Query: Minor Magical Focus thoughts...

I was wondering what some of the more experienced players might think about the following ideas for a Minor Focus?

  • "Protection" or "Pacification". Pertains to spells from across many Arts and Forms but only as apply to defending against attacks or in the case of "pacification", becalming large scale phenomena (mundane or magical).

  • Counterspelling or maybe termed "Reaction Magic".


Sounds good. They are narrow enough to deserve a minor focus status.


My first reaction is to call Protection/pacification is borderline to major.

Interesting. Could you please elaborate a bit as to why it could not be minor. Or perhaps what might be required to make it minor?

Id like the flexibility for sure but wouldn't want to overstep the guidelines.

I said my first reaction. The reason I had that reaction was that I thought about two examples of major magical focus from the core book: Flames and Avians. On one hand not sure that the concept of protective pacifism is any less generally applicable than these two majors in fact it seems right in line with them.
On the other hand it's dead easy to work flames or avians into a character's focus and end up with some seriously high lab and casting totals to twist the game worls into your character's plaything. Protective pacifism is sort of a one trick pony that will let you do the same trick in whatever arts you choose so it's less easy to capitalize on and it is less flexible in terms of accomplishing different tasks.

Yes i agree. On the one hand I see it as spanning most every Art in some way but only as relates to defending against clear aggression (like building a wall against incoming arrows, or pulling an "Amergin" (mythic Celtic bard/druid) and calming a magically turbulent sea, or such. It could fall into a grey area where one SG says too flexible and thus Major or specific enough even across a range of Arts and thus allowably minor.

Thats my quandry atm.

Interesting that you say Flames is listed somewhere as Major since one of our characters in the Slieve League saga has taken a minor focus in Flames and Fire.

Too much grey area for my Friday evening brain to compute.

Thew wall would NEVER get the bonus IMS. Otherwise I would stand there say to Jack the grog "shot arrows at me" and get a freak bonus to build the hut that the party wants to spend the knight in. No way.

If it is protection it is to either

  1. affect the arrow
  2. increase your soak score to resist damage for diameter duration at most
  3. create a momentary shield that stops the arrow dead on its tracks and then disappears. Otherwise it is not protection: it is building stuff that as a SIDE EFFECT protects you from incoming arrows (and "incoming whatever", in fact).

Do not overstretch what you are trying to achieve. It is a minor focus, after all.



It is used for the example Flambeau character.

Flames and fire is in my opinion firmly major. Majors should be significantly tighter than individual forms. With flames and fire you're really only leaving out light effects and heat divorced from fire. I think that it coveres more ignem spells than it leaves out. I think that some minor focuses for ignem sort of stuff might be sunlight, torches & candles, huge fires, or body heat.

Am I being too miserly? Are the rest of you more generous?

I have a minor focus in wolves.

A fellow magus IMS has a minor focus in oak

We have a character yet to appear with a minor focus in ploughed fields. it is my design for a character, so it might be that I overstretched that one

The case of Ignem is particular. It is a fairly narrow form all in itself, covering only light, heat and fire. The other elements cover a much broader scope. I would give ignem a minor focus in flames, regardless of what the RAW says.


Xavi, I take your point about the wall and confirm that is what I would mean by a wall. Not building a permanent wall but a temporary earth/stone whatever shield against incoming arrows. If I wanted a minor focus to make a structure I would take one in Building/Construction.

Hope that clarifies.

Hmm Erik, I fear to call that to Max's attention lest I get him upset. I already called him out on one minor calculation oversight.

Maybe he's perfectly just to have his focus as he made it, after all he is an SG in one game onoing here so I suppose he knows the rules well enough to know if he's overstretching.

Hopefully he'll read this thread and add his two mythic pounds worth to the discussion! :wink:

No, I mean, that I would not allow you to use your focus to build a wall. it ios too far-stretched from "protection to be usable.


Hmm well if the wall is only lasting for Duration:Diameter than it IS a shield in its own right, albeit one that others could hide behind and fire from. I dont see that as being a side effect but an inherent purpose.

I dunno.

Quite more side effects than simple protection.

Using that reasoning you could conjure a castle and call it a "protective structure" (even if you can build the whole covenant in it), or conjure a thousand soldiers and call them "shield grogs" (even if you can storm a keep with them). See where I am going? Anything that gives you ANYTHING more than a defence bonus or stops enemy attacks would not be given the bonus IMS. YMMV.

IMS a circle of protection is OK, a conjured shield is OK, a bonus to soak is borderline, but OK. A wall with crenellation is not OK, a pit for the enemy charging knight to fall into is not OK, a PoF that kills the enemy so it cannot attack you and thus, protects you fgrom further harm, is not OK.

When thinking minor bonuses, think small, think limited. Imagination can stretch what you can do with your focus, but not THAT much. Conjuring a wall is conjuring a wall, not protection.



I agree that plowed fields, oak and wolves are appropriate minor focuses.

It seems that I'm only being less generous when it comes to ignem.

Well, as Flames and Fire covers most of CrIg, I certainly agree with the corebook on this.

What about group effects like a wind which blows a volley of arrows away from their target(s)?

Or a group effect that caused all swords to either stick in their scabbards or become to heavy for attacking soldiers to carry (until the effect wore off of course)?

Would you consider that overstretching?

blow of wind, on the arrows falling on you, OK.

Scabbard attachment, nope.

But that is how I see it. Your milleage does vary, as far as I can see. Nothing wrong there if you do think that it is OK. In general, it is better if the area of application of the fiocus is clearly defined, though. Otherwise you can come up with weird stuff that is only marginally attached to the focus' intention.




I think our difference in view stems from a conceptualisation of defense as only passive. Swords too heavy to lift for an attacking force, or those which stick in their scabbarbs and cannot be drawn woud be, IMO an active defence which does no harm to the attacker.

Now I would agree that making their shields too heavy to lift so that other magi or allied fighters could slaughter them wouldn't count for defense, that would be more of a passive attack, much like the example you gave of creating a hole for a rider and horse to fall into. That much I think we can agree on.

Regardless of it being major or minor it sure seems like it will be a pain to determine whether or not it applies ot a specific thing during play.

You may be right. I dunno. Seems like a cool idea though.

Maybe I have my head in the clouds too much.