Keeper of Secrets
So after reading the new edition of blue rose, I can say I like it a lot, but the magic system has some....odd things in it.
The problems, as I see them, are threefold: Shaping arcana are versatile while most everything else is ridiculously specific; Some Arcana are just straight up better than others at doing the exact same thing; A few mechanical oddness.
So here is a list of the issues I have found and how I'd fix them.
Arcane Strike and Arcane Weapon should be one arcana and meditative only: Why were they even separate arcana in the first place? What weapon you can use is already going to be limited by your class/concept. It's not overpowered to fold them together. Meditative only because only you or weapon you personally wield are affected anyway and meditative doesn't get a single arcana to call it's own, sharing all of them with other disciplines. And shaping gets way too many good stuff.
Cold shaping is fatiguing: Why wasn't it fatiguing in the first place? I can only assume it was a mistake. Making it not fatiguing means it is the single best way to deal damage for an adept and make every other damaging arcana useless or near useless.
Calm and Heart shaping are one Arcana: You can already use heart shaping to duplicate calm's effect and if you do it shouldn't be sorcery if calm isn't sorcery.
Mind reading and mind reading are one arcana: Seriously....the two arcana aren't really different enough to justify having two of them. Having separate arcana over tiny differences while shaping gets very versatile arcana is really poor design.
Manipulate object and move objects are folded into one: the one time they give us two shaping talents that are basically the same thing, only separated by small details. So yeah, just say you can have precise manipulation if you make move object fatiguing.
Harm: What the fudge is this? Why is this the only arcana that works weirdly using special stunt rules to deal more damage when everything else depends on outcome? You know what Harm? From now on your base damage depends on outcome like everything else. 2d6 penetrating +1d6 per 2 outcome. But keep the stunt part, harm need something to make it better or different than other damaging arcana. And yes the way it rolls damage in RAW makes it different and perhaps more likely to do higher damage than other arcana, but it also has no range and requires an attack roll to do it and is always sorcery. This makes harm powerful but also a high risk high reward arcana.
Sorcerer's grip: Lets make that one maintenable with total concentration. I mean, you get to use it on people you are in psychic contact with, which means it's very useable at range, but it deals half damage on a save. The two balance out but I don't think the range is good enough to justify sorcerer's grip not being as versatile as cold shaping.
Suggestion: TN is 9 + familiarity....why? No, this should be on opposed willpower like every other mind affecting arcana.
Psychic blast: Oh god....poor psychic blast....same range as sorcerer blast, same damage....but you're affected by psychic shield even at line of sight, if the target save they take 0 damage. Psychic blast is the redheaded step child of the arcana. There is no reason to ever take it, other arcana do the same thing but better in every possible way. So let's give the poor sucker some love. Forget the no damage part on a save, you now deal at least half damage on a save, because you deserve it. Also....I think you should be an AoE. Yeah...anyone you can perceive should be a target. There is no AoE damaging arcana, this give some incentive to pick you up, even with the extra resistance.
Re: Magic tweak
IMO - in anything other than a QuickStart game, or an introduction to a brand new player, the Arcana system needs to go.
Re: Magic tweak
I somehow think that examining the original arcana system from Blue Rose True20 would answer a lot of your questions. There were some things that were clearly changed in the conversion from True20 to AGE, some of which I suspect was meant to "diversify" the arcana. But this has also either narrowed the arcana from their original scope: e.g., what Cure (or however it's called) can do is split between Meditative, Healing, and Animism, though dividing the arcana's capability between arcana types did not exist in the original Blue Rose. Arcane Weapon and Arcane Strike did not exist in the original Blue Rose. So my recommendation is to go back to the source: Blue Rose True20.
Re: Magic tweak
A lot of the issues, at least with FAGE, comes from needing 4 spells.
Re: Magic tweak
I agree that Arcane Strike and Weapon should be rolled into one, or more to the point just take out Arcane Strike, Standard Brawling by RAW is a weapon complete with weapon stats and should be affected by Arcane Weapon. As for making it Meditative only I disagree cause how are you suppose to turn your boring straight sword into a Flaming Gay Sword!?
I think Cold Shaping should have been fatiguing, a lot of the spells before it were not fatiguing so it accidentally got skipped. It's probably TN 11.
The only problem with Calm and Heart Shaping is that Calm doesn't have Fatigue. Either you'd have to give Calm a Fatigue TN Oppose (don't oppose that, you are doing a mind altering effect) or you remove the TN for Heart Shaping.
Move and Manipulate are not the same thing. Move is move, manipulate is manipulate. Basically the object with Manipulate has to stay relatively in the same location. You cannot do fine manipulation with Move, so while you can move a key across the room to a door you cannot use it to unlock the door without Manipulate. It's an interesting way to do Mage Hand from Unisystem (All Flesh, Witchcraft, etc.) without having a Power and Finesse skill.
Harm cannot be opposed and it is penetrating and isn't limited to 6d6. Pick up Arcane Stunt Aptitude for the special Harm stunt and you can deal 2d6 to 8d6 damage, unopposed and penetrating.
Problem with making Sorcerer's Grip concentrate is that means you have to break their concentration to get out of it. So say if they don't have psychic contact with you, and you break LoS they're still dealing damage to you. It also means if they succeed the first time they don't have to worry about cumulative fatigue.
The reason the TN for casting is based on familiarity is because the target might not be within LoS but you know them well enough that you can plant the suggest even if they're in another country (think something like a vampire "come to me" BS). Furthermore you could use Suggestion on a minion with a delay effect who doesn't oppose the effect to enact a plan.
Psychic Blast is AoE. Everyone in LoS or in psychic contact with the caster can be effected by a single TN 11 cast (though each get an oppose check). The reason why it's full damage or no damage is because a particularly powerful adept could be dealing everyone damage every round while remaining hidden and until you find him and kill him or figure out a way to break LoS/psychic contact.