Multiple Focus

Zorrath

Newbie
Is it possible to use focus on 2 different effects, say refitting Arcane Armor and using Recharge Prowess at the same time? Or do they each require a separate 60 second count?
 

tieran

Duke
Gettysburg Staff
Marshal
Focus gets interrupted by the use of Game Abilities or the loss of the ability to use Game Abilities.

Focus kinda fits the definition of Game Ability.

I’d say the intention is sort of clear that only one Focusing activity can be performed at a time, but it could definitely use some clearing up.
 
To be a pedantic jerk (which is like half of my personality, the other half being "needlessly wordy"), Focus isn't called a Game Ability in the rules, and some things can still be used even if you lose access to Game Abilities (although most of these are monster abilities, you also do not need access to Game Abilities to activate Magic Items unless a skill is required for that Item), which makes me very wary of calling it a Game Ability in and of itself the way Educated or One Handed Edge is a Game Ability; however, it's quite clear that to use Focus you have to, well, be focusing on what you're doing, and it's also pretty clearly the intent of the rules around Focus that you can't Focus on two things at once.

So, yeah, two separate counts for two separate Focus things. Arcane Armor is 60 seconds, Recharge Prowess is another 60, and you could do either of those without access to Game Abilities because they're both Magic Items and neither requires a skill to perform.
 

tieran

Duke
Gettysburg Staff
Marshal
Arcane Armor is 60 seconds, Recharge Prowess is another 60, and you could do either of those without access to Game Abilities because they're both Magic Items and neither requires a skill to perform.
Pedantic, sort of, but I’m up there too.

Jerk, nah.

But at least the quoted part has some incorrectness to it: you cannot Focus if you lose the ability to use Game Abilities. Or, more correctly, if you lose the ability to use Game Abilities, your Focus is interrupted. So, I guess you could start, and then be done.

But definitely separate, non-simultaneous counts for each.
 
Um... I'm actually not sure whether losing access to Game Abilities would interrupt either of those Focus counts. In the case of most Focus things available to PCs (Killing Blow, Identification, Refitting Armor), you need access to one or more skills to even perform the action, so obviously losing access to the skill stop you from completing the action. Using Magic Items specifically doesn't require Game Abilities unless the MI in question says it requires a skill, and neither AA nor RP say you have to have access to the skill; AA specifically notes you don't need Blacksmith to Refit it, and RP just says that you have to have it present on your actual player card, not by virtue of an MI or temporary effect. I'm not sure how losing access to skills you didn't need in the first place is intended to interrupt you in cases like these, although you might stop the roleplay requirements and break Focus that way?

My gut instinct says that it's probably within the spirit of the Focus rules that losing access to Game Abilities should interrupt any count in progress, but the rules themselves don't specify one way or the other in cases like AA. :(
 

Kart

Newbie
Alliance Rules
page 102 of the current rules under the Focus section says:

"There are several ways that a character’s Focus may be interrupted. These include:
• The character uses a Skill or Game Ability (other than Educated or Teacher) which is not required for the ability they’re Focusing on.
• The character breaks a physical requirement of the ability (such as lowering one’s arms during a Sanctuary spell or moving away from a First Aid target) or moves faster than walking speed.
• The character loses the ability to use Game Abilities (for example, they are hit by a Drain spell)."
 
The very next line says that some things may have additional requirements or exemptions to those rules. If losing access to Game Abilities also makes you lose access to the ability to Focus, then it should be plainly stated that Focus itself is a Game Ability, and that fourth point should be placed elsewhere in the description, because the entire section as written says that loss of Game Abilities doesn't mean you lose the ability to Focus, only that losing Game Abilities might interrupt your Focus, with the implication that this only happens if the ability you're using requires a skill in the first place, like Refitting Armor or First Aid. Magic Items are notable in that they don't require access to Game Abilities to use, barring Magic Items that enhance or alter the effects of skills when used.

To be blunt: Focus, as written, is not a Game Ability, and therefore losing access to Game Abilities has no bearing on your ability to Focus.

In the specific context of this discussion, Arcane Armor specifically says you don't need Blacksmith to Refit it, which means it requires no skills to perform the Refit, and it's a Magic Item, so it can still be used while you don't have access to Game Abilities; put together, that means you can Refit Arcane Armor so long as you are able to Focus, and fulfill the requirement of kneeling while you do it. Losing access to Game Abilities, therefore, doesn't interrupt your Arcane Armor Refit unless you break the kneeling requirement.

Recharge Prowess, in the same vein, only requires that the skill or spell being recovered is on your base character card, and not granted by a Magic Item or other temporary effect. Losing access to Game Abilities doesn't remove them from your card, it just means you can't use or expend them, and Recharge Prowess specifically does neither of those things. Again, there's nothing in the rules around either Recharge Prowess or Focus that indicates that losing access to Game Abilities interrupts or prevents the use of this Magic Item, unless you break the roleplay requirement to regain the skill or spell.

