Musings on Parma Magica, The Gift, and Magic Resistance

So I was skimming through the main rulebook, as I sometimes do, and some thoughts occurred to me. Parma Magica (and Aegis of the Hearth) presents some problems for me. So I thought I'd throw out some ideas and see what people think.

First, Parma and the Aegis of the Hearth don't cause Warping. This is basically at odds with every other magical effect in the game. The Aegis could easily be hand-waved if area wards didn't cause warping to occupants as well (something I'd like to see happen), but magi are basically living under a magical shield all the time and don't take warping from it. Additionally, when you extend your parma over someone else, they don't take warping either (AFAIK). Now this is a simple game-based reason so that players can live with a Parma all the time, but that doesn't make me like it.

Second, having played multiple sagas, there's always what I like to call the 'Parma Rush'. Players study Parma Magica hard early game until they're basically immune to the effects of Might 20-25 creatures. It's easy, it's pretty quick - if you have books, but Parma is supposed to be a big secret, and since it could be learned by any Gifted person, books existing are a big problem. This annoys me as a game master, because I'd rather players do neat things and I'd like to be able to employ lower might creatures early in a saga, but boosting Parma is so very effective you're crazy to not do it. Parma is still a time/XP sink and both are very valuable to magi.

So let's move on to my ideas for a solution. Magic Resistance arises from the Gift, just as creatures with Might get Magic Resistance. It's something that's inherent to being Gifted, and to a lesser extent, granted by scores in other supernatural abilities (this explains the lesser magic resistances found in hedge magi). Normal hermetic Arts scores already grant Magic Resistance.

So let's make Parma Magica just an improved form of 'natural' expression of the magi's Gift. This explains why any Gifted person can learn it, and any unGifted cannot, even though it's an Arcane Ability. Bonisagus figured out how to better 'tune' his Gift to provide Magic Resistance and, importantly, shielding himself from the social effect of the Gift. This would also explain why it doesn't cause Warping, as it's not a power or spell any more than the Gift is a power or spell. Knowledge of the Parma would also allow you to temporarily attune the Gift of others to have the same effect (thus you could activate a Parma on a Gifted apprentice). This would disallow using Parma to shield unGifted companions, however, as they have no Gift, though we could allow spells that provide Magic Resistance once again (which would cause Warping per the normal rules). It would also increase the social isolation of magi a bit (no covering mundanes with Parma to lower the creep-factor), so maybe increasing the rate at which mundane folk acclimatize to magi might be warranted.

Now, to remove the 'XP sink' nature of the Parma Magica, let's make the Parma score equal to the magi's Warping score. This provides young magi with a terrible decision; quickly gain Warping to improve their Magic Resistance, but in so doing shorten their Hermetic lifespan. Or they could actually study Arts and improve their Form scores, which I view as the preferable alternative. This keeps younger magi at much lower magic resistances outside their chosen Arts. Old, warped magi always have mighty Magic Resistance - this was always the case - and magi will always accumulate Warping, so the increase of Parma can be viewed as an upside to the 'punishment' of an increase in Warping score. And as mentioned above, if we allow spell-based Magic Resistance, magi could use such spells on a short term basis to shore up their defenses (probably not stacking with Parma or Form scores). Because there is no 'studying' Parma, there are no books about it, and that particular problem goes away.

Now one problem I foresee with this is that the power-gamer will always just boost his Warping up to 5-6, on the reasoning that the saga won't last long enough for it to be a real problem for him. I'm not certain of a solution for that, though IIRC some magical traditions have problems every time their Warping score increases, so if magi only underwent Twilight when their score increased this might serve as a deterrent. This would have the happy side effect of making the "Give someone 2 Warping Points" spell less effective as a "Instantly force a twilight check" spell.

As for Aegis of the Hearth, as I mentioned earlier I'd like to see area-based Wards only cause Warping to the area, not its inhabitants, but I can also see the Aegis as a tuning of a Magic Aura to naturally produce the effects listed, much as other realms can tune auras to produce certain effects. This might limit an Aegis' power based on the power of the Magic Aura it's cast in, and I don't see this as a bad thing necessarily (old, magically strong covenants have more powerful Aegises already).

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I think the problem is not so much with Parma and Aegis, but with Wards. A Rego Animal spell to keep vermin away from the kitchen should, at most, warp said vermin, not the kitchen scullions, whose Form is not Animal. But one can argue that the Wards need some sort of magic to "tie" themselves to the warded object that Parma and Aegis somehow managed to do without.

