Let's focus on... Focus Point pools!


Rules Discussion


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I wanted to explore and compare how the different classes are using Focus spells -- specifically how and when they add points to their pool --, so I went through the Core Rulebook to compile a list of abilities and feats that do that for every class. Here are the results (the "Refocus X" refer to feats that enable recovering multiple points with one Refocus activity):

BARD

Composition spells (1)
Lingering Composition (maestro muse 1)
Loremaster's Étude (enigma muse 2)
Inspire Heroics (maestro muse 8)
Soothing Ballad (14)
Fatal Aria (20)

"Refocus 2" (12)

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CHAMPION

Devotion spells (1)
Litany Against Wrath (6)
Advanced Deity's Domain (8)
Litany Against Sloth (10)
Champion's Sacrifice (12)
Litany of Righteousness (14)

"Refocus 2" (10)

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CLERIC

Domain Initiate (1)
Advanced Domain (8)

"Refocus 2" (12)
"Refocus 3" (18)

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DRUID

Order spells (1)
Wind Caller (storm 8)
Impaling Briars (16)

"Refocus 2" (12)
"Refocus 3" (18)

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MONK

Ki Rush / Ki Strike (1)
Wholeness of Body (4)
Abundant Step (6)
Ki Blast (6)
Wild Winds Initiate (8)
Wind Jump (10)
Quivering Palm (16)
Empty Body (18)

"Refocus 2" (12)
"Refocus 3" (18)

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SORCERER

Bloodline spell (1)
Advanced Bloodline (6)
Greater Bloodline (10)

"Refocus 2" (12)
"Refocus 3" (18)

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WIZARD

School spells (1)
Advanced School Spell (8)

"Refocus 2" (14)

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By the way, I ignored feats which only give you more options in using your existing Focus pool (e.g. composition spells for bards or Domain Initiate for clerics).

Some interesting observations:
- Clerics and wizards can only reach 2 Focus Points in their pool. (Side note: Paradoxically, clerics get a "Refocus 3" feat, even though they need to multiclass to get that third point).
- Monks are clearly meant to be the Focus Point specialists, with more feats that give Focus Points than any other class.
- Champions are the only class that gets their "Refocus 2" feat at 10th level; most of the other classes get it at 12th.
- Wizards only get their "Refocus 2" feat at 14th level.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Thank you for doing this.

What's the earliest we can max out our focus pool?

What is the most number of focus powers we can fit on a single character?


The Monk could max out the Focus pool by level four, and have potentially every Focus power, or boost to focus regeneration, available to it. That puts it at level 20 with a Human Monk with 9 Focus powers and two Focus regen increases.


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Clerics can get three points in-class if they focus on domain spells.


RexAliquid wrote:
Clerics can get three points in-class if they focus on domain spells.

Yep.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Nocte ex Mortis wrote:
The Monk could max out the Focus pool by level four, and have potentially every Focus power, or boost to focus regeneration, available to it. That puts it at level 20 with a Human Monk with 9 Focus powers and two Focus regen increases.

But what if we throw in a few dedication archetypes?


Ravingdork wrote:
Nocte ex Mortis wrote:
The Monk could max out the Focus pool by level four, and have potentially every Focus power, or boost to focus regeneration, available to it. That puts it at level 20 with a Human Monk with 9 Focus powers and two Focus regen increases.
But what if we throw in a few dedication archetypes?

Unless ancient elf can take the perfections path dedication at start. 4 is the fastest you will aquire focus points.


Ravingdork wrote:

Thank you for doing this.

What's the earliest we can max out our focus pool?

What is the most number of focus powers we can fit on a single character?

Lvl 2 as a human Cleric, Natural Ambition for Domain Initiate and then get it again at lvl 2.


Kyrone wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

Thank you for doing this.

What's the earliest we can max out our focus pool?

What is the most number of focus powers we can fit on a single character?

Lvl 2 as a human Cleric, Natural Ambition for Domain Initiate and then get it again at lvl 2.

Domain Initiate specifically gives you a Focus Pool of 1, it does not increase any existing Focus Pool.


Anything that gives you a focus pool increases any existing pool that you have to a max of three.


Kyrone wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

Thank you for doing this.

What's the earliest we can max out our focus pool?

What is the most number of focus powers we can fit on a single character?

Lvl 2 as a human Cleric, Natural Ambition for Domain Initiate and then get it again at lvl 2.

If it stacks this early. Though I am fully in this camp I remember some lengthy discussions about stacking as per class descriptions or as per general rule. Else you would need till level 10 as a cleric.


Quote:
Anything that gives you a focus pool increases any existing pool that you have to a max of three.

