Well, A, it's a 2 point power for Mystic Adepts... if a mage and an adept both want to do it, and are otherwise build identically, the mystic adept will have, effectively, 2 points less of magic. And that's with no other powers at all... just X-2 Magic to the mage's X.
However, Astral Perception (free to Magicians) lets you evaluate people and objects. It is a free "detect magic", and is subtle enough (especially if you've got shades) that you can check people out relatively easily. Want to know if they're normal, magical, cybered, or even human? Assensing is your game.
Astral projection also allows for rapid scouting... somewhat similar to what you can achieve with a drone, but while a drone can ignore magical security but is frequently stymied by more physical security, the astral form can ignore physical security, being stopped by the relatively rarer magical security.
Also, when you reach the higher levels, astral projection allows you to access metaplanes, which are useful for a number of different tricks (like summoning great form spirits).
Originally Posted by comicshorse
Yeah other magicians aisde (and mages are rare) you're invisble, intangible and can walk through walls. What's not to love ?
While all of those might be true, you can do something better by channeling a possession spirit who then endows you with the Astral Form ability, which means you (including your body) are in the Astral Plane, without the normal time limit for being on that plane. And all of what I just said can be done by a mystic adept with a possession tradition. That's why I ask why you would spend the extra 5 BP to become a magician when you can also do this by being a mystic adept.
Anyways, I have another question. This one is two-part:
A: What are the best spirits? I haven't heard of any must have spirits.
B: What are the best sprites? The only sprite I've heard is a must have is machine.
Incarnum: VoP's best (and possibly only) friend.
Spoiler: Quotes and Fun Links
Originally Posted by Tvtyrant
Actually I got it from you, I just love how many applications it has. It can be oh so broken.