Hmm. I think you are pointing to three different problems:
a) the fact that you can't use low might creatures as opponents against the magi.
b) the fact that books about Parma should not exist because they represent a risk.
c) the fact that magi spend time studying Parma instead of doing other stuff.

a) should not be a problem. There are many ways low level creatures can cause trouble to magi protected by their Parma, from indirect effects to subversion of crucial mundanes. I consider a feature of Ars Magica, not a bug, the fact that even a young magus can shrug off the fire breath of a young (Might 20) drake looking cool in the process "I am a mighty magus of the Mighty order of Mercury! I fear not your futile flicker of a flame!"
b) is a commonly voiced issue, but given that kidnapping a young magus and forcing him to teach you Parma is not significantly more difficult than stealing a book (particularly if the owners know that getting that book stolen is "endangering the Order"...), I really think that the Order's attitude is "let's try to avoid having outsiders learn Parma, but more importantly let's make sure those who do -- because some will -- quickly join or die".
c) This is a self-limiting problem, in my view. If you dangle sufficiently tempting stuff in front of their noses, in my experience, the PCs will postpone improving their Parma for a few seasons. Eventually, they'll spend time on it, because it's so useful, but hey -- it's the magic of the Order, after all.

Ugh. I really, really do not like this (I do like the notion that Parma is a manipulation of one's Gift however -- that also explains why despite being an arcane, rather than supernatural, ability it can only be learnt by those with the Gift).

There are several reasons I do not like Parma score = Warping score.
The first, and most minor, is that it takes away Parma from characters with Might scores.
The second is that deciding how much to invest in Parma vs. other stuff is one more thing that makes one magus different from another. In this sense Parma scores = Warping score is bad in the same way that every Art score = 3 x Warping Score is bad, in my view.
The third reason is that it does give a great incentive for some magi to spend effort to do the following: a) make sure they can't gain 2 Warping points at a time b) then just bring the Warping score first to 6-7 (several Warping points at a time, in ideal conditions, so they can profit from positive Twilight experiences) and then, 1 warping point at a time, all the way to 100 (armed with a low level spell, it takes about 8 hours of continuous casting). BAM! Magic Resistance 500+. Immune to any direct supernatural effect short of a Divine Miracle (and you can extend this to a small army of grogs too!). And you are really fearsome in Certamen, too!

Sure, this can be solved by forcing Twilight whenever Twilight score increases, but this has a big impact on a large number of Hermetic subtraditions that, canonically, live quietly without getting more than 1 Warping point at a time and thus never enter Twilight.


Non-canonical, not even compatible, just an episode of The World According to Ken:

A) On the Parma Magica

PM is part of Hermetic Magic, and other people with the Gift cannot get it without becoming Magi. In AM5 terms, it is achieved through an Initiation Script that includes swearing the Hermetic Oath, appropriately administered, in a fashion that has teeth: This is a free Major Story Flaw. Nothing interferes with a magus' free agency to violate the Oath, but the Oath is there and violating it has consequences.

A.1) This script was incredibly difficult to create, and cannot be modified through the usual mechanics. The real reason why the Hermetic Oath is a bit impractical is that there is no choice: No difficult Oath, no Parma.

A.2) There is no Parma ritual for the magus himself. PM works exactly like MR. This is because the lapse of PM at sunrise and sunset is a bit precious and too easily exploited. This adds nothing good to the gameplay.

A.3) The whole "let's keep other wizards from getting Parma" is a bit silly. It's too easy for them to learn it from a magus, especially from a rogue magus, of whom there have been more than a few over half a millenium.

A.4) The PM does not Warp a magus any more than Mythic Blood, Strong Faerie Blood, Minor Magical Focus or any other ongoing special ability that is not activated.

A.5) The PM can be extended to the non-Gifted, and does not Warp them. This is extremely desirable for game play! Otherwise, non-magi become even less useful, and we want the non-Gifted to be useful. We can wave our hands to achieve this: Bonisagus is so awesome, that he was able to develop an ability that breaks the usual rule, which btw is not a Greater Limit. Another handwave: When a magus extends PM to protect other people, the PM actually targets hostile magics, so Warping is not an issue.

