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Ruling magics are typically elementary
manipulations that do not necessarily
stray into the realm of obvious magic.
Even the vulgar effects within the Practice of
Ruling can usually be readily concealed from
Sleepers, even when cast in their presence. (Provided, of
course, that the casting willworker is able to exercise a bit
of forethought and restraint.) With Ruling spells, a mage
can accomplish basic feats that fall under the purview of
an Arcanum: subtly sculpting basic forms of energy, im-
parting a few quick telepathic words of warning, nudging
probability a few degrees in a desired direction. While a
ew Ruling spells create somewhat grander effects, these
are the exception, rather than the rule.

Spells of the Practice of Ruling often assist a mage with
mundane tasks, creating a foundation on which she can
build using her natural abilities, rather than any paranor-
mal talent — effectively, a small “boost” that facilitates
the use of normal Attribute + Skill rolls. These can be
more potent than the one- or (at most) two-dice bonuses
imparted by Compelling spells, and begin to bridge the
gap between the miniscule alterations of the Practice of
Compelling and the obvious paranormal manipulations
of the Practice of Weaving. Other Ruling spells actually
create outright supernatural effects, though these are
small and almost always, in and of themselves, harm-
less. (Which is not to say that an insightful willworker
couldn’t use them to set up a dangerous situation for an
enemy; rather, they’re not usually inherently dangerous.)
When Ruling spells are used to directly cause harm, the
damage they infl ict is always bashing damage, and never
more than a point or two of it.
Ruling spells can sometimes be a bit diffi cult to catego-
rize. (This is actually the case, across the board, with all
of the Practices that involve direct magical interaction
with the mage’s environment, but the issues of distinction
really begin with Ruling.) Perhaps the best way to discern
if a given spell should belong to the Practice of Ruling is
to ask if the spell’s effects manipulate a person, place or
thing in some small way. Does the spell suggest, rather
than force? Does the spell affect cosmetic change, rather
than any true alteration or act of creation? If so, then the
spell probably belongs to the Practice of Ruling.

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