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Focuses: More Consistent and Diverse

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  • Focuses: More Consistent and Diverse

    So, one of the aspects of DA I have changed in my games a little bit is the approach to the Focuses.

    In the RAW, a Focus will grant a +2 bonus to a roll, and that will increase to +3 once the character hits the point where they can opt to advance the Focus (I forget the exact level this happens at offhand, I want to say 6 though and that it is a part of the Set 2 rules). What if we bring the Focuses in line with the Talents and such to provide them with three distinct levels (a Novice, Journeyman, and Master level as it were). So, it would range then from a +1 to a +3 on the particular roll. This small change allows for a little further level of distinction in characters as they could have the Focus at one of 4 ranges (No Focus, Novice, Journeyman, Master) rather than the RAW 3 (No Focus, Baseline Focus, Improved Focus) and as mentioned keeps the Focuses in line with the principle used in most other areas of the character. Now, with the +1 and +2 versions of the Focuses, I would say that both should be options starting at Level 1. Basically, this means a low level character can still push a Focus to the +2 bonus that they are accustomed to, but that they could also reflect a lesser degree of skill in the field. Now, this also means we need to address a couple things to keep stuff in line with the RAW and make this change more fluid.

    First is actual Character Generation. Normally in Character Generation it is assumed that the Focuses you get will be at a +2 bonus (meaning the Focus choice you get, and the potential Focuses you may get from your two rolls on the chart for your Background), and I think it should stay that way. This helps to reflect the dedication you have placed into these Focuses for the life you have lived up to the game start (your professional abilities as it were). Now, that means Character Generation is not actually generating us any +1 Focuses as it stands, so to include that as a possible scenario we grant the Player 2 Focus Points to spend as they see fit (personal hobbies and all). These can be used to generate two Focuses at a +1 bonus or one Focus at a +2 bonus. Sure, they may have more Focuses to start the game out, but I do not see this causing much of a balance issue.

    The next potential point of contention would come during the Character Advancement process (you know, the Level Up). As it stands in RAW, the character gets a single Focus for either their Primary (even level) or Secondary (odd level) Abilities. In RAW this would generate a +2, but with the modification we can change the Character Advancement to be "Receive 2 Focus Points to spend on Focuses from your Primary/Secondary (this would still depend on the even or odd Level) Abilities." So, now we can still generate our +2 Focus just like before, or we could opt into getting two +1 Focuses, or increasing a former +1 to a +2 while getting a new +1 Focus. Finally we need to deal with our +3 options, which is simple enough to keep the RAW scope. To raise a Focus from +2 to +3 requires the spending of 2 Focus Points. This means it still "costs" as much as always, and really just rewords the concept to fit with the Focus Point system. More options for the Player, and since Abilities start using the Ability Point system later on (and arguably from Level 1 actually, it was just not coined as such in older Sets) it makes the Leveling process more consistent as well.

    This is just something I have been tooling around with in my head, and tried briefly in my last DA game and will be running with in my next one. I think I may have also seen someone on the forums mention the idea before, but I think it is a great HR that can add a bit more to the game without complicating it too much. Feel free to chime in thoughts on the idea, good or bad

    EDIT: Updated the OP to better flesh out the system in detail, accounting for a bit discussed in the comments below. This should now contain full details on the new system for handling Focuses in DA.
    Last edited by Red Eye; 11-14-2014, 01:04 PM.
    Dragon Age: Requiem

  • #2
    Re: Focuses: More Consistent and Diverse

    The extra level of dedication is attractive. The main issue is the limited number of opportunities to gain a new Focus. Players may feel a bit short-changed if the 1st Focus only brought a +1. I suggest having the 3rd focus provide a +4.

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    • #3
      Re: Focuses: More Consistent and Diverse

      Originally posted by WamblingWombat View Post
      The extra level of dedication is attractive. The main issue is the limited number of opportunities to gain a new Focus. Players may feel a bit short-changed if the 1st Focus only brought a +1. I suggest having the 3rd focus provide a +4.
      I suppose another alternative is to allow the player two Focus "points" whenever they would ordinarily gain a Focus, including at character creation; that player can either put both points into a single Focus (granting +2, so essentially the same as having a Focus in the RAW), or he/she can put one point into two different skills (such as Persuasion and Deception) and get +1 to each.

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      • #4
        Re: Focuses: More Consistent and Diverse

        Originally posted by DrawGreeny View Post
        I suppose another alternative is to allow the player two Focus "points" whenever they would ordinarily gain a Focus, including at character creation; that player can either put both points into a single Focus (granting +2, so essentially the same as having a Focus in the RAW), or he/she can put one point into two different skills (such as Persuasion and Deception) and get +1 to each.
        I like it. Now if we can just get the authors of the spreadsheets to include that as an option ...

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        • #5
          Re: Focuses: More Consistent and Diverse

          Originally posted by DrawGreeny View Post
          I suppose another alternative is to allow the player two Focus "points" whenever they would ordinarily gain a Focus, including at character creation; that player can either put both points into a single Focus (granting +2, so essentially the same as having a Focus in the RAW), or he/she can put one point into two different skills (such as Persuasion and Deception) and get +1 to each.
          And that is why I posted this, getting a different idea of how to approach it. So, pretty well thinking this will be my approach with it this time around.
          Dragon Age: Requiem

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          • #6
            Re: Focuses: More Consistent and Diverse

            I think I will also, to help keep it consistent with RAW but still add the extra diversity, require that pushing a Focus to Master (+3) level will require 2 Focus Points to do when the time comes, this way the Player still pays essentially the same rate to get up to that +3 bump later on.
            Dragon Age: Requiem

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            • #7
              Re: Focuses: More Consistent and Diverse

              Ok, I edited and cleaned up the OP so that the system is fully described and detailed there (including the concepts were discussed in the thread). The system feels pretty comprehensive at this point and should be ready to easily hack right into any DA session (new or ongoing).
              Dragon Age: Requiem

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