Help with Minor Magical Focus

I'm making a new magi character and am really wanting him to have a minor magical focus but I'm not sure how narrow it should be. I've already read through the biggest threads on the subject but I'm still stumped.

The magus is a Bonisagus (researcher) who is obsessed with sacred architecture. I'd like his focus to be connected to this but I'm not sure how to describe the focus so that it isn't too broad or too narrow.

Would "Sacred Architecture" be too broad? And what would the minor magical focus then affect?

How would this virtue then affect any mysteries, as described in the Mysteries Rev. book?


I would say that sacred archetecture is, if anything, too small.

Example terram major magical foci from the core book include "metal" and "stone". The example minor magical foci are "creating metals" and "destroying stone".

I would consider a magical focus of "stone buildings" to be minor.

That would be my suggestion. If it doesn't fit your character concept I can try to come up with others.

I'm assuming that you're looking at the hermetic archetecture virtue.

A magical focus adds the lowest applicable art score twice when you cast a spell or generate a laboratory total.

This won't directly add give you any aid with Hermetic architecture in regards to learning it, but it will come into play whenever you want to use the abilities upon stone buildings.

It is a different thing. a magical focus lets you bring more power to bear on a specific task. Hermetic architecture (like most mysteries) gives you a wider variety of tasks that you can perform.

I presume (since ask about MMF) we are talking 5th Ed, and you actually mean "Hermetic Architecture" from TMRE (rather than the now defunct Sacred Architecture from the 4th Ed "The Mysteries")?

golden rule to judge a Focus is its breadth in terms of Techniques & Forms covered - "in general a Minor Focus' field should be narrower than a sing TeFo, although it may include restricted areas of several such combination".
A Major Focus "should be smaller than a single Art, but may be spread over several Arts" (example Necromancy as Corpus & Mentem)

Hermetic Architecture covers all the Arts - ANY enchantment or effect - in the restricted form of large-scale enchantment, as well as specialist Vim effects like manipulating Auras.

Hence I would say it is so wide (even as a restricted activity) that it has to be a Major Focus - if indeed it is allowed at all. It is close (but not quite as broad as) the generous "(all) Laboratory Activities" ruled out on p.45

If you allow this, there is technically nothing to prevent the magus enchanting single items with the Focus, rather than single large things with many sub-items.

I would not allow it... not even as a Major Focus. I would suggest the player go back to the core rules and look again at the examples of Foci, and try to find something of similar scope, rather than picking a Virtue they want and trying to claim a matching Focus...

errr Erik - although Hermetic Architecture uses the word "Architecture" in its title, it actually has nothing at all to do with stone or buildings. If you re-read it carefully it's about tackling the problem of enchanting big things that won't fit inside your Lab.
However , it never actually insists on a particular large size, and strictly, technically you could use it to enchant a smaller thing - certainly something in 2 parts, possibly even 1 part...


A "stone buildings" focus would, yes ... a "Heremtic Architecture" focus, if allowed, would always be active on any Lab activity or ritual spell cast under H.A.

Thank you Erik and Caribet. That was of great help actually.

I wasn't trying to make the minor magical focus the same as the mystery. I didn't own Mysteries from 4th edition. I was trying to figure out a title for the focus and it's related definition.

I like the "stone buildings" focus but I want it to include megalithic structures including stone circles, ect. But I guess as long as I get SG approval that those fall under that category, I'll be fine.

After mulling it over a bit I think I'll have his minor magical focus be "stone structures."

I would think "Structures" to be narrow enough...

hmm, that's an interesting idea but I do get concerned it may be too broad and would be more in line with a Major Magical Focus. I find the demarcation line between the two virtues a challenge.

Do Caribet or Erik have a comment?

Structures applies to several Forms (Terram, Herbam), but only applies to one thing...buildings.

I think given that a Minor Focus is supposed to be more narrow than a single form+technique that "Buildings" or "Architecture" is too broad. Not only does it span at least two Forms (Terram and Herbam), but it spans all of the Techniques. I wouldn't have a problem with "Creating Architecture", "Destroying Buildings", or "Stone Buildings".