Major Magical Focus or Minor?

Hi guys, just a quick question about an idea I have for open call.

Is affecting your own mind a minor or major focus? It is Mentem, but quite limited, so it could be minor, but it deals with multiple techniques....

I'd say minor, if it is something like "affecting your own mind"

Have to put that one down...
I've been making a profile of abe...

This one looks fair as a minor magical focus. As long as your storyguide isn't too strict, as a literal reading of the rules does suggest it would be major (it covers an entire form, rather than a single TeFo combo)

That was the problem, it is for Open Call, thus my SG's opinion isn't final . :cry:

But as most people on here think that it is a minor, then I will carry on designing my magus.

(Must remember to post my form off to Atlas....)

If wooden wands can be a minor focus than this should be, too.

Since self-transformation is a Minor Focus, I think "your own mind" probably is, too. A lot of Mentem spells are rather less use when cast on yourself, after all. "I'll just use a spell to convince myself to give the covenant's vis away..."

This being one of the few situations in which my opinion really does have weight, I thought I'd post.

Now get the form in. If you send the submission before sending the form, I won't look at it; the legal technicalities parts of the process really do matter. (I'll look at your submission if you resend it after sending the form, though.)

I still can't get over the idea that this allows you to benefit from the focus on any enchantment put in the wand. This is so powerfull!!!

Yes, it is... But it really starts to define your magus. If he's an accomplished wand-maker then you can imagine his reputation may spread. What it might give in terms of power it certainly takes away in terms of breadth to the character. I think it balances out, you can't really be a generalist with a Magical Focus.

Relax! This is just a game after all. :exclamation:

In this case, you can, as the consensual approach to this is that it applies to any enchantment put in a wooden wand, be it a CrIg, a ReMe, a InVi or a PeCo.

This is what worries me with this: Your focus is, well, focused when applied to spells, but suddenly applies to everything so long as it comes down to spells invested in a wooden wand. This becomes a generalist "Enchant any spell into a wooden wand" focus...

:laughing: :wink:

Yes, and that's fine. It does make for a powerful magus, but this is Ars Magica after all.

Remember, out in the field, you could apply your wands focus to spontaneous and other spells affecting... wooden wands. So that's a bit rubbish. However, you are able to apply it superbly in the lab. For all those fantastic powers that you can achieve by putting them into a wand, you first need to put them into a wand. Your limiting factors then become time and Vis.

"Wands" is far more general than a "Flames" or "Heat" focus in terms of the effects it will help you enchant but unless you want to create a dozen or so "Creo Wand" spells you should expect to spend a lot of time in the lab.

I never used to be a fan of the focus until I realised how choosing a focus really starts to define the magus, which is a good thing in my opinion.

No, you cannot!
It only helps Cr, Mu, Re, Pe, In wooden wands.
The rule says: "the field should be slightly narrower than a single TeFo combination, althrough it may include several such combinations"
So you unambiguously cannot put any enchantment into your wooden wand with the help of your minor focus.

Feel better? :wink:

Note: However I think you can do this if you choose the wooden wand as a major focus.

The focus with the wooden wand is strong but it's the equivalent of a magus who have the, let's say, wolf minor focus. If that magus have a wolf familiar, his focus apply to any power invested in the familiar cords.

That is indeed forgetting any spell directly summoning/affecting wolfs and any magic item made from wold bones/pelts.

Far stronger than wooden wands isn't it ?

Well, if you allow the minor wands to apply to any enchantment done to minor wands, then a focus in wolves would also apply to any enchantment made on wolfbone wands... And at this point it is getting out of hand, isn't it?

Out of hand? How so?

I do have a wolf focus for my magus. It is rather young, but I plan to have my focus apply to

  • Create a refuge made out of wolf pelts and bones
  • Summon wolves
  • Affect wolves in general (cripple, control, heal....)
  • help me in my wolf spells (summon a (CrAn) Momentary wolf that charges at the enemy, create a storm of wolf teeth, create a large wolf to carry me around (instead of steed...)....
  • help me with my familiar, that (unsurprisingly) is likely to be a wolf
  • Help me with my spells to transform into a wolf or gain wolf senses
  • Create a version oof 7 league stride that has me turn into a wolf for Mom duration

That is from the top of my head. If I had a wolf bone wand I would expect the bonus to apply to it as well. Did not think about it, but I fail to see how this would unbalance a world where the Virgin Mary has gaming stats.

