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I am in the process of making a new character for a campaign we are just starting. Every time I come across the Detect Magic spell I snicker and say that is one of the dumbest spells because you can just astrally perceive to get the same information. Then, it dawned on me. Can this spell notice magic that is being masked by an initiate? The spell isn't clear on that and since I'm not directly looking for that specific magic, does the Masking ability fool the spell. Also, the Initiate wouldn't necessarilly see the spell and attempt to consciously hide anything. What do you think? Also, if there is anything in the erratta that I missed just let me know.
Fygg Nuuton
detect magic is actually genius, put it into a focus and whenever something magical happens you know about it, such as invisible people of doom, or a your not aware of
QUOTE (Gilthanis)
Every time I come across the Detect Magic spell I snicker and say that is one of the dumbest spells because you can just astrally perceive to get the same information.

Ah, but it allows the caster to detect it without exposing actually himself to whatever dangers may lurk on the Astral.

It's also quite useful to a Physical Magician, who might not necessarily be able to Astrally Perceive.
I would think not. Only an initiated mage with masking has a chance of penetrating masking, and masking is designed to hide magical effects (at least on the Astral). If the spell had a physical component, then maybe (imp invisibility, say). I would still be inclined to say not though unless it was an initiated mage with masking and they had cast the spell specifically to detect such things.
Here is the official ruling that I sent an e-mail for:

"Awesome question. I like it.

There is no established answer to this one. It can easily be argued either way.

For playability, I think it's easier if Masking simply hides masked foci from Detect Magic. There is not much dice rolling and things are pretty simple.

From a rules-lawyer point of view, there is nothing in the description of Masking to indicate that it has any affect other than *appearance* of aura and the ability to attempt to pass certain wards.

We do know that Masking can be broken by another initiate, so it's not perfect.

My suggestion: Add the Initiate Grade of the masking magician to the Target Number determined by the Detection Spell Target Number Table on SR3 page 192. This will then be much like attempting to detect magic on the other side of an astral barrier. If Deliberate Masking (MITS page 76) is used, use half the successes from the Deliberate Masking test to reduce successes of the Detect Magic spell.

I don't suggest using the initiate grade of the caster of Detect Magic in any way, or whether he can use Making in any way. Detect Magic can be part of an anchoring focus or cast by spirits, so lets keep it simple.

Use my suggestion or not -- it's the GMs final call on all matters, and my suggestion is certainly not from the book.

Great question.

-- ShadowFaq "
Kanada Ten
I fall on the side of Masking having no effect. Spell Defense can be used to reisit the Detection spell so I see no real balance issue.
Zeel De Mort
I take it you'd apply similar rules to the Magic Sense adept power? Even if it is affected by masking, it's a fairly good buy at only 0.5 points, a little underrated perhaps.
A must have for a look-out adept.
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