I'm struggling to make sense of the rules given in HoH:TL p 29 under "Breakthroughs in Play". Specifically, I find the game mechanics described for learning some else's Major Breakthrough through a tractatus or teaching to be somewhat puzzling, and rather unclear.
The rules specifically refer to the sections on "Teaching" and Books in "Long-term Events" in ArM5 as its basic game mechanism, but actually seem to invoke the mechanics in "Learning Supernatural Abilities", which are rather different and more specific.
Disregarding this inconsistency, the rules seem to be more or less as follows:
- A Major Breakthrough is to be considered a Hermetic Virtue. (Is it Major or Minor?)
- It is learned "similar to" a Supernatural Ability.
- Unlike a Supernatural Ability, the student doesn't subtract total Hermetic Arts (so presumably neither the default penalty of 15 either, though that is not stated).
- The student may or may not need to subtract the total of his other Supernatural Abilities. This would be the case for Supernatural Abilities, but it is undefined in the breakthrough rules.
- In the end, you don't get an Ability along with the Virtue, mind you.
This leads me to a number of questions:
- Since the student doesn't get an Ability, how can the teaching process employ the Ability game mechanic?
- How many xp are required to actually acquire the Hermetic Virtue? Is 1 xp enough, giving a score of 0 in this new Hermetic Ability (that doesn't exist, mind you)?
- Supernatural Abilities must be Taught or Trained initially, then they can be freely studied afterwards. I.e., no Book Source. Is Teaching required initially for Hermetic Virtues, too?
- If not, then why would anyone want to spend time on Hermetic Integration if all that's needed is to write a poor quality Tractatus to distribute to the world?
(As an aside, I'm left to wonder who wrote these rules, what they were on, and where to get some.)