Psychic Refocus


Rules Discussion


Psychics can recover 2 focus points Refocusing without having to spend 2 focus points beforehand. They only need to have spent 1 to exclusively amp a psi cantrips. Does this mean they can, given the extra Refocus time, recover all the way up to 3 focus points from 0?

The feature also says you recover 2 focus points “up to your maximum of 2” when you Refocus. Does that adjust once you bump your focus pool to 3 or should I be reading that as what prevents me from recovering back up to 3?


It doesn’t automatically adjust to 3 points per refocus just due to increasing your pool. I am not as familiar with the psychic specifically, but it also appears they do not have a feat to increase their refocus to 3 points and are forever limited to 2.


It is a class feature not a feat. Yes it is annoying they don't ever get 3 focus points back in one refocus (till the level 18 feat). Though I have to confess that I almost always skipped the 3 focus point refocus feat in my builds for other classes.

No they are not forever limited to 2. They just have to spend one of their focus points, then refocus again. So it is a two stage refocus as written if they need all 3 points.

A similar type of juggling will need to happen if you spend a focus point on something other than a Psi focus spell.

I expect lots of people will miss that and just have all 3 focus points come back.


Gortle wrote:

It is a class feature not a feat. Yes it is annoying they don't ever get 3 focus points back in one refocus. Though I have to confess that I almost always skipped the 3 focus point refocus feat in my builds for other classes.

No they are not forever limited to 2. They just have to spend one of their focus points, then refocus again. So it is a two stage refocus as written if they need all 3 points.

Just for clarification:

I’m aware it is a class feature and not a feat. I was stating that psychics don’t have a feat to increase that ability, and was not suggesting the initial 2 points was the from the purchase of a feat.

When I said “forever limited to 2”, I meant in how many they can gain back from a refocus activity (as they don’t have a feat to gain a third point). :)


Sorry, I see how my second question is confusing.

I meant the “up to your maximum of 2” part as adjusting, not the focus point recovery. I know you only ever recover 2 focus points from Refocusing as a Psychic unless you get the 18th level feat the 3 focus point recovery.

I’m asking if the “up to your maximum of 2” is just reminder text for your default max at level 1 or mechanically relevant to only allow you to recover up to 2 focus points even if you get your focus pool to 3. I assume it’s only reminder text but I just want to be certain since it doesn’t appear in the focus feats of other classes, which is what I’m more familiar with.


It is tricky writing a question or a response that can't be misinterpreted by reasonable readers. Fortunately you get an hour to edit.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Gortle wrote:

It is a class feature not a feat. Yes it is annoying they don't ever get 3 focus points back in one refocus (till the level 18 feat). Though I have to confess that I almost always skipped the 3 focus point refocus feat in my builds for other classes.

No they are not forever limited to 2. They just have to spend one of their focus points, then refocus again. So it is a two stage refocus as written if they need all 3 points.

A similar type of juggling will need to happen if you spend a focus point on something other than a Psi focus spell.

I expect lots of people will miss that and just have all 3 focus points come back.

That feels unintentional. I'm pretty sure if they intended you to be able to regain 3 points at a time they would just let you do it in one refocus, not use that janky double refocus method. Instead we have a 5th level feature which gives another focus point but says it doesn't change the number of points we get when we refocus.

It would be a nice little buff if it worked, but it feels like a loophole.


From lvl 6 to lvl 18 a psychic can benefit from 3 focus spells per encounter 1/2 or 1/3 of the times with strain mind ( which is wonderful ).

It's wonderfl even with the psychic dedication.

As for the lvl 3 refocusing it's right for it to be lvl 17/18.

What matters the most is is starting with refocus 2, and being able to get strain mind by lvl 6. There's no other class that can do nothing similar.


Captain Morgan wrote:
Gortle wrote:

It is a class feature not a feat. Yes it is annoying they don't ever get 3 focus points back in one refocus (till the level 18 feat). Though I have to confess that I almost always skipped the 3 focus point refocus feat in my builds for other classes.

