Magical Focus: Charged Items

Greetings, Sodales.

Would you say that charged items is a minor magical focus, a major magical focus or too wide a range for a magical focus?

It violates the rules for magical foci, that they are limited to a narrow field. I know minor magical focus (certamen) does to, and it's one of the things I dislike most about that particular focus is that it isn't narrow, and can apply to any Art.

But so does "Damage"

That, at least, is much more limited than Charged items...

"Narrow" or "wide" is not the issue...

Magical Focus (Major and Minor): ...You cannot be focused on a laboratory activity...

When in doubt, read the rules. :wink:

Any other questions?

But what is the oppinion about Verditii having a Focus in the particular item then like crafting - like wands or swords.

Wands seem like a plausible shape for a lot of different types of effects, and hence the Verditii get their lowest Art added twice a lot of times.

I'm not too fond of that one, and neither the Focus in Damage.

A Verditius with a Focus in wands will receive a bonus to all effects that affect wands (or turn other stuff into wands, create the illusion of wands etc.). This is certainly useful for a Verditius who specializes in crafting magical wands. He'll receive the Focus bonus when instilling effects that summon a wand to the hand of the user, or disguise a wand, or transfom a wand into a key for any door, or maybe make a wand really long and thin allowing for a Touch range effect to be delivered at a distance of a several dozen feet. But it's not unbalancing.

A few people think that a Focus in wands should modify the Lab Total for instilling any effect into a wand, from Ball of Abysmal Fire to The Seven League Stride; but nowhere is that in the RAW, and I think it's a house rule about as sensible as allowing a magus with a Focus in oranges to apply his Focus bonus to all his magic if his sigil is "oranges".

If damage is an acceptable focus, is "Protection", or "Wards"

How about "Movement"?

I'm trying to establish a baseline for what exactly is narrow enough.


I'm aware this wasn't intended to sound mean or rude, but it kinda does. Just an FYI about phrasing.

Yes, these are narrow. And I think these would possibly be in the major category, though.

Damage is a Major focus, IIRC.

"Movement" as a focus would be needed to be narrowed down IMS. Movement of items (telekinesis), of people ReCo of species, ...

We had a character with Minor Focus: Teleportation.
A lucky Twilight episode later expanded it to Major Focus: Transportation.

It got silly awfully quickly, but he was awsomely overspecialised, so that wasn't really much of a surprise.

If a focus becomes too silly it's important to consider whether the spell can be used for other purposes than transportation. Spells that have different uses, it's reasonable for the focus to not apply during invention, and only during casting when used within the focus.

It's certainly possible to have a focus in such abstract things as rulership, travel, and parenthood (protection is too broad even for a major focus). Also remember that it's possible to have a Major Focus in an Astrological Sign or Planet, and a Minor Focus in an Astrological House (see TMRE p.37 for the Virtues, and TMRE p.56-57 for the abstract things these cover). In my opinion the Houses are pretty broad and strain the limit of what a Minor Focus should encompass, but still...

I think that Damage is a mediocre Focus; in our sagas it's been demoted to Minor, and still nobody's ever taken it :smiley:
While it may seem very broad, it is actually pretty narrow - it just lets you do one rather specific thing. The fact that it allows you to do so in a number of different ways may be interesting, but ultimately is a weakness in that you have to spread your xp over a wide range of Arts to take full advantage of it. The consensus in our troupe is that a well-thought minor focus within a Form that allows one way of doing damage but also a range of other effects (say, Steel) is at least as useful, possibly more.

If your charged items ussually take a particular form (arrows, potions...) you might take that as a minor focus...

Reread the descriptions of Foci. It can be applied to several TeFo combinations if it is only a narrow slice of each one. Voluntary phantasmal shadow duels between two guys who are members of the same club is about as narrow as you can get. So no it doesn't violate the rules.

Accepting your premise, that it is narrow, it's even broader than you suggest, since it applies to every Te Fo combination when engaged in Certamen. It still a horrible example of a focus, as you've so ably demonstrated. It has no application to lab work or even spells, and it's utility is limited to anyone agreeing to engage in Certamen with someone who is likely to be very good at it.

