Focus spells: Weirdness on gaining focus points.


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion


If I understand correctly, focus spell feats seem to fall into two categories:

  • Those that you can take without taking any other focus spells (for a Ranger "Gravity weapon" or "heal companion" and grant you 1 focus point
  • That that require you have taken a prior focus spell (e.g. Animal Feature) and grant an extra focus point (up to 3).

    My issue:
    If you take 2 of the first type, you still only have one focus point. Why? Just seems like a weird penalty for taking a lower-level ability.


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    Not all focus powers exist to round out your focus pool, especially lower-level feats. I feel like this was an issue I had with a player during the playtest who managed to stack up a Focus Pool remarkably early through human bonus feat and dedications and completely nova things (though he used it for lay on hands, if I recall), even if he then couldn't actually recover the Focus Points afterwards.

    So yeah, that.


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    Well, that's not true, Ruzza.
    According to the panel Focus points from multiples sources from the CRB pg. 300, if you have multiple abilities that give you a focus pool, you gain additional points.

    Example pg 300 "For instance, if you were a cleric with the Domain Initiate feat, you would have a pool with 1 Focus Point. Let’s say you then took the champion multiclass archetype and the Healing Touch feat. Normally, this feat would give you a focus pool. Since you already have one, it instead increases your existing pool’s capacity by 1."

    And Healing touch contains the following text : "If you don’t already have one, you gain a focus pool of 1 Focus Point".

    Thus, whenever you gain an ability that makes you gain a Focus point or a Focus pool, if you already have one, you increase your capacity by 1, up to a maximum of 3.


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    it should really be part of the rules that whenever you get a focus spell you get a focus point up to 3 to avoid all that language.

    If natural ambition allowing for 2 focus points at lvl 1 is the concern then natural ambition maybe is the problem.


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    Elicoor wrote:

    Well, that's not true, Ruzza.

    According to the panel Focus points from multiples sources from the CRB pg. 300, if you have multiple abilities that give you a focus pool, you gain additional points.

    I think this is one way to read that for certain, but the section you're highlighting is referring to Focus Points from multiple sources, which I take to mean from archetypes or dedications. That section opens with "It’s possible, especially through archetypes, to gain focus spells and Focus Points from more than one source." It does go towards explaining the following example of a cleric taking the champion archetype.

    So while I absolutely agree with you that gaining Focus Points from multiple places pools together, I don't necessarily agree with the idea that feats within a class that do not explicitly call out increasing your Focus Pool still allow you to increase the cap. This is more in relation to the OP's comment about gravity weapon and heal companion.

    EDIT: I want to include that, for me personally, this isn't all that big of a deal. If I had a player show up with a human ranger who took both gravity weapon and heal companion at level 1 and told me they had 2 Focus Points, I wouldn't mind at all (especially given their own limitations and the limitations of recharging those Focus Points at low levels anyway).


    As I read it, with "Gravity weapon" or "heal companion" you only get one focus point. I think Ruzza's reading things correctly. But A) I think that's dumb--if I use a 4th level feat to take a lower-level thing I don't see what purpose gets served by not getting the focus point and B) I think trying to do all that just makes the rules more complex than needed.

    "1 focus point per focus spell, max 3" seems really clear and easy. But we have paragraphs used to almost do that but (IMO) do it worse.


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    Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

    Did this need like three threads?


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    Guess I'll repost over here. There's some rule somewhere that any focus spells that would grant a pool when you already have one just add a point to your pool instead (the one Elicoor pointed at). A homebrew rule I saw somewhere suggests you get a pool from a feat that just tells you it gives a focus point, using an earlier feat/class's refocus rule...it should really be that simple, for a system that caps at 3.

    Just let your characters start with 2 focus points. Let your characters quickly bump into the 3 point ceiling if they want to. There are classes that do this automatically and it barely matters because that extra 2nd or 3rd point is only once per day until a Lv 10-14 feat(ure) and Lv 18 feat(ure) respectively, if that's even an option given by your class.


    I mean, 2 focus points to start off with is a lot of reusable spells, but idk if I'd really consider it OP; you can still only recover 1 point from refocusing between focus point casting, so it's basically just an extra 1/day use of your focus spells at low levels


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    The-Magic-Sword wrote:
    Did this need like three threads?

    I tried to edit the subject. Apparently doing that creates a new post. Sorry...


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    Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
    Hobit of Bree wrote:
    The-Magic-Sword wrote:
    Did this need like three threads?
    I tried to edit the subject. Apparently doing that creates a new post. Sorry...

    ah interesting, I was wondering since they have slightly different titles.

    Liberty's Edge

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    I am personally just wondering why all characters and important NPCs don't just start with 3 Focus Points. They could have easily trimmed at least two pages of text from the book just by simply doing this and that space could have been used to define a half dozen or more "generic" Focus Actions or abilities such that make logical sense in connection with the idea of "focus" such as taking extra actions to "Aim carefully" with a Ranged Attack, to gain a circumstance bonus to a Skill Check, or even to remain conscious for one round at a time when you're brought to 0 HP.