No they are not forever limited to 2. They just have to spend one of their focus points, then refocus again. So it is a two stage refocus as written if they need all 3 points.

A similar type of juggling will need to happen if you spend a focus point on something other than a Psi focus spell.

I expect lots of people will miss that and just have all 3 focus points come back.

That feels unintentional. I'm pretty sure if they intended you to be able to regain 3 points at a time they would just let you do it in one refocus, not use that janky double refocus method. Instead we have a 5th level feature which gives another focus point but says it doesn't change the number of points we get when we refocus.

It would be a nice little buff if it worked, but it feels like a loophole.

Not being able to get 3 focus points back barring a long rest seems like more of a problem. The whole point of the focus point mechanism is to get repeatable abilities on a per encounter basis.

To me yes I agree it feels janky. I wouldn't call it a loophole. Extra time seems reasonable.


Hypothetically if this “loophole” is unintentional, how should it actually work?

Needing to use 2 focus points only on psychic abilities to get 2 back is how I figured it worked initially since it parallels the focus feats the best. That does leave it open to accidentally locking you into 1 focus point for the rest of the day should you squeeze in a non-psychic focus spell in there before refocusing properly. That feels just as janky and unintended.


Meh, just let it work until they say something official. It's not overpowered, and focus points are psychic's whole thing so like you say being down to 1 the rest of the day would be harsh


yarrchives wrote:

Hypothetically if this “loophole” is unintentional, how should it actually work?

Needing to use 2 focus points only on psychic abilities to get 2 back is how I figured it worked initially since it parallels the focus feats the best. That does leave it open to accidentally locking you into 1 focus point for the rest of the day should you squeeze in a non-psychic focus spell in there before refocusing properly. That feels just as janky and unintended.

Encounter 1. Use 1 FP for amp and 1 FP for non-class ability. Result, can only gain 1 FP on refocus.

Encounter 2. Use 1 FP only for psychic ability. Result, can gain 2 FP on refocus.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Lucerious wrote:
yarrchives wrote:

Hypothetically if this “loophole” is unintentional, how should it actually work?

Needing to use 2 focus points only on psychic abilities to get 2 back is how I figured it worked initially since it parallels the focus feats the best. That does leave it open to accidentally locking you into 1 focus point for the rest of the day should you squeeze in a non-psychic focus spell in there before refocusing properly. That feels just as janky and unintended.

Encounter 1. Use 1 FP for amp and 1 FP for non-class ability. Result, can only gain 1 FP on refocus.

Encounter 2. Use 1 FP only for psychic ability. Result, can gain 2 FP on refocus.

Notably, you don't need to have a second encounter to use this trick. After encounter 1, you just refocus, amp a cantrip fired at nothing, and then refocus again.

It is a pretty significant buff to take a class defined by twice an encounter spells and make it 3 times an encounter. Not saying it breaks the game... But it is almost certainly stronger than intended.


Why is it not intended? Its is a combination of a level 1 and a level 5 class feature. It is at the heart of the class.

Pyschics use focus points for Amped effects more often. 3 times per encounter. They get a lot less spells. That seems like a deliberate trade off to me. Plus they have an extra time penalty if the player decides to multiclass into other focus spells.

Just like for the Oracle, the more beneficial treatment of focus spells is a core part of the design of this class.


It is definitely intended to me.

It's an attempt made in order to make players play a class in a proper way.

I'd give it by default to all classes, removing the lvl 10/11/12 refocus perk, just to make the classes more unique, without always going for a specific archetype focus spell.

It's IMO already too good they gave a way to get around with it like Captain Morgan mentioned.
I wouldn't have given such exploit.


FWIW, I looked back at the playtest Psychic and it recovers focus points more like the standard "must spend at least 2 focus points to recover 2." It being changed indicates some intention to make focus point recovery easier for them in general while still promoting psychic focus point usage.


Indeed, I agree.

I was just referring to exploit it during rests, by using 2x lay on hand every fight, refocus, cast a psychic cantrip, refocus x2.

