Has anyone done anything with partial ritual instructions as treasure?

I'm thinking of a magic system where the spells contain elements that are role-played—for example, you get silver knife, and wrap it in gold wire. Then you point it at someone and say a magic word, and it cuts then at a distance. This is 'magic missile'.

If you have such a spell system, the instructions could be doled out as treasure, treasure which prompts additional quests. For example, there could be an account, engraving, or statue of a historical wizard using this magic spell. Perhaps his 'silver knife' is described as being instrumental, but the bit about the gold wire is missing from the account. (Or perhaps the statue shows the blade as being wrapped in wire or string, but the marble statue doesn't give away the wire's material).

An essential part of making this useful for play would be the player's expectations that they can complete the puzzle pieces using quests they plan themselves. If they're just getting 'half a spell', that's not great. But if they recognize the sculpted wizard, then they could go to a sage and either get the missing information directly from research (so-and-so was said to wield a gold and silver knife), or potentially identify a place that would know, or might have the knife itself.
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