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Dashifen
QUOTE ("SR4 p. 191 under Weapon Foci")
Weapon foci add magical power to an Awakened characterís melee attacks.

In physical combat, weapon foci add their Force in dice to the characterís dice pool for melee attacks. The character still relies on her Physical attributes and skills in combat; the weapon focus merely makes him more effective. This also applies to astrally perceiving characters fighting an opponent on the astral plane. Weapon foci are effective against astral forms and continue to add their Force in dice against such enemies.

An astrally projecting character takes her weapon focus with him to the astral plane. Making an attack with a weapon focus in astral space relies on the characterís Willpower + Astral Combat dice pool (see Astral Combat, p. 184), but this dice pool is increased by the Force of the weapon focus. The damage of the weapon is the same on the astral plane as it is in the physical world.


No where does it say that the Weapon Focus needs to be a weapon in those paragraphs that I can tell, only that when in combat, the force of the Focus is added to the dice pool for an attack. In the explanatory text from p. 190-191 under Foci in the book it only says that the "physical representation of a focus can vary."

The cost in Karma to bond a Weapon Focus is (3 + Weapon Reach) x Force, but if you're, say, a Bear shaman your weapon focus could be the bear claws (not the pastries biggrin.gif) you wear about your neck. These would have reach of 0, as they're not weapons (okay, so they are if they're still attached to the bear) thus the karma to bond this focus would be simply 3 x Force.

Thoughts? Did I miss something pertinent in the rules?
Dashifen
Damn ... meant to write this in the above post. Anyway, I do see that it says "The damage of the weapon is the same on the astral plan as it is in the physical world," but that still doesn't mean the focus has to be the weapon as your fists could be the "weapon" you use on the Astral plane since it's all based on your Astral Combat roll anyway.
Thanee
If you wanted to write something in the above post, why don't you just edit it? wink.gif

Anyways... I think a weapon focus needs to be a weapon.

Bye
Thanee
Azralon
Yeah, it's a weapon focus, implying pretty strongly that it's a weapon.

In your Bear example, I'd give him an enchanted fur mitten or two to wear on his hands and call that his weapon focus. The claws could maybe do +0P damage (in the physical and astral worlds).
Dashifen
QUOTE (Thanee)
If you wanted to write something in the above post, why don't you just edit it? wink.gif

Because I was worried that someone might already be replying to the original topic. If I edit it, it's unclear that this happened unless I remember to click the the checkbox which include the "edited on ...." line in the post.
mfb
well, i dunno. a spell focus isn't a spell, and a spirit focus isn't a spirit. if the text doesn't specifically state that you have to hit someone with your weapon focus in order to gain the benefits, i'd allow a weapon focus for unarmed combat that you don't wear on any striking surface. though, things get sick and weird as soon as reach comes into the equation.
Dashifen
That was actually my counter argument as well. I guess to me it makes very little sense to make your weapon focus a weapon. Make it a ring or a belt buckle or something my more innocuous than the katana that you mystically conceal in a trenchcoat (go Highlander!).
mfb
come to think, the quoted text doesn't limit using your weapon focus to a single form of attack. as stated, you could wear your force 5 claymore on your back and get the benefits when you punch people. here, reach makes things even sicker and weirder.
Dashifen
True, but you wouldn't get the reach benefits of the claymore if it's strapped to your back, just the extra 5 dice from the focus.
Kanada Ten
Were I to allow a weapon focus to be separate from the weapon(s) used in combat, then I would say that Reach in the bonding formula represents the highest reach weapon it functions with. However, I believe the rule intent is that the weapon be the focus.
mfb
me too. but i really like the idea of a guy who wears bear claws around his neck, and hits like a sack full of locomotives as a result.
Kanada Ten
QUOTE (mfb)
me too. but i really like the idea of a guy who wears bear claws around his neck, and hits like a sack full of locomotives as a result.

Anchored Enhanced Strength? Do they have those in SR4?
Thanee
Not yet. wink.gif

Bye
Thanee
Glyph
Mystic adept with killing hands and critical strike? Or just have the weapon focus be a pair of magical brass knuckles.

Heh. Reminds me of the old debates we had, about adepts of the magician's way using shock glove weapon foci along with improved ability in unarmed combat, the ambidexterity rules, and a touch spell. biggrin.gif
Dranem
As in SR3, when they had to elaborate that a focus required a certain amount of Oricalcum depending on the force, I see they'll have to do it here for SR4. The rare magical ore is the primary reason for the horrendous cost of foci.