To be fair, there may be effects that cause the loss of Game Abilities whose roleplay requirements would likely preclude the ability to use Focus, such as Enfeeble (Feeblemind) and Prison, but those effects only prevent you from Focusing by prevent you from fulfilling the RP requirements of abilities that rely on it, not by removing your ability to Focus entirely.

To be perfectly clear, I genuinely don't think this is the intended way for Focus to work, but unless there's something I'm missing, this is how it actually works.
 

tieran

Duke
Gettysburg Staff
Marshal
The Focus description specifically says that if you lose the ability to use Game Abilities, your focus is interrupted.

Re: AA is there somewhere that it specifically says you don’t need access to Game Abilities to refit AA or just that you don’t need to have purchased the skill Blacksmith to refit?
 
The specific wording is that "there are several ways that a character’s Focus MAY be interrupted", of which losing Game Abilities is one of four, and the line immediately after that says there may be additional requirements or exceptions to those four rules, which means that losing Game Abilities in and of itself doesn't make you lose access to Focus; Arcane Armor says you don't need Blacksmith to Refit it, but no other skill lets you Refit, so in effect it says you don't need any skills to Refit Arcane Armor. You do not need access to Game Abilities to use any Magic Item, unless the Magic Item requires the use of a Game Ability to function (such as Trap Avoidance).

ETA: I definitely don't think the intent is to be able to Refit Arcane Armor without access to Game Abilities, but nothing about Focus or Arcane Armor prohibits it.
 
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Kart

Newbie
Alliance Rules
Ok, I hear what you are saying. Here is my interpretation of that same passage.

"There are several ways that a character's Focus may be interrupted." My interpretation of this is that it is saying that if you are focusing, you may be interrupted. Meaning that your focus is not 100% perfect. It then starts a new sentence and lists the ways that your focus would be interrupted if you were to do them. Then, after the list, the next sentence says, "Note that individual abilities may have additional requirements, while some may have exemptions to the above conditions (for example you can self-cast while under a Sanctuary)." I take that as saying that an individual ability, which requires focus, may have other things you have to do and that they may have "exemptions to the above conditions." If the list was not meant to be things that would make you lose focus 100% of the time, then there would not be a need to have an exemptions to it.
 
Under most circumstances, that interpretation is going to be 100% correct; it's just in the case of Magic Items that it starts to go a bit wonky and interact in ways I don't think are intended. Obviously, there needs to be an exception for some things that require Focus to not be interrupted by the loss of Game Abilities, because some things like Escape Binding are innate to the creature and aren't lost just because you can't swing a weapon anymore (which is the reasoning I was given to why Hardy and Wear Extra Armor continue to function normally), but I think it might be prudent to add either in the description for Focus or the text of any affected Rituals that losing access to Game Abilities prevents you from using Magic Items that require Focus, if that's the intent.
 

tieran

Duke
Gettysburg Staff
Marshal
I think you are misapplying the word may here as implying optional, as opposed to just politeness. If you break the physical requirements of sanctuary, Focus is lost. It’s not that it may be lost, it is. Same for fortress. Same for refitting. If you are refitting and start blocking attacks with your shield, your Focus is broken.

Additionally, I think that assuming that something is an exception with nothing to back that up is incorrect. Do we have other instances where there are exceptions that are not listed somewhere?

Refitting armor requires Focus and kneeling, and is allowed through the purchase of Blacksmith We know this because it says so.

It also says that refitting AA does not require Blacksmith. Nowhere does it say any other requirement is waived beyond that.

I think the fact that AA is generated by a magic item is simply muddying the waters. The “don’t need Game Abilities to use magic items” references actively using a charge from and item, not making use of passive effects granted by them. So I don’t need Game Abilities to activate a charge from a Healing Imbuement, but I do need Game Abilities to swing my weapon and take advantage of the Healing Aura.
 
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I already said that breaking roleplay requirements will break Focus, and that several effects that remove Game Abilities have roleplay requirements that make you lose Focus and prevent you from Focusing again.

Focus lists 4 ways that it can be interrupted. One of the listed ways to have Focus interrupted is losing access to Game Abilities. This is followed immediately by a line that says that there are exceptions to these rules. That means Focus is not considered a Game Ability, or there would be no need to include that point in the list.

Losing access to Game Abilities doesn't affect your ability to use Magic Items. Arcane Armor is a Magic Item. It does not require Blacksmith to Refit it. Blacksmith is the only skill that allows for Refitting Armor. Therefore, you don't need any skills to Refit Arcane Armor.

