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My group and I, upon exploring the 4th ed. rules, have come upon a slight discrepancy in regards to learning new spells. According to the core book, a Lodge is required to learn new spells, but the rating of the lodge required isn't specified. This leaves open the capacity that a minimum level lodge (force 1) is all that's necessary for a Mage to learn new spells.

Elsewhere in the rules, it states that a Lodge must be of a level equal to or greater than the level of the spell that's being cast. This is primarily for ritual spell casting, I assume, not for learning spells.

As a final note, in one place a spell is called a "Formula" and in others (near character creation) it's called a "Skill". It's this sort of analogous definition that has always been SR's crutch, and though 4th ed. does a magnificent job cleaning up past mistakes, there are still some - like this one - that are still nebulous in their definitions.

So a question arrives:

To learn new spells, is the only thing required is a level 1 lodge, in which case its enough to learn the formula, and by definition a formula is a set of rules in which various variables is put into it to cast the spell, so therefore its a matter of studying the spell. I personally believe that this is the case, being that the actual skill is in the Magic + Sorcery, and that I'm learning a set of instructions like a program to apply that skill, so therefore only a level 1 lodge is required because there are no longer any spell levels in 4th ed.

Or does one need to have a lodge of a level at least equal to one's magic rating, to learn how to cast the spell as a brand new skill. I mention that the lodge must be equal to one's magic rating because that's the spell level you're trying to learn how to cast the spell safely (stun drain instead of physical drain). This is the other thought of how the rules are to be interpreted in my group, to which it doesn't make a lick of sense to me bases upon the thought of "Ok... say I learned the spell as a mage with an attribute of 6, so what happens when I initiate? Do I have to practice the spell to a new level now?" it also doesn't make sense at all, especially since spells don't have a force level in and of themselves, and the magical propencity is all based upon the attribute and skill not the spell.

I'm eager to hear all of your thoughts on this matter. What level lodge is required to learn new spell formula?
Okay. Here's how it works.

As long as you have a magical lodge, you can learn new spells.

Spells are no longer based on a set number. Instead, whenever you cast a spell, you can choose a Force for the spell up to twice your Magic. This is the level of the spell used in all calculations for that instance. If your Magic goes up, you can cast at a higher Force.

Spells are separate from your Spellcasting skill. In order to cast a spell, you must make a Magic + Spellcasting test. This applies to any spell at all. For some spells, you may get bonus dice from a Mentor Spirit, a Spellcasting Focus, or a specialization.

Spells are written in spell formulae. A spell formula is required to learn (or create) a spell.
The text describes requiring the lodge in order to 'experiement' with mana and the machinations of the particular spell. Since all spells may be cast as low as force 1 this means that a rating 1 lodge is enough to learn any spell and casting it at a higher force is simply a matter of upping the mana flow on a case by case basis.

You could add the rating of the lodge to the learning dice pool (no more than the character's Magic rating though). That way a force 6 lodge would allow much faster learning than a force 1 lodge, but it's not thematically accurate. The force of a lodge is meant (primarily) to be a cap.
The Force of a lodge is also is some measure of it's efficency in shielding from outside mana influences and thaumaturgical support material avalable (be it books or assorted magic parapharnelia), so giving some kind of bonus for learning spells like Aerospider suggested makes sense (even if it's not RAW), but I'd say Force/2 or Force/3 rather that directly Force
Saint Sithney
High level lodges are only good for ritual magic and the warding they provide.
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