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Hi Folks,

i really need you professional advice for my next step in character development. Here are the facts and problems i see at the moment:

I play an mystic adept with magic 6. One Point allocated for adept powers (astral perception with geas and linguistics), the rest for magic. I have 44 karma free for advancements and the allowance (or better: the advice) of the GM to initiate as much as i can before he starts the next run (Ghost Cartels). So i really need to know which powers are essential if you need to be as efficient as possible.

We usually step into background count a lot, so cleansing and the corresponding power filtering look good. But i donīt get the point in both skills. If i read it correct, cleansing cleans the whole aspected area? And filtering only works for you own magic but it is stationary?

Because i cast a lot of spells at high forces, extended masking (for sustained or quickened spells) of flexible signature (for magic "on the fly") are basic powers every initiate should have, but extended masking only makes sense at higher grades of initiation (to e.g. step through barriers without a test).

So what? I really donīt know. I have just one guideline: i will take quickening so that i donīt have to carry around, buy and bond foci.
How often should i initiate? it would last for 3 times if i take an ordeal, or is 2 times better and trying to raise magic? If i raise magic, should i allocate adept powers or magic? Etc. etc....i think you got the problem.
Initiate: Whenever you want new toys and have the karma. Join an initiatory group and take ordeals, they're worth it. Especially since if you get lucky, you might find one that'll let you sleep in the corner and raid the fridge, keeping lifestyle costs down.

Powers you choose depend on your build and role in the team. Let's assume we're rounding karma costs up. With both reductions, the first initiation costs you.. 8. Then 10. Then 12. Then 14. So that's four grades of initiation. No extra magic, but plenty of advancement room and ability to convert metamagics to power points. You can convert some metamagics to power points if you like, but you might like to look into "Attunement" as a metamagic: Four extra dice, once you get some more karma, is always nice. Maybe Divining, so the GM can ram some less than subtle hints down your throat. Filtering creates a 'straw' that you suck delicious regular flavoured mana through, ignoring the background count. For a little while. Also travels with you. Cleansing attempts to lower the background count of the *entire* area, and takes longer than filtering.

Oh, and get combat sense. It's expensive, but worthwhile.
i really used divining a lot during ghost cartels. there's less use for masking then you might think wink.gif
Thanks for the first replies. Because i am the only magical character in the group, i have to do anything that comes up and is at least "touched" by magic. This means that i have to cast fireballs, kill spirits, grant counterspelling and tailor security armor with the "fashion"-spell if it is needed. ^^ Therefore and because karma is limited, i need (at least now at the moment) to get the most benefit from the little karma i have. Usually i was a powergamer which would be suitable for the current problem, but you never know when metamagic like divining can become more useful than e.g. shielding. It is better not to be where the ambush starts, than being well protected against hostile spells....problems over problems.^^
Filtering is easier to perform than Cleansing and only affects yourself so you can use it in a running fight since the purified mana is on yourself.
Cleansing affects an area, takes longer and a slightly harder roll but helps teammates. It also removes Astral Signatures.

Honestly, if you are only facing a low (rating 1-2 or so) Background Count I'd instead get Centering and just overcast/oversummon. You'll lose a couple of dice off the success tests but the drain will be offset by thr Centering and a Centering Focus is amazingly good as it works for all drain tests regardless of source.
Ol' Scratch
Psychometry, Divination, and Absorption are three of my favorite metamagic techniques. In that order.

Beyond that, Masking (despite the naysaying herein; it's very useful if you actually take advantage of it) and Centering are the other two mainstays. I only ever bother with Shielding if I'm going to pick up Absorption -- the minor benefit it gives isn't worth a metamagic slot on its own. If you bind spirits often, Invoking is a very potent option, too. Channeling used to be really cool if you were in a possession tradition, but with the way possession is handled now (where you can puppetmaster the spirit while it's possessing you), Channeling is only mildly useful.
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