B) On Defending versus Magic

Every hostile magical effect has a defense. This defense is either a kind of natural resistance or a normal defense, but never both. This is different from current rules, though hearkens toward many of the older spells, which have 'natural resistance' rolls built in. 'Magic' in this context is shorthand for any supernatural effect, independent of realm.

B.1) I have non-compatible rules for calculating this and other aspects of spell design, which I've alluded to elsewhere and do not include here. Simply put, a magical effect must define whether it is resisted or defended against, and extra magnitudes can be added to a spell to make such defense more difficult.

B.2) Using current rules, MR is recalculated to be 1/5 it's current value. MR adds to every defense against hostile magic. A defense against magic that includes MR can never botch. MR also adds to all Soak vs damage caused by magic, and Soak rolls modified thusly also cannot botch.

B.3) I need more time and space to flesh out when MR applies. It applies to any supernatural being with Might, down to its claws. It applies to any supernatural effect whose resistance is specified as part of the effect. It applies to anything whose creation or modification is sustained unnaturally. If there is a doubt, err on the side of the defender, as represented by what the player wants.

B.4) A player can choose not to resist or defend, in which case the character's resistance or defense fails.

B.5) Note that this kind of MR is less absolute than canon. Everyone has some chance to defend against a magical effect. Therefore, applying MR generously is less problematic.

I need to think about this more. But spells that include rules like "you can reconsider this course of action with an Int roll" simply have a better feel to them. MR really does not work well in AM, as has been noticed by people complaining that it is too good and by people complaining that it is not good enough. This isn't new to AM5!



I like the idea of tying MR to Warping, as it really resonates well with how MR works for creature. However, I can't see how it will work due to the problem of powergamers Warping themselves silly.

Here is a thought: tie a character's Parma Score to their Arts. For example, let every XP invested in any Art also be invested in a Parma (Ability) Score. So a starting magus might have Parma (120 XP), while an archmagus might have Parma 31 (2500 XP). Add in the Form, and a young Magus might have MR 16 while an archmagus will have MR 70.

Alternatively, you could make this how to calculate a character's Warping instead of Parma. This has the benefit that powerful magi will get "closer" to the Magic Realm. However, this would mean that Warping Points mechanics no longer work.

Another idea - let ongoing or powerful magic draw you SLOWLY towards magic, adding Warping Points at the end of the year only in total, e.g.. if you had a lot of ongoing magic on you this year you add +1 Warping point, if you were exposed to powerful magic you add +1 more Warping point. But have powerful or botched magic send you to Temporary Twilight, instead of automatically granting you Warping Points. If you resist the Twilight, you get no further Warping Points at all. If you do go to Twilight - you do gain Warping Points, but reverse the benefits table so that young magi can barely control their twilight whereas Warped ones do so easily. The result will be that young magi would not want to go to Twilight to gain Warping to increase MR as that would require accruing bad Twilight Scars. The powergamer could still SLOWLY increase his MR & Warping by using ongoing and powerful effects on himself, but this is so slow it shouldn't be a problem for young magi. In this model, I would also have magi go into Twilight when their Warping gets high enough (every increase in it? every 5 points?), obtaining another Scar.

Ovarwa - I like your ideas, especially the part where Parma is initiated and that MR functions as a gradated defense rather than a yes/no avoidance. I too like the feel of natural resistance, and your house rule does bring a lot of it back.

Interesting ideas all around! :smiley:


  • It isn't really a house rule, because it is quite incompatible with AM5 or even previous editions. Maybe AM6. :slight_smile:

  • I love the idea of tying Parma to Warping, and some of my rules variations include Warping Score in almost everything: Social Penalty of the Gift, all casting rolls and supernatural abilities, penalties for being in an antagonistic Aura, etc. In general, I want Warping to make a Gifted character more powerful but cause even greater problems. I also never liked Final Twilight, though I do like the idea of magi being forced out of the world: I prefer game mechanics that promote choosing to enter winter, abandon the world and Order, etc, rather than BLAM.

  • I had posted some time ago an "every xp in an Art is also an xp in Parma, and Parma is Accelerated" rule variant. I like this very much, because it further ties PM to Hermetic Magic. But I also don't like it, because PM rules that fit the fluff should make PM something that would be immediately useful to the Founders, since otherwise they'd not have considered it a worthy defense. It also removes the "I am a Parma specialist" category, which is both good and bad, though an Affinity virtue to multiply Art XP when calculating Parma would re-enable this. (Using the defense variant I posted earlier, MR = Form Bonus + PM (calculated non-accelerated), but really, this isn't a House Rule but a different system, and Arts would also usually be *5, just like Abilities.)