Not "anything"; it has to be from a different source:

Quote:
It’s possible, especially through archetypes, to gain focus spells and Focus Points from more than one source. If this happens, you have just one focus pool, adding all the Focus Points together to determine the total size of your pool.

I don't think taking the same feat, even if it's possible to take it multiple times like Domain Initiate, would qualify as a "different source". If taking it multiple times would increase your Focus Pool, I would expect that it would be called out specifically in the Special section of the feat.

I could be wrong though. Has this been clarified officially somewhere?


Nocte ex Mortis wrote:
Anything that gives you a focus pool increases any existing pool that you have to a max of three.

I do see the sidebar on that now. It should have been included in the "Focus Spells" section 2 pages before that, as the paragraph on page 300 does not make that clear at all.

Quote:

Some abilities allow you to increase the Focus Points

in your pool beyond 1. Typically, these are feats that give
you a new focus spell and increase the number of points
in your pool by 1. Your focus pool can’t have a capacity
beyond 3 Focus Points, even if feats that increase your pool
would cause it to exceed this number.


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coriolis wrote:
Quote:
Anything that gives you a focus pool increases any existing pool that you have to a max of three.

Not "anything"; it has to be from a different source:

Quote:
It’s possible, especially through archetypes, to gain focus spells and Focus Points from more than one source. If this happens, you have just one focus pool, adding all the Focus Points together to determine the total size of your pool.

I don't think taking the same feat, even if it's possible to take it multiple times like Domain Initiate, would qualify as a "different source". If taking it multiple times would increase your Focus Pool, I would expect that it would be called out specifically in the Special section of the feat.

I could be wrong though. Has this been clarified officially somewhere?

I disagree. This sentence is the only actual rule in that entire block. The rest of it is just examples of how you could get abilities.

Quote:
If you have multiple abilities that give you a focus pool, each one adds 1 Focus Point to your pool.

Two instances of Domain Initiate granting different spells would clearly be two different abilities, just as two instances of Terrain Stalker with different Terrains would be.

Liberty's Edge

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There is a rather inconsistent pattern of how the rules were printed in different areas but as others have noted the pg 300 sidebar makes is pretty clear that unless an Ability doesn't explicitly state that it does NOT raise an existing Focus Pool then it will always raise it by 1(Max 3).


For the druid you could look by order too. Wild one never getting more then 1...


Kromkore wrote:
For the druid you could look by order too. Wild one never getting more then 1...

Except you're probably going to take Order Explorer at 2nd, because there's really nothing else worthwhile, and then you'll have 2.

I also feel like the Primal Summons Feat should have Errata that it grants a focus point, because it makes no sense that it doesn't.


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On a side note, dedications make fast great use of focus points.

Monk with wild order druid dedication can easily have 3 focus by level 6 and have effective wild shape animal forms until level 11 where you could have taken thousand faces by 8 to gain it's heighten effect of enlarging you and since it's with wild shape you still get the +2 to hit, or after 11 morph on a monk is great to add 2d6 bleeding persistent to your attacks.


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Aratorin wrote:
Kromkore wrote:
For the druid you could look by order too. Wild one never getting more then 1...

Except you're probably going to take Order Explorer at 2nd, because there's really nothing else worthwhile, and then you'll have 2.

Order explorer doesn't provide y

a focus point.


The rules are contradictory, they really need errata on this.

Cool find on thousand faces martialmasters, but it's not certain that works because of the words "instead of" in wild shape.

Lantern Lodge

Leaf and Storm druids appear to get 2 focus points at 1st level.


cameronst wrote:
Leaf and Storm druids appear to get 2 focus points at 1st level.

So it seems. Having a Druid order gives them a point in the base class, then these two specific orders seem to give them another.

But later on with an Order Explorer feat (but sometimes not till the Order Magic feat) you get another. Which you can take multiple times.
They will get to 3 pretty quick.
I have to assume this is intentional.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

It would be very nice to know if the feats that grant focus spells but not focus points are meant to work in that fashion. It seems like an oversight, but there is no way to tell for sure.


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Aratorin wrote:
Kyrone wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

Thank you for doing this.

What's the earliest we can max out our focus pool?

What is the most number of focus powers we can fit on a single character?

Lvl 2 as a human Cleric, Natural Ambition for Domain Initiate and then get it again at lvl 2.
Domain Initiate specifically gives you a Focus Pool of 1, it does not increase any existing Focus Pool.

I made a thread about this maybe a month ago. There's a ruling on a specific page that says if it normally gives a focus point pool, it also increases the pool by 1 if you take it if you already had a pool

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