* So it would make sense that if wizards are to have "at will" skills, they should be mundane skills like research or alchemy, while spells are restricted per day or effectively per encounter.
* Most of these abilities would require some kind of base like a library or laboratory, which the character could borrow from an established wizard at first, and work up to owning their own.
* The skills would automatically succeed in this base, or at least only fail on a very low chance. The wizard could also try to use the skills in the field at a lower chance of success; trying to remember how that ancient script goes, for example.
This would lead to a vision of the low-level magic user as a dart-throwing, horse-buying, half-mundane scholar; a scientist-wizard, as in historical medieval times when the realms of science, magic and medicine were not all that distinct. Very "Forgotten Realms, " Greenwoodian realism, the kind of thing that appealed to me in the fantasy settings of the 90's.
But the more problems I had implementing this, the more I started to kick against the very idea. The One Page idea doesn't have space to mess around. Its character classes need to shine in bold, distinct primary colors, not "realistic" but drab mud-hues.
|Put this in your lab and smoke it!|
And on top of that, your wizard is an adventurer. Can't be tied down to a lab for too long. Even renting out a lab in each new town is a bit too much of a chore. That kind of mundane stuff is for other people to do, and for adventurers to pay for in rich yellow coin looted from a moldering tomb.
So instead of lab abilities, I've decided to add one page of low level spells, and just increase the number of spells available per day. That's coming up next, along with a specific mini-debate about the Identify spell.
Did I make the right call?