New to the forum, not entirely new to the game.
I've a question about totally integrating breakthroughs from Original Research and/or Ancient Magic/Rival Magic/ hedge Magic, etc.
A successful major breakthrough could allow you to create a teachable Hermetic Virtue out of a Supernatural Virtue. No problem there. If there is an associated Supernatural (now Hermetic) ability, you improve it like any other ability, as per the rules.
My question is, what changes when our mage completely integrates his ability research into Hermetic theory, via another Major Breakthrough?
HOH: TL uses Life Boost as an example- a maga invents Hermetic Life Boost, which must be taught as its own ability and then, through another breakthrough she integrates it fully into Hermetic Magic Theory. Any magus who learns this improved Magic Theory gets Life Boost for free. Life Boost doesn't have an associated ability.
Hedge Magic explains that Certamen is a total integration of a version of the Nightwalker's ability to fight spirit battles. Since certamen has been totally integrated, it has no separate ability and no ability score, and depends on your technique and form levels. Okay, that's fine, but we don't really have any way to compare this integrated Certamen with whatever came before. The virtues that represent Certamen are "free and unnamed" parts of the virtue of being a Hermetic Magus.
So, what happens when a Supernatural Virtue with an associated ability is integrated?
Let us assume that some Magus Bonisagi has some Ex Misc. friends and is trying to create Hermetic Shapeshifting. He could take the cheap route and investiage the Subtle Opening breakthrough as mentioned in Hedge Magic, which would allow a Mage to learn any Supernatural abilities easily. (Seriously, Subtle Opening is an extremely powerful breakthrough, since the alternative is making a breakthrough for each ability that you want).
However, if he takes the proper route and develops a major breakthrough, creating Hermetic Shapeshifting. Mechanically, this ability is much easier for a Hermetic Mage to learn than Supernatural Shapeshifting, but it operates the same- your score in shapeshifting is the number of animals you can turn into, shapeshifting is Stamina + Shapeshifting vs Ease Factor 9. It's still an ability, governed by like own score, like Parma is.
What happens when this member of Bonisagus completes a second major breakthrough (okay, maybe his apprentic carries on his work or something) and integrates Hermetic Shapeshifting totally? Now it no longer is learned, but now is a part of Hermetic Magic. Do the mechanics change? What score now determines shapeshifting? Is it just like the Life Boost example? Are the rolls to change forms (and the number of animal forms you have) now governed by your Magic Theory score instead of your shapeshifting score? I can't seem to find any reference to how ability mechanics change when they cease to be separate abilities. The ability becoming part of Magic Theory seems to work, since it is an ability and would be advanced in the same way (though with enough time several new abilities could be amalgamated into it ..... just as Bonisagus did. hmm)