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  • Focus and Classes

    I am currently reading the corebook for the first time and there's something I've noticed: none of the core classes have any combat ability focus in 1st level. Is this correct or am I wrong? So, mages don't start with Accuracy (Arcane Blast) focus? I know they gain focuses due to background and race, but I found weird there's no specific combat focus for any class at first level.

  • #2
    Re: Focus and Classes

    It's correct. Characters do not get a 'combat focus' at level 1. It is something they will have to invest in (and most likely will) during their adventures.

    Do note though that there is a difference between weapon training (proficiency) and the focus. They do get the proficiencies at level 1.

    e.g. Mages gain proficiencies in the weapon groups "Brawling" and "Staves". Without this they would get a -2 penalty and half damage when using weapons from these weapon groups (see Weapon Training @ p54).

    In the big picture it fits very well with character progession. Basically a level 1 character, who has just begun/is about to start adventuring might have trained a bit with a weapon before (weapon groups), so they're not completely bad with it (no -2 penalty and half damage). When they gain more experience during their adventures they "focus" on improving with those types of weapons (pick up a combat focus to gain a +2 bonus to hit).

    Now I guess if a player wants to have a character & background where they are really proficient with a weapon, they could discuss this with their GM and perhaps give up something else to gain the combat focus for that weapon group. However people should refrain from giving too much to level 1 characters, they are level 1 for a reason.

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    • #3
      Re: Focus and Classes

      Thank you Gerben! I like your line of reasoning about being 1st level adventurers and having proficiencies (so they don't suck at it) but not focus (so they don't excel at it...yet). The think is I've just read the "Gaining Levels" part and it's stated there that they gain a new ability focus in their primary ability at every even level, so by level 2 all of them can pick up their first combat ability focus.

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      • #4
        Re: Focus and Classes

        That's true, they can pick it up at level 2 if they want to and most players will do so. It's a quick win in combat. Technically they can gain +3 to hit on their 2nd level if they pick up the focus and get a +ability in Accuracy or Fighting (depending on class).

        It depends a bit on wether they want to or not. Some players might favor another focus, especially mages who might rely more on their spells rather than their arcane device could do so. Or players who already have a fairly high ability score for accuracy or fighting might skip the focus at level 2.

        I think I personally would've liked it if the combat focus could not be picked up until a later level to get more of that character progression feel since at an early level (especially level 2) it is quite a big boost.

        As opposed to other TRPGs in Fantasy AGE, at some point the attack roll becomes more of a formality. The damage however can be reduced a lot by armor. You could ofcourse change this by creating creatures with very high defense to give the idea of a very agile creature who seemingly can't be hit.

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        • #5
          Re: Focus and Classes

          Its one of the things in FA's Dragon Age parent that made there be more of a difference between 1st and 2nd level characters than any other single level difference IME>

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          • #6
            Re: Focus and Classes

            Originally posted by Darkdreamer View Post
            Its one of the things in FA's Dragon Age parent that made there be more of a difference between 1st and 2nd level characters than any other single level difference IME>
            Except if you did that, you were ultimately burning that focus if you were playing with RAW superior material rules (which seem to have been silently discarded).

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            • #7
              Re: Focus and Classes

              Originally posted by shonuff View Post
              Except if you did that, you were ultimately burning that focus if you were playing with RAW superior material rules (which seem to have been silently discarded).
              True, but you were going to get a lot of them over a career, and how long did you want to wait to see if you found a silverite sword to come along? It could take quite a while, and in the mean time you had that +2 working for you, and by the time you did get one, were you going to desperately miss one more focus, something you get every level?

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              • #8
                Re: Focus and Classes

                You only get 10 per attribute priority, though, and you've got your taxes already.

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                • #9
                  Re: Focus and Classes

                  Originally posted by shonuff View Post
                  You only get 10 per attribute priority, though, and you've got your taxes already.
                  But especially as a Warrior, how many of those do you really need? You probably want Con (Stamina) and your primary weapons, maybe Initiative. The rest aren't going to be all that critical anyway unless you have some kind of side specialization (in the general, not specialist-talent sense), and those are just as like to be in your non-priority attributes. Maybe it'd be more of a question if all the materials provided free foci, but its only the top end ones anyway.

                  And of course that's not an issue in FAGE.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Focus and Classes

                    Originally posted by Darkdreamer View Post
                    But especially as a Warrior, how many of those do you really need? You probably want Con (Stamina) and your primary weapons, maybe Initiative. The rest aren't going to be all that critical anyway unless you have some kind of side specialization (in the general, not specialist-talent sense), and those are just as like to be in your non-priority attributes. Maybe it'd be more of a question if all the materials provided free foci, but its only the top end ones anyway.
                    The top end of Set 2 maybe. All of the ones from the Set 3 Playtest had a focus benefit (some had both). They may have been dropped though, although Jack said they'd be completed at some point. And Stamina,Initiative, Might, and Acrobatics are all incredibly useful - that's a potential 8 right there, leaving 3-4 for things like Swimming, Stealth, etc. and yeah, a weapon focus would take priority over one that's simply nice to have, but if you're getting the weapon focus later, it'd still be burned eventually.

