Clarifying Penetration with Mastery

hi All,
I'm hunting for a clarification on the way Penetration specialisation via Spell Mastery applies in the Penetration formula.

Particularly I want to confirm if Mastery with Penetration adds a level for the overall mastery score, or just penetration specalisation purchased; or even if it only adds after the modifiers for Arcane connections.

eg, A Magus buys the first level of Spell Mastery, and selects Penetration. The Magus already has a Penetration Ability of 2. Does that Pen bonus get added as:

Total Pen bonus = Pen Skill * (Pen base multiplier 1 + Pen Spell Mastery bonus 1) 

So it becomes a full bonus of 4 = 2 * (1 + 1)?

And if the same mage then purchases another Mastery in the same spell, instead choosing Multi-casting. Does the final Pen bonus from Mastery also increase, making the math: 6 = 2 * (1 + 2)?


The rules on page 84 explain that a character's Penetration bonus is equal to her Penetration Ability multiplied by a "multiplier"; that multiplier starts at 1 but can be increased using sympathetic or arcane connections. But your example magus's Mastery bonus gets added to the Penetration Ability score, not the multiplier. So he would get a penetration bonus of (2+1)*1 = 3; after getting another level of Mastery, it would be (2+2)*1=4.

The Penetration Spell Mastery is not very impressive until you start to multiply it by sympathetic connections (p 84). This adds an entirely new complexity to combat considerations, an RP element to prepare for combat to make it live up to its potential.

Have tested in the past to let the basic multiplier start out at 2 instead. Works reasonably well nearly all the time.
If we get playing sometime again i´m leaning towards using it again, or maybe come up with something else that evens out Penetration vs Parma slightly.

On first look the x1 multiplier seems good, although now that I'm working though some examples it does seem to hint that nothing short of the Arc type bonuses will be useful to penetrate Parma. It makes penetration ability expensive when considering the cost in xp and the applications.

At x2 base instead of x1 you Really see the pen totals ramp up well, and even a skilled penetration magus (say score 4) will only gain +8 to the pen bonus. Given Parma adds x5 there is still a large advantage in Parma over penetration, which is good IMHO.

I guess another question is how easy would it be in game to craft a connection that boosts pen as written.

Leadworker virtue is good for this IMHO (HoH:TL, Tremere) where you can craft a figurine with an AC (like a hair) in no significant time spending no vis. It is slightly inferior to a real Fixed AC, but it'll do in a pinch. Shame Leadworker can't improve on those Fixes ones, it woyle be awesome it at could also help the well-prepared magic. As it stands it only helps cut corners.