I'd never allow such a thing to get around the class mechanics.

Obviously, If a psychic wants to 2* lay on hand on an encounter and then getting 1 focus point on the next one, using a psychic cantrip to get back to 2 focus points for the third encounter, I see no issue at all.


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That's the part people said seemed unintended, though.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Honestly whether you can use the trick to replenish extra focus points spent on non-psychic focus spells doesn't really matter much to me. You've already got tons of powerful native options for amps. The class even has an out of combat healing mechanic, so no need for Lay on Hands.

But the difference between using 3 amps every fight and 2 amps every fight is a really significant one.


If the party can manage to do a fight every hour, it would end up being 3 amps per fight starting from lvl 6.

Or else, even being able to benefit from a third amp every 2/3 fights can be good too ( compared to any other class tied to refocus 1 ).

Mix it up with the familiar focus, to get another focus point back and it's even better.

Ps:there are also dedication feats from other classes, but even this way is good.


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From level 1 it is 2 amps per encounter with a ten minute break.
From level 5 it is 3 amps per encounter with a 20 minute break.
From level 18 it is 3 amps per encounter with a ten minute break if they take the feat Deepest Wellspring.

Every other class only has one focus point per ten minutes from first level. The second with a feat at about level 12, the third with a feat at around level 18. Exception being Oracle who doesn't pay the feat and gets it at level 11 and 17. Almost every class can get another focus point early on with a feat, sometimes from level one. A few Druid orders even start with 2 focus points like Psychics do.

Yes the difference between level 1 and level 12 is very nice. But Pyschics pay for it with a big loss of spell slots.

Refocusing twice by taking another ten minutes is something every class can do. It is at the core of the game and almost everyone is doing it. It is exactly the same as the Paladin taking another ten minutes to cast a second lay on hands to heal people up. It is perfectly legal. I can't see any rules justification to disallow it.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

NGL it feels kind of weird that the psychic's big unique thing just completely goes away at level 12 but they're still down on spellslots.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Gortle wrote:


Refocusing twice by taking another ten minutes is something every class can do. It is at the core of the game and almost everyone is doing it. It is exactly the same as the Paladin taking another ten minutes to cast a second lay on hands to heal people up. It is perfectly legal. I can't see any rules justification to disallow it.

They actually can't.

REFOCUS
EXPLORATION ACTIVITY
CONCENTRATE
EXPLORATION

Requirements You have a focus pool, and you have spent at least 1 focus Point since you last regained any focus Points.

A paladin can cast lay once every 10 minutes without any other feats, but they can't cast it 3 times in one fight and then spend 30 minutes to regain all 3 focus points.


Captain Morgan wrote:
Gortle wrote:


Refocusing twice by taking another ten minutes is something every class can do. It is at the core of the game and almost everyone is doing it. It is exactly the same as the Paladin taking another ten minutes to cast a second lay on hands to heal people up. It is perfectly legal. I can't see any rules justification to disallow it.

They actually can't.

REFOCUS
EXPLORATION ACTIVITY
CONCENTRATE
EXPLORATION

Requirements You have a focus pool, and you have spent at least 1 focus Point since you last regained any focus Points.

A paladin can cast lay once every 10 minutes without any other feats, but they can't cast it 3 times in one fight and then spend 30 minutes to regain all 3 focus points.

That is essentially correct. One cannot refocus two times in a row unless the character spent a focus point between the refocus activity. The requirement to refocus requires having spent a focus point since last time the character long-rested or refocused.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Squiggit wrote:
NGL it feels kind of weird that the psychic's big unique thing just completely goes away at level 12 but they're still down on spellslots.

I actually share this feeling. It seems like psychics SHOULD get to recharge all 3 focus points at once, probably at level 11 or 12.

Howver, if they wanted to go that route they'd have just let them recharge all 3 points in one refocus. They are pretty explicit about how the psychic deviates from the standard focus point rules, and being able to regain points by refocusing twice in a row is too janky.