                    And of course that's not an issue in FAGE.
                    True, unless they decide to use materials rules again.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Focus and Classes

                      Originally posted by shonuff View Post
                      The top end of Set 2 maybe. All of the ones from the Set 3 Playtest had a focus benefit (some had both). They may have been dropped though, although Jack said they'd be completed at some point. And Stamina,Initiative, Might, and Acrobatics are all incredibly useful - that's a potential 8 right there, leaving 3-4 for things like Swimming, Stealth, etc. and yeah, a weapon focus would take priority over one that's simply nice to have, but if you're getting the weapon focus later, it'd still be burned eventually.
                      That may well be--I don't have my playtest copy any more. But what actually appeared in the complete game caps out at Silverite and Ironbark, and that's what most people are presumably using (my case is different, but then, I houserules materials so they don't do focus or talent bonuses, so its moot.


                      True, unless they decide to use materials rules again.
                      Well, the specific DA take on materials. That's kind of a big if. I doubt how those rules went about it is how most people would do special materials if they were doing them from scratch for AGE. It certainly isn't what would even have vaguely occurred to me (other than the Strength offset).

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                      • #12
                        Re: Focus and Classes

                        Originally posted by Darkdreamer View Post
                        That may well be--I don't have my playtest copy any more. But what actually appeared in the complete game caps out at Silverite and Ironbark, and that's what most people are presumably using (my case is different, but then, I houserules materials so they don't do focus or talent bonuses, so its moot.
                        IDK. The specific materials were suitable for 6-10, and only encompassed half of the lore's materials. The playtest, while not being the official third part, was written and released by GR as playable and was an extrapolation of existing rules and existing lore. Until something official is released, I'd say it's as close to official as you're going to get on in-game resources.



                        Well, the specific DA take on materials. That's kind of a big if. I doubt how those rules went about it is how most people would do special materials if they were doing them from scratch for AGE. It certainly isn't what would even have vaguely occurred to me (other than the Strength offset).
                        While this could be a D-AGE issue, the problem is the D-AGE rules set a precedent. They're also by-and-large an easy port. You have both the Midgard and DA settings portable into AGE with extensive bestiaries, spells, and specializations. Why not material rules? Iron and steel are universal; star-metal and Dragonbone could be. Mithril, silver, and adamantine could be added.

                        And granted, F-AGE could be going the alternarnate route. The superior material rules could have been dropped because they realized they were bad. IMO, not enough supplementary material has been released to see whether they've omitted as deletion or not.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Focus and Classes

                          Originally posted by shonuff View Post
                          IDK. The specific materials were suitable for 6-10, and only encompassed half of the lore's materials. The playtest, while not being the official third part, was written and released by GR as playable and was an extrapolation of existing rules and existing lore. Until something official is released, I'd say it's as close to official as you're going to get on in-game resources.

                          None the less, its not in the book, so I'm not willing to assume most people are using it.


                          While this could be a D-AGE issue, the problem is the D-AGE rules set a precedent. They're also by-and-large an easy port. You have both the Midgard and DA settings portable into AGE with extensive bestiaries, spells, and specializations. Why not material rules? Iron and steel are universal; star-metal and Dragonbone could be. Mithril, silver, and adamantine could be added.
                          Well, on the simplest level, because far from all the people using FAGE have DAGE.


                          And granted, F-AGE could be going the alternarnate route. The superior material rules could have been dropped because they realized they were bad. IMO, not enough supplementary material has been released to see whether they've omitted as deletion or not.
                          Or they could just decide they aren't that important a deal outside of DAGE. I'll note FAGE doesn't have any poison rules, either.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Focus and Classes

                            Originally posted by Darkdreamer View Post
                            None the less, its not in the book, so I'm not willing to assume most people are using it.
                            Upgrading equipment isn't in a book, either, but it's in the Varric pdf. And again, the materials missing are common ones in the game - if you've beaten DA:O, you've gotten Dragonbone and star-metal. It wouldn't be too difficult to extrapolate the RAW materials to get the others.



                            Well, on the simplest level, because far from all the people using FAGE have DAGE.



                            Or they could just decide they aren't that important a deal outside of DAGE. I'll note FAGE doesn't have any poison rules, either.
                            But again DAGE is an easy port. How many threads are about new spells, specializations, or mobs? You could pick up the core book and the Midgard campaign setting/bestiary and boom: about 30 specializations and over 100 spells and mobs. Plus poison rules, mass combat, organizations.

                            And as much as FAGE is a copy/paste job from DAGE, I find it hard to believe they'll change how those rules work.

                            While they may have decided that materials aren't a big deal, I think it as likely that they'll use the different settings. Dwemer and Daedric are in Tamriel, but not Thedas; mithril and obsidian are D&D staples; Valyrian steels is a part of ASoIF.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Focus and Classes

                              Originally posted by shonuff View Post
                              Upgrading equipment isn't in a book, either, but it's in the Varric pdf. And again, the materials missing are common ones in the game - if you've beaten DA:O, you've gotten Dragonbone and star-metal. It wouldn't be too difficult to extrapolate the RAW materials to get the others.

                              I'm not willing to assume the default DA GM is putting herbalism/alchemy in either, and that features pretty prominantly in the games, too. You have an argument that the metals are simpler, but that still gets back to the question of how much people are going to extrapolate to get higher metals when they don't need to, and can just magic up the extent ones (which they have to do too, and will anyway).

                              But again DAGE is an easy port. How many threads are about new spells, specializations, or mobs? You could pick up the core book and the Midgard campaign setting/bestiary and boom: about 30 specializations and over 100 spells and mobs. Plus poison rules, mass combat, organizations.
                              Its also a pretty pricey way to get them if you don't also want the setting info. Reading the posts on here and elsewhere doesn't suggest to me that the majority are doing so.

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