One of the most impressive moments I've experienced in a rpg as a player was in Runequest campaign, where my character wanted to learn some more spirit magic, healing this time. The following text tells how the learning was handled - the GM running the game is quite exceptional GM and I've learned a lot from him.
After entering a large city, my character (or 'me' from now on) found a master to help him learn skills. After some base studies and meditation, master lead me to an old ruin and told me to go closer.
I sensed a hostile spirit full of hatred waiting for me - after a bit of attuning to spirit world I saw it was a spirit of a cleric, an evil and corrupted one. I stepped closer and engaged in spirit combat with it. It was a scary and close fight, after which I was able to bind the spirit into myself.
When I used the healing power, GM told me for the first few times how I had to force the spirit to heal or how I was struck by a wave of anger, and every time after that I remembered I'm dealing with something dangerous when I used healing, seeing image of the cleric.
This is one aspect I really miss when playing D&D. The game easily goes to something where everything's obvious, and magic is just a tool with very little actual flavor. This makes the game feel more shallow, and is one of the reasons I'm moving towards a fantasy campaign very different from the current D&D one. But this is a topic for another post I'll be writing soon.
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