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In Anima: Beyond Fantasy, magic is divided up into paths, some of which are opposed to each other. The rules quite clearly state that it costs twice as much to advance along a path opposed to one which a character has mastered... But they entirely neglect to define what constitutes mastery. (My suspicion is that something was lost in the game's translation to English.)

A mage's progression along a path is measured from 0-100, with a spell being learned every even-numbered level above zero. Presumably, therefore, path level 1 wouldn't consitute mastery in any sense.

However, I very much doubt that you have to reach level 100 to be a master, as the high end spells of the path ('Divine magic,' in game terms) are only usable by players with the aid of GM intervention - and the spells a little lower-level than that are 'High Magic,' which typically require characters to permanently give up their humanity before being castable. Since many of the powerful mages listed in the setting material do seem to still be human, presumably mastery does not require that level of path knowledge.

So, for rules purposes, at what point has a path of magic been mastered? I could easily houserule it, but if there's an official answer then I'd prefer to use that.

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3 Answers 3

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The Spanish version doesn't say anything of mastering your magic,

I will use google translator with the important part of the text, so you can see more or less what it is saying.

Spanish version: En el caso de que un personaje desarrolle conocimiento en una vía y posteriormente trate de dominar una opuesta, deberá invertir el doble de nivel de magia para mejorarla.

English version: In the case of a character in a knowledge developed way and then try to master an opposite must invest twice magic level to improve it.

It's a bit messy but it basically says that if you try to learn a path with points already invested in an opposite path you will have to spend twice the points. So, once you have spend one point (not even reaching the first spell!) in one path the opposed one (or ones in case of necromancy) will cost double.

I have been told that there will be some kind advantage with creation points that would help with this, but I haven't see it just yet (must be in Prometheum Exxet or something).

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Oh, and the creation point advantage appears in the 'Game Master's Toolkit.' I seem to recall it was called 'Opposite Magic,' but I might be mistaken. –  GMJoe Jun 6 '12 at 7:31

I believe that Mastery refers to Path Mastery for a particular magical path versus the actual spells in that path you have selected to know. By default your mastery of a path is equal to half the Magic Level you have applied to it. The example on p.112 of my first English edition states that "spellcasters reaching level 50 of the Path of light would master the first 25 spells of Light". On the next page is an option under "Choosing Spells" that would allow more customization.

Spells in opposed Paths indeed cost twice the Magic Level, as mentioned by Random, above. Magic Level is the currency for learning spells, based on Intelligence per Table 56: Magic Level. You may purchase Path Levels (providing one spell per two levels) on a point per level basis (double cost if opposed) or buy specific spells from Path per Table 57: Choosing Spells. The first option allows occasional selections from the Free Access "Path", p.163, instead of regular Path spell.

High and Divine Magic are the powerful and epic spells of the game. Like many other character powers of this game your character must become something more than human to channel these awesome forces, hence the Gnosis requirement.

Inhuman and Zen levels overcome limits to success rolls and ability caps throughout the rules. There are powers that provide these states temporarily and all are considered beneficial. Inhuman in this sense does not mean monstrous.

I hope this helps.

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THankyou for this answer, but I'm not sure it actually answers the question, which could be summarised as "when is a path considered mastered for the purposes of increasing the cost of opposed paths?" So far as I can tell, the reason why you'd learn the first 25 spells of a path at path level 50 is because you learn a spell every two levels, not because path mastery is defined as half the magic level assigned to that path. –  GMJoe May 30 '12 at 23:57
Thanks alot for summarising the rules on magic levels, they're sure to be useful to future readers. As for Zen and Inhumanity, that's not what I was referring to when I said that High magic typically requires the caster to give up their humanity - I was referring to the fact that such spells require at least 25 gnosis, which can only be achieved in the rules by the spells such as 'Chimera' that cause a character to become a 'Being Between Worlds,' and therefore no longer human in a physical, biological sense. –  GMJoe May 31 '12 at 0:32
(Oh, and high gnosis can also be achieved by having high elan, but I'd say that that's under the heading of 'GM intervention' in most cases.) –  GMJoe May 31 '12 at 0:35

Sorry, I see how I missed the mark, several times.

Mastery, per se, requires a final ability score of 200+ in one of several specific categories, p.013. Magic Level and Path Knowledge are not on the list and do not scale for it. The use of the word "master" in "The Paths and Magic Level" section on p.112 may be the source of confusion, but the problem remains: How many points invested in a Path cause the opposed Path cost to occur. As it reads, I would say just 1 single point would be enough.

Feels a bit house-ruly to me, but I cannot find a better answer, yet.

Anyway, thanks for giving me a reason to revisit this excellent game. We played it as a one-shot and had a hoot of a barfight after four hours of character generation.

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Oops! Guess I should have done this as a comment instead of a second answer. –  Ira White May 31 '12 at 13:41
Actually, you can edit answers. It should have been an edit to the original answer. As it is though, this is a better answer than the first, so now that there are two, this one should stay and the other be deleted. –  SevenSidedDie May 31 '12 at 16:29
I deleted and then undeleted the post. user867 made some very useful remarks that should remain - stuff I had forgoten. My babblings will maintain context, I hope. Good gaming, everyone. –  Ira White May 31 '12 at 20:53
@IraWhite Ooh, I'd forgotten about that definition of mastery. Thanks for pointing it out. I currently suspect that your '1 point' guess has a reasonable chance of being correct, but I'm reluctant to accept it without evidence. For now, I'll wait and see whether anyone with a spanish copy of the rules can clarify this for us. –  GMJoe Jun 1 '12 at 5:31

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