    The way it was implemented isn't bad, I just think that they make it needlessly contrived and contradictory while also taking up WAY too much space in the CRB defining it over and over and over and over and over it as opposed to giving it to everyone right upfront and tanking the amount of space available in most spellcaster class entries, for real, just trimming the Focus Pool language from Class Feats alone would save enough space for at least 2 or three more Class Feats for any given spellcaster or Focus Spell user.

    It is what it is though.


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    Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
    Themetricsystem wrote:

    I am personally just wondering by all characters and important NPCs don't just start with 3 Focus Points. They could have easily trimmed at least two pages of text from the book just by simply doing this and that space could have been used to define a half dozen or more "generic" Focus Actions or abilities such that make logical sense in connection with the idea of "focus" such as taking extra actions to "Aim carefully" with a Ranged Attack, to gain a circumstance bonus to a Skill Check, or even to remain conscious for one round at a time when you're brought to 0 HP.

    The way it was implemented isn't bad, I just think that they make it needlessly contrived and contradictory while also taking up WAY too much space in the CRB defining it over and over and over and over and over it as opposed to giving it to everyone right upfront and tanking the amount of space available in most spellcaster class entries, for real, just trimming the Focus Pool language from Class Feats alone would save enough space for at least 2 or three more Class Feats for any given spellcaster or Focus Spell user.

    It is what it is though.

    I agree. It's weird to go through so many hoops when the cap is only 3. I can see how it gives a bit of a ramp up and somewhat reduces the chances of new players being overwhelmed, but no focus spell seems so busted that casting it thrice before level 4 is a problem but after is just fine. It's also weird that as soon as you pick three focus power options, the fourth loses so much attractiveness.

    Everyone having focus would also let you use it as a mini-Resonance for items that grant some strong but reusable ability.


    Themetricsystem wrote:

    I am personally just wondering why all characters and important NPCs don't just start with 3 Focus Points. They could have easily trimmed at least two pages of text from the book just by simply doing this and that space could have been used to define a half dozen or more "generic" Focus Actions or abilities such that make logical sense in connection with the idea of "focus" such as taking extra actions to "Aim carefully" with a Ranged Attack, to gain a circumstance bonus to a Skill Check, or even to remain conscious for one round at a time when you're brought to 0 HP.

    The way it was implemented isn't bad, I just think that they make it needlessly contrived and contradictory while also taking up WAY too much space in the CRB defining it over and over and over and over and over it as opposed to giving it to everyone right upfront and tanking the amount of space available in most spellcaster class entries, for real, just trimming the Focus Pool language from Class Feats alone would save enough space for at least 2 or three more Class Feats for any given spellcaster or Focus Spell user.

    It is what it is though.

    That actually feels like too much. Heal companion, for example, seems pretty big. I wouldn't object to "1 focus point, 2 starting at level X, 3 starting at level Y" too much, but I like the idea that if you want to be able to do a thing more, you have to work at it (by taking another feat that adds to it).


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    Hobit of Bree wrote:
    Themetricsystem wrote:

    I am personally just wondering why all characters and important NPCs don't just start with 3 Focus Points. They could have easily trimmed at least two pages of text from the book just by simply doing this and that space could have been used to define a half dozen or more "generic" Focus Actions or abilities such that make logical sense in connection with the idea of "focus" such as taking extra actions to "Aim carefully" with a Ranged Attack, to gain a circumstance bonus to a Skill Check, or even to remain conscious for one round at a time when you're brought to 0 HP.

    The way it was implemented isn't bad, I just think that they make it needlessly contrived and contradictory while also taking up WAY too much space in the CRB defining it over and over and over and over and over it as opposed to giving it to everyone right upfront and tanking the amount of space available in most spellcaster class entries, for real, just trimming the Focus Pool language from Class Feats alone would save enough space for at least 2 or three more Class Feats for any given spellcaster or Focus Spell user.

    It is what it is though.

    That actually feels like too much. Heal companion, for example, seems pretty big. I wouldn't object to "1 focus point, 2 starting at level X, 3 starting at level Y" too much, but I like the idea that if you want to be able to do a thing more, you have to work at it (by taking another feat that adds to it).

    Remember that even if your max Focus is 3, you will only get 1 point back from Refocusing unless you have the class feats that allow you to get more Focus Points when Refocusing.

    It would still tab out to be 1 focus spell/encounter, only you'd have two free daily charges.


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    Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

    I have to agree that it does feel.. excessive. There's only a small handful of feats that won't give you more focus points. So the amount of language spent defining how you gain them is a bit gratuitous.


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    Yeah I think there is quite a bit of excessive repetition overall. Which to be fair was one of the complaints of copying feats over and over for multiple classes.

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