Focus in a supernatural ability

I was reading the ex miscellania chapter in societies and wondered if you could have a focus in a supernatural ability instead of a type of hermetic magic? For example could I have a focus in hexing or mythic herbalism? If you can would this be a minor focus or a major one?

I would say no, because it basically mean "double score" for a "one element" formula.

Exar, who escaped a reformating of his computer just now so he is happy.


It says (p 104, col i) that "...the player makes a die roll and adds a Characteristic and his score in the Supernatural Ability... This is the equivalent of a Casting Total of a Hermetic Spell..." "The equivalent of" is not "the same thing as".

More to the point, a Focus allows you to add the lesser Art twice - there are no Arts being used here.

Now, if you wanted to houserule something, you could say "add 50% of the Ability", but Puissant or Affinity with that Supernatural Ability might be a better bet all around.

Magical Foci as described in the corebook are really only appropriate for Verb/Noun-based magical systems. That said, however, the Rune Focus virtues (Hedge Magic: Revised Edition) and Potent Sorcery (Rival Magic) are reasonable models for ability-based equivalents though admittedly the latter is closer to Potent Magic than a magical focus...

I would allow a variation of a "Major Focus" Virtue for Supernatural Abilities riffing off of the HoH: Societas rule that you can mimic the benefits of relevant Major or Minor Hermetic Virtues or the defficiencies of Major Hermetic Flaws by making an equivalent Minor Supernatural Virtue or Flaw.

(For example you can have a Necessary Condition (Warding): Must touch chalk.) as a Minor Supernatural Flaw.

Some of these require little modification - for example Cautious Sorcerer becomes Cautious Warder - but with additional benefit that you may roll no botch die at all due to the lesser benefit of Cautious Warder.

Some possible examples which make a lot of sense, but require more modification, include:

1.) Major Supernatural Focus (Minor Supernatural Virtue)

Some examples: Demons (Warding); Ghosts (Banishing); Healing (Herbalims)

Here, I'd allow the ability to be increased by 50% for any relavent roll.

2.) Life-Linked Supernatural Ability (Minor Supernatural Virtue)

  • may increase Supernatural rolls by expending own life force. You would need to scale down the benefit from + 5/ fatigue to + 3/fatigue for balance. This mimics Life-Linked Spontaneous, as all Supernatural spells are casts as "Spontaneous" effects, as none have any formulaic spells.

3.) Flexible Supernatural Ability (Minor Supernatural Virtue)

  • Some abilities, like Whistle up the Wind, could use some extra flexibility (summoning Wind or Storms, for example), but need a Virtue to justify this.
    -Others, like Warding or Banishing, might allow the character to choose to give a boost in power by decreasing the ranges or durations, or increase the range or duration by lowering potency, but would required careful consideration.
    (For example, decreasing Banishing from Presence to Eye range for a + 5 or + 10 boost to potency)

Just some thoughts.

Note: These supernatural virtues would have to have ZERO effect on Hermetic powers, just as Hermetic Virtues have ZERO effect on Supernatural Abilities (with a very, very few exceptions).