If you've played SR long enough, you should know by now that a weapon focus is tied to the weapon itself, and hence can only benefit attacks with the item. wink.gif

I'm anxious for the magic book to come out, I have an SR3 Talismonger trapped in conversion, as there are no rules for them yet in the new edition... despite the fact they have one in the contacts section. grrrr.
Jhaiisiin
My group has always played as the weapon focus being a weapon itself. It states you can take your weapon into the astral as a result. Can't take a sword into the astral unless it has an astral form, hence the weapon focus needing to be a weapon to work.
Cain
Yeah, but then things get weird when you start thinking about unarmed combat. Gloves aren't really weapons, they're just add-ons-- your hands and your feet (or elbows, knees, forehead, etc.) are your weapons. And since you can get the benefits of an unarmed combat focus even if you're not using it to hit people with-- you're wearing gloves as your focus, but it works for your kicks as well-- the thought of a weapon focus that just helps out overall doesn't seem too terrible.
Jhaiisiin
I'd figure because you're using a hand that's gloved to hit someone, it counts. You're using the focus itself in the attack, so whynot? Or just rule it has to be sap gloves. Maybe get real stringent if you try and say only your when smackin' people around with your hands it counts as the focus.

Mayhap your bearclaw necklace idea would work, so long as the necklace was wrapped around one of his hands first, so the focus knows what it's being used for, so to speak...
GrinderTheTroll
QUOTE (Dashifen)
QUOTE ("SR4 p. 191 under Weapon Foci")
Weapon foci add magical power to an Awakened characterís melee attacks.

In physical combat, weapon foci add their Force in dice to the characterís dice pool for melee attacks. The character still relies on her Physical attributes and skills in combat; the weapon focus merely makes him more effective. This also applies to astrally perceiving characters fighting an opponent on the astral plane. Weapon foci are effective against astral forms and continue to add their Force in dice against such enemies.

An astrally projecting character takes her weapon focus with him to the astral plane. Making an attack with a weapon focus in astral space relies on the characterís Willpower + Astral Combat dice pool (see Astral Combat, p. 184), but this dice pool is increased by the Force of the weapon focus. The damage of the weapon is the same on the astral plane as it is in the physical world.


No where does it say that the Weapon Focus needs to be a weapon in those paragraphs that I can tell, only that when in combat, the force of the Focus is added to the dice pool for an attack. In the explanatory text from p. 190-191 under Foci in the book it only says that the "physical representation of a focus can vary."

The cost in Karma to bond a Weapon Focus is (3 + Weapon Reach) x Force, but if you're, say, a Bear shaman your weapon focus could be the bear claws (not the pastries biggrin.gif) you wear about your neck. These would have reach of 0, as they're not weapons (okay, so they are if they're still attached to the bear) thus the karma to bond this focus would be simply 3 x Force.

Thoughts? Did I miss something pertinent in the rules?

I think the exploit could be raised of just getting a reach +0 focus to avoid high bonding costs and still reap all the benefits.

Although it isn't directly spelled-out "a Weapon Focus" must be a weapon, I think there is enough there and the exploitability of it all to let it be implied the Weapon Focus is a "magical weapon" that impart bonuses to it's user.
Thanee
QUOTE (Cain @ Mar 25 2006, 10:26 AM)
And since you can get the benefits of an unarmed combat focus even if you're not using it to hit people with...


That simply shouldn't be. A weapon focus should only add a bonus, when it is used. If you have an 'unarmed combat weapon focus', like gloves, then you should have to punch in order to get the bonus.

Of course, the GM is perfectly free to simply disallow such weapon foci and only allow *real* weapons to be turned into weapon foci, not stuff like gloves for unarmed combat.

Bye
Thanee
Cain
QUOTE
Of course, the GM is perfectly free to simply disallow such weapon foci and only allow *real* weapons to be turned into weapon foci, not stuff like gloves for unarmed combat.

What about converting shock gloves into weapon foci? Or the old SR3 weighted gloves? Or a set of brass knuckles? If you've ever been hit by a set of brass knuckles, the difference between them and a "real" weapon gets pretty academic.

However, according to the RAW, you can get a weapon focus for unarmed combat. And once you do that, it applies equally to all forms of unarmed combat-- grappling, kicking, punching, etc.. So, you don't technically need to be hitting people with it to gain the benefits of the focus.

[Edit: Just noticed something. One of the old loopholes is still there. You can get a weapon focus as any weapon you like, and it has its own availiability code. So, you could buy a monowhip focus, and bypass starting availiability. Just something people might like to start houseruling on. biggrin.gif)
Dissonance
Academic, in the sense that you could write a doctorate thesis on the pain? Snerk.

Anyhoo, I don't see there being anything immediately wrong with getting an unarmed-combat style weapon focus in the form of an unarmed-combat style enhancer. Like Cain just mentioned.

As for the loophole you mentioned, Cain? Two things.

1) I always interpreted the cost of the foci to just be for the actual enchanting of the item. The item itself still has to be purchased, but in the case of most foci, the cost might as well be negligable.

