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The Focus Enchantment is immensely attractive to a caster of Spells, because it significantly lowers the RD of spellcasting attempts.

The Focus Enchantment is almost only available via the item creation method of Endowing (Satanic Rites can also create some Focus Enchantments, and possibly Divine Bless Item - this later has not yet been finally decided), and affects either a given set of Spells, from all Spells and down to a single Spell. The only effect of the Focus Enchantment is to lower the RD of Spellcasting attempts, that are covered by it, by the grade of the Focus Enchantment, but since this is typically an RD bonus of -2, -3 or -4, it helps a lot.

An item that contains one or more Focus Enchantments is called a Focus item, and the primary Focus item of a spellcaster is almst always his most prized possession. Depriving him of it, by stealing it (for one's own use) or destroying it, is an act of extreme hostility. If the Focus item is stolen, the original owner is greatly weakened, and is quite likely to become obsessed with getting it back, often to the point of being willing to take huge risks. Destroying a spellcaster's primary Focus item is the equivalent of castrating a man. His Focus is gone, and he's unlikely to ever get another one, snce in most cases he will have Enchanted it himself, spending most of his Essence on it. The most likely, and most natural, course for such a victim to take is therefore to seek revenge. At. All. Costs.

The Essence cost of a Focus Enchantment is affected by the size of the item, with large-but-holdable items like Staffs getting a small yet nice discount. For this reason, in most worlds, the typical Focus item will be a staff.

All the below should probably go into the World section

That said, stealing or destroying the Focus item of an enemy can be an act of great cheekiness, a display of massive superiority. Just be warned that the mere act of talking about stealing someone's Focus item is likely to create an extreme response.

A character who has had his primary Focus item destroyed will want to get another, either before or after he has gotten truly medieval on the ass of the destroyer. With most likely all his Essence already expended on the original item, and there being no real market for Focus items in a realistic setting (or indeed any market for any kind of permanent magical item), the two options are to get small Essence donations from close friends and relatives, each donating a few tenths of a point by putting one weak Focus Enchantment into the new item (which amounts to very little), or else stealing and robbing one.

The later can happen if a spellcaster's primary Focus item is merely suspected stolen. He'll want to get it back, but before he embarks on such a quest he might well steal a Focus item from a third person, so he has some power during the quest. From his point of view he's merely borrowing this other Focus item and will happily return it as soon as he gets his own item back (and has exacted an appropriate - i.e. excessive - revenge), but from the point of view of the second theft victim, it's no fun at all, and there's always the possibility that he won't get his item back, perhaps because it turns out the first thief destroyed the first item after all.

For this reason, a spellcasting character who loses his primary Focus item is likely to be seen as a danger by the surrounding world. Seen as someone with a high probability of becoming a Focus-thief or Focus-robber. Particularly those other spellcasters whose preferred Realms match those of the victim, will be wary of him. On the other hand, the victim's close friends and close relatives are likely to drop everything to help him get the Focus item back (if it is destroyed, or suspected destroyed, they'll be less likely to help him on a quest of vengange).

Therefore, if you want to steal a Focus, steal from a spellcaster who has few or no friends. And who has few Skills apart from spellcasting. This later makes double sense: The more of a spellcaster the item's owner is, the more Essence he's likely to have been born with, and the greater a proportion of his Essence will be put towards Focus Enchantments, as opposed to other Enchantments. Sagatafl does not have character classes, but in terms of character concepts, the best Focus theft victims are single-classed spellcasters, and the worst are ones who are primarily something else but who also cast Spells as a secondary thing, like the Ärth setting character Sláine of Ulster. Granted, his magic bow greatly enhances his archery, in addition to being a weak Focus for Green Magic, but Sláine is the kind of scarily ressourceful character who would still be extremely dangerous without his bow. Also, he's an expert at getting medieval on people's asses. If you want to steal a Focus item, steal from a victim, a spellcaster built on 55-90 Goodie Points. Not from someone like Sláine.

Note: Much of the above should be moved down into the article, mainly in the World Impact section.


The Focus Enchantment

A Enchantment can be of 13 different types. 7 are called Simple Focus Enchantments, while the last 6 are called Complex Focus Enchantments.

In each case, the Focus Enchantmentis defined by what it affects, and by its grade, and serves to lower the RD of relevant Spellcasting attempts by the grade.

As a quick example, Gerardo of Barcelona has a Focus item, which among other Enchantments, contains Focus III for Fire Magic and Frost Magic (a Realm Pair). He wants to cast a Fire Bolt II Spell, and since it belongs to the Fire Magic Realm, it is covered by the effect of this Focus Enchantment, and so the RD is lowered by 3, enabling Gerardo to cast the Spell quicker (on average, he'll complete the Spellcasting Task in fewer roll cycles) and more safely (he's less likely to Fumble).

Simple Focus Enchantment

A Simple Focus Enchantment can affect one of these, sorted by rising Essence cost:

Complex Focus Enchantment

A Complex Focus Enchantment can be on of six types:

  • A Realm, with an Edge of one Spell or Greater Spell
  • A Category, with an Edge of one sub-Realm or Greater sub-Realm
  • All Spells, with an Edge of one Realm
  • A Category, with a Limited effect on one Realm
  • All Spells, but with a Limited effect on one Category
  • A Realm Pair

Starting from the bottom, a Realm Pair is simply one out of five paired Realms, where a Focus Enchantment costs a bit less Essence than the sum cost of two separate single-Realm Enchantments.

A Limited Focus must be at least grade II, and affects either an entire Category, or All Spells, but has a limited effect. For one Realm or one Category, respectively, it counts as one grade lower. It therefore also costs sligtly less than a Category or All Spells Focus Enchantment that is not Limited.

An Edge Focus counts as one grade higher for its Edge. It can therefore be seen as the opposite of a Limited Focus. An Edge Focus can be for one Realm, one Category, or All Spells, and costs somewhat more than a non-Edge Focus of the same type.

Examples, Complex Foci

Note that above, a Realm Pair example has already been given

Example, Limited Focus

Example, Edge Focus


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The world

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See also

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