Laskeri, on 13 January 2013 - 10:54 PM, said:
Maybe it could only generate aspects that are nearby? So people couldn't get aspects they don't already have, just aspects they might not want to use a lot of for research.
Even then though it seems a little broken, considering how easy it is to just pack up and move if the aura gets too low/the flux gets too high.
A salient point. My issue is that the "scavenger hunt" side of research is often tedious, and this can be compounded by the resources needed not being evident. This is particularly true with some later research, where several aspects have to be discovered before you even have a name
to go off of (the general theories are a particular nuisance to learn). Having, even as a mid to high tier item, something more akin to the old Quaesitum, where it is possible to make progress even without ideal research materials, would do a lot to alleviate this. Thematically, it also seems fitting to imagine a magus sitting in his tower, making offerings to spirits and otherworldly beings through seances and rituals in order to gain secret knowledge. Since there are already some devices that act as upgraded workstations at the cost of vis drain and/or taint production, I imagine a research upgrade could work the same way. I will offer, though, that based on existing items like the infernal furnace and infusion altar, it might work batter to make it a multi-block structure than a crafted item.
Another possibility, rather than simply generating extra research, is that different aspects could be tied to different otherworldly beings. Thus they would be made into groupings. For example, "Flower, Herb, and Tree" might all belong to a "Dryad", "Harvest, Food, and Body" to "Brownie", "Decay, Body, and Poison" to "Ghoul", "Malice, Fire, and Darkness" to "Daemon", "Rock, Metal, and Precious" to "Kobold", "Din, Binding, and Soul" to "Banshee", etc... The simple method would be that sacrificing an aspect has a reduced chance of generating research for any other aspect in the same group. For the complex method, the being associated to each aspect group could be an actual mob. The research station would be a summoning circle. First you would have to draw out the magic circle, with dye or maybe special vis-infused dust, using either a menu or in-world placement on the ground. Maybe also lay out some candles. Then you place an offering for the spirits. The dominant grouping among the aspects of that you offer determines the spirit you summon, and maybe how powerful it is. Depending on how your circle is made, it might be weaker, stronger, or just better at containing certain spirits than others, so the spirit might break free of the circle. If it does, it will attack you. Otherwise, you can "commune" with the spirit, offering it things in exchange for research in the areas it specializes in, until you choose to banish it or it breaks free, but its mere presence creates flux of those aspects as long as it stays. Flux of a spirit's type could also give it an increased chance of breaking free of a circle, making it more dangerous the more you rely on it. Also, if candles are part of the circle, then they might burn down, needing to be periodically replaced to keep the circle active.