeavors of a wizard in your
library, laboratory, seclusium, or enclave.
Right, so all it requires is a Recover roll, which is quite easy and depends on the Patient stat. You could pretty much assume success in-between adventures, and only bother with a roll if you’re in the middle of something stressful. Oddly, this means you could potentially resettle a spell quickly, perhaps in the middle of a fight?
I’ve mentioned before that I think all the skills in Freebooting Venus would be a lot more interesting if they had their own special Move (or even more than one Move for crucial skills like Wizardry or Sword-binding!), instead of just being a little bonus or extra facet to the standard Moves.
Second, I’ve been pondering the purpose of the miss in this move.
Some playtesting might be required to get a better feel for this. I was having trouble trying to brainstorm changes on the fly. But I feel like it could make each spell tablet really customized and interesting.
(And whether it should be two different moves, with different consequences, which would make it a more interesting choice.)
Seems to me like more complexity than it’s worth. In my view, if Wizardry needs more Moves it would be for other aspects of Wizardry, like making a grimoire, new spells, magical items, or making/summoning magical servants (like golems, imps, or whatever).
I also wonder if it should involve treasure somehow.
It costs one treasure to buy a spell tablet in the first place. It’s a downward spiral to expect PCs to pony up 1 treasure just to recharge the darn thing. It’s also not really fair. If 1 Treasure = a brand new spell of strength 2 (or even 3, rarely!), then why would it take 1 whole Treasure to go from strength 0 to 1? I could buy a whole new spell for that! Unless, recharging a tablet is just basically allowing you to keep a specific spell that you like a lot, rather than going back to the lottery of a random roll to see what spell you can find. But it still feels unfair/unpleasant to me.
Keep in mind that we’d expect a more experienced freebooter to have up to 4 spells, and I imagine a wizard with a grimoire could have a dozen! Mind you, if they only need to be in a time of high living, then they could spend 1 treasure to recharge all the spells at once.
I’d prefer if a time of high living gives you a bonus to the roll. But it shouldn’t be required.
For instance, roll to placate (+0), or to dominate the plasmid (+1), and add 1 if you’re willing to spend a lot on the process (requires someone to be enjoying a “time of high living”).
I don’t see why either placating or dominating would be better than the other. I see them as depending on two different stats (either Patient or Bold) to allow for different styles of wizard. In classic Sword & Sorcery, we don’t have the separation of professions that they have in D&D. In Sword & Sorcery, a character can be both a sword master and a wizard. The separate classes in D&D were meant to foster collaboration between players during a challenge-based dungeon delve, since no single character could do everything on their own. This was great for creating a fun challenge game, but it was very poor genre emulation. I feel it matches the genre better if the Wizardry skill is a bit more varied in the stats it depends on, since it allows for different kinds of wizard.
The thing that bothers me most in terms of the text at this point is how unclear the treasure and experience procedure is.
Well, this is a totally separate problem.
I think the treasure rules are meant to abstract away boring parts. Do we really want to do a scene for each time we find a new piece of treasure, and negotiating a sale? I think it would get pretty stale, pretty quickly. Instead, Vincent has a clever rule that allows us to (1) cut to the chase, and (2) make a significant decision by choosing between different options, so we learn about our characters and advance in a kind of zig-zag non-linear way.
If you want us to actually play out trying to convert the mummy into cash, because there’s an actually fun adventure to be found in that direction, then go ahead and do so.
We’ve also encountered the issue where our characters wanted to have a new property together (which is a pretty typical desire for people that are in a party/mercenary band/criminal gang together, no?) and the rules seem to assume that all PCs need to have their own separate home. I find this odd.
b) What about a single “treasure” that’s more valuable? Is that possible? If so, how is it spent or used? Could we say that you get a deed to a property for instance, and have that count as 3 treasures, but all for establishing an estate?
Sure, why not? You find a treasure, and when you examine it the GM has already pre-determined that it’s worth X treasures and can only buy Y. No problem. Or perhaps your character already knows the item’s worth when they take the treasure in the first place, so it starts off as an examined treasure.
Again, I think the treasure system is meant as a play aid to get to the fun as quickly as possible. Use it only as-needed.