Author Topic: How good a focus would a focus be?  (Read 511 times)

Senko

  • Ace Runner
  • ****
  • Posts: 2406
How good a focus would a focus be?
« on: (20:33:19/03-01-17) »
Idle musing here but if you got ahold of (stole) a bound focus (type doesn't matter) of another mage how good a focus would it make for targeting spells against them? That is would it work as a material link like hair, skin, blood and the like. Better since its tied up with their magic or worse because it goes inert without being in contact?

Kiirnodel

  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Ace Runner
  • *
  • Posts: 1049
Re: How good a focus would a focus be?
« Reply #1 on: (23:36:24/03-01-17) »
Foci always carry the astral signature of the one that bound it. Therefore it could be used for Astral Tracking.

Additionally, Sympathetic links only need to be held and used by someone to establish a connection, so assuming that the target used and carried the focus for a long time, it could be used for that as well.

I don't think it could be used as a material link though.

Reaver

  • Prime Runner
  • *****
  • Posts: 5387
  • 60% alcohol 40% asshole...
Re: How good a focus would a focus be?
« Reply #2 on: (00:14:30/03-02-17) »
What Kiirnodel said.

A material link must come directly from the subject.

Now, that doesn't out right say a focus couldn't also qualify as that. There are some twisted, freaky shit out there when one jumps into the deep end of insanity.
Where am I going? And why am I in a hand basket ???

Remember: You can't fix Stupid. But you can beat on it with a 2x4 until it smartens up! Or dies.

Senko

  • Ace Runner
  • ****
  • Posts: 2406
Re: How good a focus would a focus be?
« Reply #3 on: (17:03:29/03-02-17) »
So troublesome if lost/stolen but not as bad as hair or toenail clippings, good to know thanks.

Kiirnodel

  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Ace Runner
  • *
  • Posts: 1049
Re: How good a focus would a focus be?
« Reply #4 on: (17:56:41/03-02-17) »
Yeah, basically means that it can be used to help track you down, which helps with rituals that require a Spotter. But it would require a metamagic to be able to use it for Material Link rituals (Sympathetic Linking).

Senko

  • Ace Runner
  • ****
  • Posts: 2406
Re: How good a focus would a focus be?
« Reply #5 on: (05:13:42/03-03-17) »
Yeah, basically means that it can be used to help track you down, which helps with rituals that require a Spotter. But it would require a metamagic to be able to use it for Material Link rituals (Sympathetic Linking).

Oh a metamagic for police mages there then.

Kiirnodel

  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Ace Runner
  • *
  • Posts: 1049
Re: How good a focus would a focus be?
« Reply #6 on: (06:35:01/03-03-17) »
Yeah Psychometry (and its other associated Metamagics) are pretty closely tied to magical detective work. I think they have a sidebar on something like that on those pages...

The Wyrm Ouroboros

  • Prime Runner
  • *****
  • Posts: 4402
  • I Have Taken All Shadowrun To Be My Province
    • VU93 Writeup for The Wyrm Ouroboros
Re: How good a focus would a focus be?
« Reply #7 on: (05:08:54/03-10-17) »
I don't recall the technicals on ritual magic any more, but IMO a bound focus is the most ideal link there is.  Hair and nails are fine sympathetic links, but they're still sympathetic links, and have a reduced efficiency.  A bound focus is a real, actual, direct link.

To use 'water transference' metaphors, using the hair and nails would be like using a long piece of cloth in a 'U' shape as a way to transfer water.  It'll work, but you're going to lose liquid.  Having a focus bound to the individual is like having actual pipe - it might be leaky here and there, but most of the water is going to get to the destination.
Pananagutan & End/Line

Old As McBean, Twice As Mean
"Oh, gee - it's Go-Frag-Yourself-O'Clock."
New Wyrm!! Now with Twice the Bastard!!

Laés is ... I forget. -PiXeL01
Play the game. Don't try to win it.

Kiirnodel

  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Ace Runner
  • *
  • Posts: 1049
Re: How good a focus would a focus be?
« Reply #8 on: (05:32:48/03-10-17) »
Ummm, no? Fresh (not yet degraded) hair and nails are Material Links, they were a part of the person's body, so they serve as the strongest links. They aren't sympathetic links, which is something described in Street Grimoire and can only be used if you have the proper metamagic (which allows you to use sympathetic links in place of material links for the requisite rituals.

Those rituals normally require a Material LInk, which is something that was a part of the person's body, allowing the ritual to target the subject by the bond of shared living material. That's why Material links are only viable for a short time, that bond degrades as the tissue being used as a material link dies off. Sympathetic Links, on the other hand, can be used through Psychometry, using the "psychic" link that a person makes with an object that they use over an extended period of time.

A focus was never part of the person's body, but you are correct that they do share the person's aura. But don't forget that a focus also has its own aura, which means it is still its own unique thing. That's why they can't be used as material links. A GM allowing them to be used as sympathetic links for a longer time than normal seems reasonable (normally sympathetic links are viable for double the amount of time that they were carried/used by the person). And of course, since they have the bonded person's astral signature, it can also be used for astral tracking like I mentioned before.

A better analogy would be like using crime scene evidence for matching to a person. Material Links are like DNA matching, while Sympathetic Links are like fingerprints. DNA matching is stronger, but more subject to degredation. Sympathetic Links generally last longer, but they can still get smudged and wear out. Its just that in the case of the Shadowrun setting, only specially trained people can use "fingerprints" but every mage can use a DNA sample and sick a ritual on whoever they happen to have. There's also Symbolic Linking (like voodoo dolls), but that's like using witness testimony, very finicky.

The Wyrm Ouroboros

  • Prime Runner
  • *****
  • Posts: 4402
  • I Have Taken All Shadowrun To Be My Province
    • VU93 Writeup for The Wyrm Ouroboros
Re: How good a focus would a focus be?
« Reply #9 on: (23:30:43/03-15-17) »
Like I said - been a while.  But ah, to be back in the time when losing a focus bound to you was a serious, serious issue ...
Pananagutan & End/Line

Old As McBean, Twice As Mean
"Oh, gee - it's Go-Frag-Yourself-O'Clock."
New Wyrm!! Now with Twice the Bastard!!

Laés is ... I forget. -PiXeL01
Play the game. Don't try to win it.