RoP:M question about ability availability

From my initial reading of RoP:M, it seems to me that it's rather difficult for a magical character to learn the academic abilities Finesse and Penetration. Starting ability points may only be spent on general abilities. Mastery points may be converted into Finesse or Penetration XP -- at a fairly inferior rate as already commented on here. But otherwise you'd have to take a virtue that allows those abilities, yes?

I would think that they could learn Finesse, Penetration, and Magic Lore without any special Virtue. Other Lore &/or Arcane abilities, then I would require a virtue.

To me it seems as though magic characters are subject to the same limits as all other characters with regard to what they can spend their xp on. They don't get special exceptions.

When seen in this way it makes a bit of sense although I imagine that we'll see a great number of magical characters with the arcane lore virtue.

I think that some special virtues could include access to arcanes and academics but they'd need to be more specific than Magical thing or magical creature.

Hrm, I mistyped above, should be arcane not academic. I suppose a minor virtue isn't onerous, especially since it comes with 50xp.

Just wanted to confirm that there wasn't some obscure line item I was missing elsewhere in the book. On one level it seems a bit odd that you can pick up spell-like powers and not be able to automatically learn Finesse and Penetration, but I suppose that's what the mastery picks are for, when you just want a character to have some limited ability in that area but no full-blown Arcane Lore opening up all those abilities.

It's an odd one. That said, those skills are not General because they're not general, not because there's a reason for people not to learn them. I'd be leery of allowing a Magical creature to gain Artes Liberales that way, but since Penetration and Finesse relate to a creatures powers then if they have powers which can use them they should be able to gain them, much as a creature with claws should be able to gain skill climbing and making claw attacks. Penetration and Finesse aren't, for instance, based upon a secret body of knowledge like the Parma Magica or Code of Hermes.

The Core says Arcane skills are available to those with a suitable virtue or Magi, and since there are no rules for playable magic creatures in the core, I'd suggest that Magus, in this context, means anyone whose nature justifies the skills.

There might be a case for supernatural creatures to learn Finesse, but in general the line has assumed that most supernatural creatures actually don't have Penetration. Given the 'Penetration = Sympathetic Magic' theme, it makes sense that only the academically-talented beings would have it.

I houseruled mastery points to give double XP for the abilities they can grant, though, so that it's on par with Improved Abilities.