I think this is an error with clear intent, much like Personal Antithesis not working when you're already using the special material weapon to hit weakness.


Captain Morgan wrote:
A paladin can cast lay once every 10 minutes without any other feats, but they can't cast it 3 times in one fight and then spend 30 minutes to regain all 3 focus points.

I never said or implied that. Stop being perverse. I explicitly described this earlier. I can't retype everything every time.

It is cast a focus spell, refocus for ten minutes. Repeat.


Captain Morgan wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
NGL it feels kind of weird that the psychic's big unique thing just completely goes away at level 12 but they're still down on spellslots.

I actually share this feeling. It seems like psychics SHOULD get to recharge all 3 focus points at once, probably at level 11 or 12.

Howver, if they wanted to go that route they'd have just let them recharge all 3 points in one refocus. They are pretty explicit about how the psychic deviates from the standard focus point rules, and being able to regain points by refocusing twice in a row is too janky.

So let them do 3 in one refocus as a class ability at level 10ish. Yes that would have been fairer. I fail to see why that should be left to level 18.

Refocusing twice has been part of the game from the start. It is how many groups heal between encounters.

It goes to the pacing of the number of encounters. Which some GMs run differently. Not every group, or in every situation, has a short rest between encounters. Nor even a chance for multiple short rests. GMs have different views on this.

It is not totally clear what Paizo view on all this is. It seems to be that every PC should be on full hitpoints at the start of every encounter for balance reasons. This does imply multiple short rests between most but not all encounters.


Gortle wrote:
Refocusing twice by taking another ten minutes is something every class can do. It is at the core of the game and almost everyone is doing it. It is exactly the same as the Paladin taking another ten minutes to cast a second lay on hands to heal people up. It is perfectly legal. I can't see any rules justification to disallow it.

That's not true, though. Let's look at the level 10 champion feat, Devoted Focus:

"Your devotion is strong enough to increase your focus to incredible heights. If you have spent at least 2 Focus Points since the last time you Refocused, you recover 2 Focus Points when you Refocus instead of 1."

If you have three focus points and this feat, and you're down to zero focus points, there's no way to refocus back up to three without a full rest. You can get up to two, and then either spend one/recover one or spend two/recover two, but that third is nto within your grasp.

They key limitation is whether or not you can have two fights in a single day in which you spend three focus points in each fight. Non-pshycics can't without the level 18 feature. I don't see any particularly strong reason to believe that psychics would be able to either.


Sanityfaerie wrote:
Gortle wrote:
Refocusing twice by taking another ten minutes is something every class can do. It is at the core of the game and almost everyone is doing it. It is exactly the same as the Paladin taking another ten minutes to cast a second lay on hands to heal people up. It is perfectly legal. I can't see any rules justification to disallow it.

That's not true, though. Let's look at the level 10 champion feat, Devoted Focus:

"Your devotion is strong enough to increase your focus to incredible heights. If you have spent at least 2 Focus Points since the last time you Refocused, you recover 2 Focus Points when you Refocus instead of 1."

If you have three focus points and this feat, and you're down to zero focus points, there's no way to refocus back up to three without a full rest. You can get up to two, and then either spend one/recover one or spend two/recover two, but that third is nto within your grasp.

They key limitation is whether or not you can have two fights in a single day in which you spend three focus points in each fight. Non-pshycics can't without the level 18 feature. I don't see any particularly strong reason to believe that psychics would be able to either.

Yes there is that annoying limit extra rule in the refocus activity limiting you to recovering one only when you have spent one since your last refocus. So you can't refocus unless you have spent one.

Then the recover two focus point feats require you to have spent two since you last refocus to recover two.

But the Pyschic does not have that feat or limit. Even if they spend them all they can definitely recover up to 3 from level 5 even if the other classes can't.


I think all the wording is to allow psychics to use either amped cantrips and non psychic focus spells.

Example 1: the psychic casts 2 amped focus spells. Then they refocus and get 2 focus points back.

Example 2: the psychic uses an amped cantrip and a lay on hand focus spell. Then they refocus and get just 1 focus point back.