2) Monowhips are chargen-legal. In fact, there aren't _any_ melee weapon in SR4 that aren't. In this system, they're exactly as illegal as cybernetic spurs. 12F.
Thanee
QUOTE (Cain @ Mar 26 2006, 09:21 AM)
[Edit: Just noticed something.  One of the old loopholes is still there.  You can get a weapon focus as any weapon you like, and it has its own availiability code.  So, you could buy a monowhip focus, and bypass starting availiability.  Just something people might like to start houseruling on.  biggrin.gif)

Actually you have to buy the weapon as well (not that you can't buy monowhips, anyways).

QUOTE
What about converting shock gloves into weapon foci? Or the old SR3 weighted gloves? Or a set of brass knuckles?


Those are all perfectly fine weapons, and when they are being used, you will also get the bonus from the weapon focus.

QUOTE
However, according to the RAW, you can get a weapon focus for unarmed combat. And once you do that, it applies equally to all forms of unarmed combat-- grappling, kicking, punching, etc.. So, you don't technically need to be hitting people with it to gain the benefits of the focus.


I do not think it is anywhere clear about what you claim there. wink.gif

It does make no distinction between armed and unarmed combat, so the unarmed combat weapon focus is certainly possible, but nowhere does it say, that it does provide a bonus, if you do not actually use it.

Bye
Thanee
The Jopp
Hmm, weapon foci, shock frills...
Kyoto Kid
Weapon focus Louisville Slugger

talk about a corked bat....

Edward
I believe its not the claymore that should be the weapon focus. A force 5 weapon focus brass knuckles in your pocket (reach 0 relatively cheep) gives its benefit when your swinging a claymore, gaining the reach advantage

I however would say that it doesnít work. A weapon focus only applies dice to attacks made when using the focus as a weapon. If you want a unarmed weapon focus resurrect the old hardliner gloves, or good old fashioned brass knuckles (these are weapons), or even enchant normal gloves (with GM permission). You would have to strike with the enchanted object in these cases, you donít get extra kick damage for wearing brass knuckles do you

Iím still trying to work out if they removed expendable spell foci because they where so expensive nobody would ever use them. Or so cheep and easy to make that they where being over used.

Edward
Shrike30
Personally, I'd allow something like the "bear claw necklace" example given earlier if the weapon focus was for unarmed combat, but it would have to be defined as *unarmed* combat (meaning, shock gloves or brass knuckles would *not* benefit from them). Essentially allowing a player to do something interesting and stylish, while trying to avoid opening too large of a gap towards twinkdom. In the case of an actual weapon (say, those aforementioned shock gloves, or a katana, or whatever) you could get them as a weapon focus, but the bonus would only apply while using them, not in general.
neko128
QUOTE (Shrike30)
Personally, I'd allow something like the "bear claw necklace" example given earlier if the weapon focus was for unarmed combat, but it would have to be defined as *unarmed* combat (meaning, shock gloves or brass knuckles would *not* benefit from them). Essentially allowing a player to do something interesting and stylish, while trying to avoid opening too large of a gap towards twinkdom. In the case of an actual weapon (say, those aforementioned shock gloves, or a katana, or whatever) you could get them as a weapon focus, but the bonus would only apply while using them, not in general.

I agree with this. And don't forget, magic is VERY symbolic in the Shadowrun world; so while a spiked glove or shock glove would be an unarmed combat style, it would not be unarmed in a symbolic sense.
Butterblume
QUOTE (Shrike30)
Personally, I'd allow something like the "bear claw necklace" example given earlier if the weapon focus was for unarmed combat, but it would have to be defined as *unarmed* combat (meaning, shock gloves or brass knuckles would *not* benefit from them).  Essentially allowing a player to do something interesting and stylish, while trying to avoid opening too large of a gap towards twinkdom.  In the case of an actual weapon (say, those aforementioned shock gloves, or a katana, or whatever) you could get them as a weapon focus, but the bonus would only apply while using them, not in general.

This sounds like the sensible approach i'd take smile.gif.
Waltermandias
I think that the inclusion of reach factoring into the price of the weapon focus is enough evidence that the focus itself has to be a weapon and presumably you have to hit people with this weapon to get the benefits.

That being said, I like the bear claw necklace thing as well, and I think that altering rules to allow players to do neat things is both allowable and desirable. As such I totally agree with Shrike30's excellent suggestion.
James McMurray
My take:

"Weapon" focus is a pretty self explanatery term. It's not "random object" focus. It's "weapon" focus.

The rule specifically states:

1) You hit people with your weapon focus.
2) Your weapon focus's damage is the same as an equivilent weapon.

To me, one makes it pretty clear that your focus must be a weapon. You don't hit people with a bear claw necklace or a mystical jock strap (at least, hopefully not).

