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So I've got a Initiate Grade 1 who successfully learned the Centering Metamagic ability. At this point how it all works is a bit fuzzy.

The book says 2 skills are involved, the Centering Skill (linked to willpower) and a "creative skill".

Now I understand Centering Skill is a new active skill that is purchased and improved like any other active skill; however the Creative Skill is the issue for me. Where does this come from and what is it for? The only thing I did figure out for sure is it determines how high your Centering Skill can be raised. ("Centering Skill can never be raised higher than the rating of the creative skill.")

Does it serve any other purpose?
Do I have to spend Karma to improve it like active skills (allowing me to improve centering skill)?

In the example under Adept Centering:
....he learned Centering (Zen Meditation)....
....He rolls his 5 centering dice (meditation skill 5) against TN....

Is Zen Meditation his creative skill? If so, does the second line say he has rank 5 in Centering and rank 5 in his creative skill?

Does any of this make sense so far? I hope I've asked my question in a moderately understandable way and appreciate any help from the community. i'm probably making this more difficult than it needs to be; though shadowrun seems to be full of grey area's where rules don't always make sense.
Zen Meditation, for you, should be a knowledge skill. yes, you have to raise it just like any other knowledge skill. Centering is an active skill, that you can't raise higher than your Zen Meditation. so, if Zen Meditation is 5, and Centering is 5, you can't get Centering up to 6 until you've raised Zen Meditation to 6.
You know, somehow I totally forgot about Knowledge skills. So I suppose a martial arts Kata would be a knowledge skill?

The character has Kung Fu 4 and I know all arts have some sorts of Katas with and without weapons.

So I would probably need to pick up a knowledge skill for Kata's to satisfy the creative skill?
Yeah, it makes sense.
I think it basically means that the centering skill IS the creative skill, however, the actual centering skill is your ability to clear your mind from using your creative skill. Make sense at all?

I believe it gives the example of singing somewhere in MiTS as a centering skill. Now... you can be a really really good singer with a skill of 6, but that doesn't mean you are good at centering yourself through singing. Your ability to sing well DOES set an upper limit to your ability to center yourself, though.

So the way I interpret it, is that when you want to center, you roll your centering skill, but the way that it is represented in game is through your character performing their creative skill. If you center through dance, and you're centering to cast a spell, then your character will start dancing as s/he casts the spell. Same thing with singing and zen meditation and any other creative skill.
Bokujin: Yes what you said makes sense. The Creative skill is what Im doing to try and clear my mind, and my Centering skill is how good I am actually clearing my mind by doing my creative skill. So that helps a lot in understanding too.

Both of you have already managed to clear it up some. I forgot about Knowledge skills.

So my character is a melee fighter type.
Kung Fu 4
Edged Weapons 5 (Katana 7)

I just learned Centering, and I do have a Background Knowledge in Edged Weapons so I could use that as my creative skill? Only have 2 ranks in it for now but that still would give me the chance to raise my Centering Skill up to 2.

Would you think that a Background in Edged weapons would suffice?
er, that gets confusing, Bokujin. the centering skill is the Centering skill. the creative skill is singing, martial arts katas, whatever. but, yes, in-game, when you use your Centering skill, you're singing or kata'ing or whatever.

yeah, Background: Edge Weapons is a viable creative skill--as long as you actually have the skill, and bought all of it with karma. the rule where you get half your base skill as a background knowledge skill shouldn't be used in conjunction with Centering.
One last question then on this subject. If I use Edged Weapons as my creative skill then it would stand to reason that if Im stuck without any edged weapons then I cannot center. Would that be an accurate assumption?
that would, indeed, be an accurate assumption. my adept uses Looking Good in Shades as his creative skill; no shades, no centering.
Haha, looking good in shades; I like that.

So I think I got it now.

Creative Skill : Background Edged Weapons
Centering Skill : currently 0 unless you get the first point for learning the metamagic ability

Centering skill cannot exceed creative skill rating, both raised as per rules for increasing skills. The Creative skill serves no actual purpose when making a Centering Test, simply dictates how high Centering Skill can go and what you do to Center.

Dont often find myself without an Edged Weapon anyway due to Katana and Forearm Snap Blades.

Bokujin, thank you for your help.
mfb, thank you to you as well for sticking around to get me through this.
Glad to be of service.
Really, I'm just happy when I can say what I'm thinking without managing to muddle everything even more... hehe
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