  • The Warping mechanics for AM5 are great and elegant, mostly. They combine subsystems that used to be all over the place. A nice bit of design, imnsho, so rules changes away from these are not a first choice for me.

  • Initiation is possibly my favorite AM5 idea, though maybe not the rules for creating or modifying scripts. I'd love to see rules that make every apprenticeship a kind of initiation, though I've said this before. :slight_smile:/10 This divorces the rules for getting xps and virtues during apprenticeship and maybe even childhood from the general rules (I'd like to see a slowdown, which has a good realism feel to me.)



IMO it's VERY easy right now to build a magus who almost never has Twilight, given how effective Cautious Sorcerer is. I'd rather Twilight be sort of a creeping, inescapable bugbear for magi, becoming more intense as they become more warped. Right now it's so very random. Your first twilight could give you Major Virtues or Flaws (yeah it favors good results for young magi, but it's still very random), while you could still get good results from Warping Score 9 twilights.

Then again, i'm not fond of Twilights piling on additional warping either.


Warping is a creeping, inescapable bugbear by RAW, but Twilight is not. It is this random, pouncing thing that suddenly does stuff to a magus.

Some people love botches and random stuff. A demon rolled up six times and you're dead? Quadruple botch on a level 5 spell in a divine Aura? We'll remember that awesomeness for years.

Some people really hate it. Cautious Sorcerer makes the game playable for those people.

(Some people love it until it happens to them or to a character they really like, and then they suggest that the GM or troupe ignore results that 'ruin the game.')

The other problematic aspect of Twilight is that it gets in the way of the mainline action. This isn't a problem in botch-driven sagas, in which sessions are sketchily plotted in the hope of inducing unexpected botches that might produce interesting and entertaining results. But to the extent that the main action is worthwhile, Twilight suddenly gets in the way because we have to find out if the magus comes back immediately.





We have (at least) one of the in my troupe. Both of my troupes actually, come to think about it.

That would be me.

So very true. I think is why we've been de-emphasized Twilight in most 5th ed sagas. It takes up too much time, especially if you can't involved the rest of the troupe.

Ran one of those back in 3rd edition. It got wierd.



I am not accustomed to this kind of unabashed agreement.

ponders Clearly, I need to up my game, maybe talk about the upcoming elections here, toss out a few endorsements....




Perhaps twilight episodes shouldn't interrupt the action, but be more akin to over-extending a muscle ("Gonna pay for that tomorrow"), and the longer you postpone it the worse it's going to be.


How about something like this:

Twilight works something like an involuntary Initiation.

It is resolved during 'downtime.'

  • Twilight always provides a Virtue. The player can decide if this is major or minor. Beyond that, what the virtue is must be negotiated; almost anything is possible unless it is aligned to a different Realm (but Merinita are eligible for Faerie, Holy Magi Divine, Cthonic Magi Infernal), even virtues that grant xps. The "script" for this Twilight must achieve the associated result, as though self-initiating. In most cases, the character (who is the Mystagogue) does not already have the virtue, so the script total must account for that (21 or 30.)

  • The starting mystagogue total for this script is Int+EnigWis+stress die, with possible botch dice equal to the Aura. If the roll botches, the starting total is 0 - #botches. The magus also gets extra Warping Points equal to the number of botches. Virtues that affect EW, such as Cautious with EW, do affect this roll.

  • Twilight scripts always require a bonus from an Ordeal (that's the acquire Flaw, iirc). This can be carried over from a previous Twilight, similar to Initiations. Ordeals from Initiation do not apply to Twilight, and Ordeals from Twilight do not apply to Initiation. Thus, a magus' first Twilight always inflicts a Flaw.

  • If the script total has not been achieved, the magus gains Warping Points equal to the difference, and his Warping Score is recalculated.

  • At the winter solstice (though magi aligned to some different season though Cyclic Magic, Faerie Blood or something similar might have the summer solstice or an equinox), the magus rolls stress dice equal to his current Warping score (no botch), and multiplies that by the number of Twilight episodes he experienced since his last opportunity to roll. He fades into the Twilight Realm for that number of seasons. Magi with high Warping Scores can easily achieve what is effectively Final Twilight! (And if all the dice come up as 0, no time is lost.)