Two also makes it pretty clear. Even if you could get a weapon focus bear claw necklace, when you hit someone with it you'll do the same damage as a normal bear claw necklace: i.e. not much at all. If you're not hitting someone with it, you're not using your weapon focus.

What that bear claw necklace should be, in keeping with past editions and presumably future expansion products: is a talisman, granting higher adept powers for unarmed combat when worn. I would most definitely allow it, although I'm not sure exactly what rules I'd be using, and it would be made clear that when Magic 4.0 comes out, the new system will get switched to unless entirely unworkable for the character.
Azralon
QUOTE (James McMurray @ Mar 28 2006, 09:05 PM)
Even if you could get a weapon focus bear claw necklace, when you hit someone with it you'll do the same damage as a normal bear claw necklace: i.e. not much at all. If you're not hitting someone with it, you're not using your weapon focus.

That's my read as well.

If you want to wear a necklace that lets you knock the crap out of people, then get a sustaining focus of the appropriate look and slap Increase Strength on it.
Cain
QUOTE
The rule specifically states:

1) You hit people with your weapon focus.
2) Your weapon focus's damage is the same as an equivilent weapon.

Actually, point #1 doesn't appear anywhere on pages 191-2. All it says is that "Weapon foci add their Force to the character's dice pool for melee attacks." Note-- melee, not weapon. Technically, they add to *all* melee attempts, including subduing combat.

Point #2 is somewhat better supported. Weapon focus damage "is the same on the astral plane as it is in the physical world." However, that doesn't mean that unarmed combat can't be considered; you still do the same damage, just on the astral.
James McMurray
Pg. 192
QUOTE
Making an attack with a weapon focus


Perhaps an overly anal and literal interpretation of that phrase could somehow assume that making an attack with something in melee doesn't mean hitting them with it, but it seems fairly obvious to me.

I guess where you see vagueness I see an incredibly clear set of rules that plainly states you attack people with your weapon focus. I guess it's just another spot where we'll have to agree to disagree. Not like there haven't been a lot of those. wink.gif
Cain
Let's put your quote in context, shall we? I'll highlight a few things that you might have missed.

QUOTE ("SR4 @ pg 192")

Making an attack with a weapon focus in Astral Space relies on the character's Willpower + Astral Combat dice pool (see Astral Combat, p. 184), but this dice pool is increased by the Force of the weapon focus.

Now remember, according to the Astral Combat skill, normal methods of fighting are "next to useless" in astral space. Nothing you've pointed out indicates that you absolutely must use a weapon focus to strike with to gain it's benefits normally. Granted, it's something people might like to house rule; however, I certainly think it'd be a cool roleplay toy to have a bear-claw necklace that granted fighting ability. We could also have enchanted armor (common in fantasy), or several other entertaining options.
James McMurray
IT shows how hitting someone in astral space differs from hitting someone in physical space, not that you don't hit someone in physical space. And like I said, I also like the idea of the bear claw necklace, but it ain't a weapon focus, it's a talisman other magic item.

But then again, it's pretty obvious that my view of reality and yours are disconnected somewhere, so you do it how you want in your SR4 games and I'll do it how I want in mine.
Azralon
QUOTE (James McMurray)
But then again, it's pretty obvious that my view of reality and yours are disconnected somewhere, so you do it how you want in your SR4 games and I'll do it how I want in mine.

Moot point, as Cain has reported that he no longer runs SR4 games.
NightHaunter
The rules as written imply both arguments at the same time.

One of my players is of the opinion that a weapon focus is bonded to a specific weapon, including a metahuman body, and the bonus only applies to melee rolls made with said weapon. However the focus does not have to be the weapon itself. Also in this case as the weapon itself is not the focus so does not an active astral presence, it is unavailable for use in astral combat, excepting the metahuman body.

My opinion is that the weapon focus must be the weapon itself as this is the only way of making it astrally active and therefore usable in astral combat, it is my belief that this is also the intent of the rules.

However in order to get a conclusive opinion fanpro/wizkids should probably be consulted.
Shrike30
The way I've decided to handle the whole "Bear Claw Necklace" thing is pretty simple... it's not a "Weapon Focus" in the sense that it, itself, is not a weapon, but as far as all of the rules are concerned it is purchased, bonded, and has the same effects as a Weapon Focus when the character using it strikes things in Unarmed or Astral combat (truly unarmed... no benefitting shock gloves, etc). It's also regulated like a Weapon Focus, legally treated like a Weapon Focus, and traded on the black market like a Weapon Focus.

So, if you want to call it a "Talisman of Flipping Out and Killing People All The Time," go for it. I'm fine with allowing my players to pack what is essentially a weak weapon focus (because you don't get the benefit of the baseline weapon profile but have all the drawbacks of carrying a weapon focus except for actually carrying a mundane weapon) if they want to.
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