Example 2 bis: the psychic uses an amped cantrip ( they now have 1 focus point because of the previous refocus). Then they refocus, and get 2 focus points back.

This way they can work around psychic focus powers and non psychic focus powers.


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Gortle wrote:

Yes there is that annoying limit extra rule in the refocus activity limiting you to recovering one only when you have spent one since your last refocus. So you can't refocus unless you have spent one.

Then the recover two focus point feats require you to have spent two since you last refocus to recover two.

But the Pyschic does not have that feat or limit. Even if they spend them all they can definitely recover up to 3 from level 5 even if the other classes can't.

I don't think that's necessarily true, though. To me the wording is not at all clear. Then I look at Deepest Wellspring, and I think that it doesn't really make sense that the psychic would have a "save yourself a bit of jank" class feat at 18. Having them instead get the practical benefit that everyone else gets from equivalent feats - that of being able to spend 3 focus points per fight in multiple fights in the day - makes a lot more sense.

So... basically, I see three possibilities.
A - 5th-level psychics using jank to get back up to 3 FP from empty is both RAW and RAI
B - it is RAW but not RAI
C - it is neither RAW nor RAI

Between Deepest Wellspring and the fact that basically the entire rest of the game is designed so that you should be able to get your full post-battle recovery done in 10 minutes, I find it difficult to credit the idea that it's RAI. The idea that having to jank back up to 2 is instead your punishment for using something other than an amp feels a lot more reasonable to me (though I admit that it's still somewhat odd)

As for RAW, I think that the wording if kind of unclear. Like, the initial feature states "you regain 2 Focus Points when you Refocus, up to your maximum of 2". This does not adequately cover what happens when your maximum is not 2. Clarity of Focus doesn't actually make it clearer. "Increase the number of Focus Points in your focus pool by 1. This ability doesn't change the number of Focus Points you regain when you Refocus." Like, there are a number of ways you could take that, at least some of which are obviously dumb.

There's an argument to be made on To Good To Be True, but it's a weak argument, and most of its points are folded into other things already, so I'm not going to bother with it.

So I guess my final conclusion is that RAW is sufficiently unclear that it really does call for GM adjudication, but for a few different reasons I find it difficult to believe that "Psychic Jank Master" is RAI.


Pyschic wrote:
you regain 2 Focus Points when you Refocus, up to your maximum of 2

So at level 5 when your focus pool becomes maximum 3 you can't refocus to 3? Because it hasn't also changed the focus pool size to 3 in the refocus statement, just the maximum pool size?

I think you are spliting hairs here. Surely changing your maximum focus pool to 3 is also a change the maximum here. That would be natural language.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

If they ever errata it, it would be much clearer if it was either:

“. . . up to a maximum of 2.”

Or

“. . . up to your maximum.”

Whichever was intended.


I really don't think the language allows your interpretation here.
your maximum of 2 implies the maximum is the pyschics maximum, not a new specific limit in the refocus ability.
your maximum would be clear as it can only be your maximum.
a maximum of 2 leaves open a second maximum.


Honestly, I think that line is only there and deliberately refers to your initial 2 focus pool is because recovering 2 focus points is not something you normally have to worry about at 1st level. No other class can recover 2 that early, but getting your focus pool to 2 or 3 is pretty normal by comparison.

I think it's a good small clarification to have for a unique 1st level feature. I do agree it could be clearer to make sure that "maximum of 2" isn't misconstrued as a separate entity from your focus pool, which can and will increase to 3.


I suspect the two step of "spend 2 focus points to cast an amp cantrip and another cantrip from a different class, spend 10 minutes to refocus one, use an amp out of combat, spent 10 minutes to refocus 2, so you're topped off" is not intentional (after all, other classes can't benefit from "extra time spent refocusing") and will receive errata.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
PossibleCabbage wrote:
after all, other classes can't benefit from "extra time spent refocusing

Other classes don't get worse at refocusing if they take an archetype either. Other classes don't lose spell slots to be better at refocusing.