This could certainly work, though I'd simplify this down even further. Select a virtue, which has an associated Twilight cost. Reduce that cost by taking flaws, losing XP, eating more Warping or losing time - those are your temporary twilights. You MUST buy off the Twilight cost, and as your Warping Score gets higher, the cost of Twilight gets greater - flaws pay off less, you lose more XP, you take more Warping and you spend longer in Twilight. At some point the player can decide that the costs are too great and retire their character to 'final twilight' (also if the lost time would be too great).


I thought about that, but I very much like leveraging a single mechanical idea (Initiation in this case), both for reducing the kinds of mechanics and to define the game world. (That is, I like the idea that becoming an expert warrior is about more than just accumulating xps. Becoming a knight requires that vigil at the end, or some other ritual: A script! A seven-year apprenticeship is required, because, hey, 7! Blame the guild, if you like, but it's really an initiation script. The world is filled with Apprenticeship Scripts, administered by unknowing mystagogues, and it's hard to apprentice in two professsions or to gain a profession once you are older because, Script! And, childhood development can therefore easily have different rules from adult development. We can even have a new category of virtue, correponding to Everyman Initiations.


Losing xps is almost always worthwhile, especially from Abilities you don't care about any longer, or that can be quickly boosted again. Many magi are happy to lose their starting language. Magi with a great summa can happily lose xps from its topic and reread. Rinse and repeat. Forbidding this introduces a new mechanic (that makes no real world sense.) Great summa plus Affinity is even better. FM, a spell you don't care about and an associated mastery summa ftw.

Increasing the cost and decreasing the effectiveness requires rules for same. And it's really not needed. The biggest penalty is not being able to play your magus, which increases with Warping Score, especially since every point is another stress die, with the possibility of rolling up.


The whole 'resisting Twilight' thing can go. Twilight tends to happen under stress, and the current rules require a magus to be a sitting duck while attempting to resist. Might as well not be a thing.


I'd probably want to redesign Twilight more radically, and the effects of Warping, though retaining the current Warping mechanic; this suggestion stays relatively close to the existing rules. Random stuff happening to a character is fine when it doesn't take forever to write up a character, and another forever to develop him in play: AM is a long-haul game. This is similar to the way Cyberpunk's rules for cyberpsychosis is fine for a short game, but Shadowrun's Essence depletion rules work better for an extended campaign.

For me, I like the idea that a magus become more powerful but more distant over time, hemmed in by Aura requirements, mundane interaction penalties and strange changes. He doesn't become worse, just increasingly different until he just Doesn't Belong. (I very much like the Magic Blood virtue, which tends to do this. I also like the Faerie Flaw that inflicts consequences according to correspondences as Warping increases, but I think this is a Major Flaw as written. I'd like to see all Gifted characters innately have a Flaw similar to this, with the Reputation issues replacing the social penalty of the Gift. Very atmospheric.)



I'm not sure I'd like Twilights working like initiations, because of the continuing benefit of taking a flaw. That makes great sense for a structured approach, which twilight really isn't. I'm not a fan of the randomness of Twilights, mostly because I'm not a fan of putting flaws on characters that they don't find acceptable.

Obviously some manner of exchange system is in order, I'm just not sure clinging to the mechanics of initiation for it is good (too easy to game the system?)

Another thought I had: Instead of Parma = Warping Score, you could limit Parma by Warping Score (i.e. Parma cannot exceed Warping). This would put young magi at effectively Parma 0 (shielded from the effects of the Gift, but only getting MR from Forms) and even if you racked up Warping quickly, you would still have to study Parma. At the 'normal' rate of 2 Warping Points a year, a 15 year magus could have a Parma of 3, a 25 year magus could have a Parma of 4, and a 53 year magus could have a Parma of 6.


But what if it is structured? If the Magic Realm is all about essential nature, then the process of drawing closer to the Magic Realm, including Twilight, is the process of drawing closer to one's nature, or at least to the essential embodiment of one's magic. The magus might not be aware of that structure, and there is no mystogogue aware of that nature, except perhaps in some sense of Divine knowing, yet the changes that occur lead to something. They are not random.

Ditto! I'm also not a fan of random systems, which are usually a poor man's chaotic system.