We also have a conundrum of what to do about the Mythic Blood (Zmey) in House Tremere. Do they exist, and are these magi unable to develop a focus on Certamen due to their mythic blood?

I prefer to call the Tremere House Virtue Certamen Focus, and declare it isn't a magical focus at all, but that is a house rule.

So you agree it's narrow. But you believe it's broader then I suggested. But it's more limited then it should be. So is it too broad or too narrow? I'm confused.

So what if it applies to every TeFo? Do the rules say anywhere a focus should apply to several but not all? You could assume that several does not imply all, but focus Certamen isn't the only example of "several" meaning "all" is it? You could instead assume that the more narrow and the less utility a focus covers the more Arts(Major) or TeFo's (Minor) it can apply to, Up to and including all. Since your already relying on an assumption why not choose the assumption that is backed up by RAW?

A more or less seperate issue. Though RAW doesn't cover the issue of Mythic Blood (an errata I'd dearly love to see) I believe it's mentioned in Cannon that the Focus in Certamen is supposed to be limiting to Tremere Magi.

I said that I accepted how you might interpret it as being narrow, since it applies only to Certamen.
Is Certamen a field of magic? Can you do something with Certamen without the involvement of another magus? Is it narrow because it may not happen often in a saga, and it's broad because it covers every situation where Certamen might apply? It also doesn't have the benefit of helping in any other area, since Certamen isn't a lab activity nor are there any spells that can affect Certamen.

I'm having trouble unraveling what you wrote.
The guideline for minor magical focus is more narrow than a single Technique and Form combination. Let's go with healing an identified mMF. Not every CrCo spell is a healing spell, is it? Not every CrAn spell is a healing spell, either. It takes a narrow slice of two or three Arts, maybe four if we include the Rego spells from Art & Academe. Not every situation were Cr[Co,An] or Re[Co,An] can be used is healing.

With respect to certamen, it is every technique and form combination. It breaks that part of the guideline, going well beyond a narrow field. Can some foci go beyond more than one TeFo combination, sure. Can you show me another minor focus that applies similarly to every technique or form in a specific situation, as the one for Certamen does? I'll also point out, that according to RAW (without subsequent clarification), Minor Magical Focus (Certamen) should not work.

This later has to be modified in the Certamen section to explain the focus with Certamen, since Certamen doesn't involve casting or lab totals, whatsoever.

So we have a focus, which doesn't behave like any other foci, and by implication it's considered narrow because it applies to something that doesn't generate a lab total or a casting total, but when used in that area it applies to every TeFo. Casting totals and lab totals is kind of the point of the focus in the definition of both Major and Minor Magical Focus headings. And it later has to be clarified in the certamen section on how this focus should be used.

I understand the reasons to limit Tremere's power, certainly in the past. But the House cannot also have the vaunted necromancers it so clearly should, and I somehow have difficulty seeing how Tremere himself was able to adeptly mind control people prior to the Sundering. But for game design reasons, because the Tremere have been capable with Certamen, and they killed the skill of Certamen in 5th Edition they had to provide something that supported that facility with Certamen. I just think mMF(Certamen) is a really poor way to do it.

The Astrological foci are stupendously awesome, perhaps too good (wow, me saying that :slight_smile: ).

And yeah, damage is a major focus but not a very good one. It isn't versatile. There are often better ways to deal with antagonists. Etc.

The astrological houses aren't, or at least they don't seem so to me.

It seems to me that deciding on major vs. minor should be pretty close to deciding how much utility a focus has. For my money any focus at all that involves a physical object stands head and shoulders above any focus that involves a concept even something major like emotions or damage.

A magus who has a minor focus with left handed asthmatic tree frogs can kick ass by conjuring tons of the little croakers and then using his spells to control them, change them into other things, and give them any ability he needs. I could see the sinister wheezing frog magus able to leverage his focus to tackle combat, transportation, physical labor, skilled labor, resource production, communication, intelligence gathering, and construction among many other things. On the other hand, a poor maga who has a major magical focus in emotions would have a far smaller range of situations where she can bring her focus in to play.