I actually think you're right about the errata, I just don't think 'other classes' is a good argument, because psychics pay a big premium for what they get.

Hopefully when they do they throw a bone to 12+ psychics too, since that will make that problem even more obvious.


Yeah, I think that "expanding to refocus 3 if all you've done is amps" naturally through class features is reasonable. After all, the oracle gets refocus 3 for free because the class wants you to play with their focus spells since the push/pull of power/pain is entirely based on your focus spells. But the Psychic is also the "we want you to use your amps" because that's your basic shtick, so I'd give them refocus 3 at 17th level anyway.

I think the current state actually pushes you to multiclass to get focus spells since the "amp + other focus spell, refocus 1, then amp, refocus 2" thing actually makes focus spells from other classes more attractive (other classes don't get refocus 2 without a feat until 12th level). Which I think is the opposite of what you want.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
I think the current state actually pushes you to multiclass to get focus spells

I haven't played a Psychic with a multiclass focus spell yet tbf, but does it really push you that much? Even with the amp + refocus 2 trick, the reduced refocus feels like a decent deterrent. The time to do the trick isn't nothing.

If a Sorcerer, no focus feat, and a Psychic, using at least 1 multiclass focus spell, uses all 3 focus points in an encounter, they both refocus to 1 for 10 minutes. If they both have an extra 10 minutes, they can use 1 good out-of-combat focus spell, let's say they both have Lay on Hands, and then they both refocus back to 1. If the Psychic wanted to go back to 2, they would've needed to amp a psi cantrip instead, most of which have no out-of-combat application. They gave up a Lay on Hands casting, or anything else useful really, to go back to 2 so they have a slight focus point advantage on the next encounter.

But if the Psychic only amped psi cantrips that encounter, they could refocus all the way up to 3 in those 20 minutes. That's a bigger focus point advantage on the next encounter but at the cost of being limited to psi cantrips for both the encounter and after combat recovery period and exclusively refocusing. The Sorcerer, on the other hand, is free to do anything in their second 10 minutes. It feels like an even trade-off between getting the focus point advantage for the next encounter and the freedom to do more than just refocusing. To me, the balance here seems to be working properly.

As a Psychic, you would need 30 minutes to have full focus spell freedom during combat if you want to be able to refocus back to 3. Of course, you're stuck refocusing the entire time. The Sorcerer would still have only 1 focus point next encounter but now they have 20 minutes to do anything they want. So I guess it all depends how much time your GM consistently gives you between encounters to recover consequence-free.

I may have to try a Psychic with a multiclass focus spell just to see this firsthand.


Psychic, like Monk, is what I call a jealous class. They either have so many must-have class feats, or class features that aren't super compatible with other class features like this refocus trick that discourages using other class focus spells

Now, MCing INTO Psychic is another matter. Their dedication is a pretty good deal


Yeah, it’s funny going from Oracles with my mouth watering at the sight of every non-cursebound focus spells I could get for cheap through archetypes to avoiding focus spells altogether as a Psychic. At the same time, they’re both the most focus point heavy classes we have so far. It’s also amusing that the Psychic dedication is one of the best in terms of class compatibility while the Oracle dedication is one of the worst.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Again, the psychic is already so flush with competitive amps that I don't see much need to poach focus spells through multiclassing. Is much rather get more slots.


Baarogue wrote:

Now, MCing INTO Psychic is another matter. Their dedication is a pretty good deal

Yeah, that's quite annoying.

Had to ( no damage with just can trips) mc psychic to have the damage boost I required with my magus.

Compared to let's say a sun domain cleric, it has many advantages:

- you can get it with either cha and int ( and a magus would probably have a good int score), so double stats.
- no alignment requirements
- no edicts/anathema
- extra focus point from dedication
- larger damage die ( 1d8 vs 1d6 )
- force damage

I mean, I like the psychic concept, but come on!

But even with guidance or shield or ray of frost I can see some good builds ( not necessarily with a magus).

Currently, one of the best dedications.

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