Hard to game this for Twilight, because the problematic script creation system isn't used. Other than Int, EW, and a die, the only thing a player gets to do is Warp and take Flaws. At least one Flaw per three Virtues must be taken. A player can choose to maximize Virtue to Flaw Points, but that's at the cost of Warping Score, which takes the character out of the game. Major Virtues need a script total of 30, which is very expensive! A minor flaw only offsets this by 3. The offset of 2 and then 1 for subsequent Twilights isn't that much of a dent.

So a typical magus has Int 3, no EW and rolls a 5. He cleverly takes a minor flaw and major virtue, and takes 19 Warping Points. He does this twice more in the same year, trying to game the system. If he started with a Warping Score of 0, he has a Warping Score of at least 4, possibly 5 at winter solstice. He then rolls 4 or 5 stress dice, adds them up and multiplies by 3 to see how long his magus does nothing: No game play, no xp, no lab work, nothing. Also no aging, but who cares? Meanwhile, his peers are doing things.

As I type this, and walk through the analysis, maybe this system is too severe. :slight_smile:/2

Maybe. I admit that I dislike the way AM5 makes it impossible for a starting character to be good at Parma, eliminating a character type.

The problems with Parma aren't about Parma, imo, but about the way MR works in general in AM. Putting limits on Parma prevents some issues, but exacerbates others.



I like the alternate Twilight ideas. An episode can derail a PbP fora week or more. But I care not for any of the ideas concerning hamstringing parma or tying anything to warping.
Ken, the way you tie scripts into twilight and parma and other things, pure genius :slight_smile:


Thanks! I like Initiation. It dovetails very nicely into some ideas I've had regarding AM magic from a very long time ago, that magi have a different perspective on things compared to mundanes. For them, the Arts are not derived from observation of mundane properties and entities, but quite the opposite. The rules of magic are the real rules that govern the world. The mundane world (kind of redundant but you know what I mean :slight_smile: ) is the part of the iceberg that is observed.

So it isn't hard to get from point A to point B because there is a mountain range in the way, but there is a mountain range between A&B because it is hard to get from A to B, with the mountain range being the overt representation of the nature of this difficulty, which involves a surfeit of Terram and a deficiency of Ignem (why else is it cold?)

So practice doesn't make you better at something because you've learned, but because it makes you more A Person who Does This and less A Person who Does Not Do This. (That, btw, is why it is so important to act in a manner appropriate to your status. By doing so, you reinforce who you are, becoming more of what you are and therefore better at it. Acting against your station takes away from that station, making you more of that other thing. So a king better act kingly, and not act in any other way, no matter what. Scholars and artisans have different status, even if they are magical crafters: Verditius are lesser magi, and it's not because they are less powerful: They are not noble like Jerbiton, not warriors and leaders like Tytalus, Tremere, Flambeau, not scholars like Bonisagi and (weirdly) Merinita, not spiritual like Criamon: Artisans. If you're wondering why most magi don't research spells to aid farming, it's because they really don't want to be peasants. In a deep revision, I'd want mechanics that reflect the importance of station and behavior.

I'm rambling. But initiation fits this worldview hand in glove. All that scutwork the blacksmith's apprentice has to do makes no sense to the apprentice, and makes sense only to the blacksmith because it worked on him back in the day. But a magus sees the deeper correspondences that make this a good initiation, or at least reasonable enough to work.

Regarding Warping, I do like tying many things to Warping. I think AM5's Warping rules are a great improvement on what came before.

So I like the idea of the Gift's social effects increasing as Warping increases.

I like the idea of Warping making a magus more powerful, perhaps at the expense of other things that don't matter. Warping brings a person closer to one supernatural realm or another, and beings from these realms tend to be stronger yet more limited.

I don't like tying things to Warping instead of to something less generic about a character. So removing Parma as a skill in favor of Warping makes magi more generic. But adding a character's Warping Score to the effective Aura, with interesting effects from an effective Aura greater than 10 (and more interesting effects if the dominant realm of your Warping Score is at odds with the prevailing Aura) both unifies concepts and adds rather than subtracts: The same mechanics that might keep an ancient dragon from lairing in the heart of Paris can also work nicely for a magus with a high Warping Score preferring not to lab there.

So Initiation is how real growth and deeper learning occurs.

So Warping Score is a measure of how close a character has drifted toward the supernatural, and a corresponding attraction to the supernatural. (The same way a score in any Ability represents correspondence and attraction.)

lol I'm up too late.