Therefore, you can Focus to Refit Arcane Armor without any Game Abilities, as neither your ability to Focus nor the function of Arcane Armor are impeded by the loss of Game Abilities.

If losing access to Game Abilities only means you can use charges on an item but no passive benefits or abilities, then your Arcane Armor drops to 0 the instant you lose access to Game Abilities, and will remain so until after you've been cured and Refit it. That doesn't sound right.
 

tieran

Duke
Gettysburg Staff
Marshal
Again, I think you are interpreting MAY as CAN, where I am interpreting it as WILL.

It does say that there are exceptions, and then lists one. Do we have other exceptions to the focus rule that aren’t listed somewhere?

I’m not saying that losing access to GA would drop your AA, though perhaps I could have been more clear. Based on the rules, if you don’t have GA, you can still activate a magic item (such as a Healing Imbuement), but you can’t swing a weapon (to make use of the Healing Imbuement). Nowhere did I say that losing GA would prevent you from using armor.

And again, I think the fact that AA is a magic item is immaterial to whether you can refit it while you don’t have GA.

But to return to something closer to the original bit, is there some Focus activity that you can perform while you do not have GA?
 
If any of those things happening automatically interrupt Focus (regardless of whether the thing being Focused on requires them), then the wording needs to change from "may" to "will", or Focus needs to be stated to be a Game Ability. Either of those options (or both) would remove any ambiguity on the matter; however, both of those options present problems for abilities like Escape Binding that do not rely on skills and have no stated roleplay requirements, because if you Enfeeble something that can rip from Confine, it would lose the ability to do so, even though it's still just as strong as it was before and losing Game Abilities shouldn't change that.

Sanctuary, Desecrate, and Fortress are the only three I can think of off the top of my head to have exceptions, but that's why this discussion is important; most things you have to Focus on either are a Game Ability or rely on having a particular Game Ability to do them at all, but some aren't skills and don't rely on them. Most of these have simply been copy-pasted from the ARB 1.3 because they didn't change significantly, but 1.3 didn't have Focus so there was no reason to note an exception in their descriptions.

For example, Escape Binding, Refitting Natural Armor, and Regeneration should all be available to any creature that has them regardless of the use of Game Abilities; as noted above, losing access to Game Abilities shouldn't affect a creature's ability to rip free, regrow scales or a carapace, or heal itself, because those don't rely on skills to function, they are aspects of the creature itself (this same reasoning is why you don't lose the benefits of Hardy or Wear Extra Armor). Even though none of them have an exception noted for loss of Game Abilities, are we supposed to assume that an Enfeebled (Laugh) creature stops being able to replace its scales or release itself from a Pin just because it's laughing? I really don't think that's the intent, and that the exception is either implied in cases like these or were simply not added by accident.

Depending on how this gets ruled, Refitting Arcane Armor either is exempt from the "loss of Game Abilities" clause by virtue of not requiring any skills to perform, or it needs to have a line added to its scroll text to indicate that losing access to Game Abilities prevents you from refitting it; just changing the line to "Refitting Arcane Armor does not require the blacksmith skill, but you must have access to Game Abilities" would suffice. A similar line would have to be added to other Rituals that don't rely on having access to skills to function, like Recharge Prowess. (There may be other Rituals that could go on this list, but I don't have the time at the moment to hunt them all down, or I would.)
 

tieran

Duke
Gettysburg Staff
Marshal
Most (All?) of your concerns regarding mobster abilities appear to be addressed on pages 26-27.
 
It answered whether you can Rip from Binding without access to Game Abilities (you can't, which I think is strange, since presumably it's at least partially based on the not disabled Monster Strength), but not whether you can Refit Natural Armor or Regenerate. It also doesn't address whether Focus is a Game Ability or not, or whether Game Abilities are required for Refitting Arcane Armor.

It does say those Natural Armor isn't disabled if you lose access, but you've already argued that you can't Refit Arcane Armor, so I suspect by extension you're also of the opinion that you can't Refit Natural Armor, and further that you can't Regenerate, either.
 

tieran

Duke
Gettysburg Staff
Marshal
I agree that not being able to rip while you can’t use Game Abilities is weird.

Refitting arcane or natural armors doesn’t require a game ability (like refitting armor requires Blacksmithing) to do, but it does require you have access to the ability to use Game Abilities, because Focus requires it.
 
I'm not going to go over why Focus as written doesn't require Game Abilities for a fifth time, thanks.
 

tieran

Duke
Gettysburg Staff
Marshal
Except it says it does.

I appreciate that you disagree, but you’ve yet to really provide some kind of actual support for that other than the (admittedly) poor choice to use the word may.

Thanks.
 
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