Masking is usually one of the first Metamagical techniques learned by an Initiate, although certain Free Spirits and Awakened critters (such as Dragons) also possess the ability.

In layman's terms, Masking is the technique of disguising one's aura to appear mundane to any astral observers - be it spirits, Awakened critters or other mages using Astral Perception.

Note: Masking disguises the masking mage's aura as a mundane in appearance only. If the mage has any active foci, tattoos or spells, he or she is still effectively dual-natured and will set off wards and be unable to pass through them.

Fred, a Grade 2 Initiate with Magic 8 is trying to assense Peter who, unbeknownst to him, is a Grade 4 Initiate with Magic 5.
In order to see through Peter's Masking, Fred rolls 8 dice (his Magic attribute) versus a TN of 7 (Peter's Magic attrib). He'll need at least two successes to recognize the false layer and see through to the true aura underneath.

Seeing through masking

Only Initiates can see through another Initiate's masking when they deliberately attempt to assense the other's aura. At this point, the mage attempting to assense the Masked aura must roll a Magic test with a TN of the target's Magic, Force or Essence. If the observer scores more successes than (target's Grade - observer's Grade) the target's true aura can be assensed as usual. All TN penalties usually associated with assensing apply to this test as well.

Deliberate Masking

The above rules assume that the Initiate doing the masking is not making a special effort to keep their aura hidden. If they do make a deliberate effort to mask their true nature, the Initiate rolls a number of dice equal to twice their Grade against a TN of their Magic rating. Every 2 successes negates one success from any observation attempts as above.

Note that deliberate masking is an Exclusive Simple Action — you can't use any other magic while maintaining it. Dropping deliberate Masking is a Free Action.

Masking Foci and spells

Normal Masking covers the Initiate and a number of Force points of active foci or sustained or Quickened spells up to the Initiate's Grade. Any points beyond that remain visible on the Astral. If the Initiate wants to disguise them as well he must make a deliberate masking attempt (as above) with a TN equal to the total Force in foci and spells that he's trying to mask. A single success means the foci and spells are masked; any successes count against assensing attempts as per deliberate masking, above.

Masking and astral barriers

Even when Masked, active foci and spells still make you dual-natured, which means that astral barriers such as wards will still block you and alert their creator when you attempt to pass through them.
However, once you've seen the barrier (with an astral perception test), any Initiate who knows Masking (or a spirit with the similar ability) can attempt to synchronize their aura with the Ward's pattern in order to pass through it undetected.

To do this, make an opposed test; roll twice your Initiate Grade against a TN equal to the barrier's Force, while the barrier rolls its Force against a TN of your grade. If you have more successes than the barrier, you can pass through freely (although if you want to go out through it later you'll have to repeat the process); if you fail, the barrier repulses you (and its creator will be alerted).

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