So my mage died but he got better. He’s currently recuperating for a month but he got some loot which leveled him while hes in bed rest. Would it be possible for him to research his new spell while recuperating? Or is that too strenuous a task?
Also related to that is it assumed I can pick my new spells or does my mentor pick them for me?
I would not allow any studies while recovering but I let my players pick their own spells except when creating new characters.
In the end its a call for your GM.
I have been known to allow mages to pursue magical research while they ought to be recuperating, but I do not count the time spent as recuperative. I imagine their apprentice saying “tut-tut, master, you’ll never get over that arrow to the knee if you could clambering into the library when you should be resting!”
I don’t allow characters to do anything useful while on mandatory bed rest from the Mortal Wounds or Tampering with Mortality tables, but I do allow research/crafting while resting to recover lost HP.
Whether they can choose their own spells or not when leveling up depends on the master - they can make a request and, depending on their relationship with the master, what he thinks is important for them to know, etc., he may teach them the spell they request or he may teach them something different. Either way, though, remember that the master can only teach spells he knows, so it’s never a completely unrestricted selection. (“Well, my boy, I’d love to teach you that Fireball spell you’re so keen on, but, you see, I don’t know it myself…”)
Of course, if you’re researching the spell yourself, then you can research any spell you want.
I use random spells at level up. That contributes to more diverse spell books and let’s us see spells used that wouldn’t be if the player got to pick.