I'd agree with Kull that given the overall lethality of the system, making magic much more dangerous or upping the WP cost to mitigate mishaps makes it overly harsh. But I do quite like Klas's idea of Willpower being used to mitigate failure. I'd visualise a sort of hybrid system where any spellcaster can tap into the mysterious arcane energies, but Willpower doesn't 'power' magic, instead it is used to shape and constrain it to achieve the desired effect.
Mechanically it would work something like this:
- Every spell has a base power level of 1
- The caster rolls 1 die for each level of the spell + up to 1 die for each tier they have in the relevant discipline (casters choice)
- Successes boost the power level while banes trigger mishaps
- The caster also invests a number of willpower points at the time of casting, each of which would allow a bane to be converted to a success (or nullified), reducing the risk of catastrophe. Having the correct focus (ingredient) would be like a bonus WP.
- Any left-over banes....well it would suck to be the caster.
So the caster would have to risk disaster by trying to generate a powerful effect, but could reduce that risk through bending the arcane forces to his will. Either that or maybe spellcasting should
be treated like a skill, e.g. Wits + Talent tier and WP used as described in 4 above.
I suspect there are 101 holes in what I've written above, but hey, that's what this forum's for... I'm an analyst in real life, so I enjoy binomial probability calculations as much as the next man, but it's also Valentine's day and I have to prepare lunch for the love of my life - so I'll leave those to someone else
The whole WP cost thing does point up a slight inconsistency in the current magic set up though. Some spells require the power level to exceed, e.g. the target's Wits in order to deliver a relatively minor effect (Entice), so the caster will probably have to invest 3 WP to have a fighting chance of success whereas Weight of Ages will kill pretty much any adult for only 2 WP (only one if you have the required ingredient) with no means of resisting.