And even if the Virgin is left alone, as it should be, the game is quite largely centered on magical weirdos that live in funky gatherings. I fail to see why allowing them to come down to use a flexible magic system in a flexible way is a bad thing :slight_smile:



It is out of hand in the mesure that by the official rules (Correct me if i'm wrong) gives the affinity bonus to ANY enchantment I could invest in something like a wolf bone wand.

That mean, a magus with a wolf focus, can use his wolf bone wand to throw pilums of fire at clergymens, or create lightnings bolts to smite some demons. All thoses effects have strictly nothing to do with the focus except that the material component is somehow related (same here as the wooden wand focus).

Personnaly I think that make no sense when exploited as the exemples I made here. I feel that allowing any enchantments made with the focus is far too broad (at least a minor) and thereby unbalancing.

Xavi you use some effects that make sense and I completly agree with you as good and valid effects for the focus.

Then the beauty is that you can play it your way and others can take their own paths.

But a magus that uses his Wolf focus to aid him with all those wolfie spells is very well defined. He has a very narrow character focus and he's unlikely to switch tack and become a "magus of the swan".

And I don't see the problem in the magus being better able to enchant his wolf bone wand a little better than he could a regular wooden wand. At the end of the day, all it does is save him seasons or grant him access to items sooner than he otherwise might be able to get them.

Int 2
MT 4
Creo 15
Ignem 10
Aura 3

Creo Ignem lab total = 34

Pilum of Fire CrIg lvl 20
One use per day
Penetration 20 (10 levels)
Total device level 30

So, that will take... 9 seasons

CrIg enchanting into a wolf bone wand = 44 (with the Ignem doubled up)

So, that will now take 3 seasons

Now, that's a big saving, but what about the other magi in the covenant with their own Focii? If they're using the same system then everybody comes out about the same, right?

But what about the Tremere? They can't have a focus like others (having used that slot for Certamen) so aren't they disadvantaged? In a way, yes, but so what? You aren't playing a Tremere for the raw magical power, are you? What, you are? Regardless of that, they should be looking to other sources for their power, notably the relationships with their superiors in the house and their allies within the Tribunal.

But the point is that the device has to be something connected to wolves. That does something priceless, it rewards players for picking a strong theme and sticking with it.

Well, I disagree with you but i'm aware that it's a matter of taste and can vary between troupes, storytellers or players.

For invested devices I agree that it make a not too unbalancing difference, at least when high level. Charged items can become frightening very fast, even for a magus just out of his gauntlet.. but I disgress.

We(our troupe) house-ruled that Tremeres can still have a focus, they just doesn't stack. I always find that this rule prohibiting focuses for Tremeres was kinda unnessessary. I can sooo imagine a Tremere with diverses mentem focuses.

I agree with you on that point, except that I don't view the component of the magic item to be enough for the strong theme alone. The item is mundane, the magic invested in it is the thing affected by the focus. Restraining the magic allow me to make the thematic a lot stronger, rewarding creative players to come up with something more interesting effects rather than use it as a mere excuse for something unrelated.

You will at least agree with me that someone controlling wolf with a helm made of wolf bones and pelts is stronger in terms of the thematic than the same mage throwing spears shapen flames at a clergyman with the same device.

An other option would be to give the enchanted item a double of one of its bonuses (+8 control things at a distance for a wand, for example) if it is made of shape and material related to the focus and NOT allowing it to double the arts while enchanting it. Smaller bonus, but the mage still ends with wolf-erelated enchanted items most of the time.


PS: What deserving wolf mage would throw PoFs around when he can have momentary wolves jumping at the enemy and tearing down their neck for a CrAn spell instead? WAY more classy :slight_smile: