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After hearing the many different magic powers coming up and looking over the vast that have been part of the game for quite some time, I noticed that there never was a focus for making wards.

So, here is my questions.

1. What problems would you see arrising in a game mechanic since. (yes I'm asking for possible Canon references here.) (I also like looking for cheese factors so feel free to experiment)
2. If making a house rule to include a ward focus, how much should it cost in nuyen and how much karma should it take to bond and what kind of availability should it have?

Now, since magic related questions always winds up debating some other aspect other than the topic, lets try making seperate threads to hold those debates and just focus on the topic. (please biggrin.gif )
Herald of Verjigorm
Considering that a starting shaman can get up to about force 11 wards without any extra devices, it won't be excessive to add such a thing. It will tend to increase the lifespan of free wards, but that isn't a significant factor in most cases.

I'm not sure if they should be able to help with masking wards, I don't immediately remember if everyone in a team warding needs masking to make those. If they do, then maybe make two varieties, general and deluxe.
Kanada Ten
Warding Foci
A warding focus provides a number of additional dice during the test for creating a ward equal to its Force. These dice can be divided between the success and drain resistance tests. The focus also increases the user's Magic attribute by its Force but only for the purpose of determining the ward's maximum size (SR3, p.174). Users cannot gain more dice from the focus than their base Magic attribute, and the focus must be active during the wards creation. A warding focus costs (3 x Force) points of Karma to bond. The base target number for enchanting a warding focus is 6 with a first bonding cost of 5 x Force (see Enchanting, MiTS, p.39).

Foci ::::::::::::::::::: Avail ::::::::::::: Cost :::::::::::: SI ::::: Bonding
Warding Focus ::::: 5/48 hrs ::::: Force x 15,000 ::::: 3 ::::: 3 x Force

From TSS, again. Edited the cost though, 'cause that's just too damn expensive.
15,000 and 3 karma for one die on warding tests.

That's absolutely perfect...

If you don't want anyone, even corporations, to ever use it.

I'd cut all the karma and nuyen cost to 5,000 and 1 x Force and even then I'd be absolutely shocked if anyone ever actually paid the street price for one. I'd probably just fence it if I was given one.
Ol' Scratch
Really... that's insanely expensive for what it does. If it actually affected the strength of the ward it created, or lowered the target number for creating one (or, hell, directly lowered the time it took to create one), that might be a different story. But just granting an extra die? Way too expensive.

I doubt if I would ever even get one at 5,000 and 1 Karma per Force even if I was playing a specialist.
even sustaining foci, which don't give you any dice on anything at all, are 15k per point of force. 15k and 3 karma per point sounds reasonable to me; wards can be very, very handy things to have, if you know how to use them.
Ol' Scratch
Yeah, but sustaining foci effectively give you a -2 target number modifier when using one in the field. The ward foci suggested here are more of a little luxury rather than a useful tool; even Force 6 foci are relatively easy to create, especially by anyone who would even consider buying a ward focus, and all those extra dice don't really help matters.
well, it's worth pointing out that this warding focus would directly decrease the amount of time you'd need to spend maintaining wards, by extending the duration of those wards by a week per extra success you roll. however, that's really more of a draw for large-scale operations such as militaries, where an extra success on the warding test equals (force) man-hours saved. i agree that, as presented, these warding focus aren't worth 5k to relatively small-time operations, such as shadowrunning groups.

so, i propose the following: warding foci provide a -1 TN to the warding test per 2 points of force, and also reduce the effective force of the ward by the rating of the focus, for the purpose of determining the karma cost to make the ward permanent; the minimum karma cost is 1.

that way, a mage with a force 4 warding forcus would have to roll against TN 4 to create a force 6 ward. if he wanted to make the ward permanent, he could then pay 2 karma.
Kanada Ten
Hummm... What if we made the focus sustain the ward (in that so long as the focus remained in contact with the ward it would be sustained)?
Ol' Scratch
I'm not a fan of creating all new mechanics for a system that's fairly straight-forward, but maybe treating it in the same way as Sorcery dice might be in order.

For example, you can set aside dice from the Warding Foci to 1) improve your chances of creating the ward by adding extra dice, 2) increase your Magic Attribute for purposes of determining the size of the ward, 3) lower the effective Force of the ward for purposes of determining how long it takes to create it, 4) extend the duration of the ward by one week., and/or 5) lower the Karma cost to make the ward permanent.

Thus if you had a Warding Focus 6 you could assign 3 dice to help you create the ward, 2 to help increase the size, and 1 to lower the time it takes to create it.

#4 and #5 seem to be the only ones that might be a little unbalanced, but I don't think it's too terribly bad.
Well maybe if I gave you a situation that would derive great benefit.

I play a changeling (SURGE character for the newbies out there). I decide to take astral perception which gives me the ability to make a ward (even though it is a pretty weak one). Since I only get a magic rating of one and power foci do not raise my magic rating for making wards, only having one die to make the role means many chances for botching. A warding focus would be of great benefit. Afterall, even if most mages could destroy the ward, it would still let me know that something was poking arround in the astral without me having to walk arround with astral perception on at all times.
Ol' Scratch
That's an example of an extremely rare situation (and even then, not a mandatory one as you certainly wouldn't be tasked with creating wards on a professional [legitimate or shadowy] basis), and definitely not one that would even remotely influence the creation of a new brand of focus.

A unique one created by an Enchanter you pay out the yin-yang? Sure. But it wouldn't influence a semi mass-market brand of foci that you'd be able to find in any talismonger's shop since the price would grossly outweigh the benefit (and thus the demand).
That's just it. Canon does mention on several occasions the existance of unique and/or minorly useful Foci. There's really no barrier for this type of Focus to exist except as Doc said, money, and convincing an Enchanter to spend his valuable time on it, which should probably include more than money ... unless it is a lot of money.
Yes I agree on enchanting. I agree on it costing for such a unique thing. I could justify the mass market by pointing out how many times Doc mentioned the importance of formal training on another thread for magic users. If formal training was considered, many institutions may have these available for students in the same manner as many universities use calculators. As a game perspective on how often they would be used, I would agree that most would never pick one up because of how easy warding is (unless going with an insane force rating).

So, on another note.... how much would you as a GM charge the PC for one and should the ward also allow you to create a higher force ward in a similar manner that a power focus raises effective magic rating for drain tests?
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